Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 8:11 a.m.

Wife and I talked replacement autocross cars last night. Still looking at a lot of options, but she likes the Mustang idea best and I can see why. It's the newest car we're looking at, most powerful, cheapest to buy and mod, and is actually unusual at the autocross.

Obviously a 94-95 GTS would be great for an STX build (super light) or a Cobra. I have found a regular old GT with quite the mod list though...

New suspension (shocks, bushings, lowering springs), rollbar w/harnesses, racing seats, cat-back, aluminum radiator, real Cobra wheels, Cobra R nose, new paint, and comes with a new nitrous kit and GT40 heads (not installed) for $3500!

That's a lot of car for the money and has 2 spare items I can immediately sell off.

Raze Dork
Feb. 24, 2011 8:24 a.m.

welcome to Mustang land, where prices are low, parts plentiful, sell off what you don't want, buy all your new parts used or in the JY and have a killer machine for very very very little money. SNs are dog cheap because Foxes are all the rage right now...

Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 8:47 a.m.

You aren't kidding man. Who knew a 93 GT would be worth $2000 more than a 94 GT, which has more power, a light-years better interior, 5-lugs, 4-wheel-discs, and a decent rear gear, and actually looks like a Mustang. Oh well, time to buy then I guess!

z31maniac SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 9:09 a.m.

I'm actually thinking Mustang instead of E30 now.

Although I really hate the rounded edges of the earlier 94-04 cars and prefer the "Edge" styling update or whatever it is called. But those aren't nearly as affordable, at least around here.

LordTurbonia New Reader
Feb. 24, 2011 9:37 a.m.

cough cough Cobra IRS swap cough

ReverendDexter SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 9:48 a.m.

FYI - GTS was only in '95.

As with all fox-chassis cars, there are three things you'll IMMEDIATELY want to do.

1) Full-length weld-in Subframe connectors. I like Maximum Motorsports, but Steedas supposedly have slightly better fitment.

2) CC plates. Stock Mustang front end has no provisions for adjusting any alignment spec but toe. Proper alignment makes a WORLD of difference, not that I need to tell this crowd that.

3) Better lateral location for the rear axle. The stock 4-link (aka Quadrabind) allows the rear to move about 2" left-right. The cheap way to fix this is to go with tubular UCAs that use a spherical bushing (do NOT get poly-bushed UCAs! They'll cause much more problems then they solve for a cornering car). The good way to fix it is to scrap the 4-link and go to a torque arm setup. The middle-of-the-road way to go is the "poor man's 3-link" wherein you get good LCAs and a panhard bar, then remove the driver's side UCA.

z31maniac SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 10:17 a.m.

^I'm a noob to rear axle setup's, what's the advantage to removing the driver side UCA?

jstein77 Dork
Feb. 24, 2011 10:52 a.m.

Makes it into a three-link setup and reduces the binding at full travel.

ReverendDexter SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 10:56 a.m.
z31maniac wrote: ^I'm a noob to rear axle setup's, what's the advantage to removing the driver side UCA?

It's very specific to the fox 4-link.

In that setup, the upper control arms are doing two different jobs: lateral axle location and preventing axle wrap. They stockers do both very poorly. Ideally, you'll replace them with two other control arms that each just do one job, the most common is to go to a torque arm and panhard bar (torque arm for axle wrap, panhard for lateral location). A full TA/PhB conversion is spendy, though. As a half-way step, you can just do the panhard bar. At that point, you no longer need both UCAs, as it's their triangulation that was providing lateral axle location, you just need the one to prevent axle wrap. By having both UCAs and the PhB, you're just creating additional bind in the system, so you remove one (the driver's side) to free up bind/weight.

belteshazzar SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 11:06 a.m.

examples of said setup?

ReverendDexter SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 11:14 a.m.
belteshazzar wrote: examples of said setup?

I had one in my foxbody for a while, but I've gone all the way to a torque arm at this point.

I know MM sells a kit that's their LCAs with a panhard bar, you could use that then remove the stock driver's side UCA.

Now, this isn't an ideal setup - the geometry on the UCA is still pretty crappy, and you're still dealing with the super-soft factory bushings. It's certainly better than stock, though.

z31maniac SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 11:22 a.m.

Cool, thanks for the excellent response. Totally get it now.

Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:10 p.m.

The great thing about the SN95 Mustang is that there are all of these options!

RossD Dork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:11 p.m.

How close is the MN-12 IRS subframe to bolting into a SN-95?

Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:13 p.m.

Not even slightly close. Also, no reason to, as the 99-04 Mustang Cobra IRS bolts right in.

RossD Dork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:15 p.m.

In reply to Javelin:

Yes but we're tripping on tbirds around here, not so much on Cobras.

pres589 HalfDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:17 p.m.

There was at least one article in The Magazine about the Cobra IRS being a selling point and not an actual improvement, with a racer picking one up and seeing his lap times go up. Trip through the Griggs catalog and solid axle swap later, he's much faster and happier with the car.

It would be nice to be in an area with such cheap early SN95 cars around, my looking through Craigslist doesn't show this kind of stuff much, V6/automatic cars are around this price range but V8's seem to be trashed if they come in under $5k. Or I just don't know how to look.

Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:18 p.m.

TBird's also use a 7.5" gear vs. the Mustang's 8.8, had no factory LSD option (except maybe the Super Coupe, but good luck finding those), and used a ridiculous bolt pattern.

Cobra IRS's are actually easy to find as a LOT of owners swapped them out for a SRA to drag race.

Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:19 p.m.


You're probably looking at the more common 96-98 models with the 4.6. They are also pricey up here. The 94-95 with the 5.0 is the cheap one, and has the better motor in my opinion.

dj06482 Reader
Feb. 24, 2011 12:27 p.m.

Definitely go '94-95, and skip the '96-98.

Raze Dork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:27 p.m.

$1600 94 GT, 5speed, needs work, but at that price, who cares for a track/autox rat... http://atlanta.craigslist.org/nat/cto/2202917498.html

Soma007 Reader
Feb. 24, 2011 12:28 p.m.
Javelin wrote: The great thing about the SN95 Mustang is that there are all of these options!

And the bad thing about them is you actually need all that stuff to make them handle half decent.

Most people don't like them but the 4th gen F-Bodies had a far better chassis/suspension than a comparable Mustang. SLA up front and torque arm in the rear. The 3rd gen's aren't have bad either.

There's a good reason why F-Bodies won F Stock 15 years running (89-03) and it not just because of the "lemming effect".

pres589 HalfDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:40 p.m.

Oh no, I know what I'm looking for, the 5.0 and a manual trans is the only combination that really interests me. Would love to find something with bad paint so I have an excuse to roller a car for the first time, etc etc. I don't really know if that's in the cards, I think the small truck idea makes more sense for me at this point in time, but this does have some temptation to it.

Javelin SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:47 p.m.

In reply to Soma007:

That's "stock" though. I'll run either STX, which allows shocks, springs (coilovers even), sway bars, LCA's, C/C plates, bushings, subframe connectors, strut bars, and pretty much an entire re-do of the rear end suspension, including a panhard or watt's and torque arm. Of course I could always say "meh" to the SCCA's nonsense and do whatever I want to it past that for PCA's "Non-Porsche" class. The rules? "Does is say Porsche? No? You're legal."

Ian F SuperDork
Feb. 24, 2011 12:58 p.m.

In reply to Soma007:

+1. I also prefer the Mustang to the F-body, but if I were building up a V8 muscle car for auto-x, I'd choose the F-body based on what I've read so far... as stock as possible... and then go talk to a fellow named Strano about prepping it for ESP.

If you want to finish DFL in STX, get an E30, enjoy a nicer interior and save gas... A co-worker has a bone-stock '95 Mustang that is his baby... my god what a POS...

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