Hey everybody, my name is Brett Norton, new to the site. I am posting a build thread / progression of my 1994 Mustang. It is originally an abandoned V6 auto car, but I am embarking on the task of converting it to a somewhat reliable V8 5-speed car... with a carburetor. I am calling this project Budget 302 Build since I am going through with this project while attending college, and I will be attempting to do as much of the work myself as possible.
For the first 16 years of its life, this 1994 Mustang was used as a basic commuter car. Getting people from point A to point B. All of the previous owners were women. The original owner was a woman, and the second owner (previous to me) was a woman who had daughters of driving age that also drove the car. The car performed its commuting job well, driving all the way until 230,000 miles when a catastrophic failure occurred which changed the car's life forever.
One day in 2010, one of the daughters was driving the car on the highway and the engine started overheating. It was later discovered that the engine had blown a head gasket, which I am sure many of you know is a common failure with early Ford 3.8L V6 engines and not cheap to fix. Because of the high expense of a head gasket repair, the previous owner abandoned the car in a bush in her back yard and just let it sit there.
Fast-forward to 2014.
My parents knew about my joy of working on cars and a desire to have a Mustang. One day, my good mother went to her friend's house to get together and hang out. When she came home, she told me about a Mustang that had been sitting in her friend's back yard for a few years. I went up to the friend's / previous owner's house shortly after that to see what my mother was talking about. A few months later, I paid $400 to tow that Mustang off the previous owner's property.
The car sat here in Holton, Ks. for 4 years.
Now, on to the details about my 1994 Mustang and its overall condition. Things I knew, and things I later found out...
•Car is originally black (of any color, I think black cars look the best)
•Body is pretty straight (with the exception of the driver's side fender which is easily replaced)
•Body is rust free
•Torque boxes are in good shape
•All body openings (hood, doors, trunk) open and close perfectly
•All body gaps are just right (except for driver's side fender)
•No evidence of animal / rodent infestation
•Cloth seats are not completely trashed (only a small rip in the fabric of the driver's side seat bolster)
•Dry rotted tires still hold air
•Mach 460 sound system (not excellent, but still nice)
•Only paid $400 for it
•Original V6 engine has a blown a head gasket and was overheated long ago
•AODE trans supposedly has issues
•Electrical short drawing battery power even with the key off
•230,000 miles on body and drivetrain
•Car was abandoned and sat in a bush for 4 years
•Wasps love making nests out of the car wherever they can
•Because of a collision with a deer, the driver's side fender has a noticeable dent in it, the fiberglass hood has cracks along the front, and the headlight panel is broken
•Noticeable chip in the windshield
•Crappy tint bubbling up
•Slight rustiness underneath the trunk floor
•At some point in time, the tail pipe was caught on a curb and kinked
•When the tail pipe was bent, it hit the driver's side shock and slightly crushed it
•On hot summer days, the interior smells like ass
•On rainy days, water leaks into the trunk through the holes for the wing
•Rear bumper cover is the only body panel without clear coat peeling off of it
•Multiple dings, scuffs, and scratches all over the body
The plan for Budget 302 Build is to rebuild the drivetrain of this Mustang on a budget but with quality parts. I want it to make a decent amount of power and make that power reliably without breaking down or falling apart. It will be a car that I can drive on the street and possibly attend car shows, cruises, etc.
•Mild 302 motor with stock bottom end, Trick Flow stage 1 cam, GT40 / GT40P heads, HEI distributor, and Holley 4V carburetor (yes, I am putting a carb on an SN95 Mustang)
•Built T5 trans with new flywheel, clutch, and pressure plate
•Rebuilt 8.8" rear end with 3.73 gears, new traction-lok clutches, bearings, and seals
•Suspension overhaul with subframe connectors, urethane bushings, lowering springs, rear control arms, struts, shocks, steering, etc. DONE
•Complete brake job from master cylinder to brake rotors
•Cleanup and painting of the engine bay along with cleanup and undercoating of the undercarriage DONE
•Minimal body and interior work (body and interior will likely look very similar to how they are now)
•Any other miscellaneous crap that comes up
This will be a very long project, but I will do my best to push through it while attending college.
Let me get everybody up to speed on what has happened already. I have much more detailed thread about my progression on sn95source.com but I will just let the pics speak for now.
The car at its new home. Sadly, I could not get any pics of the car being trailered home since my phone died on me and I did not have a charger with me at the time.
Gray cloth interior with Mach 460 sound system.
230,000 miles on body and drivetrain.
Original 3.8L V6 engine.
Damaged driver's side fender
Pulled out the front seats to vacuum up the interior.
The car up on jack stands ready for teardown.
Damaged driver's side fender and inner fender coming off.
Damaged front bumper cover and header panel coming off.
Fuel tank dropped. Fuel lines were a bitch to pull off.
PCM pulled out.
Jensen radio was shorting out the battery. Drawing 4 amps with the key off.
Engine and trans pulled out.
Engine bay without engine
7.5" rear end pulled out.
Steering rack (along with the rest of the front suspension) removed.
Rear seat pulled out.
Engine bay stripped down.
Used dent-free driver's side fender installed.
What the car looks like as of May 2015.