Inherited '89 Lx 5.0 Getting Started

88LXSleeper

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Jan 6, 2016
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Nice car, too nice to go too far with it if you want to cruise around in it much. I would keep the exhaust and cats, they keep it from getting a smelly exhaust. Lots of guys say they have a budget but I think that is a relative comment. My car was a
" low" budget build, I have too many toys. I'll say what I did with mine and I'm pretty happy with it for what I spent, around $4000 with car and parts doing all the labor myself, with a lot help from my dad. Here's some highlights........
Junkyard GT40p heads and intake from 1999 Explorer, need to upgrade valve springs
E cam
Weld in frame stiffeners
Strut tower brace
Inexpensive lowering springs and shocks from LMR
Maximum Motorsports pan hard bar
Camber caster plates
Numerous bushings and front end parts
Ran it on a road course and never had an issue with stock brakes with higher temp pads and 4 lugs, planned on getting bigger and better tires but priorities got changed with a new toy car, a Spec Miata, want to go W2W in the near future.
It,s an old car, check all your wear items, rear end clutches, u joints, bushings, etc.....
Here is a short video of some fun I had in her, with 225/ 16 cheap all season tires.
View: https://youtu.be/ldrDFD59NQU
 
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Chris Petti

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Cool! looks like too much fun is being had in your video. Thanks for the suggestions. The car can't get out of storage fast enough. I think the first thing I am going to do after I rip out the interior to take it over to Team Z motorsports for sub frame connectors is put in my cut off toggle which makes the car harder to steal. I want to drive it to work, leave it at a restaurant and not worry about it. I'm in Detroit metro area so I'm sure plenty of people know how to jack this car.
 
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FoxMustangLvr

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@jrichker has (i think) a write up for a fuel pump kill switch that you can install under the driver seat or extend it to wherever you want. It's something I'll do one of these days after getting my car put back together.
 
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jrichker

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As suggested...

Follow this tech note for the best way to wire a fuel pump kill or anti-theft switch...

Revised 16-Mar-2017 to change wire color and add 91- 93 fuel pump wiring diagram.

On 86- 91 cars the fuel pump relay is under the driver’s seat, 92 and later cars, the fuel pump relay is under the Mass air duct on the passenger fender well.

Note: Use automotive gauge wiring that is rated for 105° C. The wire spool will be marked and the wire may also be marked. The higher temperatures that automotive wiring is exposed to makes this a necessity.

Note that the wire colors changed in 1991, so there are two different descriptions.

86-90 model cars:
Cut the red/black wire going to the fuel pump relay. Splice a 16 or 18 gauge wire into the wire and connect it to one side of the switch. Connect the other side of the switch to the other end of the red/black wire going to the fuel pump relay. When you are done the switch should be in the middle of the spliced red/black wire that goes to and comes from the fuel pump relay. Using the control side of the circuit allows you to use light gauge wire and light duty switches. There is less than 1 amp going through the circuit, so you don’t have to worry about voltage drop across the wiring depriving the fuel pump of electrical power.
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91-93 model cars:
Cut the Red wire going to the fuel pump relay near where it connects to the fuel pump relay socket. Splice a 16 or 18 gauge wire into the wire and connect it to one side of the switch. Connect the other side of the switch to the other end of the Red wire going to the fuel pump relay. When you are done the switch should be in the middle of the spliced Red wire that goes to and comes from the fuel pump relay. Using the control side of the circuit allows you to use light gauge wire and light duty switches. There is less than 1 amp going through the circuit, so you don’t have to worry about voltage drop across the wiring depriving the fuel pump of electrical power.

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The design of this plan doesn't require an expensive or heavy duty switch. It just needs to be reliable and able to withstand being turned off and on frequently. When you turn it on, it needs to stay on and not turn off . This type of switch is labeled SPST (single pole, single throw). It is a NOT a momentary contact but a constant contact type switch.

Most push button switches and switches that spring the handle back when you let go of it are momentary contact switches. These will not work for a for a fuel pump kill switch.

More information about switches is available at https://learn.sparkfun.com/tutorials/switch-basics/poles-and-throws-open-and-closed
 

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Chris Petti

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Thanks for the info on the kill switch, I'm going to do that. I have the interior out of the car right now. It has had the subframe connectors from Team Z motorsports for about a month now. The difference is very noteworthy. It feels like I put a supercharger on the car and I haven't modded the engine at all. So this is just a progress post. I have the through the subframe connectors in and Team Z did a excellent job. I put duplicolor rubberized undercoating over the bare metal then sprayed nerf bar paint over that. I will be putting in the Engine kill switch this weekend as well as soldering up some other electrical connections in the engine bay. I'm also going to rewire the mustang with larger speaker wire for a stereo upgrade in the future. I read on here that the speaker wire Ford put in the car is very subpar for nice aftermarket speakers. I am also trying to make a decision on the tires to run on this car. I'm not upgrading the suspension and converting to a 5 lug setup till next year. I'm sticking with the 4 lug pony rims for now. I want a nice track and highway summer tire. I have been told about many tires. Right now the car has 225/55r16 Pirelli 6000. These are really responsive tires but they are 20 years old and I need a new set. I am going to try to upgrade to a 245/50R16. Does anyone have any suggestions on tires that they really like for Track racing as well as highway use? Summer Tire is what I'm looking for since they may only last one season and the 5 lug setup is going to happen next year.
 

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Chris Petti

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Mar 14, 2017
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So how does the carpet cover subframe now?
Good Question. Since the connectors are painted and have a nice durable coating on them I think I'm going to cut them out so that the carpet lays flat on the floorpan and carpet goes around them. Leave them exposed in the back seat. Maybe put a floor mat over them. Does anyone have a better solution?
 

Chris Petti

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Mar 14, 2017
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I ended up not cutting the carpet on the passenger side. I only made a couple cuts on the driver side and stopped. The carpet looks a little bunched up in the rear feet area but that's about all. You don't notice it at all in the front feet compartment. I will buy new carpet when funds become available and try to just trim the edges in the rear compartment in case any bunched areas occur.
 
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Chris Petti

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Update: I restored the car last year. I put in all new Rubber on the pinch flanges (door.) Fixed the cruise control by getting a new horn that had a short in it. Repainted all the black trim. Bought new interior parts around the steering column. Installed the Black GTS headlamp covers to go with all the black trim. New Struts for the rear hatch. New Throttle Cable bushing. Got the correct speedo gear. The car didn't seem to need much but somehow it took me all summer to get the car back to original.

For 2018 since I planned on tracking the car I spoke with members of Corner Ponys on Facebook. Installed 245/45/16 Proxies RE-11. Love these tires, very grippy. Put on new Flexible brake hoses. Stop Tech Rotors, with Hawk Street/Race brakes on the front. Carbo-Tech brake shoes in the stock rear drums. What a difference.!!! I will be putting Carbo-Tech brake shoes in my 68 Chargers drums that's how much I like them. It's still 4 lug and I'm having a ball. I still have a laundry list of items that I still need to get for the car such as a race seat for track days as well as Stabilizer bar bushings and better clamps to hold it in place. I think I'm spent for this summer. I want to buy more but I have other things to account for. I did purchase a Steering column joint from Maximum Motorsports to replace the worn down rag joint. Poly Steering rack bushings to replace the rubber. So far I have tracked the M1 Concourse in Pontiac Michigan and Mid-Ohio Sports car course in Lexington Ohio ( 3 balls racing.) In two weeks I will be going to Nelson ledges with Auto Interests. This car is so awesome! I love that it needs work, and every time I make an adjustment the car responds. I'll post photos soon.