Jan 10, 2019
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Phoenix Arizona
I have a 1989 mustang GT 5.0 manual trans I believe the car is bone stock besides a cold air intake. I have never attempted an engine rebuild but. I have always wanted to my goal for the motor is to make around 400rwhp I don’t want it to be a daily driver but I am seeking reliability I wanna be able to drive it across town meet up with the fellas and do some street racing and get the car home I am on a budget and I don’t want to put a crate motor in it I would rather rebuild it I have access to all tools needed and someone who is mechanically inclined to my knowledge so what would be the best way to do so the reason for me wanting to rebuild the Motor is because when you start it. It blows a bunch of white smoke it is not burning oil and doesn’t overheat so I don’t think it’s the head gaskets when you try to take off in 1st gear it dies out but second gear it’ll go fine the current motor has I believe 180k miles on it so I just feel like the best thing to do is to rebuild it if possible I would like a parts list from bottom end to top end what would be needed to make that kind of power and provide reliability on a budget and once I get the motor done I also plan on doing a disk brake conversion cause I don’t think the drums are safe when street racing eventually I plan on redoing the whole car such as suspension and paint along with a 5 lug conversion the car looks bad I know but the Fox mustang was a dream car for me which is probably stupid to many people but I loved them since I laid eyes on the first one
 
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CarMichael Angelo

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It's been said numerous time throughout history.

"Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?"
" You can build it reliable, or you can build it fast, the two don't go hand-in-hand"

Aside from all of that,..your stated plans just scream...,Don't!

Firstly, the car doesn't even run right, it smokes, has almost 200k on it and you plan to " street race".
I don't know how much more wrong this can get.

Nextly, 400 hp "on a budget" isn't a realistic expectation when the word "reliable" enters the fray. The fact that you've stated that you have no tools, or experience guarantees that it's highly unlikely that you'll get there, unless your " budget" is pretty steep.
With the bottom end freshened, and a set of cheap used aftermarket heads, a cam, intake, headers, and exhaust you'll be in the 300 hp mark..and on a good day....still be out AT LEAST 5k.

Even after that, stock rear end gears will need replacing,...add another 3-500...you have a t5 with a stock clutch and just as many miles on it. Both will need attention and or replacing, ( Add another 3-500)

So then,...6k minimum. And that's on the freakin scrounging around on CL and calling in favors budget. The car will need subframe connectors ( they all do). If they're not there already, you probably have some potential torque box damage...if you don't,..at the very least, you'll have to look at replacing the worn out, rotted bushings on your rear control arms. So, instead of doing that, you buy a new set of those..(3-500). Now that you've replaced them, You definitely need sub frame connectors ( 3-500),...and you still gotta deal with the torque boxes...

Here's my advice...

Ditch the "street race" plans. You'll just end up losing the car to the PPD, or a wreck where you may end up killing someone or yourself. Besides that,..on your budget, you'll just get your ass handed to you anyways. Fix the car up as a driver...you don't see them that often anymore...use the opportunity to learn about the car instead of relying on somebody else, and don't hag it out trying to be one of the boys from the 405.
 
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jrichker

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The phrases budget build and 400 HP don't belong together in the same sentence... It's an oxymoron...

Do yourself a favor and take CarMichael Angelo's advice: it's the best you have gotten so far.


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.

See http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/engine/mufp-0610-engine-building-mistakes/ for some excellent engine building advice.
 

Davedacarpainter

I think I've messed my pants
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Nov 28, 2015
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It's been said numerous time throughout history.

"Speed costs, how fast do you want to go?"
" You can build it reliable, or you can build it fast, the two don't go hand-in-hand"

Aside from all of that,..your stated plans just scream...,Don't!

Firstly, the car doesn't even run right, it smokes, has almost 200k on it and you plan to " street race".
I don't know how much more wrong this can get.

Nextly, 400 hp "on a budget" isn't a realistic expectation when the word "reliable" enters the fray. The fact that you've stated that you have no tools, or experience guarantees that it's highly unlikely that you'll get there, unless your " budget" is pretty steep.
With the bottom end freshened, and a set of cheap used aftermarket heads, a cam, intake, headers, and exhaust you'll be in the 300 hp mark..and on a good day....still be out AT LEAST 5k.

Even after that, stock rear end gears will need replacing,...add another 3-500...you have a t5 with a stock clutch and just as many miles on it. Both will need attention and or replacing, ( Add another 3-500)

So then,...6k minimum. And that's on the freakin scrounging around on CL and calling in favors budget. The car will need subframe connectors ( they all do). If they're not there already, you probably have some potential torque box damage...if you don't,..at the very least, you'll have to look at replacing the worn out, rotted bushings on your rear control arms. So, instead of doing that, you buy a new set of those..(3-500). Now that you've replaced them, You definitely need sub frame connectors ( 3-500),...and you still gotta deal with the torque boxes...

Here's my advice...

Ditch the "street race" plans. You'll just end up losing the car to the PPD, or a wreck where you may end up killing someone or yourself. Besides that,..on your budget, you'll just get your ass handed to you anyways. Fix the car up as a driver...you don't see them that often anymore...use the opportunity to learn about the car instead of relying on somebody else, and don't hag it out trying to be one of the boys from the 405.
Lol, Mike our current "Ray of Sunshine" chimes!

He's somewhat right though, 400 with a lot being stock is hard to do, if not right on the edge of insanity. The '03-'04 cobra's had less.

Start with 300, get there and then you'll really understand the foundational weaknesses of our cars.

You have time and future monies to burn up, like the rest of us.

Do one btchin' thing at a time. Follow Joe's advice above. He's our fox supergenius.
 
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MrPerfect2

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Put some 373s in ; dual chamber flows on and call it a day . I have been using my fox as a daily driver cruiser for a while . Clean up engine and appreciate the beauty of the OEM parts that made these things an icon - aim for reliability , it’s a whole lot cheaper and less stressful , lol .
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Wayne Waldrep

Before I post a pic, do you have one of yours?
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Besides that,..on your budget, you'll just get your ass handed to you anyways.
Very true. The newer cars are running 500+ with almost nothing but a tune. My buddies '15 put 710hp to the tires the other day and that's the norm now, not the exception. You can max out a Fox era 5.0L engine like you are talking about and still be in the lower group of cars at a street racing gathering....until yours breaks.
I'd just do small things a little at a time and have fun with it.

BTW...here's some extra periods I keep for new posters that make their posts very difficult to read. FREE ................................................................ :D
 

2000xp8

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Aug 8, 2003
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my goal for the motor is to make around 400rwhp I don’t want it to be a daily driver but I am seeking reliability I wanna be able to drive it across town meet up with the fellas and do some street racing and get the car home I am on a budget and I don’t want to put a crate motor in it I would rather rebuild it I have access to all tools needed and someone who is mechanically inclined to my knowledge so what would be the best way to do so the reason for me wanting to rebuild the Motor is because when you start it.
We can cross 400rwhp off the list unless you build a good 347 or buy a vortech (after the rebuild). Neither of which will come cheap.
Someone who is mechanically inclined to your knowledge? That doesn't sound real promising to me.
I personally don't believe everyone should rebuild the bottom end of an engine and i certainly think it takes a special kind of mind to literally be the first place you start in this hobby.

I'd pull the engine, have the shortblock rebuilt by a professional, then reassemble the top end.
Also adjust the goal to 300rwhp.
Probably make a nice quick driver without destroying the rest of the car.