As some of you know, I purchased a 1990 Mustang LX a while back. It was NOT as advertised by any means. The first thing I wanted to do after driving it around some was check out the engine. We pulled the pro products upper intake manifold off and there was a TON of aluminum shavings inside of it. Then we pulled the lower off and noticed it had solid (flat tappet) lifters. That told me all I needed to know about that engine so I started searching. Ended up buying a TFS 170 headed engine off a guy in Lynchburg, VA. He said it had been freshened up, which seems accurate as all cylinders tested around 145ish. I also ended up buying parts (and a junk car) off a few other people to make sure I had everything needed. We swapped in the new(ish) engine, put another rear end in it with a 4.56 gear, and took it to the track.
On motor it ran in the 8’s, which was respectable for a NA car. On 225/60/16 radials. It was a pig. We threw some nitrous to it and it ended up running 97.5ish with a 7.49 pass on eibach rear springs. Again, not horrible, but the 60′ was also 1.9-2.0x. Also during this time I decided to invest in a megasquirt pnp ecu to learn how to tune the car.
I failed to mention the transmission. It had an AOD installed but the shift pattern was completely backwards. Apparently the guy who had it prior to us (or prior to him) forgot to put a bracket on it so it’d shift properly and in PRND21 order. Ugh. So, since I bought the junk car which had a c4 and brand new converter, we put that in there..along with a 3.73 rear gear. I ended up buying the proper bell housing, a new flexplate, and deep trans pan for it. It ran ok for what it was, but we still couldn’t get it where I wanted it to be. The dipstick on that is a pain in the ass, fwiw.
I decided I should switch the car to turbo since nitrous prices were going bonkers in VA. I got the on3 kit with 7665 ball bearing turbo, blanket, 320lph pump, 60lb injectors, new fuel pressure regulator, and other odds and ends. My bro and I also decided to get a completely new suspension setup at that time, which consisted of UPR and Strange parts. I got the complete front and rear suspension kit, including anti-roll bar, subframe connectors, etc. My brother, being the workaholic he is, decided we should tackle it.. so we did. The suspension parts installed fairly easily. To this day we’ve not installed the torque box reinforcements, the ARB, nor the SFC. Some of that should happen fairly soon.
So I get the car somewhat tuned enough to take it to the track and get some data. Bro did a burnout and it sounded really, really healthy. He stages, hits the transbrake, builds a little boost, and the car just sits there after the light turns green. He puts down the track for what seems like 30 seconds. This happened twice, but the second time the car is stuck on the track. Won’t move forward under its own power. Apparently when the bell was put on the bolts were too long and the converter wasn’t sitting back enough against the pump. Ah, so that’s why I had problems tuning it on the street. We get the trans to the shop, the guy goes through it, and we put it back in. At this point, I’m pretty sick of dealing with it. Then I moved.
Now that I’m in AL away from the car, I figured out some of the things that could have been holding it back in the tune. I also scour the interwebs for tuning information. This whole time I was on the lookout for a Dart short block so that we can really turn the power up. I found one. Specs are here:
327 Stroker originally built by Cinci Speed (have balancing sheet)
8.2- 4.00 Dart Iron Eagle Block full 4 bolt with Billet caps ($3200 bare block)
1200hp Eagle crank and Rods with 7/16 L19 rod bolts and ARP Studs
JE/SRP dished pistons
Solid roller Comp Turbo Cam and chain (have card)
Canton IE hand welded pan with bungs
ATI super damper, oil filter relocation, Ford water pump
EFI Spyder complete Intake with Billet Rails, 90mm Accufab TB, and 96lb injectors
This setup, along with the TFS 11R 190 heads I bought new in GA, should allow me to do what I need for now. The engine should be shipped here soon and the intake setup will be here tomorrow. Once I get the car here (pending the truck issue below) I will focus on getting the SFC’s in, some other welding, and maybe the cage welded into place. Then I’ll tackle some of the wiring as it’s old as hell and needs to be changed out. Some of the wires are burned through. I also have to figure out what to do about the seat issue. THEN, and only then, the engine go into its new home. I know the C4 isn’t up to par, and I know the rear end isn’t going to hold up, but that’s later down the road. I just want to be able to drive it… for now. Hopefully my tune has gotten everything a lot closer where it needs to be.
Until next time..