Fox Budget Drag Car

PakstinN

Member
Jul 17, 2014
78
16
18
20
Hey guys, a friend and I are trying to build a low budget drag car. Our goal is to run in the 11s under $5k. We will start off with an 83/84 (unsure of year) four cylinder lx, very barebones, no power anything. we have the car, a 351w, c4 transmission, and 9 inch rear end all priced out at $1k, the plan for the motor was to either port a set of gt40p heads or purchase some of the SVE aluminum heads (very open to head suggestions...lol) get a set of forged dome/flat top pistons and running around a 12:1 compression, getting a custom ed curtis cam, a 750 cfm carb and some sort of single plain intake. the plan is to run the engine on Sunoco 110, car doesn't have to be street able as it will be a purpose built race car. then getting a set of 1-3/4 inch LTs. That does it for the engine

The trans will likely be a C4 with a transbrake valve body and around a 3000-3500 stall, a good trans cooler, and hoping to run it as internally stock as possible for the first season of racing at least.

the rear will be a 9 inch with a 4.10 or 4.56 set of gears and welded solid (trying to save money by not buying a spool)

not sure what we will do for suspension but the plan is to run a 10.5 inch slick, open to suggestions for suspension, keep in mind the theme of this car is budget, we are a couple of teenagers who want to go fast without spending a nickel of daddy's money. both of us have built several motors already, i myself have done rear end work on the fox I already have, and everything functions exactly how it should.

can we get this mustang into the 11s for $5k or less? thanks for the advice in advance!
 
  • Sponsors (?)


a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
8,281
4,830
204
30
Hillsborough county
A c4 is near indestructible, just run it

4.10 gears

What power adder are you planning to run?

We use hyper pistons in our budget engines, then spray the heck out of them. They survive fine if your tuneup is right.

Stroke to 408 if money allows, find better heads used. THE HEADS will become the limiting factor in your build if you use a factory piece. Custom cam is a great option.
 
  • Like
Reactions: mikestang63

a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
8,281
4,830
204
30
Hillsborough county
At the least you will need to start with subframe connectors and torque box reinforcements.
Don't skimp on the rear control arms, use stock springs cut one coil (teamz)
Remove front swaybar. use a piece of chain welded on the front control arm and bolted to the frame to limit front tire travel.

Leave the rear swaybar installed (Or aftermarket if control arms don't allow) it's important for keeping things planted.

If some of this is out of budget at a minimum do subframes, torque boxs, cut rear springs and the front end mods. This will cost you very little with a lot of gains. Pinion snubber is a good way to limit pinion travel if you can't afford great control arms......
 
  • Like
Reactions: mikestang63

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,347
3,715
183
41
If you or your buddy can weld you can plate the bottom of the stock controls arms to " box " them for strength.

You don't need a 9 inch rear for 11s. The stock 8.8 rear will work but the axle tubes may need to be welded where they enter the center section. A good set of c clip eliminators and upper and lower torque box reinforcement are best, along with 31 spline axles and carrier ( the carrier can come from a mid 90s to early 2000s explorer ).

Don't forget full length subframe connectors...w/seat brace.

They used to sell a stiff bushing kit for stock rear control arms...I don't know if they still do.

For 11s you may need a roll cage. I ordered mine from S & W Race Cars. Fit well in my 89. It will also need to be trimmed and welded in. Better to go with more than you need...I ordered a 10 point...but my car ran mid 10s. Not sure what the rules are now. That was years ago now. Smh

The heads are one of the most important things on an engine. If the air can't get in and out it won't perform its best. I run Trick Flow Twisted Wedge...but with your budget ???? I don't know.

It doesn't seem like it bit its very easy to blow past 5 grand in a budget race car. Just the cam, torque converter, head work, and carb eat up almost half of that.

Its the little stuff that'll run through money...spark plug wires, cut off switch, fuel pressure regulators, battery, battery relocation, racing harness, racing seat, racing helmet, gauges, feet of wiring, switches, electric fan, wheels, slicks, shocks, throttle cable, hood pins, fuel system plumbing, ....not to mention brakes, or aftermarket ignition boxes like MSD.

I'm not trying to discourage you at all. Its easy to build a mid 12s car cheap. As the time goes down the dollars go up significantly.
 

deathb4dismount

Crap, didn’t realize my crotch was in that picture
5 Year Member
Oct 6, 2011
898
442
104
THE BUCKET
I was gonna say for cheap get an explorer motor custom grind and spray the :poo: out of it but since you already have a motor you are already really close. You can pinch pennies everywhere, but expect things to break. The suspension will be where you want actually spent some money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: General karthief

RangerJoe

I leave the horn on while driving
5 Year Member
Apr 26, 2010
2,655
1,227
174
Georgia
My father n law has been 11.1x on a 302, stock crank and rods, with flattop forged piston, home ported gt40p heads, single plane intake and AFM N51 cam, so it's doable with the parts you listed. On that budget, I don't know.

I am sure you know weight is your enemy, get rid of everything you don't need. Compression is your friend and you can get as wild with the cam as needed since its a track car. Keep us updated on your progress, this will be interesting.

Joe
 

PakstinN

Member
Jul 17, 2014
78
16
18
20
If you or your buddy can weld you can plate the bottom of the stock controls arms to " box " them for strength. You don't need a 9 inch rear for 11s. The stock 8.8 rear will work but the axle tubes may need to be welded where they enter the center section. A good set of c clip eliminators and upper and lower torque box reinforcement are best, along with 31 spline axles and carrier ( the carrier can come from a mid 90s to early 2000s explorer ). Don't forget full length subframe connectors...w/seat brace. They used to sell a stiff bushing kit for stock rear control arms...I don't know if they still do. For 11s you may need a roll cage. I ordered mine from S & W Race Cars. Fit well in my 89. It will also need to be trimmed and welded in. Better to go with more than you need...I ordered a 10 point...but my car ran mid 10s. Not sure what the rules are now. That was years ago now. Smh The heads are one of the most important things on an engine. If the air can't get in and out it won't perform its best. I run Trick Flow Twisted Wedge...but with your budget ???? I don't know. It doesn't seem like it bit its very easy to blow past 5 grand in a budget race car. Just the cam, torque converter, head work, and carb eat up almost half of that. Its the little stuff that'll run through money...spark plug wires, cut off switch, fuel pressure regulators, battery, battery relocation, racing harness, racing seat, racing
helmet, gauges, feet of wiring, switches, electric fan, wheels, slicks, shocks, throttle cable, hood pins, fuel system plumbing, ....not to mention brakes, or aftermarket ignition boxes like MSD. I'm not trying to discourage you at all. Its easy to build a mid 12s car cheap. As the time goes down the dollars go up significantly.
I have welding experience along with many of other family members (uncle is a welder) what is it going to cost to get me into a decent cage? I don't want the cage to be what pushes us way over budget but at the same time safety is important obviously. the P heads I'm looking at were put on a flow bench and flowed 239 [email protected] using bigger valves and porting. I know the guy who builds these heads personally and he would probably give me a very good deal. He is doing a 351w bored .030 over and it made 418 hp and 445 tq running an OTS cam, hoping to make more than that using the custom grind stick. 400 to the tire on a 2800 pound car that has good traction should be enough to get me into the 11s right?

A c4 is near indestructible, just run it 4.10 gears What power adder are you planning to run? We use hyper pistons in our budget engines, then spray the heck out of them. They survive fine if your tuneup is right. Stroke to 408 if money allows, find better heads used. THE HEADS will become the limiting factor in your build if you use a factory piece. Custom cam is a great option.
she will be ran N/A, possibly spray it if we aren't happy with what it runs thought. what will it cost me to get into a transbrake/stall setup and what stall speed should I go with?
 
Last edited:

a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
8,281
4,830
204
30
Hillsborough county
That really depends what the engine wants. Use the power band the engine makes, my 302 on boost only makes 290rwhp but it makes 390rwtq. So i geard it with a 3.08 to use the torque and shift at peak hp 5k.

With the small heads it won't be an rpm monster so plan accordingly
 

cleanLX

Founding Member
Jan 17, 2001
976
536
144
Simple, but sorted suspension, lots of weight reduction and a solid roller with those P heads and 351cu.in. = 11's.
Since EFI, pump gas, and daily driving are not concerns (and since you are already commited to race gas, 12:1, maybe more), I would go wild on the cam... thinking 250+ at 0.050, over 290+ at 0.020, and handy 0.700 lift... probably end up with 4.30's or 4.56's once it's dialed in.
Absolutely will want a convertor and shift improvement kit to take advantage... thinking 4000+ stall.
For reference, with 306cu.in, E7te's, 3300lbs and 2200d/a, mine runs 12.21 granny shifting.
And, you'll likely need that cage just to be legal.
 

PakstinN

Member
Jul 17, 2014
78
16
18
20
Simple, but sorted suspension, lots of weight reduction and a solid roller with those P heads and 351cu.in. = 11's.
Since EFI, pump gas, and daily driving are not concerns (and since you are already commited to race gas, 12:1, maybe more), I would go wild on the cam... thinking 250+ at 0.050, over 290+ at 0.020, and handy 0.700 lift... probably end up with 4.30's or 4.56's once it's dialed in.
Absolutely will want a convertor and shift improvement kit to take advantage... thinking 4000+ stall.
For reference, with 306cu.in, E7te's, 3300lbs and 2200d/a, mine runs 12.21 granny shifting.
And, you'll likely need that cage just to be legal.
If we were to go and get the proper size and thickness tubing (buddy has pipe bender..we know welders who are certified) can we make our own cage to save a little coin? or would the NHRA/IHRA (we run at an IHRA track) throw fits if we tried going this route? Also, any comments/complaints/concerns about just welding the spider gears in the differential solid? would it hold? are gear sets for 9 inch rear ends just as expensive if not spendier than for a regular old 8.8..we just kind of figured we would go 9 inch right off the bat considering the car has a 7.5 in it right now due to age and not being a factory 5 liter.
 

PakstinN

Member
Jul 17, 2014
78
16
18
20
At the least you will need to start with subframe connectors and torque box reinforcements.
Don't skimp on the rear control arms, use stock springs cut one coil (teamz)
Remove front swaybar. use a piece of chain welded on the front control arm and bolted to the frame to limit front tire travel.

Leave the rear swaybar installed (Or aftermarket if control arms don't allow) it's important for keeping things planted.

If some of this is out of budget at a minimum do subframes, torque boxs, cut rear springs and the front end mods. This will cost you very little with a lot of gains. Pinion snubber is a good way to limit pinion travel if you can't afford great control arms......
care to elaborate on the welding chains on the front control arm? haven't heard of that being done.

Would the SVE tubular control arms off LMR be a good candidate? they are like $140 for uppers and lowers..non adjustable though..

as far as chassis work goes we were planning on leaving the stock 4 cyl springs up front, heard they work good for weight transfer, sub frames, battle boxes, eibach drag springs with an airbag in the passenger side, some kind of tubular control arm (such as the aforementioned SVE set), remove front sway bar, either run the stock wheels up front or find a used set of skinnies, and run a 10.5 inch slick out back, sort of looking for a used set of draglites so if you know anyone with a set I would probably take em off your hands if the price was right.
 

a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
8,281
4,830
204
30
Hillsborough county
I would not put SVE arms on the car, ever.

The chains are simply a cheap way to adjust the weight transfer to the rear, you run light springs to allow transfer easily. The chains stop the upward travel when they hit there limit, and are adjustable by moving links. This will also stop the front tires from dropping very low from the chassis in case you really bite at the line. We have been doing it for years with multiple builds.... it's an old school thing I guess
 
  • Like
Reactions: RaggedGT

jrichker

StangNet's favorite TOOL
SN Certified Technician
Mar 10, 2000
26,787
2,513
224
73
Dublin GA
I would not put SVE arms on the car, ever.

The chains are simply a cheap way to adjust the weight transfer to the rear, you run light springs to allow transfer easily. The chains stop the upward travel when they hit there limit, and are adjustable by moving links. This will also stop the front tires from dropping very low from the chassis in case you really bite at the line. We have been doing it for years with multiple builds.... it's an old school thing I guess
If it works good, keep on workin' it...
 

PakstinN

Member
Jul 17, 2014
78
16
18
20
would I run into axle issues with the stock 28 spline (i think)? I think I read something last night about the explorers coming with 31 spline axles from the factory..maybe that would be a better choice? correct me if I'm wrong here..just trying to get as much info as possible so I know what I'm up against here.
 

revhead347

I have face herpes.
Jun 14, 2004
7,229
574
204
39
Acworth, GA
would I run into axle issues with the stock 28 spline (i think)? I think I read something last night about the explorers coming with 31 spline axles from the factory..maybe that would be a better choice? correct me if I'm wrong here..just trying to get as much info as possible so I know what I'm up against here.
Budget speaking, you want a 31 spline spool in your stock axle. Weld the axle tubes to the pumpkin, and run a rear end main cap girdle. Moser or Strange Engineering 31 spline forged axles.

Kurt
 

PakstinN

Member
Jul 17, 2014
78
16
18
20
Budget speaking, you want a 31 spline spool in your stock axle. Weld the axle tubes to the pumpkin, and run a rear end main cap girdle. Moser or Strange Engineering 31 spline forged axles.

Kurt
Did ford ever put a 31 spline spool in anything from the factory that we could get in a u-pull yard?
 

Bullitt347

man bewbs please...
Mar 23, 2007
2,199
1,005
184
Pacific NW
Cheap, Fast, Reliable....you can pick two of them. Lol

I run a 8.8 in my drag car. It will run low 8's in the 1/4. Plus a 8.8 takes less power to turn compared to the 9". And the whole assembly is lighter than a 9" stock for stock.
 

Similar threads