On April 17, 1970, Ford introduced the Maverick. It had been six years to the day since the Mustang had debuted. In many ways, the Maverick seemed related to Ford’s first pony car. The small, sporty two-door hatch had a sharp turn radius and sharper looking appearance packages.
That year, the Maverick outsold the Mustang. 579,000 Mavericks sold in the first year. Though this classic Ford car wasn’t even in production for a full decade, over 2 million were produced
The Maverick was intended to be an import-contender. Ford positioned it to topple the Hondas and Beetles that were gaining popularity. Despite its success and aspirations, the Maverick had a short run. In 1977, Ford dumped the Maverick.
Because of the Maverick’s short run, the aftermarket never grew the way it did for the Mustang. This has left vintage Maverick owners in a tough spot. There’s no denying the classic appeal of the Maverick. It’s a restoration candidate for anyone who loves the lines and looks of golden age muscle cars. It can be challenging to find parts though.
Ford Maverick Auto Parts
There aren’t many businesses that specialize in selling Maverick parts. Luckily, it’s possible to cobble together restoration parts from Ford’s other vehicles. In particular, classic Mustangs share many parts with the Maverick. The Mustang’s significantly more developed restoration catalog can help Maverick owners. Knowing which Mustang parts will work can make it easier to find Maverick parts online
Disclaimer: The parts below are cross-compatible according to our research and other enthusiasts’ statements. It’s always worthwhile to do some investigating of your own though. Early Ford vehicles are famous for tiny quirks, which adds to the uncertainty of finding parts that fit.
Ford Maverick Engine Parts
The Maverick’s engine is one area with plenty of available parts. Though Ford made modifications to their engines, they used similar designs throughout. The Maverick’s 170, 200, 250, and 302 CID engines share lots of parts with their Mustang equivalents.
The 170 CID Thriftpower from the Maverick is like the Mustang’s U-code engine. This engine was only offered in 1964.5, but many of its accessories fit the 200 CID engine that replaced it. The Maverick’s 200 CID engine is also able to use these parts and is similar to the Mustang’s T-code engine.
In 1971, when Ford added the 250 and 302 CID engine options for the Maverick, they advertised that the engines were borrowed from the Mustang. This is great news for parts compatibility!
Having shared engines means a lot of other parts can be shared as well.
Oil systems are more particular to the engine than to the vehicle. Since the Mustang and Maverick share engines, they can also share many oil system components. The oil filters, oil caps, oil sender switch, and oil pans are compatible within engine displacements. The only trick is avoiding oil caps printed with the word “Mustang” but otherwise, almost every part of the oil system is interchangeable.
While oil systems tend to stay the same, some ignition system parts are different between the Maverick and Mustang. Most ignition system parts are compatible though. The Mustang and Maverick’s ignition coils were identical. The upgraded ignition coil can be installed on either.
One thing that’s different is the battery tray, but the battery cables still work. There are battery cables for the 170-200 CID engines, as well as for the 250-302 CID engines.
Unfortunately, exhaust manifolds and intake manifolds aren’t as easy. The gasket’s easy to fit, but the manifolds themselves have minor size variations. Though these are partially determined by engine, underhood space is also a relevant factor.
Because the Maverick had smaller displacement engines, only a few alternators work well. The Maverick’s used a 55 amp alternator. Many other Ford vehicles used similar alternators, including early Mustangs.
Maverick and Mustang Engine Parts
Ford Maverick Transmissions
The Maverick used a C4 automatic transmission and a three and four-speed Toploader through all seven production years. These transmissions were also used in many classic Mustangs. That means there’s no shortage of parts.
Unfortunately, many Mavericks have a column-mounted shifter. Floor shifters were available as a factory option, and those models have more cross-compatibility. Other Maverick owners have converted their transmission to a floor-shift.
Parts of the transmission, like pans and valve bodies, should be fully functional.
The Maverick shared the early Mustang’s Toploaders. These transmissions had a 1/16” 10-spline input shaft and 28-spline output shaft. They were available in both a three-speed and a four-speed.
When using Mustang Toploader parts for a Maverick transmission, only use parts designed for Mustangs with a V6 or small-block V8. Big block V8 Mustangs (those with an engine that had greater than 427 CID) used a Toploader with 31-spline output shafts and an input shaft with a slightly larger diameter.
The C4 transmission was the sole automatic transmission for classic Mustangs and Mavericks. It’s important to note that the C4 had several changes over the years. Most notably, in 1970 it changed to a 26-spline input shaft from a 24-spline. The input shaft diameter also changed from .788 inch to .839 inch.
This means a 1970 Mustang and Maverick would have the same C4, but you wouldn’t necessarily be able to use parts from earlier C4 transmissions.
Clutches, Flywheels, and Flexplates
The engines and transmissions of early Mustangs and Mavericks are similar. But you need to operate with caution where these points connect. Items like bellhousings weren’t always the same.
Fortunately, most clutch kits, flywheels, and flexplates will be cross-compatible. Mavericks equipped with a 170-200 CID engine used a 9” clutch. Mavericks with larger engines used a 10”.
For most of the transmission’s accessories, common sense will prevail. The Mustang did not come with a column-mounted shifter, so there aren’t parts to make that compatible. Shift knobs are cross-compatible though. Some other parts, like the automatic shifter cover, also fit.
Maverick and Mustang Transmission Parts
Ford Maverick Suspension Parts
There are some Mustang suspension parts that are compatible with the Maverick. The vehicles’ curb weights were similar and both had a double-wishbone style front suspension. This means that upper and lower control arms will be an easy fit. The three-bolt ball joints used by the Mustang will fit Mavericks, but the four-bolt is exclusive to Mustangs. Aftermarket accessories that connect to these parts should also fit, but information on exact fitment is limited.
Other suspension parts, like coil springs, can fit but not without modification. Maverick owners have reported that they needed to cut down the springs in order for them to fit. In some cases, they cut the springs down by as much as an inch.
Unfortunately, many other suspension components will not fit. The Mustang and Maverick’s frame shape is different, which means connection locations are different.
Mustang sway bars won’t work at all. Monte Carlo bars and export braces need to be heavily modified.
Mustang and Maverick Suspension Parts
Ford Maverick Exhaust Parts
Exhaust components typically require modification to work. Tailpipes need to be bent, pieces need to be shortened. Headers may list both Mustang and Maverick as compatible vehicles but end up requiring lots of modification.
A full exhaust system swap seems to work best. Of course, there are also a ton of universal parts, like mufflers and exhaust tips.
Ford Maverick Brake Parts
It shouldn’t be too surprising that a lot of Mustang and Maverick brake parts are cross-compatible. The engine power and wheels were similar, though wheels themselves usually won’t fit.
Mustang and Maverick Brake Parts
Maverick Exterior Parts
One of the aspects that draws people to the Mustang and the Maverick is their unique appearance. Tragically, that means there aren’t a whole lot of parts that will fit both vehicles. The physical dimensions of features like exterior windows, and many other subtle style cues, make sheet metal fitment difficult.
There are a few exterior parts that are cross-compatible though. Wheel bearings, exterior door handles, and door locks usually work. These parts are small, but they’re also the most likely to need replacing during a normal restoration project.
Some of these parts won’t bring your Maverick to Concours correct, but they look great and are appropriate to the era. You can keep your Maverick’s retro-appeal and have a functioning door handle at the same time.
Mustang and Maverick Exterior Parts
Maverick Interior Parts
Can you imagine any successful carmaker designing a completely unique bevel for their interior switches? Of course not! It would be a huge waste. Ford frequently used similar or identical interior parts in all its vehicles across a year.
Other parts can work if you’re willing to stray from your Maverick’s original equipment and put in some work. Many dedicated restoration artists have managed to fit 1969 Mustang seats inside their Maverick. They’re not a perfect match, but compared to sagging seats, they’re a big upgrade.
Mustang and Maverick Interior Parts
What Mustang Parts Won't Work on a Maverick?
The Mustang’s shared part compatibility with the Maverick allows for a much-expanded part catalog. Unfortunately, not all parts are cross-compatible. Though it’s good to know which parts fit, it’s just as important to know which parts absolutely won’t work. Sheet metal is an obvious example. A body panel for a Mustang will need major modification to fit a Maverick.
Other parts that join to the frame also are incompatible. Sway bars are a good example of this. Though some have managed to make Mustang sway bars fit into a Maverick, the process was complicated. Monte Carlo bars and export braces suffer from a similar incompatibility.
There are some reports of front and rear bumpers working with substantial modification. It looks remarkable when done well. But without welding equipment and tenacity, it’s probably not worth attempting.
Finding Maverick Parts
There are a lot more parts available to restore your Ford Maverick beyond the ones listed above. If you know the specifications of your parts well enough, you can use the Mustang and Bronco aftermarket. Because these vehicles had a longer run, they have more expansive parts available today.
If you’ve decided to restore a Ford Maverick though, knowing the automobiles that share parts with yours will make finding parts easier. Guides on restoring Classic Mustangs, like the ones we share on our YouTube channel, can also be beneficial.
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