Aunt Passed And Left Me Her Mustang... What To Do

95' 5.0 Vertible

Active User
Jun 30, 2016
15
14
13
37
I am now the owner of a 95' 5.0 Convertible Mustang. It was my Aunts car, she loved it and she left it too me. I have some cash at my disposal, about $10,000, and I want to make this car really fly in her memory becaise she would love that.

So I guess the question is, if you had a 95' 5.0 Convertible and $10,000 what would you do to it?
 
  • Sponsors(?)


Davedacarpainter

I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
11,734
11,067
193
57
Discordia
I am now the owner of a 95' 5.0 Convertible Mustang. It was my Aunts car, she loved it and she left it too me. I have some cash at my disposal, about $10,000, and I want to make this car really fly in her memory becaise she would love that.

So I guess the question is, if you had a 95' 5.0 Convertible and $10,000 what would you do to it?
You need to decide what you want the car to do.

Do you want a quicker dd?

Maybe go really fast in a straight line?

Handle for curves?

Nothing else, get some new shocks on it, new bushings, new brake pads/rotors, complete engine tune up and a first mod of sub-frame connectors. You'll want those things just to drive it a bit while you decide what you ultimately want to do.

Really figure out where you want the car to be when you are done with any modifications. You don't want to blow a lot of cash just to figure out you want to go in a different way.

The SFC's are really needed no matter which direction you go, it's not expensive and if you can weld, it's dirt cheap. They will make your car handle so much better.

@jrichker has a really good read about what are good choices depending on where you want to go with your new mustang.

Good luck and start a thread on your build with pictures, we LOVE pictures.
 

CarMichael Angelo

clearly, I’ve got something going on in that hole
SN Certified Technician
Nov 29, 1999
12,209
13,243
234
62
Birmingham, al
m.imdb.com
Meh,....This is what you really need to do.

Understand that an SN 95 bodystyle is not a very popular one in mustang circles. A convertible version makes it even less so.
I understand that there is sentimental value here though.

A convertible anything is a tougher platform to modify because of the lack of integrity from the missing roof. That roof mechanism is heavy, which adds weight to the car when compared to the hardtop version.

Two strikes.

However. SN 95 cars have a lot going for them as a starting point when compared to a fox mustang:
They have better, 5 lug brakes standard, and can easily be upgraded to the much larger Cobra versions as a direct bolt on.
They have a bigger wheelwells all around, and can accommodate much larger rubber.
The rear end is plenty stout, and more than capable of handling a fair amount of power. The axles can be replaced and upgraded to a larger size to accommodate even bigger power as an off the shelf modification (if they aren't already that way to begin with).

The engine is a capable platform, and can easily be modified to accommodate 500 HP. Power levels beyond that will cause block failure.

You didn't say whether or not it's a 5 speed or Auto. If it's a 5 speed, the transmission is just waiting for you to improve the engine power so it can break. (Or conversely, you can go out right now, and break it before you add power,...the 5 speed transmission is a weak link.) But like everything else on a 7th gen Mustang,......it's upgrade-able.

Your question is still too vague, and you are asking for a bazillion different opinions (which you'll get a different one everytime)
Along those lines,...here's mine:

I'd silently thank my Aunt for the car. I'd tell her that I really appreciate the springboard.

I'd sell it. and take my 4000.00 (if it's a really nice, low miles version) and add that to my 10k disposable.

I'd buy an already completed project from the sea of already completed projects, which are typically sold at a ratio of .50 to the dollar, where my 14k will net me the equivalent of a 25-30k investment in the current car.

I'd nod my head, and silently thank my Aunt again.
 
Last edited:

Black1987

5 Year Member
Jan 9, 2011
1,010
583
164
NC
IMO I feel obligated to tell you SN95s (at least in my area) do not hold very good value or reflect what is put into them. Just know that going into it.

However, this sounds like this is a keeper.

SFCs are a must, gears 3:55/3:73, and upgrading the ignition/fuel components

The motor you can look at two different ways. You can dump money into HCI and give you room to grow, or you can look into a power adder like Vortech or On3 for best bang you buck.

Either way, be very methodical on how to spend your money, because 10K can get eaten up real quick.
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,900
4,065
193
42
If it were me I'd restore it to like new condition....throw an in memory of sticker in the back window. Then cruise in memory of my awesome aunt. That is unless she had plans for the car that you know about.

The 95 bodies aren't real desirable right now but that only means they'll be rarer in the future. Those cars are being raped for motors and the great 5 lug spindles.

If you destroy that car she'll probably come back to haunt you.

I'd make it a surviver car....just like she had it. With 10 grand you can buy another car to beat up on. Just my $.02
 

Davedacarpainter

I think I've messed my pants
SN Certified Technician
Nov 28, 2015
11,734
11,067
193
57
Discordia
If it were me I'd restore it to like new condition....throw an in memory of sticker in the back window. Then cruise in memory of my awesome aunt. That is unless she had plans for the car that you know about.

The 95 bodies aren't real desirable right now but that only means they'll be rarer in the future. Those cars are being raped for motors and the great 5 lug spindles.

If you destroy that car she'll probably come back to haunt you.

I'd make it a surviver car....just like she had it. With 10 grand you can buy another car to beat up on. Just my $.02
Bah! I think she would want you to modify the crap out of it myself.
10k won't get you everything, but it would make a solid start.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 95' 5.0 Vertible

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
27,263
2,766
234
74
Dublin GA
lowendmac.com
noobie-help.png

Far too many people put a dab of this and a dollop of that, and then wonder why the car doesn't run worth beans. Then they think off the shelf computer chips will fix their mismatched parts problem. It won't

You have to have a plan for what kind of performance you want: Hot street. Street/Strip, Pure strip, Autocross or Road course. Each one requires a different strategy and a different set of components.. Mismatch the components and you’ll have a car that falls flat on its face when you demand performance.

Everyone thinks HP! HP! HP! and thinks that peak HP is what they need. Peak HP is great for a drag strip car when it has the proper gears and tires to get the car up into the high RPM range where it develops that high peak HP near the finish line. On a street car, that strategy will have Honda Accords outrunning you, because you will never get the engine RPMs high enough without running over everything in your path.

Here’ the strategy: Always remember that there are some tradeoffs in any engine combination. Most of us don’t have enough money to “have it all” as if it was possible by some masterful combination of parts and tuning.

The following recommendations are for 5 Speed Manual transmission cars without NO2 or pressurized induction, stock short block.
1.) Hot street: Broad flat torque curve, high velocity airflow in the intake and heads for best throttle response. Gears suitable for reasonable gas mileage and long road trips without excessive engine RPMs. Stand on the gas pedal from a rolling start to squeeze into that gap in traffic in front of you, and it jumps quick and hard to get you there. Max RPM’s are 5200-5500 RPM for best power. Lopey cams may sound cool, but run poorly in a low RPM street environment.
Use stock cam, stock, GT40 or mildly ported stock heads, Cobra or Explorer/GT40 intake, advanced timing, stock 19 lb injectors, stock fuel pump. Use some good 1.6 or 1.7 ratio roller rockers for extra punch. Use a King Cobra clutch, with stock iron or steel billet flywheel. MAF cars can use a 65 MM TB from the Explorer intake manifold and a 70MM MAF from a 94-95 Mustang. Drive train: 3:55 gears with soft tread compound tires. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, stock 2 1/4” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. The stock computer will handle all this with no problems and doesn’t need any help in 90% of the cases. No skinny or grossly undersize tires for the front: remember you still have to stop quickly in traffic. Make sure all the rubber bushings in the front and rear suspensions are in first class shape. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Street/strip: A little more slope to the torque curve with a gently sloping peak. Use slightly larger port volumes on intake and heads for more peak HP. Uses 3.55 or 3.73 gears to get the RPM’s up into a higher range quicker. Be prepared to sacrifice some low RPM throttle response in exchange for high RPM power. This by necessity will be a Mass Air or Mass Air conversion on 86-88 5.0 Mustangs, since stock speed density will not run well with the changes in engine airflow. Don’t get too crazy on any one engine part since you still have to drive the car on the street, and a mismatch can make street driving miserable.
Use stock or mild aftermarket cam, Ported GT 40, or 165-180 CC port volume aftermarket aluminum heads. Use a Trick Flow, Edelbrock Performer or equal intake manifold. Take a 73 MM aftermarket MAF calibrated for 24 lb injectors, and 24 lb injectors, 155 LPH fuel pump, Kirban adjustable fuel pressure regulator. Be prepared to shell out some $$$ for a custom burned chip using data gathered from a dyno run. Mass market chips will not get the job done. Use some Ford Racing unequal length headers, aftermarket 2 1/2” cat pipe and some mufflers that don’t drone or get too much attention from the law enforcement or neighbors. Drivetrain: expect the stock T5 to fail, so save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Carry spare tires and wheels for the drag strip: skinnys for the front and drag radials for the rear. No skinnys for street driving! Over 85% of the breaking power is generated by the front tires, so skinnys won’t do the job in a panic stop situation. Disconnect the front anti-roll bar at the strip; reconnect it before you drive home. Leave the emissions equipment intact and working. Removing or disabling it won’t get you any more HP or performance. Do not convert to carb or remove A/C: either one will reduce the resale value. Carb conversions cannot be titled for street use or get tags in some places. They definitely won’t pass smog inspections.

Strip only: High RPM, High flow heads (185-215 CC port volume), wild cam, high flow intake manifold, 70 MM or larger TB, 80 MM or lager MAF, strip everything out of the car that doesn’t make it go faster. Carbs are OK if that’s what you want, but remember that as the temp/humidity/ barometric pressure/altitude changes, you have to re-jet and readjust the carb. EFI eliminates most of that with its built in compensation or you can tune of the fly with a high end Motes or Tweecer system combined with a wide band air/fuel ratio meter. Use custom headers, dumps and minimal mufflers. How fast you can go on 5 liters is a function of the skill level of the driver/mechanic and the size of your wallet.

TRAILER the car to the race track since it won’t be legal to drive it on the street. Drag slicks in the rear, skinnys up front, use 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) in the rear axle. Since you won’t be driving on long trips, the big gears with work with the high RPM power curve to get the best results. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices. Different gears in a stock T5 case work for some, but there is only so much power you can pass through a T5 in race mode before it breaks, even with stronger gears. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Remove the front sway bar, put an airbag in the rear spring of the side that spins the tire the most. Plan on a roll cage if you are truly serious about going fast: most strips will require it once you get to a certain ET range.

Autocross is a combination of Hot street engine and street strip chassis prep. The engine must accelerate quickly from low RPM and needs a broad, flat torque curve. Next are the Chassis mods: full length subframe connectors, different springs, different shocks, aftermarket lower and upper control arms with rubber or urethane bushings. Buy all the parts from someplace like Maximum Motorsports, Griggs or Steeda as a kit so that you know that all the parts fit and don’t argue with each other. Most of the time you’ll never hit third gear, so some 3.73 or bigger gears (4.xx) may help a lot. You’ll have to spend some more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. A 87-88 T Bird Turbo Coupe or SN 95 rear axle will be your best bet. Autocross will severely strain 1st & 2nd gears, so your T5 may take a premature dump. Save your money for a super duty 5 speed trans. Tremec 3550, TKO 500 & TKO 600 are the best choices.

All out road race is the most difficult of all: an engine that will run at high rpm hour after hour and never fail, yet pull hard out of the hairpin turns that will require a lot of torque at lower RPMs. In my opinion, guys that can successfully build a winning road race engine are the cream of the crop. Top this off with a chassis built for strip only duty, but with changes to the settings of springs, tires, roll bars brakes and shocks. It’s a whole other world of racing.
You’ll have to spend lots more money on brakes since it kills brakes quickly. Rear disks, larger rotors up front, stainless steel brake lines, different brake pads. Air ducting to cool the brake rotors will be a must. The brake rotors of cars on a high speed road course glow red after several hard laps of racing. Drivetrain: TKO 500 & TKO 600, and T56 close ratio are the best transmission choices.
 

A5literMan

At least it is lumpy...
5 Year Member
Jul 30, 2011
4,782
2,409
194
Illinois
Start from the ground up. Research on exactly what you want out of the car. If it's going to be a quick nice day driver,a corner carver,drag strip terror,etc. Each has a specific "need" of different approaches. You can still do a little of it all if you go about it correctly.

With it being a convertible, you really need to stiffen the chassis as much as possible no matter what. Frame connectors are a must. You also can look into a strut tower brace,torque box reinforcements,etc. I would then grab some suspension(springs,struts,controll arms,bushings,etc). A good set of wheels and tires go a long way in desired performance and aesthetic quality of the car.

By the time you've done all that, you probably have eaten up 1/3-1/2 of your budget. I would then look into increasing power/performance. The cheapest bang for the buck is a rear gear swap. 3.73's are the best all around ratio but some prefer 3.55 and if an automatic trans is used some go with 4.10's(not great for highway/interstate driving but acceleration is greatly improved). The stock transmissions are an issue for performance/durability. If it's a manual, you're going to need to upgrade to a Tremec or equivalent, if you plan on some spirited driving. Stock automatic will need a new torque converter,valve body,etc for better acceleration.

Actual horsepower improvements can be attacked multiple ways. You can add heads,intake,cam,exhaust,etc etc and/or a supercharger/turbo. You will also need to upgrade fuel system and address the ecu. Basically your entire budget(or double that lol)can be spent in just this area. It really depends on what you actually plan on doing.

Took me a darn hour and 1/2 to write this-Stangnet at work ftw-:banana:
 

mikestang63

SN Certified Technician
Aug 27, 2012
9,821
6,608
204
In the garage
First, my condolences. Your Aunt sounds like she was a fun lady to have a GT. As you've been told, the SN95 is probably the least popular mustang besides the mustang II and the resale value is terrible. If you are 100% set on keeping the car, I would go through it and make sure everything is in good working order, then decide what you're goal is. If you plan on driving it everyday, keep it as is. If a weekend toy, a Vortech and MM grip in a box will get you amazing handling and about 350rwhp for around $7-10k.
 

RaggedGT

check back later..
Mod Dude
Jul 20, 2014
4,603
3,037
193
35
Taylorsville ky
www.stangnet.com
Meh,....This is what you really need to do.

Understand that an SN 95 bodystyle is not a very popular one in mustang circles. A convertible version makes it even less so.
I understand that there is sentimental value here though.

A convertible anything is a tougher platform to modify because of the lack of integrity from the missing roof. That roof mechanism is heavy, which adds weight to the car when compared to the hardtop version.

Two strikes.

However. SN 95 cars have a lot going for them as a starting point when compared to a fox mustang:
They have better, 5 lug brakes standard, and can easily be upgraded to the much larger Cobra versions as a direct bolt on.
They have a bigger wheelwells all around, and can accommodate much larger rubber.
The rear end is plenty stout, and more than capable of handling a fair amount of power. The axles can be replaced and upgraded to a larger size to accommodate even bigger power as an off the shelf modification (if they aren't already that way to begin with).

The engine is a capable platform, and can easily be modified to accommodate 500 HP. Power levels beyond that will cause block failure.

You didn't say whether or not it's a 5 speed or Auto. If it's a 5 speed, the transmission is just waiting for you to improve the engine power so it can break. (Or conversely, you can go out right now, and break it before you add power,...the 5 speed transmission is a weak link.) But like everything else on a 7th gen Mustang,......it's upgrade-able.

Your question is still too vague, and you are asking for a bazillion different opinions (which you'll get a different one everytime)
Along those lines,...here's mine:

I'd silently thank my Aunt for the car. I'd tell her that I really appreciate the springboard.

I'd sell it. and take my 4000.00 (if it's a really nice, low miles version) and add that to my 10k disposable.

I'd buy an already completed project from the sea of already completed projects, which are typically sold at a ratio of .50 to the dollar, where my 14k will net me the equivalent of a 25-30k investment in the current car.

I'd nod my head, and silently thank my Aunt again.
Has to be the only time Mike has said anything nice about an Sn car.... made me wanna go pull the transmission out of my beloved 94'. I didn't...
I had a beer instead....
Thanks Mike :)