Thursday, June 4, 2015

PI Ford Head Update

Well, I have found an alternative to the PI heads that Ford Racing have discontinued. They are Modular Headshop MHS 2V PI Romeo StockMod Heads. These are used heads that have been inspected and given a complete performance rebuild. They are $1.2k a pair and that does not include cams.

I have read on their site before that used PI cams run $50 so add that and getting the extra .030" decking done for $20 would bring the price to under $1.3k. Not as good of a deal as new heads and cams from Ford, but for all the work that is done on them the extra $400-$500 seems worth it and really the best choice for the type of build I am looking to do.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Goodbye Ford Racing PI Heads

Gone are the 2 valve PI heads that were used on the 1999 thru 2004 Mustang GT. I'm guessing that since it has been 10 years since the last 2 valve Mustang rolled off the assembly line that it was time to retire these cylinder heads.

The last time this happened to me was back in 2008. I saw in the Ford Racing catalog that they were still selling the SVO 2 valve heads that went on the 1996 thru 1998 NPI engine. I found a good deal on the SVO intake (seen above) which had been very rare and hard to find. After getting the intake I was saving for the SVO heads. Then in 2009 the SVO heads were gone from the Ford Racing catalog.

Lesson learned. Get your Ford Racing parts while they are still in the catalog. It's a shame, the PI heads came with cams and both could have been had for around $800 - $900 for the pair, new.

So my options now are the new 2 valve Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads for over $2k for the pair and add another $600 for cams. Get a pair of used / reconditioned PI heads from someone like Modular Head Shop or get a pair of used / reconditioned NPI ported heads for my SVO intake. Those last two would come with cams at around $2.3k for stage 1 or $2.7k for stage 2.

Making power for the 4.6 modular 2 valve engine has just gotten really expensive. Jegs sells a Chevy 350 ci long block (heads and complete lower-end) for under $2k. Add a carburetor and a cam and that would make more power than I could with the any of the combos I listed above.

I'm going to have to think really hard on whether or not to continue with this project....

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Project is not dead yet!

Even though I have not posted in almost two years I still have the Mustang and I still plan on upgrading it. Sorry for the cobwebs....

Still waiting on extra funds to put into the car. Once I have those funds I'm going to do the rear axle first. Some 4.10 Ford Racing gears, new axles, new Ford Racing posi-traction differential with the carbon fiber discs just like the one they put in the '03 - '04 Cobra. I wanted to go with the 4.30 gear, but Ford has discontinued those so 4.10 it is.

I know some might think the 4.10 is a bit much for the street, but this is not a daily driver and I have only put 7k miles on the car since I got it back in May of 2008, so I'm really not worried about some loss in gas mileage.

That will be the first step. The next big step will be the Ford Racing PI heads and cams. I don't want to go with aftermarket cams, I want to keep it all Ford as I have said in the past. Plus, the new heads with valves and cams cost $800 and a set of aftermarket cams cost $600 alone. I want to keep this simple and if I get 275 to 300 hp to the crank I'll be a happy man. The PI engine got 260 HP stock. With the bump in compression and the bolt on accessories I should be able to reach that goal easy.

Just thought I should update so I can have at least one post on the blog this year.

Monday, December 31, 2012

New Direction

 I have decided to head in another direction with my build. The followers of this page have watched me work toward a street / strip car. I modified the build a bit when I added the Bullitt handling kit. After living with the kit for over a year now I really don't have any interest in drag racing the car anymore. It would just cost to much money to make a car that takes a pounding at the strip. Plus there is no getting around it, a strip suspension is way different than a handling one. I'm on the road more than I would be at at the strip so I'm going for more of a road build. One that echoes the 1965 Shelby GT 350.

After some bench racing with my brother-in-law Jay, I think we have come up with a plan. First the goal would be to try and get close to the specifications of the '65 GT 350. The three main specifications that I'm after on the GT 350 are, 306 hp, 329 lbs-ft torque and a weight of 2,800 pounds.  We have also added a limiting factor to make this goal. Try and only use Ford parts whenever possible. By putting a limit on what we can buy we have to get creative and it will keep the costs down since we won't be looking at blowers or turbos and the like.

The first number is horsepower and that should be easy to get with just bolt-ons. My car has the NPI engine in it and it is listed at 225hp stock. I have a few bolt-on's already, under-drive pulleys, Flowmaster cat back, cold air induction and a Diablo tune. Even with these mods I'm sure I'm well short of the 306hp goal. However, doing a PI head / Cam swap and bolt on's will get me close to 275rwhp / 295rwtq and using a 15% conversion that comes to around 316 hp and 339 tq at the flywheel. That takes care of both the hp and tq goals right there.

The last spec is curb weight. The Shelby is listed at 2,800 lbs and my GT is listed at 3,278 lbs. So to match that spec the GT will have to shed 478 lbs. This goal would be a long term one. First I can start with the easy free stuff like a rear seat delete, getting rid of the Mach 460 sound system and various other tricks can shed a couple of hundred pounds quick and cheap. Getting those last pounds off will be more of a challenge. Using this link will help figure out what to take out or replace:

Well, those are the new goals. I'm looking forward to building this beast.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Not For Sale

Just kidding! My Mustang GT has been sitting quietly in my garage for a year and a half since I added the tires and handling kit. Work is slow and I really don't have to money to put into what is essentially a toy. I have taken it out a few times to stretch it's legs and to make sure it's fluids get moved around.

Even though I have thought about selling it, it really would not make any sense. It's paid for, it makes a great back up car in case one of our other cars needs to go into the shop and I would not get that much for it anyway. For some reason the 1996-1998 Mustangs are not very popular with the masses. Kind of like the Mustang II. The 4.6 modular engine was not a hit with the 5.0 pushrod crowd. I love the look of the 94-98 (SN95) cars. they have a very sleek sports car look while retaining some of the classic Mustang styling, but the retro craze seems to get all the attention.

I'm sad I missed the SITH (Silver in the Hills), the Silver Mustang club meeting this year. The past years it has been in Stone Mountain GA which is six miles from me. So money was never an excuse to miss it. This year they moved it to Maggie Valley, NC and I was planing to go up on Saturday and come back the same day, but our other '98 Mustang had to go into the shop on Saturday for repair so that took away from any extra cash we had to make the trip. I hope things will turn around so I can make it next year.

So, even though I have thought of selling it, I really can't because I love the car and I would not be able to get enough money out of it for the money I have spent on upgrades. Even though I do not have the funds to do what I want to the car at least I have a project car that is in great working order for when this economy turns around and I have the cash to sink into it.

I had not made an update on the blog for over a year so I thought I'd post up some of my thoughts just so anyone that reads this blog will know the project is not dead and that I have not given up on getting this project done!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mobile Post

Just trying out posting from my new Android phone. Decided to take the Mustang out today to stretch its legs. So while I was out doing errands I snapped this photo and thought I would try the Android app, Blogger. So this post is totaly from my phone.

If I like the way it looks I will be able to post from locations such as the drag strip or from car shows. It is always nice to have an excuse to post another photo of my car. :-)

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fixing the Headlights

Restored headlight

Cloudy headlight.

I started out with the Mothers headlight repair kit. It comes with some polish and a Mothers ball thingie that fits on a drill. It also has some small sandpaper at 800, 1000, 1500 and 2000 grit. I worked on Nancy's car first and used up the paper so I went out and got all four of those grits of wet sanding paper to do my car. You start by taping off the painted parts of the car so you don't sand any paint off. I used that low tack blue painters tape. Then I started out with 800 girt and just sanded in a north / south motion. I went with an east / west motion when I went to the 1000 grit, and alternated with the 1500 and 2000 grits. I finished off with the Mothers polish and the ball on a drill. They turned out really well. You can tell the age on the side markers, some micro cracks, but they are really clear now. Makes a huge difference when driving at night.

I may end up getting new Cobra clear lights and markers along with some trick switchback LED side lights, but for now this is a good fix.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Shoes & Handling Package

I picked up some wheels and tires. The wheels are 18" x 9" Black Bullitt Wheels. I got them used from Prestige Mustangs. Prestige Mustangs is a Mustang salvage yard. They have tons of Mustang parts and I went out to Monroe to see if they had any wheels that I'd like. They had this set with a really good set of Nexen N3000 tires for $699. Prestige Mustangs use to be in Clarkston GA less than a mile from where I live. Now it's a 50 mile drive to go see them, but it's worth the drive! I love the contrast of the black wheels on a silver car so I'm very happy with how my GT looks.

The M-5400-A 'Bullitt Handling Package' is installed and the car rides so much better! The handling has improved as well. The car does not wiggle around on an off ramp any more and the car just has a much more predictable feel to it. I think this was a huge upgrade for my car. It has lowered the car about an inch and has taken away that 4X4 look that the stock SN95's have. I'm told that it takes awhile for the springs to settle and it might drop a tad more. I did not go with an after-market caster / camber plate since they were able to align the car to factory specs without it. I'm guessing this is because I used a Ford Racing kit. With other lowering springs you have to get a cc plate to get it to align correctly.

I drove it around town a bunch today and the car just feels great! Now I have to get it cleaned up and waxed to get ready for the cruise that is coming next Saturday May 21st.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

M-5400-A Performance Handling Kit

Well, today I drove down to Gene Evans Team Ford and picked up the 'Bullitt Handling' kit. This kit comes with front and rear coils springs, front Tokico struts, rear Tokico shocks plus front and rear sway bars. This kit lists for $545.00, but had them on sale for $469.20 and had it in stock! The parts guy I talked to was Rick Stark. He was more than helpful and a nice guy to chat with while I waited on my kit to come over from their warehouse. I'm sure they have not seen the last of me!

Since I'm going to install a handling kit instead of the 4 cyl Fox springs and Lakewood drag struts and shocks, my build is being modified a touch. I have sold my F-150, it is going to a good home with my brother. So I now just have my daily driver and my Mustang. I have decided to to go in a milder direction than making a full on street / strip drag car. I want to be able to drive my Mustang in the rain and for normal driving if my daily driver is in the shop.

I looked up the stats on the 2001 Mustang Bullitt GT and stock it does 0-60 in 5.5 sec. and the quarter mile in 14 flat on street tires. My goal is still to have a 12 second mustang and I'm sure I can do it with this kit setup. I will need more power and some better gears, but I don't think it will be out of reach by using this suspension setup.

So now I will have two sets of wheels and tires. One set for handling and running around with, rain or shine and the other set is my Summit Star 15" big and little wheels and tires. With my 15x8 Summit Star wheel I can now go with the MT ET Street radial tire that is super sticky and head for the track, as long as it's not going to rain!

I will keep the updates coming as I get the parts installed.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's about time!

Well, I'm done! The Mustang is now in the garage. My biggest hurdle to doing this was a very large and obsolete Durst 10x10 enlarger and some other darkroom equipment. I started working on cleaning out the garage last week, and took a truckload of junk to the dump. I met a man there that recycles metal and he told me that he would come and pick up any metal I had for free! I took him up on it so he came by and took the stuff on Friday. I have been working on the garage until now (Sunday) to get it cleaned out so I can put my Mustang in there.

It has been a long time since my garage was able to hold a car, I'm happy it is done.