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KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
2/28/18 2:58 p.m.

Hello everyone,

You may or may not remember me from my previous build thread (the 1993 Lincoln Mark VIII rallycross/gambler 500 thread). Long story short, after much cursing and yelling at that car, we finally got it up and running. It ran great for about 30 seconds, then we found out that there was a substance (of the screw variety) that somehow ended up in cylinder #6, and it chewed up the piston and head pretty good. So anyways, we ripped the 4V out of that car and put it on an engine stand, for a future rebuild and swap into a friends project. 

But anyhow, onto the new ride! Last week, I saw @whiskey_business's '95 Mustang GT pop up for sale. I just happened to be causally hunting for my next cheap track car build, and his car seemingly fit the bill pretty well. 5.0L with a T5 and a limited slip 3.08 rear end (maybe 3.27). Seemingly the right bones for a cheap mustang track car. And avoids paying the recently inflating "foxbody tax". I really dont understand the foxbody tax from a track car perspective, since the SN95's come with disk brakes at all 4 corners, and a 2" wider track width all around. 

Met up with @whiskey_business, and had a look at the car (shout out to a nice guy and an easy seller to work with). Checked the usual list of things, wheel bearings are tight all around, car runs fairly well, shifts through all the gears without too much effort, and whatever happened to the front end with the previous owner spurring the replacement of the front bumper didn't seem bad at all. Car is very, very clean underneath for a Midwestern car (Dont think it has seen many winters).

However, there are definitely a few things that need work before the ol' girl sees track duty (as expected for the price paid). The list is going to go something like this:

1. Install the remaining parts out of the prothane poly bushing kit that came with the car. There are some real nasty clunks coming from the rear of the car every time you take off from a stop. I'm leaning towards bushings, will need to get it up in the air to further diagnose.

2. Fix the exhaust leak. This probably is the single most annoying part about the car, sounds like a damn sewing machine as you drive around. Car has BBK un-equal length shorties on it right now, they leak at the rear drivers side joint between the header and the head. I have a friend that sold me a set of BBK longtubes that are jet-hot coated for stupid cheap, so I will likely just swap those on and get good gaskets and hardware. Will have to do some minor modifications to the remaining exhaust to adapt to the longtubes. (If anyone is looking for the shorties hit me up, I'd let go for pretty cheap).

3. Complete fluid flush/consumables refresh. Coolant, oil, trans fluid, diff fluid, and brake fluid. Always a good start for a new car you dont really know a ton about. 

4. Figure out the PCV issue. Currently the car seems to build positive PCV pressure, and it pushes the dipstick about 2" out of  the tube. Also, the car idles around 1200 RPM, think these things might be related.

5. Remove the emissions equipment. No inspections here in MI :) Think this will greatly simplify the vacuum system on the car, and hopefully give me a better shot at diagnosing the PCV issue. Have also heard the cars run quite a bit better without the added complexity.

6. Good set of tires to go on the stock tri-bar 17x8's (I think that is the size they are?). Thinking 255/40/17. 

7. Good set of brake pads and stainless lines

 

Sorry for the lengthy post, just wanted to get some ideas jotted down so that I can keep the project objectives in mind. Goal of this build is going to be budget-budget-budget, so need to keep my expectations realistic and my wallet closed :)

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
2/28/18 2:59 p.m.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
2/28/18 3:00 p.m.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
2/28/18 3:00 p.m.

barefootskater
barefootskater Reader
2/28/18 3:15 p.m.

Hells yeah. I've been digging on some SN95 looks lately. There is a very cheap v6 5spd locally that I have to avoid seeing because there is no more room in the stable.

smokindav
smokindav Reader
2/28/18 4:45 p.m.

Thank you for doing a Mustang and not being another Miata thread! 

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
2/28/18 5:09 p.m.

In reply to smokindav :

Wouldn't do it any other way. I have been down the miata path before, and while I agree they do make great track cars (I tracked mine a few times) they reeeaaalllyyy are way too small for a person of my stature (6'3", 250lbs, long torso). I had an aluminum ultrashield bolted to the floor in mine and my helmet still rested on the hardtop... Plus, you really cannot touch the sound of an un-corked V8 :)

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
2/28/18 8:29 p.m.

I got married in an SN95 rental. I have kind of a soft spot for them. Looking forward to seeing this do fast stupid things. 

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/6/18 1:56 p.m.

After reading over my original post a few times, I think I'm on the right path. As hard as it is to do, let the car tell me what needs upgraded rather than just going out and buying a bunch of new parts. I'm setting a goal for this project here and now, to get out to an SCCA track night in America event before the end of this season. Plan is to do a couple local autocrosses and shake the car down, then head out to a track day. Before then, I'd like to have the list above accomplished, and get some full length subframe connectors welded in. A maximum motorsports roll hoop would be icing on the cake. I already have a fixed back seat and harnesses from back in my miata days, so the initial outlay to go fixed back should be constrained to the roll hoop and harness mounts.

Itching to get working on it... Being out of town for work for 2 weeks gives one alot of time to brainstorm ideas..

akylekoz
akylekoz HalfDork
3/6/18 2:21 p.m.

Is it still a Michigan car?  My clan and team have a few mustangs and stuff around, and make it to track events occasional.   

 

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/6/18 2:36 p.m.

In reply to akylekoz :

Yep, I'm based out of Livonia.

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
3/6/18 2:47 p.m.

Hey bud. Nice purchase!

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/6/18 3:18 p.m.

In reply to Robbie :

Hey Robbie! Was curious how long it would be before I was spotted :)

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
3/6/18 4:08 p.m.
KonaBoss said:

In reply to Robbie :

Hey Robbie! Was curious how long it would be before I was spotted :)

I was like, this screw in cyl 6 just sounds way too familiar to me...

dropstep
dropstep SuperDork
3/6/18 9:35 p.m.

The foxbody tax is for drag racing. It's the best suspension and the lightest factory package for stock suspension style racing. The blow up in prices is the popularity of drag radial and no prep racing. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc Reader
3/6/18 9:53 p.m.

Good score; I like the pushrod SN95 cars. Still an evolution of the fox body, but besides the rear disks and wider track, it's a lot more rigid chassis. 

I had thought of looking for one, but went with a miata. I'm going to be autocrossing, and with my complete lack of experience I figured that the miata might be more idiot proof (as in I don't want to look like one, something I can be good at). 

Keep the updates coming!

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/7/18 11:59 a.m.

Thanks for the positive encouragement everyone! 

@dropstep, 100% agreed. You can go drag racing with a fox for pretty cheap (beater bomb off of 1320 video is a prime example).  The stock suspension on the fox platform cars is just not very conducive to going around corners in its stock configuration (but here I am anyways...). 

@Floating Doc, cant say I blame you there. The miata is a lot better chassis out of the box for cornering. Easy to learn on, somewhat forgiving (short wheelbase will catch you by suprise every once and a while). You dont have to pour a bunch of money into them to get good handling and chassis balance. The mustang on the other hand can be made to handle well, but takes a lot more time and money to get there, and to be brutally honest is extremely hard to get to modified miata levels of handling. However, I'm a sucker for the V8 soundtrack and dont fit in most small cars, and enjoy a good challenge :) Guess that is the engineer side of me showing through... 

 

A minor update on the planned modifications, I think I'm going to skip the longtubes for the time being. It would require a pretty big tearup to get all of the matching exhaust components to mate up with them (trying my best to mind budget), and I'd like to delete the EGR at the same time. Project creep started to kick in, and I got to looking at deleting the smog pump as well. For the time being I'm going to pick up a set of ARP header studs so that I can get rid of the crappy non-locking header bolts that are currently holding the shorties on, and a good set of fel-pro gaskets for them. I'll maybe put a bit of the permatex ultra copper on the gaskets as well for some extra sealing capacity. Once I get those sealed up I'll work on deleting the EGR and smog pump at a bit more leisurely pace, that way when I go to put the longtubes in it will be a bit less complex process. I have done longtubes in the past, and know the amount of work involved so anything I can get done ahead of time should help immensely. 

smokindav
smokindav Reader
3/7/18 9:06 p.m.

Brakes could be the weak link. When I tracked my 1997 Mustang Cobra I ran the stock PBR calipers, cooling ducts, hoses and backing plates, stainless lines, Motul RBF and as I recall Carbotech track pads. The only rotors I could find were cheap Chinese crap. They were constantly cracking. One thing I didn’t try was partially blocking off the backing plate ducting to only channel cooling air into the center of the back of the rotor. The tracks I ran were Road America and Mid-America Motorplex.

You may not have the same issues with the lower power of the GT, but if I did another SN95 Mustang I would hit the easy button and upgrade to Stoptech calipers and two piece floating rotors with a cooling kit.

There’s a huge thread on this issue over at corner-carvers if you want to learn more.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/8/18 10:35 a.m.

@ smokindav,

Thanks for the heads up on the brakes! Not too far after getting the car back up and sorted, brake ducts, good pads and rotors, stainless lines, and good fluid will be on the upgrade list. If those dont cut it (I get a feeling it might not), there are a couple different routes to go. With an adaptor bracket, one can use cobra brakes, C6 corvette calipers with cobra rotors, S197 4 pot brembos, or aftermarket kits like the stoptech ones you mentioned. There definitely will be more to come on this as the build progresses.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/10/18 9:52 p.m.

Finally back from my trip, and made some progress today. 

First order of business was an oil change. Wasn't sure the quantity or quality of what was in the car, so 5 qts of Ford motorcraft 5W-30 and autozone's "medium" quality filter were in order. Drained the old oil out, and low and behold there wasn't much in it.... definitely not 5 quarts worth anyways. So filled it up with 5 quarts, and for some reason I'm reading overfull... Wonder if the dipstick reads incorrectly... Anyhow on to the next project.

First order of business was actually slightly unintended, but got distracted by the really poorly run wiring that was ran for a subwoofer of some variety in the past. So out that came! In the name of weight reduction or something along those lines...

Then it was onto the real project, getting the new exhaust gaskets put on with the new ARP header bolt hardware. Got all of the old header bolts removed, and found out the condition of the old header gaskets... Let's just say there were places where they were non-existent. The gasket was just some kind of compressed cardboard crap with no metal center, and had blown out in several places. And this is where things got a bit tricky... I went to start putting the new header bolts in, and it was really tough to get them lined up through the shorties and threaded back into the head. ARP didn't include a way of threading the studs into the head, so I think I'll probably end up double nutting them tomorrow to help seat them.

After spending a good chunk of time working on those items, it really got me to thinking that I don't want to tear it all apart again when I go to the longtubes. So screw it, I'm going to pull the shorties out tomorrow and switch over to longtubes! I think it will be less headache in the long run, and will give me more space to get the head studs threaded in. Only issue is, now I'm going to have to get an exhaust to match up with the longtubes. I'm thinking some pre-axle dumps might be in order devil

Will update with longtube progress tomorrow.

 

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
3/10/18 11:40 p.m.

I never get the full oil capacity back in on an oil change. Lots just sticks around inside the system.

So you're not weird.

Good luck with those longtubes!

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/11/18 9:41 p.m.

Well, suffice it to say I always forget how time consuming and challenging longtube installs can be.. 

Started today by pulling off the exhaust system that was already on the car. Wasn’t too bad of a process, just somewhat time consuming. Everything came off fairly easily, hardest bolts were the shortie-to-Hpipe bolts, but a little PB blaster fixed those right up. Got all of that stuff removed and out of the way, then stopped by the local hardware store and picked up some extra nuts to use to double-nut the ARP studs when seating them into the heads. Also picked up some new spark plugs while I was out, since it looked like it would be a lot easier to replace them while the headers were out.

Onto the install, the ARP hardware went in without a hitch, cant really complain there. I went with the Ford Motorcraft replacement spark plugs with copper rather than platinum, after doing some reading online mentioning the original ignition system was designed for copper plugs. Not sure how big of a believer I am in that, but it never hurts putting original replacement parts in I suppose. Pulled the old plugs out, they all looked pretty good, no surprises or anything yes  Today was the first time I have ever manually gapped a spark plug, Ford specs the original equipment to 0.054” or so if memory serves correctly. Pulled one of the old spark plugs out, turns out they were fairly under gapped (0.040” or so). That is what the new ones I got in the box were set at originally, so I get the feeling one of the previous owners never bothered to check. Threw some anti-cease on the new plugs and threaded them in.

Next, I really started digging into the longtubes. What a process that turned out to be.. Just for anyone out there looking to do this install, a couple things to note: For the passengers side header, you will have to remove the starter completely (no not just leave it plugged in and hanging.. ask me how I know). You will also have to undo the engine mount, and jack up the engine about as far as it will go on that side. Next, you have to unclip and move the fuel rail lines from the fender, and re-position the A/C line that runs along the inside of the front shock tower. After doing all of this, I was finally able to get the longtube into place... I threw on the new Felpro gaskets and a bit of the copper sealant, and threaded the new ARP nuts onto the header studs. On a high note, I will say that I definitely prefer the stud/nut combo over the bolt idea. After that I worked on re-installing the starter, and found out that the ground connection wire had been spliced sometime in the past... that is after it decided to un-splice itself. So I made several unsuccessful attempts at properly splicing the 2 wires together (extremely tough now that the longtubes are in place...), so I’m going to come back to that another day. So this is where I sit, passengers side header installed, going to fix the starter wiring and install the drivers side longtube after work this week if it is warm enough.

A couple random things I found while working on the mustang today that were of note:

1. The smog hardware has already been deleted, the pump is still there but just with an open port. The line that ran to the rear of the driver side head is also capped off. I’ll probably order a smog pump delete pulley or just run a shorter belt in the near future to save the weight. 

2. The new longtubes have a cap installed in the EGR port on the passengers side. After numerous unsuccessful attempts to remove that cap, I guess I am now moving to no more EGR laugh Good news is that coupled with the smog delete above, I should also be able to shave more weight by removing some of the emissions equipment located in the passengers side fender. 

Side note: Pictures are coming, just need to get to my computer tomorrow to upload them.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/13/18 8:22 p.m.

Update time!

So I must say, the drivers side longtube was about 1000x easier than the passengers side. Literally all I had to do was pull the oil dipstick out of the block and unbolt the steering shaft. Other minor things were to move the speedo/tach cable out of the way and bend its bracket a bit, and temporarily slightly bend the A/C line to squeeze the header in. Literally took an hour to install. Had to route the dipstick a bit differently when I reinstalled it, but I'm not super happy with how close it ended up to the header primaries. Apparently a dipstick out of a foxbody works perfectly, so if anyone has one hit me up.

Otherwise, I moved the A/C line on the passengers side against the shock tower up and bolted the bracket back to the shock tower.

Things to finish the install and start the ol' girl back up:

1. Fix the starter ground wiring that came apart and put the top starter bolt back in

2. Plug spark plug wires back in on passengers side

3. EGR blockoff plate for the intake manifold

4. Vacuum line plugs for EGR lines

5. Bolt the intake tube and filter back together

After that, should be ready to fire back up. I'm going to grab the off road H-pipe to mate up with the longtubes this weekend that I found for a steal, and some Maximum Motorsports goodies to go along with that I got used from a member on another forum. If all goes well and the car starts up, I'm going to fully delete the smog pump and EGR related items in the passengers fender for further weight reduction smiley After that, its time for fluid flushes and stainless brake lines.

 

Lof8
Lof8 Dork
3/13/18 8:33 p.m.

I bought an sn95 as a heart donor for my Ranger.  It was a fun car while it was running.  I might have to try another one someday.  In to follow the progress.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
3/17/18 4:01 p.m.

Minor update,

Parts acquisition this weekend was successful. These Maximum Motorsports lower control arms are no joke! Definitely wayyy beefier than they look on the website. The panhard bar is top notch quality as well. Really looking forward to installing this stuff and getting the rear end sorted out. Also got my hands on the off road H pipe for longtubes, new in box for $80 less than new, I’ll take it. EGR blockoff plate and fluids came in the mail as well, so should be able to have the car back up and rolling here shortly so I can finish shaking it down. One thing I am looking for is a dipstick off a 5.0L foxbody mustang to route around my longtubes. If anyone has one PM me.

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