A Slow Build: College Kid's 1994 Mustang

BrettNorton

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Hey everybody, my name is Brett Norton, new to the site. I am posting a build thread / progression of my 1994 Mustang. It is originally an abandoned V6 auto car, but I am embarking on the task of converting it to a somewhat reliable V8 5-speed car... with a carburetor. This project will take a very long time since I am going through with this project while attending college, and I will be attempting to do as much of the work myself as possible.

Some of you might know me and this build from another website that does not seem to want to be mentioned on here where I have a much more detailed process of the teardown. I am posting this build thread on as many Mustang forums as I can since I would like to get a decent amount of feedback. I am open to questions and suggestions about this build here.

For the first 16 years of its life, this 1994 Mustang was used as a basic commuter car. Getting people from point A to point B. All of the previous owners were women. The original owner was a woman, and the second owner (previous to me) was a woman who had daughters of driving age that also drove the car. The car performed its commuting job well, driving all the way until 230,000 miles when a catastrophic failure occurred which changed the car's life forever.

One day in 2010, one of the daughters was driving the car on the highway and the engine started overheating. It was later discovered that the engine had blown a head gasket, which I am sure many of you know is a common failure with early Ford 3.8L V6 engines and not cheap to fix. Because of the high expense of a head gasket repair, the previous owner abandoned the car in a bush in her back yard and let it sit there.

Fast-forward to 2014.

My parents knew about my joy of working on cars and a desire to have a Mustang. One day, my good mother went to her friend's house to get together and hang out. When she came home, she told me about a Mustang that had been sitting in her friend's back yard for a few years. I went up to the friend's / previous owner's house shortly after that to see what my mother was talking about. A few months later, I paid $400 to tow that Mustang off the previous owner's property.

The car sat here in Holton, Ks. for 4 years.
2v1t2s7.jpg


Now, on to the details about my 1994 Mustang and its overall condition. Things I knew, and things I later found out...

Pros:

  • Car is originally black (of any color, I think black cars look the best)
  • Body is pretty straight (with the exception of the driver's side fender which is easily replaced)
  • Body is rust free
  • Torque boxes are in good shape
  • All body openings (hood, doors, trunk) open and close perfectly
  • All body gaps are just right (except for driver's side fender)
  • No evidence of animal / rodent infestation
  • Cloth seats are not completely trashed (only a small rip in the fabric of the driver's side seat)
  • Dry rotted tires still hold air
  • Mach 460 sound system (not excellent, but still nice)
  • Only paid $400 for it
Cons:

  • Original V6 engine has a blown head gasket and was overheated long ago
  • AODE trans supposedly has issues
  • Electrical short drawing battery power even with the key off
  • 230,000 miles on body and drivetrain
  • Car was abandoned and sat in a bush for 4 years
  • Wasps love making nests out of the car wherever they can
  • Because of a collision with a deer, the driver's side fender has a noticeable dent in it, the fiberglass hood has cracks along the front, and the headlight panel is broken
  • Noticeable chip in the windshield
  • Crappy tint bubbling up
  • Slight rustiness underneath the trunk floor
  • At some point in time, the tail pipe was caught on a curb and kinked
  • When the tail pipe was bent, it hit the driver's side shock and slightly crushed it
  • On hot summer days, the interior smells like ass
  • On rainy days, water leaks into the trunk through the holes for the wing
  • Rear bumper cover is the only body panel without clear coat peeling off of it
  • Multiple dings, scuffs, and scratches all over the body

The plan for the build is to rebuild the drivetrain of this Mustang on a budget but with quality parts. I want it to make a decent amount of power and make that power reliably without breaking down or falling apart. It will be a car that I can drive on the street and possibly attend car shows, cruises, etc.


The build:

  • Mild 302 motor with stock bottom end, Trick Flow stage 1 cam, GT40 / GT40P heads, HEI distributor, and Holley 600 CFM carburetor (yes, I am putting a carb on an SN95 Mustang)
  • Built T5 trans with Ram HDX clutch
  • Rebuilt 8.8" rear end with 3.73 gears, new traction-lok clutches, bearings, and seals
  • Suspension overhaul with subframe connectors, urethane bushings, lowering springs, rear control arms, struts, shocks, steering, etc.
  • Complete brake job from master cylinder to brake rotors
  • Cleanup and painting of the engine bay along with cleanup and undercoating of the undercarriage DONE
  • Minimal body and interior work (body and interior will likely look similar to how they are now)
  • Any other miscellaneous crap that comes up

This will be a very long project, but I will do my best to push through it while attending college.
 

TanTop94

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Neat project! As for the draw check the lighter by the shifter, the one closer to the radio lol. Had a draw from there on one of my other mustangs. Good luck!
 

BrettNorton

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As for the draw check the lighter by the shifter, the one closer to the radio lol. Had a draw from there on one of my other mustangs. Good luck!

Hmmmmm..... OK. I have also posted this project on other forums as well, and one of the other suggestions I was given was one of the Mach 460 amps creating a draw. I will look into this some more.
 

hotmustang95

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Good luck to you with your project. Hope you get it all figured out. Sounds like you have a good plan in place. Lots of guys don't plan ahead and have no idea what they want from the beginning. Nothing wrong with a carb'd SN. If my engine ever burned down I'd go carb'd too. I've done two budget builds on my car myself. The gt40 heads, stock bottom end and a nice cam deal work great.
 

BrettNorton

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Inspection and teardown that happened last year from August - October 2014.

The car at its new home. Sadly, I could not get any pics of the car being trailered home since my phone died on me and I did not have a charger with me at the time.
2z5tcwm.jpg


Gray cloth interior with Mach 460 sound system.
2rwndkg.jpg


230,000 miles on body and drivetrain.
2vn5jpc.jpg


Original 3.8L V6 engine.
50nz48.jpg


Damaged driver's side fender
1z3b5lk.jpg


This is the bent tail pipe, but notice how the ass end of the driver's side has quite a bit of a wheel gap here. That is because the crushed shock that I spoke of pushed it up.
2i77oqq.jpg


Here is the crushed shock I was talking about.
2z99zlk.jpg


Cleanup time.
33pg2o9.jpg


Pulled out the front seats to vacuum up the interior.
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The car up on jack stands ready for teardown.
zv935t.jpg


Damaged driver's side fender and inner fender coming off.
2vmu1ah.jpg


Damaged front bumper cover and header panel coming off.
2din5fp.jpg


Fuel tank dropped. Fuel lines were a ***** to pull off.
2vvjtef.jpg


PCM pulled out.
2hcqngx.jpg


Jensen radio was shorting out the battery. Drawing 4 amps with the key off.
k51jy8.jpg


Engine and trans pulled out.
ng5wk4.jpg


Engine bay without engine
2d1u7g2.jpg


7.5" rear end pulled out.
2edm52t.jpg


Steering rack (along with the rest of the front suspension) removed.
if3lnm.jpg


Rear seat pulled out.
33o6ryp.jpg


Engine bay stripped down.
35mmtcy.jpg


Used dent-free driver's side fender installed.
vzvm2f.jpg


What the car looks like as of May 2015.
2qxcisl.jpg


2r5fayc.jpg
 

BrettNorton

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Hey man, fix your image links, they don't work... :(

ALRIGHT!!! YAY!!! SOMEBODY NOTICED!!!

Cheering and happiness aside, I'm attempting to post my images from another SN95 forum called SN95 Source as I can't get them posted directly from my computer. Notice those two bold italicized words in the previous sentence. If I put those two words together and add a .com at the end, it just shows up as ***************. I used the same website to post the same images in every other forum, but I wonder why it won't work on this one? Is it because of some kind of copyright / legal issue?
 

BrettNorton

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Would anybody happen to know how I need to go about getting the pics to show on here? I have more progress I want to show you all. I don't wanna be one of those dudes that doesn't have good pics to go along with his build. That would be what we call in my ethics class, "Immoral."
 

Big_T

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i just use tinypic.com to upload all my pictures then you won't have problems with any site. But would suck to have top re upload them all.
 

BrettNorton

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i just use tinypic.com to upload all my pictures then you won't have problems with any site. But would suck to have top re upload them all.

Aight den. I'll try that site and attempt to get my pics uploaded later today.
 

Big_T

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I've been manually adding the websites name in the links so i can see the pictures and damn dude. you have a huge project on your hands!!! also can't forget about all the little things you will have to convert just because it is a v6 to v8 swap! Good luck!!!
 

BrettNorton

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ALRIGHT!!!! Thanks to some advice from [MENTION=16925]Big_T[/MENTION] and that tinypic website, I've got my pictures uploaded! Enjoy!
 

BrettNorton

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Over spring break, I installed a few parts and did some painting.

SVE subframe connectors
1giqah.jpg


Battle boxes (torque boxes were also welded up)
2mxl7ra.jpg


Rust hole discovered. It is behind the driver's side wheel well and goes through the trunk floor.
dc63c2.jpg


Floor pan before
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Floor pan after
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Trunk pan before
xd9yqo.jpg


Trunk pan after
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Inner fenders before
3010p40.jpg


Inner fenders after
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Engine bay before
35mmtcy.jpg


Engine bay after
1y9fb.jpg
 

BrettNorton

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I got a good sandblasting setup and got a whole bunch of small parts cleaned and painted last month.

The air compressor and sandblaster that did the cleaning.
11kjjb9.jpg


Fuel filler neck and pinion snubber bracket
3bri9.jpg


Fuel filter bracket
2rf3b6v.jpg


Transmission cross member and both sway bars
fbj4vo.jpg


Front sway bar brackets
2am79v.jpg


Front brake hose brackets
2d7d8as.jpg


Fuel tank straps
1io0v4.jpg


Steering shaft
1zyecjp.jpg


Power brake booster (yes, I notice the runny paint)
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Front spindles / wheel hubs
2eocs28.jpg


Fuel tank (I am just going to leave it primered)
280kx1e.jpg


Fuel tank cover
263j637.jpg


Under the hood (literally)
29le829.jpg


Burned the bushings out of the front control arms
bj7191.jpg


Front control arms
j9obyq.jpg
 

BrettNorton

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Well my friends, I have to put the Budget 302 Build project aside for a few months. A few reasons:


1. Finals at school are approaching. Have to focus on studying for them rather than working on the car.

2. I have nothing left to do with the car right now. Everything that I wanted to accomplish by stripping it to the body shell is done. The underside, engine bay, and small parts that I kept are all cleaned and painted up. Subframe connectors and battle boxes are installed.

3. I will be working my ass off this summer. 2 jobs, 7 days a week, and no time for Mustang.


In my absence, I will be collecting all necessary suspension parts in order to put the Mustang back on its wheels again.
okyhip.jpg


15ofnrm.jpg


When everything is said and done, I will roll the car into my grandpa's shop. That way, it will be in a completely enclosed structure where I will be able to work on it without having to worry about rain or other forms of bad weather slowing me down.
2zpmo86.jpg


fk1mpc.jpg


Shop needs to be cleaned out pretty badly.
jtrz48.jpg


Over summer break, I will post updates on the parts I buy.

About early August, my jobs will finish up and I will have a good break in between school and work. Do not expect any progress until then...
 

hotmustang95

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Mother of god, who welded your subframes, you? Horrible job. Not good at all man. Those subframes are not connected right.
 

BrettNorton

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Mother of god, who welded your subframes, you? Horrible job. Not good at all man. Those subframes are not connected right.

Yeah, I kinda had a feeling that somebody would point out my horrible welds sooner or later. Passenger's side connector fit without issue, but that driver's side connector just didn't seem to want to line up with the frame rail just right. I am very sure that my subframe connectors will need to be redone some time in the future, or even worse... right now.

I just attempted to follow the instructions the best that I could, but obviously, I was rushing and didn't think about the heat level. It was my last day of spring break and I was a bit pissed that rain had kept me from working on the car for 2 out of the 5 days I had off from school and work. It's also irritating that my grandpa's welder (or welding cart I should say) that I use is about 7 ft. tall and weighs about 500-600 lbs. It's inside the shop and I can't just roll it outside whenever I feel like it.

Either way, I do know a decent amount about making cars go faster and handle better, but I AM a dumb kid after all lol. If you want to, I can send more pics of my bad subframe connector job other than just that driver's side connector from the rear. Maybe you could tell me about even more errors that I have made? Maybe even possibly give me a few pointers on how your connectors were done (if you have installed them)?

I do appreciate you pointing this out though.
 

hotmustang95

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I just attempted to follow the instructions the best that I could, but obviously, I was rushing and didn't think about the heat level.

Your way ahead of the game cause you know what you did wrong. Not enough heat. There's little penetration. I would grind most of it away and try it again. Do one section at a time.
 

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