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Discussion Starter #21 (Edited)
Looking good my friend. Lots of work on that one, but true car guys just shrug it off and never look back.

Glad that the heads and intake are seeing daylight again. Should be a frigg'in awesome powerplant for the 68! Hope the T5 can handle it once you get the combo sorted out.
Thanks man :).

I guess I skipped the post about my transmission somehow when transferring my progress. I picked up a dog ring g-force t-5… mcleod scattershield, triax shifter, and a centerforce clutch with both a dual friction disc, and a promotion disc. I mean, a stock t5 can be made to live longer than people might expect, particularly on the street…but at this power level, going into third under full throttle with any amount of traction would spell the end, lol.

On a semi related note…did I mention that there's three different e85 stations within a couple miles of my house? Good thing too, or those flat top pistons and these 45cc chambers would be a big no no!

 

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Discussion Starter #22



Sooo...is this considered 'progress'?...or 'demolition?

:)

I'm probably going to change a few things. First...I may fab two brackets to run coilovers in place of the stock spring/sock/perch setup. Reason being...I have the right size threaded body coilovers sitting around from the dirt track cars...and I've got about 50 different sets of springs sitting around also lol. The only real benefits I expect to see are maybe 20lbs off the front end (in a good spot!!), and more room to open up the shock towers. The top bracket will bolt under the existing upper shock bracket (which will be removed), and the bottom one will replace the spring perch. I'll use simple stock car shock mount brackets welded to the appropriate sized plates to make the brackets. All of my shocks mount via rod ends at both the upper and lower positions.

Anyhow...that's just something I'm kicking around...I've got a bit of time before I decide...but less shock tower (and thus more room!), is always a good thing.

On the cylinder head front...I should be ordering the reaming tool for my lifter bores here this week. I'm also going to be ordering my Megasquirt kit shortly as well. I'm going with the MS3x, and will be running full sequential spark and fuel (distributorless with LSx coil packs). The best part is that later, I'll be able to run stacked injectors (2 injectors per port). The primaries will be sequential, smallish (perhaps 36's or 42's), mount very low, shoot basically horizontally into the port, and handle all the low load/rpm fuel supply. The secondaries will probably be 60's, and will run off of batch fire. My biggest problem with the fuel injection setup I have at this point...is figuring out an air filtration solution which first...is capable of supplying 3000+cfm, and second...doesn't cost $400 plus. I REALLY like the K&N sprint car air boxes (and they should be very easy to fit to this intake system), but they're crazy expensive. I mean...$408 for JUST the freakin filter?? Seriously?! Here's a picture:



So there's that. Maybe I'll try Racingjunk for a used one, lol. Any other ideas on that front would be very much appreciated.

Sooo, there we have it. Moving along slowly but surely. I'm hoping to have the thing running and driving by the end of summer (maybe, lol). Part of me thinks if I get it driving in the next 6mos...I'll have really pulled something off though =p.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Looking good! And yep I see the reason for notching the towers. LOL
Welll...I tried it out, lol.



Thankfully, before I started welding things up, I decided to go ahead and drop a spare 302 block in using the factory motor mounts...so I could put my heads on and see what was what.



The lowest chalk line, is the level of the control arm mounts. I'm thinking that there's no way my headers will be fitting in there...but I'm still going to drop them in there if possible, and see. It might be that lowering them 1.5" or whatever it is, and losing that much more shock tower...will make some difference.



Yeah...going to have to run the Wilwood compact master cylinder I think.



The camera is sitting on the inner fender here, and the tailshaft of the transmission still needs to come up about 1" or so. What I'll probably do instead however, is leave the transmission where it is (weld tabs to my crossmember), and lower the motor with the plates when I lose the motor mounts. The only reason I'm mocking it up with the factory mounts at all is to get a baseline position.


About 5" to the center of the hood. From the top of the intake as/is, I need 3" in throttle bodies, and probably a 5" air filter as pictured above. Yeah, I think this thing is going to be getting a scoop...lol.




Here you see the T5 setup. The crossmember is simply a slotted C4 unit, with the C4 mount bushing. I've never had to weld tabs to it to make it work like I hear others do (this is my third conversion). When I do them for my cars, I slot them the entire length...just in case the motor needs to slide forward, then back when getting the headers to fit (the bolts are just loosely in there when I'm installing headers). Like I said above, I'll probably leave this one dropped an even inch from the factory location. That'll put the shifter base just below the tunnel, and let me drop the motor a bit as well.


I dunno...I've never seen a big block in one of these cars in person...but with those heads, intake, and valve covers...this thing doesn't look like any small block I've ever seen, lol. Can't wait to get it in there permanently!

Anyhow...I'm currently researching my options on methods to ditch the factory upper a-arms, just in case lowering them won't work. I was initially leaning towards a Mustang II setup...but I talked to another friend with a 67 Cougar, and he used the AJE k-member with coil over struts. The way I figure it...If I want to go to the Mustang II at a later date, I still can. Wheras, if I decide I want struts after doing the Mustang II...that'll be a bit harder lol. Plus I hear that Cal Tracs like some front end travel, and the struts give something like 5.5" versus something less than that for the Mustang II.

Guess we'll see when the time comes :).
 

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That top end is monstrous!!!!! Hopefully it'll be built to scream as its already shouting "Look at me".

The MC ports that you have are facing the wrong way compared to stock, but with those valve covers I would go the more compact route instead. Sectioning the valve covers to make them lower would gain you more working clearance when changing plugs or whatever.

What's the screw looking thing under the intake that blocks the distributor from going in?

I don't see you getting the headers that you already have in there with the UCA's. Maybe a pair of 351w swap headers for a 65/66 Mustang??? Either way it looks like the UCA's need to go. The coilover route intrigues me, but I don't have the knowledge (or funds) to make the jump and I would first want to be sure that the structural integrity of the front end remains.

Thanks for the cool looking pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
That top end is monstrous!!!!! Hopefully it'll be built to scream as its already shouting "Look at me".

The MC ports that you have are facing the wrong way compared to stock, but with those valve covers I would go the more compact route instead. Sectioning the valve covers to make them lower would gain you more working clearance when changing plugs or whatever.

What's the screw looking thing under the intake that blocks the distributor from going in?

I don't see you getting the headers that you already have in there with the UCA's. Maybe a pair of 351w swap headers for a 65/66 Mustang??? Either way it looks like the UCA's need to go. The coilover route intrigues me, but I don't have the knowledge (or funds) to make the jump and I would first want to be sure that the structural integrity of the front end remains.

Thanks for the cool looking pics.

Well, I hope it screams of course, lol. I'm sure the car will be slower at first. There's going to be a decent amount of testing, creeping up on the tune, and even more importantly getting a nearly 50yr old car that was basically growing weeds, ready for what should be 9 second power. I don't know if I'll ever actually be running in the 9's with it...but someday I'd like to.

The MC is an SVO unit for the disc/disc setup. I'm not exactly sure how the Wilwood MC handles dealing with 4whl discs...but they're inexpensive, and if it works out that's what I'll be running. Dropping the motor an inch is going to help valve cover clearance...but I'm really going to have to watch my lash with this setup, and right now, I couldn't get the valve cover off if I tried. Also, when it comes to sectioning the valve covers...there's no room lol. When you look through the breather holes, the rockers are right there. I thought about cutting down the outboard edge like a Cleveland, but the way the rockers are twisted prevents that too. Fun stuff.

Screw looking thing...oh!...I think you're looking at the other fuel rail. It's just laying in the valley, lol. Nice thing about that distributor hole though, is it'll be filled with a cam position sensor versus a distributor. That IS fun stuff :).

On the headers...I don't know. I know that on the last motor, it didn't look like there was room for them against the shock towers either...but they eventually fit. If/when I swap to the AJE setup on the front (here's a link to some cool install pictures: 68 Mustang K-Member installation - 460 Ford Forum), I was told Fox body type headers will work. What I'd probably do though is send my heads to George, tell him I'm running the AJE setup, and let him make a new set. Either that, or have a set built here. I'm going to do my best to get things set as/is though. Need to order an upper control arm drop template.

On the pictures...I've found though that it's actually a big help for me to be able to go back and look again at the pictures and notes I made while doing it, as I move around to other parts of the build then come back to whatever I was working on. Additionally...writing things out like this...once I'm not in the middle of DOING it, has kept me from making some pretty bone headed mistakes, as well as helped me solve problems I was way too close to while actually working on the thing. Then there's the fact that you guys always have great ideas yourselves. I've gone in directions with things that I might never have thought of myself as a direct result of suggestions and comments I've got from you guys in these types of threads. Honestly...I've come to enjoy this part of the build as much as doing the actual work.

So thank you as well :).
 

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Discussion Starter #27 (Edited)
Sooo...I've pretty much decided on doing a coilover strut type front end. The price breakdown using a mix of aftermarket, aftermarket fox body, and OEM SN95 parts ends up being right under $1500. This includes strange adjustable coilover struts, QA1 adjustable tubular lowers, caster camber plates, and a brand new pinto rack. After that, its all going to be about packaging it to work with the early car's frame. I'm not going to do a k-member, as our cars had only a tubular bolt in support from the factory. I'm assuming I'll have to fabricate mounts off of the bottom of the frame, but since the lowers I chose mount with rod ends...that won't be too difficult. A friend of mine owns Fox Body Performance here in Glendale, so I'm going to run up while he has a car on a lift and take some measurements to see what I'm facing. I'm going to 'try' to maintain my factory front track, but if it ends up changing within an inch (probably wider) or so to accommodate easier mount locations...that'll be ok too.

Measurements of particular importance:
-Length of control arms from each chassis mount point to the ball joint.
-Distance from floor to each control arm chassis mount point at ride height.
-Distance from frame centerline to each control arm chassis mount point.
-Distance from floor to lower ball joint at ride height.
-Distance from floor to upper strut mount.
-Note any fore and aft difference from upper strut mount to lower ball joint in the placement of the strut for reference.

Basically my idea (if my above measurements show this swap to even be feasible) is to modify/mount the caster/camber plates in the existing factory spring pocket in the Cougar's shock tower, install the strut (without the coilover spring initially), SN95 spindle, and lower control arm assembly. Support the lower control arm so that the chassis mount points and ball joint are oriented properly (as measured at ride height above), and the spindle hub is properly located and oriented as well (I'm guessing perfectly vertical will be the best initial placement lol). Basically I plan on 'rebuilding' the factory fox body setup with the upper strut mount as the only fixed point. This should locate where my new control arm mount brackets go for me with a very small margin of error. Any minor variances should be able to be taken care of with the caster/camber plate, and the adjustable lower control arms. Once the assembly is mounted, that will determine my rack mount point, which should be hopefully somewhere in front of the oil pan. At this point I'll also assess the whole setup for improvements I can make to the suspension geometry, if there is any.

So do you guys see any glaring deficiencies in my plan? I've built front subframe for unlimited late model dirt cars that worked flawlessly...but they were SLA type stuff, never strut based. I did speak to a friend who built his setup using strange universal coilover struts, and this is pretty much what he did also, only he didn't have an OEM setup to pattern his off of. His car traps over 145mph, without issue...so I'm hoping it works out as planned.

Anyhow, just a small update!
 

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Wow...

I'm really enjoying reading about this... it's hands down more than I will ever do to my 68, but all your pictures really help me get an idea what I'll be getting into once I begin tearing it apart.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Wow...

I'm really enjoying reading about this... it's hands down more than I will ever do to my 68, but all your pictures really help me get an idea what I'll be getting into once I begin tearing it apart.
Thank you my friend. That brings up the final reason I enjoy sharing my builds on forums like these. I still get PM's regularly from the Mustang build I documented here...and I've always enjoyed helping others where I can :).
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Chris,

Read through this site, TwinTorino.com

It could give you some direction if you want to go this far. And use a K frame and shock towers from a Mustang.

Jet
I looked through it. Very interesting. I am surprised by the track width of the torino and mustang/cougar being so similar, yet the engine compartments are so very different.

My main difference is I didn't want to use a k-member at all. Although I have considered picking up one that uses rod end lowers to butcher for the suspension pickup points. That would simplify things some, as long as I could mount it after cutting it up. Hell, at that point I could actually see what it really WOULD take to fit the whole thing. I know it can't be as hard as they made it with the torino, and since I don't need engine mounts, and can easily fab a rack mount crossmember, the only thing that matters for me are the pickup points for the lower control arms.

Anyhow, thank you for the link! It was interesting reading and I actually did learn a bit from it. Good stuff all around :)
 

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Discussion Starter #32
So I tossed my 7qt front sump oil pan on the car with the block still on the factory mounts today...and there was literally less than half an inch clearance to the bolt in factory crossmember. This setup seems to be making its primary task into giving me 'ok...what the hell am I going to do now?' moments at every turn. So I put the oil pan back onto the 347 to check crank/rod to pan clearance in that area, and its well over an inch a half...if not actually 2". I was talking to my Dad at that point about sectioning my pan to gain some lowering clearance, and he looks at me and says

'Why don't you just put a dry sump on it??'.

So I was like '...well, mostly because I don't have $1800 to add to the total cost this things going to run me.'

He kind of looked at me funny, turned around to the parts shelf, pulled off one of the four three stage Aviaid pumps and handed it to me (I'd seen them a million times, and never paid an ounce of attention, lol). Then he opened another cabinet, and grabbed a 3 gallon return tank...and handed that to me also. Next came a moderately sized oil cooler, and after that a box with six new WIX 51222R filters. Then he says 'Pick yourself up a 1.25" gilmer crank and alternator pulley, and a 1.5-12 remote filter mount...fab up a pan...run some hoses, and you've got yourself a dry sump.'

How about them apples?

Sooo...there we go. I haven't really messed with it much this week, other than the oil pan thing. I need to compress the springs tomorrow, pull the heads, and remove the upper control arms and lower shock towers. At that point I'll see just how low I can get the thing without the bell housing or headers getting too close to the ground. If I can get an inch down, and anything back...I'll be very happy. Even just the inch or so down would be good for me. Gotta be able to get the driver's side valve cover off!!
 

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You had me going there with the 1/2" motor clearance (which would normally be no problem), until you revealed your intent to slam it. That's going to make header routing even more of an issue with the remains of the shock towers, steering box and the pitman/idler arm. The steering linkage wil probably be in the way too. If you drop it, it but it might require a little rework of the spindle arm height (heat/bend.)

Also wonder how much ground clearance that the headers will have.

Ever thought of making the Cougar a gasser (cheap) or a MII swap with a lowered frame attachment and raised spindles? Those would help solve a lot of the problems. On second thought, don't. That would make life much too easy . . . . . :)
 

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Discussion Starter #34 (Edited)
You had me going there with the 1/2" motor clearance (which would normally be no problem), until you revealed your intent to slam it. That's going to make header routing even more of an issue with the remains of the shock towers, steering box and the pitman/idler arm. The steering linkage wil probably be in the way too. If you drop it, it but it might require a little rework of the spindle arm height (heat/bend.)

Also wonder how much ground clearance that the headers will have.

Ever thought of making the Cougar a gasser (cheap) or a MII swap with a lowered frame attachment and raised spindles? Those would help solve a lot of the problems. On second thought, don't. That would make life much too easy . . . . . :)
Lol...I wouldn't say 'slam'! How about 'slightly adjust to a more advantageous, less highly elevated position'?

More seriously though...I'm actually trying to get the motor where I had it in the 67 Mustang (same headers with high ports, which are also 3/4" raised)...which is partly a factor of where the T5 sits (trying to get a good shot at the rear end!). I'm aware this might not be possible with these heads. Either way though...who would turn down a free dry sump, lol?

As far as the conflicts you mentioned go...those will only really be viable if I end up somehow managing to keep my upper control arms (not likely!). If not...it's going to Strange 10 position single adjustable fox body coilover struts ($310), SN95 spindles with the PBR aluminum calipers ($300), tubular lower control arms (free circle track parts), adjustable locating struts ($50), and a mustang II/pinto front steer rack ($75). I figure even with unexpected and incidental costs (connecting the steering, brake lines, caster/camber plates, etc), I'll still be well below $1200 for the whole, vastly superior front suspension setup. As far as it working goes...its basically a fatman/rrs/gateway system, only without the inflated price tag they can get since most people haven't been able to figure out what parts they're using in their 'kits'.

I'm going to go out today though and give some serious effort towards getting my headers fit as it sits. If that doesn't work, I'll compress the springs, remove the uppers, then remove the lower part of the shock towers and see what there is to see.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Here's a similarly designed OEM suspension that uses a forward locating strut and a single beam lower control arm. It's a Hyundai Genesis of all things, lol.



Fun.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Lots of updates! My fuel tank came in, along with my sump. Soooo...I welded that up. It turned out pretty decent if I do say so myself. The sump (universal) came from a company called SMR on eBay. I asked them if they could put the outlets on the sides of the sump instead of the rear (I hate rear outlets on a Mustang/Cougar...), and upsize them to 3/4" instead of 1/2", and they did both free of charge. Shipping was free, and fast, and it only cost like $35. I was pretty impressed to be honest. I also got my -12 push lok fuel line, Weldon 2025 pump and 2040 regulator, and ordered the majority of my fittings. Still need to pick up 5' or so of -10 line, and 25' or so of -8 for the EFI lines and the return line.

I'm also fully committed to the strut front end now as well...although I won't be using the typical lower control arm like a fox/SN95 car. It turns out, from my measurements and research that the rest of a fox/SN95 front end will fit like it was made for the car. As I mentioned before, I'll be using a factory SN95 (2000 Mustang GT) spindle and brakes, Strange 10 way single adjustable coilover struts with Qa1 14-175 springs, and Maximum Motorsports 4 bolt caster/camber plates. The lower control arm will be located at the factory pickup for a 68 Cougar, and a single arm with a strut locating bar like factory as well. It'll be an adjustable tubular stock car deal instead though, with a fabbed strut mount. The steering setup is a pinto/Mustang II rack...which so far has come with its own host of problems, lol. Read: bumpsteer. Not good when your rack pivot points are 22" wide, and your LCA pick up points are 19".

All in all I'm pleased with how it's going together though...other than how long it's taking. As soon as my spindles and caster/camber plates get here I'll be starting the mocking up in earnest. Should be interesting to say the least, since I have no baseline measurements for ride height, or anything else to go off of. I mean, the car WAS a shell when I got it, lol.

Anyhow, here's some pictures.

1970 Mustang/Cougar 22gal tank from Mustang's Unlimited. Not bad for $124 shipped, with a new pickup/sending unit.


The sump. Much nicer than the foxbody specific one I modified for the 67 Mustang last time.


All fit up for welding.


All welded. You'll notice I had to use flux core, since I was out of gas and don't have the first clue how to tig, lol. All I care about is that it held! I smeared it with JB weld before painting it just in case though, lol.



All finished.


I also pulled the motor mounts completely. Still wasn't enough room to fit the headers, lol.



Then I pulled the steering (and everything else lol). STILL couldn't get the headers to fit. For the record, the steering assembly on these cars weighs 38lbs...and the upper control arms (with saddles), springs, spindles, rotors and calipers weigh another 122lbs (both sides of course).




Some of the parts I have on hand now. Man I like those Strange coilovers, lol. Weight comparison is 12lbs for the steering, and 102lbs for the coilover struts, spindles, rotors, and calipers. I was surprised that the difference wasn't greater...all of these parts feel very light.


Finally got the drivers side shock tower out (still needs ground down clean etc). The parts I removed weighed about 10lbs lol. And look!...I finally got a header on! The motor's still sitting about 3/4" higher than I'd like (about 1/4" below factory or so) though...which is ok, since I still intend to cut the motor mount bracket/support deal that the header's sitting on down at a curved angle.

Anyway...that's that so far. As I mentioned above, the hardest part of this is going to be getting the rack to work and clear my headers. I'll probably have to narrow it, which sucks...and won't help with the header clearance at all. But in the end...header clearance is a pretty distant second to bump steer when decelerating from the kind of trap speed this thing should be capable of...so it is what it is.
 

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I like the bungs coming off the side of the sump. The rear mounted stuff always looks like crap to me and frankly scared me away.

Your pretty handy with a flux core welder on that thin sheet metal. I have one and really couldn't lay a bead down like that even with .030 wire.

As far as the engine compartment, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I know that you are thinking Mustang II rack, but have you seen this thread that talks about Omni/GM racks having an angle that might be desireable? http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/falcon-pages/450677-rack-pinion.html
 

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Discussion Starter #38
I like the bungs coming off the side of the sump. The rear mounted stuff always looks like crap to me and frankly scared me away.

Your pretty handy with a flux core welder on that thin sheet metal. I have one and really couldn't lay a bead down like that even with .030 wire.

As far as the engine compartment, you've got a lot of work ahead of you. I know that you are thinking Mustang II rack, but have you seen this thread that talks about Omni/GM racks having an angle that might be desireable? http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/falcon-pages/450677-rack-pinion.html
Thanks Dennis! On the last tank I sumped, I made my own side exits using a piece of 3/4" mild pipe from Home Depot. I slotted it to allow fuel into it then passed it through two holes I drilled in the sides and welded it up. It was easy enough to adapt from the NPT to -AN after that. I just used 1/2" pipe plugs in the rear bungs:



I later ran a -8 return line to the other side. This time around, I'll actually have two -12 feeds tee into the pump, and I'll braze a -8 return bung into the factory sending unit where the original feed would go.

On the welds, lol...well, thanks! It still leaked though. Flux core wire leaves a lot of porosity in the weld, and if water seeps through, fuel will definitely seep through. Not being able to really get any heat/penetration for fear of blowing it out doesn't help. The method I've found best for welding sheetmetal is to first make sure there's overlap. Then, start the heat on the doubled up portion until you get your puddle, then 'push' the puddle down to the single layer...and back up to the doubled portion. That completes one stitch. At that point you release the feed until the stitch cools enough to let your lens go bright again (usually about 1-2 seconds), at which point you make your next stitch. Done properly you get a nice, smooth rhythm and it goes really quickly. This seems to help a lot with warpage too. I welded that sump in pretty much one continuous bead down a side (stopping every inch or so to tap the next inch of flange down flush with a punch...the heat often separates the two pieces), then switched to the other side, etc. Once it's all done, I use a stiff wire wheel and a small amount of grinding to get any boogers off, then a quick, semi thick smear of JB weld as a seam sealer...let it cure, and then paint it. I'm pretty happy with the method, and I think the only way to do any better really is with a tig.

On that rack...I got super excited for a minute when I saw the link...then I quickly realized once I started reading that it's a rear steer rack lol. I need a front steer deal unfortunately. Ahh well though...I'll either find something else that works, or shorten this M2 unit I have already. If I find something else, at least I can resell the M2 unit quickly...the older street rod crown around here snap them up off of Craigslist as soon as they're posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
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.
 

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Got a BUNCH done today!




Drilled out the factory spring seat. Three spot welds to drill, and a punch to remove the seat. Came out pretty easily actually.


This is the lower support on the Maximum Motorsports caster camber plates. It's made to sit just like this, only under the shock tower.


I had to drill two holes, and wallow out a third (I used a 3/8" round file chucked up in my cordless drill to make adjustments to the holes I drilled, and to open up the slot more for the third bolt). I made sure the holes left a bit of interference (I don't want that plate dropping, ever)...then drew it up with the supplied bolts and washers until it was flush with the underside of the shock tower (wait...should I be calling it a 'strut tower' now, lol?).


This shows a bit better where I drilled the holes, and how the plate sits nice and snug on its own. If you're doing this, make sure you don't make the holes too close to each other. Yes...the plate may still draw up, but the tops can spread out, and then you can't get the middle plate on.



Speaking of the middle plate...here's mine. Slips right down on the studs. Don't forget to use the 3/8" spacers they provide. Without them, the lower bolts on the middle plate (that mount the top plate) get caught on the hole in the shock tower...and you won't be able to adjust it.



And there's the top plate. Also, you can see how nicely the support plate fits inside the factory shock tower. Kinda surprising.




And there it is with the strut installed. Again...fits like factory. Plenty of hood clearance too! Also, since you can see the strut setup in there...I'd like to clarify that those springs are stupid stiff (like 450lb/in), and 10" uncompressed. They're in there for mock up, since the springs I'm going to be using are going to be about 9-10" compressed. These measured out at 9.75" with the hub at my chosen ride height. Perfect for mocking things up.


If a person REALLY wanted to, they could probably use the stock control arm. Just figure out a way to mod the LCA for a bolt in ball joint that had the right shank for the SN95 spindles. It all fits in there really clean.


Here you can see the rough alignment with it all just dropped in. It needs a bit more positive camber to be more vertical...I can adjust that in with the adjustable LCA's, and the caster camber plates. Also keep in mind that the picture is crooked, adding to the illusion of positive camber. Base the hub orientation off the tape measure for a better idea of what's what.



Ride height at 13.5".




With a wheel on...26" tire. Keep in mind there's no rotor, which will space things out minutely. This is pretty much where the factory spindle placed the wheel too (it might be a BIT more tucked...if I have to run a wheel spacer to make it look right, I will...we'll see when the time comes).

Soooo, I feel like I got a bit accomplished today. I'm still having trouble believing how easily this front end has gone together in a 46yr old car. I keep waiting for the big 'Oh ****!!' moment when I find something that's gonna make the entire thing not work lol...but so far...it's been gravy!

I'm also really looking forward to the day I have the car pretty much complete, and put the thing on scales to check out the corner weights lol.
 
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