Essential Tips For Buying A Best 1969 Mustang Mach 1

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The 1969 Mustang Mach 1 was better than the GT, and it came with lots of improvements for better performance.



In 1969, a total of 299,824 Mustangs were sold, and an impressive 24 percent of them were Mach 1s. While this might seem like a smaller number compared to previous years, it’s important to remember that by 1969, the Mustang faced tough competition from other cars like the Chevy Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Plymouth Barracuda, AMC Javelin, and even the Mercury Cougar.



The fact that all these cars coexisted in the market speaks to how popular the concept of pony cars had become. Even though Mustang sales weren’t at their peak, the brand still had a strong reputation and name recognition.



In 1969, when the Mustang got a stylish makeover, Ford introduced a range of performance models based on the Mustang. There were six exciting options: GT, Mach 1, Boss 302, Boss 429, Shelby’s G.T. 350, and G.T. 500. The Mach 1, borrowing its name from a cool 1966 Mustang concept, was a more stylish version compared to the GT.



It had all the good stuff from the GT and then some. We’ll talk more about what made the Mach 1 special in a bit. The Mach 1 was only available as a SportsRoof model; they didn’t make convertible or hardtop Mach 1s.



This special Mustang started at $3,122 in 1969. It was a big hit, with 72,458 sold in its first year, outselling all other fastback models combined and even causing the GT model to take a break (until 1982, that is).



1969 Mustang Mach 1.




Exploring The Engine Options Of The 1969 Mustang Mach 1



The first Mach 1 Mustang had six engine options, but they only talked about five. You can find out which engine a 1969 Mustang Mach 1 had by looking at the fifth digit of its VIN number. The basic engine in the Mach 1 was called the 351 Windsor with two barrels, and it had the letter ‘H’ in the VIN.



It gave you 250 horsepower when you used regular gas. This ‘H-code’ engine was the only one that had a single exhaust. The other engines needed premium gas and had two exhaust pipes with four shiny tips.



The next step up was the 351 Windsor with four barrels, and its VIN code was ‘M.’ It had a high compression ratio and more barrels, which meant it had 290 horsepower. But it was only around for one year because they replaced it with the 351 Cleveland in 1970.



After that came the 390 engine with four barrels and a high compression ratio, coded as ‘S,’ and it gave you 320 horsepower. All these engines had a fake hood scoop, but you could get an optional shaker-style ram air system for some extra kick.



1969 Mustang Mach 1



Ford then gave people two options for the 428 Cobra Jet engines: the regular Q-code and the Ram Air R-code. Both had high compression, at 10.6:1, and both were rated at 335 horsepower. The only real difference was that the Q-code had a fake scoop on the hood, while the R-code had a real Shaker scoop.



The 428 Cobra Jet engine got some special treatment. It got improved heads from the 427, with bigger valves and combustion chambers. It also had a larger carburetor, better exhaust pipes, and stronger connecting rods. Even though they said it had 335 horsepower, it’s rumored to actually have had more than 400 horsepower. They kept the official numbers lower to keep insurance costs down.



We tested a 1969 Mach 1 with the 428 Cobra Jet engine. We found that opening the scoop on the hood gave it an extra boost in speed, making it faster in the quarter-mile race by two-tenths of a second and about 2 miles per hour.



Beyond what Ford advertised, there was a hidden gem called the Super Cobra Jet (SCJ) option. Oddly, it could be either an R-code or a Q-code engine, which might confuse buyers. When you wanted the Traction-Lok rear-end ratios of 3.91 or 4.30 (known as the “Drag Pack” option), you got the Super Cobra Jet engine.



It had several internal upgrades compared to the standard 428CJ, like a special balancer and flywheel, unique aluminum pistons, and stronger connecting rods. These changes made the SCJ more durable for rapid acceleration and high RPMs due to the aggressive rear axle ratios. Getting the 3.91 or 4.30 Traction-Lok option cost $155.45, but it came with all the extra engine upgrades, making it a great deal.






The SCJ also had an external engine oil cooler on the driver’s side in front of the radiator support, which meant they had to move the driver’s-side horn to the other side. The 428SCJ models didn’t come with air conditioning because of this oil cooler. Some, but not all, 428SCJ engines were marked “super” on the front, probably to help the assembly team tell them apart from regular 428CJs.



In 1969, they made a total of 10,080 428CJ Mustangs, and an extra 3,181 were 428SCJs. However, not all of these engines ended up in Mach 1s.



All Mach 1 engines had hydraulic lifters, and they used 42-amp alternators and 45-amp batteries. The Mach 1s with the 428 engines had a bigger 55-amp alternator and an 80-amp battery.



A Guide To 1969 Mustang Mach 1 Transmissions



The Mach 1 had a choice of five different transmissions, depending on the engine you picked. Both 351 engines came with a standard three-speed stick known as the 3.03. It had gear ratios of 2.99 in first, 1.75 in second, and 1.00 in third gear. However, you couldn’t get this three-speed manual with the 390 or 428-powered Mach 1s.



If you wanted something more exciting, you could go for the famous Ford Toploader four-speed. It came in both close-ratio and wide-ratio versions for most models. These transmissions had codes that started with “RUG,” and the code details changed based on the engine and gearsets.



The wide-ratio four-speed had gear ratios of 2.78/1.93/1.36/1.00, with 2.78 for reverse gear. You could find an “E3” suffix for 351 engines and an “M3” suffix for the 390 engine. Unfortunately, the wide-ratio four-speed wasn’t an option for the 428 models.






For those who wanted a sportier feel, there was the close-ratio four-speed with gear ratios of 2.32/1.69/1.29/1.00, and a reverse gear of 2.32.



You could also get a three-speed automatic transmission with any engine, but the type of transmission depended on which engine you chose. For the 351-powered Mach 1s, they used the lighter FMX three-speed with gear ratios of 2.40/1.47/1.00, no matter what kind of carburetor it had.



If you went for a 390 or 428-powered Mach 1 with an automatic transmission, you got the heavier-duty C6 automatic with gear ratios of 2.46/1.46/1.00.



All transmissions connected to the 351 and 390 engines had 28-spline output shafts, while the 428-powered transmissions had a stronger 31-spline output shaft.



Exploring 1969 Mustang Mach 1 Differential Options



All Mach 1 Mustangs came with Ford’s strong 9-inch ring-and-pinion differential, which is like the heart of the rear axle. They offered an optional limited-slip differential called Traction-Lok. The standard rear axle was an open 3.00, marked as code 6. If you chose Traction-Lok, it was code O.



There was also a 3.25:1 option, which had code 9 for open and code R for Traction-Lok. If you wanted a 3.50:1 axle, it had code A for open and code S for Traction-Lok. For even more power, you could go for a 3.91 with Traction-Lok, marked as code V, or a 4.30 with Traction-Lok, marked as code W. Choosing the V and W codes got you the stronger parts used in a 428SCJ engine.



Some people talk about a Detroit Locker rear, but it seems that it wasn’t available until November ’69, at the beginning of the ’70 production. The 428 cars used a tough nodular-iron case and 31-spline axles for extra strength.






Exploring Frame And Suspension In 1969 Mustang Mach 1



The Mustang has always had a strong body made in one piece, with steel front and rear frames. The Mustangs with the big 428 engines also had extra supports called shock tower braces.



Now, when it comes to the Mach 1s with the 351 and 390 engines, they got what’s called the “GT Handling” suspension package. But for the 428-powered cars, they got something even tougher, called the “Competition HD” package. This package had sturdier front spindles to handle the weight of heavy-duty wheels and tires, and it could handle the stresses of spirited driving. They also added Gabriel heavy-duty shocks, shock tower braces, and a bigger front anti-roll bar to keep the car steady.



In the back, on the four-speed models, they put the Gabriel shocks in a special way to stop the rear wheels from hopping when you accelerated hard. The Mach 1 also had quicker steering than the regular Mustangs, with a 16:1 ratio. If you wanted, you could get power steering, no matter which engine or transmission you chose.


1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1 Brake Systems



The Mach 1 came with manual 10-inch drum brakes on all four wheels, no matter which engine you chose. They also offered an option for 11.3-inch power front disc brakes with single-piston floating calipers. But, if you wanted disc brakes on your Mustang, they always came with power assist in 1969. The rear brakes were 10 x 2-inch drum brakes.






Wheels And Tires Upgrades For Your 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1




The Mach 1 Mustangs originally had big, wide tires called E70-14 with white stripes on the sides. These tires were put on shiny 14 x 6-inch chrome wheels that had a stylish look.



You could also choose different tires called F70-14 with white letters on a black background. These were optional, and a lot of times they were made by Goodyear and called Polyglas. Another option was FR70-14 radials, which were also available.



1969 Mustang Mach 1 Interior



Enhancing The Body And Interior Of Your 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1




In 1969, the Mustang got a fresh new look while keeping its classic design. It still had the same length between its wheels, but it grew a bit longer in the front, making it look even sleeker. The windshield was tilted back more than before, giving it that iconic long front and short back look. It also got a bit wider.



They got rid of the fastback style and introduced something called the SportsRoof. It had a smooth roof that stretched all the way to the back, and the windows in the back didn’t have those small vents like before. Instead, they added some cool-looking fake vents near the rear windows.



One big change was the front of the car. It now had four headlights, but two of them were in the grille and looked like fog lights. They moved the Mustang logo to the side of the grille, not in the center.



The Mach 1 came in all the regular colors, like Silver Jade, which you can see in the picture of Kevin DeWitte’s ’69 Mach 1 in Fountain Hills, Arizona. The Mach 1 had some cool extras, like a special paint on the hood and cowl to stop the sun from shining too bright. It also had shiny stripes on the sides and back, unique moldings, a special gas cap, windows that could swing open in the back, sporty mirrors, and tinted glass in the rear.



Some people added window louvers and front and back spoilers to their Mach 1, but these weren’t put on at the factory until the Boss 302 came out later in 1969.






Inside, the Mach 1 had comfy high-back seats covered in vinyl, carpet with red patches where your feet go, a console, a fancy wood-style steering wheel, a clock, pedals with pads that matched the color of the car, special door panels with armrests and lights, and some teak-looking highlights on the dashboard, console, and door panels. They also added extra insulation, which made the car heavier.



You could get a tachometer as an option with any of the engines. In 1969, they had a bunch of interior colors to choose from: white, two types of black, four shades of blue, three shades of gold, dark red, and dark green.



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