New Member, New Project, Long Time Mustang Fan

hobbydad

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Dec 9, 2016
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Hello!
New member, new project, very excited to be here! I've had several Mustangs over the years, which all came & went as my kids grew. Now that they're all out on their own it's time for another. I found a solid 4 owner, 105k '86 convertible/auto locally and jumped on it. I normally wouldn't have chosen a convertible (this is my first), but I did want an auto, and a clean/un-wrecked/un-salvaged/no rust Fox body is tough to find for under $5k. The car did have several upgrades already, which added to it's appeal;

-Explorer GT40 intake & Explorer 19 lb. injectors
-Accufab 65mm TB & non-egr spacer
-K&N filter
-SVE 130 amp alternator
-SVE water pump
-SVE aluminum radiator
-SVE off road h-pipe
-Flowmaster exhaust
-MSD coil
-Saleen MOMO steering wheel
-Aluminum interior door panels (Scott Rod Fab)
-Weld Racing Draglites & BFG T/A's

The previous owner had also completely removed the AC, heater, and emission systems, which isn't necessarily an upgrade, but it didn't bother me in the least (the engine compartment looks very clean). The top, boot, and cover where replaced just a few years ago as well.

My ultimate goal is a solid 12 second car that can dip into the 11's with a single stage nitrous kit. I know I have an uphill battle with the convertible/AOD, but I enjoy a challenge. With these goals in mind I have started collecting parts, and shaving weight where I can. Here's a list of what I've picked up so far (all used, but in good shape);

-Holley Systemax intake, 24lb. injectors, looks like high flow rails w/autogauge fuel psi gauge
-BBK 70mm TB & matching BBK spacer
-ProM 80mm MAF (24lb) & ProM CAI w/K&N filter
-Edelbrock Performer RPM 1.94/170cc heads
-Crane 1.7 roller rockers
-Ford Racing 1-5/8" unequal length or MAC 1-5/8" equal length headers (MAC's would be my first choice, but they look like they where left out behind a garage for 10 years, and the Ford Racing headers are like new)
-Unknown 3 pc. underdrive pulley set
-255lph fuel pump
-Last but not least, a CPU & engine harness from a '95 Cobra, which I'm not sure I can even use for my much needed MAF conversion, but the price was right.

I figure at minimum I still need a cam, converter, gear set, and tires to complete the package. My last purchase will be the N2O kit. I'm always open to constructive criticism, and appreciate any suggestions.

mustang_zpsnxv834si.jpg
 
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Davedacarpainter

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Welcome to stangnet brother.

I'm going to move your thread over to the fox subforum, the pushrod guys will greet you there.

Earliest upgrade for a convertible that i would make if i were seeking 11's is a set of subframe connectors. You'll have to have them.

Good to have you with us and what a nice looking 4i. Post more pictures of it when you can.
 

95BlueStallion

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Welcome sir. That is a good looking car you have. One suggestion I would make since you plan to race the car, is that when you upgrade the cam, to match it with a set of 1.6 rockers. From all I have read, 1.6 is the most optimal size for not over stressing your valves and seals when you are up in the high revs. 1.7's work well when keeping a stock cam though. Other than that, and what the others said about sub frame connectors, enjoy the car and keep posting for us.
 

90sickfox

Wasn't a pretty sight...and I've got big hands
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If you're planning to dip into 11s....you'll need a cage in that convertible.

I destroyed my convertible....subframe connectors and 10 point cage didn't keep it from twisting and cracking.

If going that route I suggest running a full cage with the front bars connected to the strut towers and frame behind core support. My car cracked between the firewall and the right strut tower area and up into the cowl.

S & W Racing has tubing kits at a decent price. You have to cut and weld it up. Mine went in well without having to re- bend anything.

Here the track is pretty strict about safety rules. I was put out a couple before I got caged.

Car has to be able to handle the power....before you add the power. Brakes, suspension, and chassis are a must to be safe in these cars.
 

hobbydad

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Dec 9, 2016
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Thanks for the early suggestions, I did skip right over the suspension in my post. I've used Lakewood struts & shocks, and Southside bars in the past. I'll definitely be investing in a good set of subframe connectors and torque box plates. I guess I'm guilty of not considering those "speed" parts, even though they certainly are.

As for the rockers, almost everything I listed in my "new" parts list was bought in a package deal. I'm sure I can sell off the 1.7's and pick up the 1.6's. I plan on consulting a knowledgeable cam grinder for a NA/NO2 stock lower build (for now), and using all the required matching components.

I've only had the car for a month and I've been out of the game for awhile, it's slowly coming back to me.

One additional thing I'd like to say, I've always enjoyed the reliability of the Mustangs that I've owned. A week after I bought this one I took it on a 1400 mile round trip and it performed perfectly, averaging nearly 20 mpg. The air/heat/and cruise where missed, but not enough to reinstall any of it.
 
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mikestang63

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Welcome and that is a beautiful ragtop.

So................ to get a 3300lb fox body vert with an AOD into the 11's, you will need at least 475 crank HP. The AOD sucks up around 20% crank HP. That means either a supercharger, turbo, or Nitrous kit on top of an H/C/I kit.
1/4 mle calculator
https://robrobinette.com/et.htm

I am not a fan of stock Edelbrock heads. TFS or AFR flow better and use better hardware imo. Also go with the Ford headers as MAC is junk. LT headers are worth at least 25-30hp but are a PITA to install and if you need to service the trans, starter, etc..You will also need to address the transmission, Torque converter, rear end. suspension,cooling , brakes, Injectors, MAF, fuel pump, Throttle body, The first thing you need to do is install full length max motorsports subframe conectors, rear control arms and then determine what shocks and springs to go with.Get rid of the southside bars- they are 90's technology and tear up torque boxes- Go with a set of Max Motorsports rear control arms as they use heim joints on one end.

I see the list of parts you've already aquired...

-Holley Systemax intake, 24lb. injectors, looks like high flow rails w/autogauge fuel psi gauge- Good intake. Injectors too small- will need at least 42#
-BBK 70mm TB & matching BBK spacer
-ProM 80mm MAF (24lb) & ProM CAI w/K&N filter- Good MAF will need to be retuned for 42# injectors
-Edelbrock Performer RPM 1.94/170cc heads-not my first choice but they will work. The exhaust valves are 1.6 I believe not 1.7. I would check the valve springs and spring cups as they have been known to be problems
-Crane 1.7 roller rockers- 1.6 are better especially with a power adder
-Ford Racing 1-5/8" unequal length or MAC 1-5/8" equal length headers (MAC's would be my first choice, but they look like they where left out behind a garage for 10 years, and the Ford Racing headers are like new) Ford headers. MAC are junk

-Unknown 3 pc. underdrive pulley set- waste of money and all they do is cause cooling and charging problems.Plus you will use the stock crank pulley with a supercharger..
-255lph fuel pump
-Last but not least, a CPU & engine harness from a '95 Cobra, which I'm not sure I can even use for my much needed MAF conversion, but the price was right.- I would use an A9P as that is a fox body EEC for an AOD.

One thing which I noticed is missing is cam choice which is the most imporant piece of the build. You should get a custom cam from Ed Curtis as that will make a world of difference in hp and manners. You will also probably need new springs and pushrods.

To give you an idea of what it is going to take to get your car into the 11's.. go visit my profile. I have a 90 vert with an AOD. IT aint easy or cheap.
 
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hobbydad

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Thanks again guys for the guidance. I know a few of the parts I have aren't optimal, but it was a ridiculously cheap package deal from another enthusiast that had went to a carb/high rpm/track only NA build. My entire list of acquired parts was purchased for exactly $1500, I couldn't pass it up. I figured the '95 Cobra ECU and wiring harness where basically useless, as well as the pulley set. I did find an A9P as a reman for $143.64, and the ProM came with the 4 wire harness attached, so that should make my MAF conversion simple enough. I'll look for larger injectors and have the ProM recalibrated once I have them in hand. The rockers & 24's will be sold off with the parts I'm removing from the car. I'll pick up 1.6's, and the proper hardware for the heads once a cam is selected. I'll be looking into the connectors, cage, and suspension, as well as the convertor, gear set, and decent rear tires ASAP. I also found a few local fab shops for help with the welding.
 

A5literMan

At least it is lumpy...
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If you set the car's suspension/chassis/tires up correctly you'll be able to hit the 11's. Don't use the southside bars. They work well but are really hard on the torque box. Company's/parts you check out are strange engineering adjustable struts and shocks,team z Motorsports for control arms/springs/etc-I'd go coilovers in front(I used 14"-150#),maximum motorsports frame connectors,cc plates,also control arms/springs etc.

You are going to need a good drag radial or bias ply type drag tire(Mickey Thompson or M&H). Transmission is going to need a decent amount of work and at least a 3k stall to get it going out of the hole. Check out Nitrous Express for your system needs. The have a great plate system for the Holley intake. Great wet kit that eliminates the fuel pooling issues with nozzle type wet systems. Adjustable up to 200hp(don't spray more than that-nothing but trouble happens after that level). My old darn near stock 89 went 12.00's with a NOS 150 kit back in early 90's(was a 5 speed though and launched around 5k). My present 86 went 12.30's with a zex kit and Nitto drag radials(not enough traction) Both cars trapped 115-117mph. With your better heads/intake/a good cam etc you're going to have 50-100 extra n/a hp and the nitrous on top of that. Easily capable of your goals and won't need much nitrous to get there.
 
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hobbydad

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Went to opening day at the local 1/8 mile track, ran a couple of 9.6's @ 75 mph. Not a bad baseline for a 106k AOD convertible. Other than the explorer intake, 65mm TB, and exhaust, its basically stock.

Oh, and it weighed 2970 with half a tank of gas. I'm sure that helped.
 
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FoxMustangLvr

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Just my opinion but I'd skip the EEC and MAF stuff and get a stand alone engine management like MS or PiMP. Either of those systems have great tech support for self tuning and can control your nitrous when your ready to add that.