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Thread: Former J/S FI 86 Turbo Coupe 351C swap

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  1. #1
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    Default Former J/S FI 86 Turbo Coupe 351C swap

    I recently bought an 86 Turbo Coupe that was campaigned for the last few years in NHRA stock category J/FI, a stock class for later fuel injected cars. It won three Wallys at National events, including one US Nationals win in Indianapolis. I bought it less turbo 4 and 5 speed, and am converting it to 351C power for now. I am using a 1970 351C 4V with C4 trans and 4000 convertor. Eventually, I would like to move up to mod motor wth a big turbo. For now, the Cleveland will do. I have the solid motor mounts built, as well as headers and oil pan. Yes, this is a low buck project to teach my 15 year old son how to do something besides play stupid ass x box. Everything is mocked up and built at this point, and I will begin disassembly this week to prepare for cleaning up under the hood, paint, and new wiring kit to eliminate the cluster under the hood and inside the car. I had considered converting the dash to Fox body Mustang to lighten up the interior, but have not been able to find one at the boneyard yet. Still looking. I plan on eliminating everything the car does not need to get down the track in hopes of getting the car down to 27-2800 lbs without my fat ass in it. My kid is much smaller than me, and i will be teaching him how to drive it, guaranteeing he will be broke for the rest of his life.
    FYI for those also doing this swap, I used a set of cheap (80 bucks) Summit headers for 70 Mustang with 351C 4V. Number four (pass side rear) tube needs turned straight down to clear firewall. Original tube is swept back toward firewall. The driver side needs routed around the steering on the number 5 (front tube driver side). I also had to use a borgeson universal joint to modify the steering shaft for clearance. 80 bucks, two hours of cutting fitting and welding on two tubes, and your done. These however are only 1 3/4 tube headers, but will do for up to 500 hp or so. Any more and you will need 1 7/8 or 2 inch.
    The car had connected subframes and 8.8 with spool and 5.13 gears, and Moser 31 spline axles. Since my local track is 1/4 mile, I will swap the gears for 4.57s. I will be buying or building a new set of custom control arms to replace the factory ones one the car now. If nothing else, will box the factory arms. The car hooked and would carry the front wheels 4 ft in the air, so it worked well before. I will also be fitting it for a roll bar this summer.
    Other changes coming will be to swap out the stock fuel tank and lines for a fuel cell and 1/2 inch aluminum fuel line. The car will be getting a V8 radiator, electric fans and water pump, and dropping from 30x9 MT slicks to 28x10.5 Hoosier slicks, as well as shorter front tires. It has 28x7.50s on front now for NHRA Stock competition, will be stepping down to 165R15s for bracket racing. Also will be completely rewiring to eliminate all the extraneous crap that a drag car doesnt need.
    Anyone else running something similar to this? I am hoping for consistent 11.0s with this car. It will not be street legal, just a fun drag car to play with and teach my kid with. I figure later on, if he stays interested, we may upgrade this car, or maybe move on to a tube frame car. My long term dream is to field a Nostalgia Pro Stock car, but that probably wont ever come to fruition unless all the stars and planets line up. For now, we just want to have fun.
    For those of you who have went this path before, step in and share your experiences, ets, failures, etc. We've all been there, help avoid the pitfalls for others after us.

  2. #2
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    Default New race car

    Here is the car on the day we brought it home. Had planned on some black paint, but the car has a rough roof, looks like someone jumped up and down on it at some point.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
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    good luck!!! watching this thread. I wouldnt paint,, seems like the car has some badges of honor that it should rightfully be able to keep.

  4. #4
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    Paint it, that shit looks tacky, unless you're getting dollars for it.

    Otherwise, hell yeah, great project!
    '84 Mustang, work in (sloooooooow) progress...
    '87 Stang notch
    1994 Ford F150 Flareside
    1997 Explorer V8 conversion (in progress)
    1998 Explorer 5.0
    and a couple of tractors. Ford, of course.
    FORD power, for life!

  5. #5
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    This weekend I will be pulling the engine and trans back out, and begin stripping the car of everything it doesnt need to run. I may put the headliner back in after I lighten it, maybe not, that thing is thick and heavy. I read where one of the other members got his 351C powered 87 down to 2640. If I can get close to that I will be happy. Eventually I will move to the tubular K member and coil over fronts that should get me there. I am starting on the wiring this weekend. All of the Thunderbird dash and wiring, computer etc will come out this weekend. I will likely save all of it, for the restoration nerds out there, because I have no use of it, just a lot of extra weight to carry around. I may keep the power windows, unless I can find some standard doors. All the luxury crap, cruise, stereo, ac, etc will be gone.I believe I can get the car to a decent weight without the K member, so when I move to that, it will be icing on the cake. Fuel tank will also be coming out, and according to the previous owner, there is a Walbro pump in it. I will verify if it is, and it will probably go for sale on the classifieds, as I also have no use for it. The rear has Moser spool and axles, but it also has like a 5.13 or 5.38 gear. I will be swapping that for a 4.56 or 4.86 gear, so if anyone is interested in a deep gearset more suited for a turbo 4 banger, I will have one available, likely cheap. I will be posting some more photos soon, as the car is already beginning to change appearance. I have spent some time with the heat gun removing old stickers. I hope to start sanding it down soon so I can get some new color on it. May go ahead and paint it black anyway, even though the roof is a little rough.

  6. #6
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    Not long ago, someone here came up with some numbers saying that the manual window setup was heavier than the electric...
    '84 Mustang, work in (sloooooooow) progress...
    '87 Stang notch
    1994 Ford F150 Flareside
    1997 Explorer V8 conversion (in progress)
    1998 Explorer 5.0
    and a couple of tractors. Ford, of course.
    FORD power, for life!

  7. #7
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    I cant see how, but its worth checking out. I guess the big spring and mechanism could weigh more than the small motor. I wll look into it. I will be removing the crash bar anyway, so I will have the regulators out for a minute anyway. Thanks for the heads up on that, I owuld have never thought to check that, just go along with conventional thought. It will make it easier on roll cage install not having to worry about those bulky armrests. ine are toast anyway, so I will be adapting some kind of flat door panel anyway.

  8. #8
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    Changed my mind on the doors, gutting them completely, installing lexan windows, aluminum door panels. This car will never be street legal again, so what the heck, its just a car. I realize that when Im done with it, the value will be either zero, or if I do a tube chassis for it to go to the next level, will be whatever the cost of the chassis will be. These cars, for whatever reason are not very desirable except to a small group of folks. I like them, have for years. I think they still look good and stack up against current offerings well.

    I also notice that there are probably only three of us that use this board. Is there any other resource besides yellowbullet.com that people are active on? I was hoping to swap ideas and stuff on these cars with someone with similar interests, and it seems they've all moved on.

    I am moving along on this car fairly quickly compared to some of my builds, and it should be ready to fire in three or four weeks, maybe a little more since I have to build a C4 for it. I have a good C6, they're just so freakin' heavy. Car may even get some black paint before it hits the track. Couldn't stand the look of the peeling decals so I started removing them, and half the paint came with it, even using a heat gun. No matter, a DA and some 80 grit took the rest off pretty quickly. I will probably move up with some 180 DA paper, then finish with 220, 300 and a bucket of soapy water. Not spending a great deal of time on this, as it is a race car, but dont want it to look like a turd either. Have the front sheet metal off now eliminating wiring, CC and other junk, as well as cleaning out years of leaves, acorns, etc. Wiring dint come yet, so it will get done this week.

  9. #9
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    www.foureyedpride.com

    Few Cougar and Bird folks on there. There are several active members on here just not ones that are so aggressively modifying a car like this or have ever done anything like what you are doing.

  10. #10
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    Unfortunately I can't be much help, but I'm currently removing all unnecessary wiring also. Pretty sure my 88 is held together with years of butt connectors. Anyways, beautiful car and look forward to seeing where this goes.

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