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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone I figured it's about time I start a thread to document a bit about this journey.

A little back ground, this is my first car. As a kid I worked various jobs, walking dogs, mowing lawns, delivering papers, bagging groceries. As it went, I would save up for various goals but when I finally reached them I couldn't bring myself to spend the money so I would keep saving. Then by pure luck one day a client of my dad's was moving and I was asked if I wanted to buy the car and I had just enough. I would say the guy was moving but the car wasn't. It was around this time I was pretty new to working on cars but managed to figure out the distributor had too much play in it, it wouldn't hold the timing, the rest of my savings went towards a new MSD setup (at the time Duralasts weren't inexpensive as they are now, on the same token MSDs weren't as expensive as they are now either). This was in late 2002.



Well between college and other cars and really just not having the budget to do all that I wanted to do the Mustang just stayed mostly stock. When I graduated I was able to do a bit of freshening up. I bought some 1998 SVT Cobra wheels from a friend and scored some tires off another friend. The hood tach came about mostly as a joke but also out of convenience. I always said it'll go away when I get autometers in the dash. It's been a fixture on the car for over a decade.



Then bought some Wilwoods but the vendor never sent the rear kit and seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth (it would be a few years until I decided to just bite the bullet and buy another rear kit). I also took the opportunity to put in longer ARP studs











Also I installed some Hedman long tubes and built out an exhaust using summit mufflers and the Flowmaster axle over 2.5" mandrel pipes, sooner or later I'd like to add in an X-pipe, I opted not to at the time out of a combination of simplicity, cost and not knowing if the exhaust would change with the transmission changes I had in mind.


and with that speed bumps were never the same again!




I guess the dealers were supposed to take off these brackets, I ended up using them to hold exhaust hangers


it definitely breathed some new life into the car, around this time a FoMoCo 4v iron intake was swapped out for an Edelbrock AirGap RPM as well






along the way I've been having to revert previous owner mistakes, this one was reverting hoses slipped over cut tubing back to flared tubing






and then some projects that have been on the back burner, retrofitting an E46 steering rack into the car


and this was when I was more on the restromod/protouring kick, was going to build out a full trunk/stereo for it. I've decided to switch gears from comfortable and modern to old and pure, no efi, no radio


I have no idea how but one time had the cotter pin fall out of the throttle linkage and the linkage disconnect from the carb. Even worse I had no tools or parts and I didn't realize it happened until I was sitting in the inside lane of a double turn lane. That was a bit nerve racking. Waiting to be rescued haha.


I wanted to get head rests in the car. Also I'm a taller guy so getting a little more leg and head room was a goal as well. I settled on E46 Sport seats as they've become a favorite of mine




 

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Discussion Starter #2
So now fast forward 5 more years to the present and the cars getting another breathe of fresh air :)

It's finally time to get those seats installed. Well I pull up the carpet and the previous owner told me the floors were clean and apparently we have different opinions of clean. The car's been garage kept the past 20 years. Oh well, time to try my hand at "body"/sheet metal work


well I thought I could fill in the holes but it kept blasting bigger and bigger ones, and a lot of the pan was pretty thin, so I figured might as well get it over with


decided to fill in the seat bolt holes since I'll be doing something different for the E46 seats


Almost ready for the new pan to go in (still haven't finished this part yet)


I also decided to fill in the rear parcel tray, made some templates






mocking up some seat rails




And here's what's in store for this thread as I continue on:

Picked up a Eaton TrueTrac


and decided to go with 3.00:1 Motives. I always thought I'd want at least 3.55's but I decided to stay higher. I figure if I go to a TKO600/T56 it'll keep first gear useful, if I go with a Jericho/gForce it'll keep the lack of overdrive streetable.


water pumps aren't that interesting but I decided to spring for the aluminum Edelbrock, they were running a rebate. I wanted to go electric for years but I figured it's probably better to keep it belt driven, less to worry about. It's pretty nice but probably not worth the premium, thought it'd tie up the front end of the motor nicely.


I've been wanting to put a hydraboost on the car for the better part of a decade and I discovered a trick using 37* JIC fittings (AN) so I picked up an assortment from a tractor website. I'll convert all of the pump/booster and steering rack fittings to -6an. I'll me making field repairable power steering hoses because I figure if I'm ever on a road trip I just need to find a tractor store to get a new hose made vs trying to find something that would fit that a parts store would carry. The initial cost to get all the dies is steep but after building a few systems it pays for itself.


I don't have a picture of them (they don't look like much) but I'll be retrofitting 2003 Cobra pedals and hydrabooster onto the car. I was torn between this style and doing a wilwood pedal setup with a balance bar, ultimately I really wanted to have a hydrabooster on the car so. This will be quite an undertaking as I'll be doing the E46 steering rack retrofit at the same time.


I've been having a bit of fun with carbs ever since I decided to ditch the EFI route. I am contemplating building a megasquirt system to handle spraying methanol and handing the ignition timing but that'll be after all the projects are done. I settled on a Quickfuel Q750BAN which is the blow through carb with annular boosters


After mulling over it for way too long I spec'd out a custom cam. I decided to go XE lobes on the intake and EHI lobes on the exhaust. 224/231* on a 108*LSA .605/.600". At first they said they couldn't grind it on a 108* but they ended up doing it. Using Morel roller hydraulic lifters. I wanted to go solid but read a lot about the solid lifters in my budget don't last on the street. Using Edelbrock E-205 heads.


And here's a monkey wrench, I spec'd the cam with the intention of putting it in a 10.8:1 CR 351w but today I picked up a forged 408ci stroker kit and a Dart Iron Eagle so the cam will be a little smaller than I intended but I think it'll still make really nice power. I never imagined using a Dart block let alone an Iron Eagle, I'm a bit beside myself.


And finally, after 14 years... autometers are going in the dash! I am going with Ultra-lite II's but with one hiccup, I decided to order SpekPro's for the speedo and tach. I would have liked to do it all with Spek's but even the two were well beyond the budget. Mounting them will definitely be a challenge but I'm excited


I went with silver face, chrome ring, clear bezels


And two more things I don't have pictures of but I picked up the battery tray, distribution blocks and wiring from an E46 to retrofit the battery in the trunk. I like how the BMW batteries have vent tubes built in and has the junction box for the rear wiring already there, plus I'm just familiar with it. Secondly I picked up the MSD automatic coil selector and will be running two ignition boxes.
 

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Hello Shawn, welcome to the forum...I enjoyed reading story. Your car looks to be in fantastic condition. Did you have the car painted since you bought it? Will be following along for sure, very nice car :thumbsup:

Edit: ok hold on a minute I replied to the first post. You are too quick...now I see the body work phase.
 

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Looks good. My only comment is about the seat mounting, I don't think those 4 spots give enough surface area to spread the load to the pan. I would copy the factory riser and weld a strip from the square tube to the pan for the full width.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hello Shawn, welcome to the forum...I enjoyed reading story. Your car looks to be in fantastic condition. Did you have the car painted since you bought it? Will be following along for sure, very nice car :thumbsup:

Edit: ok hold on a minute I replied to the first post. You are too quick...now I see the body work phase.
Hey Brian, thanks! No, I haven't had the car repainted but I'm pretty sure the previous owner did a couple years before I bought it. I imagine it's been 15+ years now just as I'm going on 14 years with it and when I bought it it was covered with a few years worth of dust. At some point I'd like to repaint it again as it is a bit rough in areas, but that'll be something I do towards the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tastefully done, looking great. Local too! Hopefully I'll see you at shows / on the road this summer!
Hey Beau, yeah I've been to a few Round-Ups over the years, missed last years. Hoping to make it this year. I'm going to check out your build thread, 2JZ Mustang sounds interesting
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Looks good. My only comment is about the seat mounting, I don't think those 4 spots give enough surface area to spread the load to the pan. I would copy the factory riser and weld a strip from the square tube to the pan for the full width.
Yeah, the more I was working on that the more I didn't like it. I've actually trimmed them down even further so they are pretty much sitting against the pan. I still have a bit more to go. I'm also thinking I'm going to run two "straps" over the tunnel connecting the two together. That project is taking quite a bit longer than I anticipated.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Love the safety wire on the brakes. I've never seen that in the civilian world although I've put a lot of it into the EA-6B Prowler.
Thanks Scott! I had a lot of fun with that. First time doing it. I know it's fairly popular on race bikes and upon researching it found how common it is in airplanes. Definitely makes changing rotors more of a thing haha. I think I left too many twists on the finishing part, from what I remember reading online you are really only supposed to do 4 or so but I liked having it wrap back around, or is that being entirely too critical? haha
 

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Yeah, the more I was working on that the more I didn't like it. I've actually trimmed them down even further so they are pretty much sitting against the pan. I still have a bit more to go. I'm also thinking I'm going to run two "straps" over the tunnel connecting the two together. That project is taking quite a bit longer than I anticipated.
Details like that can take an amazing amount of time, especially when you have to do some re-work if the first try is unsatisfactory. I've been going through the same process with major frame modifications to my Formula Ford race car. Neat safety wiring really is an art form, I've done quite a bit on the racer.
 

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There's no requirement on final wraps as far as I know. It's there to keep the bolts/nuts from backing out. One or more extra twists at the end isn't going to hurt anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Spek's came in, they went in incredibly easy. You could retrofit them directly to the bezel, there's no need for a backing plate. I had to trim two small nubs on the bezel. I'm not done installing them yet but the fitment is spot on (need to go get some smaller diameter bolts and then fab up a bar to go across the back).

 

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Well above was a quick wiring job, I've spent the last two nights going through and actually finishing up the gauge cluster. I had to pull the brake/belts bezel and the little tubes that direct the light from my factory gauge cluster, those needed to be trimmed to fit the backing plate I have. I also pulled the wiper switch.







I'm deciding between modifying the cars wire harness and converting it over to a 12pin deutsch connector or just putting the factory wiring harness pigtail onto the cluster I built. I also ran 12v constant/12v switched/illumination/ground up to the top of the wire harness I made and will be putting two connectors on it, one for the radio bezel gauges and one for pillar or any other gauges I may run in the future. I figure it's easier now than later.

I have most of the car pinned out with exception of the brake light bulb, I just need to see which wire goes to the pressure switch and which light goes to the ignition switch. Shouldn't be too hard to figure out.

I also wired it up so the Spek's can have their own dimmer as they appear to be significantly brighter than the autometers. I'm also thinking about putting a dimmer on the entire circuit, we'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Radio bezel came in. I couldn't find too many pictures of this online. The passenger side gauge has a slight interference on the back side but I don't think it'll be an issue if you trim down the mounting posts and the bracket. It's nicer than the store pictures make it seem, but my interior is ripped out of the car right now so it'll be a bit before I can really see if the black ABS looks out of place.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Reading more on the forums I ran across the convertible rocker trick but having already done the floor pan and stuff I don't really want to go backwards. I think I'm just going to run a 2x2" tube along the rocker instead but the stuff I have on hand are about 8" too short so I need to make a trip to the steel shop

Decided to go about installing the rear brakes, then realized I forgot to order replacement wheel studs and figured while the axles are out I might as well attack the 3rd member. Unbolted it but couldn't get it to budge. Figured I have new rear leafs to install anyway and there was quite a bit of dirt built up around the third member and rear end in general I might as well just pull it and give it the wire wheel and paint treatment the next sunny day we get


I also ordered a braided brake line, based on the CJ's picture i thought it would be a universal 3an set with fittings but then I saw a picture of the kit and it looks like the front lines won't be terribly useful for me.
 
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