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Discussion Starter #1
I had my heart set on a Mark III when I get ready to order due to the perceived improvements made to the kits. However, I have an opportunity to look at an unfinished Mark I kit right here in town this afternoon that is for sale.
Questions-
What are the major differences in the 2 kits?

Can I retrofit IRS into the Mark I kit, as this one is set up for a Ford 9" rear?

Will all the newer, better options for the Mark III work on the Mark I? Things like the new steering setup, front end geometry, anything else?

How are the bodies on the Mark I's to finish and/or paint?

Anything else I should be aware of when I look at this kit?

This kit is set up for a 351 Cleveland (already installed), would I need to change the engine mounts to install a 351 W and use the Mark II 4 into 4 headers I just picked up? He has ceramic coated sidepipes already, will these work with my 4 into 4 headers?

Thanks,
Bob
 

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There a ton of differences. Frame is a lot different and much better in rigidity than the MK Is. Not anything against the MK Is just the new cars are stiff in every direction. More room for tires, different engine combinations, removable trans mount the list goes on and on. In fact, not one of the aluminum panels from the MK I will fit the MK III they are that different. FFR never sold a kit for the 9 inch. There are people with 9 inch rears in the car but it is not common. They also never sold headers for a 351 C so if they are already there they are custom but not worth much to you as you want to run the Windsor. The IRS can be retrofit. In my opinion, unless the kit is very attractivley priced I would get the MK III. If you buy the MK I make sure the inventory is complete as some of the parts are no longer available. HTH, Cheers Richard.
 

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MK I's are "originals".

MK II's and MK III's are replicas. ;) ;)
 

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Doesn't retrofitting the IRS require a lot of cutting and welding? I know a few people have undertaken it that didn't order their frame set up for IRS originally, but I'm not sure any of them enjoyed the process.

The FFR website will give you a list of improvements between the MKII and MKIII chassis. It's long. So just imagine how much longer it would be if you were comparing to MKI.

Unless someone is practically giving away that MKI, I'd say go with the new kit and do it the way you wanted to from the start.

Cheers, John
 

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The IRS requires a little welding, but doesn't look very difficult compared to other things like bodywork and paint! I am retrofitting IRS this winter to my MKI, by the way. Just about everything can be added, but unless you are getting the kit for less than 9K, it probably isn't worth it. If it has a Cleveland already installed, why would you change it out for a Windsor?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info guys.
The Cleveland is in place with a toploader transmission, but no headers or other adornments. I'm not really interested in the Cleveland as there are very few aftermarket performance parts available compared to the 302/351W motors.
He did say he would remove the Cleveland if it would be more attractive to someone, even though it was just completely rebuilt before installation. He still has a 302 and T5 available for the car.
Very interesting talking to the owner of the kit tonight. He wasn't aware of all the changes the Mark II and Mark III had gone through and it was obvious from looking at his kit how different they are.
Could a guy build a tranny tunnel like the Mark III and weld it in place to stiffen the backbone and the frame? Same with the crash protection around the foot boxes?
I'm thinking with this kit it would be best to leave it as is in the rear end. He already installed an 8.8 with 3.08 gears(the 9" rear was a typo or misunderstanding) with Ranger axles and Wilwood disc brake set up so it is good to go. Also has 5 lug front and rear.
He has a long list of very desirable options also, including the upper and lower control arms front and back from FFR.
It wouldn't be a bad way to go for the price but the timing for me is just all wrong and by time I'm ready to jump for a kit, the Mark III will still look more attractive to me. However, hope he doesn't catch me in a weak moment with a great price- I'm weak and hot to build a Cobra so who knows what might happen with the right incentive?
- Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I think he was pretty well firm on $13,000 without the Cleveland engine. I'll be getting a copy of his options list sometime tomorrow and I'll have a better handle on what all he got with the kit. - Bob
 

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No longer sounds like a good deal to me. You're just getting the older kit, and the rear-end. Rear ends are not that hard to come by -- especially now that you clarify it's the standard old 8.8" solid axle. The Wilwood brakes are nice, but...it still feels overpriced at $13k. Seems to me you'd do better to wait for one of FFR's good specials and get the kit you want, build it with the parts you want, etc.

Cheers, John
 

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I don't know. I'd like to see his option sheet and see what the total is that he paid FFR.

If he paid $19,000 b/c he ordered every option then $13,000 doesn't sound too bad......esp if you count the time he has put into it already.

I still recall stripping stuff off of an old stang in some serious southern heat.

All things have to be considered. Quality of build too.

Tifford
 

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The IRS cage bolted into my finished MK 1. After measuring for accuracy I did 6 two inch welds. No cutting anything. 1225K cost $9,995. The low mile 92 donor was $2,200.

Some of us with MK 1s have never had problems with wheel hop, bumpsteer, door hinges, hood hinge etc., claimed by some. I just built a beautiful new leather SC layout with vintage autometers, converted the EFI to a Holly mechanical 650 DP.

After the 1999 one day build FFR sent me the larger dropped MK 11 footboxes that I welded in. The carbon body showed up that same year.

After eight years of road racing and meeting new friends, to even put a $
dollar value on 1225 would be rediculous, it's a toy that has paid for itself again and again.

To top is off 1225 was selected for a Pizza Hut commercial because it was Black W/O stripes. The residuals recouped every nickle I've spent on it.

I have built several MK 11s and 111s for customers.

Roger
 

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Depends on his options if it's worth 13K. Unless your going to push the car hard, or if it's going to be a street driver, the frame mods as far as rigidity goes won't be noticed between MKI & MKIII. If it's a 9" set up as a 4 link, it will be BULLIT PROOF and will handle anything thrown at it, plus you can buy center sections with different gears and swap real easy. No "C"clips in that rear. If your set on IRS, sell the 9" to one of the hard core drag racing Mustang guys. Also his build quailty to this point should be considerred too.

Ron
 

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Bob: Looking at this from a different perspective....if you enjoy custom fabrication, going the MKI route will give you an opportunity to stretch your creative wings. I got a good deal on an MKI and made loads of frame / sheet metal mods...... great therapy .... most mods are documented on my website.
 

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I own a MKI and although I have considered trading up many times I stop and always ask why.
I already have what I want. Instead I direct the urge to look at old Fords and new projects. My MKI has been driven hard street/strip for 5 yrs with 510+HP and I have never been dissapointed when I walk away. And.....for some dopey reason folks stop dead from walking when it rolls thru a town. I've upgraded 3 trannies in/out no problem and still ride on the same suspension it was built on. It is anually inspected front/rear and remains rock solid after 30+ track passes and 11K miles. I find my desires to upgrade are on short impulse only. I agree 13K is a bit steep but I am not sure how far along the build the car is. How about the quality of the build? Is there a fellow FFR owner nearby who would take a look at it with you? My kit was 11k in 1999. What if you got it for 10K and were on the road painted and inspected by June ? Is that important to you? If you want to do the build and may save 2K but invest more in mods I suggest take a pass on the MKI and buy a MKIII. You should not settle for less than you want and create heartaches down the road. The MKII is a better frame by far. Mods on an MKI to get you to a MKIII?? That's a replica- replica! But if you got a great deal, say 10K , spend 5K on body/paint and are on the road driving a 300HP 302 powered car you could sell for mid 20's in a year......you may now settle for the MKI but have a smoking MKIII treasury fund for 2006 !

[ February 09, 2005, 03:02 PM: Message edited by: JAM1775 ]
 
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