I had hoped I could get out of this without removing the tank. I'm all too familiar with the incredible expanding cost factor when working on these things. Somehow a one day $200 tank replacement will end up becoming a 3 weekend $750 project. Prior to realizing the bad gas problem, I did replace the fuel pump, and found that the car ran quite nicely on carb cleaner ( I don't want to damage anything here - the engines' only got 20,000 miles on it.) O.K., I'll come clean here. I was doing the "keep replacing stuff until it works" routine. So I now have new - alternator, relay, plugs, distributor cap, rotor, replaced the points/condenser with (pseudo) electronic ignition (magnetic collar and thingy) and set the timing (oh yea, dope slap #2 coming up:).
I couldn't for the life of me rotate the distributor to set the timing. The reaction between the aluminum casting and the steel block had welded the two together. First I cleaned the area. Sprayed it with carb cleaner, followed shortly after with "Break Away". Let it soak. Spray some more "Break Away" on it, still wouldn't budge. So naturally heating up the aluminum casting should do the trick, right? Light the propane torch, get within 5 inches of the distributor and poof the right front of the engine is on fire. So I blow on it, which causes the fire to ignite the left side also. This is all happening inside the garage, so things are looking bad all around. Fortunately, I have a fire extinguisher, which made short quick work out of a pending disaster. My level of stupidity generally increases with my level of frustration. Nothing is damaged and I did finally get the distributor lose by very gently prying on it in various directions with a large crowbar.
Regarding leaf springs and headers. I tend to keep things as stock as possible to avoid the unknown interference and/or handling problems. I don't want the rear end to be any higher or lower than it is now. I'll consider headers if; I can do it without raising the engine, it doesn't reduce ground clearance and I don't have to do any other major modifications to make it fit. More information or resources would be appreciated on either item.
If you insist, <a href="http://www.svend.net/mustang/mustang.html">here</a> is a lousy picture of my baby. I'll do better later, but it's stuck in the garage for now (where it should have been all winter!).