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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I decided to start a thread detailing my build progress. I like the idea and it will allow me to share steps I am making without starting a new thread every week. :glare:

I received my MK-IV kit back in August. The basic build plan includes: coyote 5.0, TR3650 trans, 99+ mustang brakes with ABS, power steering, 3 link solid rear end.

Since receiving the kit, I have done inventory, painted the frame with POR-15, painted a set of donor control arms and spindles and just finished attaching them today.

I would welcome any constructive criticism to improve the build quality and function, so if you seem something poorly done or questionable, don't hesitate to point it out.

 

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I agree on the donor control arms, FFRs are a nice upgrade. Also tighten up the rivet spacing anywhere you can see the riveted panels, I think it looks better with 2" spacing instead of 3. Mostly in the engine bay and trunk if you dont carpet the trunk. Otherwise 3" is fine structurally. Keep up the good work, sounds like you have a good plan and it should be a nice runner when done.

Mike
 

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This is the "Build" thread I've been waiting for. The Base Kit, unpainted frame, donor parts, AND the Coyote with ABS and Power Steering. I will be very interested in following this build with its particular focus on performance AND costs. Thanks Bhuff, and Good Luck with this build. Should be very instructive.
 

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Bhuff,

I agree on both items.....both on rivet spacing and control arms. 2 inch spacing would be my recommendation also although what you've got there looks very well done. I wish I'd done a better job on my rivets, even though most of them cover. Thank you for the thread, keep up the pics, I'll be following along

Bob
 

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I see that your spindles are '96 or later so have to ask what year the control arms are. '94 and later donor control arms are supposed to mount on the inner set of holes; yours are in the outers. If they are not Fox arms you'll need to move them.

Good luck with your build,
Jeff
 

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If you went with the FFR hood hinges I would suggest you use carriage bolts and put the bolts through the chassis prior to the F panel.
 

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Snake Farmer
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If you went with the FFR hood hinges I would suggest you use carriage bolts and put the bolts through the chassis prior to the F panel.
The carriage bolts are the way to go. There are some good threads as to why to use them vs the supplied bolts. You can still slip them in place, after the F panels are on..as I found out..little tricky but completely possible. I also found that it would have been easier to drill the holes for the brake hose bracket, before the F panel was permanently installed. Live and learn..:001_rolleyes:

The donor LCA's may not look as pretty as the tubular ones, but work fine, and are very strong. Rim width can be limited though, using the donor arms.

New bushings and ball joints installed on the LCA's, if the donor was a higher mileage car, wouldn't hurt... Still money saved over the FFR ones, but you need to modify them for the coil over lower mounting, (which is a bit of work). I can't tell if you have cut the hole for the lower shock mount yet? Easier to do that mod with them off the chassis, than when on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the comment on rivet spacing. Since the F-panels are already drilled, I can start with 2" spacing on the engine bay panels.

I guess I initially decided not to go with FFR control arms because I didn't see a substantial performance difference. The geometry would be pretty much the same, but the advantage would be a little weight savings, and poly bushings (which will likely be harsher too). Having said that, I can and may upgrade sometime.

As JKleiner pointed out, I infact mounted 99+ control arms in the outside mount holes for a wider than design track width. My plan is to run the 05+ 17" mustang GT wheels you see in the background. Those wheels have more backspacing, but the extra track width of the 99+ arms in the 87-93 location should put help put the wheels where they need to be. We will have to wait and see if the upper control arms will have enough adjustability to keep the camber in spec and if the wheels want to rub the control arm and shock/spring assembly.

TD - thanks for the comment on hood hinges. Hopefully that doesn't interfere with my rivets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
ClemsonS197: When I was planning my build, I saw that you were doing some nice work with the 05+ TR3650 and a hydraulic clutch. I thought it would be very slick to have a hydraulic clutch setup, but now I am thinking about an 01-04 trans with a cable for simplicity and cost savings. I guess what swayed me, was the fact you still have to do the same amount of work (where work = Force x Dist.). The hydraulic can just give a longer stroke to reduce the force. I'll be looking into it more before buying these components.

Don't worry, the panels won't be permanently attached for a while. I was planning to build the car with clecos, then pull the panels off for powder coating. I know I would scratch the crap out of them if I don't do it that way.
 

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Yep, looks like a good start and x2 on postponing riveting anything until you have to. (I think I've pulled off every aluminum panel AT LEAST 3 times already. Not saying you can't work around a riveted panel, but easier if you don't have to).

I'd also agree that the FFR LCAs are better if you can do it. I was never a fan of modifying the OEM LCAs and the shock attachment was kinda sketchy.

What are your build plans? (rear-end? gears? brakes?)

I also went the Basic Kit route, but opt'd for remanufactured brake calipers, spindles (IRS), brake booster, and PS rack. I bought a new radiator, fuel tank, fuel pump, and sending unit. piece of mind.
 

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Snake Farmer
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I guess I initially decided not to go with FFR control arms because I didn't see a substantial performance difference. The geometry would be pretty much the same, but the advantage would be a little weight savings, and poly bushings (which will likely be harsher too). Having said that, I can and may upgrade sometime.
You could upgrade your bushings now..$39.00 vs $400 for the FFR LCA's..

Front Control Arm Bushings : Maximum Motorsports, the Latemodel Mustang Performance Suspension Leader!

I installed aftermarket poly-urethane bushings on my donor LCA's, and find the ride and handling is excellent. As I mentioned the only real disadvantage, (least that I am aware of), is, they do limit rim width choices. Some builders grind a small area on them, to prevent rubbing when using wider rims. An advantage, is their strength.

Initially, I wondered about the using of a donor rear shock mount, for the lower mount on the front coil overs, but it is plenty strong as well. Torque it to proper specs, and use a stover nut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The front suspension is all bolted on. Everything is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. I actually though I could be done with the front suspension in October! I am enjoying the build though

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have still been working on the car as I have time.

First, a big change in the build plan. Originally, I was planning to use 05+ mustang wheels. I have abandon the idea because the track and tire clearance just isn't working out. I could make it work with spacers and such, but it wouldn't be as clean as a set of 94-04 aftermarket wheels. Plus, I would prefer to stick with a 17" wheel so that the sidewalls don't get to thin, while the 05+ wheels tend to come in 18-20" sizes. I will likely go 17x9 all the way around with a 245 front and 275 rear tire. I considered the 10.5" wheel option with a fox width rear end, but finally decided I don't care for the deep dish look. Call me weird.

Back to build progress. I mounted the pedal box and a couple pieces of aluminum a few weeks ago. My dad came over today and helped out with steering. It was quite enjoyable spending time together and we got most of the steering put together. I mounted a 2002 mustang GT rack with poly bushings and even threw the steering wheel on for fun. I choose this rack because it will likely provide the best steering feel of a factory rack. It has a larger torsion bar and different valving for a slightly heavier feel. Then, I can still run a heidts valve and knock the steering assistance down to a comfortable level, as needed. I previously had planned to run an AGR rack, but got scared after reading many reviews of awful customer service, stock like steering effort, leaking racks and claims that the stock pumps cause this rack to leak.

I also temporarily mounted the wheels I had laying around (05+ 17" GT wheels), and found out that the passenger side spindle is bent. I will likely go to the 94/95 spindle for a little less track width since I decided to switch to the 94/04 wheels.

Last point, I moved the lower control arm mount point inboard to the correct mount location for the 94+ control arms (as opposed to my earlier plans described here). I did this because I realized there are major geometry differences. If I ran the 94+ arms and spindles in this location, the pick up point for the tie rod changes, and likely introduces a LOT of bump steer issues. Ohhh well, at least I did the research and testing to prove these points to myself before following the group and doing as everyone else.

Here is the latest pictures of my progress:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I picked up a 95 mustang GT rear end and 2000 mustang hydroboost setup yesterday. The rear end has 2.73 gears... that will have to change! :)

The rear end will get a full rebuild new bearings and seals, 3.73 gears, a new clutch pack and hopefully some brakes. I was a little disappointed it didn't have brakes (they said they would include the brakes if it still had them), but I will have to consider if it is worth it to do the cobra 11.65" rear brake upgrade.

The hydroboost setup should just need to be cleaned up and bolted on. Here are some pics, since it never happen if there aren't pictures.
EDIT: Wierd, I thought I rotated the pictures before grabbing the links. Ohh well, you get the point.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I regret that I haven't had much time to work on the roadster since my last update in January. As you know, life happens, and in my case, I am blessed that it's all positive. I spent the spring and summer semester finishing the last couple classes of my masters degree, while still working. What little time I had left was absorbed as my wife and I prepared for our first child, due in early September. Still, I hope to have more time to spend building for a while.

Since the last update in January, I did mange to get the rear end rebuilt. It was my first time setting up gears, so it was a bit of a learning curve. None the less, it is now filled with 3.73 gears, all new bearings, fresh trac lock clutchs and will be fitted with 11.65" cobra rear brakes. The plan is to paint the rear end and rear suspension components this weekend.

I also picked up some parts for the build last weekend. I made a roadtrip to Houston to meet a fellow member. It was a pleasure to meet him and see his build and other toys. Amoung the parts which will be used on the roadster is a TR3650 transmission, fuel tank, starter, and other misc small parts. I also aquired a complete 4.6L engine with a serious smoking problem. I'll tear it down and see what's going on.

My goal is to continue with the updates as I make steady progress through the fall.
 

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I also aquired a complete 4.6L engine with a serious smoking problem. I'll tear it down and see what's going on.
Some unsolicited advice: Before you take a modular engine apart make sure you have the right tools and knowledge to bolt that motor back together. If a rear end rebuild is a 15, the modular 4.6 is a 85 (learning curve/difficult build). Starting yield to torque and ends with VERY small tolerances.

For about $2K you get a rebuild crate engine with warranty. The only thing new you need is a water pump. Everything else you can use of your old engine and return it.

Then you have a brand new engine with ZERO miles and you can stop worrying about what goes out next.

I have rebuild a 4.6 DHOC for a friend and it is not worth the time and money
($1100) to do it your self. With my car I got a crate motor, simple clean no hassle.

By driving to Houston you saved already $500 for the core...

Alright, I shut up now - here is a link from where I got my engine eBay View About Me for cowtownengines

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Very true advice. I rebuilt my little 2.3 a couple time, replaced soft parts in a C4 trans and have installed TTY bolts, but just never had to set up rear gears before.

The plan is still to put a coyote in the roadster, but I will still do something with the 4.6. What I do, will depend on what I find inside. I don't plan to tear the engine down any further than pulling the heads. If it isn't a head/headgasket issue, the engine will be parted out (heads put on the 97 GT) and the short block sold as a core. If it is an easy repair (like a headgasket), I haven't decided what I'll do with it, but it'll be put to good use. Eitherway, I have no interest in rebuilding the shortblock.
 

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Looking like a good start... got any pics of the finished rear, did you paint it up? What did you end up doing for brakes?

Mike
 
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