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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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? :leghump:
 

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on the 4banger, you'll have to change out the K member so going with the full suspension kit will allow the 5.0 install. both cars came with a T5, which i assume are the same exact thing. I'd go with a tko if your gonna go autoXing. You are correct about the rear ends. if you ever plan on doing a track day, go with a 373 gear.
 

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a v8 will go in a 4cyl body just fine, no difference there. an 8.8 will bolt right up. dont use the t5 from a 4cyl, its better served as a paper weight. i would go with a tko or a t56, if your going to be banging on it hard your going to want something strong. the 4cyl t5 wont take that sort of abuse. i assume your going to put an efi motor together for this endevor, i dont think a carbed motor would be good for auto x, what with the fuel in the line moving and all causing it to stall, atleast when i had my eddy carb everytime i would make a sharp left the fuel would stay in the line and not go into the carb, resulting in the vehicle to be starved for fuel and shut off. someone correct me on this if im wrong. i think coilover suspension is better for auto x if thats the case they make a kmember that does not use the spring perches but rather utilizes a coil over setup. hope this helps
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the information guys. Yes, it would be an EFI project. After I posted my thread, I was searching in another area on this site and found out that the T5 in the 4 banger is only rated at 240ish ft-lbs so it wouldn't last long if at all.

I would probably end up going either TKO T5 or T56, like you both mentioned.

Is it safe to assume that the suspension setup from someone like MMS or Griggs will bolt up like it would on a 5.0?
 

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yeah the suspension is the same, bolt up wise. you can bolt up a "5.0" kmember in it, you can use an 8.8 if you want, they bolt up the same. i was thinking if your going to do auto x that it may benifit you to have an independant rear suspension. you can get one off of an 03 04 cobra, sometimes the cobra owners will trade you cause they're making tons of power and the half shafts (IRS) cant handle it.in your case i dont imagine that you are looking for stupid amounts of power but more of a better handling car whick the irs will do for you. to my knowledge the irs bolts right up to a foxbody coupe (someone step in and correct me if im wrong) ive been wanting to do the swap myself. the springs from 4cyl to 8cyl are not the same.hell you could run a four link if you wanted to.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
yeah the suspension is the same, bolt up wise. you can bolt up a "5.0" kmember in it, you can use an 8.8 if you want, they bolt up the same. i was thinking if your going to do auto x that it may benifit you to have an independant rear suspension. you can get one off of an 03 04 cobra, sometimes the cobra owners will trade you cause they're making tons of power and the half shafts (IRS) cant handle it.in your case i dont imagine that you are looking for stupid amounts of power but more of a better handling car whick the irs will do for you. to my knowledge the irs bolts right up to a foxbody coupe (someone step in and correct me if im wrong) ive been wanting to do the swap myself. the springs from 4cyl to 8cyl are not the same.hell you could run a four link if you wanted to.
Hmmmm....IRS. That would be pretty cool. Wasn't thinking about that until now. Better keep it simple for right now. :)

I think the K-member could be had if I could get an engine out of the salvage yard with the K-member, so that should not be an issue. My main concern is getting the tach, speedo, etc working with the new computer. hmmm
 

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on the 4banger, you'll have to change out the K member so going with the full suspension kit will allow the 5.0 install. both cars came with a T5, which i assume are the same exact thing. I'd go with a tko if your gonna go autoXing. You are correct about the rear ends. if you ever plan on doing a track day, go with a 373 gear.
The 4cyl K-member doesn't need to be changed for a 5.0/5.8 swap as the factory engine mounts are the same between the I4/V6/V8 cars. I have no opinion on what transmission though I've been happy with the WC T5 (installed 2007) behind my 351W on autocross duty. I installed a set of 3.55 gears back in 2006 and I've been happy with that choice too. My car's engine runs out of breath at 5,000 rpm and it's got decent bottom end grunt for exiting tight corners in 2nd gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The 4cyl K-member doesn't need to be changed for a 5.0/5.8 swap as the factory engine mounts are the same between the I4/V6/V8 cars. I have no opinion on what transmission though I've been happy with the WC T5 (installed 2007) behind my 351W on autocross duty. I installed a set of 3.55 gears back in 2006 and I've been happy with that choice too. My car's engine runs out of breath at 5,000 rpm and it's got decent bottom end grunt for exiting tight corners in 2nd gear.

Glad to hear no swapping the k-member then. Is your car a 4 banger upgraded to 351 Windsor? I was thinking of the same gearing (3.55s) and a 5 speed (up in the air on which one exactly).

I do have another question. I have been looking at suspension packages from Steeda, Maximum Motorsports and Griggs. I know with the Steeda kits, I would get all 3 stages. The MMS I would get the street/strip package that was around 2200-2300 dollars. As far as the Griggs setup, I've heard some good things about them, I just don't know the name like I know the other two names. The car is going to be a street car first, autox/road car 2nd. I want a decent ride but the ability to take turns much improved over stock. Any input from anyone would be great. :)
 

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Any input from anyone would be great. :)
I believe most of the more experienced guys on this forum would say "don't waste your money on a suspension kit, use the $$ for seat time since, as a newbie, you will suck as a driver and you won't know what the car needs anyway" :king:
 

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About that not updating the suspension setup, I don't agree with I have Autocrossed mine in both configurations, don't fight the roll bind and snap oversteer of the factory suspension. My MM suspension was much more controlable and made for more fun daily driving and if those days are rainy much safer driving. Lower control arms and a Panhard rod with the shock and spring package of your choice will make the car drive so much differently, in my experience running the car both ways, update the suspension and start learning the limits of an improved suspension. The only thing about this you have to decide how far do you want to go. I had autocrossed previously and wanted to be fast and fun but I wasn't going to blow ride quality of a car that I intended to drive as much as possible. If you want a superfast Autocross car anyway you may as well buy a STI or an EVO! Set a realistic goal and uses for you Mustang project and then stick to it.
 

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Something else to consider. The 2.3 Mustangs are cheaper, but if you follow the SVO route with the motor from a turbo T-Bird and a full or Partial MM suspension, that would be a very tough Autocross combo to beat, plus easier conversion, lighter wieght and better gas mileage if you were going to drive it everyday. Back in 1984 my mom had a Medium Canyon Red Glow SVO, and it was very cool, the motor was set back so far in the car it was like the new RX8 almost a mid-engine car because of the set back of the motor. V 8 low end grunt is awesome but Turbo rush and the sound they make is pretty cool too!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Something else to consider. The 2.3 Mustangs are cheaper, but if you follow the SVO route with the motor from a turbo T-Bird and a full or Partial MM suspension, that would be a very tough Autocross combo to beat, plus easier conversion, lighter wieght and better gas mileage if you were going to drive it everyday. Back in 1984 my mom had a Medium Canyon Red Glow SVO, and it was very cool, the motor was set back so far in the car it was like the new RX8 almost a mid-engine car because of the set back of the motor. V 8 low end grunt is awesome but Turbo rush and the sound they make is pretty cool too!
Guys,

Thanks for the replies. All the suggestions are good and make a lot of sense.

The above about getting a 4banger and turbo'n it is a great idea. I dabble a little in each(turbo/handling) but I'm not a master in either. The TA is turbo'd and it is an absolute monster. Can I autox it, not anymore and I think road racing is out of the question since the turbo comes on so hard so fast with very little go-pedal input. Besides, the TA is already sold and the guy is coming down on the 14th to pick it up..

Anyways, if I do go the SVO model, I am not going to get to crazy with the setup power-wise like I did with the TA. I really like the idea. Guess I just have to figure out how to tune the car if I do a 4 banger turbo.
 

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The simpler way ( what I should have done!)

I do have another question. I have been looking at suspension packages from Steeda, Maximum Motorsports and Griggs. I know with the Steeda kits, I would get all 3 stages. The MMS I would get the street/strip package that was around 2200-2300 dollars. As far as the Griggs setup, I've heard some good things about them, I just don't know the name like I know the other two names. The car is going to be a street car first, autox/road car 2nd. I want a decent ride but the ability to take turns much improved over stock. Any input from anyone would be great. :)[/QUOTE]

I would highly recomend to keep it simple and correct the main problem of the Mustang suspension, which is rear suspension bind. For a high performance simple street car simply put a Griggs torque arm, panhard bar and lower control arms in with correct rate conventional springs and some decent shocks. As for the front I wouldnt bother with much just yet, maybe some simple upgrades as forward offset lower control arm bushings to start since the stock old bushings are prob beat. This along with correct rate conventional springs, decent shocks and Max Mtrsprts caster/camber plates and you will have a well handling ride, but room to grow as you will find the car more prone to push(understeer or loss of front tires in traction) as you get faster. The next step after this would be k member, coilovers, big brakes, road race rubber like Nitto 555r2s. If you started with a good set of shocks and struts like konis, they could be made into coilovers later on with the coilover kit, or just start with coilovers from the beginning with out the k member, springs are cheap at around $50 each. Im gonna shut up now as Im starting to ramble.......and a basic 5 lug conversion with rear discs, '96 spindles and the stock pbr dual piston front brakes--very cost effective upgrade. The stock 4 lug front hub is dinosaur technology and is useless.
 

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I believe most of the more experienced guys on this forum would say "don't waste your money on a suspension kit, use the $$ for seat time since, as a newbie, you will suck as a driver and you won't know what the car needs anyway" :king:
I will agree with this to an extent. seat time is the only way to learn the cars limits. I've been road racing for 5 years in a 2300lb car with 63hp at the wheels. laugh all you want but i can out handle almost any car. Do the suspension upgrades now and throw a "stock" motor in. You can go carb but you have to get center hung floats. Talk to the guys at edelbrock or holley and they will hook you up. If you can afford them, go coilovers. it'll take some time to fine tune them but in the long run, you'll be thankful. IRS is a pita from what i hear. with the torque arm and panhard bar, you'll be a happy camper.
 

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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? :leghump:



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.
 

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i completely forgot about the watts link. One question i do have is how does a torque arm fit on a IRS?

It doesn't - center section of the IRS is "solidily" mounted so the T/A is useless. On the IRS, I've lived with one in my 01 cobra since 01. While it is worlds better in the ride department, there are so many issues with it related to its handling limits, that IMHO going with a stick axle and one of the OTC kits would yield a better handling rear suspension for a lot less money - but it won't ride as well.

My own autocross experience started with the completely stock, 100K mile 86 suspension/5.0L/5-speed drive-train and some all-weather tires. If one can learn to drive such a combo before adding suspension pieces and better tires, then when those better pieces are added one can appreciate the improvements and actually use those improvements to your advantage. In the beginning, seat time is really more important than the handling of the car since most beginners are incompetent at a car's maximum ability. I do agree that working on the rear of a fox chassis first seems to yield more improvement than starting at the front, assuming a stock 4-link rear. In my case, I did the MM PHB with lower arms and the FRPP uppers (per MMs recommendation). The ride is not any different than stock but the rear is more predictable in corners. I've recently gone to C/Os in the front and a PM3L in the rear with some stiffer springs but the car is still on the stands - I hope to have it on the road soon for a shake-down.

To the OP, if yo buy the 4-banger car, do the basic safety stuff for road worthinewss and take it to the A/X event - you'll enjoy it just the way it is.
 

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Glad to hear no swapping the k-member then. Is your car a 4 banger upgraded to 351 Windsor? I was thinking of the same gearing (3.55s) and a 5 speed (up in the air on which one exactly).

I do have another question. I have been looking at suspension packages from Steeda, Maximum Motorsports and Griggs. I know with the Steeda kits, I would get all 3 stages. The MMS I would get the street/strip package that was around 2200-2300 dollars. As far as the Griggs setup, I've heard some good things about them, I just don't know the name like I know the other two names. The car is going to be a street car first, autox/road car 2nd. I want a decent ride but the ability to take turns much improved over stock. Any input from anyone would be great. :)
Indeed, it was when it rolled off the assembly line.

I'm not familiar with the street/strip package but drag race setups are optimized for weight transfer to the rear and are thus sprung and damped very softly. That's not the right direction for cornering ability. You haven't stated what sort of budget or if you care what class you'd fall into car-wise so I can't make any recommendations for what direction you really ought to go.

I'll tell you right off the bat, buying the car is the easy (and cheap) part. :hammer:

This is a copy of a wiki article that used to be available on corner-carvers. I had updated it a few years ago but some of the vendors have closed their doors and so the parts are not available new anymore. It's still worth reading through for possible options and what you're getting yourself into.
:)

http://members.shaw.ca/rlemke2/PlasticSpoon.htm
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Guys,

Thanks for the input. I guess I have a lot more research to do as far as classes and which class I want to run in.

Also, thanks for the time and though about some very good posts on seat time and recommendations/situations with your own cars.

I am really starting to lean towards buying a 4 cylinder and upgrading as needed. I would really like to have a finished car with a i/h/c 5.0 or 351 with a 5 speed, disc brakes all the way around and the chasis/suspension taken care of (obviously not in that order, probably reverse that order. :D ).

Hope everyone is having a great day.
 

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go with full rear set up frm maximum motorsports, up front upr front cromemoly, I have been auto crossing/roadracing 5 yrs in a 89 coupe (was 4 cylinder). I have D&D front everything with tokico illuminas, went to AGR steering rack and pump, I have a 351 stroked to 383 with afr 185 heads, carb setup making 583 to rear wheels, out back steeda swaybar upr adj lowers with torque arm and pan hard (recently switched back from rear coilovers). with front and rear 13"bear brakes and cobra front and rear rotors running on 17x9 cobra rims with nitto nt01- 255 40 17, car handles like a dream and eats up vets and other expensives. I had 3:55 and went to a 3:31 gears for more top end in the back straight at Sebring
 
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