What To Do Next?

Antfrank

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Mar 20, 2017
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so about a month ago I bought a 1989 mustang gt. I'm looking into putting some more mods on it and not sure what to do since I'm new to mustangs. The car has shorty headers, o/r h pipe with slp loudmouth cat back system, cold air intake, upper and lower edelbrock upper and lower, ford stage 3 racing clutch, mishimoto radiator, ac and smog delete. This is what I was told was done to the car since I'm new to the car not exactly sure what to do next. Looking to get some pointers. Thanks everyone
 

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Davedacarpainter

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Welcome to Stangnet.

Post a few more pictures of your mustang for us to see.

If the brakes haven't been addressed, that would be the first place I would go to. Do all the safety check stuff first. Then new shocks/struts, lowering springs, bushings, etc.....

Get a set of sub frame connectors welded in. Foxes flex like crazy, these will help drive ability more than you would think.

Lots of stuff to do after that. Have fun with it. Though again, safety stuff first.

Try to keep it driving while you're doing the mods. Doing a big mod that keeps it down for months can be a little discouraging at times.
 

jrichker

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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.
 

Black1987

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Regardless of your goals
First thing I would do, is full length subframe connectors (weld in, go to an exhaust shop and they are happy for the business).
Get a vortech, tune, and respective gear ratio for intended purpose cruising or racing.

Then wash and wax.....then drive done
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
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I agree with the above suggestions, I would check all the power and ground connections, too many times prvious owners add mods to these cars and forget/don't think it needs or just overlook them. Missing or loose ground connections are one cause of electrical problems along with low battery voltage.
I check the connections at the ignition switch and the headlight switch, these are usually the first to suffer.
 

TOOLOW91

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Subframe connectors , gears , and if it's in the budget - 5 Lug swap with cobra brakes
 
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Antfrank

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Well didn't expect to get this many answers. Now I definitely need sub frame connectors I know that gonna do that within the next week. I'm trying to go for a fun summer car that has good power and turns heads. The car needs paint but I'm not to worried about that right now. Also forgot to mention I have 3.73 gears the guy before me said it was dyno tuned but he didn't provide any sheet so I would never know.
 

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A5literMan

At least it is lumpy...
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because

1. there is really no good reason to remove the A/C on a street driven car
2. it crushes the resale
3. it uses nearly no hp when not engaged
4. Not having A/C sucks
You darn southerners. Up here in the frozen tundra we call Illinois,we are just happy to whine about it being hot enough to "want" to turn on the a/c.

Girlfriend: " It's hot. Turn on your a/c"
Me: "Can't. Took it off when it stopped working. Roll your window down. "
Girlfriend: "Well, I don't want to ride in it then"
Me. Inner thoughts...win win:nice:
 
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