Progress Thread 1980 Mustang Cobra Build

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Jredline1984, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. I've been a member since 2005 but haven't really posted much.

    I finally decided to share some pics of the SLOOOOW progress on my 1980 Mustang Cobra. Picked her up a handful of years back and although she is currently in storage, I am busy juggling and engine build for her along with a '79 F150 restoration.

    A little info on the car. It is a 1980 Mustang that originally left the factory with a turbocharged 2.3L, 4spd, TRX suspension, sport steering wheel, Recaro buckets, factory louvers, no a/c or center console, and a lovely yellow hue.

    Currently she has a 302 backed by a C4 from the previous owner and quite a bit of damage from years of neglect and abuse. I am hoping to change that.

    Here are a few pics from when I picked her up:








    Damage to the core support

  2. Here are a few minor things I have done to it as of late

    Refurbished the factory leather wrapped steering wheel with some new dye and center cap:


    New air dam from an 82 GT and an NOS fender I found at the local pick-n-pull:


    I also have some Marchal foglights and a new bracket to install and get pics of.

    This was done before I moved her to a storage unit to make room for another '79 parts truck. In the meantime I have been building up a '71 351C 4V engine for the ole gal.


    D0AE-J block .040 ob,
    KB177 hypertec +2cc pistons
    Stock rods w arp-bolts
    Stock crank 030/030
    Melling stock pressure oil pump w/High pressure spring
    Solid Bullet Race Cam
    251/251 @50
    619/619 lift
    108 lobe sep.
    Still Need a Double Roller Timing Chain and Johnson(Boss 351 style) metering lifters

    4V CC-heads w 2.19/1.71 Manleyvalves
    No port work
    Guideplates, 7/16-bolt
    Harland Sharp roller rockers

    Drilled and tapped for 4 bolt mains:


    Bottom End Assembled:


    Rear Sump Installed:


    Moroso Pan mocked up:


    DOAE 4V Quench Heads


    I recently decided to go fuel injected on this engine and traded the Blue Thunder intake that I had for a Weiand Tunnel ram in order to modify it for fuel rails and an throttle body. I will post up pics as I progress on that project.

    Here is the toploader I scored on ebay:


    I plan to add a gear vendors unit and effectively have 8 gears to play with.

    More info and pics to follow as time and money allows. As I said I am currently working on my truck but I still find time to work on my stang every once in awhile.

    Post up and let me know what you guys and gals think!
  3. VERY cool.

    I know nothing about the ford 4 speeds. Are they pretty tough? When I hear top-loader, I think of the trans that went behind the 427 in an AC cobra. Same thing?
  4. Thanks!

    Indeed they are; they are still utilized in NASCAR albeit in a Jerico variant I believe (memory is a little foggy on this) and it is the same trans used behind the 427 although with a larger 1-3/8" input shaft and 31 spline output shaft.

    Some useless info on the toploader gleaned from Peterson's complete ford book:

    Hank Gregorich was the engineer interviewed for the article, he was the lead engineer of the transmission and chassis division at the time.

    Ford's testing of the toploader consisted of 50 cars each which were required to go thru 500 drag starts without a single malfunction . The drivers side stepped the clutch and powershifted into second gear as they ran three shifts around the clock until they were done .
    #4 Jredline1984, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
    hoopty5.0 likes this.
  5. Cool beans!
    And a Cleveland in a fox is going to be wicked. I love where this is going.
  6. nice!! my favorite body style. cant wait to see more progress on this one.
  7. Thanks for the interest guys!

    I found a couple of pics from when I installed the NOS Ford Motorsport 140 speedo.


    88LX5.Oh likes this.
  8. Check it out, new tunnel ram and throttle body showed up this past week:


    Had to set it on the engine just to see how it looks:


    Now the fun begins for designing a new upper plenum to attach the throttle body to.
  9. Where did you get the dye to redo the steering wheel? Was it rattle can?
  10. I used a black shoe polish paste and some elbow grease to shine it to perfection. Okay I'm lying to myself about the last part but it didn't turn out half bad considering it was terribly weathered. I did use rattle can on the spokes though.
  11. I love the style of the car, and can't wait to see the progress that you make with it!

    Engine on the carpet...That takes balls. I've had parts in the house before but never the whole motor or trans!
  12. Luckily I don't have to answer to a wife or girlfriend lol. It makes working on it in your spare time much easier with it in the house I find.
    jcgafford likes this.
  13. Seeing as it has been damn near a year since I started this thread I figured I would post up a little more on the build. I picked up a thunder chicken 8.8 rear for the car over the long weekend to replace the aging 7.5 and I have started a search for some hydroboost components to provide some better stopping power with the new rear discs. I will go to five lug at some point in the future but for the time being the focus is on getting it road worthy to maintain some motivation with the project. Here is a pic of the rear end as she sits:


    No rear diff cover, but that just means I can justify one of these bad boys:

    Best part of all is I managed to score the rear end for $75 on Craigslist. Hopefully the next post won't be so long in the making.
  14. Cool! You definitly need a sn95 brake conversion of some sort because 13in rotors would look mean on that thing! Keep the pics coming. Where you located?
    Jredline1984 likes this.
  15. I agree, they would look killer! I will have a few more pics to post up within the month as I plan on draggin' her out of storage. Location wise, I am in the sheep lover's paradise known as Montana.
  16. Okay so it's been a little while since I last posted but life seems to always pop up at the most inopportune times. Haven't done much with the car itself but I have been working on the center console.

    A few years back I picked up a Cal Custom NOS performance timer and after seeing a few pics of how some individuals have installed them, decided to try and put it where the inoperable info center on my console is at.

    Here is a pic of the beat up old box:

    The timer next to her future location; 79-81 consoles have clear plastic covering both the info center and the clock locations and require a little more finesse when trimming:

    Cutting the hole and testing the fit up of the timer housing:

    Timer installed in the housing:

    Sweet deal aside from the fact that it interferes with the factory clock. The indexing tab on the left side of the clock will have to be trimmed off and the metal housing modified to clear the timer housing.



    Tab is gone and the metal housing has been modified to fit flush against the clock. Also notice in this pic how much beefier the earlier four eyed fox clocks (say that ten times fast lol) are compared to the later designs. Sure it would have been easier to make the smaller of the two fit but who wants easy?? Plus I would like it to look somewhat like what rolled off the line in late '79.

    Test fitting the clock in the console cover:

    Clears the timer just fine but the upper multi-function buttons do not line up with the holes, plus I do not like the uneven gap in the panel for the date/et/time buttons so out comes the dremel for some clearancing.

    The end result:

    Not too shabby, just needs some paint to black out a little more area around the clock face and some slight clearancing around the date/et/time buttons. I don't think the elliptical holes at the multi-function buttons look too bad, plus you really won't notice it once it is sitting in the car.

    Blacked out and extra clearance added for the buttons:

    Looks pretty decent in the "black" console. The paint supply shop that mixed up my paint made it more gray so it was back to the shop to try for round two:

    Still too much gloss for my liking so I ordered a can of SEM black to see if it is close; hopefully third time is the charm. Postman should have it delivered this week along with a NOS latch catch, arm rest pad, coin tray, and hardware kit so the console will be finished and ready to be installed in the car. Stay tuned
    A5literMan likes this.
  17. Very cool project. Love the idea of an EFI tunnel ram/clev build:nice:
  18. Your build reminds me of Ron Anderson's pretty ugly 79 mustang. Keep posting updates.
    A5literMan likes this.
  19. I remember an article about that car. Sleeper ugly and packing about 850rwhp:eek:
    mikestang63 likes this.