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Another new old guy...

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by wwthud, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. wwthud

    wwthud Member

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    Greetings... I am a retired USAF experimental flight test crew chief and life-long hotrod guy as well. I have a 94 coupe that was too pretty to pass up, but it's the 3.8 . Wife has a 97 GT convertible that I have made just about as fast as I want her to go. I'm told the 3.8 I have is the worst to start with and that's a shame as I bought it with a new crate engine w/900mi on it and all receipts. Bone stock except for long tube headers and duals. The 57 Ford 312 I had in high school would blow the doors off this thing but that was 44 years ago... Any ideas where to start?
     
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  2. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forums, and thank you for your service.

    Its true the 3.8 is a little more difficult to speed up. What do you want most from the car? Street duty, or carving corners, etc?
     
  3. wwthud

    wwthud Member

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    Speed is relative and not a consideration. I've seen 1190kts at 51,000ft in an F-4D and, after that...I want better acceleration and have her pull a little harder. I'm looking at tightening up the handling as well. Verathane bushings, front and rear? Any favorite strut/shock set. Street use only, but I,m tired of my buddy's kid AND his Honda wind-it-up / shift it all the time POS...
     
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  4. Phil II

    Phil II Cone Destroyer Staff Member

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    Yeah, I can understand why everything else seems slow after that.

    Gearing up the rear-end is an option. I've heard it called the poor man's supercharger. I actually recommend you not change gearing. I have a couple of friends who road race with that generation of the Essex engine ( Build Thread #1, Build Thread #2 ). They tried the 3.73 and 4.10 ratios with the T5, and eventually returned to the stock 3.27 ratio. That gearing best uses the mid-range grunt of the stock camshaft.

    Suspension is one of my favorite topics. I recommend reading a little about the stock mustang suspension geometry. The road racing threads may help provide some insight. The whole car is a suspension system. In particular its really good to understand how the trapezoid four link works.

    Verathane --> Polyurethane? That can help. I really like Bilstein dampers.

    Easy mod- Sway bars:
    Swapping sway bars can really help plant the car during cornering without resorting to uncomfortably stiff spring rates.
    • The 1997/1998 gt's have 30 mm front sway bars. I replaced my Eibach 35 mm bar with one of these and am very pleased with the results.
    • Any gt will have a rear sway bar, and will bolt up to your car.
      • The front bar will contribute to a planted sensation and really help during corner exit.
      • The rear bar will assist turn-in, that initial transition from when you turn the steering wheel and when the car actually changes direction
      • As the front bar becomes more stiff the car will tend to understeer
      • As the rear bar becomes more stiff the car will tend to oversteer
    Best 2 Mods: Tires, and driver.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
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  5. pacbelt

    pacbelt 6 Pistons, less mass = POWER Potential!!

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    Hey.... we have a little in common!
    It sounds like you're from my Dad's generation, or a little younger...
    I'm an Air Force Brat first, then Vet. Sadly, that ended abruptly, while cleaning up Kuwait in FEB 1991, but that's another story! (OUCH)
    Dad was the Top Gun in the family!

    I've been playing with Mustangs since 1978. You got some great advice above!
    Here's my 2 cents....
    Suspension mods are pretty much mandatory. I'd also do some frame stiffening. The SN-95 has the stiffest of the whole Fox series (79-04, for anyone new looking).

    That said, ALL of them benefit from some tightening up!!
    A Strut Tower Brace and Subframe Connectors make quite a difference. A K-Frame Brace is good too, that connects your K-Frame to the Radiator Support.
    You will FEEL the difference with all three!

    As for the engine, there's quite a bit that you can do to it, and a LOT of ideas here....
    Dollar for dollar, you'd do well starting with a 4.2L out of a 99-up F-150. Externally, it's identical to the 3.8, mates to the frame and trans, just like the 3.8, and has WAY better heads and intake than yours...

    BEST part is, you can probably find a nice, low mileage 4.2 motor from an auto salvage yard for between $150-500, depending on condition!!!
    You swap your timing cover and water pump, and all your belt driven accessories and brackets from your old motor, and drop it in! (With some PCM tuning, of course)
    There are MANY threads on here about the subject. It's basically low buck, 220-250hp, and 260-310 lb.ft. torque, with minimal work!!
     
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