When it came for installation day, we needed to get the engine in to have something for the transmission to bolt to. It was nice to be able to align the clutch and install the pressure plate out of the car. We hadn't plunged the Windsor into the car yet, and were skeptical of how the headers would fit. We used Hooker (part number 6208-HKR), which unfortunately doesn't provide adequate floor clearance for the raised-port AFR heads. We knew that could be a possibility, and will be modifying them in the future to get the clearance we need, but they were a great starting point. With the engine and headers trapped in the engine bay, we were ready to start bolting the kit components on.
It would be misleading to say the installation was easy, and that a beginner could do it. It takes a good amount of trouble-shooting skills to complete a job this large on an older car. Being over 40 years old, these cars can warp, wear, and twist themselves out of spec, and each one is different. We had several variables leading into this project that needed to be sorted through. We advise you to have access to a lift, and that you have at least two days set aside to do it.
Keisler relies on a group of talented and reputable shops to refer their clients to for the installation. Close to our home base, Keisler referred us to their main distributor and installation center: D&P Classic Chevy of Huntington Beach, California. Don't let the name fool you, these guys can work on anything. Their shop housed mostly GM cars, but the Mustang wasn't treated as a foreigner. Owner Darryl Nance gave us his most Ford-friendly employee, Mike Swan, to help with the installation. Aside from a couple others who lent a hand in wrestling the engine into the engine bay, Mike and yours truly were able to do all the work on our own. D&P Classic Chevy opened its doors to the Mustang, and did a great job representing Keisler as one of their dealers and installers.
Clutch Assembly Prep and Install
If you're converting from an automatic to a manual, you will need to go through these steps. First, we bolted the flywheel up using blue (medium strength) Loctite. With the flywheel installed, it's easy to drive in the dowels using a brass drift. We don't all have fancy bearing driver tools, so this large socket works in its place to install the pilot bearing. With the pilot bearing installed, we push the clutch alignment tool through the clutch and into the pilot. This centers the clutch while we torque down the pressure plate. All of the parts here are included in the Keisler kit.
Our Mustang came with an automatic transmission, so it lacked a clutch pedal and had too wide of a brake pedal. The solution to this was quite simple. We ordered a clutch pedal from Keisler Engineering. When installing the pedal, we did have to remove the fresh air duct and operation lever for clearance.
The pin at the top of the clutch pedal replaces the pin that the brake pedal hinges on. This is extremely hard to photograph inside the car so we laid it on the ground to show how it works. Always lube the rotating surfaces. There's nothing worse than a squeaky clutch pedal! We used Royal Purple's Max-Tuff assembly lube for the job. We mimicked the shape of the clutch pedal to the brake by flipping it over. The original pedals are nearly straight on one edge and cut diagonally on the other. Mike of D&P cut the pedal with a cut-off wheel, then smoothed it up with a belt sander.