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Discussion Starter #1
So I took the plunge last year and bought my first Mustang - '89 2.3 with a T-5 - to turn it into a weekend/autocross/track car. It's a bit rough - I certainly won't have to worry about cone damage or door dings. I like the underdog 2.3 and when I eventually get to open track the thing I won't mind starting out (again) with less power.

First steps are cleaning and suspension upgrades with some Maximum Motorsports goodies.

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Here's a pic of the beast. Overall it's in in pretty good shape - mostly straight but some cosmetic damage (driver door is a bit wrinkled) and a few little spots of rust. A supposedly fresh but awful paint job. Mostly it was just filthy dirty inside and out. Have done a lot of cleaning and have a lot left to do.


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First steps:


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I like it. Something to me is appealing about a 2.3 5-speed car in black. Looking forward to progress.
+1

Also, this car is in better shape than my street car.... Lol my mustang is rough, but it was rough when I got her, and I've driven it for 8 years now. Still going.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Been working on the front suspension. Cleaned up the greasy mess to start, then began rebuilding. Steeda X2 ball joints:


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SN95 control arms with ball joints and the Prothane bushings:


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Let me talk about the poly bushings for a minute. I've never used them before, and so far I'm a bit disappointed. They were easy enough to install, but once in the control arm the amount of friction/stiction was huge. I could barely rotate the arm.


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Did a little research and found many were grinding down the poly part until it was just slightly narrower than the steel sleeve (and by the way, there are different size sleeves front and rear, asks me how i know). That made it better but it still doesn't move as freely as I'd like. I'll give them a try but eventually I'd like to upgrade to the Maximum Motorsports control arms and subframe.

Next up are the MM steering rack bushings. The require you to cut the stock tubes down flush. SN95 rack to match the control arms:


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They use a combo of concave washers to allow for production tolerances to keep from binding the rack:


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And here we are with arms and rack installed. Keeps getting heavier:


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Will be using this to connect the SN95 rack to the Fox column - MM hybrid steering shaft:


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Next step is to clean up the engine bay and 5-lug spindles and get this stuff bolted in.
 

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You can do what I did, I took mine, and drilled and tapped the outer shell for the bushing for a grease zerk fitting. Then drill a hole down through the bushing once its in the control arm, and install the fitting. This will allow you to get grease down to the inner sleeve, and help with wear and squeaking. It should also free it up. You don't want them loose either.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Overdue update. Front end is pretty much back together. Koni yellows, MM Road & Track springs, MM Bumpsteer kit.


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MM solid hybrid shaft installed.


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Brakes back together with the MM braided lines. Kids wanted red calipers, so...


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On to the rear. Fqbbed up a mount for the third link. Seems pretty stout, hopefully it works as planned.


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Had to do some surgery to the floorpan. Sorry, pics aren't great.


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Next is fabbing up a front mount. The front heim joint needs to be just above the top of the driveshaft hump to be right around 50% anti squat, which is where all my research says a road-race car should be more or less. I'm going to tie the front mount into the floor at the subframes to try and keep too much force out of the floorpan itself.

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On all four wheels for the first time in a while.


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Very nice, for the lateral location are you using a panhard bar, or watts link?? I suggest watts link for a track car, just because it keeps the axle 100% square in the chassis.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Very nice, for the lateral location are you using a panhard bar, or watts link?? I suggest watts link for a track car, just because it keeps the axle 100% square in the chassis.
I have the MM panhard bar, got it when it was on sale a while back. I looked at the Fays2 watts link but it was more than double the price. Will be putting the MM piece in soon (hopefully).
 

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Nothing wrong with a panhard bar! The typically work best for circle track, but I know for road course the watts is very good.
 

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I have run numerous NASA events with 4 cylinder Mustangs, they do surprisingly well.

If you're going to run the engine in N/A form, you will quickly find that the fuel system will limit your HP to roughly 115-120ish range, no matter what you do internally. I have successfully used the lower HP turbo ECU's and injectors to push up to 155 HP, before requiring some kind of tuner. Finding a cam that will play nice with factory ECU's can be challenging, hence the HP limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have run numerous NASA events with 4 cylinder Mustangs, they do surprisingly well.

If you're going to run the engine in N/A form, you will quickly find that the fuel system will limit your HP to roughly 115-120ish range, no matter what you do internally. I have successfully used the lower HP turbo ECU's and injectors to push up to 155 HP, before requiring some kind of tuner. Finding a cam that will play nice with factory ECU's can be challenging, hence the HP limit.
Good to hear about the 4-cyl on track because I want to look into doing NASA and some of the local clubs around here. I'd like my boys to do some events when they get old enough and I'm not keen on sending them out with a ton of power underfoot, that's just asking for trouble.

My plan right now is to go carb. Ideally would like 200hp and keep it under 7k rpm.
 

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The carb will really simplify that process. Since HP is a function of engine speed, you will most likely be closer to 7500-7800 RPM @ 200 HP. If you can live with 175-185 HP, your goal is not hard to obtain with bolt on parts and some minor port work. A CR of 11.5-12:1 with the right choice of cam, springs and header can get you in that category. The 350 and 500 CFM Holley carbs work well when mounted via adapter plate to the stock EFI lower intake. An accumulator and windage tray would be good insurance for your type of racing, along with a bronze distributor gear.

I listed some links below, from which I've built several 180 HP engines from. This is a partial list of course.


Holley 0-7448 350 CFM Gas 2 Barrel Carburetor - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop


Schoenfeld Headers F239V 2.3 Ford Pinto Late Model Headers - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop


Speedway 2.3 Ford Solid Lifter Cam, 4000-7200 RPM - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop

Icon 2.3 Ford Pistons, Flat Top, 5.205 Rod - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop
 

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Might I throw in a suggestion cam wise?? I think the best thing for your desire would be a bo-port complete cam kit. They do complete drop in kits that require no machine work to the spring pockets. I will get a link for you.

First link is to the cam page, read up on the cams here
http://bo-port.com/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=1

Second link is to the kit, you can choose stock or oversized valves, and cam bring, and the option to purchase followers
http://bo-port.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=53
 

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Bo does some very nice work that's for sure and is a nice guy too. His head porting is some of the best in the business. I think the cams he sells are aimed at boosted applications and lack the needed duration for Eric's application, unless Bo's introduced something new??

I'm not sure what kind of budget Eric is on for this project, but for my money, the Speedway parts can take you pretty far towards building a good road race engine. The stock 2.3 Rods and crank are plenty strong for this task; a good inspection of the engine, boring of the block and surfacing of the block and head to raise CR plus some balancing will just about complete the build.

BTW Speedway sells a good dual valve spring set for $70.00.

2.3L Ford Drop-In Dual Valve Springs - Speedway Motors, America's Oldest Speed Shop
 
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