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Topics - Aerocoupe

Suspension/Steering / Electric Power Steering Pump
I have no idea if anyone here would want to do this but I will be doing it on my Coyote powered F100 so I thought I would pass it along.  You can use the following Volvo electric power steering pumps:

'06 - '08 C70
'05 - '09 S40
'05 - '09 V50

And this company makes a controller the allows the pump's ECU to get out of limp mode and either be manually controlled on the speed or GPS controlled:

Little bit of a wait being they are across the Atlantic but right now they are the only ones that produce the interfaces and are super clean.

Found this over on the Corral and have noodled around and found it to be relatively moderate on the cost if you are only installing the pump.  If you swap to an SN-95 rack and pinion then the cost goes up from there.
Body/Appearance/Interior / 83-84 Instrument Cluster - Anyone Installed Aftermarket Gauges?
I was curious if anyone has gone down the path of a complete aftermarket gauge install on the 83-84 cars as I have only seen a couple.

deathbypsi used what looks to be an ABS plate attached to the trim ring around the instrument cluster (one with the AC vent) and used some angled adapters on the speedo and tach and it looks like this:

1WLD BRD also did one and his plate appear to be behind the trim ring around the cluster and looks like this:

Has anyone else done this on an 83 or 84 car?  If so can you throw me the link to the thread or if no thread post some pics?  I am starting on one for my 83 and have a good idea on how its going to happen but I am not opposed to "borrowing" someone else's way of doing it to save myself any mistakes.  I am taking pictures and making notes so when I get done or as progress happens I will start a thread on how I do mine in case anyone else wants to do this the way I end up doing it or just borrow ideas.

1WLD BRD found out that you have to put a keyed 12V+ to the green/red stripe wire in the instrument cluster wires to get the alternator to charge so I have made note of that.
LEADS on T-Bird/Cougar Stuff For Sale / eBay Seller with Lots of Thunderbird Parts
Figured I would post this up in case someone needed one of his parts.  I searched his site for "Thunderbird" so the link below is only for any of his parts with Thunderbird in the add.
Other Vehicles / 1969 Mustang Fastback - Restoring the Body
Not really my project but my dad decided to build one more car as he turns 81 here in a few weeks.  I drove this car in high school then could not afford it as it kept nickle and diming me to death so I traded him for my '83 Bird which he bought new.  So he then proceeded to driver the Mustang for a few years with little trouble and then parked it.  Fast forward 25+ years and the bug bit him again.  We stripped the car and tossed the hood, fenders, and a lot of the small parts we knew we could source new and spend less money then refurbishing the old stuff.  Needless to say after media blast my dad was not surprised but we knew it had cancer.  We have looked on and off over the last 10 years for a better car to start with but all the good ones are built and not the way he wants to go so here we go.

My dad decided he wanted to keep the car local to him so he could monitor the work.  Here is where he and I typically argue and this was no different.  He lives in a town of about 90,000 and the median income does not support custom shops the do metal fabrication like what is needed to rebuild these cars.  I voiced my concerns (the older I get the smarter I get) and let it go.  Behind the scenes I found three shops (one in Tulsa, OK and two in the Dallas/Ft Worth area) that this is all they do is metal work.  Fast forward a couple months and I make a trip to my parents, borrow my buddy's car trailer with an electric wench and go c00ch the car from the weeds and up onto the trailer at the "shop" he found.  I had never seen the place until we went out there to get the car and all the Dynacorn parts he had ordered.  When we turned to go down a dusty gravel road to get to the "shop" all I wanted to do was get in and out as quick as we could.

They had media blasted the car and primed it but it probably sat outside for weeks.  I just stared at the car when we got it home and my dad looked at me and told me I was right and that this would have been a huge mistake had I not stayed on him about where the car was, what were they doing, etc.  They would have built a horrible car that would have had all kinds of fitment and corrosion problems in short order.  Here are the pics of the body of the car on the trailer at the house:

Exterior Shots
Passenger Side Front:

Passenger Side Rear:

Driver Side Front:

Driver Side Rear:

Back Driver Side:

Interior Shots
Passenger Side Rear Floor Pan:

Passenger Side Front Floor Pan:

Driver Side Rear Floor Pan:

Driver Side Front Floor Pan:

Electrical Tech / 86-88 ECU Harness Differences?
What are the differences in the ECU harness in the 86, 87, & 88 cars with regards to the V8 multi-port fuel injection?  I know they are all speed density but are there any wiring or connection differences?  I say this as my experience with injection is on Mustangs and there are six different ECU harnesses.  One for the '86 cars, one for the 87-88 cars (88 California cars are the same as the 89 cars due to mass air), one for the 89 cars, one for the 90 cars, one for the 91 to 92.5 cars and then one for the 92.5 to 93 cars.

86 - non mass air, non air bag, and dash harness connection is specific to this year
87 to 88 - non mass air (except California cars), non air bag, and dash harness connection is specific to these years
89 - mass air, non air bag, and dash harness connection is specific to this year
90 - mass air, air bag, and dash harness connection is specific to this year
91 to 92.5 - mass air, air bag, dash harness connection is specific to these years (two plugs), and there is one relay under the MAF and one under the driver seat (fuel pump)
92.5 to 93 - mass air, air bag, dash harness connection is specific to these years (one plug), and there are two relays under the MAF (fuel relay moved)

That was a lot of  most here could car less about but I have always wondered what the difference is in the V8 injected Birds and Cats.  Again, I am pretty sure that the 86-88 V8 are injected and they are all speed density but do these cars also have a dash harness connector(s) just under the brake booster and by the EEC test ports?  Were any of the late 85 V8 cars injected?
Drivetrain Tech / Really Good Videos on Tearing Down and Rebuilding a T5
With all the time the country has right now I thought a couple of hours of wasting my time should be used to learn how to do something better from someone that has built thousands of these transmissions.  So I am about to venture down the path of rebuilding the T5 in my Coupe and found this video set out on YouTube.  This coupled with the T5 manual makes the job a basic no brainer.  The last time the T5 was gone through was back in 2007 in Houston by a good friend.  Getting a buzz in the stick in all five gears that increases with rpm and its audible at the higher rpms.  Talked with a couple reputable builders and we all agree that is highly likely either the input needs to be shimmed and/or bearings.  With all the abuse this box has received since 2007 my guess it is just time for it to be completely gone through.  I broke the tab on the reverse brake cone that synchronizes reverse and to get it in reverse I've always had to do the 5th gear bump and down into reverse to get it to drop right in.  Going to replace the cone and fix that little annoying issue while I am in there.  Have not ordered parts yet as I want to tear it down and see if I have any issues with the 1-2 or 3-4 sliders or shift forks.  Should not as I have had a positive stop shifter in the car since the T5 went in it but one never knows.

Anyhow, videos are here on Eric the Car Guy's site with Paul Cangialosi who is a T5 Jedi master:

Part 1

Part 2

This video is where Eric goes back in the replaces the parts that were bad as they just used them in Part 2 to complete putting one back together:

Final Assembly
Engine Tech / Dyno'd the 331
So I built a 331 for my Coupe a few years back with the help of an engine builder over the phone back home being that I lived in Houston at the time.  I thought all went well and for the most part it did even though up to a few days ago I didn't think this way.  Turns out there were a couple of errors on my part but mostly small  that could have been fixed with a small tear down with the engine in the car.  The one thing I could not fix was the rocker arm geometry issue on the Edelbrock Performer RPM heads.  The heli-coiled holes for the rocker studs had to be welded up and relocated due to known issues with this on the Performer and Performer RPM heads that Edelbrock will not correct.  They are okay with a stock or very mild lift cam but not a performance cam.  My engine builder has come across this a few times so he had the heads welded up and then put them on a mill to correct the issue.  Then all new bearings were installed, new piston rings (might as well being we had it apart), degreed the cam according to Ed Curtis' instructions and not straight up like this dummy did, and fixed some other minor things that 30+ years of engine building gets you.

I put the motor back in the car a few weeks back along with a new RAM clutch so I have been keeping the rpm's below 4,000 while getting a couple hundred miles on the new clutch before it went to the dyno.  I also picked up a new set of 275/40/17 Nitto 555R's for the rear as the other tires (spoogeho) were garbage from day one.  Not really knowing how bad the tune was out I was still unimpressed with the 331 and wondering if I should have gone for the 347.  I just got a smoking deal on the 331 kit ($450 SCAT kit never installed) so that is why I went with a 331.  Supposed to be a better rod angle as well but most newer 347 kits have corrected that by moving the wrist pin in the piston.

Anyhow, I left after work this past Thursday afternoon and drove down to my home town to get my buddy's car trailer (3 hours) and then over to my dad's shop to load my car (2 hours) and then cooled off, grabbed a bite to eat, a couple of bottles of water and then drove to my hotel in McKinney, TX and arrived there at 12:15am on Friday.  Got up at 7:30 and was down at True Streets Performance shop with the car unloaded and parked in front of the dyno bay at 8:55am for a 9:00am appointment.  Met the tuner (Archie) and got on the dyno at 10:30am.  He had a Mopar up on the dyno and needed to finish it up before he started on mine which was okay with me as I was busy looking at all the other cars they had there.  Had to be at least 30 cars with Fords being the majority but they did have a Grand National that was putting down around 650 rwhp, couple of Mopars, and a couple Bowties all making more power than me but I think they all had some kind of forced induction.   Archie spent until 2:00p tuning on the Coupe and I got back to my dad's shop in Oklahoma around 5:30pm...a very long 24 hours.

Archie was awesome to watch work and just a super nice guy.  So I was outside when he made the first pull on the existing tune and I heard the sound of a motor lean in the upper rpm's.  My guess was around 4,000 rpm and he confirmed it was 4,500 and just got worse as it went up to 6,000.  By the sixth pull it sounded really good and he came inside the show room.  He asked if I had an MSD in the car, where the hell it was mounted (he looked in all the usual spots and could not find it), and if I did have one what chip I had in it.  I told him it was tucked away behind the front bumper on the driver side and I thought it had a 6,200 rpm chip in it.  He came back inside with a smile on his face and tossed me a 6,000 rpm chip (woops) and said he was going to let the EEC do the rev limiting as the MSD's limiter was not as accurate and then he went back to tuning.   He made two more pulls and came back inside and said he deleted the O2's from the EEC so I can now unplug them and plug the holes in the X-pipe.  Said the signal on them is usually  and he can tune without them and the signal on mine was .  He wanted to let the motor cool off and make a couple more pulls to mess with the idle and tune on the low rpm range.  So with all of that the new shift point is 6,500 rpm and it ended up with 364 rwhp and 386 ft-lbs of torque out of the 331.  One other thing, I have 42 lb/hr injectors and I am 60 to 70 hp from running out of injector at 52 psi of pressure.  Those that think 30's or 36's will be okay on a naturally aspirated 331 or 347 need to rethink this.  Just passing on what works in my car so take it with a grain of salt.

So I worked on my F100 on Saturday and then went to the races that night so I did not driver the Coupe that day.  Woke up on Sunday morning and it was 72 degrees so I took the car for a spin around town and then out of town on a long stretch of no car in sight four lane...I can tell you triple digits are almost had at the top of third but it smashes them in fourth.
Body/Appearance/Interior / Will Fox Mustang Mini Tubs work on Our Cars?
Has anyone here mini tubbed their Bird or Cougar and if so did you use mini tubs for a Fox Mustang?  I am considering this as it would be pretty awesome to see some 335's stuffed under my '83.  I am not wanting to custom make them so it would be nice to just order a mini tube kit and only have to worry about removing the stock ones and tpuppies up the new tubs to fit.

This is waaaaaaay down the road but I am also considering this on my '93 Coupe so why not do that one first and then once I've got it figured out then do the Bird.
T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars WANTED / Transmission Tunnel Hump for 5-Speed Car
I think that is what you call it but I need one for an 83-88 Turbo Coupe so I can finish up my '83 as I never did do it correctly and I would like to as it will help with installing the shifter boot correctly.  Here is a picture (curtesy of CougarSE) of what I am talking about:


The manual one is on top (the one I need) and the floor shift auto is on bottom.
Other Vehicles / '70 F100 Short Bed Styleside
So I have not really brought up my next project as the only thing I did was buy the '70 minus the power train and a slew of small stuff.  I ditched the step side bed as I had decided long before I bought the truck it would be a SWB.

A little background on what I am shooting for chassis and power train wise:
Crown Victoria front IFS swap into the truck (all of it including the sway bar) - 5" drop with the stock CV springs
Fat Man Fabrications four link in the rear with the stock 9" housing
QA-1 coil overs at all four corners
Stock frame boxed where needed, custom trans cross member, and powder coated black of course
5.0 Coyote motor with 76mm Precision turbo and a Ford stand alone control pack (will have to be tuned)
6-speed 6R80 auto trans with a Baumann controller
Existing stock width 9" housing with Torino large bearing ends, Moser axles, Explorer 8.8 disc brakes and the e-brake will function
9" third member with new trac-lok and 3.73 gears

So I have everything minus the power train but that is coming soon as I need to mock things up and get the chassis coated.  I am hoping to have the chassis and power train done this year but this is by far the highest dollar build I have ever done so no rush.  I am working through the body in my head but that will come later and trying to get all of this planned is pointless as I will change my mind.  I have mulled over the chassis and power train for two years so I am settled on that.  Was super relieved that the controllers for the six speed auto came out as I did not want a standard and who wants a four speed auto when a six is available?

So to date the 3rd member is built and all of the rear suspension and front suspension parts are bought.  I have a buddy that can weld pen 15e cans together so he will be doing all the metal melting as I decided not to learn on this one.  We have been working on a time line to install the CV IFS and I think we are going to try it over the next couple of months.  He works for Halliburton field services so his schedule is whacky but we think it will be a weekend to get it in there if I get the frame prepped.  This means gutting the twin I-beam suspension removed which looks like it was riveted in by a 40's sky ser metal worker...lots and lots of rivets.

So here we go, this thread will be updated but it will take a long time to finish (couple years???) so don't be surprised if its weeks between updates.