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Starting a new project, 89 Mustang "back in the day" street / track day car

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  • CDMBill
    replied
    Ed, I found this in my new '87 Notch project. Its a Kelsy Hayes sourced FMS prop valve, but what was interesting was the little bracket that held it up. It was attached with one of the fender bolts. Is this a real FMS piece for the purpose or is just some repurposed bracket? If its the real deal do you need one for your VARAC car? I don't expect to use it as I'll move the prop valve to an in car location.

    On back pain from track days and old age, I found that dual submarine belts (six point harness) helped me. Less unconcious bracing myself laterally in the seat I think.

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  • Russell
    replied
    I would say put the gt40x heads one if they don't kick you out of any class you want to run. But with more power the brakes will feel smaller? So up grade those to, slippy slope!

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    Funny that you should ask this week Bob, a guy on the local Mustang forum was asking the same question the other day. Short answer, not really. Got sidetracked with the T-Bird, by the time it was on the road it was more than half way through the summer ... so I spent a lot of time in it enjoying the balance of the season. Was also out instructing a lot again this year, most of which were weekend events. My helpers Stu and Rob have had pretty busy lives through the last 4 months or so as well, so they haven't been around much to kick my ass to get me wrenching either.

    I've picked up a few more bits and pieces, including a good deal on a matching pair of Corbeau seats. I will likely use those rather than the one OMP seat and SVO Mustang passenger seat that I had picked up cheap earlier in the year. Also have a few items that are not so period correct that I may install later, depending on how things pan out once the car is on track ... including a pair of GT-40X aluminium heads, and some Brembo Cobra R style calipers that I got off eBay UK once I figured out some European applications for the same caliper. If I do end up running in VARAC, those won't go on, but if the car is just to be for lapping days and instructing, they probably will. I have one set of 17" Saleen Speedline wheels (all 8-1/2" rears) that will go over the Brembos, but my other 16" Saleen wheels certainly wont.



    cheers
    Ed

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  • Bob Holmes
    replied
    Ed, any progress?

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    Not much progress until this weekend. Stu and Rob came by again today to pitch in. Stu had been working on the brake light circuit on the 66 T-Bird I picked up a few months ago, which is tied in to the sequential signals. With some resoldered wires and a new relay, they are operational. He had also cleaned up the housings for the taillamps, repaired some of the sockets that were corroded, and repainted the reflector surfaces. His brother James is refinishing a set of used lenses to replace my cracked originals, so once that is done, I can get it screwed back together, then over to the shop for a safety check and get the ownership transferred.





    Stu's chocolate lab Daisy came along today, she seems to like sitting in the T-Bird. I'll have to take her out for a ride in it once it is going.



    We were just finishing that up when Rob came over. So we moved over to the Mustang, the main challenge for today was getting the Maximum Motorsports roll bar completely fitted and bolted in. Rob had been over briefly a few weekends ago and we had a few of the holes drilled as a starting point.

    Interior panels out to access the wheelwells for the rear tubes ... the red interior is being replaced with grey panels, other than the headliner, which I dyed grey, and will probably do the same with the carpet.



    A shot of the floor so that I can gloat about how solid this car is:



    Roll bar mocked up in place:



    Mounts snugly in the corners after we scraped away the excess seam sealer:



    Rear supports fit nicely to the wheelwells:



    Rob drilling the rest of the holes for the rear bar supports:



    Stu working on the dash, I have a tilt column to swap in. He also got the booster and master cylinder off, they are going to be replaced by SN95 pieces. The brake lines came apart with no trouble using standard wrenches. Sure is nice not to be dealing with rusty crap, Stu and I have had enough of that collectively. While we're at it, we can also swap in the cluster with the 140 mph Ford Motorsport speedo that I picked up a while back.



    Rob and Stu getting the main hoop bolted down:



    The backup plates inside the wheelwell, again nice fit and quality from MM:



    We discovered a few small spots where daylight was visible between the edge of the floorpan and the wheelwell on the right side, the seam sealer had been applied poorly at the factory. So before we went any further we used some outdoor caulking to close that up. Further evidence that the car has not seen any salty winters, if it had, those holes would have been shag-nasty for sure.



    A couple of weekends ago Stu's brother James had helped me strip the grey interior bits from a car at Mustang Specialteaz, the local Mustang parts emporium. So before the roll bar rear supports got bolted in to place, we trimmed the panels to fit and set them in place. So much better than the porno red!



    Roll bar now bolted down, and painted with some Rustoleum appliance epoxy, quick drying with a tough finish. Looking more like a track day car now:





    Stu also reshaped the rear brake lines that were going to interfere with the axle bump stops, so the rear suspension can be squared away now ... basically just needs the springs popped in, and everything snugged up at ride height.

    Next weekend hopefully we can get the booster / master cylinder install done, and when the column goes back in we can go with the hybrid MM steering shaft I have to hook up to the SN95 rack. Then I can get all of the front suspension tightened up, other than the springs which have to wait for the engine install.

    I had my SHO out running when I was instructing at the first event of the season a few weeks ago. Poor car, it sat all winter, I just topped up the oil and coolant, bolted on the track wheels and tires, and wailed on it again. It's not long for this world, the Mustang needs to get done sooner rather than later before the SHO decides that it has had enough of constantly seeing 7,000 rpm. LOL


    cheers
    Ed

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    We got a bit more done on the car today, not a bunch, but it continues in the right direction anyway.

    My buddy Stu Kynoch came by again, this time with his younger brother James. In the morning we checked out a local collector car auction, I had some passes for it through the dealership. Some neat stuff there, nothing spectacular.

    Afterward we came back to my place to phaff about on the car for a while. Before digging in to the Mustang, Stu and James went at my 66 T-Bird for a bit. I had picked it up about 2 months ago, hadn't done much with it yet, waiting for the warmer weather and clean roads to start driving. Brake lights weren't working at all, and they are tied in to the sequential turn signals. Stu is very good with electrical stuff, so he got at the relays for the circuit that are mounted in the trunk, and prone to corrosion. Sure enough, they looked pretty nasty, and probably not salvageable. I'll have to order some replacements for those. They also removed the taillights completely, Stu is going to sandblast the bodies of them, and shoot some silver paint on the reflectors that have turned black.

    Moving over to the Mustang, I figured that we should get the porno red interior out before the roll bar goes in. I still need to pick up a grey interior panel set, but that is no problem to source from a local friend who has a business parting out and repairing Mustangs.

    James on one side and Stu on the other, wrestling with the interior panels, trying to remember where all the little screws go through, ignore all the stuff in the hatch area left by the previous owner:





    While they worked on that, I got the LX taillights swapped in, so much better than the cheese-grater GT lights:



    A bit later in the day Rob Lawson came by to finish up the panhard bar installation he had started last weekend.









    We got that all in place and torqued down, very solid installation. I'm impressed with the quality of the engineering and fabrication of the Maximum Motorsports PHB, a nice piece for sure. While we were in there Rob noticed that the axle snubbers on the frame rails are going to interfere with the brake line routing we did for the rear discs, so those lines will have to be rejigged a bit to make room, not a big deal.

    On Saturday I was across to the other side of Toronto, Pickering to be exact, to pick up the MM 4-point roll bar that I had on order through DaSilva Racing. Unpacked it and set it up, looks to be a nice sturdy unit as well.





    Started to throw a bit of paint on it, using some Krylon appliance epoxy that I had for some other bits. Was able to get most of it covered with a thin base coat with what was left in the can, so another full can should be plenty to give it a few more coats. Came out not too glossy, and should be a tough finish. If it stays sunny this week I can put some more paint on it, and leave it out in the greenhouse to bake dry.




    cheers
    Ed

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    Absolutely, I am very fortunate to:

    A, have friends that put up with me at all

    B, have those friends actually be interested in cars, and playing with them

    C, and have those same friends be keen enough to lend a hand, and not muck things up in the process.

    Stu has been wanting to come back down for quite a while to dig in, but stuff in his life prevented that from happening. He used to help me a lot with the 87 I had all those years ago, and is very knowledgeable with lots of Ford stuff, the Fox bodies in particular.

    Rob has an 07 Mustang, different gig altogether, but his car is modded for track day use very similarly to how mine will end up ... good suspension, brake upgrade, gears and diff, and mild intake and exhaust mods. He has wrenched on all sorts of things over the years including small aircraft (which he also flew), motorcycles (which he also raced), and various race cars.


    cheers
    Ed

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  • mlcraven
    replied
    You're fortunate to have friends who know what they're doing and willing to help; the folks I seem to attract only talk my ears off!

    Seriously, it's coming along very nicely.
    Last edited by mlcraven; April 9, 2012, 04:12 AM.

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  • BOOOGHAR
    replied
    car looks great with the saleen 5 spokes and the wing, im sure its going to get lots of looks when it hits the streets

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    And one more pic with the mesh Saleen wheels that will be used for track duty ... it's the 80s all over again! LOL




    cheers
    Ed

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    Well, the past few weeks have been tough due to reasons I don't need to disclose here, so I didn't get back to the car until today. My friends Stu Kynoch and Rob Lawson dropped by to assist, it was great to have them both here to do some wrenching. Previously Rob had come by with some plumb bobs so that we could check the chassis squareness with the new front crossmember in place ... it was out by 1/16" on the diagonal one way, which is about as good as a Fox is going to get! LOL

    Here's Stu working away at the rear brake lines. We needed to shorten the original Fox hard lines to mate up with the SN95 disc flex hoses. I was going to use the adapter fittings that I had got from Maximum Motorsports, but figured that if we had to cut the lines anyway, might as well get the proper size fittings before doing the new double flares. Stu even remembered to put the nuts on the lines before he made the flares! LOL The MM fittings can be used at the connection along the right side of the firewall where the adjustable prop valve will go in.



    Rear axle assembly all put together, and ready to go under the car ... a nice tidy job on the lines by Stu:



    Stu brought along his beautiful 3 year old chocolate lab Daisy, she acted as official shop dog for the day:



    I put Rob to work at the back of the car, here he is mocking up the MM panhard bar to mark the holes to be drilled:



    In the meantime I was fiddling around with some stuff at the front of the car, Rob had the bright idea to use the sleeves off the original rear shocks as dust boots for the Bilstein front struts, they are a perfect fit, and don't interfere with the underside of the upper mount like the SN95 strut boots I was trying to use initially.



    Rob got the panhard bar roughed in, then had to head home to look after his critters. So Stu and I rolled the axle assembly on some wheel dollies to the back of the car, and started to put it in to place:





    For now it is in loosely, using an old set of Mustang SVO lower control arms (round front bushing instead of the big squishy oval bushing the later Foxes used) with Energy Suspension urethane bushings, and a pair of the Ford Racing upper arms.



    As usual, I had to bolt a wheel on to get a look at it ... hangs pretty low of course with no shocks to limit the travel:



    A friend gave me a barely used Walker cat-back system, it just has OE replacement mufflers, so I will get those swapped out for the Dynomax mufflers I have waiting. This is an older 2-1/4" system with the polished LX style tips, no longer available in that size from Walker. I purposely wanted the 2-1/4" to keep the sound level down a bit, and because that was all you could get until about 1992 or so.



    And finally, another recent score off the Corral classifieds, a nice condition old school Ford Motorsport M-7213-A leather shift knob for $40.



    These were similar to the original Mustang SVO knobs, but with a little Ford oval logo on it. A bit of nostalgia for me, because I had the same one on my 87 years ago.



    So a bit more progress, but I can't really do a proper full assembly on the front suspension until the engine is in place ... I get the feeling that if I try to position the 1000 lb. springs with a floor jack under the control arms and an empty engine bay, it will only lift the car off the jack stands. The engine needs to have a few more external bits put on before it is ready to drop in. Stu has a MIG welder that he can bring down, we have a 220A outlet in this shop, but at the opposite end to where the car is ... so we might try to roll it over to that area to be able to do a bit of seam welding of the chassis before everything gets bolted in.


    cheers
    Ed

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    Took a break for a bit this afternoon, then got back at it for a few hours tonight. Bolted in the new crossmember for a trial fit.







    Started assembling the suspension on one side, I wanted to see how everything was going to go together. The Global West "McCaster" original style caster / camber plates on top:



    Maximum Motorsports revalved Bilstein front struts:



    Loosely bolted together with the SN95 spindle and control arm. To be more correct to the theme of the buildup I should be using a Fox spindle with a 5-log SVO rotor, but I wanted to keep my options open for brake upgrades at a later point. The SN95 arms are pretty close in dimensions to the 87-88 Thunderbird arms that would be more period correct. I'm using 03 Cobra arms with the upgraded bushings, and the discontinued Ford Motorsport extended height ball joints I got a good deal on, Steeda still sells the same ones.



    Fitted up the SN95 rack & pinion (03 Cobra) using the nice Maximum Motorsport aluminium rack mount bushings made specifically for stock crossmembers.



    Screwed the outer tie rod on, I'm trying 86-95 Taurus pieces. I've seen them mentioned as being a decent alternative to a bump steer kit on a Fox with SN95 spindles and rack. I've purposely left the coil spring out so that I could run the suspension through its travel. Looked pretty good as I moved it up and down, my untrained eye didn't see any bump steer movement in the spindle. The control arm and tie rod look to be fairly level with one another.



    Stuck the hub & bearing and a rotor on the spindle so that I could try on one of the wheels for real this time, a little bit of inspiration again to keep moving forward.



    The nice weather is supposed to continue this week here in southern Ontario, so hopefully I can get some more done, as long as I don't overdo it.


    cheers
    Ed

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  • fast Ed
    replied
    Well, a bit more progress this afternoon. I had been putting off tackling the front crossmember and suspension removal, but it had to get done. So this afternoon I felt motivated enough to give it a go. The plan was to undo the steering coupler, disconnect the brake lines, and then undo the eight mounting bolts for the crossmember and three bolts on each side for the strut mounts, and bring the whole unit down as one big chunk.

    Here it is with a floor jack under the crossmember for support. I had already managed to zip out the four small rear bolts, and my recently purchased electric impact gun managed to break loose the four main bolts as well, after a bit of Motorcraft penetrating fluid got spray on them. The electric was nice, it allowed me to keep cranking on the stubborn bolts for more than a few seconds, which would have been an issue with the pneumatic gun and the small compressor in the shop here.



    Everything undone, down on the floor ... victory is mine!



    Dragged out from underneath as one big chunk ... I love it when a plan comes together! And I didn't even manage to injure myself, other than aggravate the sore lower back a bit.



    Best part is, I have a buyer lined up for the whole thing who is coming by tomorrow to get it out of my way, and put a bit of cash in my pocket. Works out well since I am going with replacements for the crossmember, control arm, rack & pinion, spindles, and brakes. Clean OEM Fox crossmembers can be hard to come by here in southern Ontario, and a guy from the local Mustang club needs one for the Mustang shell he's purchased.

    Tomorrow I will likely just piddle around with getting the external bits bolted on the engine to get it ready, and starting to assemble the new front suspension.


    cheers
    Ed

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  • langleylad
    replied
    a quick mock up like that can really inspire you to keep the ball rolling . Looking good Ed

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  • pintoboy77
    replied
    The car is looking good Ed looks like alot going on there.should'nt be long now. Good Luck.

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