Friday, March 25, 2011

Turbo Mustang Rebuild

Hey everybody. Today I'm going to tell a really long and drawn-out story about a car belonging to a good friend of mine named Brandon. We've spent the last year and a half messing with this thing so I figured I might as well share it here.

The car is a 1995 Ford Mustang GT. This was Brandon's first car, that he bought when he was 16. He's sunk a lot of money into this car over the years. In the beginning of this story, the car looked like this:

Yes, it was flashy and out of style, but this car was put together several years ago when that kind of thing was IN style. Under the hood it has a fully built 331ci v8 engine with a Precision 88mm turbocharger. That all goes through a built 3-speed automatic transmission and a locked 3.08 rear gear. To date, it's gone a best of 10.30's @ 138mph on low boost.

Now to the interesting part of the story. Two summers ago, Brandon had the car at the local drag strip, with the intention of running it balls to the wall. The boost was turned up, the launch control was raised. It was ready to go. On his first pass of the evening, the car had pretty serious wheel hop coming off the line. Brandon let out to get it to stop, then jumped back in it. When he jumped back in it, bad things happened. As I stood in the stands video-taping the run, I forgot about the video camera as I saw the passenger rear wheel come off the car. The back end slid left, then right. WAY right. About 100 feet down the track, the car hit the wall almost head-on, spun completely around, and came to a rest sideways, as the rear wheel continued to roll down the track. No one could believe what just happened, even Brandon, as he climbed out of the car...

Fast forward a few months. Me and Brandon sit in his garage. Two guys, one broken Mustang, a set of tools and a case of beer. It's time to start ripping shit apart. The plan is to take everything out of the car from the firewall up, straighten the frame, repaint the car, and put it all back together. We had come to discover that the wheel studs had sheered off completely, which is why the wheel came off. Word of advice: Don't drive a car with a full spool rear end and slicks on the street all the time. Here are some pictures we took along the way.

Our thoughts on the project:

Once we had everything out and stripped, it was off to the frame shop to get everything straightened out. Upon pushing the car off the trailer and into the shop, the other rear wheel fell off, all the wheel studs broken. Awesome. Once all that was done, it was off to paint. This time around, Brandon decided to go with solid black on the entire car, to keep it simple (and not ugly). Here's a picture of the car when it got back from paint.

This is the engine bay after we spraypainted it ourselves.

At this point, it's a task of buying all the replacement parts for ones that broke, and start piecing it back together. Motor back in the car:

Since a few things were changed and a new intercooler was put in, we had to fabricate up some new intercooler piping. For this, we brought in our good friend Tim and his engineering degree to help out. Cutting a hole in the fender for piping to go through:

New piping cut and mocked up for welding:

And that's pretty much how the car sits as of now. The piping is all welded up, and there's a radiator sitting in there now. We're getting ready to kick it into high gear and just get the shit done, which is why I felt like sharing. It doesn't need a whole lot left. A new fuel pump was ordered today, axles and wheels will have to be drilled out for the new 5/8" wheel studs (them shits better not break), a new 3.27 rear end, and body panels put back on.

I feel very confident that the car would have gone well into the  9's the night it wrecked, so I think a lot of people are excited to see it get back out this year and hopefully it'll get there. Videos will be posted in the weeks to come. Thanks for reading!

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