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Topics - Aerocoupe

1
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 crap 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 (Kumho) 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 crap and he can tune without them and the signal on mine was crap.  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.
2
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 trimming 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.
3
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.
4
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 coke 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 scraper 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.
5
Body/Appearance/Interior / 83-84 Side Molding Question
Is there a technical name for the side moldings on the fenders, doors, and rear quarters?  I am looking for a used set of the moldings but only the ones on the fenders and rear quarters that butt up to the bumper covers.
6
Drivetrain Tech / Aluminum Driveshafts - Who Has One and How Did You Make It?
We have tossed this topic around a bit on here and I wanted to put together a thread with aluminum driveshaft in the title as well as link some of the better threads on the subject within the body.  I would also like for anyone (Vinnie, cough, cough) to post up what they used and where they had the DS fabricated or shortened (you don't lengthen one) and their results.

Threads
http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?40545

http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?31374

http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?34196

http://www.foxtbirdcougarforums.com/showthread.php?19231

Driveshaft Shops
Performance Driveline, Oklahoma City (Not finding them listed any longer, maybe Vinnie can update)
Blumenthals Manufacturing, Oklahoma City
Drive Train Specialists, Oklahoma City
Drive Shafts, Inc., Tulsa, OK
Inland Truck Parts, Tulsa, OK
Action Machine, South Bend, IN

Anyhow one clear solution is the 1995 - 2010 police interceptor packaged Crown Victoria which comes factory with an aluminum drive shaft.  These can be found at salvage yards for around $75 to $100.  So you will need to supply the Crown Vic drive shaft, the input yolk to the trans in your car, the rear flat flange that bolts to the flange on the pinion of the rear end, and the drive shaft shop will provide the adapter u-joints.  The Vic drive shaft will need to be shortened, the correct u-joints installed, and the assembly balanced so plan on another $120 or so for that work.  So all in you might have $220 but that is cheaper than having one built.  As Vinnie and a few others can attest to it takes care of the typical issues (mostly critical speed) with numerically higher rear end gears and steel drive shafts.

Feel free to tack on any other shops or other vehicles that have aluminum drive shafts that can be used to make one for our cars.
7
Suspension/Steering / Brake Booster Pushrod Adjustment - Master Cylinder Swaps
We have gone over a variety of brake swaps on this site from the anemic 10" front disc setup to the less anemic 11" front brakes and then adding on the TC rear disc brake setup and finally to adding the pinnacle of all Fox calipers the SVO/Lincoln 73mm front calipers.  We pretty much know that going from the 10" to 11" front brakes and if we are running the stock drum brakes in the rear a MC (13/16" bore) swap is not necessary as the piston size on the calipers is the same at 60mm.  Now when we up the game to the TC rear brakes (45mm caliper) with the 60 mm front calipers we need to upgrade to a different MC (1" bore).  It is really hard to find the MC piston size anywhere due to the Hydro-boost system and the Teves II crap but remember the 1993 Cobra had the same braking system so that is where you find the MC bore diameter for that setup since the Cobra and TC shared the same brakes.  Now when we upgrade to the SVO/Lincoln Mark VII 73mm front calipers a yet a different MC (1-1/8" bore) is once again needed.

This also applies when you install the SN95 V6/GT brakes on one of our cars.  If you are installing the 94/95 GT or 94-98 V6 brakes they came factory with a 1-1/16" bore MC and the 99-2004 V6 cars came factory with a 1" bore MC.  Just in case some folks do not know, in 1996 and up all of the GT and Cobra cars went to hydro-boost and in 2005 all Mustangs used this type of brake boost.  I can tell you from experience that in all of the SN95 braking applications the all around best MC is one with a 1" bore and to utilize the 1993 Cobra booster as it has a Fox bolt pattern and takes very little modification to fit in our cars.

Okay, so with all of that said I see instances where we discuss swapping to another master cylinder due to some kind of brake swap scenario and we discuss soft pedals, hard pedals, lack of brake power, air in the lines, bench bleeding the MC, etc.  The one thing I personally have never thought to bring up is the booster rod adjustment.  This is pretty critical being that if the gap between it and the MC piston is excessively large you will have lots of pedal travel and not much braking power and if there is no gap or tool little gap the booster rod can pre-load the piston and cause the brakes to drag.

I have been taught how to work the math using a straight edge and a caliper (not the brake kind the measuring kind) to correctly adjust the booster push rod.  83TB and I were having this discussion and I was trying to figure out how to explain this without the hands on (that is how I learn the best) so I told him to let me research it and see if I could find it somewhere.  I found it on Maximum Motorsports website on everyone of their master cylinder adapter kit installation instructions.  You can go here and access them and the instructions on how to do this are in the first and second pages:

http://www.maximummotorsports.com/Install.aspx

And for the lazier bunch of us here it is:





Hopefully this will help some folks out as I realized I did do this on my Coupe but did not do this on my Bird when I converted the brakes so I will be checking it this weekend.
8
Drivetrain Tech / 83-86 Floor Shift Conversion - Possible?
I know you can do a floor shift conversion on the 87-88 cars but can this be done on the 83-86 models?  I am not wanting to do one but was curious what the options were for the 83-86 cars that were column shifted cars.  I cannot remember for the life of me if the Turbo Coupes in these years were even offered with an auto or not.
9
General Fox T-Bird/Cougar Discussion / RockAuto Discount Code for 5% Off
Ordered a few parts over the last couple of weeks and got a discount code of 5% off from RockAuto and they said to share it so here it is:

[COLOR="#0000FF"]Thank you for being a RockAuto customer! To show our appreciation, we have a special discount for you. Your discount code is:
5590395949893519

How to Use Your Discount Code:
Enter the code above in the "How Did You Hear About Us?" space on the checkout page (above your payment information). Do not enter any other text in that space or the discount will not apply. Please note: Discount only valid for orders placed online. Code must be entered before order is submitted. The discount takes 5% off our already-low prices. There's no limit on order size or the number of orders. Use the code for your next order, and share the code with anyone you know who works on cars or trucks. This discount code expires on March 5, 2017 so don't wait!

Thanks again for buying your auto parts at RockAuto!

http://www.RockAuto.com[/COLOR]

I know is not a huge discount but they really do have super low pricing to begin with so I will take what I can get.

[COLOR="#FF0000"]Note to the Admin...we need a separate forum for stuff like this so folks can find them and it would be super easy to share them that way.[/COLOR]
10
Drivetrain Tech / Automatic to Manual Conversion - Transmission Tunnel Hump Question
Does anyone know if the transmission tunnel hump from the 79-93 Fox Mustang will work for our cars when converting from a column shift automatic to a manual transmission car?  I guess this would also be for converting over from a column shift car to a floor shift auto as well?  The reason I am asking is that I just cut a hole in the tunnel on my '83 and called it good but I am thinking about reworking it as I think it would seal up better.  LMR has the hump for the 79-93 Fox Mustangs new so if there is not a difference then I was thinking about going that route.

https://lmr.com/products/79-93-Mustang-Manual-Transmission-Tunnel-Hump-Install
11
T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars WANTED / 83-84 Door Panels
I need the entire door panels (left and right) for my 83 T-Bird as I used some Cougar panels back in the day and do not like the way the pull strap trim dips down in the back.  I am pretty sure that the 83-84 T-Bird panels are the same where the 85 and up are different.  The ones I am after are like this only I need them complete with the map pocket, armrest pad, etc.  My car has manual windows and manual locks so they are the basic panels.  Color wise I would prefer the charcoal or dark blue as the black interior paint covers those a lot better.  And with that they will be covered with black materials so if there are small cuts, scrapes, or stains we can still talk some $$$.

12
Electrical Tech / Fuel Sending Unit - Float Needed
Anyone know where to get the float for the fuel sending unit for an 83 car?  I think that is what is causing my issues on my car and wanted to have one in hand when I dropped the tank.
14
Miscellaneous For Sale/Wanted / Wanted: 1971 Ford F150 SWB Pickup - Would Prefer a Roller
I am looking at selling my 1993 Mustang Coupe and getting a 1971 Ford F150 SWB pickup that I can rebuild.  My biggest concern is the body and trim items as this will be a resto mod so the driver train, suspension, electrical, etc will be scrapped.  With that being said I only need a roller but if it is a complete truck I would consider for the right price.  So this is more of "help me locate" kind of post than anything else as our forum is definitely devoted to a totally different kind of beast.  My plans are a street truck with a 2013 F-150 drive train (5.0 Coyote and 6 speed auto) so I can properly haul my Bird when I want to.  Anyhow, any help locating one would be appreciated as I have been looking online but the ones I am finding are either long beds (LWB), rusted out, or have been built to someone else's taste.

Thanks,

Darren
15
Drivetrain Tech / Tremec TKO Will Not Go Into Gear
I took the Bird out for about a ten mile cruise and from the beginning the trans was super notchy going into any gear.  Even for a Tremec TKO is was overly burdensome to get into gear.  As the drive progressed it got to the point where I could not get it into gear at all.  I called the house and had my father bring a jack and some tools to adjust the clutch cable as the car had zero clutch.  After getting it up in the air I saw the nut on the cable backed almost all the way off and there was no jam nut.  This was all my fault as I adjusted the cable but did not install the jam nut so I readjusted the cable.  With only four miles to get back to the house I figured it would make it that far with what I was able to do on the side of the road and I could get it back up on the lift to install the jam nut.  After a little more inspection I saw some wires that appeared to be broken clutch cable wires so I hoped that it would make it back to the shop where I had a spare clutch cable.  Needless to say I got it back to the shop and just barely as I could only get it into 4th as again I had little to zero clutch.  I will say that slipping the clutch at 4,500 rpm and leaving off two red lights in 4th was only possible with the 351W and the 4.10 gears.  I got it up on the lift and found out what was going on, the clutch cable was toast.  The wires that I saw were not the cable strands but the wires under the clutch cable sheathing.  It was hard to determine what these wires were on the side of the road as I had previously wrapped the lower portion of the cable in header wrap.  When I got it back to the house and and pulled the cable it was very apparent what was going on.  Here is a picture of the old cable next to the new one:



I also purchased a firewall adjuster as I could never get one on the car with the stock T-Bird booster.  With the SN95 booster it fits like one would expect:



I went ahead and pulled the X-Pipe, the collectors off the headers, and driver shaft to remove the transmission as it had a fluid leak.  I suspected it was the seal between the tail housing and the case as that is where it was dripping.  We pulled the two inspection plates on the top of the transmission and immediately found the leak.  The forward inspection plate lost its seal at some point and the fluid was running on top of the trans and found its way to the tail housing to case joint and ran down the tranny so that is an easy fix.  We looked over the internals and about the only issue we found was the 1-2 & 3-4 shift fork pads were boarder line on needing replacement so I ordered new ones as well as some new GM synchromesh fluid.

We are going to have to pull the tail housing off the tranny to change the shifter fork pads so I decided to look around to see if anyone made a 6 tooth speedo drive gear for the output shaft of a Tremec TKO.  With the 4.10 gears and the stock 7 tooth drive gear in the TKO I am having to run a 23 tooth driven gear which is not optimal.  I found one thread on the Corral where a guy had to modify a T-5 speedo drive gear to fit the larger diameter TKO output shaft which I thought to be sketchy at best.  The T-5 speedo drive gear slides onto a splined section of the T-5 output shaft.  This guy used a Dremel to make the ID of the T-5 speedo drive gear larger to fit the bigger output shaft of the TKO.  The TKO has a 1-3/8" diameter output shaft and the ID of the original 7 tooth speedo drive gear is smooth.  I did some serious searching on the net and I think that Tremec is simply using the speedo drive gear design from the old Ford Toploaders as they have 1-3/8" output shafts and the speedo drive gears have smooth ID's.  I am not 100% sure but I went ahead and purchased a new 6 tooth drive gear for the Toploader and a 19 tooth driven gear for the VSS.  I will know more about this in the next couple of days and will post up with some pictures.

Hopefully all of this will solve my shifting issues and I can get back to the custom instrument cluster I have been working on.  When that it finished I will start a thread on that as the 83-84 cars are not as friendly so this mod as the 85-88 cars due to the really narrow instrument cluster.

Darren