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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Duncan's MK4 build, 4.6l 2v 02 GT donor. Started out with a budget.

Hey all:

I finally convinced the wife to let me do this. Been drooling and reading for long time. Doing this on a budget. I have time, just not a lot of money so went donor route. Picked up an 02 GT premium at Copart auction for 1250. Started right away, just enough front end damage to discourage dealerships from rebuilding it. 68k miles on it and well cared for (up until they rear ended someone). $1250 bucks into it and off to good start.

I want to try and keep it under 30k out of the checkbook. Sold off the dirtbikes to offset the donor. Wanting something I can drive reliably and not worry about getting stranded. Don't want huge hp or big finicky engine. For this reason, went with the latest years listed. Post 99 4.6l 2v (for the power improved heads).

I'll probably laugh about this but shooting for 2 years.

Haven't found a lot of builds threads in this 4.6l 2v realm. If anyone has em point me that way please.

List for now, until i read more threads and ramp the cost up:
Base kit, tubular LCA's, powder coated, dual roll bar, power steering and stock power steering powered master, long tube headers, abs/traction control, heated leather seats, Maybe heater, sticking with bullitt rims. Stage 1 cam. Debating need for the footbox air. Also debating that turkey pan mod (the top of these engines are hideous).

Plenty of pics to follow once i hit the post mark. Been lurking too long without typing.

In the Sacramento region.

Duncan
 

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Welcome, and it sounds like you've got a good plan.

And lots of beautiful roads to cruise on in the Sierras once you're finished with your build.
 

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Sounds like a plan! 30k and 2 years should be doable.
I'm not as familiar with the later model donors. Assuming your radiator is toast from the front-end damage, I highly recommend the FFR unit and an aluminum shroud to keep it cool. From your '02, can you use the spindles, trans, gas-tank, and rear-end? (I don't know, I'm asking).

If you want to tone-down the ugly intake, a blower would really help!

Good luck with your build and keep us posted here.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like a plan! 30k and 2 years should be doable.
I'm not as familiar with the later model donors. Assuming your radiator is toast from the front-end damage, I highly recommend the FFR unit and an aluminum shroud to keep it cool. From your '02, can you use the spindles, trans, gas-tank, and rear-end? (I don't know, I'm asking).

If you want to tone-down the ugly intake, a blower would really help!

Good luck with your build and keep us posted here.

I've read about all the help, and help spending money hahaha. The rear end reads like it'll fit, just have to run the stock rim width at 8".

Re: the radiator. It was surprisingly not breached. I plan on rebuilding the motor and all these time life parts (radiator/alternator etc) will get replaced. individual prices aren't bad for the stuff that seems will cause headaches soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Me: Wife, kids and full time job. Fix just about everything unless I don't have time to. Rotor pilot for local public safety agency.




Enough about that.

Copart was the way to go for me. You go pick the car, run it then find a broker. He does the bidding and paperwork for you. I found I hate auctions, very frustrating waiting and watching the price get run up. Still way under what I was planning on paying though. Broker gives you a "release" number and you go pick it up.

Found U-haul has a reasonable deal. 200 mile round trip, truck and trailer cost me 180 bucks. That is well worth not paying a wrecker or putting the wear and tear on the Toyota.

Towing myself allowed me to stop at a private property area and take her for a spin. Engine runs great. At least the first 3 gears are great, abs and traction control working, no codes showing or pending beyond the airbag light on dash.

I've never driven a Mustang before. It's running the 3:27 stock rear gears. Not as snappy on the low end as I'd like. I see why people like the 3:55 conversion. Was dumping rain and I had to work a little to get it to break loose straight line so the track lock is great.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A whopping 4 hours into this. Panels and doors off. Was planning on unbolting the front but the wreck was at a slight angle making that difficult. Took a grinder with a cut off wheel to the thickest part of the "frame" just forward of the tire. Cut through it really easy. New plan. Tag and remove everything forward of the alternator and chop off the front couple feet. Will free up some garage space quick.

The truck is my 14 year old's. I made him buy something that needed an engine. He will replace it before he drives. Figured that was a good way to get him some buy in and treat it right.

Listed all the non used parts on craigslist almost a week ago. No interest at all. Will keep relisting. Was hoping to recover some money that way, but might all go to the metal scrap instead.
 

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Assuming your radiator is toast from the front-end damage, I highly recommend the FFR unit and an aluminum shroud to keep it cool. From your '02, can you use the spindles, trans, gas-tank, and rear-end? (I don't know, I'm asking).
I used a 2004 Mach 1 with 38K miles for my donor. Spent about $5700 with shipping to get it to the house. Selling parts from the Mach 1 brought the cost down several thousand making it a cheap beginning like yours. I agree with the comment on using the FFR radiator, it fits the car better. The radiator was one of the few things on my donor I could not use, so the decision to use the FFR AFCO radiator a no brainer. I spent about $35K on the car with paint from Da Bat, so $30K is doable if you don't start adding upgraded parts. I also added powder coating, body cutouts, dual chrome roll bars, heater, wipers, Kirkey high back seats and harness prep from WireDiet, so your budget is on the mark. Like your donor, my car had just enough front end damage to make it too costly to repair, that worked out in my favor. If your are going to use 10.5" rear wheels, you will need to have the rear axle narrowed 1 5/8" on each side. Consider having the rear axle narrowed and change the gears to 3.55, it will help with low end acceleration. I was fortunate to get the 3.55 ratio as part of the Mach 1 package. You will want posi-traction of some kind, if the differential is not a traction lock model, consider installing a Eaton Truetrak, I did and the car accelerates very straight. The fun has begun, enjoy. The forum is here to assist you when you need help, one of the best resources to keep you on track.

Like you, I also used Copart. Hopefully using a broker will prevent some of the issues I had with them. Watch out for billing from Autobidmaster in the following years. They expect you to be a perpetual customer, billed my credit card which I had reversed. Later they sent my bill to collection. Fortunately when I told the collection agency the billings were unauthorized and fraud, the collection and bills went away.

A picture of my donor, a lot like yours.

Alan
 

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Just a warning (and sounds like you are already aware), if you want to stay on budget, quit reading these posts!
My original budget (and what my wife still believes I spent) was $25k with a base-kit and minimal upgrades.
After reading this forum for 2 years before ordering my kit and still reading it, I figure I'm closer to $35k and that's with a mildly re-built 302 (not a crate).
These weren't in my original budget, but Bling happens!
CNC remote brake reservoirs
Canton overflow tank
FFR Radiator
IRS
Mid-shift T5 w/MGW shifter
SS Braided fuel lines
SS Braided PS lines
SS Braided Brake lines
Painless Wiring harness
Heater
Seat Heaters
Alex’s Glovebox
Russ Thompson Gas Pedal, Brake and Clutch pads, and Dead pedal
Windshield wipers
Speedhut / GPS gauges
Breeze SS rollbars
FFR SS over-riders
Rectangular tail-lights
Breeze hard radiator pipes
Gas'n SS sidepipes
FFR Halibrands
etc
etc
etc

(I was able to cash-in a few saved up weeks of vacation to cover my overages)

BUT I wouldn't change a thing. These are a BLAST to drive and the pride of building it yourself is immeasurable. The memories are priceless, I've driven 2 600+ mile round-trips with my 80 year old day to the London Cobra show (twice) and heading to San Marcos in March to cruise with my son for 4 days! Can't wait.
 

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Sounds like a good plan for your build. The 4.6 should work nicely for you. If you are trying to save money, the donor front lower control arms work fine. You could always switch to tubular arms after the build, and it would not be complicated.
Did I read correctly that you are planning to replace the starter, alternator and other accessories with new parts? I have found many of the replacement parts to be lacking the quality compared to the OEM ford parts. These parts last much better than they used too as well, so that could be money spent on other changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds like a good plan for your build. The 4.6 should work nicely for you. If you are trying to save money, the donor front lower control arms work fine. You could always switch to tubular arms after the build, and it would be complicated.
Did I read correctly that you are planning to replace the starter, alternator and other accessories with new parts? I have found many of the replacement parts to be lacking the quality compared to the OEM ford parts. These parts last much better than they used too as well, so that could be money spent on other changes.
I hadn't considered that. Now that I think about it, I've had some issues with reman'ed parts from Auto Zone etc. I guess the easy to swap out parts could stay. Hmmmm where was that upgrade list.
 

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We built a coupe using a 2002 donor but there may be some helpful crossover. It was really straight forward and has been mentioned I used as many OEM parts as I could. One thing I would recommend is move the battery to the engine compartment especially if you are using the donor harness. There are vendors that offer kits for this or you can find a universal mount like we used from summit racing and figure out a good placement. On the coupe it fit well between the front "X" brace and the 4" cross tube. Our blog in my sig has lots of pictures and yes it can be done we came in under $30K you just have to shop deals and sell off parts from the donor and try not to get caught up in lots of cool things posted here :)
 

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I'm in the middle of a 99 Mustang donor build. The engine refresh was a bit of a challenge because the 99 is a Windsor motor and a little unique. Plan to rebuild or replace everything. Then if you end up keeping something you will be under budget and not over. I plan on using the power steering, brakes, and abs too. Good luck with your build. Here is a pic of the motor ready to go in.
 

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My only concern w/ your plan is that rear axle. believe me, even w/ your stock engine and rear gear, an 8 inch wheel w/ maybe 255 tire is no where near enough. Research swapping axles w/ someone, narrowing yours, etc to end up w/ Fox width so 315s fit right on. You have time to keep your eyes open and find a deal. You would also need to research how to do abs w/ fox width if you have that locked in.
 

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I'm running an '01 8.8 axle with 9" Hallibrands and 275/40R17. Fit perfect.

I built my car on a strict budget and plan. Build it to that plan and take notes of upgrade suggestions for later. By only doing those that would be extremely difficult later (aluminum panel mods), I had mine complete 6 months after receipt and well under budget. Now that I have Title, Tags and a season of driving it ... I'm doing alot of those upgrades this winter. The project never ends!
 

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I've read about all the help, and help spending money hahaha. The rear end reads like it'll fit, just have to run the stock rim width at 8".

Re: the radiator. It was surprisingly not breached. I plan on rebuilding the motor and all these time life parts (radiator/alternator etc) will get replaced. individual prices aren't bad for the stuff that seems will cause headaches soon.
At 68k miles, it is unlikely that the 4.6 sohc will need a rebuild. You might also find the Stage 1 cams for this car quite expensive (just trying to help you stay in your budget). Remember the original 289 Cobra only had around 260 hp, so you will have that (and they measured HP different in the 1960's, so you will actually have more HP).
 

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I built mine with a 03 gt donor i got for $1000 from a neighbor who has a tow company. The 3.27 gears are great for autocross! that engine is super smooth. I used the big axle as is (I couldnt find someone to shorten mine locally) Ive got 9" Bullits on it with 275s real deep backset on the rears, at the time FFR sold them. Lots of upgrades since 05, the biggest handling improvement was the 3 link rear. Enjoy the build and feel free to ask me ? Aloha, Karl
 

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Stick with your axle in the beginning. It will fit with your Bullit wheels with 255 tires. If not, you can find 2005+ Bullit wheels with better offset later. Otherwise, you can install 0.75" shorter axle with offset brake bracket but will loose ABS ring. Fox axles are 1.5" shorter than yours.

Both the 05+ wheels or the .75" shorter will allow you to fit 275 tires. 315 are expensive and selection is marginal. Both options can be implemented later.
 

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One major lesson I've learned is to hold off on upgrades that could fairly easily be added after the build is complete. I've spent months working through upgrades which I'm happy with, but I'm coming up on a year into the build and not as far down the road as I'd hoped.

Also, I do not recommend the Eaton Trutrac - I've had one in my '04 CTS-V for several years and it has been an unhappy experience. As it wore, it developed a large amount of driveline slop which makes for driveline back-and-forth banging on shifts. It also causes the car to dive unexpectedly to the side as it encounters uneven road surfaces. Quite a white-knuckle ride at 70 mph.

The V weighs 50% more than the Cobra at about 3600 lbs, so it's possible that Trutrac would stay happy in the lighter car. I've also heard mixed reviews from others on the Trutrac.

In my case, I'm saving up to replace the Trutrac with a Ford Racing unit as soon as possible. This in a Ford 8.8" IRS replacement for the stock GM Getrag unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
At 68k miles, it is unlikely that the 4.6 sohc will need a rebuild. You might also find the Stage 1 cams for this car quite expensive (just trying to help you stay in your budget). Remember the original 289 Cobra only had around 260 hp, so you will have that (and they measured HP different in the 1960's, so you will actually have more HP).
Thank you. I found a shop that has a good reputation and good price for the overhaul. I plan on having the car a long time so i want to start fresh with the engine. I don't want to have to rip the engine out down the road. I'm thinking the cam for that idling lobing sound and slight hp increase.
 

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One major lesson I've learned is to hold off on upgrades that could fairly easily be added after the build is complete. I've spent months working through upgrades which I'm happy with, but I'm coming up on a year into the build and not as far down the road as I'd hoped.

Also, I do not recommend the Eaton Trutrac - I've had one in my '04 CTS-V for several years and it has been an unhappy experience. As it wore, it developed a large amount of driveline slop which makes for driveline back-and-forth banging on shifts. It also causes the car to dive unexpectedly to the side as it encounters uneven road surfaces. Quite a white-knuckle ride at 70 mph.

The V weighs 50% more than the Cobra at about 3600 lbs, so it's possible that Trutrac would stay happy in the lighter car. I've also heard mixed reviews from others on the Trutrac.

In my case, I'm saving up to replace the Trutrac with a Ford Racing unit as soon as possible. This in a Ford 8.8" IRS replacement for the stock GM Getrag unit.
I ran a trueTrac in my FFR for about 4-5 years. First thing I noticed on install was the extra drive line slop. Hated that. I run a lot of autocrosses and early last summer had a lot of axle endplay and resultant brake pad knockback so had a low pedal 1/2 through the run. Turns out my Truetrac was worn out. The pinion gears or the hollows that locate the pinion gears that the axles mate with were worn so those gears moved a lot. No replaceable parts in a Truetrac so out it came and in went a Ford Racing lim slip w/ CF clutch discs. No more pad kickback and no more driveline slop. And it is 50% the price of the truetrac.
 
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