Sunday, May 1, 2016

On the road - having fun

Last month, I finally got my Mustang buttoned up enough to drive to NY state inspection and it got that sticker.  Not all work is done but now I can drive and enjoy it which is the whole point of this project.  

I'm already having fun driving and looking forward to a fun summer.

So, some recently completed items are:
EEC-4 ECU Mount
I had to mount the ECU somewhere so I chose just behind the glove box area. I made a bracket from some steel straps and mounted from top of the glove box to a flange underneath the dash.

The battery has always been in the trunk but hadn't been secured.  I got a universal hold down and made weld-on brackets for the j-hooks. 

This was simple to install. It just presses into place around the door flange. A couple spots needed a tap with a rubber mallet. 
EEC-IV mount

Hood pins
I installed these in the front hood bumper mounts.  The pins were a kit came with tethers. The hood holes were a little tough to drill.  Had to transfer marks from the pins to the underside of the hood using a dab of paint to mark where to drill. The issue was that the pins were at an angle because they were mounted in the hood bumper holes. This is in the same spot as Shelby did it and matches the slope of the hood but the hood lowers at a different angle so the pins rubbed on the way down. Just had make the holes big enough to give some slack for closing. 

Front license plate mounting
Since I have the Shelby style front valance, there was no place to mount the front license plate.  I made a couple brackets out of some metal strapping that I had. It bolts to the valance mount at the top and the lower bumper guard hole at the bottom. Quick and dirty but does the trick.

My Mustang has a low stance so on the fist few drives, I could hear the mufflers scraping as the springs absorbed some bumps. It also didn't have a nice sound. A little too loud -- not a good loud either. I had a local shop make a mandrel bent 2 1/2" h-pipe-back exhaust and now the 40 series flowmaster mufflers are in the the correct place and the tail pipes extend out under the rear valance. Bare tail pies do not look so good but will suffice for now. 

The exhaust note is much better but I still get a loud resonant exhaust sound around 2100 rpm - the whole car vibrates.  May have to add a couple small, cheap glass-packs inline or something to disrupt the resonance. (The neighbors must love me)
Another thing is that with the triangulated four link rear having control arms attached near the center housing, there wasnt any room to go over the axle housing in the usual spot above the axle tubes so it routes underneath. It looks fine and the axle tubes do not make contact.

Next Priorities 
Tuning. I have a Tweecer and BinaryEditor software.  Its basically an external chip that mounts to the EEC-IV and lets you upload a new calibration via a USB cable.  It can also read live data like MAF volts, RPM, injector pulse, measured A/F ratio vs. commanded, etc.
So far I have roughly dialed in the fuel and timing.  With the latest tune, LogAnalyzer estimates about 340HP and feels like it.  BTW, the Tweecer and BinaryEditor is invaluable in the custom tuning process.  The engine actually idles pretty well for a high performance cam and stock ECU.

Rear differential gears
Right now, I'm running 4.11 which turns out to be way to low for my power band and T-5.  1st gear winds out too fast and I have to use overdrive around 45 MPH.
I'm thinking to change to either 3.27 or 3.55 - not sure yet.

Wheels, Tires
The rear tires are 245 45 17 and rub a little on the fenders. I rolled the metal lip a little but they still touch on bigger bumps. They should fit but the wheels I have now have an odd offset so the are a little too far out toward the fenders -- there's plenty of room to the inner wheel wells. I may have to run 235 in the rear until I get the new wheels.

The TCI front coil-over suspension is nice and handles well.  I can tell that it is not aligned right so I need to find a shop that can do a real alignment - not just set the toe and let it go.  

Have some sanding and filling to do on that left front fender.  I did a test with Plastidip a while back and it sticks well to the primer and peels off cleanly. I thought about vinyl wrap in the past but it may be too expensive and I'm not sure how well it will stick to primer.  Plastidip will protect the metal since primer is porous and may have to do until I can afford a good paint job. Anyone have an extra paint job laying around that needs a good home?

Still need to paint some of the rear interior pieces before installing and clean the old rear fold-down seats -- the vinyl is in great shape.

So far so good.
Videos coming soon.