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Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
1/4/19 8:43 p.m.

So I talked myself in and out of buying this car several times. If any one of you are unfortunate enough to have seen my Instagram, its mostly been this car for the past year.

I even posted this picture a few months ago saying it was going to replace my GTA.

I backed out of buying it once because it was too close to my GTA, but decided berk it, I'll make it work. 

Basically this thing is a high mile (odometer broke at 184k 2 owners ago) 1997 Mustang GT convertible. 4.6 non pi 2v, auto trans, 3.08 gear LSD. Pretty much stock except for a cobbled together 2.25" cat back with magnaflow rumble 2 chamber mufflers and turn downs under the axle. Sitting on 17x9 Bullit replicas wrapped in 255/40r17 BFG Comp2 all seasons. 1" bolt on spacers on the rear so they don't rub the quad shocks and tail pipes that were there when the wheels got put on. 

It also has a Pioneer DEH-S600BS receiver that was picked mostly because I could set the backlight to green to match the gauges and clock. There is a Panavise solid phone mount sharing bolts with the HVAC control panel. And finally the ugly tinted tail lights were replaced with a pair of used stock ones.

Basically, I did a fair bit to this car before I decided to buy it from my sister. Plans going forward are keep it a fun daily and clean it up a bit. Bit of suspension work and bolt ons on the 4.6. Car is already really reliable and fun, so I want to just make it a bit more capable while also keeping it simple and reliable. 

Also I really want to go to Radwood Detroit in September (unless they announce another show closer to me), and if my GTA isn't ready by then, this car is the backup plan. 

 

 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
1/4/19 8:46 p.m.

In reply to Daylan C :

Awesome!

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/4/19 8:49 p.m.

Great fun cruiser but agonizingly slow. Are gears planned?  

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
1/4/19 8:56 p.m.

In reply to Adrian_Thompson :

I'm thinking 3.55, seems like enough to wake it up without ruining it's highway manners too much. 

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
1/24/19 2:15 a.m.

And for the first time it left me stranded and made me late for work. Tomorrow's plans appear to include confirming the diagnosis of a dead tensioner and replacing said tensioner and a new belt for good measure.

It turns out alternators work better if the belt is tight enough to touch all the pulleys.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/24/19 7:05 a.m.
Daylan C said:

And for the first time it left me stranded and made me late for work. Tomorrow's plans appear to include confirming the diagnosis of a dead tensioner and replacing said tensioner and a new belt for good measure.

It turns out alternators work better if the belt is tight enough to touch all the pulleys.

loose belt = less parasitic drag on the engine = More POWAAAAaaaaaaaaa..........!!!!

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
1/24/19 7:20 a.m.

Interesting. Apparently none of the parts houses in town keep a tensioner for a 4.6 2v in stock. Have one ordered in. So now the car has the opportunity to ruin my evening plans since the part won't be here until around 1. This car better be happy I actually like it.

dj06482
dj06482 SuperDork
1/24/19 7:41 a.m.

Love it! 184k is just a good start, I just rolled 304k on mine.

Adrian_Thompson
Adrian_Thompson MegaDork
1/24/19 7:44 a.m.

Feel better, when I bought my (302) SN95 in 1994 I only put about 20 miles on it before the tensioner broke so I limped it back to the dealer.  It took two days to get and fit a replacement under warranty so they gave me an auto Aspire as a loaner.  I abused the ever loving E36 M3 out of that little car as I was so pissed at not having my new toy.  Standard practice for leaving a parking spot was brake torque it into reverse then as I cleared the cars either side slam it from R to D without lifting as I spun the wheel.  It childishly made me feel better, but I guess you don't have a loaner to abuse to cheer you up.  Beer helps.  

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired HalfDork
1/24/19 9:49 a.m.

Glad to see more 4.6 2 valves on this site. I learned to drive on the coupe version of the same car (color and all)

I would recommend a 3.73 gear at a minimum, maybe even a 4.10. Those cars really respond to gear ratio changes. 

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
1/24/19 10:26 a.m.
dj06482 said:

Love it! 184k is just a good start, I just rolled 304k on mine.

Oh it's way over 184k. That's just what the broken odometer says.

Also. Just got home. Tensioner diagnosis not confirmed but, the noisy AC compressor finally bit the bullet and locked up tight enough it won't let the engine turnover with the belt on.

I gave in a lot today. Decided I couldn't fix it in the parking lot, and then quickly decided I had no interest in loading it on the sketchy trailer in 25 degree weather with no winch. So I elected to pay the man. Car is home. I'm not berking with it anymore today. 

Again. This car better be glad I actually like it.

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/9/19 2:50 p.m.

Minor update. I just traded a 700r4 for a T45. Time to learn how sn95 manual swaps work. Need to see how the cards fall on the Honda mess. But I definitely won't be getting the Talon for a while, if at all, so I decided to move ahead with the silly convertible. Fixing the AC compressor issue ASAP, so mom can use this car until she replaces the one I wrecked. Probably just going to delete it for now.

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/14/19 8:06 p.m.

So I ran the numbers on this trans. Appears to be a t45 from an early '01 Cobra. The speed sensor is different from my '97, the '97 sensor appears to not fit in the '01 tail housing. But an adapter box seems to exist to fix that problem and keep my speedometer. Pedals have been aquired from a '96 Cobra off of ebay. 

So that leaves: 

  • Flywheel and clutch
  • Clutch cable mess i know nothing about
  • Shifter
  • Probably the starter
  • Crossmember and driveshaft I assume
  • To decide if I'm changing the exhaust since this stock h pipe is probably coming out with a sawzall.

 

Anything I'm forgetting?

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/14/19 8:09 p.m.

Beer and aspirin. 

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/14/19 8:14 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

I can usually get away without the aspirin but beer stays on the grocery list.

Also I think I might do long tubes and a catless x pipe while I'm up under the car berking around. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
3/14/19 8:31 p.m.

Bandaids.  Ford sharpens sheetmetal. Swear.

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/14/19 8:34 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Worse than GM? I still have a scar on my hand from changing a Gmt400 battery.

GarageGorilla
GarageGorilla New Reader
3/15/19 2:40 p.m.

Awesome. The auto SN95 cars in stock trim are duds. Even a non-PI convertible SN95 will be 100X more fun to drive with a 5spd than with 4R70 (or whatever the auto of that era is called). since you're going to be under the car (and if budget permits), get an AL driveshaft, offroad X pipe (I recommend Pypes X or H box) and a catback. Those mods will make the car an enjoyable driver for about ~ $1000.

Where are you located?

Apexcarver
Apexcarver UltimaDork
3/15/19 2:53 p.m.

I have a 97 cobra with 60k on it stored on a 4 post lift.  If you need any pics of how stuff is routed, etc let me know

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/15/19 3:03 p.m.

In reply to GarageGorilla :

I'm in Glasgow, Kentucky. Just east of Bowling Green.

And Apex I'll probably be bugging you. Biggest things I'm not sure about are where the clutch cable needs to go through the firewall and where I need to cut the hole in the tunnel for the shifter.

GarageGorilla
GarageGorilla New Reader
3/15/19 3:32 p.m.
Daylan C said:

In reply to GarageGorilla :

I'm in Glasgow, Kentucky. Just east of Bowling Green.

And Apex I'll probably be bugging you. Biggest things I'm not sure about are where the clutch cable needs to go through the firewall and where I need to cut the hole in the tunnel for the shifter.

Dang! I was secretly hoping you'ld be around the KC, Missouri area. Another thing you might want to think about is some weld on subframe connectors. I can imagine a ~25 year convertible chassis with 200K miles on it is flexing like a soda can.

Keep up the good work and more photos please!

 

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
3/15/19 3:32 p.m.

Hooker Aerochamber cat-back would be my recommendation.  I didn't really like the Dynomax SS whatever on my SN95 as it would drone at highway speeds.  I had a 49 state Magnaflow SS cat'd x-pipe and really liked the sound outside of the drone.  

3.55's seem like a good compromise.  There are so many shifters for these cars it isn't humorous; I put a hurst in my T-5 equipped Mustang and liked that a lot until the ball that came with it started to crack.  The better white balls from Hurst are something like $75 which seems crazy.

Replacement odo gears are cheap and it seems like all of these cars need them at some point.  The power window regulator fix isn't a big problem either although I had to do one twice.  Got pretty good at pulling the back seat out of my car.

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/15/19 3:40 p.m.

Roll bar and SFCs are on the to do list. Probably going MGW for the shifter. Not sure on the exhaust yet. I like my current setup but its sort of too quiet sometimes, too loud others, and has a weird tone all the time. (Ok maybe I don't like it). The odometer has been broken so long I honestly don't see a point in fixing it. 

untchabl
untchabl Reader
3/15/19 7:23 p.m.

Don't waste the time/money on headers (either long tubes or shorty), not much to be gained on a basically stock 2v. Do an off-road X-pipe and the catback of your choice. After the 5-speed swap, I'd go with 3.73 gears then start collecting parts to do a PI-head swap. 

Daylan C
Daylan C UltraDork
3/21/19 4:13 p.m.

Finally got time to pull the compressor and put the delete pulley on. New belt while I was in there. Still need to neaten things up and pull some now useless hoses and things out but the car is a driver again. This means the weather is supposed to be nice this weekend and I've got my convertible back. Things are good in this particular neighborhood.

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