The Next Warhorse: 1993 Mustang LX Autocross Build

Warhorse Racing

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I'd be interested to see that video when you post it. For reference, swapping from a steel hatch to a fiberglass hatch was about a 20 lbs. weight savings on a pretty large part when I measured it.

Still, I'll be interested to see your data on it.
Aside from proving that any 79-04 Mustang can be a capable autocross car, my 2.3L project is designed to confirm or correct commonly posted weights for OEM and aftermarket parts. I do my best to ensure the weights are accurate.
 
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Warhorse Racing

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In my quest to get 500 lbs. out of my 1993 2.3L Mustang autocross car, I have to make mods I’ve never made before. In 30 years of working on Mustangs, I’ve never removed the sound deadening. But, because Apocalypso has to be much lighter than my other autocross Mustangs, the sound deadening has to go. This video covers the tools I used, how well they worked, and how much weight I lost.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EvT2A6bcVoI&t=2s
 

Warhorse Racing

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If it is a dedicated autocross car will you throw a lot of rear gear under it ?
Rear gear choice for an autocross car depends on MPH in 2nd gear at the rev-limiter. Generally, autocross courses are designed to keep drivers under 65 MPH. My 1992 GT, 2000 GT and 2004 V6 all use 3.55 rear gears. This car will end up using 3.73, 3.90 or 4.10 rear gears, depending on the engine and transmission mods.
 
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ChillPhatCat

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While we're Q&A, I've been meaning to ask... do you know what the thread is on the block for the headers? There doesn't seem to be a good answer anywhere on the net for the 4-bangers... only 5.0's. I'm getting ready to swap the header out and will first be bolting it straight to the stock exhaust... I just don't have any header bolts for this header...
 

Warhorse Racing

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While we're Q&A, I've been meaning to ask... do you know what the thread is on the block for the headers? There doesn't seem to be a good answer anywhere on the net for the 4-bangers... only 5.0's. I'm getting ready to swap the header out and will first be bolting it straight to the stock exhaust... I just don't have any header bolts for this header...
Unfortunately, I don't know the thread size/pitch for the header bolts. ACE should know, they make headers for these cars and offer hardware. Here's a link to their website: http://www.powerbyace.com/
 
With a conversion to solid lifters the engine is good for 83-8500 rpm. The hydraulics are good for about 6300 if you shim them and they will still occasionally fail. The stock bottom end is reliable. Order an SVO flywheel and get a lightweight flywheel cheap . We used to circle track 2300 powered Fords.
Rear gear choice for an autocross car depends on MPH in 2nd gear at the rev-limiter. Generally, autocross courses are designed to keep drivers under 65 MPH. My 1992 GT, 2000 GT and 2004 V6 all use 3.55 rear gears. This car will end up using 3.73, 3.90 or 4.10 rear gears, depending on the engine and transmission mods.
 
While we're Q&A, I've been meaning to ask... do you know what the thread is on the block for the headers? There doesn't seem to be a good answer anywhere on the net for the 4-bangers... only 5.0's. I'm getting ready to swap the header out and will first be bolting it straight to the stock exhaust... I just don't have any header bolts for this header...



Shoenfeld sells just the bolts. They also make a better header than the ranger header but it will make your wallet cry. ( disclaimer, I have a ranger header on my 2.3 powered Mustang)
 

Warhorse Racing

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With a conversion to solid lifters the engine is good for 83-8500 rpm. The hydraulics are good for about 6300 if you shim them and they will still occasionally fail. The stock bottom end is reliable. Order an SVO flywheel and get a lightweight flywheel cheap . We used to circle track 2300 powered Fords.
Thanks for the info! I'm still getting familiar with the 2.3L engine, but it looks like I need to be able to run 6,500-7,000 rpm reliably (which seems to be possible with the right mods). A lightweight flywheel is definitely on my list.
 
Thanks for the info! I'm still getting familiar with the 2.3L engine, but it looks like I need to be able to run 6,500-7,000 rpm reliably (which seems to be possible with the right mods). A lightweight flywheel is definitely on my list.


You will need to do a solid lifter conversion and a solid lifter cam to get to 7,000. You can get a little extra rpm out of hydraulic lifters by shimming preload with 2 dimes under each lifter. The factory rev limit is 5700. The stock bottom ends are pretty much indestructible The stock parts will go all the way to 8,000 rpm. Like anything else how much money do you want to inject into the engine ?
 

ChillPhatCat

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What kind of gains you reckon you can get out of the stock head with .460 -.500 lift cam? Or is it entirely pointless to upgrade the cam without head work? I’d be ecstatic if I could bump the power band up to 6000 RPM before investing in a worked head. And I’m not looking for anything crazy, maybe 15-20 hp to start.
 

Warhorse Racing

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You will need to do a solid lifter conversion and a solid lifter cam to get to 7,000. You can get a little extra rpm out of hydraulic lifters by shimming preload with 2 dimes under each lifter. The factory rev limit is 5700. The stock bottom ends are pretty much indestructible The stock parts will go all the way to 8,000 rpm. Like anything else how much money do you want to inject into the engine ?
I've been talking to some companies that work on 2.3L heads as I research the engine mods. The two main goals for this car are to prove that any 79-04 Mustang can be a competitive autocross car, and to go further with mods than I have before. I'd like to double the hp (or get as close to that number as possible). I haven't settled on a budget for the engine mods, yet. I do want to make sure that the mods/results can be replicated by other people who might be interested in autocrossing their 4-cylinder Foxes.
 
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What kind of gains you reckon you can get out of the stock head with .460 -.500 lift cam? Or is it entirely pointless to upgrade the cam without head work? I’d be ecstatic if I could bump the power band up to 6000 RPM before investing in a worked head. And I’m not looking for anything crazy, maybe 15-20 hp to start.



15-20hp is easy add a header and small cam in the .425 lift area. Crane used to sell a .420 lift roller cam that worked with all of the stock valvetrain and added all 20 of the HP you want. It was torque oriented and great for the street. You can gain lift with a roller rocker swap. The later ranger rockers have a higher ratio. Moving the power band up over the low 6's takes a solid lifter conversion or not being afraid of hydraulic lifters pumping up and failing. Going to around a .500 lift cam makes it a rowdy idle for street driving and daily use. At one time my daily was a 2300 in a pinto, light flywheel , big valve ported head and intake with a worked over 500 2 barrel Holley. A Hedman header and a 2 chamber flowmaster. The cam was a Reed custom grind solid . 480 lift that pulled to 8500 rpm. The bottom end was a flat top piston zero deck but nothing special. It was a fun daily but had no low rpm grunt and a 12-1300 rpm idle. The ranger header is an easy swap on a Mustang and only requires and EGR tube change. I have one on my foxbody because I used to live in an emission testing area.
 
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ChillPhatCat

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15-20hp is easy add a header and small cam in the .425 lift area. Crane used to sell a .420 lift roller cam that worked with all of the stock valvetrain and added all 20 of the HP you want. It was torque oriented and great for the street. You can gain lift with a roller rocker swap. The later ranger rockers have a higher ratio. Moving the power band up over the low 6's takes a solid lifter conversion or not being afraid of hydraulic lifters pumping up and failing. Going to around a .500 lift cam makes it a rowdy idle for street driving and daily use. At one time my daily was a 2300 in a pinto, light flywheel , big valve ported head and intake with a worked over 500 2 barrel Holley. A Hedman header and a 2 chamber flowmaster. The cam was a Reed custom grind solid . 480 lift that pulled to 8500 rpm. The bottom end was a flat top piston zero deck but nothing special. It was a fun daily but had no low rpm grunt and a 12-1300 rpm idle. The ranger header is an easy swap on a Mustang and only requires and EGR tube change. I have one on my foxbody because I used to live in an emission testing area.

Nice, was hoping that's the case, I have no idea what I'm doing in a few years if I have some money to actually put in the engine compartment but I'd love just a little more help going up hills. lol I do have a ranger header sitting in a box, just needed to source the bolts to go with it... will hopefully be on before the snow flies which is the end of my car work season.

In a past life, before the life where I had an '00 GT, and when I was cool, I used to run a '97 Camaro with the 3.8L V6 and I swapped in a .512 lift/112LSA cam into the stock engine, I loved the way it pulsated at idle. lol I actually got 50 hp out of cam, headers and exhaust on that thing... it moved well for what it was.

But yeah torque is actually quite good for these things. I was taking this car for a spin one day and stopped to talk to my neighbor who's been watching me slowly get this thing sorted out and I start to drive off and then slammed on the brakes and decided what the hell I'll drop the clutch to chirp the tires. I got a good 30-40 ft of spin and was quite surprised. He was dying laughing. :rlaugh:
 

Warhorse Racing

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The UPR K-member install was more chaotic than I expected. In this video, I cover the problems I encountered and the solutions I found while installing the OEM A-arms with OEM rubber bushings, the OEM A-arms with poly bushings, the OEM steering rack, stock-style springs, and the OEM sway bar.

I also reveal how much weight the UPR K-member and spring perches took off of Apocalypso.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLeTZgJVkds&t
 
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Warhorse Racing

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My 1993 2.3L Mustang autocross car has already lost 275.7 lbs. I’m getting closer to my goal of taking 500 lbs. out of Apocalypso. Swapping the heavy OEM steel driveshaft for a Ford Performance aluminum driveshaft will shed a few more pounds and improve this pony’s performance out on course.

This video covers the benefits of installing an aluminum driveshaft, provides some install tips & reveals how much weight the aluminum driveshaft took out of Apocalypso.


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V43H0qjSzTs&t
 
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