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horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/6/17 4:12 p.m.

About seven years ago now, I picked up a 95 Mustang GTS.

Had a few issues, interior was good. At the time, I was building a 89 Mustang for the drag strip. It was my grandfather's before me, and I was dumping money into it left and right. It took several years to ever get that Mustang running the way I wanted it to, but when it was finally running, I was very happy with the street manners it had and I decided to leave it be. Well, I can't leave things alone. Going through college, I became involved with the Formula SAE group and ended up dedicating a lot of time to it before graduation. During that time, my love and passion went from drag racing to road racing. Formula 1 and sportscar racing became my new obsession. At the time, I wasn't quite sure what to do since the 95 was my daily driver. Time went by and after a deployment, I bought myself a 7.3 F-250. That's when it all took a sharp turn...The body of the car was a solid 3 out of 10. Paint was falling off and there were several hard dings, but I spent tons of money trying to perfect the interior. Little modifications here and there. I saved up quite a bit of money from the deployment, so I went a little balls-to-the-wall. I found an IRS and bought everything for it... I mean, literally everything that Maximum Motorsports had to offer. Rebuilt the diff, new bushings throughout, SFCs, new cobra rear brakes...

Then it was time to build the motor. I grew up building motors and even worked for an engine shop for a couple of years, so I wasn't out of my comfort zone. Threw together a beautiful looking engine.

Stuck her in.... lasted a solid 12 seconds. The camshaft bolt was apparently not tight. Remnants of Loctite were still on the threads, but either my torque wrench failed me, or I failed myself. Going with the latter. However, I had to deploy again. I dropped the motor off with a shop and said I'd be back in six months to pick it up. I started to save up some more money, and very quickly, more parts were purchased. When I came home, I quickly went to work installing the new motor and slew of parts. Unfortunately, the beautiful interior started to fade. While I was deployed, I started heavily looking at SLA front suspensions. I found several that I liked, but nothing was in my price range and I was a little appalled at what was out there for the price. I started searching on eBay and found Bill Mitchell's old stuff, prototypes and all, being sold. I mean, it included everything from the drawings to the listings, to parts and manufacturing specifications. It sparked an idea of mine for a business with my buddy, and we set to work on that. Won't say much about that yet as details are still in work and we have some ideas we don't want out, but you can get a fairly good idea by visiting www.peakalphamotorsports.com. Anyway, we bought it. It'll play in a little later. Wanting and dying to get to the track, I installed the second motor and start to break it in. It was a solid motor that put down 310 to the tire. Not bad for an iron-headed GT-40 car. It lasted about 100 miles before I found beautiful gold flakes in the oil. Destroyed my main thrust bearing; ate it until almost nothing was left. Out comes the motor. Unfortunately, it also meant having to cancel the events I already pre-signed up for. All I wanted to do was test the car and continue to improve on it. But since that motor was out, I figured that I mine as well dive into more stuff. Lightweight procedures began, everything ripped out, safety features installed, (still needing a cage), cobra brakes were installed (you can get them a lot cheaper by piecing them together from rockauto.com and oreilly's/autozone). Wiring was a nightmare...but everything that wasn't necessary to run or have lights was stripped from the car. Doors were cut out and lightened.

Everything gets installed just in time for my third motor to be returned to me. Completely redone, new bearings, the works. Fire it up, it sounds beautiful for about 75 miles. I had a hunch I was eating a bearing due to the oil pressure slowly fading. The gold/copper flakes were even prettier than the last two times! Again, I had to cancel events I had planned. A little devastated, I start seeking answers. I started measuring everything. Hours turned into days, which turned into weeks. I went over every single component and piece of equipment on the car, measuring everything in the drivetrain to the alignment of the motor, to bearing tolerances in the motor (which I had the before measurements), harmonic balancers, etc. Nothing was wrong. I sent the bearings to suppliers, made multiple phone calls and everyone is stumped. My only guess is the align hone is off or just doesn't like my crank. Very technical explanation. So the motor is out again and I'm saving up for a new short block all together.

In the meantime, I'm staying busy. New seat for the time being and I decided to dive into another project. I've picked up the prototype that was laying around and started figuring out what's going to be needed in order for me to run it in the car. So far, I'm going to have to fabricate supports for the motor mounts, send the shocks in to be rebuilt, develop new sway bar end links (or create an all new sway bar), and buy new hardware to install the k member in place. Its been fun so far, but waiting on money to continue. I'm hoping this sparks a few more ideas with the business and also aligns me with the products ours will one day be based on.

Ignore the messy garage. I've been wanting to do an actual build post for awhile, and this group seemed like a good group to do it in. Hope to keep posting as time goes on and keep you up to date with everything. Thanks for reading!

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
7/6/17 6:29 p.m.

In reply to horse_play_22:

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UltimaDork
7/6/17 6:34 p.m.

Dude

Project86fox
Project86fox New Reader
7/6/17 7:10 p.m.

I love the 5 liter sn95 cars, I've owned a few of them and they make great daily drivers. Foxbodys and sn95 are kind of my thing. Lol

Currently building an 86 gt with ttops!

84FSP
84FSP Dork
7/6/17 7:49 p.m.

Ugh sorry to hear about the motor luck. Glad to see you sticking with it.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UltimaDork
7/6/17 8:39 p.m.

The definition of mission creep right there.

grover
grover Reader
7/6/17 9:31 p.m.

holy crap. I thought I've had motor problems...

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/7/17 7:28 a.m.

Thanks y'all, that's more positive support than I've had in the past five years lol She's a fun car. when she has driven, its like riding on rails. it goes wherever I want it to. My goal is to eventually have this car competing in NASA or SCCA, but I know its quite a ways off. A lot more money would be required as well, so let's hope this business takes off!
This is what she looked like before the motor was taken out this last time.

I found some pictures of the past motor issues as well...

Few other items not related to the build, but wanted to share. Here is my 1989 LX.

What happens when you become a parent...

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/7/17 7:34 a.m.

I had this put together from before, but this is the build list for the 95 as it sits now.

1995 Mustang GTS Coupe

Crystal White GTS Package, "Betty"

ENGINE/EXHAUST

306 GT-40 Motor

Edelbrock Performer Intake and Elbow

Mac Performance Cold Air Kit

70mm Professional Products Throttle Body

MSD TFI Coil

MSD Distributor Cap/Wires

FRPP 24 lb/hr Injectors

Walbro 190 LPH Fuel Pump

SCT 4 Bank Eliminator Chip

Tuned by Horsepower Solutions

Pypes 1 5/8” Shorty Headers

Off-Road H-Pipe

Dynomax IRS Catback Mufflers

DRIVETRAIN

McLeod Scatterproof Bellhousing

Stock T5 Transmission

Transmission Spacer

Pro 5.0 Shifter

Summit Driveshaft Loop

BRAKES

’95 Cobra Master Cylinder

Reman Cobra Brake Booster

Russell S/S Brake Lines Front/Rear

2003 Cobra Front Disc Brakes w/ Powertstop Track Day Pads and Rotors

2003 Cobra Rear Disc Brakes w/ Hawk HP Plus Pads

SUSPENSION

2003 Cobra IRS w/ 3.55 Gears

MM Front and Rear Coil-Over Kit, 2.25” HyperCoils

Koni Yellow Single-Adjustable Struts/Shocks

MM Full Length Subframe Connectors

MM 4 Bolt Caster Camber Plates

MM Bumpsteer Kit, Front and Rear

MM IRS Heavy Duty Crossmember

MM Low Profile Subframe Bolts

MM IRS Sway Bar End Links

Eibach Rear Adjustable Sway Bar Kit

Poly Front Sway Bar Bushings/End Links

MM Aluminum Differential Bushings

Differential Cover Brace

Delrin Upper/Lower Control Arm Solid Bushings

MM Urethane Subframe Bushings

MM Four Point K Member Brace

MM Forward Offset A Arms

Shock and Strut Tower Braces

MM Solid Steering Shaft

MM Solid Steering Rack Bushings

COOLING

5.0 Resto 3 Row Radiator

Mr. Gasket 190 Degree Thermostat

New Water Pump

WHEELS/TIRES

2004 OEM Cobra Wheels

Front/Rear – 17x9, 275/40/17, BF Goodrich T/a Force Sport Comp 2s

EXTERIOR/INTERIOR

5.0 Resto Black 5.0 Badges

Lots of Rattle Can Touch Ups

Autometer Ultra Lite Oil Temp/Pres/Water Temp Gauges

Momo Steering Wheel and Quick Release

Battery Relocation Behind Passenger Seat

Kirkey Economy Drag Seat w/ Cover

Racecraft Inc. Kirkey Seat Brackets  

ENGINE CONT.

5.0 Roller Block, Milled and Align Honed

Stock Crank, Ground 10/10

Keith Black .030” Over Superlite Hyper Pistons

Eagle I-Beam Connecting Rods

ARP Head Bolts

ARP Main Studs

Total Seal High Performance Piston Rings

Trick Flow Stage One Camshaft

1.7 Pedestal Mount Roller Rockers

221/225 @ .050, .530”/.533” Lift

Comp Cams Double Roller Timing Set

5/16” Comp Cams Stock Length Pushrods

Clevite Tri-Metal Main and Rod Bearings

Dura-Bond Hard Cam Bearings

Brass Freeze Plugs

Mellings Oil Pump

Canton Modified 15-744 Road Racing Oil Pan

Canton Pickup Tube and Dipstick

1993 Cobra GT-40 Heads

Milled to 58cc’s

Fel Pro 9333 Head Gaskets

3 Angle Valve Job

t25torx
t25torx Dork
7/7/17 8:03 p.m.

Very cool man. What all is needed for the IRS swap in the rear?

Also about the only thing I know about the GTS model was from a blurb in the back of a 1995 Motor Trend and the thing that stuck with me was "the seats feel like they’re stuffed with randomly alternating tufts of cat fur and ossified mashed yams."

So glad you got rid of those seats

Will
Will UltraDork
7/7/17 8:11 p.m.

Nice car. I always liked the concept of the SN95 GTS/248a. Wish we could see something like that again someday, but I doubt it.

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/8/17 8:42 a.m.

In reply to t25torx: hahaha I actually thought the seats were really comfortable! In fact, my driver's seat has now become my seat for my racing simulator I've been putting together for the PS4. For the IRS, I had to purchase a few extra bolts and whatnot, but honestly it's pretty much a bolt in product with a few exceptions. I had to make my own brakelines from the center of the car to each side and I had to cut a few holes into the trunk in order to install a few bolts. I believe I also had to swap out the pinion flange as well to one that matched my drivevshaft.

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/8/17 8:43 a.m.
Will wrote: Nice car. I always liked the concept of the SN95 GTS/248a. Wish we could see something like that again someday, but I doubt it.

Thank you! I always liked the idea as well, but nobody seems to want that nowadays so I doubt it'll come back around anytime soon either.

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/11/17 9:15 p.m.

Question for the fabricating masters here.. if any are reading... I'm looking to create the supports on the k member where the motor mounts bolt into. I'm trying to figure out the best way of going about doing it. Current idea is to support the motor in its current location with the stock k member so that it doesn't move. Bolt up the new one (SLA prototype that i'm messing around with) and then attempt to make measurements and fabricate supports that match the motor in its current position.
From there, i'd like to drop the motor an inch back into the firewall and see if i am able to lower it at all and make the appropriate modifications to the design.

Any other ideas? or better suggestions? thanks in advance!

petey
petey New Reader
7/11/17 10:34 p.m.

motor plate it.ive done that on several fox/sn cars that see drag duty,easy to keep em stable and put it wherever you want,and takes the load off the crossmember and puts it to the frame rails.with proper tower to firewall support its rigid as hell

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
7/12/17 9:18 a.m.
petey wrote: motor plate it.ive done that on several fox/sn cars that see drag duty,easy to keep em stable and put it wherever you want,and takes the load off the crossmember and puts it to the frame rails.with proper tower to firewall support its rigid as hell

Are you referencing one of these?

http://www.racecraft.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=284&products_id=228&zenid=f5a5bdbe076821e70a81ffcf5c88544c

or one of these?

https://www.harborfreight.com/automotive-motorcycle/lifts-stands/1000-lb-capacity-engine-support-bar-96524.html

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
8/14/17 11:00 a.m.

So my grandpa surprised me with a visit about two weeks ago. When he came down to visit, he brought an old 302 that was pulled from a fox. The motor had some of the smallest underdrive pulleys that i've seen on a motor before so I'm assuming the motor had the hell beat out of it.

The motor was in a garage, covered up, for the past ten years (at least). We had no idea if it would run, but we did know that the rotating assembly would rotate freely and there was some decent crosshatch left in the cylinder walls.

We pulled the old, destroyed motor out of the car and began transferring everything over to the "new" one. Because i'm a hoarder of car parts, i found some new gaskets that hadn't been used in the cabinets and the only ones we had to buy were head gaskets. In less than two days, we pulled the old motor, stripped the top end off along with my oil system, tore down the "new" motor, cleaned it up, transferred it all over, and installed in the car. Fired up immediately and idled at 60 psi oil pressure. In hindsight, the 10W40 oil with Lucas Oil additive was probably a little much, but the car runs great!

I put a couple hundred miles on the car and there were no gold flakes in the oil when i checked the filter. This tells me that the previous block/crank was bad. Not sure which one, but i'm just going to blame the first engine shop that did the machine work for the sake of having something to blame.

Anyway, now onto the SLA suspension system. I've worked out the motor mount support issue, now i'm onto the mounting of the front sway bar.

The fifth time a motor has been dropped in this car in two years... hopefully the last one for awhile!

Seat is positioned perfectly for me. The remote shifter is key.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
8/14/17 11:48 a.m.

Congrats on the engine!

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
8/14/17 12:23 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett:

Thanks a lot! its been a long expensive road so far, happy to finally figure out the source of my problem.

dannyzabolotny
dannyzabolotny New Reader
8/15/17 1:01 a.m.

Cool to see another SN-95 build going on here! Seems like it's mostly the 5L SN-95's that get all the love, no love for the 4.6L modular it seems. I'm going to be building my 96 Mustang GT convertible into somewhat of a drag car, though I think I'll be keeping most of my interior. I'm not a big fan of the gutted interior look, even if it means saving a lot of weight. I'd rather just add more horsepower to compensate, haha.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
8/15/17 7:22 a.m.

In reply to horse_play_22:

Nice project and good sticktoitivness. Awesome first post as well. You will find encouragement, enabling, and help with some of your technical questions here. Lots of knowledgeable folks here.

Sky_Render
Sky_Render SuperDork
8/15/17 2:14 p.m.

This thing is the bee's knees.

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
8/24/17 8:41 a.m.

In reply to dannyzabolotny:

If this wasn't a designated race car, there's no way i'd strip the interior....especially considering how good it was before i ripped it all out! But i've always liked the sn-95s, odd ball out imo. 4.6 would be fine for me, but with it being a road race car, i wanted to keep the CG as low as possible as well as the weight.

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
8/24/17 8:56 a.m.
T.J. wrote: In reply to horse_play_22: Nice project and good sticktoitivness. Awesome first post as well. You will find encouragement, enabling, and help with some of your technical questions here. Lots of knowledgeable folks here.

Thank you! I appreciate it the kind words. I'm working on it, bit by bit.

horse_play_22
horse_play_22 New Reader
8/24/17 9:57 a.m.

Currently in the process of determining everything that needs to be done/re-done for this SLA. The product i am working with was an old show prototype. Trying to turn it around and throw in the car. Current issues i'm facing is caster/camber adjustment and the correct shock to use. It seems that when this product was designed, the only adjustability it provided was in the lower control arms. Both sides of the lower control arm are adjustable on both sides, but its a total PITA to get it lined up perfectly, and i don't see how it truly provides a reasonable means of adjustability.

Also, the shocks that came with the prototype don't provide enough rebound. As it sits now, the shock is fully extended and the LCA seems to sit parallel with the ground. I'm going to need a longer shock or remove the spacer that was supposed to be required for my year model. Working through a few issues, but its better than nothing.

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