So, I cut out the passenger side shock tower today. Once that was done I went ahead and clearanced the lower control arm mounts with a nice radius, which will hopefully clear the steering shaft whenever I do what I'm going to do with the rack. I then picked the block back up and slipped it onto the scattershield, put the top end back on and managed to get BOTH headers bolted up to the heads. The problem is that in order to do it, and keep the motor centered...I had to lift it all back up to the factory height, which unfortunately is unacceptable. I can say this much, messing with these headers now that I have a reference for the factory block location (I didn't in the 67), makes me realize just how freakin much I had to lift, and move the motor forward in order to get it installed with the high ports in the Mustang. Kinda pisses me off to pay $700 initially, then $70 in shipping twice for headers that never did fit properly. I mean, I can't complain in this build...they weren't made for these heads (oddly enough they actually fit BETTER now though...the motor was 1/2" higher than this to clear in the 67), but like I said, it makes me realize how bad it was last time. For the money I spent on them, I could have just had my local guy fabricate a new set that fit perfectly.
Anyhow, on to some pictures:
Here's the clearanced LCA mounts. Hopefully the radius allows everything I need to clear. I'm getting tired of picking that block up from the ground inside the engine compartment over and over lol...it'd be nice to have this be the last time as far as fitment is concerned =p.
Doesn't this fit beautifully? Engine's all centered up...there's TONS of room to drop it (I could probably go three full inches if I wanted here, lol), headers are tucked nicely. It's a beautiful thing...
And...my problem side. At factory height, #4 is 1/16" off the frame rail, and #3 is about the same distance from the inner apron. The motor HAS to drop an inch, period. Right now it's sitting with almost 7° of slope as compared to the frame rail, and frankly...looks retarded doing it. Tomorrow I'm going to take ONE more look at the transmission and see if I can gain 1/2" on it. If that works, I may end up only dropping the motor 1/2 to level things out. Since I'll have to clearance the frame rail to do it...I'm trying to be conservative here.
Hey...at least the damn thing's IN right?
On a much, much happier note...I installed my SN95 spindles onto the 1968 factory LCA's today. I basically just tightened the nut down till they wouldn't move (the 68 ball joint is a good bit smaller than the SN95 unit) so I could see if this whole deal was even going to be possible. Things lined up pretty well. I think getting the right ball joint in there will make a large difference. I'd found some measurements of a 67 Cougar's ride height on Mustang Steve's Ride Height page
(scroll to the bottom), and figured that even though it appears close to stock, it'll be a good place to start. So I set the center of hub at 13" from the wheel lip (which leaves the coilover adjusters right in the middle of the threads with 10" to the factory spring cup...which just happens to be my spring's compressed height lol)...and began looking for possible issues.
The strut shaft comes right up through the factory opening like it was made for it (it's resting in this picture, when straightened it's actually pretty well centered). The Maximum Motorsports 4 bolt caster/camber plates I ordered from Brother's Performance (great price btw) allow over an inch of both camber adjustment, and caster adjustment. When combined with the adjustable length lower control arm (should get somewhere between 1/2" and 1" adjustment there too), and adjustable strut rods...I think it should be enough.
This picture isn't a very good indicator, but when the strut shaft is located in the center of the factory shock opening...the hub is basically vertical. I'm crossing my fingers (and toes, legs, arms, and every other bodily appendage I have a pair of), but this looks like a pretty simple bolt on deal.
So, there's that. Funny that the actual installation of the front suspension seems like it's going to go pretty damn easily. I'm probably going to have to mount the M2 rack relatively low so the tie rods clear the strut rod...but that's nothing that fabbing up a bumpsteer correction deal won't fix. When I narrow the pinto rack, I'm going to see about narrowing it enough to thread the shafts for a female clevis end, so I can run adjustable one piece tie rods with rod ends. Anything that minimizes bind is to the good...and this things going to vibrate like a cheap hotel bed anyway, so I'm not exactly worried about that aspect much, lol.
Hopefully, there will be more pictures to come tomorrow.