New Member, Project Underway

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by Duc_Stang_95, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. Background:

    When I was 16 I inherited my parents' 1995 3.8L V6 Mustang. I realize it's probably not the most desirable 'Stang ever produced (and btw why does everyone hate the SN95 cars so much?), but it's a 5-speed and to a 16-year-old kid it was one hell of a nice car. Actually, in some ways it still is. See, I never got rid of it. In fact I've never owned any other car even though I'll be 30 this January; it's still my daily driver. I've decided that rather than finally break down and buy a new car, I'm going to restore this one.

    Through the years I've repaired or replaced many of the original Ford parts. The entire stereo system (cables too) was upgraded when I was in college, the entire suspension was replaced recently with a nice Eibach kit complete with lowering springs and sway bars, and I've done countless other things as well such as 17x8" Bullitt wheels, window tint, rear wheel spacers, a Steeda tri-ax shifter, drilled and slotted rotors, Flowmaster H-pipe dual exhaust, a tuner, and some minor engine bolt-ons to keep me happy for now. About 6 weeks ago I got paint, bodywork, headlights, and tail lights to make it look decent again. More recently I swapped in a MM steering shaft and polyurethane steering bushings to improve turn-in response. Just last week I finished up refurbishing an 8.8 rear axle from a '94 GT that already has the 3.73 gearing I want. Of course I added all new bushings, stainless hoses, new hard lines, a Steeda differential cover, and J&M tubular control arms, upper and lower...

    Stuff to do later:
    I'd like to build an engine and eventually do a full swap. This is where those more experienced than I can offer their advice. I know it doesn't make the most sense financially and if I weren't so attached to this particular car I'd buy an old GT for cheap and start from there. But since that's not an option, I figure I can start a build in my garage and take it to a shop for the install once it's ready. My goals are:

    1) I'd like to start with the basic 302 that Ford offered in 94/95.
    2) I'd like it to produce roughly 400bhp since the new ones are so potent in stock trim.
    3) Naturally aspirated is a must.
    4) It needs to stay street-legal and be smooth/reliable enough to drive regularly.

    So far I'm thinking a 302 stroked to 331 and fitted with one of those full top-end kits that includes twisted wedge heads, intake manifolds, camshaft, and timing set should fit the bill. I'll round it off with some nice long-tube headers and a shorty H-pipe that will mate into the Flowmaster system I already have. I'll probably end up buying a rebuilt T5 transmission just to be safe, and of course to get the correct V8 bell-housing.

    I realize this is a big project, and one I'm going to be learning as I go; I'm actually a molecular immunology nerd by trade. However I'm quite mechanical for a geek (I do most of my own car and motorcycle maintenance, anyway) and I can always run things by my grandfather or best friend (both fully trained mechanics) when I get in over my head. Thoughts?
  2. Here are some random pics of what I've been up to over the last few months.

    Attached Files:

    ursixx likes this.
  3. Welcome! It looks like you are off to a good start! You have a great foundation to work with and the swap will be fun and exciting. Keep us updated as you progress and fire away with the questions as they arise, there is a wealth of knowledge to be shared here!
  4. :welcome:To:SN:
    That topend kit is a well designed kit. Very streetable fun everyday power but you won't be able to make 400hp with it even in a stroker. If you are going 331 I recommend a bigger head like the TFS 190-205cc head or AFR 185cc head with a little more aggressive cam. Get your compression ratio around 10:1 also but keep it under 11:1 so you can run 91-93oct pump gas without a problem. FYI you'll also need to run the appropriate fuel,ign,exh systems also. Realistically the topend kit from tfs is a great package for what you probably need. Will make around 350+hp on a 331 and allow you to run close to the new cars. If you want to make more power than that go with the other previously mentioned upgrades. Good luck:nice:
  5. Can I ask why staying normally aspirated is a must?
  6. Mostly just because I don't want to spend a ton of money or add too much complexity to a project that I'm learning as I go. I'd consider a supercharger if I could get it cheap, it wouldn't sacrifice reliability in any way, it would be relatively easy to install and set up properly, and it gave smooth, linear power across the rev range (daily driver friendly). If I could build my engine to those parameters while keeping it under $5000, a supercharger to get me over the 400hp barrier isn't out of the question. Unfortunately most kits I'm seeing are in the $3-4K range just by themselves, and I'd still need an engine, heads, etc.

    The reason I'd like the output to be low 400s is admittedly mostly for bragging rights when comparing my car to a Coyote... it's not like I really need it since I'm more concerned with handling than 1/4 mile times. The reason I'm not looking to push 500+ hp is that I want it to be reasonably safe for a rebuilt T5 to handle; I'm not planning to do a Tremec swap or anything.
  7. Nice ride... I have a 302 block taking up space in my garage that needs some luvin if you want...
  8. I understand that budget always is a concern and while the Vortech kits in my opinion are very reliable and are great for a daily driver they can be a little on the expensive side and I would only buy new if reliability is a concern. Only you know how your things were cared for if you know what I'm getting at. I think a 331/347 with a tfs top end would be very fun to drive as a daily and be right up your alley. As far as numbers go, they are just that, numbers. I would concern yourself less with a target hp number and more on a nice solid combination that will be fun to drive and what your looking to do seems to me to have you going in that direction. The T5 will be your limiting factor and at some point the tremec swap may not be out of the question. I think you are heading down the right path for what it's worth. These things take time, be patient! lol
    A5literMan likes this.
  9. I appreciate the advice and I'm completely with you on the concept of "usable power." I'd much rather have a smooth, wide power band that maxes out at 350ish hp than make 400 hp and have to deal with poor idling, peaky delivery, etc. That said, is the 331 worth doing in combo with the Trick Flow kit? Would it be a noticeable torque/power gain over not doing it, and how much do you think my rev range would suffer?
  10. Possibly. I'm not going to start until next year after I pay my taxes though. Is it just a block, or does it come with water pump, power steering, AC, etc?

    Nice track shot in your avatar btw. I have yet to make it to Summit Point with my bike even though it's relatively close. Here's a shot of my ride with the 'Stang in the background (before paint, tint, and new suspension/lowering).

    Attached Files:

  11. I always say add more cubic inches. Should have a flatter/higher torque curve. You'll loose minimal at the top end. It's cheaper to do a 306 refurbishing your rods/crank etc but I think its worth the little extra investment IMO.
  12. Thanks! Its just a block with some e7's on it. That's a nice bike you have there. Duc's are at home on the track but sadly I never see to many when I go
  13. Good to know. Can you link me to a good 331 kit that will work well with the Trick Flow top end stuff on an otherwise stock engine? I'm hoping that this setup with my new 3.73 LSD axle should make for a fun DD that can hang with most of the highway competition (350Z, G37, WRX, GTI, etc) and also be good for some back road carving and track-day drifting.
  14. You might want to consider explorer motor from the junk yard and the tfs top end kit. This makes the build very budget friendly and may even leave room for a power adder in a more obtainable future. You also would have a set of gt40s to sell to recoup a few dollars. I would think long and hard here because IMO its a great option and works well within your budget.
  15. Hmmmmm, there's an idea. Any particular year to look for? Are they the same 5.0 as the Mustang? Also, how much cheaper are we talking? I know I can start with an eBay motor out of a 94/95 Mustang that has all the accessories and is guaranteed to run for around $800-900. I was considering that since it would probably be easier for a newb like me to restore something that's already built than to try putting a bunch of new parts together. That's what I did with the axle; I replaced pretty much everything except the gears, but it was helpful to see where it all went beforehand.:D
  16. I wanna give you one and your gonna let these guys talk you into buying a motor on Ebay???
    A5literMan likes this.
  17. I didn't know you wanted to give it to me!? LOL, I'd definitely take a deal like that.
  18. Of course you can have it... not free but for a small fee
    A5literMan likes this.
  19. You did say give, and Christmas is coming....just saying....
    f8tlfiveo and A5literMan like this.