Factory Five Racing Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am shopping for a donor car...can someone give me some tips on what I should be looking for in the condition of the donor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
959 Posts
I know you don't want to hear this BUT....that depends. If you are going a full-on donor route, which is what I did and suspect you are doing, you should print out the donor parts list and inspect all the big ticket items on it. Personally, I wanted a donor that was in running condition so I could be gauranteed it would work as expected once teh build was finished. I wouldn't want to be plagued by some mysterious problem with the donor - say a loose wire inside the harness somewhere. That kind of thing can get tricky.

Then look at what type of build you are doing. The roadster was designed for the 5.0 and it is still based on that design. The 4.6L build is not too bad, but there are certain things to look out for. Post in the 4.6L forum section if you are interested in that.

Then finally, I would look how much power you are looking to get and how much work you are wanting to do to achieve that power. Hit up the mustang wiki to find out the different stock power levels.

Good luck and feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions. Use the search feature on the forum and I'm sure you'll find enough info on your topic to keep you busy reading for a week ;-)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,857 Posts
As Shelba toast says it all depends on what you want, I have done two, one with a 89 5.0 and am currently finishing up a 4.6 SOHC. THe 89 Donor car has 10K miles on it. I drove the 4.6 car about 400 miles then tore it apart for paint etc.

Both were relatively easy for me, I was fortunate to get a 17,000 mile donor for the 4.6. I used everyting from it I could. I paid $3500 for it and it was well worth the money, it was wrecked hard.. but just right for me. , clipped in the right front and rolled. I had to replace the right front spindel and one rear axle, otherwise I was able to use everything including the radiator.

The 5.0 car was a rebuilt high MIleage car that I paid $2000 for. It also worked out well although I did have to replace some of the items, I replace axles, drums and rotors to convert to 5 lug, new radiator, swapped the tranny for a 5 speed, changed rear gears etc, etc.

Donor or non donor also depends on registration and inspection requirements in your state. MAke sure you understand those requirements before buying anythign or you coudl get caught witha whole bunch of money invested ina car you can't use.
Somebnody will chime ina ndsuggest a lincoln MKVIII many are doing it, but it seems like a lot of running around to me, but you do get the more desireable motor.

You'll want to stay away from the 94,95 mustangs as they are not as desireable, they have the 302 but front pulley system and accessories won;t work, they also have the less desirable wider rear axle.

96-98? 4.6 have the older heads before the performance improved heads were introuduced and you would wantto stay away from those as well. I am not 100% certain when the PI heads came out but someone will correct me.

Again as Shelba toast suggest ask away we will be more than happy to help spend your money.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,706 Posts
"You'll want to stay away from the 94,95 mustangs as they are not as desireable, they have the 302 but front pulley system and accessories won;t work, they also have the less desirable wider rear axle."

I would argue that 94/95s don't make good donors. I'm using a '94 GT and everything is working out well. They have the spindles everyone converts to, the axle width is easily solved (call Richard Oben for axles and caliper brackets). They already have four wheel disc brakes and I think they are easier to find now than a Fox Body car. I just assembled my motor and mounted all the front dress and all fits well. Jim
View attachment 7819
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
176 Posts
I would try to aim for a 89-93 model so that you get mass air, its a lot easier getting it in there then trying to retro fit it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
As Shelba toast says it all depends on what you want, I have done two, one with a 89 5.0 and am currently finishing up a 4.6 SOHC. THe 89 Donor car has 10K miles on it. I drove the 4.6 car about 400 miles then tore it apart for paint etc.

Both were relatively easy for me, I was fortunate to get a 17,000 mile donor for the 4.6. I used everyting from it I could. I paid $3500 for it and it was well worth the money, it was wrecked hard.. but just right for me. , clipped in the right front and rolled. I had to replace the right front spindel and one rear axle, otherwise I was able to use everything including the radiator.

The 5.0 car was a rebuilt high MIleage car that I paid $2000 for. It also worked out well although I did have to replace some of the items, I replace axles, drums and rotors to convert to 5 lug, new radiator, swapped the tranny for a 5 speed, changed rear gears etc, etc.

Donor or non donor also depends on registration and inspection requirements in your state. MAke sure you understand those requirements before buying anythign or you coudl get caught witha whole bunch of money invested ina car you can't use.
Somebnody will chime ina ndsuggest a lincoln MKVIII many are doing it, but it seems like a lot of running around to me, but you do get the more desireable motor.

You'll want to stay away from the 94,95 mustangs as they are not as desireable, they have the 302 but front pulley system and accessories won;t work, they also have the less desirable wider rear axle.

96-98? 4.6 have the older heads before the performance improved heads were introuduced and you would wantto stay away from those as well. I am not 100% certain when the PI heads came out but someone will correct me.

Again as Shelba toast suggest ask away we will be more than happy to help spend your money.
The performance improved heads, cams, and intake were first offered in the 1999 Mustang GTs
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
185 Posts
I used a 2000 GT as a donor that I found online in AutoTrader at a small used car dealer in Mississippi. It was not wrecked and had 73,000 miles on it. I drove it for 3 weeks before the tear-down. I had the front rotors and discs replaced. I went to the 4.6L build school at Mott College before making my final decision and this helped a lot. The build went very smoothly and I have driven the car 2,000 miles the last 18 months. It never fails to fire up immediately and with the new Koni shocks, handles very Porsche-like. Good luck with your decision and you can look forward to many hours of happy driving.
Art
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
7,701 Posts
The 87-93 donors are the target, if you want a traditional 5.0 HO engine.

The 87 and 88 cars were speed density managed. SD doesn't respond well to bolt-on engine changes, so avoid those.

88 California cars were Mass Air managed. That's what you want.

89-93 were Mass Air managed.

93 engines had hypereutectic pistons; previous years had forged pistons. If you ever thing you'll want to add a supercharger, avoid hyper pistons.

That said, 89-92 are you best bet for 5.0 engines.

If you plan on totally rebuilding the engine, freshening up the tranny and rear end, then the condition of the donor really doesn't matter.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,732 Posts
Check the engine and trans numbers to make sure they match the VIN on the donor title. Depending on the State you live in, matching numbers will make the VIN process much easier.

Charlie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
215 Posts
Yep, it depends on what you want. For me...

Pretty much a full donor and Power steering, hydroboost, big brakes, solid axle, aluminum DOHC 4.6L supercharged, 6-speed tranny (able to gear for drag racing and still curise at low rpm on the highway).

So, an 03-04 cobra donor gets me everything except for the axle and aluminum block. A 96-99 cobra block is not too hard to find and solid axles are plenteous.
I could go with an earlier cobra as the donor, but I would still need to find a 03-04 motor to get the heads and bottom end and a T-56 tranny. Those two items are worth more than most donors, so it looks like a 03-04 cobra is my best bet.

I hope this gives you an idea of the thought process of picking out your donor.
 

·
Junior Charter Member
Joined
·
105 Posts
If you can swing it, buy the complete kit.

We bought a good running, rough looking, rode hard and put away wet donor but after looking over all the donor parts we had to refurb and considering options (4w discs, 3-link, Koni's, tubular arms) we wanted from FF, the complete kit was a better option.

For example, every time we pulled a connector on the 20 year old wiring, the dried up heat cycled plastic broke. That would have been a not cheap nightmare to remedy, but the RJM harness in the complete kit solved it.

5.0 Mustangs are 20 years old (+/-) and generally beat on. You'll pay a premium for a cherry one if you can find one and if it really is cherry.

Also, all those clean parts sure are nice to work with.

On the other hand, we parted our donor and came out just about even $$ wise and have a useable engine and tranny. Mustang GT parts and Craiglist are a good combination. Plus, you might find somebody's aborted project and grab a killer drivetrain cheap.

Either way, the complete kit is hard to beat.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top