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Old 08-28-2002, 12:43 AM   #1
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How to build a low 9, maybe even high 8 second car?

Hey everyone...

I have a dream.. and I have some money.

This being my first post, let me start of by saying I'm about to hit the dark side. I currently own a LS1 powered car that’s running high 10's on a regular basis. I built the motor myself in my garage, with obvious exception to the machine work. I'm not afraid to build my own motor, and turn my own wrenches.

What I currently have access to, is my pick of a few 84 4 cylinder LX cars, and then a few of the more common, later year hatch backs. All with good price ranges for my budget, and good bodies. I expect to paint whatever I buy.

What I'm here for, is to find out how to make my dream a reality. I really don't know much about Ford cars, and most specifically, the Fox body cars. So, any, even basic info any of you can provide would be great.

So, lets get started.

What body do I want? What year? My past understanding is that the 84 LX's were the lightest of all the years. Is this true? What do I give up for the weight? Structural rigidity?

What are my options for big power? I think I'd like to go with a big CI motor with a turbo setup. I'm not really interested in juice, but, want the option to run it if I choose to do so. What block am I looking at to hold and run the power I'm looking for?

What do I need to look at as far as drive train? Tranny's, drive shafts, rear ends? I expect this to be an auto tranny car.

What do I need to do to make the chassis hold this type of power? I'm not 100% sure if I wanna put a 12 point cage in this car, or if I wanna run it with a mostly full interior. I don't mind ( and I expect ) to tub the rear to fit the meats under the rear either route I choose.

My last, any ONLY requirement is that the car MUST be able to drive on public streets. I'm not worried about heavy inspections, as I live in the boonies of south Texas, and stickers are easy to come by.. within reason.


hmmm.. could just drop my LS1 motor into it.. j/k.

Seriously, lets start with these questions, and see where we go from here.


TIA,

Chris

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Old 08-28-2002, 02:40 AM   #2
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Exclamation Hope this helps!

My first opinion is to get a 87-93 LX body! Those look the best in my opinion!

Second, Get a 351 Block, Bore it and stroke it to a 408. Put some good AFR or a decent aluminum head, good intake, and HUGE azz Procharger. Get a good suspension under it and with some slicks you should be well into the single digit et's

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Old 08-28-2002, 02:57 AM   #3
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I always though going to the dark side meant getting a certain buick with a 3.8 turbo
Welcome! im pretty new here myself too

Wow, i think this project is gonna cost you money! I think there are a few people who own cars that run single digits on this board. Hopefully they can share their wisdom with you.

i think first youll have to decide what block to go with. The 351's are known performers. Ofcourse youll have to stroke it. You'll need strong internals to hold up to the boost. You'll need a good set of heads. (AFR=$$$$) and youll have to decide whether to go carb or FI. (i think carb is easier) But with turbo(s) FI would be a better idea

Um also i agree with KSSTANG that 87-93 trunk models look good. They were also the lightest i believe.

Youll need all the usual chasis rigidifying (is that even a word) stuff (subframe connectors, cage, torque box reinforcement etc..)

Youll need a good drag suspension.

Maybe even coilover with a ladder bar???

BIG TIRES!

I dont know much about turbos, but i think a big single would be what your looking for.

Im no expert, just thought i'd share my opinion with you.

P.S. What have you done to your LS1 to run high 10's (nitrous, stroker)?
Are you on www.ls1.com? i lurk there alot

good luck.
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Old 08-28-2002, 06:20 AM   #4
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EFI or carb? What I would do is build a 400+ inch 4 bolt main 351 block based stroker, go with some of the new afr 225 heads....or even a set of the 205's, a solid roller cam, 2 inch headers and 3.5" exhaust, with either one 100mm big thumper, or a pair of smaller twins, intercooler and all that. You should easily get to your goals, and if you keep the cam a little milder, it should run fine on the street. All you need is an electronic boost controller and you can turn the wick down for pump gas, but even then it might run high 8's. You really want to tub it and run it on the street? Your limited slip options are pretty non existent....and you will really need 33 spline or bigger axles to hold the power on slicks. The car it goes in is really irrelevant, and a 10 point cage, or better yet a cage that goes through the firewall and through the front shock towers is your best bet. Transmission choice is going to be tough for streetability and to hold the power, and put it down, and keep it straight.
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Old 08-28-2002, 11:06 AM   #5
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My LS1 has a built bottom end with forged pistons and rods. Stock crank, total seal rings. Heads and cam. Puts down over 450 to the wheels.

Alright, lets start with the car/body.

Why would I want a newer one? Are all the years (79-94) just about the same? I'm not complaining as to the years, but, I can get an older one for cheaper, and that allows me to either build it 'faster' or sink more money into the motor.

Where do I go, or should I look for a block? I'm fine with a used one, as long as it obviously will 'pass' inspection.

Do I need to look for a specific year?
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Old 08-28-2002, 12:14 PM   #6
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I would get a Fox body trunk model. Put it on a major diet (tubular K-member, coil overs, plasitc hood, plastic trunk lid, run a fuel cell in the trunk, loose the back seats, AC, and heater box). Try to find one that has no power options whatsoever. Drop an R302 block that is stroked to 331 with AFR's on it and choose your poweradder from there. Nitrous would be the easiest but you better keep at least 2 bottles in the trunk. Blower would be next and turbo is probably the most difficult and costly. All three will get you into the single digits though on slicks or more impressively on drag radials with some good suspension work.
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:11 PM   #7
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You could send me 18,000 dollars and buy my car. Problem solved!!!
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:32 PM   #8
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I'd prefer to build my own.. that way I can learn what I'm driving, and then know how to fix it when something goes wrong.. but, thanks for the offer
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Old 08-28-2002, 02:40 PM   #9
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2 words, boss 429! haha go with the classic 429, stroke to 460, if u want the turbos thats fine, id go with a burley ass roots blower (20+ psi) turn the thing into a cage, and get some insane slicks so u can stay on the ground, its not possible to have an 8 second car as a one u can just drive around the neighborhood, i mean u can but u will be going no where (tire slip) ok, later
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Old 08-28-2002, 05:38 PM   #10
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You and I both know that 1) I'm not gonna find one 2) thats gonna run me BIG money to build it.

I think my best option to hit my goal, is a built 351. The kits I've seen put me at 409ci. Put low compression pistons in it, run 8:1 with 20PSI off the turbo, etc.

Let me ask this... is there such thing as an all bore 409 motor, or similar size? I'd rather go with the bore for the fact if it is a track car ( almost only ) that's where I'd like my power to be, over a stroked (only) motor.

Opinions?
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Old 08-28-2002, 05:43 PM   #11
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Let see,

Personally if you are set on turbo an r-blocked 347 with good internals (billet crank/rods/etc) and AFR 205's or 225's with a 100mm thumper turbo, Accel DFI, etc would EASILY run those numbers. BUT if I had to do this I would honestly look into a large CI nitrous motor... Maybe a 408 with afr 225's and a 2 stage spraying about 500. It would be a LOT cheaper then anything else. Whatever you go with a race prepped powerglide with a trans brake and a reasonably high stall converter is going to be your best bet tranny wise (for street/race manners). I would also go with a 9 inch rear end tubbed out with a 4 link... wont be great on the street but you will get by.


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Old 08-28-2002, 05:47 PM   #12
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Not all bore, but if you use one of the 4 bolt 351 blocks (few available), you can use a whole lot of bore with less stroke, and you will want to go with the smaller main size too, I believe 2.75. This is why I said 400 ish inch, as there are many ways to get there, with big bores being the best and easiest way. I think you have a lot of figuring to do, but thats going to be the way to go....with a solid roller cam also being a necessity. Check out the afr 205's and new 225's for the head choice, or possibly tfs-r's or hogged edelbrock victors. You still haven't mentioned efi or carb, as you can go both ways, with carb being cheaper obviously.
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Old 08-28-2002, 05:50 PM   #13
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I'm not dead set against juice... I'm just not that interested in paying for it all the time. Spraying a 500 shot would eat a 10lb bottle every run... or damn close to it.

I'd rather have a turbo or roots type blower to get me where I want to be.
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Old 08-28-2002, 05:52 PM   #14
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I haven't decided EFI or CARB.. but, I think I'd almost rather do EFI. Reason being that I know nothing about carbs, or how to tune on one.
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Old 08-28-2002, 06:39 PM   #15
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I don't think it matters what year you start with, you can put the later model fenders and front end on it if you wanted it to look newer. Put a tubular front end on it to save weight, k-member and a-arms.

For the motor check out the power adder section. Look for some of the guys doing the junkyard twin turbo. I think a few of these guys are in the 10's with relatively mild combos. At least some of these guys probably have a plan for what you want to do.

Also check out the new dart blocks for the smallblock fords. They can be bored to 4.125 I believe, with a 3.85 stroke thats a 411 inch. Actually I think it can go 4.185 on the bore.

Good Luck
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Old 08-28-2002, 08:30 PM   #16
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I would hunt down an old 87-93 4 cylinder coupe model. (These puppies are fresh and should have no known body issues) Start out by working on stiffening up the chassis with all the usuall stuff. Roll cage, heavy suspension work, subframes, weld up the battle boxes, yada yada yada. Rip all the 4 cylinder crap out, and find me a nice BIG BLOCK. Beef up the tranny and rearend. Throw on either a blower or turbo, and hit the street running!! But definately find a 4 cylinder coupe, this way you are starting with a fresh body that hasnt been tourqued to hell. Plus you would be gutting a lot of stuff anyways, so it would be easier then too.
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Old 08-28-2002, 09:02 PM   #17
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Do site vendors sell things like this? Or, do I need to hunt down these things like 'normal'

I'd love to do a big block, but, for several reasons, I don't think it would work for me. Biggest one is cost. I'd expect it to run about 50-100% more for parts to do it that way. Is that a reasonable guess?

I think I would be happy with an all bore, or bore and stroke low 400ci motor with my power adder. But, hey, if I can get into the 7's.. well.. no.. lets not.

as I said, I don't need to be all about all new parts... but, if I would have better luck with buying a SVO block, or whatever ford calls their 'race' motor blocks, from a dealer, I'll do that.

Remember, I'm gonna want the cylinder walls to hold ~20PSI of boost.

Thanks for all the good info so far guys... keep it coming
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Old 08-29-2002, 03:55 AM   #18
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If you want cheap, and driveable, and fast - you need a big block.

Poke around here, but start with a 460 and stroke to whatever you can afford. I hear the 600inch combo is nice
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Old 08-29-2002, 11:48 AM   #19
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Thumbs up

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Old 08-29-2002, 11:56 AM   #20
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Projectcar,

There's no "all-bore" or anything like that over here! That's LS1-speak for a crap block with coke can liners! You can get a real block just like the old school small block Chevies that's made to make real power and will actually seal up. You have many deck heights and heads to choose from with almost all being better than the stock LSx castings in strength. You could do a 351W based SVO block with a 4.125 bore and a 4 inch stroke for 427 cubes and keep your rpm down or depending on deck height you could go lower and with less stroke. The intakes and such need to be figured in with the heads at a certain deck height or you'll get into trouble later.

With a turbo you could make the power even with the smaller R302 block and less inches at higher rpm but depending on the turbo it will obviously be nicer with the inches like the LPE 427 TT stuff.

You have many decent wedge heads and also many canted valve models all of which will trounce any LS1 stuff. You can go from 350+ CFM in-line stuff like the Victor to 400+cfm stuff like the Brodix Neal or Yates or Blue Thunder so the power is very easy to make. It's like anything else, it's all in how fast and how much you're willing to spend to get there. You can run nines with only motor easily with the Windsor stuff out there and big cubes just like the LS1 stuff. At SAM which you know about from the LSx world we have a big Windsor with the Victor heads making over 150 hp more than the famous orange SS that goes 9.80s at 140 at 3400 pounds. It should run high eights at around 3200 when it's finished.
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Old 08-29-2002, 02:58 PM   #21
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try this combo...

use a paxton Novi 2000 with 25 lbs. of boost. Or, a T-70 or T-77 running lotsa boost. do that on a 351 stroked and bored to 408. Or do it to a 429 stroked and bored to the low 500's. that would easily take you in the 8-9 second range, reliablely. of corse the plexiglass windows would take a ****e load off of weight if you got that kinda money too. also get a fiberglass body. if you get an 87-93, the fiberglass bodies are already made by panel and arent too hard to find. thats what i say. a cute 200 shot wouldnt hurt either.
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Old 08-29-2002, 03:31 PM   #22
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Alright, it's obvious I have a lot to learn about these motors and cars... it's a shame.. I'm an encylopedia when it comes to LS1's, but, have no clue on the 351's and such.

I'd like to go the cube route with lower boost for the simple reason that the smaller motor with higher boost has the potential to fry faster.


What am I looking at for a cost difference between a 351W that's running ~427ci, v.s. a ( whatever ) 429 block to 500ci+? Or even a 429 block running at 'stock' cubes. What is the 'name' of a 429 block? Is that the 'Boss 429' I've heard about? or something different?

Are the blocks the same? Or am I looking at having a harder time finding parts for the 429 block? For example, headers, heads, water pumps, distrib's, etc, etc.

Thanks for holding my hand guys.. I'm gonna make this work as soon as I find out what I really want.
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Old 08-29-2002, 03:39 PM   #23
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Friend of mine who's keeping up with this made a valid point on all of this.

His comment was that I would never get real advice like this on ls1.com. I would be insulted time after time after time if I asked these types of 'newbie' questions there.

Once again, thanks for your help
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Old 08-29-2002, 07:58 PM   #24
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The 351W is like a giant 302 basically and shares the small block Chevy and LSx size bore range of 4.000 to 4.185 or so max. The 351W can use the Cleveland and regular small block Ford Windsor style heads which are extremely plentiful only surpassed by the old school small block Chevy.

The 429 is a 385 series Ford engine and is a big block. This is very easy to find in the 460 size as well in the junk yards. You can stroke it to even 545 inches or so in the stock block or even bigger in extreme cases. It has much larger bore spacing and runs a 4.360 bore stock and can go much larger. The SVO versions can go extremely large but are big money. The stock heads can do some fairly large numbers and the 429 super cobra jet heads can go even further. I've seen 400 cfm and 750 hp out of them!
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Old 08-29-2002, 08:37 PM   #25
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Open your wallet and kiss your money goodby, then empty your bank acount, next sell your first born. That sould get you started.
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Old 08-29-2002, 11:02 PM   #26
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Project

First off, I commend you for taking the trip to Fordville. Secondly, I want to add my 2 cents.

I think you should go '84, You already mentioned the paint, And I am sure a straight body and nice clean paint job will sufice you fine. You just don't see that many built nicely 84's around anymore.

Motor: With the power you wish to acheive your options seem to be pretty clear...BIG POWER, and longevity(at least enough to drive to cruise spots).
I don't know what you have/want to spend on a block, but a strong foundation is really the way to start. My idea is to look into a new Dart block, or possibly a A351 or R351 block.

You mentioned you want big CI's, but also what boost range do you plan to run? If you run 400+ you won't need to run major boost to make big power. That will come with a well built big CI motor.

Maybe a nice 404 or 410 CI motor with a 83mm turbo, or a F1 series Pro Charger blower. (intercooled or not).

Tranny: I can't really foresee a manual tran's with that much torque and HP. So an Auto will probably be the way to go. Maybe a Super strong C-4 , or if you don't mind the weight a C-6. Or even a Powerglide, with a streetable convertor.


Rear: As for a rear why not build a 8.8 BUILT, or a 9inch and use a coilover style setup to keep things adjustable yet streetable. You can still Mini tub, or use a Ladder bar rear to go straight.


Interior: It has been done full interior with a race car, but think about it, if you buy a early style car to save weight why no keep things minimal in the cockpit. You can still retain stock style seats or even some less exspensive Sparco or Corbeau seats have a clean stock apearance yet save weight.

Wheels, Tires, and Paint, that is the easy stuff.

But I always did say...*Build a street car that will survive at the track, Not a track car that can survive on the street.*


I'd like to stay updated on your progress, Do you have a website, or are you thinking about making one to host your project?


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Old 08-30-2002, 01:24 AM   #27
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Re: try this combo...

Quote:
Originally posted by evilbird
use a paxton Novi 2000 with 25 lbs. of boost. Or, a T-70 or T-77 running lotsa boost. do that on a 351 stroked and bored to 408. Or do it to a 429 stroked and bored to the low 500's. that would easily take you in the 8-9 second range, reliablely. of corse the plexiglass windows would take a ****e load off of weight if you got that kinda money too. also get a fiberglass body. if you get an 87-93, the fiberglass bodies are already made by panel and arent too hard to find. thats what i say. a cute 200 shot wouldnt hurt either.
paxton novi 2000 -sorry I just don't see 25lbs of boost from the novi2000 though a 408ci motor, built to run 9 flat. if you had the motor built to run 9.0's and put a novi2000 on it..I would guess you might see a waste of 10-12psi but not too much more. Then again, I'm not very familiar with the novi 2000 that much..but I do know that it will take something to move A LOT of air to get 25psi of boost from a hogged out built 408..

but, I second the idea of the "351W based SVO block with a 4.125 bore and a 4 inch stroke for 427 cubes and keep your rpm down or depending on deck height you could go lower and with less stroke. The intakes and such need to be figured in with the heads at a certain deck height or you'll get into trouble later. "

with a BIG turbo..or two
oh, and better have a real nice intercooler setup as well..
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Old 08-30-2002, 02:32 AM   #28
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c'mon, we know thats not true...

hey,
not a paxton novi 2000 is a common supercharger for really quick cars. it was in JBA's drag racer. it also had a stroked and bored 351, and was running low 9's. i forgot the actual engine size but it was from a small block. so you can not possibly tell me that it doesnt work that way or there wasting 10 psi or it cant be done. ive seen it at the track.
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1990 Stang GT
402 (4.00x4.00) engine w/ 8.5:1 compression, W351 svo block, arias custom forged pistons, 4340 eagle crank and h-beam rods
Ported TFS TW heads, dual springs, forged 1.6 rr's, link bar hydrolic rollers, billit custom (bigish) crane cam
80mm C&L MF, 95mm Holley TB, cobra intake
1 5/8'' jba headers, 2.5" strait pipes to flow bastards w/ turn downs
tremec 3550, 3.73 rear end, steeda shifter
kirban AFPR, Lucas 38 lb injectors, 255 holly intank, bosch high flow pump
accel billit distributor, crane wires, PS-92 coil, HI-6R ignition
PMS, mark VIII fan
Drag bags, 275/60-15 BFG DR's
and oh ya . . . a ProCharger.

as they say, "heaven is being stroked and blown."
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Old 08-30-2002, 04:03 AM   #29
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Im with Scott on this...

Quote:
I'd like to stay updated on your progress, Do you have a website, or are you thinking about making one to host your project?


Scott K
I would really like to see your progress on this one as well.

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Old 08-30-2002, 10:43 AM   #30
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www.millsracing.com
Check that out for an 8 second GT. 408 (stroked 351W) with ProCharger D3R, Powerglide. Jim has some links to some other 8-9 second cars too.

Lee Howie from the Columbus, Ohio area had a black Fox body that ran mid to high 8s I believe with a single turbo and some fantastic craftsmanship. Pretty sure the car was sold recently, but if you can find info on it, it is a start.

Also, check out the NMRA messge board at www.nmraracing.com and the WFC boards at http://www.worldfordchallenge.com or the fun ford weekend site. www.ffw.com ????
You'll want to look at the rules/current cars in the Renegade classes as well as some of the faster Drag Radial cars. You could even do a mild SSO (outlaw) car. Looking at the rles and what the current cars are running will give you an idea of what it would take to run those numbers. Then decided what to do from there to make it a bit more streetable.

In addition, most of those boards have a buy/sell section. You may want to look at some of the rolling chassis that are for sale. You can often find some good bargains with rear and axles, wheels, full chassis, seat, guages, ignition etc. Considerably cheaper than doing it all from scratch adn you can still put in your own drivetrain combo so you know how to work on it (as you described above).

Lastly, from what you described, any body style will work for you. Whwn you are talking about an 8-9 second car, generally you are going to strip it to a bare chassis/body anyway adn start from there with the roll cage, suspension, body/paint and the drive train. Very few pieces other than interior will be reused as I'm sure you know. From that standpoint, while the earlier (pre86) bodies may be lighter, it really isn't as applicable when you strip it all down to nothign and only add back in what you want.

Since you mentioned some early coupes that you have access too, they may be a good shape, but don't rule out the later years just because they are heavier from Detroit. They probably won't be once you are done with it.

The SN94/Fox 4 cars (94+) have essentially the same chassis as the fox 3 and earlier (79-93) cars but there was significant stiffening of the chassis, reduced flex, better brakes, etc. None many of things are important when you change it all out adn especially noce you put a 12 point cage in. I'd venture to say a Radio Flyer Little Red Wagon is just as stiff as a Mustang once you've added a 12 point cage!

Good luck with your buildup.
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1.48 / 6.56 @ 107.7 / 10.13 @ 135 with 140 shot @ 3040 lbs.
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Old 08-30-2002, 08:43 PM   #31
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Re: c'mon, we know thats not true...

Quote:
Originally posted by evilbird
hey,
not a paxton novi 2000 is a common supercharger for really quick cars. it was in JBA's drag racer. it also had a stroked and bored 351, and was running low 9's. i forgot the actual engine size but it was from a small block. so you can not possibly tell me that it doesnt work that way or there wasting 10 psi or it cant be done. ive seen it at the track.
I just don't see the novi2000 pushing that much air to run a high rev'ing 351 into the 8's..maybe high 9's..but theres a HUGE difference in 9's and 8's..no way a paxton novi2000 is going into the 8's sorry...you'll need something like a procharger D3R or a giant turbo (my choice if I were him). and what I meant by "wasting" 10psi is that, well..boost isn't made by the compressor it is a waste product, if you will, of how much air can go though the motor..(make sence? sorry I'm not good at explaining things over a computer) ie: take a blower and put it on a 302ci motor..then put the same blower on a 351ci motor..with the same blower set up you will see lower boost on the 351 with the same pulley. maybe someone else can explain it better for me If not, I'm not going to lose sleep over it

edited: I checked out the novi2000 race version blower it blows 1700cfm and gets maxed out at 980hp..versus the ATI procharger line where the D-1R goes flows 2000cfm, D3r blower has 3400cfm and then you have the F series where that goes all the way up to 4300cfm..D-1R sounds like a better deal and has a max of 1200hp..f series goes to 2300hp much more than what he is looking for yes..the D-1R would be perfect
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Last edited by NaturalAspired; 08-30-2002 at 09:03 PM.
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Old 08-30-2002, 09:55 PM   #32
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ok, thx

hey,
thx for the explination, i see what you mean. the JBA car was running mid 9's. its being sold without the engine or tranny for 25,000 bux now at www.jbaracing.com. they did a lot to it, but thats a lot of money. thx again.
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1990 Stang GT
402 (4.00x4.00) engine w/ 8.5:1 compression, W351 svo block, arias custom forged pistons, 4340 eagle crank and h-beam rods
Ported TFS TW heads, dual springs, forged 1.6 rr's, link bar hydrolic rollers, billit custom (bigish) crane cam
80mm C&L MF, 95mm Holley TB, cobra intake
1 5/8'' jba headers, 2.5" strait pipes to flow bastards w/ turn downs
tremec 3550, 3.73 rear end, steeda shifter
kirban AFPR, Lucas 38 lb injectors, 255 holly intank, bosch high flow pump
accel billit distributor, crane wires, PS-92 coil, HI-6R ignition
PMS, mark VIII fan
Drag bags, 275/60-15 BFG DR's
and oh ya . . . a ProCharger.

as they say, "heaven is being stroked and blown."
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Old 08-31-2002, 03:26 AM   #33
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Wow, I'm in the same boat!

I actually just posted about this same thing myself. I am an LS1 guy (2 in the garage currently) and I have set almost the same goals as you. Check out my post for what I am using to attain my goals.

On the LS1.com comment. I actually dont think you would get ridiculed. You have to know where and what to post, and you will definitely get somewhere. We get ALOT of trolls on LS1.com soo everyone over there is kinda edgy.

Good Luck with your project. I am hoping that I will have mine running and at the strip in the next month, and completely finished (paint and finish work) in the next two.

PM or email me and we can talk tech and maybe I can help you out!

TireFryer
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Old 09-01-2002, 02:10 PM   #34
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Start with a 460. www.wmsracing.com can convert a carb intake to fuel injection for cheap. You could also use their sds injection to tune it. Add a high cfm intercooled race blower like a procharger and you will be in the 8 second zone. A built C4 and 8.8 can handle the power. A EFI renegade car have approximately 1000hp and run high 8, low 9.
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Old 09-01-2002, 02:22 PM   #35
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Re: Re: c'mon, we know thats not true...

Quote:
Originally posted by NaturalAspired
edited: I checked out the novi2000 race version blower it blows 1700cfm and gets maxed out at 980hp..
Hey, you could always use the Novi 3000 .

Greg
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