1 2 3 ... 6
jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/10/15 7:20 a.m.

Three new members here, starting our $2016 Challenge build.

The plan:

1) Buy the cheapest V8 F-body or Fox Mustang we can find.

2) Strip everything unnecessary out of the car.

3) Acquire and install junkyard heads, cheap cam, cheap intake, and junkyard Posi rear end

4) Research / build budget suspension upgrades.

5) Replace brakes and tires.

6) Come up with cool concourse theme. Knight rider KITT clone, if we do an F-body!?

7) Test and tune at local drag strip and auto-x.

8) Attend the $2016 challenge.

The team: Two scientists and an engineer. We've been gear-head friends since high school.

All 3 of us have a decent amount of drag racing experience, and we're shooting for a mid 12 second 1/4 mile time. I'm fairly confident that we can achieve that within the budget. We have no idea how this car will autocross, but we're going to have to do some test and tune practice runs with our local auto-x club.

As $2000 Challenge Noobs, we didn't want to bite off more than we could chew for our first attempt (sorry if an F-body for Fox is boring), although a slew of ridiculous build ideas and inappropriate v8 swap projects were discussed. If this goes well, maybe we'll do something crazy next time...

We're going to look at a 3rd Gen Firebird Formula (that we found on Craigslist) tomorrow. The car has a L98 350, 700-4r tranny, 3.42 posi, 155k miles, lots of wear and tear, some dents, and a fuel leak. We're hoping to score it for under $1000.

We'll keep this updated with photos and info to document our build.

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
12/10/15 7:48 a.m.

In reply to jmk015:

How can a car that has won the challenge be considered boring?

Good luck- and the engineer of your team should KISS, so that you have sorting time near August or so.

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/10/15 8:42 a.m.
alfadriver wrote: In reply to jmk015: Good luck- and the engineer of your team should KISS, so that you have sorting time near August or so.

Yeah, the plan is to have the car done by mid-summer, so we can take it to the drag strip and local auto-x a few times to really get it dialed in, and fix whatever breaks during our testing...

The_Jed
The_Jed PowerDork
12/10/15 8:50 a.m.

I don't know much about the GM F Body, but there's lots of speed to be had for a Fox Mustang in a junkyard.

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
12/10/15 9:18 a.m.

You can strip a LOT of weight out of a 3rd gen f body. The one problem we ran into with ours is tire fitment. Headers could also be an issue if you decide to get some.

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/10/15 11:16 a.m.

Welcome to the world of The Challenge. It is possible your life could never be the same; in good ways...I think.

One thing that I feel deserves to be pointed out is that unlike many other competitions, in The Challenge, your "competitors" really want to see you succeed.
Don't be shy to ask for advise, ask for info or ask for leads to odd parts.

Your profile says you are in Frederick, MD. If so, that puts you about 1.5 hours from York, PA and the epicenter of Challenge greatness.
If I were you, and especially if you run Chevy engines, I would try to get a visit to see a bit of what the Wizard has behind the curtain!

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/10/15 11:26 a.m.
TheV8Kid wrote: You can strip a LOT of weight out of a 3rd gen f body. The one problem we ran into with ours is tire fitment. Headers could also be an issue if you decide to get some.

I've never worked on am F-body before, what are the big weight loss items? We'll probably lose the AC and strip the whole interior. Anything else you'd suggest to shed pounds?

The one we're going to look at tomorrow has the 'upgraded' 16x8'' wheels, so hopefully we can get some decent rubber to fit them. I'm sure it will be a better tire selection than the standard 15x7'' wheels anyway...

I'm a decent welder and have made several exhaust systems in the past, so we'll probably buy a few sets of junkyard headers for me to cut up and splice together to make a custom set. It's probably going to suck though, header fitment always annoys me.

As for junkyard speed parts, we're planning to swap the stock L98 heads for a set of Vortec 350 heads and use whatever cheap performance carburetor Vortec intake we can find. In the interest of not spending money, we're hoping to get a car with a good L98 short block that we can use.

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/10/15 11:29 a.m.
JohnRW1621 wrote: Your profile says you are in Frederick, MD. If so, that puts you about 1.5 hours from York, PA and the epicenter of Challenge greatness. If I were you, and especially if you run Chevy engines, I would try to get a visit to see a bit of what the Wizard has behind the curtain!

Yeah, we're in Frederick. I didn't realize that York Pa was the "epicenter of Challenge greatness". Can you expand on this a little? We might need to head up to York and be inspired by whatever this 'greatness' is. Who is this wizard you speak of?

I did know that south central PA has some pretty nice auto junk yards...

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/10/15 11:32 a.m.

I trust that he (they) is aware of you by now and that he (they) will reveal himself to you!

dropstep
dropstep HalfDork
12/10/15 1:50 p.m.

Im a big foxbody fan but im pretty sure stock the f body turns better. Not sure if elwood grims old junkyard is still worth visiting in hagerstown but it was massive.( havnt been in md in 8 years).

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
12/10/15 4:51 p.m.
jmk015 wrote:
TheV8Kid wrote: You can strip a LOT of weight out of a 3rd gen f body. The one problem we ran into with ours is tire fitment. Headers could also be an issue if you decide to get some.

I've never worked on am F-body before, what are the big weight loss items? We'll probably lose the AC and strip the whole interior. Anything else you'd suggest to shed pounds?

The one we're going to look at tomorrow has the 'upgraded' 16x8'' wheels, so hopefully we can get some decent rubber to fit them. I'm sure it will be a better tire selection than the standard 15x7'' wheels anyway...

I'm a decent welder and have made several exhaust systems in the past, so we'll probably buy a few sets of junkyard headers for me to cut up and splice together to make a custom set. It's probably going to suck though, header fitment always annoys me.

As for junkyard speed parts, we're planning to swap the stock L98 heads for a set of Vortec 350 heads and use whatever cheap performance carburetor Vortec intake we can find. In the interest of not spending money, we're hoping to get a car with a good L98 short block that we can use.

You pretty much nailed the big items. The heat/air condition weighs a ton. Lot's of un-needed wiring to remove and use for recap on the budget. The bumpers weigh a lot. Also there are tons of little brackets, and what have you.

I will link you to the build sight for ours. I didn't take any pictures of all the stuff that we tore out of the car, but this will give you a good idea of what one that has the interior gutted looks like. Ours will probably be a little different set up than yours would be, because ours is a land speed car, so we are not as concerned about weight.

http://camaro777.yolasite.com/

Oh and the "wizard" they are referring to is my dad. I will let him know that his presence has been requested.

JtspellS
JtspellS SuperDork
12/10/15 5:05 p.m.

Funny thing is my friend and I are actually doing the same thing, we were able to score a fox body off of someone who was deploying to Germany.

Funny thing is we are rotary people (more me now then him) and neither one of us ever thought we would have anything to do with mustangs, granted everything is easy to do so that helps lol.

Good luck and hope to see you guys there!

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/10/15 5:07 p.m.
dropstep wrote: Im a big foxbody fan but im pretty sure stock the f body turns better. Not sure if elwood grims old junkyard is still worth visiting in hagerstown but it was massive.( havnt been in md in 8 years).

I was just at Elwood's the other weekend, looking for some parts for my El Camino. Its still a HUGE yard, but most of the stuff is pretty well picked over. I did notice that they had about a dozen 3rd gen F-bodies, so if we get the Firebird tomorrow and need some parts I'll probably be heading back to Elwood's.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions. The GRM community seems awesome!

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/11/15 3:46 p.m.

We were planning to use a 700-r4 with a shift kit, just because thats what came in the v8 F-bodies and they seems to be decently strong in stock form.

Scoring some 350 Vortec heads from a junkyard, replacing the rockers and springs to run a bigger cam, and adding a high rise carburetor intake are the general motor build plans.

Our Firebird Formula fell through today, it was a worthless heap. I learn something new every single time I have a Craigslist experience. Apparently now you have to ask the seller if a car has been wrecked since the photos in the ad were taken... because this one was and they never mentioned that to me over the phone.

The car search continues. One of our neighbors has a 1988 IROC with a 350 sitting in his back yard that we might check out, and I'll hit Craigslist some more.

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
12/11/15 4:23 p.m.

Here are a couple near us:

This one you could make into a smokey and the bandit theme: https://york.craigslist.org/pts/5268652046.html

If you are into a 4th gen, here is one. It runs, but it is a v6: https://baltimore.craigslist.org/cto/5310658328.html

Fox body Mustang. It has a V8. https://york.craigslist.org/cto/5355502959.html

JohnRW1621
JohnRW1621 MegaDork
12/11/15 7:19 p.m.

I too went looking for you after reading your first fell through.
Though you really need to drive down the price (like half) it may be worth a look to see what is good here and what is bad along with how much "Christmas desperation" the seller will have.
http://frederick.craigslist.org/cto/5350241722.html

http://frederick.craigslist.org/cto/5353615403.html
http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/cto/5356060727.html

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/12/15 9:15 a.m.

Thanks for all the links!!

I put out calls and emails on about a dozen cars, all 3rd gen F-bodies and Fox Mustangs. I've already ruled some out, based on non-negotiable prices, finding out more about the car over the phone, etc. I'm hopeful for about 4 of them to pan out but am waiting on more photos from the sellers.

Unfortunately, the rest of my weekend is packed so I won't be able to go see any more cars until next Friday (my next, not obligated, day off)

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/12/15 9:17 a.m.

Here's a question for the F-body guys:

I know that the 3rd gen cars had different trannys for the v6 and v8 cars, requiring both a motor and tranny swap for the factory v6 cars.

Are the 4th gen F-bodies the same way, or did both the v6 and v8 cars come with the same transmissions from the factory?

Woody
Woody MegaDork
12/12/15 9:46 a.m.

One more question for the experts: I was under the impression that the engine of a fourth generation F-Body had to come out from below. Is that correct?

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
12/12/15 10:09 a.m.
jmk015 wrote: Here's a question for the F-body guys: I know that the 3rd gen cars had different trannys for the v6 and v8 cars, requiring both a motor and tranny swap for the factory v6 cars. Are the 4th gen F-bodies the same way, or did both the v6 and v8 cars come with the same transmissions from the factory?

The bell-housing on the V6 is the metric pattern, so you would have to get another transmission.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_GM_bellhousing_patterns#GM_metric_pattern

If you go the 4th gen route, we do have an LT1 for sale if you are interested: https://york.craigslist.org/pts/5336564867.html

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku PowerDork
12/13/15 2:41 p.m.

I ran a '91 F-body for 2013 and 2014. Finished 10th in 2014 on a freshened but very stock suspension and 200hp form a TBI 305. These car handle well right out of the box with the right (cheap) parts. Check out thirdgen.org for tons of good info and parts.

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/14/15 5:52 a.m.
Gearheadotaku wrote: I ran a '91 F-body for 2013 and 2014. Finished 10th in 2014 on a freshened but very stock suspension and 200hp form a TBI 305. These car handle well right out of the box with the right (cheap) parts. Check out thirdgen.org for tons of good info and parts.

This makes me think we're on the right track. If we can build a L98 350 to 350-375 hp, it should eat a stock 305 alive... and it sounds like you guys did pretty well with a stock 305.

We really want to stay with a 'gen 1' SBC, since that's what we know. The car would also have to be 1995 model year or older, in order for us to register it in Maryland after we're done with the motor and exhaust work. We want to register it so that we can drive it to the drag strip and local autocross meets, both of which are only ~15 mins from my house. Registering it will beat the hassle of trailering it to the track.

Thanks for the input everyone!!

I'm currently waiting for pictures and more info on a 1988 IROC-Z. TPI 350, 160,000 miles, 3.42 Posi, 700-r4, decent interior, exterior is a miss-match of replaced body panels but after some minor body work and paint it would look good. This car currently runs, but hasn't been driven for ~5 years. Asking price is $1000 OBO.

We're also waiting on more pictures of a 1991 GTA Trans Am with an L98 350. The car is pretty much 100% original, except that its missing one of the special GTA wheels and is sitting on the other 3 matching wheels and a donut. Car only has 91,000 miles, stock everything. Interior, body, and paint look pretty good. The paint would probably clean up with some cutting compound and elbow grease. RPO codes indicate that it also has the WS6 package, which might help in the autocross? This car also has a 3.42 Posi but has the aluminum rear brake drums too. This car looks much nicer than the IROC-Z, and has about half the miles, but it hasn't been started in ~3 years (probably has gummed up fuel pump and injectors?). Also $1000 OBO.

Both cars are ~1 hr away from me and I'm waiting for more detailed pictures, including some under the hood and up under the car... since I already learned my lesson about driving to go see a car without having lots of recent photos.

Which car would you guys go for? The higher mileage, more beat, but currently running IROC, or the low mileage all original, nice body and paint GTA Trans Am?

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 UberDork
12/14/15 6:48 a.m.

It's typically easier to make one run and drive than make one pretty. Usually cheaper, too.

TheV8Kid
TheV8Kid Reader
12/14/15 8:58 a.m.

My vote is the Trans am. Yeah it doesn't run, but it has other perks going for it that outweigh that.

Maybe you could ask if you could try to turn the engine over. If that thing runs, then you are miles ahead of the camaro.

jmk015
jmk015 New Reader
12/14/15 9:51 a.m.
TheV8Kid wrote: My vote is the Trans am. Yeah it doesn't run, but it has other perks going for it that outweigh that. Maybe you could ask if you could try to turn the engine over. If that thing runs, then you are miles ahead of the camaro.

The seller says that the car cranks if you hook it up to a jump box, so the motor turns over. I bet its a gummed up fuel system or no-spark that's keeping it from running.

We'll be going with Vortec heads and a carbureted intake anyway, so the fuel pump, TPI intake, and related fuel injection stuff would be removed from the car and sold. It would probably be worth flushing the gas tank, cleaning the pump, and cleaning the injectors before tearing it down though, so we can hear it run and drive it. I hear a complete TPI setup with the wiring and computer is worth ~$250 these days...

1 2 3 ... 6
A9GsztE27Q3USkx0T4U5S7vorLTxvs50