New Project: dumping the go-fast parts - help me build "Project low budget 12s"

FastDriver

My dad had a bra
SN Certified Technician
Sep 5, 2001
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Vass, NC
I bent a rod in my TT motor, and I've selected all and purchased most of my parts for "the monster." It's too expensive to trust my inexperienced hands in the machining and assembly of the shortblock. So I'm letting someone else handle that.

In the meantime I discovered today that a basic rebuild kit reusing the old pistons and such only costs $230 from summit. I think for less money than I'll make by selling the GT40X heads, I can afford to rebuild the old block myself and purchase the E7 heads, HO intake. I think it'd be a fun project to see how quick I can get the stock motor to go. Those chevy boys are getting too big for their britches, and I've been hearing that stock 5.0s are dogs.:lol: :bs:

So with that in mind, I think I'm going to sell my GT40X heads, I've already sold my GT40 intake and 70mm TB. Now, I'd like to go back to stock and see about running 12s. Just looking for ideas. Maybe when I get the ball rolling we can make it an official stangnet project car :SNSign:

What do you guys think?

So what the right way to build this thing for the 12s. I'm putting endless amounts of money into the other project. Therefore, the name of this one is project low budget 12s. I want to do 12s as cheap as possible. What combination of engine parts/suspension parts will be the cheapest way to get my next fox into the 12s?

Limitations:

- must run some form of E7 heads
- stock intake
- stock cam
- n/a (no nitrous, no blower, and I'm leaving my turbos for the dart block)
- fox-body mustang (haven't purchased a body, yet)
- street car (lightening is fine, but I don't want to strip the interior or any safety parts off of the car)

Chris
 
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LX body
1.7 Roller rockers
Drag Radials
Smog/EGR/AC Compressor deletes
Electric fan
Good exhaust
3.73's/4.10's
90/10 struts
Swaybar delete
Cold Air intake (RAM)
TB/Spacer
Phenolic Spacer
Larger MAF sensor
Fiber Glass hood
Full underdrive pulleys
...That should be 13's

:) I'm totally behind ya mang!
 
If you dont plan to touch the heads, heres what I would do...

-Stock bottem end (If you can get an 86 short block, if not a 93+ with hyper pistons), but hone the bores a good bit, and re ring it. This is worth a little bit. Loose is fast!
-Stock cam but degree it. I have seen 4 degrees retarded work well in bring the power band up.
-Stock E7s, with a set of 1.7 rockers.
-Stock intake, larger Tbody, MAF, and a filter.
-Long Tubes, Off road X, or H, some kind of straight through muffler.
-All the small things, pulleys, electric fan, aluminum radiator, no smog or AC, clutch, shifter AL flywheel, etc.
-A 4.10 or better gear (4.30s might even be better to get the most out of it).
-Suspension is going to be key, but a stock motor should 60' in the deep 1.6s on a slick.

With this list of parts, my guess is there could be some mid 12s with a good driver, and a beating. I have seen daily driven cars go 12.7-12.8s on stock motors, so I would think something a little more track oriented would go faster!
 
I was hoping you'd respond to this one. You used to have AIM, and I think I've got you in my buddy list, but haven't seen you around in a long time. If you're up for a chat...

25thmustang said:
If you dont plan to touch the heads, heres what I would do...

I'm not closed to that possibility. What would you recommend doing if I do have them ported? 1.9/1.6 valve? I don't want to spend a lot, but I'd do something small if I'll get my money's worth for it.

-Stock bottem end (If you can get an 86 short block, if not a 93+ with hyper pistons), but hone the bores a good bit, and re ring it. This is worth a little bit. Loose is fast!

Is that what they mean by loose is fast? How many thousandths out should I take the bore? Also, I'm going to take the crank and cam out to put in new bearings. I can do any other machining (loosening) that might free up some power. Any suggestions?

I've already got my old block, and the pistons look good. It's a 91 block so unfortunately it won't be the flat-top piston design of the '86. I could use thin HGs, and mill down the heads to bring up compression, though. What's the max safe mill on E7s?

-Stock cam but degree it. I have seen 4 degrees retarded work well in bring the power band up.

Good tip.

-Stock E7s, with a set of 1.7 rockers.

I imagine someone would be looking to trade for a nice set of Crane gold 1.6s, eh?

-Stock intake, larger Tbody, MAF, and a filter.

60mm TB w/ 73 C&L or 75 bullet sound about right? Maybe a $40 flat panel filter in the stock box.

-Long Tubes, Off road X, or H, some kind of straight through muffler.

Got that covered. Flowtech 1 5/8 LTs with o/r H. They ain't pretty, but they'll work :).

All the small things, pulleys, electric fan, aluminum radiator, no smog or AC, clutch, shifter AL flywheel, etc.

hmm... don't know about the aluminum radiator. Why not stock? Have you personally tested the difference between a stock and aluminum FW? I understand you can get a better launch from the steel FW and that translates to ET. I know you pick up a bit of net power because there is less rotational mass, but will it compensate?

A 4.10 or better gear (4.30s might even be better to get the most out of it).

I've even got a 4.10 rear end with 28 spline mosers sitting here.

Suspension is going to be key

And that is where I stand to learn the most. I've built a few engines, but never done anything other than a road racing suspension kit on my car.

With this list of parts, my guess is there could be some mid 12s with a good driver, and a beating. I have seen daily driven cars go 12.7-12.8s on stock motors, so I would think something a little more track oriented would go faster!

Sure, and I'm sure with your car, you enjoy seeing the looks of people who don't believe you've got so many stock parts on it and it's running like that.

Would the ported stock intake still be the weakest link in the chain?
 
snoboardcore said:
sway bars

both?

Sorry about your post, snoboardcore.. I accidently hit edit instead of quote. Were you saying to remove both sway bars?

And will will you please fix your post... it was good info. 50/50 lakewoods out back, 90/10s up front, 4cyl springs up front, and remove the swaybars, is what I think you said.

Chris
 
depends on what you want. But yes remove both the sway bars but then the car will only go straight line. Another thing you can do is if you want a more streetable set up is. 50/50 in the rear, 70/30 in the front 4 cyclinder springs and put quick links on the sway bars to remove them at the track.
 
I didn't know disconnecting th rear sway bar helped traction.

I used to just disconnect the front sway bar leaving it on the car, but I've already got a car that handles, well. I'll probably set up the project for a straight line.

Chris
 
FastDriver said:
I was hoping you'd respond to this one. You used to have AIM, and I think I've got you in my buddy list, but haven't seen you around in a long time. If you're up for a chat...

Sure, Im on a new screen name, HiredGun01!

I'm not closed to that possibility. What would you recommend doing if I do have them ported? 1.9/1.6 valve? I don't want to spend a lot, but I'd do something small if I'll get my money's worth for it.

As far as my recommendations go, with stock heads, larger valves, a good valve job and new components (springs, retainers, etc) and mill them down.

Is that what they mean by loose is fast? How many thousandths out should I take the bore? Also, I'm going to take the crank and cam out to put in new bearings. I can do any other machining (loosening) that might free up some power. Any suggestions?

As far as the bore goes, take it out as much as a machinist will without having to get a larger piston. Throw a set of file fit rings on it and it will make a little more power than just slapping on a set of rings in a stock bore. As far as other machining, offset grind the crank. This will help bring the pistons out of the cylinder wall some, and again bump compression a little.

I've already got my old block, and the pistons look good. It's a 91 block so unfortunately it won't be the flat-top piston design of the '86. I could use thin HGs, and mill down the heads to bring up compression, though. What's the max safe mill on E7s?

As far as the 91 pistons, use what you have unless you can get some hypers or flat tops cheap or free. Not worth losing sleep over. As far as milling the E7s I have heard as low as 52cc's and maybe even more. Im sure these are things you can find out from a racer.

I imagine someone would be looking to trade for a nice set of Crane gold 1.6s, eh?

Like with the pistons if you have 1.6s, might not be worth it to change. Especially if you are milling the heads, offset grinding the crank, and running thin HGs. It might cause more issues that you werent expecting. Going to have to check for clearances and such like with ANY motor build.

60mm TB w/ 73 C&L or 75 bullet sound about right? Maybe a $40 flat panel filter in the stock box.

Filter is good, C&L or Bullit should work, and the TB also, but 60mm sounds like a weird size? Im sure it wont hurt, but then again Im not sure.

Got that covered. Flowtech 1 5/8 LTs with o/r H. They ain't pretty, but they'll work :).

Good man, the LTs should help out a good bit. Some say they dont think LTs are worth it, but I personally think they help a good amount. There are reasons they arent allowed in the slower NMRA classes...

hmm... don't know about the aluminum radiator. Why not stock? Have you personally tested the difference between a stock and aluminum FW? I understand you can get a better launch from the steel FW and that translates to ET. I know you pick up a bit of net power because there is less rotational mass, but will it compensate?

I just say AL radiator merely because it takes weight off the nose, and if you want to go fast this is an easy way to help out. The FW I have never tried on my car but have only heard good about them, and with the retarded cam, and worked heads you will have much more RPM to play with, where an AL FW might come in handy! Get the car up into the revs easier!

And that is where I stand to learn the most. I've built a few engines, but never done anything other than a road racing suspension kit on my car.

From my experience adjustable stuff is the best. Allows you to play with things at the track and get the car hooking. Seen guys gain tenths just by screwing with suspension settings! And one thing I dont agree with is removing the rear sway bar. I see NO reasons or gain to do that, and would think it might only be bad! Dump the front one, leave the rear!

Sure, and I'm sure with your car, you enjoy seeing the looks of people who don't believe you've got so many stock parts on it and it's running like that.

I love it. I have stood up for the E7s for years now telling people I know I can go faster wuth ANY other head, but its so worth it when people find out you have E7s! Couple that with stock cam, stock suspension, leather seats and a daily driver feel, and it just tops it all off. When your running the numbers, you will know exactly what I mean!

Would the ported stock intake still be the weakest link in the chain?

Id assume the lower would be a weak link, but the right porter should be able to help you out there. Also if it were my car Id cut and hog out the upper, and then weld it back up and try and make it look stock again! Would be fun to have a "stock" looking motor running deep 12s!
 
Sounds like a lot of fun. I would do the thumper heads and a tmoss intake. Retard the cam 4* and use 1.7rr. Then the usual bolt ons, t/b, maf, l/t exhaust with and o/r pipe, etc. Then as many deletes as you can and probably a manual rack from an older fox body. As for a body I would look for an 86-89 LX no option hatch or notch.
 
JBeezy53 said:
Sounds like a lot of fun. I would do the thumper heads and a tmoss intake. Retard the cam 4* and use 1.7rr. Then the usual bolt ons, t/b, maf, l/t exhaust with and o/r pipe, etc. Then as many deletes as you can and probably a manual rack from an older fox body. As for a body I would look for an 86-89 LX no option hatch or notch.

Thumper heads are $600 + a $100 core charge for a core I don't have.

That's too much money for this project. Plus, even though they'd be surprising because they're stock heads, it'd be really hard to sell my GT40X heads only to turn around and pay what I made for E7s. Also, I think that some basic stuff done on the stock heads would make significant gains without spending anywhere near 600.

I would, however, consider getting the Tmoss intake. That'd be a nice gain for the $115 he charges.

Chris
 
You know, this might be more fun than "the monster" for almost nothing by comparison.

25thmustang said:
As far as the bore goes, take it out as much as a machinist will without having to get a larger piston.
I hate to be a smartass, but I'm sure the machinist will take the bore out as far as I ask them too. I believe factory tolerance was 0.002". With different rings it might be more, but it's hard for me to say without having any real experience.

As far as other machining, offset grind the crank. This will help bring the pistons out of the cylinder wall some, and again bump compression a little.

Does an offset grind crank let the piston travel further upward or downward in stroke? Also, will an offset have any reliability problems? How much offset, and I can get with a machinist about it, but what would something like this cost?

Like with the pistons if you have 1.6s, might not be worth it to change.
Maybe not. I'll ask Ed C. what he thinks next time we chat (he's doing the cam for the turbo project.

Especially if you are milling the heads, offset grinding the crank, and running thin HGs. It might cause more issues that you werent expecting. Going to have to check for clearances and such like with ANY motor build.

That's why I was asking about the offset grinding on the crank... If the crank is thrown to TDC then a static rotation will not tell me if everything will be clear. If it's thrown to BDC then there should be any valve issues.

Filter is good, C&L or Bullit should work, and the TB also, but 60mm sounds like a weird size? Im sure it wont hurt, but then again Im not sure.

60mm was the size of the Cobra's TB (I think). Thought it might be a cheap one to find. After looking at Tom Moss' website, I guess the stock intake inlet port can be opened up to fit a 65mm TB.

Good man, the LTs should help out a good bit. Some say they dont think LTs are worth it, but I personally think they help a good amount. There are reasons they arent allowed in the slower NMRA classes...

Agreed. I certainly don't think they can hurt anything, and I've already got them so what the hell?

I just say AL radiator merely because it takes weight off the nose, and if you want to go fast this is an easy way to help out.
Money:performance ratio.

I love it. I have stood up for the E7s for years now telling people I know I can go faster wuth ANY other head, but its so worth it when people find out you have E7s! Couple that with stock cam, stock suspension, leather seats and a daily driver feel, and it just tops it all off. When your running the numbers, you will know exactly what I mean!

That's awesome! I would love to get the to run like yours, only with the stock (ported) intake if it's possible. Have you ever run an LS1 from a roll. I actually think with those traps it'd be a hell of a race. From a stop, you'd obviously walk...no run away from the line.

Everything else you said was excellent info. You really know your stuff! I appreciate your friendly attitude and I can tell you're passionate about this stuff.

Chris
 
Use all the cheapy tricks,wether they work or not.

Lightened crank,balanced rods/lightened pistons ( I dont think you could lighten the stock rods,pistons pretty sure),Coated bearings,pro valve job and back cut the valves,maybe some home pocket porting,beehive springs,10* locks and retainers,a light yet strong pushrod,modifed oil pump (no by pass),a vacuum pump (smog pump) or header evac system,heat coatings (like under the manifold,on the manifold,ect.),adding direct cooling lines to the heads (i.e lines right from the water pump ot the heads),lightened pulleys,windage tray,have the cam check to make sure its accurate (you can have it reground to a smaller base circle cam so you can get the exact specs if you cam ends up a little small) then retard it,louvered oil pan and valve covers (to help with heat soak),Tmoss lower (and upper?),and what ever else you can think of that sound like it will help even if it doesnt :p
 
You know, this might be more fun than "the monster" for almost nothing by comparison.

I hate to be a smartass, but I'm sure the machinist will take the bore out as far as I ask them too. I believe factory tolerance was 0.002". With different rings it might be more, but it's hard for me to say without having any real experience.

I dont have the exact numbers for a safe range (but could easily get them) but looser is faster, but will also wear out faster. If you want to go fast, the small things add up!

Does an offset grind crank let the piston travel further upward or downward in stroke? Also, will an offset have any reliability problems? How much offset, and I can get with a machinist about it, but what would something like this cost?

It allows for more travel through the whole stroke. Its an easy way to get a little more out of the stock bottem end. This is also something you and your machinist can talk about. I know guys who have done this and have NO reliability issues at all. Cost, not sure, you and your machinist will be good close friends with all this work :D

Maybe not. I'll ask Ed C. what he thinks next time we chat (he's doing the cam for the turbo project.

The best way to gain knowledge is to ask the people who have done it before.

That's why I was asking about the offset grinding on the crank... If the crank is thrown to TDC then a static rotation will not tell me if everything will be clear. If it's thrown to BDC then there should be any valve issues.

I believe the offset grind allows more travel throughout, but might be mistaken, havent really talked with the guys who do this much. I understand you want to pull the piston out of the bore some, so I assume you offset grind it that way, which in turn wouldnt affect it at BDC, and whether or not you can offset grind it enough on both sides to get the piston traveling a good bit more, Im not sure. It pays to be close to your machinist on projects like this!

60mm was the size of the Cobra's TB (I think). Thought it might be a cheap one to find. After looking at Tom Moss' website, I guess the stock intake inlet port can be opened up to fit a 65mm TB.

Id say grab a used 65 or 70 TB, and port that upper to accept it. On a project with ported and worked heads, and going through all this, not porting the easiest thing would seem like a waste.

That's awesome! I would love to get the to run like yours, only with the stock (ported) intake if it's possible. Have you ever run an LS1 from a roll. I actually think with those traps it'd be a hell of a race. From a stop, you'd obviously walk...no run away from the line.

I had ideas of spending the money to port the intake (a stocker), and port the heads, and go out and call the car bone stock and see what kind of reactions I get. But Im not a lying kind of guy, and would end up spilling the beans about it. It is great though, and gets the HCI guys talking and questioning the car. Its even more fun when they see I drive to and from the track (120-150 miles each way) bolt on slicks to a stock rear, pound the car to piss, and drive it home getting 25 mpg the whole time :D! I dont usually street race and the few times I have have been with friends and very short races. I have taken down a modded 05 GT from 2nd gear, a 347 car from 2nd gear (05 put up a better fight), and countless times my friends 03 GT with a few minor things. Never been next to an LS1 on the highway, but with the consistent mid 107 mph traps the car saw on daily driver trim, I think id hold up pretty good!

Everything else you said was excellent info. You really know your stuff! I appreciate your friendly attitude and I can tell you're passionate about this stuff.

Well thats nice to hear. I really dont know much more than the average guy, and am always looking to learn more. I have dreams of trying a project NMRA car (we have a caged rolling chassis at the house now) maybe go out and run Pure Street or even Real Street, but with the 6 Mustangs, Galaxie and my dads NMRA car, its kind of difficult! I might try and start it this summer after the Galaxie is finished!

Also the info posted above me with tips and tricks are some of the more hard core things you can do to gain those extra few tenths and hundreths to make the car something special. Its usually the difference between a 12.6 and a 12.4 or a 12.1 and an 11.9! Just remember, talk with your machinist, get prices and ideas, talk to the racers personally (IMs, PMs, email etc...) and absorb everything they say. Use that info and go out there and be the guy people come up to asking questions!