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The mustang is not done yet,currently it is in the "fab" shop for new racing seats, new rear gears, rear disc brakes, converting the old four lug rear axles to newer heavier duty five lug ones, a new heavy duty posi unit for the rear, as well as a heavy duty rear cover. Basically, I am making the car launch quicker with slightly taller rear gears (2.73 to 3.55), I will get less gas mileage on the highway and I "should" get better mileage around town. The theory is that I should be able to shift up to the next higher gear, when I am doing say 25 mph I am in second gear currently at 2000 rpm, with the new gears I should be able to shift into third and do 25 mph at 1500 rpm (roughly). See I can't go 25 in third now because my rpms go to low and the car bucks.

The new rear gears, posi, and axles are 31 spline configuration. This is Ford's heavy duty stuff. It should handle 350+ horse power. I am also putting on a heavy duty cover plate to reinforce the whole rear. The motor is still basically stock, 210 hp. I have added a better distributor, a new coil, a new timing computer, plugs, wires, and a K&N air filter (all of this "should" add about 20 hp).

I took off the stock radiator fan and I put on an electric fan, this is good for about 6 rwhp (rear wheel horse power), I then put on March aluminum billet under-drive pulleys, 8 rwhp. I also put on an aluminum drive shaft (less spinning mass, makes throttle response quicker, stiffer than stock), a new larger clutch (more grab, less pedal pressure), and steel billet flywheel (lighter than stock, less spinning mass again). I also put in a synthetic fluid in the transmission. While these things do not increase engine horse power they only increase rear wheel horse power, so it is hard to calculate how much more power I am getting to the rear wheels.

The new ignition draws more power as well as the added electric fan, so I put on a third generation alternator that just about doubles the output of the stock alternator. However, since I spin it slower than normal (under-drive pulley) it still puts out more than stock to power everything. Everything also includes a new stereo, speakers, and satellite radio (xm).

I now have a 3-core radiator, new a/c lines, evaporator, condenser, drier, and a new heater core to boot. You may have noticed in the pictures the blue radiator hoses, these are silicone hoses that do not flex or swell when they got hot. These are what the cops use, this way the car can sit at idle all day long and never over heat. The 3-core radiator can cool down about 400 hp and the electric fan is good for 400 hp, both are much more than what I have but it is nice to have a buffer.

Basically, I am doing the motor last. Since the car is a convertible I had to stiffen the chassis (roll bar [in case I roll, also stiffens the chassis], rear blast shield [metal plate behind rear seat, the roll bar connects to it, it also stiffens up the entire rear end of the car, I call it the blast shield because in case something goes wrong with the gas tank and it decides to do something bad I have a metal plate between it and me], torque box reinforcement plates [bolt in between the rear frame and the unibody where the rear lower control arms bolt on], sub-frame connectors [weld in between the rear frame and front frame under the unibody, stiffens everything], 2 piece strut tower brace [stiffens up the front end], k-member brace [connects the body to the k-member where the steering box is, removes any chance of flex in the steering].

I also lowered the car 1.25" with Tokico progressive rate springs with Energy Suspension's spring isolators and spring seats. Then I put on Tokico adjustable struts and shocks, they adjust from 1 to 5, 1 being mild and 5 needing a new kidney because it is so stiff! Currently, I have the front struts on 2 and the rear shocks on 3. This gives me a pretty good feel for the road. I had to add the caster and camber plates for the alignment since I lowered the car, this also allows the front suspension to be dialed in.

I also put on Steeda front and rear sway bars, the front is hollow (5 lbs lighter than stock and 15% stiffer), new end links (connect the front sway bar to the lower control arm), new lower control arms, new ball joints (upgraded to second generation, they are stiffer), new tie rod ends (connects steering arms to spindles), upgraded the spindles to '87 style to run better front brakes, and I put in a lot of polyurethane bushings.

The better front brakes are from Wilwood, they are a 4 piston caliper design, offer an improved rotor configuration, are in 3 pieces to help stop heat transfer, 5 lug, and they make the tires stick out 1" further than stock (wider is better). I also have put on stainless steel braided teflon brake lines, they do not flex under load, helps prevent brake fade. New brake master cylinder and better high temp brake fluid. The front caliper/hub/rotor assembly is lighter than stock, less unsprung weight is easier for the struts and springs to control.

The rear is now held in by new upper and lower control arms. The lower control arms have better bushings and are stiffer than stock, they also offer a ride height adjustment. The upper control arms are double adjustable that allows the rear end to articulate, this improves overall handling.

Yeah, the mustang is slated to go back in the shop within 2 weeks, since somebody, (oh yeah, Bud!), told me that upgrading the exhaust would be more than worth it. So I Magnaflow with stainless 2.5" pipe with 3" tail pipe exhaust, new cats, new O2 sensors, new headers on order, new smog pump on order. How is that for upgrading the exhaust.

I also ordered a cold-air intake line, basically mandrel bent pipe that send the cold fender air right to the intake manifold. Still on the subject, I ordered new fuel injectors, 19.8 lb. (basically stock size but generation 3 for improved atomization, better horsepower over the entire fuel curve), new spark plug wires (magnecore 10.4 mm race wires, http://www.magnecor.com/magnecor1/specskv.htm), new E3 spark plugs (www.e3sparkplugs.com), cap and rotor. New fuel pump, gas tank, fuel regulator, and I am putting in some seats from an 86 GT. I am also de-tuning the rear for more comfort. I am trying to make sure I get it out of the shop before June.

Besides the new seats, I also put in new carpet, new shifter, pedal covers, steering wheel cover, harness style 5-point cam-lock seat belts, and a new tachometer. No one is allowed to change the dash board, the center console, or the door panels; they are clean and original and they are the first/last/most thing(s) I see in the car. 86 is the last year for the old style interior, sliders for the heat, a/c, and fan switches. Also the last year for four headlights.

I had a change in plans recently, you see when I drove the car for a small 300+ mile trip, it was rough. So I am reverting back to 1986 Mustang GT seats, taking the racing seats out, and I am de-tuning the rear upper and lower control arms in hopes of getting a smoother ride.

March 2005
Well the car is back in the shop. Getting the exhaust, headers, seats, etc... done. It takes time pics of this latest time can be seen in the 03_xx_2005 directories. Charlie did a real good job of putting things together. I think the flaming pony looks cool. The headers are awesome. New starter and cables look good. The car is really looking better under the hood. While this does nothing for ride or safety, I have conquered those (Hopefully) so now I can focus some of my attentions to looks.

So far I am disappointed with the old rear suspension. The bushings in the lower control arms are junk! The upper control arm heim-joint is lacking luster. Thankfully they are out. I am slightly disappointed in the wilwood rear rotors for showing some surface rust, well paint is on the way. Flamethrower, not going to happen this time around. Also the gas tank I had bought back in September will not fit. This is a major bummer. So now I have bought a new new tank from Glennwood Performance, my hopes are up.

On the lighter side of the news, I finally picked up a really small cobra cb to put under the rear seat. The microphone changes the channel, adjusts the volume, it does everything. The in-dash radio player has been modified not to lose power when the rest of the car is shut off, this is way cool, also the speakers have been rewired for better sound.

The passenger door lock is working really well. (Sometimes it is the little things that really count)

April 2005
The car is basically done! Yeah....
Just waiting on the new gas tank cover. Got it painted red to match the car. Also got new chrome straps that hold the tank in. I went nuts with clear coat enamel paint and clear coated all of the new electrical connections, the new gas tank, the chrome straps, rear sway bar, rear lower control arms, the entire receiver assembly, under side of the body above the gas tank, and any where else that I could. I also sprayed some high temp black on the rear rotor hubs and most of the underside of the entire car. :)

The fumes got so bad that we had to open the door and turn on the fan; but it was worth it. I also used a little self etching primer on a few spots before I painted it the next night.

The CB has a custom antenna mount that George designed. Works well. Billy put the interior in, fought like hell with the driver seat and the race car switches, installed the CB and the custom antenna mount.

I found this guy to be most helpful for some of my command decisions:

Increasing the Performance of the 5.0 Mustang

And here is his car

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