1994 Mustang LQ4 (LS-x) Swap - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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1994 Mustang LQ4 (LS-x) Swap

I've posted this on a few other boards. My progress is slow but steady and my budget isn't really unlimited. Regardless, a little back ground. the car previously had a 331 stroker with afr 185s, trackheat intake, spray, and a g-force t-5. I ran a 10.88 with this setup and then got bored. I've always wanted to do an LS-Swap and decided to take the dive. AT FIRST, I figured I would come out with a profit after selling off all my stuff...then I decided I wanted to get serious with it.

I'm doing an LQ4 Swap into my 94 Mustang GT. I pulled apart a perfectly good running 10 second ford-powered car to do this. I've own the car since 2001 since it was white and bone stock. The last combo sent me to a 10.88 at 126mph on a built 331 stroker with a 100shot and a g-force T-5. I ALWAYS wanted to swap an LSx into the car but was pretty intimidated about tackling it. Well, last month I said what the hell and took the dive and started selling off all my ford combo. As parts have sold, I've bought the new swap items and started pulling it all apart. Thanks to the classifieds here I picked up an 02 LQ4 with harness and pcm for $900 and I'm picking up a set of PRC Stage 1 LS6 heads next weekend. Enough blabbing....here are the pics.

Here is the victim.

Old 331 with AFR 185s, Trackheat intake, 100shot NX Gemini Plate kit.


The above pictures were at the shop I worked at back on the east coast. I've since been stationed in California and have downgraded to a 1 Bedroom apartment with no garage. I'm forced to operate entirely out of this storage unit. The only electricity is what I steal with my 100ft extension cord so its a bit crude as far as neccessities go. Either way, I'm making it work! You can see I've got a bit of a "toy problem." This houses not only the stang, but my harley, and my sandrail along with the girl's household stuff and all my tools.


Yanking apart the front


Don't ever trust a drunk guy to guide you onto your trailer....this happened leaving the track when the right front dropped off the ramp and onto the rad support. boo.


AJE K-member going in.



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post #2 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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And its in


Here is the new motor the day I got it home. Started the teardown to inspect it. It was suspected that it had a lifter tick or some piston slap....well....it slapped something alright


I may end up blowing my budget on beer instead of the car...

I think THIS might have made a "tick" or "slap" noise....

You can see the junk in the bottom on the piston here.


No sure what it was. The other cylinders had a little bit of marks too. It definetly swallowed something in the intake. I don't know what or how but at least the bearings and cylinder walls looked good. This was the reason for the purchase of the PRC heads and the soon-to-be purchased forged pistons and probably rods.

Summit came and dropped this off!


I'm going to top it with a plate kit and either an AED or CSU Carb. I'm going to run a carb simply b/c I never played with one and always wanted to. I'm keeping all the efi stuff I got in storage along with the truck mani's for the day that I want to boost it.

More front progress. I got it back to a roller, yanked unessecary wiring, cleaned and rattle bombed the inner fenders and under the hood for some touch ups.



MMR coilovers with 14" 175lb springs on Lakewood 90/10s



finally dropping the tank to have it sumped!


and yes the manager of the storage unit actually lets me do this there!

I'm still waiting on selling a few other parts then I'll be ordering some headers. I'm going to probably use MAC 351swap headers, and modify them. I MAY order dynatechs if I can sell the parts I need to. I also am going to pick up a TH350 or 400 with a brake for it. I'm still up in the air on the cam. My goals for the car are to go solidly into the 6s in the 1/8th. I'd love to see a 5.9 when I'm done. Fingers crossed!


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post #3 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Well this is proving to be VERY slow going. I have sold the engine BUT instead of using that money BACK into the car, I've decided that I need to get the #### out of an apartment and into a house SO...the next installment of this project will be it moving to its new 3 bedroom house with a 2 car garage. BUT I haven't stopped buying parts yet! I did obtain a set of PRC Stage 1 LS6 heads with Patriot double springs. Also picked up a set of Accufab 1 7/8 primary mid length headers for a 351 (gonna chop the flanges off and weld on some LS1 flanges) and finally a set of Mahle Flat Top 4.060" Forged Pistons. Still looking a set of rods on a deal. Pick up some bearings and rings and drop it all off at the machine shop to build my forged 374! So the project has come to a slow and tedious pace but the end result should be MORE power than I initially planned. I'm considering attempting some heads up class racing in the Pacific Street Car Association but I don't know that I'd have the budget to be competitive with some of those guys....really i just want to put it up on the bumper one time!

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post #4 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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AAAAANnnnnnd we're BAAAACK!

Well a little update.

I picked up a set of eagle h-beam rods with arp bolts. They're the standard arp bolts but I'm going to buy a set of arp 2000s for them. Mate them to the Mahle 4.060 pistons. Made a call to Redneck Performance for one of their TH350s with reverse manual valve body, t-brake, and a custom 9" converter for the combo (told them 250-300 shot). Also got a f-body pan, pick up, and tray as well.

Also ordered up a flaming river manual rack for a fox body. I know its going to be narrower but flaming river sells 1" over tie rod ends and a swivel joint to eliminate the rag joint on an sn95. HOPEFULLY, it will get me in the ball park of the extra width of an sn95's front a-arms with no welding. If it does, it will be a sub $300 full manual steering vice the near $600 for an SN95 specific set up.

I'll be making a call to tick performance for one of their Polluter cam packages as well today.

I bought a Hobart 187 Handler 230v MIG as well. I'm going to buy a tubing bender and Bentech PRO software and tackle redoing the entire cage of the car myself. If the cage goes well, then I'll probably start building another one off custom (29-31 Model A) traditional hot rod...think american graffitti but more gangster...not rat.

Picks to come this week as the parts come in. Once the tranny gets here, I'm going to mock up the block and tranny to fab the crossmember and headers.
Ok well, today is about that point where I looked at the car and said "WTF did I get myself into?"




Pretty much just spent this morning gutting the car and cutting out the old cage. I got a couple of surprises with the cage. Now, keep in mind, I had this cage put in when I was little younger and much more naive.

ANYWAY, this is the driver's side door bar where is mounts to the floor....not that the plate is NOT 6X6....



GREAT welding job. Not how cleanly they cut the pipe at the perfect angle to make it meet with the pla....oh..wait.


Here is where is WAS mounted....I pulled it off the floor with MY HAND.

And here is the thickness....that says .097. I asked for .120 mild and go this. Anyway, live and learn. You want it right do it yourself. I'm waiting on my new JD2 Model 32 Bender to get here along with Bendtech Pro and I'll be designing and welding in my OWN 10pt Cage.

I also picked up this little 810in-lbs bad m'####a. I LOVE this thing. It ripped apart my interior in NO time and its tiny. Its got some ass to it as well!


Finally in the new garage....


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post #5 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Well, all the parts came in. I'm starting on fabbing up everything and mocking before I drop the engine off at the machine shop. First up, a flaming river manual rack for a fox, 1" longer fox tie rods, and an adapter knuckle. SN95's are 3/4" wider on the front track compared to a fox as well as having different steering shafts and thread pitches on the tie rods. About the ONLY thing they'll do is bolt up to the same k-members. With this setup, my GOAL was to find a way to convert to manual steering but with out paying 600 bones for the SN95 specific setup. WELP, after getting it all put in, its got a bit of toe in and I'm not comfortable with losing any more thread engagement on the tie rods BUT I did just buy a welder so i'm going to go down the metal supply and pick up some .120 wall tubing, cut, sleeve, and plug weld the tie rods to get it back to the factory width. YES i know I coulda just gone with FOX control arms BUT i already bought the SN95 tubular ones. Regardless, I'm 300 bucks into it for full manual steering conversion.
Stock power steering rack and rag joint.

Flaming river unit mounted

1" over flaming river tie rods

This is the knuckle that adapts the SN95 steering shaft to the fox flaming river rack. You cut off the factory rag joint and slip this on. It secures with setscrews but I decided to weld it on to be SURE it wouldn't come off when I come down from putting this bitch on the bumper.




and done

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post #6 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Onto sumping the factory tank.
The Jegster Sump was too big. SO I decided to make some pie cuts and make it work




I don't have pics of it on the tank yet BUT its on there now. Its gotta be painted still but leak checks are good on it. Only took my rookie ass two times to weld it right.

THIS also came in....JD2 MODEL 32 Manual Mandrel Bender.

Goes from this...



into this. Just gotta get it anchored down and start bending!!!!



Other goodies.

Hobart 187 230v MIG welder. Miller helmet and some gloves. Got a miller jacket as well.




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post #7 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to check on the fitment of everything now that I got all the parts. I put on my junk 317 heads on the bare block. Got an oil pan, pick up, and tray from an 02 SS for clearance. the headers I bought are 1 7/8 primaries into a 3" collector Accufab Midlengths. I was THOROUGHLY surprised, they fit like a GLOVE. Just gotta swap out the flanges. I picked up a set of JEGS 3/8th LS-1 Flanges. For anyone looking for BIG port header flanges, these are the ticket. under 100 bucks for the set and 2" openings. Most I found were MORE exspensive and only 1 3/4". Also got my Redneck Performance TH350 in....note the rattle canned camoflauge paint...I dig it. I'm thinking of painting the whole engine and tranny when I put it in for the last time like a Bass Boat metal flake green....I'm serious.

Going in for the mock up.

Here are the headers



Passenger side clearance.


Hits the subframe a bit. A little bit of grind work will solve it. Other than the flanges, the headers will be untouched.


Driver's Side around the steering shaft. It LOOKS like its touching, but it does have a slim bit of clearance. HOWEVER, due to the motor mounts being universal between Small Block Chevys and LSx's, there is excess material on the back of the AJE Mount that hits the 3rd primary. A quick chop will tuck them in tighter to the block and away from the steering shaft. I may have to dimple the tube a bit but nothing severe. I was worried about it due to the fact that I've never known anyone that uses these headers on a ford motor, let alone for this so I knew I was taking a risk but for the bigger primaries and 3" collectors, it was a relatively cheap risk that paid off.






And finally my "custom" top mount cross member and shifter for the tranny. This will be replace with the stock cross member, modified and the Cheetah SCS Shifter I just got in. TIP: IF you have the option of the length of tail shaft you get on your tranny, go with the 9". Its almost the EXACT same length to the mount as the T-5. I should be able to get away with just some notching of the factory crossmember.



More to COME!!! I'll be starting and hopefully finishing the headers tommorrow and the tranny.

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post #8 of 47 Old 10-08-2009, 05:36 PM
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man everytime i see your car it makes me want to paint mine the same color....looks like youre moving right along on your build.....keep us posted.

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the heat with pump gas on a radial and thru the mufflers....
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post #9 of 47 Old 10-09-2009, 02:15 AM
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...I just reading through this and then it hit me

"Hey that cylinder head says "black chevy" on it...." why does that look familar? Thats my handwriting...then, wait a sec... Didnt I sell that LQ4?

So now I just realized you were the guy that came up to the shop and picked up the LQ4 awhile back...

Great looking car, glad your project is making progress and coming together...

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89 Notchback - Stock shortblock 88k mile LS1, th350, 3.73/28" M&H - 8.8", 9.9 @ 144 - 2850 raceweight.
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post #10 of 47 Old 10-09-2009, 03:11 AM
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Nice work........great looking car.I think the LS engines with a carb always look great.

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post #11 of 47 Old 10-09-2009, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AidanN20 View Post
...I just reading through this and then it hit me

"Hey that cylinder head says "black chevy" on it...." why does that look familar? Thats my handwriting...then, wait a sec... Didnt I sell that LQ4?

So now I just realized you were the guy that came up to the shop and picked up the LQ4 awhile back...

Great looking car, glad your project is making progress and coming together...

yeah man. haha. The parts will be going to good use!

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post #12 of 47 Old 10-09-2009, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Nice work........great looking car.I think the LS engines with a carb always look great.

Thanks man. I actually want to get a stamping set from like harbor freight and just stamp "FORD" in the front of each cylinder head to really throw a curve ball at future on lookers.

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post #13 of 47 Old 10-12-2009, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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HOOOOONk! HOOOOOOOOOONK! ALL ABOARD THE FAIL BOAT!!!!

Well this is definetly two steps forward and three back. I am humble enough to post it online so OTHERS can learn from MY failures.

SO i thought everything was GRAVY with these headers. I was wrong.

Read along....
Here are the 351 Mid-Lengths Chopped off at the flanges and ready to be mated to the LS-1 flanges.

Forward primary didn't wanna cooperate and needed to be lengthened about a 1/2". No biggie.


Passenger Side tacked in


Driver's side done and painted to keep from rusting until I can get them coated...or so I thought.

=

Passenger side. I tacked the tubes into the flanges. Then I used a hammer and 3/8" extension and rounded the tubes out to mate up with the flanges. Seen here.

Passenger side complete.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU WERE THE MAN....you realize...you completely forgot about....HOW THE #### ARE YOU GOING TO PUT A SPARK PLUG WIRE/BOOT ON THAT SON OF A BITCH.



#### my life....

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post #14 of 47 Old 10-13-2009, 01:26 AM
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There's got to be wires that you can custom make them to fit your application of course with a short boot. JMO

I don't think you should let this get you down. You've come a long way...maybe you need to take a break and think for a minute...

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post #15 of 47 Old 10-13-2009, 09:59 AM
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Great write up and nice build, keep the info coming!!
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post #16 of 47 Old 10-13-2009, 02:10 PM Thread Starter
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Its not exactly stopping me. There is other stuff to work on. I spent an hour with a hammer, screwdriver, and dry ice trying to get the sound deadening material off to start on my through the floor subframes. I also spent the rest of the day yesterday verifying the chassis is squared up. Once I did that, I realized the motor is sitting WAY right. SO I got that lined up. I'm about to build the tranny mount. I'll be able to use the stock crossmember and location and just need to build a new mount that bolts the tranny to the crossmember. 3x3 box tubing is perfect for it. After shifting the motor to where it needed to be, it looks like the headers would have caused even more intereference with the steering shaft. I'm going to probably just buy a set of dynatech headers. I never wanted midlengths to begin with, the price was just "right" with them when I bought them. I almost said "screw it" and put the stock truck manifolds on there and was going to plan out a turbo kit. I was trying my ass off to justify selling the flattop pistons for some dished ones. "I could not buy a nitrous kit and buy a turbo instead. Carb blow through or otherwise would be the same price....then a wastegate, intercooler, etc....NAAAAAH."

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post #17 of 47 Old 10-13-2009, 07:24 PM
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Looks like fun.

I used the same trans mount during my build, lol!

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post #18 of 47 Old 10-13-2009, 08:51 PM
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Cool build, subscribing

Been out of the game since 2011.. looking to get back in in 2019
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post #19 of 47 Old 10-25-2009, 11:42 AM Thread Starter
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Well I haven't put the headers back in yet b/c I don't feel like tackling that headache. I've been working on getting the chassis and drivetrain squared up. Nothing worth taking pictures of really. I literally was pulling my hair out trying to get the motor centered up in the chassis. I got it within a 1/4" but it was way way to the driver's side. After lots of frustration I jumped on line and did some research. APPARENTLY, ford builds an offset into the k-member putting it and 1" or so to the passenger side. Well that made it all easy. Got the axle squared up as well. With all that finally done, I got to work on the tranny cross member. I ordered a poly mount from speedway for the th350. With the chassis set at level, I set the engine with a 3 degree tilt back. Onto the pics.



With the stock crossmember in and the engine set where it needed to be, the Th350 mount was one inch higher and about 1.5" forward. I have 2x3 box tubing waiting to make my through the floor subframe connectors. The thickness of the stock crossmember is 1" so now I have a plan.

cut here and...


little grinding to fit.



Burn it in


Final resting place.




Like my dad always says, "Cut to size, bang to fit, paint to match." I set it in there about 1/8" lower than what my measurements were so if needed, I could fine tune the engine angle with some shims. I'm going to gusset the sides of it as well and I MIGHT drill all the way through the box tubing and sleeve'em to get more "torsional" strength.

After that had been taken care of, I started to move onto the tq boxes. I got the driver's side pretty much burnt in. I'm going to plate the inside and tie the cage into mounts as well. Here is what I got done before packing up shop. Welds aren't the greatest as I'm not the best in the world and well....laying upside down and ...yeah...it was tricky.


More to come! I'll be welding up the OTHER upper tq box, looking at boxing the lower mounts, and welding the axle tubes. Once I can set the weight back on the chassis, I'm going to cut out the floor sections and start on the subframe connectors.

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post #20 of 47 Old 10-25-2009, 02:53 PM
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bite the bullet and order some dynatech ls1 / mustang headers...no more cutting/fitting etc...
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post #21 of 47 Old 10-26-2009, 07:00 PM
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subscribed! very interested in this build up.
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post #22 of 47 Old 10-28-2009, 03:16 PM
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Man, I sure hope you end up with what you want. I swapped to a bbc, it took 2 days. AJE k-member, AJE mounts, AJE crossmember, Dynatech headers, and custom driveshaft. Raced Saturday night with Windsor/C4, raced a week later with BBC/PG.

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post #23 of 47 Old 10-28-2009, 06:58 PM
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what the spec on those? i just went to there website and it doesn't list cfm or combustion camber size
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post #24 of 47 Old 10-29-2009, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
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Man, I sure hope you end up with what you want. I swapped to a bbc, it took 2 days. AJE k-member, AJE mounts, AJE crossmember, Dynatech headers, and custom driveshaft. Raced Saturday night with Windsor/C4, raced a week later with BBC/PG.
Thanks! If I had the funds up front ready to go, it'd be a much quicker swap but money is trickling down slowly. Time is tight too. Being a Marine Combat Instructor = long hours so I get to it when I can. I'm taking ZERO short cuts on it this time around. There were a few things here and there in my old builds that I said I'd do later and now I'm going back and fixing all of them

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post #25 of 47 Old 10-29-2009, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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what the spec on those? i just went to there website and it doesn't list cfm or combustion camber size
http://texas-speed.com/shop/item.asp?itemid=649

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post #26 of 47 Old 10-30-2009, 06:27 PM
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thanks.
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post #27 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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upper and lower tq boxes are now all welded up and painted and the rear axle is cleaned up, welded tubes, and being put back in now. Here's a lil progress pic of the axle work...nothing to write home about but progress none the less.

For those who don't know, its already got a detroit locker, 31 spline mosers, and 4.30 Motive Gears in it. For now, I'm banking on 1/8th mile assault but if I elect to do the full 1/4 later, I may drop the gears back to a 4.10 or 3.90ish...

Out with the dirty...


On the stands getting ready to burn the tubes in.

Small beads, varying side to side, and all around. Allowing time to cool in between beads to avoid warping. One thing to note, if you don't preheat the area, the welds WILL crack right before your eyes as they cool. I figured that out the first couple of spot welds I laid down. After some heat in there, it wasn't an issue anymore.


all stitched up



Some simple green, a brush, etching primer, flat black, and matte clear. Looks NEW!





Thats about where I'm at now. I'm working on getting it back in and square, getting the weight back on the suspension, leveling the car back out to begin the through-the-floor sub-frame connectors. Work is about to pick back up TEN FOLD so I'm not sure how much time I'm going to have to dedicate to this for the rest of the month....should be a crunch.

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post #28 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 06:24 PM
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what is the point of welding the axles? do they spin? did you weld them with everything in the axle?
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post #29 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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what is the point of welding the axles? do they spin? did you weld them with everything in the axle?

Yes welded with everything assembled. You don't go crazy and burn one solid bead all the way around b/c that will over heat and can warp the tubes. If you look at the pics, you can see where the axle tubes slide into the diff housing, there are slugs. These slugs are the only thing holding the tubes into the housing other than the press fit. There are only two per side. They can shear and or work loose and the housing can rotate under extreme horsePOWAHS!!!! and cause all KINDS of hell and breakage as you can imagine. SO welding the tubes to the housing is cheap insurance at preventing that.

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post #30 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 07:30 PM
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ok guess ill have to weld mine. what size is that hobart?
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post #31 of 47 Old 11-02-2009, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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ok guess ill have to weld mine. what size is that hobart?
Its a hobart 187 handler, 220v MIG.

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post #32 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 09:54 PM Thread Starter
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Ok long time with no update. Work has been tough and the progress has been slow going and rather uninteresting but with the holidays, I got a chance to get hot and heavy on the subframe connectors again.

I cut the floor in the front half of the car....well on the drivers side I went ape ####....and cut ALL the way back. Then after mocking some stuff up, I realized that was totally unneccessary....so then I patched the ####ing floor:fail:. Thankfully I only did that on the driver's side, so the passenger side will go much smoother now that I have a game plan.

Onto the pics

1/8" plate welded in the back

Front of the floor cut


Front 1/8th Plate


Mocked in


Burning it in.




Well tommorow I'm going to lay plate where the 2x2 goes through the firewall and start work on the passenger side. Then, spray bomb everything.

94 GT
04 Cummins 3500
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post #33 of 47 Old 12-28-2009, 10:11 PM
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nice
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post #34 of 47 Old 03-07-2010, 04:20 PM
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updates?
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post #35 of 47 Old 03-14-2010, 10:43 AM
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Awesome build man, any updates?

Been out of the game since 2011.. looking to get back in in 2019
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