Goodbye To The Maverick

Maverick in Arizona

In 1991 I was in high school and a neighbor brought home a 1972 Ford Maverick Sprint and parked it in front of his house. I fell in love with it and eventually bought it.

I could go on about what it meant to to me but the short story is it sat in my garage for almost the whole 20 years I’ve been in New Mexico. It’s pretty clear that I will never have the money to finish working on it and it’s just clutter at this point.

I sold it. It was hard but it’s better at this point.


Still no updates

Here’s an update to say I have no updates. I’m figuring I need about $10K to do about 80% of this project. Right now I’m working on paying off about $15K in bills. Probably take me a year or two at my current rate (unless I win the lottery). So don’t expect much between now and then. 

Instruments Part I

I was able to adapt the Hot Rod series speedometer and tachometer to fit into the original housing of my Ford Mavericks gauge cluster. I still need to figure out how to mount the rest of the gauges.



Ford Maverick Front Disk Brake Conversion

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The following info is partially from a email sent to me from a fellow Maverick Owner. I followed this same procedure and had no problems.


(This shows the difference between a non booster pedal/steering column mount on the left and one designed for a booster on the right.) The power booster setup from a 1975 or later Maverick has the proper angle to clear the shock tower. Granada also have the similar parts as the Maverick. They are almost the same car and is a good place to find these same parts. Except for stuff like brake lines. The easiest way that I have found to do the whole swap is to get the following parts from the donor car:

  • The power booster/master cylinder assy
  • The shock tower to firewall support
  • The proportioning valve with brake lines

This is the “power” aspect of the whole job. The manual brake pedal mount will not work.

I have found that the spindles from a 1974 manual disc brake Maverick are a direct bolt-in. Simply undo the old ball joints, tie rod ends and rubber brake hoses, and bolt them right in place of the drum spindles.


(This is the mount that is installed on the inside of the firewall. Non booster Mavericks do not have this. You may also notice that the “plunger” comes out in a different place that the booster less Maverick. The original hole sits under the middle of this plate. )Installation of the booster and pedal: (This is for a Maverick/Comet with manual drum on all four corners.)

  1. Unbolt the stock 2 bolt master cylinder, prop. valve, and any attached lines that will be in the way.
  2. Undo the under dash tray or glove box panel from inside the car.
  3. Remove the two 9/16″ nuts that hold the plastic cover on the bottom of the column at the dashboard.
  4. There will be two more exposed 9/16″ bolts that will need to be removed. The column should be hanging free. The purpose of all of this is to get to the bolts that hold the pedal and the inner brace up under the dash.
  5. Get all of the bolts out of the brace and remove it with the pedal.

Modification to recipient car:

  1. You will need to make a paper or cardboard template from the back of the booster. There should be four mounting holes for the booster and one egg-shaped hole for the rod that actuates the brakes. (An easy way is to study the firewall on the donor car to get an idea of the holes that will need to be drilled).
  2. To mount the prop. Valve, the two mounting holes may have to be enlarged, depending on the car.
  3. Now figure what brake lines will have to be bent, shortened, etc..
  4. I used a tubing cutter and a double flaring tool that I borrowed from a friend. PAY ATTENTION TO WHERE THE LINES CAME OFF OF THE DONOR CAR. You will need to know which lines off the master cyl. Go to which holes in the prop. Valve, and to which wheel they go from there.


(my Maverick with the booster installed is really a tight fit.) All in all, it is a relatively easy swap that is well worth the time involved, especially if you plan to hotrod the engine in your car.

Ford Maverick Aftermark Air Conditioning

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In the early 70’s air conditioning systems were not as popular as they are today. In my experince I have found that most Mavericks from the early 70’s had only a heater. This was the case on my Maverick. Driving my Maverick around in the 100 + degree Arizona heat for a few years it became a priority to install a A/C system.

Below you can see the Vintage Air Mini system that I have first installed. It’s basically a box with a heater core and condenser with a fan stuck on the side. The problem with this is there is no way to control whether you have inside or outside intake air. There were also no provision on these for floor heat. Connecting the defrosting ducts also was not that easy. The Air-tique system does not work with the stock controls. You will have to use the control systems that they have available. They range anywhere from state-of-the-art electronic controls to simple nobs. None of the control systems they provided fit well in the stock location. They work better in a center console or hanging off the bottom of the dash. I elected to go with the billet aluminum slider controls. This worked out well for me since I not only didn’t like the location of the stock heater controls, but wanted to mound some gauges there.


Clearly the Air-Tique Mini system is not designed as a direct replacement for the Maverick. They do not offer one that is. The next option is to add a stock system. Below the Air Tique system is a drawing from a Chiltons manual showing stock system and how it fits under the dash. You can clearly see the differences between the two systems. Installing the stock system would only require drilling two holes for the heater hoses since the are in a different place than the non-A/C cars. Plus you could get a stock A/C control panel that would fit right in where the stock heater controls are. I also suspect it would be possible to use the electronic control systems offered by Air-Tique or Vintage Air. The stock system also requires a hole in the dash for the louvers. It might be possible to relocate the center louvers to under the dash with some ducting if you didn’t want to cut a hole in your dash. More than likely the only place you are going to find a stock A/C system is at a salvage yard. I would suggest finding a Maverick with the same color dash and the hole already cut. I also suspect that there may need to be some other minor modifications, possibly some brackets or such that will need to be made. But for the most part I think It would be a direct bolt-in.


The third choice is from Vintage Air. They make a lot of different sized boxes similar to the one from Air-Tique. They also make “Sure-Fit” systems which fit and use stock mounting locations and bolt in to various models. Of course they do not make one for the Maverick. But they do make one for the ’64 – 65 Falcon/Ranchero and 64 1/2 – 68 Mustangs. My experience has shown that these vehicles have similar dashes and underdashes. If you look at the picture below, you can see how the unit would mount up with the blower motor fitting under the stock fresh air intake. The only thing I can’t tell is if you can switch from recirculating or fresh air. The price for the complete set is about $1000 or $500 for just the box that fits under the dash. Considerably more expensive than a stock unit from a salvage yard. The box portion form Air-Tique or Vintage Air pictured above cost about $200 – $300 depending on the size.

I’m really looking for someone who has had some more experience with this stuff.

Ford Maverick Rack & Pinion Conversion

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To the left is the diagram sent to me by Joe Roberts(Your browser may not view the graphic correctly. I suggest that you save it to disk then you can print it out). He has done a Rack & Pinion conversion. The following information is from excerpts sent via e-mail from him.

“I drew plans for a cross member to mount the Rack where the stock linkages are. It is basically a U shaped thing with ussets. Very nice and sturdy, it slid perfectly between the frame rails where it bolted on. Cost me about $100 plus the rack and pinion unit and the die for shortening the tie rod ends took me for another hundred. Also made a neat little universal joint bearing to connect the column to the R&P. It worked great, except for one problem……”

He goes on to tell me how you need to get the correct R&P unit that steers in the correct direction. This bracket is designed for a rear mounting R&P unit. It mounts where the existing steering system is. This would be the easiest. Be sure that you get a R&P unit that is designed for the back or front. If you put a front mounting unit in the back the wheels will steer in the wrong direction. I believe this will work with a Mustang II R&P unit. These are the most common.

I also know of a person that used a lo-ratio unit out of a GM Celebrity Euro sport on a ’70 Ranchero. Adapted instructions follow:

“It’s the same set up. Belt sizes are very much universal. Pressure is important. Use a GM pump as close to OEM pressure as possible. R&P and pump from same car. Make or adapt bracket as needed. Mount pump as FORD OEM would . Hot rod companies also make pressure relief valves, to raise or lower pressure as needed. SAGINAW pumps work the best. just change the relief valve to match the R&P. SAGINAW is not just GM.

The Celebrity is a rear steer car. The Ranchero has a cross member that the lower control arms are mounted to. I adapted off of that. The cross member does not have to be very heavy, as long as there is NO side to side movement. Centerline of R&P must be the same as centerline of original drag/center link. Use OEM R&P mounting holes. This R&P does not have to be sandwiched between separate mounting ears, like OEM. bolted up against one side is ok.

Obviously you must remove all steering linkage, including OEM steering box. Inner tie rods on new R&P must be machined and rethreaded to use OEM adjusting sleeves and outer tie rods. Hot rod companies make hundreds of U-joints and shaft adapters. find the right ones for the OEM steering column, and the R&P. Join them with a length of steel rod. Hoses are easily custom made. Car can be aligned to OEM specs.

Test movement of everything in the driveway before driving it on the road. Remember keep it simple, do not over engineer, use as many OEM type parts as possible. If it ever fails or breaks, it will not be in the driveway.

I am working on a Ford Taurus unit. I haven’t actually gotten the unit, but I did get the Steering column and was able to wire it up to the existing wiring with little problem. See ’86 Ford Taurus steering column upgrade for more info on this end. When i get the unit and figure out how I’m going to do this I’ll be sure to post it here.