Many customers like the idea of manual gearbox in a big block car, but the reality is that unless you drive it in anger with all the benefits of being in control, it can be a little tiring. No more so when stuck in traffic which is typical for the UK, or just going for a relaxing drive. One of most loyal customers has decided that although he loved the manual in his car, it was time for a “more relaxing” experience, but with same amount of fun!
Park & Pic:
Technically this car is not under our Pony logo at the yard as it was driven straight to the workshop bypassing the photo opportunity. So we have decided that as the car was parked in the workshop that sort of qualifies! More on this car below.
The car is being drag prepped and we were given a list of things that had to be done as part of that spec. The new automatic gearbox has been custom spec’d, hand built, a bespoke one off build in fact. We have been asked not to reveal too much about it, so we won’t, but we will show and tell you a few selected highlighted bits and pieces here.
The car was raised on the new lifts so we could get to work removing the prop shaft. Adam was up the ladder here to check that we can get as much height as possible, in order to calibrate the max stopping height for the lifts in the newly kitted out and facelifted workshop.
To make the full drive train work between the new gearbox and the differential, the original prop shaft has to be shortened and re-balanced so that was sent away as soon as we could to avoid delays.
The diff itself is a new limited slip design which has arrived on the market, which is nicely paired with some new gearing based on the specifications given to us. Both were special orders placed a week or so ago from the USA and arrived within the week to be here ready for the work to start on the change over. (We’re being deliberately vague here by the way.) Out with the old diff and gearing:
In with the new (not showing the new diff in full again):
The drive (half) shafts have also been replaced with an upgraded pair while he was at it. The old shafts before being removed. The rear brakes will also be receiving some ‘attention’ during the refit.
Moving up to the middle of the car, the old and working perfectly fine 5 speed gearbox was dropped out:
The old bell housing, flywheel, clutch assembly and gearbox waiting to cleaned, refurbished and then ready for storage.
There were a few dummy fittings of the new gearbox once the new automatic flywheel was fitted to the back of the engine. A stock looking gearbox – but far from stock inside after the updated modifications were made!
The stick shift and auto selector are in different locations on the tunnel. Yogi fabricated a new filler plate section and then cut the new hole for the auto selector. There was some fabrication, welding and seam sealer to complete the new shifter opening.
Gearbox mounted and in located in it’s final position.
The gearbox must have some oil cooling pipes fitted with the new spec gearbox. The new lines were fabricated and routed to the new transmission oil cooler at the front. More bespoke Yogi works of art made with pride, not just for functionality, but also for the appearance of something that nobody will probably see. All the parts apart from the gearbox itself were taken straight off the Mustang Maniac’s stock shelves!
The final part of the equation is keeping the power on the floor. That is being handled by some new boots in each corner; 235 x 60 x 15s at the front and some bigger tarmac ripping 255 x 60 x 15s at the rear:
The car will be serviced while we are at it, filled up with oil, both engine and gearbox, brake fluid changed, bled and checked.
The front valance had to be removed to fit the oil cooler, cosmetically it had seen a bit of road rash, so it was sent away to our painters for a refresh to remove some stone chips and a minor dent etc. Once it’s returned back to us we can refit all the front end properly.
The interior will need to be put back together again, carpets, console & dash all made to fit with the new shifter.
Road testing will be fun we’re quite sure of that, maybe a few tests in fact, (just to be sure) as we will need to recalibrate the carb for the auto gearbox, kickdown etc. We have been told to make sure it does what it has been spec’d out to do. There will be some 11’s rubber black lines laid down (in the yard of course) for be sure. We will take it out for a “bit of a thrashing” as requested before we hand it back.
So if you see this little lady at the lights, don’t bother trying to race it, unless you really want to see the back of it.
We have also been told this car will be given some ‘drag strip time’ when we are all allowed out to play again. What we are looking forward to is Yogi’s reigning drag strip king car pitted against a new kid on the block.