Evolution of American Iron

tastywheats

Active Member
Hey guys, my name is Rowdy and I bought this 97 mustang in 2008 and started building it for road racing in 2010ish. I never thought about a full build thread until Andrew (greensteeda) decided to go a different route with his racing. So I will be updating this thread periodically I have lots of pics to come.

To start this is a photo I took soon after I bought it. $500 was not a bad price at the time.



I originally planned on a nice street car. Purchased a couple of exterior/interior and suspension mods.



 

tastywheats

Active Member
Once I decided to turn the car into a road race car I knew I needed more power. Went to a local junk yard and picked up a complete 2002 3.8. for $325. Took the engine apart in the back of my truck which was a huge mess and I still have oil residue in the liner.

Block cleaned up at the machine shop. Bored and honed



Also got anti friction coated main and rod bearing, timing chain and Cam thrust bearing.





Turbo cam from SSM 218/218 with 114 lobe sep

 

tastywheats

Active Member
Unfortunately, I was not to picture happy during the motor build due to the difficulties I faces with lighting a fire in my original machine shops a$$. I did end up taking it to my friend Matt Compton at Performance Solutions Incorporated in Boise and he hooked me up. So there is a big gap in time and pics so apologies.

Motor Specs:
SSM Long rod 3.8
Super Six Motorsports (SSM) Torque studs and windage tray
Main and rod bearings w/moly calico coated king bearings
Arp head studs
Weisco forged pistons
Scat H beam forged rods with ARP 8740 bolts
Stock deburred ford split throw crank
LS1 valve springs 115 seat 300 open
SSM ported lower intake
Harland Sharp 1:8 rockers
Comp cam 5/16 7.300 push rods
SSM custom grind comp cam
BHJ Dynamics Harmonic Damper
Ported stock heads by Wes King 63cc
Final compression: 8.49:1

Still to be put on
Trickflow 60 lb ev6 injectors
VAP Windstar intake
Fuel Rails









 

tastywheats

Active Member
I know some people may ask why I went with a 3.8 setup and not a 4.3. Well to answer the question, I had a long talk with Tom Y at SSM and I told him I am not looking for peak power but more of a durable motor. In American Iron it has a HP/Tq to weight ratio that you must abide by and I feel the 3.8 is more than capable without stroking it which gives me a bit thicker walls and no need to use a girdle to ensure stability. THe heads were ported by a old school hot rod builder. It also keeps stock sized valves but they flow pretty good for $700.

Stock. _ Ported
Lift. - Intake./ Exhaust. _ Intake./ Exhaust
.100 - 41. / 28. _ 48. / 32
.200 - 46. / 34. _ 56. / 47
.300 - 103. / 80. _ 113. / 91
.400. - 141. / 122. _ 159. / 139.5
.500. - 199.5. / 174. _ 214. / 193
.550. - 199.5. / 174. _ 221. / 194
.600. - 0 _ 229. / 194.5
 

tastywheats

Active Member
Switching gears a little bit but I will come back to the power but interior. That nice interior it once had needed to go being that it is going to be a race car. Took a good bit of time to crap all the sound deadening out. A mix a power grinder, wire brush wheel, heat gun , scraper and time and elbow grease.











 

tastywheats

Active Member
All the interior is now in my storage unit. So if anyone needs anything in particular let me know because I have no need for it. But before you ask the Corbeau's were sold a while back. They would expire before I would ever get this car done.

 

tastywheats

Active Member
After I stripped all of the sound deadening out I hit it with a little primer to keep the bare metal from rusting. This is as far as I have gotten so far on the interior. I am waiting on my roll cage install. I will be reusing the stock gutted dash with a racepak IQ3.









 

tastywheats

Active Member
Switching gears again. The suspension setup I bought when I first modified the car was a bullitt suspension pack which came with tokico shocks/struts, upgraded sway bar and Ford C Springs. I also picked aluminum sway bar mounts, AJE lower control arms, energy suspension sway bar end links, UPR 4 bolt caster camber plates, and cobra brake kit.





 

tastywheats

Active Member
Since deciding to go AI I am keeping most of what I already have with a couple of changes. I know there are better pieces out there but I am more focused on getting seat time and I will continue to make upgrades as time permits. I switched out the C Springs for H&R Super Race Springs, and replaced the sway bar end links out in favor of MOOG poly urethane oem replacements. The Energy suspension ones were shorter than the stock end links and had the sway bars angle off a little. I also added brake ducts and a UPR K member. Before anyone starts with the bashing on my decision to go with the Chromoly k member, I got it because it has a lifetime warranty and I have yet to find anything on them breaking. AJE on the other hand is a different story but I talked to the guys at UPR and they said put it through its paces and if I can manage to break it they will replace it and they know it is going into a track car.

















 

tastywheats

Active Member
I also ditched all of my power steering in favor of a quick ratio manual rack from Flaming River. I was watching an episode of Top Gear US when Carl Edwards raced his NASCAR road car against Tanner Faust in a McLaren super car and Carl Edwards won even though he had no driver assists so I decided if he could do it than I could too. I also got Maximum Motorsport manual rack bumpsteer kit and a solid steering shaft.

 

Markstang

Polishing my banhammer
Glad to see someone taking up the slack let out by GreenSteeda. I'm looking forward to seeing this car get put together.
 

tastywheats

Active Member
As far as the front suspension goes I am beginning to feel like an expert on assembly and disassembling. I have literally broke it completely down three times. Once in 2009 when I put the a arms in, again when I put the UPR k member in and recently when I realized I bought the wrong k member. I was setting the motor in and realized that the pan kept hitting the K-Member before it could reach the motor mounts. I called UPR and they said i need the 96-04 k member and I had the 79-95 k member. Even though it was my fault they sent me a new one in the mail that day with a return shipping label free of charge. When I was trouble shooting my install I pulled the motor mounts of of my spare motors to see if they would work. I have the 02 mounts which are the exact same two piece mounts as the 97 motor I pulled out of this car and I have a motor from a 94 that have one piece taller mount. I only had one good mount for the 94 which bolts up to the 02 without issue so I went to O'Reilly auto parts and found that the 94 motor mounts share the exact same part number as the 96-04 mustang gt motor mounts. With that being said if anyone is looking to go solid motor mounts I would think the gt mounts would work. Just FYI.
 

Phil II

Cone Destroyer
Its nice to hear UPR is being very helpful to your project.

How do you like the aluminum sway bar mounts? Are those the steeda pieces?
 

toph6888

Active Member
Nice build man, also very interested to hear about the UPR kmember for track use, I keep going back and forth on a kmember to get (mainly so I can reroute my turbo exhaust dump away from a lot of things) and want to know how it does for autocross and daily use. Keep it going!
 

tastywheats

Active Member
Its nice to hear UPR is being very helpful to your project.

How do you like the aluminum sway bar mounts? Are those the steeda pieces?

UPR has been good to deal with. That is also surprising since I order through a third party. I order all my UPR, flaming river, and Maximum Motorsports stuff through Jdsperformance. UPR said for accountability I have to go through jds but they talked to each other and told me it was taken care of.

I like the mounts but I have only driven the car about 10 miles since I installed them. Car has been in storage forever. I think I got them from 50resto a while back. I will have to look and see if I still have the invoice
 

tastywheats

Active Member
Nice build man, also very interested to hear about the UPR kmember for track use, I keep going back and forth on a kmember to get (mainly so I can reroute my turbo exhaust dump away from a lot of things) and want to know how it does for autocross and daily use. Keep it going!

I was concerned as well with all the chatter of how they won't hold up to track driving but I won't argue with lifetime warranty. This should hold me until I can afford the agent 47 front suspension down the road.
 

mustang024

Active Member
Nice Project!Glad to see people modifying sixxers still! Where did you get the sway bar spacers ? How much do thhey go for and how much did it drop the bar.
 

tastywheats

Active Member
Nice Project!Glad to see people modifying sixxers still! Where did you get the sway bar spacers ? How much do thhey go for and how much did it drop the bar.

Man, looked through all my invoices and could not find it. I found all of my LMR invoices and it wasn't in there so I think I got it from american muscle but I don't think they offer it anymore. It keeps the sway bar in OEM specs.
 

tastywheats

Active Member
Well it has been a while since I last updated this thread. To be honest, not much has happened since my last post except life. I spent $4K getting my house ready to rent because I was supposed to move to Germany this month. I was told today, it is no longer happening. But anyway, I did have a chance to work on the mustang. I got the motor in finally after the K-Member mix up.




I started putting on the serpentine stuff and mocking up the turbo kit. For those who don't know, the kit I have is Justin Starkey's (VMP Tuning Owner) V1 Twin turbo kit. It is sporting two ported 16g turbos but after it exchanged hands through a couple people it was a bit wrecked. I ended up sand blasting the hot and cold side and sent it to prodigy coating in New York by recommendation of J. Black thermal coating on the hot side and ceramic coating on the cold side. They came out pretty good. The down pipe in the picture was an example of the shape all he piping was in when I got it.





Right now, I am waiting on some parts. Water pump, header studs, gaskets, and a local machine shop is fabricating a alternator bracket for me since I have no need for the power steering unit.
 
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