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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 06:06 AM Thread Starter
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Build Plan input and tips for a donor build

Wanted to get some feedback on my build plan and any tips some of you experienced builders might have. Hoping to get off on the right foot to keep from wasting time and money.

MK4 FFR Build Plan

Build Philosophy: Enjoy building a sports car that is reliable, fun to dive, and has a good ride. The build must be completed on a reasonable budget of $30K and on the road in 24 months.

Things the car must do
- Reliably start
- Be fun to drive around town
- Comfortable enough for a weekend road trip
- Be able to do an occasional autocross or track day.

Things it is not
- Drag monster
- Trailer/show queen
- Track car

High level plan: Since I’m on a budget and a schedule I plan on ordering the base kit and buying a pallet donor car. This will save me a little time and some money. I was going to look for a 2001-04 Mustang GT a the donor and us the 4.6L SOHC engine and stock transmission. To make the car easier around town I’m going to pull the mustang hydro boost and install power steering and power breaks. I was also going to have the wheel sensors and cables pulled and do antilock brakes as well. I planned on ordering the kit un-painted and painting it myself to save a few dollars. I was going to be repainting donor Mustang parts anyway. For upgrades I’m planning on spending the money and doing the new IRS and Mustang rear-end. I figured most other items can be changed later on if you wanted to but the IRS needed to be done at the start. Plus, it should give the car the best ride possible. I’m 6’3” so I’m also going to order the Kirkey Vintage racing seat and will be spending time expanding the foot box as much as possible. I think I’m going to get the 17” Halibrand wheel as well. They just look right on the car.

Timeline
- Going to sign up for the build school in April, order the pallet car shortly after and then the base kit. Hope to have the car running and fully assembled by the summer of 2017 and panted and finished by the spring 2018. I’m going to put a more detailed schedule together after the build school. I know lots of people say don’t have a timeline, but I work better with a schedule. Keeps me focused on what needs to get done.

Looking for any feedback and advice. Things that might be tricky or expensive. I want to spend money where it saves time or adds value and go the cheap rout on smaller stuff. Thanks for the help.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 07:58 AM
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First thing I did was make a build sheet - every option I wanted, and the cost.
I came up to 22K in 2002, - then add 25 % for unforeseen problems.
over the years I added and changed things, now around 35K into it.
Best quote for body and paint back then was just over 6K, so I learned to do it myself, for about 1K. its not a show winner, but still looks great. First trip out on the road, I got a big stone chip in the front fender just behind the headlight.
I would have cried buckets if I just spent $$$$ on the paint job.
Team3 Halibrand Wheels/tires, 4 wheel disk brakes & 5 lug conversion, tonneau cover, bumpers, bigger radiator, braided lines, new transmission etc all came after I was on the road.

Make your list, check it twice - you will be surprised how fast it adds up. IF I ever do it again - I would skip the donor all together. The only parts I have are the block, rear end, and the front brakes. Every other part was upgraded or replaced at a later date.

You said you would order it unpainted ? thought they all came gel coated still.

Best of luck, there is a ton of information here - and these guys are a wealth of knowledge.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 08:16 AM
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I'm headed the other direction with new parts and have a complete door drivetrain with IRS and the DOHC Mach 1 engine.
I live just north of you in Gilroy if your interested. We can talk details if you like as this will give you a head start on the budget build. Come up and take a look.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 09:20 AM
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Hi Snakebitten14,

Just my opinion but here goes. Your budget is 30K to build a reliable cruiser. The key then is to get a low mileage donor. Even then, you don't really know what kind of miles are on the 15 year old parts. I've often thought a good donor build needs to include going through and refurbishing the donor parts. If you don't have the knowledge and ability required then you're cutting into your 30K budget to pay someone else to refurbish for you. Don't rule out a complete kit.

I love taking my car on road trips. One thing to keep in mind is these things are not and never will be touring cars. So expect a rough, loud, hot, cold, wet driving experience. Also expect to be the center of attention wherever you go and look forward to an amazing driving experience. A 3-link rear suspension is more than adequate for your end use and will cost a whole lot less than IRS. Power steering and power brakes are not necessary in a 2,200 lb car. The $ you saved on the IRS could be spent on the Wilwood brake upgrade.
A sound system is totally useless while driving. If you want tunes, wear your buds and use your phone. Invest in custom made ear plugs. They cut out the wind and road noise and make long highway rides bearable. I'm 6'1" and have plenty of foot box room (even with the Coyote). The high back seats will be more comfortable on longer drives.

Since you want to go on road trips, consider installing a drop trunk storage option (Dark Water Customs) to increase storage capacity. You'll learn to pack lite or put a luggage rack on the trunk.....yuck

You will enjoy the build school. The instructors are great, with LOTS of knowledge. It will make you realize how easy it is to put these things together. Don't order you kit till you've done the build school as you may find yourself changing your build plan.

Good luck
Dave
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 12:10 PM
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Good advice so far.

My opinion:
Unless you are planning on a bunch of frame mods or a different color, it's hard to beat the factory coated frame. You will want to have a solid bid for prep and coat from your local supplier to ensure you don't blow the budget on frame paint

If there is one area that I completely disagree with on FFR's philosophy, it's the use of a donor brake setup on a car with such radically different characteristics. Just my opinion, but I think it is unsafe and wrong of them to even offer the option. I would give up the IRS for three link, ABS, power steering, and power brakes to fund quality brakes any day of the week. If the car isn't an all out track car, you can make huge gains in steering effort by simply not yielding to the temptation of sticking the widest possible tires under the car.
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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 02:36 PM
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I built a donor coupe and can echo that the brakes while certainly adequate do need a proportioning valve added to the rear line. I used a 2002 donor and incorporated the power steering and brakes and line the feel. I think there is a lot if value in tearing down a donor just so you know where everything is and how it hooks together as well as grabbing every fastener you can. I disassembled the donor and laid the parts out on the floor of my shop in the approximate location they were on the car so I would have an idea of where I needed to install them on the FFR as far as wire runs etc. details on our blog

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 02:50 PM
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I have a non-donor build with a 2011 4.6 p.i. w/3650 Transmission and a 2004 Mushtang harness. Since the early days many builders have used un-cut harnesses but there's 20 lbs of stuff you don't need. I do have a Ford Service manual for the '04 Mushtang (which has all the Color Wiring diagrams) in PDF I can send you. There a couple of folks/companies that will cut the harness down for you but it's not cheap. I kept the factory ECU and got a SCT X4 programmer. (Which will give you more control of the Cooling Fan, Idle, timing etc.).

You might want to keep the Cruise Control.(?)

If you are going to use the power steering and brakes, I believe I'd look for a Donor/Wreck. The first FFR I built was a Donor build. I actually made money off my donor by selling the stuff I didn't need.

I also agree on not going IRS. I have the FFR 3 link.

A few hundred cheaper on wheels is the FR500. I have a set on my car.
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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 04:16 PM
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In many respects, what you are planning is very similar to the build I started in 2011. I too had a budget of $30K, however my total was closer to $35K with paint when all done.

1. Buy your MK4 kit when Factory Five has a sale. The sales can make a considerable difference in the cost of the kit. I got my lower control arms and 3-link upgrade free during my sale and the wheels at 1/2 price. Just be patient, there are at least two sales a year.
2. I would suggest a donor pallet will cost you more than buying a complete donor car. I purchased a 2004 Mach 1 with 38K miles for $5500 trucked to my Uncle's shop. With a complete donor car, there are lots of parts you can sell to reduce your donor cost. Also, donor pallets have been found to have electrical harnesses that are pieced together from different cars. You want to have the complete matching harness to your donor engine.
3. In addition, you need all the fuse boxes and control modules, steering column, and computer from the same car to run with PATS enabled. If you do not have the PATS flashed out using an aftermarket chip, all the electronics must match or you will get a no start.
4. Although it costs more that doing your own wire diet, consider sending your harness to Art Cuesta at WireDiet. He will diet, label, and test the harness for you making first start success highly likely, it did for me. The cost of a modular engine diet is roughly between $1000 and $1500. Mine was $1500, but I included ABS and he provided the aftermarket chip and programming to remove the PATS and EGR plus added a performance tune. My tuner rates my engine at 350/300 HP at the flywheel/tires. Not a monster motor, but the car does 0-60 in the low 4's.
5. I added a lot of extras that I am sure added thousands to the cost, wants not needs. Eliminate these items and you are getting closer to the $30K.
6. You are in California and we have Jeff Miller in Temecula. Jeff has painted hundreds of these cars. He provides the best paint for the money I know of and money well spent.
7. The newer the donor car you use, the better condition the donor parts will be in. I have read the many found their donor parts to be good for cores to buy used parts and not much else. However, my donor was only 7 years old when I bought it. With only 38K miles, my used parts simply needed cleaning and a coat of fresh paint in some cases. I did resurface the rotors and flywheel and replace the brake pads and clutch. Everything needed was used except the radiator. My donor radiator was damaged beyond use so I bought one from FF. The FF radiator fits better anyway. The better condition of the donor, the better condition the parts will be in.

If you are ever in the LA/Inland Empire area, PM me and I would be glad to show you my car.

Here are the details of my build.

MK4 Base Kit, Power Coated Chassis, 3-link, FFR Front Lower Control Arms, Koni coil-over shocks, 4.6L Install Kit, AFCO Radiator, Vintage Electric Gauges, Wiper Kit, Heater Kit, Dual Chrome Roll Bars, Hood Hinge Kit, Wind Wings, Sun Visors, CATs, Kirkey Race Seats, 17” Halibrand Replica Wheels.

Donor Build – 2004 Mustang Mach 1, 38K original miles.

Paint – Jeff Miller Customs, Dark Cherry Pearl with Metallic Gray Stripes

Drive Train – 4.6L DOHC engine, TR3650 5-speed transmission, 8.8” rear axle narrowed with TrueTrac differential, 3.55 gears.

Brakes – 13” Front PBR dual piston calipers, 11.65” rear single piston, hydroboost power assist with ABS, Hawk HPS brake pads.

Steering – Hydroboost power steering, donor rack, rack extensions, steering limiters, custom Russell PowerFlex lines and fittings

Tires - Kumho XS tires 255-45/17 front and 295-35/17 rear.

Exhaust – Stock manifolds, CAT/J-pipes, GAS-N side pipes.

Wiring Harness – OEM harness, dieted by Art at WireDiet. Computer reprogrammed for performance tune, PATS delete, EGR delete, and fan temperature reset.

Extras:

Alex’s Custom Roadster Parts - Shallow Glove Box Kit

Air Intake – Whitby MAF bracket, Specter pipes and fittings, K& N conical air filter.

Breeze – Side mirrors, cubby cabin, upper and lower radiator supports, lower radiator hose pipe, head/tail light quick disconnect connector kit, battery disconnect switch, dash indicator lights, hood prop rod kit.

Canton – Oil pan, power steering and radiator overflow tanks

Cobra Earls - Cold Air Vent kit

Custom trunk floor box and radiator grill, both my designs.

Finish Line – Emblems, polished stainless quick jacks, floor mats, wiper motor pad and connector, side vents, brake duct wire mesh

FFMetal – Trunk battery box, firewall aluminum.

Ford Racing – Coil covers, oil cap cover, aluminum differential cover.

Herb Fraser – Custom door panels.

MGW - Short throw shifter

Russ Thompson – Self canceling turn signals, gas pedal, pedal pads, roll bar and seat belt grommets.

Steeda - Adjustable clutch cable and quadrant.

Smiley’s Custom Headers - Custom exhaust mods and ceramic coating.

Tangent - Hidden roll bar wedge locks.

Speedhut speedometer upgraded to GPS type.

Alan

MK4 base kit, 2004 Mach 1 donor, 4.6L DOHC, TR-3650 5-speed, narrowed stock axle with 3.55 gears and TruTrac, PS, PB, ABS, 17" Halibrand replica wheels, 255/40-17 F 295/35-17 R Kumho XS, dual roll bars, Kirkey high back seats, paint by Jeff Miller, registered 9/2014, sold 3/1/2018.

New project, 1970 Mustang fastback restomod. Started 10/14/16.

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-13-2016, 07:53 PM
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Your build plan will need to be fleshed out with many more details, but you're off to a good start. You've gotten some great input so far, and not that much I can add. Most, including me, will give input based on personal experience. You will need to sort out what applies to your situation and plans. Others have commented about your plan to "Order the kit unpainted." I'm assuming this is in reference to the option for frame powder coat? Unless you're planning to extensively modify the frame (unlikely with your budget) or want another color beside black, you might want to reconsider. FF's price to powder coat the frame is very reasonable and IMO better than paint. Your budget will be challenging, but as many have shown, it can be done. It will require you to stick to the plan and really not get caught up in multiple mods. It's crazy how fast the cost can add up when you start down that path. Paint is one of the huge variables as you probably already know.

The 2015 Mustang IRS is no doubt the best riding and you're right, nearly impossible to change later. It is going to be hard to fit into your budget IMO though. In addition to the added $2499 option and $1200 - $1400 for the center section, knuckles and hubs, I'm nearly certain your donor brakes won't fit either. 2015 Mustang brakes are likely required. Wilwoods are out of the question with your budget. Another thing you will need to check. You mention installing ABS. The 2015 Mustang IRS uses different ABS technology than your planned 2001 - 2004 Mustang donor. It uses magnetic fields built into the hub bearings versus tone rings and uses active (powered) sensors versus passive ones. Many modern ABS setups have gone this direction. I seriously doubt this is compatible with the rest of the donor ABS setup.

I've heard nothing but good things about the build school. So it's great you have that as part of your plan. Good luck!

Build 1: Mk3 #5125. Sold 11/08/2014.
Build 2: Mk4 Roadster #7750. Sold 04/10/2017.
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Build 3: Mk4 Roadster 20th Anniversary #8674. 03 of 20. 2015 crate Coyote, 2015 IRS. Legal 04/18/2017.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 02:25 PM
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Most members on this forum have absolutely gorgeous builds .. but if you keep it simple and try to ignore some of the "advice" on these forums ... you can easily stay in that budget. Just don't park right next to them!

I bought the basic kit with $2500 free upgrades on sale. (4-Link upgrade, A-Arms, Manual Rack, etc.) I then saved money by purchasing a Rolled/Wrecked '01 Bullit/Cobra for $300. It had NO engine or Trans but the axle, Cobra brakes, clutch cables, parking brake, spindles (I ended up buying new FFR ones for the geometry). I then sold the interior, wheels and scrap metal for more than I paid.

I bought a complete rebuilt 302+T5 from someone who was upgrading their mustang for $1200. I didn't want to mess with a 100K mile engine and 302s are dirt cheap! Found some Hallibrands on Craigslist, and then bought everything else new. (Driveshaft, Radiator, Wiring, Fuel System etc.) I have well below $20K into it and I have very few used parts aside from brakes, axle and wheels. That gives you a lot of room for body prep/paint. I didn't have the budget most member on this forum have so I had to be patient, hunt and gather good deals. I started collecting parts before I purchased the kit.


MKIV #8536 - [302 + 650 Carb][T5][17" Halibrands][Cobra 'Big' Brakes][Manual Brakes +Steering]

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 03:50 PM
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I did the donor. My advice...don't.

If I did it over again, I would have still bought the donor kit, but not the donor mustang

I started with a 1995 Donor, currently the only parts I have used from the donor are:

Rear end
Front lower A arms
Front steering knuckles (i got lucky and the bearings were good)
parking brake handle (cheap to buy aftermarket)
Gas tank and pump (i got lucky and got a really clean gas tank)

I ended up buying everything else new or used. I recommend just buying a few of these parts, sourcing all the rest of the donor parts elsewhere.
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-14-2016, 04:09 PM
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Get a 3 link kit with tubular front A arms, donor pallet then source the rest as needed. Body work and paint can be +/- $8 to 10 k. I have no paint just black gel coat. Stick to the basic build especially if it is going to be a fun car.

]Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.14 @ 113 mph N/A*** SOLD 4/8/18 ***
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Comp cam 276, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice. Here an update o. Where I'm at.

1. Build school, in signed up for April 8-10th. If you're going, I look forward to meeting you.

2. If this is a budget build, I'm not doing the new IRS, going with a 3-link. Since I want to drive the car and that may include track time I think the 3 link is worth the upgrade.

3. Paint can be a mountain of money and time. To try and save both I've been thinking about doing a wrap. I know there are cons to that, but if this is a budget build, 6 months and 8-10k doesn't seam like a good investment of time or money.

4. I've have been looking at 99-04 GT donors. If I can find a Mach 1 I would use that, but there just not many out there. Any advice or warnings about the 99-04 donor. I think the rear axle needs to be modified down to fox length.

Thanks for the input again, I'm always open to other view points and learning from those who have already done it.
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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Might just need to take you up on that. PM me you number and we can try and make something work.
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 07:07 PM
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I also went with a donor build and have similar use and budget goals to you. Definitely agree that the IRS is cool but unnecessary for the performance goal and really stretches the budget. I went with a '95 Mustang since it has the 4 wheel discs and 5 lug, and also is the last year of the 302 (cheaper and simpler to build than a mod motor). My build thread is in my signature if you're interested.

One thing I did before buying a kit was to build the car on paper (involved lots of research on the forum), cost it out in a spreadsheet, then started tossing out my lowest priorities until it came under budget. My budget was dictated by the other cars that I was able to sell to fund the roadster build so I have a pretty hard cutoff as far as money is concerned. Of course that's all part of the fun for me, accepting the challenge to build a decent car on a shoestring budget.

For the paint, some members have done their cars in Plasti-Dip and it comes out looking pretty good.

Whether or not you need to change the axle width depends on what backspacing and tire width you want, if you're going really wide and 10.5" rims you may need to narrow the axle but for tires that are close to the stock Mustang size you will probably be fine.

FFR 8581: Donor/A la carte build from '95 GT. Upgrades: 3-link w/corrected geometry lower control arms, CNC dual master cylinder, QA1 SA shocks and stainless brake hoses from Breeze, SAI mod, under car exhaust with custom longtube headers, Weiand stealth intake and 625 Street Demon (next-gen Thermoquad), GT40P heads with 3-angle valve job and light cleanup, E-cam, Truetrac diff. My build thread:
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post #16 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 08:24 PM
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- Reliably start - That is a function of your build quality. I have an aggressively cammed carbed 500hp 347 and it starts easily every time. It does need to warm up for a few minutes before it plays nice.
- Be fun to drive around town - Unless you do something insane with the engine or gearing..... no problem.
- Comfortable enough for a weekend road trip. - That is subjective. I am always surprised when people state comfort as a requirement on a Cobra. This is a race car whether you intend to use it as one or not. Just the wind noise will make you have to wear earplugs on the interstate. Throw engine noise on top, just being out in the elements, and they do beat you up after a full day. I love it. My wife.......not so much. I would do a heater and heated seats. I live in Florida and use mine in the winter. The car rides firm, but surprisingly nice as far as the road goes.
- Be able to do an occasional autocross or track day. - No problem. Are you planning on a passenger roll bar? Instructors won't get in without one. Wives and girlfriends shouldn't either.

I did a "show quality" DIY paint job. Gearing up, counting a nice Quincy compressor, a mid level paint gun, building a paint booth, etc. was a little over $4000. My BB/CC paint alone was $900, and there is a whole lot of stuff underneath that. If you don't want to grow an extra arm out of the middle of your back, you want something like a HobbyAir system. I see you keep mentioning time line. Let me say this. If you rush here or try to get cheap you are making a major error.

I think you are fooling yourself with the vinyl wrap. Painting a car takes 1 day. The bodywork and prep is what takes the time. You still need to do the prep before a wrap goes on. They are not that cheap, they aren't well suited to cars this curvy, and frankly they don't look anywhere as good as a mediocre paint job. Here is from http://vinyl-ink.com/faq.cgi:

"Q: How much does a wrap cost?
A: ...... the average color change paint replacement wrap is closer to $3600. Chrome wraps? Most chrome wraps start in the $6,000 range...."

Take your time, even with a budget build, and you will have a very nice replica. Rush and you will have a crappy kit car. You can do either with the same kit. You can save money OR time while building. Doing both is difficult if not impossible. You can buy an already built car cheaper than you can build one. So if you are looking to save time and money, that is the way. You asked for advice.....there it is.

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post #17 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 09:36 PM
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Originally Posted by SnakeBitten14 View Post
Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice. Here an update o. Where I'm at.

1. Build school, in signed up for April 8-10th. If you're going, I look forward to meeting you.

2. If this is a budget build, I'm not doing the new IRS, going with a 3-link. Since I want to drive the car and that may include track time I think the 3 link is worth the upgrade.
From my personal experience:

Re: #1: Great call going to build school. You'll learn a ton AND you'll build a 3-link car. Be sure to make & bring a list of questions as you think of them (I brought about 5 pages worth). The instructors will steer you in the right direction, & if you're lucky you'll see the cars of several other builders. Grill them all!

Re: #2: Good call on the 3-link. For your stated purpose & budget, that's the one I'd choose (My purpose was different, so I went with the IRS). David Borden (on this forum) can point you to various threads describing the hazards of tracking an IRS car.

New stuff:

Carb or EFI? Perhaps you mentioned your preference, but if so I missed it. EFI can be a cost upper up front, which may or may not pay for itself in terms of hassle with setup, maintenance, supportability, and sustainability. There are as many opinions on this as there are builders; let experience (or in my case, lack thereof) be your guide.

ABS: I wanted to put ABS on my car, but could not find IRS axles with ABS tone rings in a reasonable time or for a reasonable price. 3-link will obviously be different, so do your homework and determine if ABS is still in the picture.

Finally, do a build thread! We all want to see what you come up with for solutions to the problems that inevitably arise. Plus we'll shameless copy the ones that work.


John

MK IV Roadster #8631
Ford 302, Holley Terminator EFI, T5z, 3.55 Rear End, IRS, 17” Halibrand Replicas (9” front, 10.5” rear), Nitto 555 G2’s (275/40ZR17 front, 315/35ZR17 rear), Fast Freddie’s Power Steering, F5 Wilwood Brakes, FFMetal’s Firewall Forward, Forte’s Hydraulic Clutch & Throttle Linkage

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post #18 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-05-2016, 09:42 PM
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Finding a Good Donor Mach 1

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnakeBitten14 View Post
If I can find a Mach 1 I would use that, but there just not many out there.
Buying the best lowest mileage donor will allow you to use more of the parts making it an good choice for an economical build. After going to build school in May 2011, I started looking for a donor in June. Finding a good Mach 1 donor was very difficult until I found the Copart auction website. Copart has auction sites all over the country and shows their inventory and scheduled auction dates for their cars. I purchased my donor in July at the second auction I participated in. I was able to get a 2004 Mach 1 with 38K miles for $4400. Auction fees plus having the car trucked 400 miles brought the total cost to $5500. Copart has unique features like run/drive guarantees. I paid $150 to have a local inspector look at the car, take pictures, and provide a assessment of the cars condition. There is risk, but in my case it worked out. Internally, the engine was perfect inside and runs great in my Cobra. The auction house that works with Copart did some shady things after, but that was a separate issue. My suggestion, look at Copart as a guide. In 2011 there was no issue finding a good Mach 1. The first auction had a car with 18K miles on it, but the bidding went too high. Buying a complete car is much cheaper than buying a donor pallet and you will have a much better idea of the quality of the parts you are getting.

Good luck,

Alan

MK4 base kit, 2004 Mach 1 donor, 4.6L DOHC, TR-3650 5-speed, narrowed stock axle with 3.55 gears and TruTrac, PS, PB, ABS, 17" Halibrand replica wheels, 255/40-17 F 295/35-17 R Kumho XS, dual roll bars, Kirkey high back seats, paint by Jeff Miller, registered 9/2014, sold 3/1/2018.

New project, 1970 Mustang fastback restomod. Started 10/14/16.

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post #19 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 02:46 AM
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copart

I used Copart as well and had a pretty good experience. I was looking for a Mach1 and was the high bidder on a few "on approval" auctions but could not come to a price with the seller. I eventually came across a 98GT on a pure sale auction that was getting no love. I put in a ultra low-ball max bid and won the auction. I was worried that I bought a piece of crap but it looks to be OK. I did not register is so I have not taken it on the freeway. however, around the neighborhood, it pulled like a train and left a lot of rubber and smoke in it's wake. It is sleeping this winter in the Garage and after Build School in April, it will become a bunch of spare parts.

My winning bid? $625. It did need a battery and a few quarts of ATF but it ran like a champ and sounds freaking awesome. Still plenty of money left in my "donor" budget to add HP. Considering a PI head swap or aftermarket heads.

Do take a look at Copart. The broker was Autobidmaster. No issues afterwards but my 1 year subscription will not be up for a few months. The cost of a 1 year subscription is added to the cost of the car. That was a little sneaky. But for what I paid, so what.

Good luck with your build!

Rob
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post #20 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 05:47 AM
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Thanks for reminding me, Autobidmaster is a bunch of crooks in my opinion. Watch out when the first year expires, they will bill your credit card without authorization, they did it to me. The credit card company gladly removed the charge when I told them I did not authorize the charge. Third year comes around, they send the cost of years 2 and 3 to collection because they can't bill my credit card. One call to the collection agency declaring the charges as fraud took care of it, at least till next year. Beware, watch your credit car bill, they are not to be trusted.

Alan

MK4 base kit, 2004 Mach 1 donor, 4.6L DOHC, TR-3650 5-speed, narrowed stock axle with 3.55 gears and TruTrac, PS, PB, ABS, 17" Halibrand replica wheels, 255/40-17 F 295/35-17 R Kumho XS, dual roll bars, Kirkey high back seats, paint by Jeff Miller, registered 9/2014, sold 3/1/2018.

New project, 1970 Mustang fastback restomod. Started 10/14/16.

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post #21 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 06:54 PM
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Alan. You did warn me. Ill be watching my statement in March. To be honest, I thought the transportation part was a lot worse. The estimate to ship was something like $450 but every quote I received was hundreds more. The reason... Its hard to find someone to go to my area. What a bunch of BS. Milwaukee is that far off the beaten path? It worked out but what a pain in the @$$.

Rob

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post #22 of 33 (permalink) Old 02-06-2016, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobW View Post
Alan. You did warn me. Ill be watching my statement in March. To be honest, I thought the transportation part was a lot worse. The estimate to ship was something like $450 but every quote I received was hundreds more. The reason... Its hard to find someone to go to my area. What a bunch of BS. Milwaukee is that far off the beaten path? It worked out but what a pain in the @$$.

Rob

Rob
Rob, in my case, I had three quotes at the same $500 price to get the car shipped. With these auctions, they want the car off the property ASAP or they charge for storage. It is a good thing I was not concerned with body damage. I could swear the pictures of the car on the auction site showed less damage. One never knows if the added dents were done at the auction site or during transportation? Buying at auction hundreds of miles away has its own set of challenges. Fortunately the mechanical condition of the car was as good as I could hope for when used as a donor.

Alan

MK4 base kit, 2004 Mach 1 donor, 4.6L DOHC, TR-3650 5-speed, narrowed stock axle with 3.55 gears and TruTrac, PS, PB, ABS, 17" Halibrand replica wheels, 255/40-17 F 295/35-17 R Kumho XS, dual roll bars, Kirkey high back seats, paint by Jeff Miller, registered 9/2014, sold 3/1/2018.

New project, 1970 Mustang fastback restomod. Started 10/14/16.

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post #23 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-01-2016, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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Update

A quick update for everyone.

I'm signed up for the build school in Michigan next weekend April 8-10th. Really excited to get my hands dirty and start the process.

I also located a salvage 03 Mach 1 on Copart. Its near by but the auction in the same time as the build school.

Any tips on the auction process? What is the going rate for a salvaged Mach 1 in good shape. I was thinking $3500 max?

Any tips for the build school? Things I should ask or pay special attention to since I'm going to be building a donor with a modular motor?

Thanks for the help.
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post #24 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 07:45 AM
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Regarding the auction process with Copart, as I recall, you can set a max bid with an incremental bump each time you are out bid. You really don't need to spend a lot of time on the auction site until the auction is about to come to an end, then the bidding goes "live" and you have to participate or you will lose if out bid. Regarding value, I paid $4400 for my 2004 Mach 1 with 38K miles. I purchased mine 5 years ago, so factor that into the value and $3500 may not be out of line. Here is a warning about Copart, now they a quick to inform you that you are entering a contract when you bid. If you win, they expect settlement within 48 hours if I remember correctly. However, that same contract does not appear to be binding to the seller. I actually won my auction at $4200, only to have the seller not accept the bid and ask $4800 for the car. Minimum bid increments were $100, so I bid $4300. The seller came down to $4600, I bumped my offer to $4400, which the seller accepted.

I also attended build school, the class is informal in that you can get up to use the facilities or take a walk as needed. If you let the instructor know what is going on with the auction, there should be no issue stepping out for 30 minutes to finish the bid process. They might even as you to share your experience with the class. Todd Baumann was one of my instructors, he is not a fan of building with a modular motor. There is a point in the class where the instructors ask each person to introduce themselves and describe what their plans are for their build. When I expressed the desire to build a 4 CAM mod motor build, Todd tried to talk me out of it. He had good reasons behind his preference, but I had my reasons too. In the end I built my MK4 exactly like I had planned using a Mach 1 for my donor. For a street car, I like the formula since I used the PS/PB and ABS from the donor, features not easily integrated when using other donors.

If you get the Mach 1, you have a great start if the mileage is not too high on the car. I would suggest that you consider buying a T3650 from a 2005 or later Mustang to get the integral hydraulic actuated clutch. The cable actuated clutch in the Mach 1s takes a good amount of pressure to disengage the clutch, nothing like driving a Honda. You do get used to the weight of the clutch engagement, but I always worry about the cable breaking. I do keep a backup in the garage or with me in the car when out for a long distance run.

Good luck on the auction and build school,

Alan

MK4 base kit, 2004 Mach 1 donor, 4.6L DOHC, TR-3650 5-speed, narrowed stock axle with 3.55 gears and TruTrac, PS, PB, ABS, 17" Halibrand replica wheels, 255/40-17 F 295/35-17 R Kumho XS, dual roll bars, Kirkey high back seats, paint by Jeff Miller, registered 9/2014, sold 3/1/2018.

New project, 1970 Mustang fastback restomod. Started 10/14/16.

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post #25 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 12:41 PM
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SnakeBitten14,

I did not go with a base kit and donor because I wanted all new parts on the car and I did not want to spend time cleaning and rebuilding dirty greasy parts and then installing them on a new vehicle, but thats just me, and there is nothing wrong with using a donor.

In your original post you said you want to spend money that will help you save in the end, well I can tell you one thing that I purchased that is worth it's weight in gold, a two post lift.

If you have the space and ceiling height, get a two post lift. After you crawl around on the floor 50 times working on the chassis and then contort yourself into some of the positions that it will take to complete this vehicle, you'll thank yourself for getting a lift. When you need to work on something on the car you press a button, bring it to a comfortable height and complete the task.

And when you are done building the car, if you think you don't need the lift anymore, you can easily sell it for just about what you originally paid for it.

Just a thought.

Have Fun

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post #26 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-02-2016, 01:08 PM
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Another option for your engine/trans. Join a couple of Mustang forums and look for 302s w/ T5s. There are a lot of guys doing a lot of different swaps so there are parts available for very reasonable money. A carbed engine will make wiring a TON simpler and much less expensive as you use the FFR harness.

FFR 5353K, 408W, TKO 500, 2015 IRS w/ 315 gear, Breeze QA1 DA coilovers front and rear, APE hardtop, Forte front swaybar
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post #27 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
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Another update

Well it looks like the donor I was looking at is sold. Copart had it listed to auction this Friday. I was ready to make the 2 hour drive to look at the car last Friday when I checked the website and it was gone. I called down and they had sold it that morning. After reading all the posts on the forum I guess I should expect the unexpected from these salvage places.

Big Ugly - Your not the first person who has told me to invest in a lift and sell after the build. I have been thinking about it for sure. If you have any recommendations on manufacturer's or places to get used lifts that would help.

I'm still excited for the class but back looking for a good donor car. If nothing comes up in the next few weeks I think I will just go with a donor palate. At some point I would rather start building and if the salvage places are such a head ache it may not be worth it.
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post #28 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-05-2016, 09:11 PM
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Snakebitten, I was outbid over and over. I noticed that many of the cars were repeats. I was the high bidder a few times but did bid high enough. It took about 4 months. I too am going to the build school this Friday. Look forward to meeting you.

Rob
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post #29 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 01:39 AM
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SnakeBitten14,

I purchased my lift from Greg Smith Equipment, 2 Post 8000 pound capacity BP8000 for $1495.00. At that price it was not worth getting a used one, and I have already had several people say they would buy it from me if I don't want it anymore. I can't see me getting rid of something as handy as this lift, so they won't be getting this one.

BigUgly
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post #30 of 33 (permalink) Old 04-06-2016, 02:26 AM
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To me if you are budget minded why would you spend $1,500 on a lift?? You can get a decent trans for that $$.

4 HD jack stands and floor jack all you need. When building once you set up the frame on stands you rarely move it. I made blocks out of 2x8s 4 planks high 12" long use them as base for stands if I want the frame up higher. The frame is very light til you hang the rear and drop in motor and trans.

If you are anxious to get building get an engine stand and go get a 302 Explorer motor and strip it down then replace, cam, heads, intake (go carb) and dist and be done. Plenty of learning not that hard if you leave short block alone. My first motor was a trashed mustang stock (from donor) I got plenty of miles out of it while collecting the parts I mentioned above. Then pulled motor 2 yrs later and put together a tanked short block and added back all of the parts. You could build a whole donor car concept if you have time to go to U pull it yards and pick and chose ie: Narrow 89 - 92 rear, 94/95 front spindle and brakes, vendors here sell the conversion for 5 lug rear setup, etc, etc.

You want new radiator, clutch, gas tank, and all hoses and fittings anyway. All that is donor so to speak in my car is engine block, rad overflow, bell housing, trans case, drive shaft, rear pedal box and e brake handle. The rest of the car is assembled with some new stuff like brake calipers pads and rotors and all go fast parts on motor are preowned. Read the classifieds everyday and you can pretty much buy every part you need right here.

]Donor $2,500 -Kit $18,000 -Extra "needs stuff" $100's -$1,000's
300+hp tagged race car PRICELESS !! Best ET 12.14 @ 113 mph N/A*** SOLD 4/8/18 ***
Mk III #5294 -302 AFR 185 Heads, Comp cam 276, Levy Front and Rear control arms, 3-link, 3.55, 11" GT front and 11" Cobra rear brakes, SAI, UTC exhaust No More EFI: Now Quick Fuel 650

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