Just wondering about this and figured I'd come to a 'higher' source then myself.
:Backstory: I am selling my turbo-charged trans am so the wife and I can get into a house. I am then going to purchase another 'toy'. I'm leaning towards a 1990-1995 5.0.:
My question is this. I know that the 4 cylinder cars do not have the 8.8 rearend (7.5 if I remember correctly). I believe the 5 speed trans in the 4 bangers aren't able to hold up to a 5.0 torque(and do correct me if I'm wrong) , I was wondering if I ended up getting either a MM or Griggs setup, would it bolt onto a 4 banger? My idea here is to buy a 4banger/5speed car and convert it over to 5.0/5speed/8.8 rear with either a MM or Griggs suspension setup. I have previously owned a 89 hatch 4 banger/5speed and a 91 GT A4/2.73 gears car.
Most of the 5.0s I see around here are either.
1. Crazy paint jobs, which I do not want
2. Either the body and/or the interior is in very bad shape
3. The seller wants an arm/leg for 87 150k mile car(for 7k+) decent condition car
4. Someone elses cam/heads/cam/drag suspension car.
5. Car is either convertible or automatic.
I want to get into autox/road racing with the mustang. I know it is not the best platform for autox/road racing, but it is something I can work on easy and parts are plentiful/cheap(very important with wife, daughter and I on one income). Plus I miss my 5.0. Is that ok to admit?
For starters you chould be able to pick up a running/driving 4 cylinder, 5 speed car for $1000-1500. I have bought 2 with damn near perfect bodies in that price range. I would buy a later model car because they have a bigger front wheel opening.
As far as the 4 cylinder trans. There are a couple differences. The pilot bearing shaftis a little smaller in diameter. On the plus side, it does have a lower 1st gear. Thats not really helpful in your situation. It is in the 1/2 mile world though. They are plenty strong enough for a daily driven car, not a race car.
as far as suspension. I know some have the griggs and love it. it just a little too expensive for my taste. For starters I would just start with a 94/95 5 lug conversion, cc plates, and some coilovers. for the rear I would stay away from the panhard bar. It works for some but I would go with a fays II watts link. It doesn't have the suspension "arch" like the panhard does. The fays 2 and a torque arm would be perfect. That and a set of coilovers would finish out the rear.
As far as motors. I would go with the 2.3T to be different. I have a 92 lx coupe with a 2.3T. The car kept up with my full bolt on 03 gt in the straight line. The only problem I had with the car was the boost didn't come on until late in the rpm range. I believe that was because of 2 things. The first being the turbo size. It was a 60mm stage 3 turbo. The second being the stock gears in the 8.8. If it had a steeper gear like a 3.73 or 4.10 it would have smoked my 03.
Here is what I was thinking of I built the ideal road car for me. Remembering that I like to be different and not follow everyone else. I would get a 92-93 coupe or hatch. install the 03/04 cobra irs with all the upgraded bushings and coilovers or the above watts link and torque arm. In the front I would go with a MM tubular k member, tubular arms, coilovers, cc plates, 94/94 front spindles with an 03 cobra big brake kit. Motor wise. I would go with a built 2.3T with a t-56. Granted the 2.3T wont make a bunch of torque down low but you can gear your rear to compensate for that.
just rememberthat everyone on here will have different views of what would make a great race car. just build something that makes you happy and have fun with it.