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post #1 of 31 Old July 19th, 2014, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Revive the 1984 convertible?

My first car was a 1984 V6 automatic white on red chick car, because that's the only cheap Mustang my parents could find me. ($800) It was supposed to be a project car, but other than stripping the thing completely and having a race shop weld in the 12-point S&W cage with an extra diagonal bar, and the MM subframe connectors... not much else happened with the car. At some point there was a 1985 Ranger getting scrapped and we got some parts off of it to do the 5-lug conversion. (Which needs a little more work.)

Recently I needed a trailer and found a 1999-98 Ranger with a bad title for cheap enough, so I'm going to cut the frame and use the bed as the trailer. It'll match my 2000 Ranger, so it's cool (to me).

I've been contemplating putting the drivetrain into the Mustang to revive my first car, wich will be kinda rat rod in style. I'll probably get a 1994-1998 Mustang rear end to acquier rear disc brakes and a rear that's compatible with the Ranger's VSS. I'm not sure what size gear to look for yet, but I'll have to reprogram the ECU because the Ranger's original 4.10 is a bit too much for a lighter car. I'll need a Miata or Supercoupe tailshaft as well to make the shifter fit. Motor/trans mounts will be needed. I can use the wiring, engine, transmission, and most of the brake stuff from the Ranger. Not sure how to do an air bag delete on the Ranger stuff yet. The cage that's in the car will make a dash swap not worth the work, so I may just stuff all the guts from behind the Ranger dash in there and figure out a way to cover it all up later on. I need a new Mustang gas tank/cover/straps. And I'll have to figure out a way to adapt the Ranger's returnless fuel system.
I also have a rusted out 1984 LTD wagon that I can harvest parts off of before it get scrapped with the remainder of the Ranger. I doubt I'll put the convertible top back on the Mustang. I have a spare hood that I'll bolt to the cage to act as a roof. I'm not sure how much of the trunk hinges and springs were thrown away.

This is how it sits now. I actually kinda like the stance, but it has no springs in it. (Those are stock Ranger wheels/tires.)


It should be a TON of work, but I'd kinda like to have a toy to play with, and nobody else will consider it worth stealing.

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post #2 of 31 Old July 19th, 2014, 07:52 PM
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I like the direction where you're going with your fox! ive seen some pretty killer 3's come out of those 2.5 motors. they have a pretty descent torque gain over the normal 2.3.

definitely keep us posted on your resurrection of this cool fox!

I'm just full of dust and old car parts!
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post #3 of 31 Old July 20th, 2014, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! I will keep you posted. Any hints/tips would be great. (i.e. rear gear ratio, putting the M5OD & hydrolic clutch in with Ranger parts as opposed to Miata parts, etc.)

I'm trying to decide if I should just go with a fuel cell instead of tracking down Mustang parts.
I have a couple Kirkey aluminum seats that I might have properly mounted to the roll cage. After the 1987 coupe got totalled I'm considering having the cage added to for more support in the rear, and through the firewall too. These cars are flimsy as a wet noodle.

I do still have a header and turbo that I believe came out of a 1986 SVO. I was saving it for the Ranger eventually, but it'll fit better in the fox. That's a LONG way off though as I'd rebuild the entire motor to handle it better.

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post #4 of 31 Old July 20th, 2014, 05:46 PM
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With the ranger parts the motor shouldn't have any issues bolting into the car since they came with the 2.3 from the factory. But the k member might be a touch different if your current fox was a v6 or i6 originally.

You prolly wont want that m5od tho. Its not really designed to be used in a sports car setting. And the shifter might be to far back to be viable in a mustang set up...

Mustang gas tanks for ur car are guaranteed to fit up to 98. I know that for a fact. I had a 94 v6 swapped 85 fox coupe and that puppy with the full 5 lug swap would fly. Everything was swapped over down to the gas tank and break lines.

I wish you were closer tho... there is a guy locally that has an 00 v6 5-speed for 750 obo and that would be all you would need to swap everything to have one sick foxbody! (P.s. it would get killer gas mileage and be pretty quick for a relatively stock drive train. )

From some cluttered garage somewhere...!

I'm just full of dust and old car parts!
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post #5 of 31 Old July 20th, 2014, 11:03 PM
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You might find, that an earlier ECU and harness from some kind of Ford turbo 2.3, TurboCoupe / Mustang /Merkur, would put i you in a better position for future mods, rather than struggle with the late Ranger ECU and harness I would think. Your car is off to a good start though.


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post #6 of 31 Old July 20th, 2014, 11:35 PM Thread Starter
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I'm going to have to figure out radiator hoses and such too, unless I find a way to pull the radiator back to the same relative distance that it is mounted in the Ranger. It'll make for an interesting looking engine bay.
My brother had aftermarket dual headlights for his Focus. I'm going to see if I can scavenge those to keep the four eye look with the Ranger harness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genie_92lx View Post
With the ranger parts the motor shouldn't have any issues bolting into the car since they came with the 2.3 from the factory. But the k member might be a touch different if your current fox was a v6 or i6 originally.
Originally a 3.8L CFI V6.
I think the Mustang had the same K-member from 1979-1986 regardless of the engine, except for the SVO. I know I'll need 2.3L motor mounts, and I'm guessing a transmission mount too.
The only other issues might be wiring and hose lengths. The Ranger is a little more compact up front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genie_92lx View Post
You prolly wont want that m5od tho. Its not really designed to be used in a sports car setting. And the shifter might be to far back to be viable in a mustang set up...
The fox Mustang is really a passenger car slightly modified to kind of be a sports car, and the full weight convertible wasn't that much lighter than the Ranger is. I do have a Mustang T5 I can use (had gotten all the conversion parts before the notch was wrecked) but the M5OD is a better transmission. I just want the thing to roll. High speed is not a goal with this turd.
I can fix the shifter position with a Miata tail shaft, or cut a new hole in the floor and adapt the stick itself, which is cheaper.
The final drive ratio can be adjusted by choosing the right differential gearing. A 4.10 rear is annoying in the Ranger when you're not hauling anything, but the 4cyl needs it to haul a full load, so I would want to change that for a vehicle that's not going to haul anything. I can have the ECU reprogrammed for that number. (I might have to get the wheel/tire size reprogrammed too.)
I'm looking up the numbers now for the transmission gears in the Ranger:
1st 3.72
2nd 2.20
3rd 1.50
4th 1.00
5th/OD 0.79
Reverse 3.40
For the 2.3L Mustang (SVO in parentheses) it is:
1st 3.97 (3.50)
2nd 2.34 (2.14)
3rd 1.46 (1.39)
4th 1.00 (1.00)
5th 0.85 (0.78)
Reverse 3.70 (3.39)
The manual differential should be a 3.45 in the N/A Mustangs. The later SVOs had a 3.73 so I might be fine with a 3.45 at the steepest. I'll have to see what was available, and what I can get my hands on. Maybe a 3.08 would be best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genie_92lx View Post
Mustang gas tanks for ur car are guaranteed to fit up to 98. I know that for a fact. I had a 94 v6 swapped 85 fox coupe and that puppy with the full 5 lug swap would fly. Everything was swapped over down to the gas tank and break lines.
That's good to know. I'm trying to see if the LTD wagon tank and straps will fit. I hope so, because they're free. If not, hopefully I can pull that when I find a rear end. I have a feeling anything I get will need to be modified to use all the Ranger bits (returnless fuel system and such).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genie_92lx View Post
I wish you were closer tho... there is a guy locally that has an 00 v6 5-speed for 750 obo and that would be all you would need to swap everything to have one sick foxbody! (P.s. it would get killer gas mileage and be pretty quick for a relatively stock drive train. )

From some cluttered garage somewhere...!
I already dropped the money on this parts Ranger! Also, there's very few things I hate more in this world than the 3.8L Essex V6.

---------- Post added at 10:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:30 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by OHC230 View Post
You might find, that an earlier ECU and harness from some kind of Ford turbo 2.3, TurboCoupe / Mustang /Merkur, would put i you in a better position for future mods, rather than struggle with the late Ranger ECU and harness I would think. Your car is off to a good start though.
I've got a 1983 carb'ed harness and the original 1984 CFI harness. Both are shot to hell. The SVO I had was even worse, and I know the LTD isn't worth harvesting from either.
The Ranger stuff actually adapts very easily to performance mods. It's just a reprogramming and you're good (other than the physical mechanical bits). I think it's easier than the 2.3T stuff. The older Rangers not so much. I've already been through all that on the Turbo Ranger Forums.

2000 Ford Mustang convertible 3.8L 5-speed
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post #7 of 31 Old August 14th, 2014, 01:37 AM Thread Starter
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I'm messing around with some final gear ratio calculations, of the stock vehicles and they're about the same, which makes sense. I'm guessing the Mustang will weigh maybe 400-500 less than a Ranger would, so that's really what I'm compensating for with the differential. Now, the rear that's in the car is not 3.45 like a 4 cylinder would be. I may be fine with what's in the car.
I found some conflicting information on how the Ranger reads its speed, so I have to get that sorted. Apparently the 1998-2000 use the ABS sensor, not the VSS.
It's not worth making the LTD gas tank fit, so I'll probably pull an EFI one at the junkyard.
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post #8 of 31 Old August 14th, 2014, 04:47 PM
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Now, the rear that's in the car is not 3.45 like a 4 cylinder would be. I may be fine with what's in the car.



I'm pretty sure that most 4 cylinder Mustangs came with a 3.73 ratio, not that it would be a deal breaker to run something else.

Is that a 6 point roll cage in the car?


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post #9 of 31 Old August 14th, 2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I found official literature on the SVO numbers, but the N/A cars I got from a thread here where guys were posting their numbers. So I could be wrong on the N/A cars. The car I have was a CFI 3.8L C5 with a 7.5" rear. I don't remember what the ratio was on it, and I think my dad took the tag off it long ago. I don't think it's 3.45 or 3.73 though.

The car has a 10 point S&W cage in it, and the race shop that installed it added a diagonal bar as well.

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post #10 of 31 Old August 16th, 2014, 02:16 AM
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Oh I see. Are you going to drive the car on the street with the roll cage?

Have you jacked up the rear and tried counting the # of shaft revolutions per wheel rotation?


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post #11 of 31 Old August 16th, 2014, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, I used to drive it that way when I still drove it.
I haven't gotten to that point yet, but I'll try and check it for a tag tomorrow. (It's at grandpa's house.) I'd have to get creative getting a jack under it, in the sand, where it sits now.

I really need to get the cage stripped and sealed, again, and the rest of the car cleaned up so I can start putting parts in it, before they all get in the way.

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post #12 of 31 Old August 17th, 2014, 12:28 AM
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That makes the engineer in me cringe a little. Don't get me wrong, I love the roll cage, but driven on the street I can only envision blunt force head trauma as the end result.

Watch carefully; note the relative positions of the occupants heads and think of yours hitting the roll bar at the same speed.

There are ways to make it work, but as it sits, it appears highly lethal.




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post #13 of 31 Old August 17th, 2014, 01:01 AM
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When you get a chance get some more pics of that fox id like to see how that cage looks in that convertible.

Also any update on the drivetrain?

I'm just full of dust and old car parts!
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post #14 of 31 Old August 19th, 2014, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
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OHC230 - I know what you're referring to. We had the cage fitted for me specifically, and the seats I have are positioned lower than the stock seats. There was still more I wanted to do so the cage is less of a self imposed bludgeoning tool. The side bar is the closest thing to me. I actually plan on running more bars through the fire wall, and adding a couple further back in the trunk after seeing the way the 1987 crunched under very little impact. Half the reason my dad went overboard on this cage was because he saw another convertible that folded in half on the driver in a bad wreck. My parents decided they'd rather have a beat up body to bury instead of a puréed one. At any rate, that part of it is not done, and I'll be adding airbags.

Genie_92lx - No update yet. Some relatives decided to visit so we had to get the house in order. I'll post as soon as I can get out to see it. Could be tomorrow.






And for fun, a ride height comparison of how it sits vs a stock coupe:

I really wish I could keep this height. I mean I could, but I don't have the skills/tools to pull it off, yet.

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post #15 of 31 Old August 19th, 2014, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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Got a chance to check the car, but didn't have a wrench on me and the tag is too rusty. It it there though. I'll have tools with me next time. I might be able to read the other side.


I also noticed the car is finally starting to rust, pretty much only where the stupid roll cage is.

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post #16 of 31 Old August 31st, 2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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I've been sinking cash into work/career related things, so no progress on the car.

I'm rethinking some things...
-I'll probably cut the cage out, then patch up the floor. I'd had flash backs to how annoying it was getting in and out of the car. The subframe connectors should stiffen it enough. This will also allow me to get a dash back in the car.
-I might go with the T5 that I was going to put in the 1987. I pulled everything I think I needed to convert from auto to manual, so I might as well use it. I think it'll be less work in the long run. Just need to tell the computer what the new ratios are.
-I want to get the engine bay and inside the body tub sealed and painted before I start moving stuff into it.
-I might ditch the a/c and power steering as well.

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post #17 of 31 Old August 31st, 2014, 05:30 PM
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I think that’s very rational to pull the cage at this point. I have been working on a roll bar designed for street use on my SVO. The main hoop has to be set-back roughly 12”, to minimize the possibility of contact with heads. I am using a racing seat which is going to be well secured and hopefully won’t fold back in a crash. I plan on running some NASA HPDE events next year and I wanted to put something in the car, that wouldn’t kill me on the street. It’s tricky but possible. Below is a rough sketch of the street roll bar compared to the standard race set-up.



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post #18 of 31 Old August 31st, 2014, 10:33 PM
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With my car i want to integrate the cage into the stock strength portions of the chassis, that is if i keep it a street car. I wanted to cut out part of the a pillar, and bend a piece of tubing to fit in it perfectly. Then cut the bracing out that runs along above the door, and replace it with a tube as well. I basically want to skin the whole car, and have the exterior basically glued to the roll cage while maintaining all the stock jams, and seals with the cage built around/into them. That way the car could even (with minor modifications) still utilize the stock interior trim pieces. I know it would be a very time consuming, and expensive process, but i would love to do it.

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post #19 of 31 Old September 1st, 2014, 12:58 AM Thread Starter
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OHC230 - I like what you're doing with that cage. There are other reasons I've wanted to cut out the cage, but they exceed my skill and tool sets at this time, so they'll stay in my head, for now. Baby steps.

Mikel89us - I like the way you think. As long as you can keep everything sqaure while doing it, I think it's a very cool idea.

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post #20 of 31 Old September 1st, 2014, 03:25 AM
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IN the past, the engineer in me attempted some rudimentary analysis on Mustang chassis a few years back, while doing some consulting for a customer who happened to own a Fox bodied road race Mustang.

I constructed and tested a few finite models to try and ascertain how torsional loads would be distributed through the chassis, using 4 different roll cage designs. In my analysis I found that I had some degree of flexibility when it came to the actual attachment point positions on the roll cage.

I was immediately apparent that the weakest part of the structure was the original chassis pan, which yielded well before I would have expected. What I took away from this is; the roll cage to chassis mountings should have a large area of contact in order to diffuse stress distribution as much as practical.

I don't know if you are familiar with a product called Extend rust inhibitor, by LOCTITE®. It is a pretty good product for dealing with rust.

You will be happily surprised at how well sub-frame connectors work on your car. I would suggest you stitch weld them to the floor pan, spacing the welds 6-8" apart.


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