Progress Thread 89 convertible. summer driver

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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Hello all. I just recently joined this forum. I have had my little 89 convertible for a few years now. Since I just joined I will do a very rapid build thread. meaning I have tons of pictures, and I have done a lot to it over the years, but I will catch this thread up pretty fast. I think it is fun to post up a build thread so that people can see where you have come from and get to know you a bit better. so here goes. My Dad bought it for 1400.00 and was going to build it, but he really never got interested in it. he started doing some work to it, but the main problem with it was the convertible top frame was broken, so it leaked inside and the whole interior smelled horrible. surprisingly though, there was no rust. but since he could not find the parts to fix the top it sat. My dad was retired and moved into a small apartment near me. after my mom passed away. so he did not have a garage. once I built my 40 x 60 bionic doghouse we used it as our shop, so the convertible sat in the shop for a few years. once I convinced him to get his 94 gt running again (the one between the convertible and my 65) and bought the parts for him to do it, he completely lost interest in the vert. This is the only picture I had of it when he owned it. this was after he had done some work on the hood, straightening it out.

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I thought it was a cool little car though, so I spent some time and found the parts to fix the convertible frame and gave them to him for his birthday. so he bought the white convertible top for it ( it was originally black but he did not like the black top.) and it came with a video, he also bought an air stapler so I watched the video a bunch of times and tore the top off and swapped it. Not a fun job at all, lol. it turned out ok for my first time. a long way from perfect, but ok. and at least it was reasonably weathertight. Dad also always thought a mustang should have a running horse in the grill so he bought the cobra grill conversion, and I put it on.

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after I had done all that work to it he decided he really didn't want it, so he gave it to me.
The paint was pretty chipped along the rockers, the interior was filthy and smelled like someones dirty gym socks left in a plastic trash bag inside a locked car in summer heat for a week. NASTY. the mufflers were rusted out, the engine was a greasy mess, but it ran fine, and drove pretty nice. so I put a magnaflow cat back exhaust on it, threw some seat covers on it because the drivers seat had some tears. (the rest of the interior, was dirty and ugly but in good shape), a couple bottles of fabreeze later and I licensed it.

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mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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so after Dad gave it to me, and I got it licensed the first thing I addressed was the wheels. I do not like those 10 hole wheels. so I bought some cobra replicas from american muscle with some nitto tires and that really made the car look better to me.

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the brakes looked like heck through the nice new wheels so I put on all new brakes, drums, shoes, disks, pads, calipers and painted the calipers and added some decals.

I really wanted to lower it, but I live on a gravel road, and after we lowered the 94 it constantly dragged going up the road so I decided function over form and left the stock ride height. someday I may lower it, but for now I prefer to be able to drive it without it scraping every time I drive up my road.
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the interior was still hideous and smelled horrible, my wife would not ride in the car, so over the next couple years I re did the interior. I first put new upholstery on the seats. TMI upholstery from cj pony parts.

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then later I put new carpet in.

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after a few years I decided I really liked the way a convertible looks with a styling bar, so I put one in.
the website said it was only for 90 and up convertibles, but the instructions were there for an 89 so I went ahead and did it.

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and while it worked and it looke "okay" the interior panel was broken on top, and it is very difficult to get the dew wipes positioned properly so I was never really satisfied. so I kept looking until I was able to find a set of 90 interior quarter panels in black. I bought them and the three point seat belts, as well as some black door panels. and I dyed the center console two tone black and grey.

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after this, the next thing I addressed on the interior is I have always liked white faced gauges. yeah I am old, so what lol. so I found a company that made an aftermarket gauge pod for autometer gauges and put them in.

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and put on an svo hood

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at this point the car really looked pretty good. I also plastidipped the rockers which covered up most of the paint chips in the rockers so it really did look pretty good.
 

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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next up is performance upgrades. Now since I am relating this story through the retrospectoscope, i am jumping around a bit. I did not work on just appearance, followed by interior, then engine etc. but I am just telling a story here so give me a break lol. some of the performance and suspension work was done before I finished all the appearance stuff. but I will relate that part tomorrow.
 

deathb4dismount

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Does the 94 have the Boss Shinoda graphics treatment? Also love the 89, you've put some work into it
 

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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Does the 94 have the Boss Shinoda graphics treatment? Also love the 89, you've put some work into it
yes it does. sadly Dad hit a deer a couple years after we got it running again, then he moved into the nursing home and was unable to drive anymore so I bought it from him and bought some replacement parts, like a new hood, fender and bumper cover and the other stuff to get it back together again, and then I sold it and his 94 convertible to finance my 71 bronco build

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mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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during the time I was working on the interior I also replaced the shocks and struts. and I installed some steeda subframe connectors.
 
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mustangmccance

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Did you replace all the bushings and motor mounts as well?

if you mean the rear control arm bushings, not yet, I bought some battle boxes and I am considering replacing the rear control arms when I go to put the battle boxes in. in the mean time I still have some work to do on the suspension. but before I get to that I had to address the leaking mess in the engine compartment. the suspension will be addressed at some point in the near future I hope. time and money, that's all I need, time and money.
 
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Olivethefet

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I wasn't suggesting it was something that you had to do. It just seems like a lot of people do replace them pretty early in the improvement process. Especially if you're sporting 30 year old worn out stuff. You'll get to it when you dig into the suspension I'm sure.
 

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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I wasn't suggesting it was something that you had to do. It just seems like a lot of people do replace them pretty early in the improvement process. Especially if you're sporting 30 year old worn out stuff. You'll get to it when you dig into the suspension I'm sure.


thanks, i appreciate it. this is kind of a fix and improve what's broke kind of renovation. I have tackled the "thing that's bothering me most at the moment" and then just drove it. I never intended to do a full on restoration but I tend to overdo things. if something bugs me I fix it. which was why the leaking oil spots all over my floor were really annoying me.

this is a perfect segway into my next few pictures. I have several hundred lol.

I considered a few approaches to the leaking oil problem. it looked like I had several problems actually. the powersteering pump hose was leaking, the valve covers were leaking and the rear main seal was leaking.
1. I figured I could easily fix those problems with a little time and small amount of money, but I would still have an almost 30 year old engine.
2. I could pull the engine and rebuild it to stock specs. I had just done this a few years before on my daughters 67 mustang and it would be relatively cheap to do.
3. I could buy a crate engine, easy but not cheap, and not much fun.
4. I could build a new engine and add some performance while I was at it. and of course once we decided on that route all hell broke loose lol.

at first I was just going to rebuild this engine and add some aftermarket heads cam and intake, but my Dad said "we should build a stroker" we had never built a stroker before so I thought that would be fun. I found that fordstrokers.com had some pretty good diy kits that had the block already machined (now they just use dart blocks but when I did it a few years ago it was a stock block) and all the parts I wanted to boost the performance.
I went with a 331 stroker kit, in retrospect I probably would have been just as happy with the 347 but I was still remembering back in the day when the 347 had a lot of problems. now I understand they have fixed most of those. anyway I chose the 331 with AFR 185 heads a cobra intake for looks and a custom grind cam.
if anyone is interested the full engine specs are
Scat Cast Steel 3.250 Crankshaft
Scat Forged Steel I Beam Connecting Rods 5.400
Wiseco 2618 Forged Pistons (-14cc, Inline) 4.030
Wiseco GFX Ring Package
Clevite 77 Main Bearings
Clevite 77 Rod Bearings
Clevite 77 Cam Bearings
Screw in Oil Galley Plugs
Fel Pro Rear Main Seal
ARP Main Studs
Freeze Plugs
FordStrokers Custom HYD Roller Billet Camshaft specifications:
PART #: 35-000-9 ENGINE: FORD 351 WINDSOR
GRINDING INSTRUCTIONS 1
"" "" 2
"" "" 3
GRIND #: FW "McCance"
SPC INST 1:
SPC INST 2:
J. DIAM: STD INT EXH
VALVE ADJUSTMENT HYD HYD
GROSS VALVE LIFT .568 .566
DURATION @ .006
TAPPET LIFT 266 276
VALVE TIMING OPEN CLOSE
@ .050 INT 0 36
EXH 48 4-
SPECS FOR CAM INST. @ 108.0 CENTERLINE
INT EXH
DURATION @ .050 216.00 224.00
LOBE LIFT .355 .354
LOBE SEPARATION 112.0 FIRING ORDER STD
ROCKER ARM RATIO 1.60 1.60


ARP Cam Bolt
Cam Retainer Plate
SA Gear Billet Timing Chain w/Torrington Bearing
Melling Oil Pump M68
ARP Oil Pump Bolts
Fel Pro 1 Piece Pan Gasket
ARP Billet Oil Pumpshaft
Mr. Gasket Oil Pan Bolts
Timing Chain Cover - Fox Body
Fel Pro Timing Chain Cover Gasket Set
Powerbond SFI 28oz Balancer 1060-SS
ARP Balancer Bolt
ATI Billet Adjustable Timing Pointer
Scat 164 Tooth SFI 28oz
Flexplate - 2 step FP-302E-SFIFordStrokers

AFR 185 heads
93 cobra gt 40 intake (ported)
Stewart reverse water pump
ARP head stud kit
ARP timing cover and water pump bolts
Ford motorsport chrome oil pan and pickup.
Chrome aluminum valve covers.
30 pound fuel injectors
255 lph fuel pump


don't freak out, the fram oil filter was just on there to cover the hole till I put it in the car lol.

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mustangmccance

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this is one of times where I kind of got tunnel vision. I bought this cobra intake I found it on ebay, I bought it when I was first starting to think about rebuilding the engine. I was going to get some gt 40 heads and build the current shortblock. once I had it I decided I like the way it looked and it matched the cobra wheels and grill so I read up on tom moss's porting guide, and ported this intake. yeah I probably lose a little horsepower with it, but it looks cool and i like it.

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a new BBK cold air intake, and some detailing and the engine bay was looking pretty good. and it ran great.
 

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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and here is where my current tale of woe begins. I drove the car for less than a month, and this happened.

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you cant see it very well but if you look closely under the front end you will see a pool of transmission fluid. my AOD took a crap. I pulled the transmission, I thought just the pump seal was bad, but I took it apart and found that all the clutches were burnt, but the real problem was one of the torrington bearings had exploded.

so I had bought all the necessary tools and DVD to build the aod when I built my daughters car so I bought a monster in a box transmission kit and rebuilt this aod. and it worked well for about 2 years.
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like I said this was not my first AOD rebuild, and I replaced the radiator, flushed the lines and put in an aftermarket cooler as well. I used a tci constant pressure valve body and replaced the tv valve and bushing with the upgraded set from LMR.

and it worked well for a couple years.
 

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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then I decided that I wanted a new project so,

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while it was on the dyno, the dyno guy told me that the aod was robbing a lot of hp and that it was slipping. it wasn't long after this that the trans went out again. so I figured that while I had done it before and I was pretty sure I had done everything right, I did not want to do it again. so I bought a brand new mega monster AOD. and installed it. it did not have a constant pressure valve body so I took it to the local transmission shop to have them set the tv cable to make certain I did not mess it up. I documented with video the shaft tolerances, and that the torque convertor was free and not in a bind when I installed it. so I KNOW it was installed right. the guy at the trans shop drove it to test it after he had set the tv cable and it wouldn't shift into overdrive. we called monster. they had him pull the trans and figure out what was wrong. the input shaft was twisted in half. with less than 10 miles on this new transmission. so I bought a heavy duty input shaft and had the transmission shop rebuild the transmission again. Monster covered it which was nice. I drove it that way for about 2 and a half years until this march when I was out hotrodding a bit and felt overdrive slipping again. and it went down hill very fast from there. I got it back to the shop and kicked the tire. I was sick of this stupid AOD.
 

mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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Wow, you gave that AOD way more chances than I would've. Nice build,you should check out my 89' build.
well, I mean to tell you there was the occasional discouraging word heard out here on my home on the range. but I really wanted to like the automatic because it is convenient. but after dealing with this much trouble I decided I had had enough. I briefly considered a 4r70w swap, but at this point I was so sick of dealing with automatic transmissions and the pain in the but they are to deal with I decided to go with a manual. there are a lot of options out there, but while perusing ebay a while back I found a kit offered by neomustangs with a completely rebuilt t-5, a steeda clutch quadrant, and all the parts needed to swap the transmission into my car.
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I briefly considered a t-56 swap, and even a tremec 6 speed, but ultimately the cost decided me.

for what its worth, I have been running a motorsport t-5 in my 65 mustang for about 20 years and it has held up fine. I don't drag race. I do enjoy a little hot rodding occasionally, and there may be a few burn out marks on the highway that meets up with my gravel road, but I am not going to be doing anything stupid in the car. btw this is my 65 it is only a 302 bored .030 with edelbrock heads, cam and intake. but it makes pretty decent power. so for my purposes I am cautiously optimistic it will hold up. if not, then maybe it will be time for the tremec. and for what its worth, yes I know I have way too much money in this car and it is not worth near what I have in it. but I am not building it to sell it.

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mustangmccance

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Aug 26, 2011
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Sadly My Dad passed away last august. he was really my best friend. he was always there to help me with any project I could dream up. just about everything I know about cars I learned from him. I am going to have to do this swap on my own, but my daughters fiancee came over to help me the other day, so maybe I will be able to raise up a new crop of gear heads in the future.


here is the last picture I have of Dad. I brought him over from the nursing home to help me work on my latest project. my 71 bronco

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I know its not a mustang, but it is a ford, and its just cool so I can't help but post up a picture of how it looked when I took it to the body shop to get painted. I am hoping it will be painted by my birthday in may. I have a lot of work to do on it, and i am hoping to get it moving under its own power at least by octoberfest. so I want to get the fox finished and tested and all the inevitible snafus ironed out before the bronco gets out of paint.
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