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Thinkkker UltraDork
8/25/16 9:21 a.m.

So, I mentioned this in another thread. This is the build of my first car. It was bought to have some spares for my mom's 74 that she bought new. It ran and drove, and I drove it some in high school. The COMPLETE lack of power stopped that. The cylinder head lost a valve. The car was parked and my Freshman year of college I got a 2.3 from a friend doing a turbo swap in a 86. Not realizing, I negated to swap oil pans and such on the car and ran out of a weekend to get the swap complete and drive the car again.

The car was reparked, and I made a deal with the Nephew that he could fix it and have it. This never finished out and I reclaimed the car and it has followed me.....all over. Down to Houston, to Pennsylvania, to Corpus Christi, and back to Houston. Now it is finally getting.....attention. I won't say love, cause that would kinda be like some combination of Misery and the Isle of Dr. Morrow which seems strange. You will probably see why.

This is when it finally got pulled into the shop.

The rails are solid, the inner panel on the passenger side has rust. Apparently it sat outside to many years without the attention it needed. sigh Oh well, now to alleviate this problem.

I am going to go with the "easy" button on this one. This was bought for a project by a friend. Well, he decided that instant gratification was better than not, so he then got a C6 Vette to play with. This left this parked out, its non-running, but complete. Just FYI, the chassis; no interior, drivetrain, or suspension, nets $95 in scrap right now. At this point, I am in the black on the RX8 buy. Be prepared to sell little parts for 5-15 each though to get there.

At this point I worked on getting the interior out. The car was in pretty good shape when I got it. I think sitting out in a field for, well a long time, did it no help. Plus, my nephew worked on it. yeah...... Anyways, I only have a couple of pictures. The carpeting is pulled out now. It was quite dirty.

One thing of note, the car had a snake in it. Not just the skin, but a snake. I will assume that its a cobra of some sort, and completely mummified. You can see the snake in 3 pieces on the floor.

To get the car "set" and make more progress I bought metal. Cut it up.... Then, it got all welded together.

Now, I am not saying that all the welds are this good, but, I figure this ones not too bad.

Then we got the car up on the table. Its nice having lift access to mess with this. To answer, before its asked. Yes, its sitting on 2x4's and strapped to the table. We got the car on the table and I will setup mounts to weld it on. Then the rear will be cut out and suspension slid underneath. Then all combined.

I was able to get the front end pulled apart. So you can see the solidness, or potential lack of on the front end. Good thing too cause all of this is going to be removed anyways to fit the new suspension.

More stuff happened. That's a friend making it look exciting

One note on this, the wheels are 18x10 GT500 knockoff's. They weigh in at about 24# each so not the lightest, but not horrible. I grabbed these from American muscle on a clearance and got the set shipped in for $300. I figured that was a good deal and gave me the size I wanted to run on the car.

At this point. I will throw in a confession. I have been building this car and looking at the amount in it. It is VERY close to being a legal Challenge car. I have sold off enough that really, its close to $0. I have also added a bunch too. I could "hobble" it together, for lack of a better term, but catching all the little things will drive it up. So, in saying this, it has been in the back of my mind.

The RX8 was towed at some point in its life and this resulted in a rear control arm that was bent. This made me think of how to "fix" the issue. I am sure I can get a cheap option for the replacement, but at 135k on the car all the arms and such looked original. I decided to just redo the rear with new arms. They will be redone "cheap" with some Heim joints and swedge tubes. This will drive me out of Challenge money, by about $200 I think by calculation. However, I plan to use this for all sorts of things, and getting it done right on the first go round instead of redoing it appeals to me.

I'll put in another post with more in a minute...

Thinkkker UltraDork
8/25/16 9:43 a.m.

At this point, the car actually started getting surgery. Nothing huge, but it's up on the table and without wheels.

The car itself got just more....eerrr.... "stripped"

Yes, the plasma got a little on the firewall. I may be notching this anyways, so not sure its a huge deal.

So, the front suspension is off the car. The replacement is under the table now. I ended up picking up some 2x3 tubing to make rails for the front. I will go ahead and incorporate the suspension mounts on this. I am going to try to make the car as light as possible, so this only makes sense. Next step on it will be to remove suspension from the stock RX8 Subframe and make a jig to base the mounts on. Sounds easy enough.....

I have a few parts from my old '06 ESP car laying around. Threw in my old seats. These may end up in the car for a bit till I buy some real seats. If you want some Carbon Fiber buckets, let me know.

Also, I ran across some parts that I couldn't say no to.

These are off a Porsche Cayenne Turbo. So, one REAR caliper has more pistons than the car did stock. Fronts are 6 piston and rears are 4. They are huge. Yes they were dirty, but I was able to clean them up pretty good, no pics of that of course.

In looking and discussing it with some friends, I needed to get some way to control these and ran across a Coleman pedal set. It is similar to this I still may need to put a rear proportioning valve on to keep the rears from locking. We will see. These are VERY overkill, but, I have in this what a refurb on the original 74 brakes would cost. these would actually fit into Challenge budget, the whole brake setup. So, I got some good deals on parts. To make these fit, I needed to find rotors that would work with these. Nothing too horrible, 2011+ Brembo Equipped Mustang Fronts and 1994-2004 Mustang Cobra Fronts in the rear. I have a set of used rotors for the front to fit them, just need a set of rears for fitment. Anyone have some used take-offs?

This is more or less up to date on progress in the car. I thought of starting with the front end of the car, but instead did the rear suspension. At the moment I have a jig made for the rear to base suspension on. The plan is to make it all out of tubing and save weight. Hopefully I can get the subframe built up and done for the rear this next week.

Dusterbd13 PowerDork
8/25/16 9:49 a.m.

Holy crap this is AWSOME

wheelsmithy Dork
8/25/16 9:49 a.m.

Fantastic! I even like the green. Do carry on with the entertainment.

Also, EXCELLENT idea on starting out with the build table.

Thinkkker UltraDork
8/25/16 9:54 a.m.

Table may be a bit high. But its not overtly. I just need to get on a stool to get in, working under the thing is EASY though.

Plan is to keep green, but use a Olive Drab on it.

NOHOME PowerDork
8/25/16 9:57 a.m.

Did you consider doing something like this with the RX8 chassis and just drooping the Mustang II over the top?

The Rx8 pan would have to be shortened 10" but the amount of fabrication effort that it saves is huge.

One thing that I try not to think about in my chassis swap project is that if it were not for the V8 conversion, I would be driving the car already; its that easy once you get the two chunks of tin joined.

Thinkkker UltraDork
8/25/16 10:10 a.m.

I did think about it, but weight is a big driving issue for this. Also a few others.

So, pluses for this manner you speak of are, pull all the inside out and then set car over the chassis. Easy peasy. I think it would add a little weight and such, but nothing too bad.

I don't plan on having an RX8 drivetrain. Forget that rotaryness :). So thats a negative on it. Plus it will have all need to be shortened, then add new motor mounts, I need to modify steering since I am not using the RX8 drivetrain with the CANBUS drives for the stock rack, rear needs to hold a 8.8 center diff.

Given the changes, it made sense to do it as I am. Ill tie the points into the cage and such to add rigidity to the car hopefully too.

Cooper_Tired HalfDork
8/25/16 10:18 a.m.

Whoa. I like where this is heading

tuna55 MegaDork
8/25/16 10:31 a.m.

Great stuff!

NOHOME PowerDork
8/25/16 10:58 a.m.

Fair enough...once you decided that the rotary was going away, it stops making sense to do the chassis swap.

In my case, the Volvo floor-pan that I cut out, weighed a lot more than the Miata tin that went back in. Don't underestimate the weight savings of the newer, thinner chassis materials.

Thinkkker UltraDork
8/25/16 11:37 a.m.
NOHOME wrote: In my case, the Volvo floor-pan that I cut out, weighed a lot more than the Miata tin that went back in. Don't underestimate the weight savings of the newer, thinner chassis materials.

To save more weight, the front clip with be glass along with the rear hatch. Windows other than the windshield are slated for Lexan. I looked into doing the doors, but the weight on those is 35# each for a glass door. I can get the stock doors gutted and lighter, so thats the plan there.

I did think about removing the roof and building a composite top for it. That got scratched as if I ever take the car to Big Bend and such, they want a "metal covering" over the driver. Once I asked them, they said a weld in piece 1/8" thick or maybe 1/4"? At any rate, it was enough for me to scoff at the idea and ditch it.

Floor is on of the spots I am going to try to just leave. Weight down low is not the worse idea I guess. We will see what is really left of the car as I go forward with it. More seems to be going away than staying :).

I am hoping to get the car as close to the CAM-S weight minimum as I can. That makes it 2350#. Place your bets!

jimbob_racing Dork
8/25/16 1:58 p.m.

Wow. This is a great build.

wvumtnbkr SuperDork
8/25/16 4:01 p.m.

What motor?

Thinkkker UltraDork
8/25/16 4:23 p.m.
wvumtnbkr wrote: What motor?

302 and T5 out of a 90 Mustang that is carbed. Sold the Victor intake that was on it and got a performer.

ssswitch Dork
8/25/16 4:37 p.m.

This is gonna be awesome!

Brett_Murphy PowerDork
8/25/16 5:27 p.m.

This may cause more strife and anguish than the LS powered Mustang. Who am I kidding, that's impossible. This is just as brilliant in terms of a project, though. Well done.

Thinkkker UltraDork
9/12/16 8:35 a.m.

Since the last update on this, I did finally get some work done on the car. At the moment, my attention has been at the rear. Namely, making the rear subframe to drop weight from the car.

Last month I made a jig for the rear suspension. After prepping for Nationals, and getting the one moped mostly going, I got a day free this past Saturday. So, I burned through some wire and put metal together.

This is still missing bracing and I need to move one brace I put on the WRONG side of the mount. Nothing huge, but just burned some extra bracing to get it in and have to pull it off. I need to get some extra metal too to finish this.

At one point, I had the thought that this was just getting big and wondered if I was helping. So i picked this up and did a couple of curls with it, because how else do you weigh things? And then went and grabbed the stock subframe...... yes, this is still MUCH lighter, and it has the whole jig attached yet too.

If I do not have to return my buddies scales before, I will get a weight on each of these and see where it sits at when I am done.

Will UltraDork
9/12/16 7:32 p.m.
Thinkkker wrote: I am hoping to get the car as close to the CAM-S weight minimum as I can. That makes it 2350#. Place your bets!

Isn't CAM-S for (factory) 2 seaters?

DaewooOfDeath SuperDork
9/12/16 11:20 p.m.

This is amazing stuff. Subscribed.

dyintorace PowerDork
9/13/16 6:41 a.m.

Amazing! Loving the build!

Thinkkker UltraDork
9/13/16 11:45 a.m.
W Isn't CAM-S for (factory) 2 seaters?

Kinda, here is the verbage. You can shove anything in there, BUT I get some leway on what I can do. So no real carpet and I can cut weight and not add more in. Which may be a good thing? Not sure.

CAM-S (Sports) (all eligible vehicles)

• Sports cars and sedans/coupes with seating originally for 2 or more adults and pickups.

• Wheelbase (in.), minimum ..........................................................................................90

• Weight without driver (lbs.), min. - Corvette (1984-2013), Viper ..............3000

• Weight without driver (lbs.), minimum - all other cars...............................2350

• Additional weight for Lexan® windshield (lbs.)..............................................+150

• Interior floor covering may be removed.

Biggest trick will be side windows. I do not plan on having a full door left, and the glass from the factory is 30+#. Seriously, ITS HUGE! So, I think I may have to look into something like this....


wheelsmithy Dork
9/18/16 4:36 p.m.

Very cool! So, you built the jigs to the tub of the Mazda, and will build the Mustang to them, and all the suspension bolts in, right? Then mammoth flares ensue...

corsepervita Reader
9/19/16 3:42 a.m.

My first car was a 1978 Mustang II Ghia. The seats were torn to bits and someone put leopard print seat covers on. A friend of mine said, "Your car is ugly and I like it, so I'm going to call it Ursula. Like the ugly lady from the little mermaid." So my first car named by a gal was Ursula. Eventually I sold it to a co-worker who drove it into the ground and sent Ursula off to the scrapper. RIP Ursula.

It makes me all happy inside when I see someone doing something with an old II. This is gonna be EPIC.

Also, obligatory wayback of ursula lol.

pinchvalve MegaDork
9/19/16 7:51 a.m.

Thinkkker UltraDork
9/19/16 8:40 a.m.
wheelsmithy wrote: Very cool! So, you built the jigs to the tub of the Mazda, and will build the Mustang to them, and all the suspension bolts in, right? Then mammoth flares ensue...

Kinda, I build the jig the suspension pickup points, so I build a "subframe" and that will be welded in. The rear of the car will be gutted, the "subframe" will be raised approx 3-4" into the car and then a new floor will be put down. the front is similar in plans, but no floor to worry about.

Funny thing though, from outside of tire to outside of tire, the measurement is right at 70". Thats an 18x10 Mustang offset wheel. The measurement from fender to fender is right at 70"....

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