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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off I wanna say thanks in advance to anyone who has some advise for me. With that being said, I just joined and this is my first post. I hope it fit in with all the guide lines and will not get flamed (too much).

I am about to acquire an 86 Gt factory AOD. :cry:. However, it has what i believe is an all original drive train with 56k. Hard to believe I know.
So, my questions are as follows.

I want to end up with a low 12 high 11sec car, street-able. Now getting there is where i need advice. I have searched and read, and searched and read. I know basically how to get there. So, my thoughts.

I know the car is SD and would need to be either changed to maf or carb.
I also believe it would be more economical to convert to manual trans, than buy a built auto, shifter etc. (more fun to drive)

I also know my engine is limited due to flatt top piston, E6 heads. So im thinking build another engine and just swap them.

1) With the computer mods that have to be done to change to maf, as well as manual trans, would it be better to just go carbed.
2) Thinkin of swapping to 351w pro vs. cons please
3) Should i just open the 86 up and replace pistons there or find a newer 5.0 altogether?
4) I live in the mountains of NC, is there a way to make these cars handle well in the curves and still pull good et's? if so point me in the right direction. (car currently has weld DL 15x6f 15x8r)

I know this is long and im trying to get direction from all your experiences.
any and all help is greatly appreciated.

p.s. also would like to throw a small 50-75 shot on at somepoint.
 

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What's your budget and power goals...theres so many variables
Maf is an easy swap and cheap
If your gonna stay at or below around 450hp you could stroke the motor you have now, do H/C/I and exhaust, the small shot your talking about and with good tires and some suspension work you should be in your time slip goal range

Trans is your choice but you can get a pretty beefy C4 (auto) at a fair price

Lots of directions to go, really gotta narrow in on what you want

Welcome to forum, there's a ton of dudes that know way more than I do around here that will give you great advice
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
well, as far as budget goes there isnt a set in stone budget. my wife is getting me this car for a project because she knows i love them. I had thought about strokin the block i got but people seem to get the same or more power from going 351w. i think i would honestly like to stay efi. would it be a mess of wiring to switch to maf and manual trans?
the car already has sub-frame connectors, i need to reweld them as the welds look like chicken scratch and i dont want anyone thinkin it was me that did it lol.
as for goals......let see if i can draw a picture lol
I live in the mountains and driving the parkway and running twisties is a huge rush for me, however, i still want enough motor to really pull off the light.
I was originally thinking find a more modern roller motor just not sure what year to look for? doing gt40 h/i and a cam. do a good port polish and figure out what mm tb and mam i need as well as what pound injectors. there are just so many options and not knowing anyone in my area that builds anything its hard to figure out which is the best bang for the buck as far as performance and reliability.
 

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Right off the bat, that AOD is going to slow you down. Youre lucky to run 15s as it sits. If youre keeping it, get a shift kit and a good convertor. A heavy duty rebuild will help a bunch to. If it were me, id just buy a ready made trans. TCI and PA Performance come to mind but there are others. But if youre thinking of going stick, by all means go for it. I dont do stick so im not the best to ask whats what.

A 351 should make more torque and more power from the get go, and can be bore and stroked more than the 302 should you want or need to. The 351adds some extra weight and you will likely need a taller hood. It requires 351 headers, 351 lower intake, and 351 oil pan and accessory brackets. Use a larger radiator to. A 351 shouldnt cost much more than the 302, but like everything else, that depends on how far you want to go with it.

Taking curves and getting good ets will take some fine tuning. You normally sacrifice a little of one for the other as the suspension setups arent quite the same. Figure out what you will be using it more for and set it up accordingly. Adjustable shocks and struts is a good start.

Ill let the others cover the rest. They know a lot more than i probably ever will.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok, see let me re-ask the question if you will. setting it up for curves will be a little higher on the agenda. i can drive down my driveway and do that, however the strips are 1 1/2 hrs plus away. 1 is an 8th and the other is thunder valley. and i think there is 1 other somewhere. anyways, 5 speed convertion is a must.
i want low end torque that will last till somewhere in the 5k range as i dont want to rev the trash out of it.
i want a good turn key setup, hop in, start it, i drive.
i want enough power that if a need to drive with the rear end it can be done without clutch dropping at 3k+ lol
I guess ultimately im trying to build a respectable fox road car.

sorry for all the unknowns, im just trying to find direction, thus the reason im here lol.

but for what i have described what my best engine setup in your opinion?
 

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Everything i stated b4 applies to both launch and track...running stiffer springs or lowering the car is the only thing that will negatively affect launching in my suggestions. Personally I'd run a turbo on your current set up. The car has low comp and a small turbo will make the car a torque machinethat will break em loose at 3k all day long A tko or t56 are good manual transmissions.

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Someone on here has a moto of "Traction, then power." These cars can easily butter the tires, even with the low power. Maybe start with tortional rigitity and getting the power to the ground. Get an aggressive subframe connector setup, including seat bolt extensions. Then boxed, adjustable, upper and lower control arms. Maybe move onto adjustable shocks and struts. If you lower the car, which will really help in the twisties and hills, get the adjustable caster/camber plates and the bump steer kit. That will get the car planted and stable, good fun.

That brings us to the driveline. Before you change trans styles, for a good bit of money and parts searching, put a 3:73 gear in the rear. At that time you can figure out how far you want to go with it. Putting in a fresh "Trac-Loc" carrier and bearings would be nice. There are wheel possibilities for four lugs, even the new 17 inch 4 lug Pony rims in different widths. I have seen 10 second cars using four lugs with the proper set up. That will save you money, but look for a rear disc brake kit to get the brakes up to snuff. The rear end can be done the way you want the first time because it's the same one you will use with either trans set ups, so do the rear end all the way the first time. Check or change to fresh u-joints for cheap insurance until you think about changing the drive shaft to the manual one.

Moving forward to the trans. I know i'm gonna get flamed for this but just put a good shift kit and deep finned pan kit in it. Add a B&M stacked plate trans cooler, and maybe even a constant pressure valve body. Here's the subjective part. Check places like Summit Racing for the $300ish, 2600 RPMish, lockup stall converter. The conservative stock power should not be a problem for the converter but the difference between the rear gear, shift kit, and 2600ish stall will give that car a huge new attitude for little money, and control over holding gears in the hills. Bigger fun and a feel of about 70 HP gain with the butt-o-meter.

Then make the engine more volumeticly efficient by putting headers and full exhaust system of your choosing, then a cold air setup with a Mass Air Flow conversion. All of that can be used for a newer engine setup. Think twice about the 315W conversion. I wanted one until yesterday when nxcoupue pointed out the usual tall deck options. Taller, heavier, lots of specific parts needed for the change, and not much more power unless you stroke to 393 or bigger in my opinion, and not so cheap to find a roller block.

I conclusion of this long and babbling post, If the engine runs great with the lower miles, start with stiffening the car so the suspension can be tuned better, then suspension and trailing arms for handling and body control, adding torque multiplication through rear end and converter, then add power. You may hold off the manual trans for years. Just my way of thinking about it. Anyone have more ideas?

Jerry
 

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I disagree with upgrading the 4 link. Don't waste your time upgrading your control arms. The panhard bar/ torque arm setup is better in every situation especially twistys. Also if you put boxed control arms and do anything other than driving in a straight line be prepared to repair your torque boxes....
 

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Have the pistons notched and through some better heads on. If it truly has that low of miles it may be worth it to do the piston notching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Big question i cant find an answer to, how far can you cut the pistons. And so your all aware my dad is a cnc programmer and my bro is a machinist so if i need to mic the piston what amount of material is the thinnist to leave? And thanks for the help. I have always wanted a good ratchet auto but know nothing about them lol seems odd to think of driving without a stick. But aslong as it can take my buddies 240 all is good. Hes not to swooft behind the wheel but we wont tell him

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