Progress Thread Project PMOR: 97 Saleen S281 #19 build

SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
Kevin wasted no time on getting the original rear bumper stripped down and in primer. When I was at the shop, I got to look over the original and compare it to the ones Saleen makes today and I can really see the difference. I'm glad he saved it so I can go back to all original pieces, even if the side skirts are paper thin. I got back home and started my hunt for parts to replace the aftermarket pieces. I knew this was going to be a challenge for some pieces with supply chain was still impacted by COVID and the other was just search for hard to find older parts.

IMG_8396.JPEG
IMG_8397.JPEG
IMG_8593.JPEG
IMG_8594.JPEG
IMG_8595.JPEG
IMG_8609.JPEG
IMG_8610.JPEG
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users
  • Sponsors(?)


SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
While @95steedamustang was back in TN just doing his normal sanding & priming on a non-stop loop, I'm looking for parts. With COVID still causing supply chain issues, it was going to make procuring some Maximum Motorsports (MM) parts fun. While searching the intrawebs for the parts I needed I ran a crossed an interesting ad. Someone selling a roller with MM K-member, MM A-arms, MM Caster/Camber plates. That got my attention. The question is, will community forgive me for parting out a....

IMG_1922.jpg

IMG_1891.jpg
IMG_1923.jpg


Saleen. Yeah I located 1996 Saleen S281 #384. The prior owner was going to turn it into a road race car but ended up just sitting. The car has an 01 Cobra IRS with some upgrades, came with an IRS exhaust setup, fuel interior with some suede racing seats, just no engine or transmission. After a couple months of negotiating we finally settled on a price and I picked it up. I wasted no time pulling the front suspension out of it and putting a stock front suspension out of a 99-04 Cobra back under it in the mean time to keep it a roller. The front suspension setup was on a local forum, guy was moving and didn't want to take it with him, plus it was at my favorite price, FREE. It came complete with calipers and struts. Made for swapping out simple an easy.

When I was picking up the 96 S281 the guy was just loading me up with spare parts. Ended up with a 02+ Interior pieces, Drive shafts (T56 and original T45), Wiring for a 16 valve & 32 valve (car had a 32 valve in it at one point), new graphics kit from Saleen, and a whole lot more. The original LeMans wheels were no where to be found (continue reading), but everything else Saleen wise was still there minus the original front bumper. It was replaced by some cheap urethane bumper that snaps on, for quick release.

Before taking the car to where I stored it, I swung by my house to pick up a few things. I couldn't have been inside for 10 minutes and when I come out there is a guy just looking over this car. He comes up to me asking if I was the owner, and explained to him I just bought it. Here to find out he was the original owner of #384 and he lived right down road from me and he hadn't seen it in years. After talking for a while, he told me to come to his place, he had some stuff that needed to go with the car.

One being all the service history on the car in a large three ring binder while he owned it and the original Saleen Owners manual, but the biggest kicker he still had the original wheels. He put them up and put the newer 99+ Saleen wheels on it to keep the other ones in decent shape.

Don't worry folks, more body work progress updates on the 97 coming soon. Just wanting to take you through the entire journey of building the 97 and who knows maybe if I don't get struck by lightning for taking parts from the 96 maybe another build thread????

IMG_1864.jpg
 
  • Like
  • Winner
Reactions: 1 users

bird_dog0347

still married haven't seen testicles in years
5 Year Member
Jun 7, 2012
1,215
1,022
154
41
Little Elm, TX
That is cool man, just take the MM parts off and put stock ones back on then sell it (keep the wheels) as is. Don't part it out, maybe someone will want to restore it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

95steedamustang

Easy to use in another rear end
SN Certified Technician
Apr 22, 2009
1,900
3,240
154
East TN
That is cool man, just take the MM parts off and put stock ones back on then sell it (keep the wheels) as is. Don't part it out, maybe someone will want to restore it.
Dont let him fool you. He’s not parting any Saleens nor selling. He’s as likely to sell that 96 Saleen and I am sell any of my cars. He should say he’s borrowing parts until its….its turn to get going. He’s just hoarding like me.
 
  • Like
  • Hell Yeah!
Reactions: 2 users

SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
Little body work photos this time around, since during this time I'm hard at work hunting down parts and stealing parts from another Saleen..

The side skirts were not in the worst shape, but not the best either. Most of the ones I've always run across have the corners either broken or cracked apart. These didn't but did have other damage, and @95steedamustang can correct me if I'm wrong but the door fillers weren't to hateful minus the double side tape that he had to remove.

The hood, I decided not to smooth the backside completely down. I wanted to have it sanded down but not completely smooth so it still had some texture to it. Also decided to fill in the prop rod hole, since there will be no use for it. As we all know by following any of Kevin's build threads this won't be the only time they get primed/sanded.

Then my worst nightmare had come...... picking a version of Laser Red I like. Lord have mercy on my soul.


IMG_2157.JPG
IMG_2158.JPG
IMG_2159.JPG
side_skirts_and_door_fillers.JPEG
IMG_8606.JPEG
side_skirts.JPEG
IMG_8616.JPEG

IMG_8360.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

95steedamustang

Easy to use in another rear end
SN Certified Technician
Apr 22, 2009
1,900
3,240
154
East TN
Little body work photos this time around, since during this time I'm hard at work hunting down parts and stealing parts from another Saleen..

The side skirts were not in the worst shape, but not the best either. Most of the ones I've always run across have the corners either broken or cracked apart. These didn't but did have other damage, and @95steedamustang can correct me if I'm wrong but the door fillers weren't to hateful minus the double side tape that he had to remove.
Door fillers weren’t bad. Typically highs and lows on any Saleen piece but I can handle that. The only correction is the double sided tape is being saved for @SorsCode
Then my worst nightmare had come...... picking a version of Laser Red I like. Lord have mercy on my soul.
IMG_8360.jpg
Whats crazy is thats the same color. Its a variation I made off the original color. The difference on the spray out is just gun pressure adjustments.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
During this whole process @95steedamustang liked to send me some teaser texts from time to time. This is one of those times. First up it was time to replace the rear fascia with the one that came on the car originally. Reminder the one that was removed was a Saleen piece, just the newer one they make today. In the first photo the top one is the original (came on car) and the bottom one is the newer one (sold by Saleen today). You can see just how many screws it took to get this thing to fit right. Then he decides to send me a couple other photos, he went ahead and did the treatment to my tail lights and even did a test fit on the car. This car is going to look so good when done. Key thing on restores like this, they can't be rushed.

img_8827-jpeg.685911

IMG_8844.JPEG
IMG_8845.JPEG
IMG_8848.JPEG
 

Attachments

  • IMG_8827.JPEG
    IMG_8827.JPEG
    880.1 KB · Views: 99
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
Been really busy lately and have let this slip some.

While @95steedamustang pulled the car into the shop to start really going to town on it, I worked on restoring a set of staggered Speedline LeMans wheels. Kevin will be going over the whole car and doing is famous sand/primer/sand process, where for me, I will be cursing at the wheels because I'll find a run or a spot that was missed.

64632030248__43BE78BD-9DA0-4288-BE91-C512B8EA1FAE.JPEG
IMG_8964.JPEG
IMG_8965.JPEG
IMG_2439.jpg
IMG_2438.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 users

SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
@95steedamustang started preparing the body to get closer to its final stage of primer, I was on the hunt for an original front fascia. The issue we started to run into with the front fascia was finding a true original. The one that was on the car was the newer one that Saleen produces today, which I did not want since everything else was going back to original and it fits horrible. So I posted some wanted "ads" on various social media sites and forums. I got a hit on a red one out of Virginia which looked to be original. Worked with the seller and got it shipped to me. Once received I was able to quickly determine it was the newer style Saleen makes today (booo!!!). About two months later while I was visiting family in Ohio I was browsing Marketplace and ran a crossed a white one. The white one had the top portion folded over but looked promising. After getting multiple pictures from the seller, Kevin and I decided to pull the trigger. When I picked the white one up and got it home from the terminal, I immediately could tell a difference. Next day I decided to sit it outside and prop it up in the needed spots, some weight in others and let the nice 90+ degree weather help straighten it back out. After the first day it wasn't looking too bad. The next thing I noticed was the bumper wasn't painted but more like it had a gel coat on it (spoiler, it was and a pain to get off).

In total I found about eight front fascias and these are the two that I pulled the trigger on. Some that I found were either ripped, had holes, or the newer style. I was getting very frustrated during this search but Kevin kept reminding me to be patient. During this search I did find an ultra rare 94-96 version of this front fascia that I purchased for the 96. I was really hoping to find a 97 style that had the mounting tabs to keep the fascia from having the droop they get, but Kevin has a fix for that, but as of today, I'm actually happier with this fascia than I would be with a 97 version, which I will explain more in a later post.

After the many months of search for a front fascia and the research we both did, I think we will put together a nice little website showing the differences and how to spot an original versus a newer recreation and all the different versions in-between.


IMG_2456.JPG
IMG_9200.JPEG
IMG_9211.JPEG
IMG_2574.jpg
IMG_2575.JPG
 
  • Loved It!
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

SorsCode

10 Year Member
Jun 10, 2003
784
150
73
St. Louis, MO
www.sorscode.com
It is officially time to make another trip out to @95steedamustang shop and deliver another load of goodies. Since the last trip out here is a list of items I either collected up or pulled from storage:

- 94-98 Original Saleen Front Fascia
- Maximum Motorsports K-Member 96+ (From the 96 Saleen I purchased)
- Maximum Motorsports Standard Offset A-Arms
- Maximum Motorsports Panhard Bar
- Maximum Motorsports Torque Arm
- Maximum Motorsports Torque Arm Springs
- Maximum Motorsports Heavy Duty Adjustable lower control arms
- Maximum Motorsports Caster Camber Plates
- Maximum Motorsports coil over kit
- Maximum Motorsports bump steer kit
- Bilstein Front Struts and Rear Shocks
- Saleen Differential Cover
- 94-98 NOS windshield cowl panel
- 94-98 NOS Door and Quarter window belts
- 94-98 NOS Front Impact Crash Bar
- 98-98 Front Bumper Foam
- 94-98 Impact Internal Crash Foam
- 94-98 NOS Headlight header panel
- 94-98 Factory Ford Drivers side fender
- ABS Tone Rings
- Cobra rear brake setup with dust shield
- Strange Engineering 31 spline axles
- Eaton TruTrack 31 spline
- 8.8 Full rebuild kit
- 99+ GT Power Steering rack (will replace when car comes home with an 03/04 Cobra rack)

I'm sure I'm missing some stuff but that is okay. The trip as always was a blast. Got to work on the 97 a little and got to see how the front fascia fit which was the most important piece for me. All the work to find a good front fascia and an original was very time consuming and stressful. Once I got everything unloaded the first thing we did was get the fascia mounted and see how much my hard work paid off. It fit better than any that I have ever seen, they way it sits nice and flat on the headlight header panel and how straight it is was just priceless to me. Granted I had to do some reshaping to it in the sun before I took it out, but regardless it was already straight for the most part besides the top being folded over. Of course while I was there I had to go visit the museum.

Now things will start really moving as we now have all the body pieces that I wanted to replace onsite.


IMG_2635.jpg


IMG_2636.jpg


IMG_2647.jpg


IMG_2651.jpg
 
  • Like
  • Loved It!
Reactions: 2 users