Ford Mustang Forums banner

1993 Mustang GT Convertible - Trials & Tribulations (Definitely NOT Stock!)

4801 Views 66 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Top Heavy
I had initially thought I was going to get a build log started, update pictures, and be a proactive Fox owner……….. That was 2018, and it was only supposed to be an off season build. It’s actually been a whirlwind of a project, that turned into a multi-year and increased scope & budget project that has almost finished spiraling out of control………. Foxbody life, right?

Lucky I have pictures! I am going to start down the journey with the build from it’s infancy, through where it is today in pictures with a story to keep you all entertained whilst trying to fall asleep in bed, pass time at work or dare I say in the washroom.

The image below is of the engine compartment as it sits today. Pretty isn’t it?

This SBF turns over with the force of a lion, but alas will not start. I have been in the process of tracing every wire in the harnesses to locate why there is no spark, no fuel, and the electric fans turn on the moment the ignition switch send signal and in the on position.

To take it a step further, at the time all of the work was done (2018 through 2021) there was a wire tuck, with a new ECU system, full fuel system replace, cam, heads, intake, LT headers, electric water pump, reconfigure of pulleys, 3G conversion, new seats, new rearend, new front/rear suspension, rear arms, Cobra Brakes front & rear, manual brakes, restored the under carriage, replaced headlights, some paint, working on a new hood, and a multitude of other things we’ll get to as the story unravels………….

Before we get too deep into the pictures and story, I wanted to thank @Ed Curtis for the custom cam and the main inspiration for the build @Rock4451 – If you have not checked out his previous N.A. stock short block build before, take a few moments to do so, it’s impressive.

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive fuel system Auto part Car
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
The start point was a VERY clean and mostly original low mileage 1993 Mustang GT convertible, factory 5-Speed, with an original 80K, imported to Canada from Texas. The engine was once of the absolute cleanest I have seen when the disassembly began. The previous second owner said he took care of it and maintained it, which often we seem to find that means something very different to people once the oil comes out.

The valve cover off revealed original valve cover gaskets, and immaculate interior.

Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive air manifold

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Automotive design

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive design Font Automotive exterior
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
Then the real teardown began, and the deck surface cleaned, piston tops cleaned, and inspection of the bores for anything that would have eluded to unrecognized damage.
All checked out.

It was time to unbox the magic bump-stick as specified by @Ed Curtis for this build, utilizing ALL of the spec’s and lack of feat to rev above 6,000rpm. For some reason the sound of a 302 rev’ing at the extreme end of things is like music for the soul.

Sure to degree the cam and verify timing multiple times to ensure all of that goodness would be right where it was wanted, and not leave any horsepower (or torque) on the table. The worries of PTV clearance was also alleviated by claying the piston tops, and there was a ton of room, even with more than .600 lift.

Combination of Mr. Ed’s ability to specify the right events and the nature of the Trick Flow TW190 11R heads makes for the potential of a screamer……….

The last two pics in this post are TrickFlow teasers........

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design Automotive fuel system

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Alloy wheel Rim

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system

Automotive lighting Audio equipment Gas Musical instrument Automotive tire

Automotive tire Circuit component Computer hardware Headgear Automotive design
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 3
There were a few issues with TrickFlow Heads, nothing major, by quite annoying.

One head arrived with the correct 7/16” ARP rocker studs, the other arrived with the incorrect 3/8” rocker studs. Since it was late when I had realized this, the rockers were delayed on the install.

Utilizing a pushrod checker after picking up new ARP 7/16” rocker studs, the geometry was ensured and the correct pushrods were ordered.

Comp Cams pushrods, Comp Cams Rockers, Comp Cams Roller Lifters and a Comp Cams camshaft as specified by Ed or FTI

Bicycle part Automotive tire Carbon Rim Camera lens

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Gear Coil

Camera lens Bicycle part Automotive tire Gear Reflex camera

Motor vehicle Automotive design Hood Automotive air manifold Vehicle
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
This build thread will most likely jump between moments in time, and not be as linear as other threads. I thought maybe the addition of some spray booth items could break up the show a little.

With the cost being quite reasonable of a new replacement timing cover, why use the old one? The only thing I wish that I had done and not been in such a hurry was deburr and remove casting slag.

The other piece is the bracket from the Moroso Alternator bracket kit, having this one item blue just wouldn’t do.

The valve covers I absolutely love. I have always been a fan of fabricated valve covers and intakes. Raw aluminum or wrinkle finish are my favorite. So why not prep and finish a set of fabricated valve covers????

I thought I may also finish the intake tube similarly, but that will have to wait (maybe I’ll change my mind)

The 8.8 is just a teaser, the full pics on this and the completed work will come out later on in this item.

There were so many more items prepped and sprayed, i just cant seem to locate the pics at the moment, as years pass, phones change and you may not recall what or when things we completed.

Musical instrument Tire Automotive tire Guitar accessory Wheel

Wood Automotive tire Table Chair Automotive design

Camera accessory Automotive tire Automotive design Automotive exterior Automotive lighting

Automotive design Bumper Luggage and bags Camera accessory Bag

Wood Hood Bumper Automotive exterior Gas

Bumper Tool Gas Wood Machine

Hood Automotive tire Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive design

Bumper Wood Tool Automotive design Automotive exterior

Bumper Tool Gas Wood Automotive exterior

Revolver Bicycle fork Bicycle part Trigger Automotive tire
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
The TrickFlow box R intake is a REALLY nice piece, but it does need work between the upper and lower to line up perfect (and of course, I had failed to take before pictures). Though I must admit; this has always been typical of most carbureted and FI intakes, there is some clean up required at the carb base, throttle body entrance, runner bends, etc.

Really, all that is required is to assemble the upper and lower with gasket on the bench, look into the runners and see what needs to be addressed. Then, disassemble the intake, apply the gasket to the upper and lower separately, scribe accordingly and remove material as required. If you are looking to remove as little material as possible (and there really wasn’t an unreasonable amount), you may need to perform the action one runner at a time, reassembling and disassembling a few times while looking into the runner.

The opening between the plenum and runner were machined by TrickFlow at manufacturing, and left alone prior to the assembly.

In hearing how people previously regretted not going to a 90mm throttle body, one was ordered from Accufab. This is jewelry on the intake, truly something I am glad can at least be seen even if only a little bit. With the SDS system from Western Motorsports, you’ll notice no need for the factory idle control, and removal of the heater lines inclusive of EGR delete. Definitely cleans up the engine compartment.

Rectangle Grey Line Font Gas

Automotive tire Rectangle Grey Font Gas

Motor vehicle Vehicle Hood Automotive design Car

Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Automotive tire

Car Light Motor vehicle Hood Automotive exterior
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
As we all know, the TrickFlow Box R intake does not fit under the stock hood. Which is a little disappointing, though it offers a chance to be creative…………. Or maybe do something that is a short term fix that you will end up replacing at a later date, because everything was “short term” when it started years ago.

To alleviate the situation and have a hood that closed, I bought a used, in great but not too great condition used hood. Mounted it on the car, and had my daughter (a few years ago, as she’s 12 now) assist in tracing the Box R perimeter on the hood interior. Ahhhhhhh sometimes having a little set of hands around can really help!

In driving around town, I had noticed the similarities of the earlier 80’s mustang scoops to the newer dodge ram scoops. The Dodge Ram scoop looks a little rounder, and thicker, but It’s pretty close – I thought, why not. It gives a little throwback look and the top of the intake could bee seen as a “shaker” in the scoop cavity.

Headed to the local Pick N Pull, and there happened to be a unit awaiting my arrival. A little rust penetrant, and wrenching provided a score.

When I had arrived back at the shop and threw the scoop on for a test fit, it was like it was meant for the Foxbody, the scoop actually fits the lines and sizing BETTER on the Fox than the Ram. Then I thought about a set of 1998 Jeep Greand Cherokee 5.9 hood scoops I had on the shelf, for fun threw them beside it. I was sold, and the cutting commenced

The scoop plastic front block off plate was trimmed to allow the “shaker effect”, the holes piloted and drilled with the scoop now attached. The move was to now fit the vents and trim the water troughs to fit the Foxbody hood like they came that way.

There is a little final fitting required still, then I can clean up the hood (and pieces), sand it out and prime it for inspection. Fill the minor areas as required, and shoot it all red!

This is another “temporary” item on the car, as I have another idea for a fiberglass hood, but have limited time. Once I get around to painting it, I’ll update on it again. Like it or hate it, it gets the job done!

Bumper Automotive design Office supplies Automotive exterior Tints and shades

Hood Automotive design Automotive tire Bumper Gadget

Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive design Motor vehicle

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Hood

Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Hood

Land vehicle Wheel Tire Vehicle Hood

Hood Bumper Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Automotive tire

Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Road surface Asphalt
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Just a few random photos from the early days through some time a little more recent. The primer trunklid was installed by previous owner as he didn’t like the luggage rack (I prefer without as well anyway). It has since been sanded out, and repainted in a base clear that has been sanded and polished to perfection - some of the items that I ran through the spray booth I'll update soon.

The flat deck was not a breakdown, but a transport to the new shop. It didn’t run in 2020 when we moved, even at this point I anticipated it running by that summer.

Though it might be sacrilege, the original leather front seats (with power and inflatable lumbar, that were absolutely MINT!!) were sold to an older gent for his 1955 Ford F100. He was looing for a bucket seat that was power and had lumbar, and wanted a Ford seat – his heart bled blue. The original seats were replaced with Baum Elite-X in Komodo Black utilizing Planted Technology Bases, and will be another update. For the short term, they are VERY well fitting and comfortable.

Wheel Car Tire Land vehicle Vehicle

Wheel Car Tire Vehicle Land vehicle

Car Vehicle Tire Motor vehicle Wheel

Wheel Tire Vehicle Car Land vehicle

Wheel Car Tire Automotive parking light Land vehicle

Car Vehicle Gear shift Car seat cover Motor vehicle

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood

Tire Automotive side marker light Car Wheel Land vehicle

Wheel Tire Car Vehicle Land vehicle

Wheel Tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Sky
See less See more
As a side note........ Paint correction, polishing, and detailing are some of my favourite past times.When I was young (mid-teens) I worked in a car wash/detailing shop and had admiration for the gents that could shine turds into glazed mirror finish stunners. The family I worked for did a big percetnage of dealerships and independent used car lot pre-sale work. There were some pretty incredible cars that went through.

I was really lucky, alot of the old timers back then shared alot of knowledge with me - I know now I must have been a PIA, but they always had time and I had so many questions! The owners even gave me products to try on my own.

Always enjoy hearing stories about racers, builders, body wizards, and mechanics that impacted us mid-lifers and old timers in the car world. I know I have a ton of them.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
If you are interested I have fit a box R under a stock hood. You need to space down the k-member 3/4", teamz drop mounts and mill down the spacer maybe. Mine was milled to a 1/2" and this gave me 1/2" clearance from intake to hood.
This would effectively raise the front of the car 1/2-3/4” I would assume? Increasing the fender gap?
A little deviation from all things engine today – as it was a weekend of working through gremlins and the eventual start up of the engine. It’s close, there’s fuel, there’s spark, and its almost catching……….. but alas it doesn’t want to fire right into running. Soon it will be again running, it all of it’s glory.

Today, I thought maybe some action on the subwoofer build would be something different to bring to the build log.

I grew up in the 80’s & 90’s, big hair, big stereos and loud exhaust were all commonplace. I have actually always been a “stereo guy” and a performance guy, and there have only been a few cars in my years that I have not built out the sound and the performance. Mustangs back in the day that were containing boomin’ systems often filled the rear hatch with subwoofers and wattage – without regard for the weight penalty. This isn’t what I wanted to achieve, especially in a convertible.

The goal was a tasteful array of components and the subwoofer needed to be removable at a moments notice with ease. Something fairly lightweight and had decent sound, and not overpowering.

Enter the 8” Type-R subwoofer from Alpine, for cost and sound this fitted the bill.

The decision to build a fiberglass enclosure, vented, with modest power to the front stage and subwoofer to have a nice balance of sound and volume with the top up or down. The only really difficult part was making it all work in the front of the car and having no audio in the rear including the subwoofer (more details on the entire system in another post).

Take a look, maybe it will inspire ideas or inspire flaming!

Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Automotive lighting

Hood Vehicle Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Car

Automotive lighting Hood Liquid Bumper Amber

Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Bumper Rim

Hood Camera lens Motor vehicle Vehicle Car

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Gas Automotive exterior Motor vehicle

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Rim Gas

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive fog light Rim Gas

Automotive tire Automotive design Steering part Motor vehicle Fixture

Automotive tire Tire Vehicle Automotive design Tread
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Front Speakers. That’s it in this one, just front stage only. Factory amplifier is gone, and rear speakers have been removed.

Though in the relocation of the battery to the trunk, instigated a clean trunk build that will be coming in an update soon.

I have built a few sets of these baffles for friends and clients, some with the tweeter in and some as these that keep the tweeter in the dash location. The only place I could think of hiding the crossovers was the glovebox.

Car Motor vehicle Automotive design Steering part Vehicle

Automotive tire Bumper Vehicle Tire Rim

Rectangle Tints and shades Font Circle Electric blue

Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Motor vehicle

Window Rim Tints and shades Font Auto part

Wood Circle Packing materials Auto part Synthetic rubber

Rectangle Circle Oval Font Fashion accessory

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tire Trunk Motor vehicle

Motor vehicle Computer hardware Engineering Audio equipment Machine
See less See more
A nicely finished trunk that looks like it was completed with intent is always something I liked. I also wanted something that was clean and looked close to stock but not. I’ve gone to the extreme before making the trunk unusable for reasons of materials, fuel cells, stereo equipment, etc. not so much what I’m into anymore. This will do……….. for now.

When you battery relocate, the look is much different, and offers the benefit of being really close to an amplifier.

Weight transfer for relocation, I agree with, but you do add the weight of the power cable. The weight is minimal, but it’s weight none the less if you’re trying to get on a diet. This car has been selectively put on a diet, nothing extreme, but is more balanced now.

Back to the trunk…..

The idea was to house a single amplifier, place it under plexiglass, and wrap everything in the stock carpet for a look that tied into the stock trunk interior panels. There was the addition of some sound deadener (yeah, weight), and some foam to separate the trunk panels from the actual trunk floor.

There are some minor detail items to still work through over time (once the care is on the road), like color matching cables to the battery, but they are not make or break items for me.
Hood Automotive lighting Trunk Vehicle Automotive tire

Light Car Motor vehicle Automotive design Trunk

Property Building Architecture Table Floor

Car Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Automotive lighting Grille

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Helmet Automotive exterior Automotive lighting
Hood Automotive design Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive exterior

Trunk Automotive design Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Bumper

Rectangle Gas Auto part Electronic device Musical instrument accessory

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Automotive design Car
See less See more
And why not another litle post this evening to redeem myself for the primer trunk lid in previous posts.

The black primer trunk lid was an eyesore, thoguh it really didn't bother my when I was out driving the car and not staring at it in the shop. The decision was made, trunk lid came off and cowl vent followed along. I did end up buying new mirrors, which I think I'll body match when I spray the hood and related accessories in the next couple of months.

I didn't post the actual color comparision photos, but at certain angles it looks EXACTLY the same. Dead on in sunlight, the color looks a little off to the actual body. The paint dealer says its the base clear comparing to the single stage, once this is all done (started, running and enjoyed for at least a season) I'll blow it all apart and spray the entire thing to match.

Grille Product Automotive lighting Rectangle Bumper

Hood Grille Automotive lighting Car Automotive design

Rectangle Table Wood Bumper Floor

Automotive lighting Hood Automotive tail & brake light Automotive exterior Fender

Motor vehicle Hood Automotive lighting Vehicle Automotive design

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood

Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Hood Automotive design Car
See less See more
Back to the hood for a few little updates……

If you haven’t utilized Aerocatch hood pins/locks give them a go! They are a really nice piece to add if you want to ensure your hood stays in place at high speed, if they work at Le Mans, they should work here.

They don’t have the same look of classic pins, or the more modern Ring Brothers or Hotchkis take on the tradition pins, but they are effective.

There is definitely a little more work to the planning and installation, but it’s also definitely worth it.

The only tough part about the Foxbody installation is the cutting through the top sheet metal and hood frame if you want it where it’s shown. This installation required the cutting of the lower inner screw plates (adhesive applied) for placement inside the hood frame.

Once the hood is painted and cleaned up, the gaps and install will look quite sanitary.

Hood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Automotive lighting

Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive lighting Hood

Rectangle Wood Floor Flooring Grass

Rectangle Wood Grass Hardwood Wood stain

Body jewelry Material property Font Rectangle Wood

Road surface Grey Asphalt Rectangle Wood

Musical instrument accessory Auto part Electronics accessory Composite material Gas

Sleeve Wood Grey Tints and shades Font

Car Tire Vehicle Wheel Hood

Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Hood
See less See more
The Ford 8.8 is a great unit, even from the factory there is some pretty solid strength and a ton of aftermarket support. There was no point in moving to a different assembly.

The gears are 3.73 compiled within a LSD assembly, aftermarket 5 bolt axles, Midwest Chassis Axle Brace Kit, welded tubes, Moser Cover, and Cobra rear brakes, other than a pretty paint job this one has it all for a majority street driven car that will only see occasional ¼ mile and auto cross time.

This process was one that offered great learning experiences – the main one – your welder is shot. After welding the tubes to the center housing and the brace kit, It was realized something was wrong. The heat was ALL the way up and penetration we difficult.

Being impatient, I kept pressing on. The welder was taken in the following week for repair, and the short version of the story is - we have a new welding unit now.

Saw Machine tool Table Tool Gas

Air gun Wood Hand tool Tool Bumper

Motor vehicle Gas Engineering Machine Safety glove

Wood Public space Gas Cross Art

Automotive tire Automotive wheel system Gas Auto part Helmet

Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle Tread

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Tread Vehicle

Revolver Bicycle fork Bicycle part Trigger Automotive tire

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle

Wheel Tire Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle
See less See more
I am pretty thankful to have time tomorrow to dig in deep on the no start situation, as we now have fuel pump turning on, there is spark (wihout the MSD 6AL unit), the distributor signals have been verified, timing is close, compression is there. I think I know what it is, but I REALLY hope it isn't - the fuel system is snaked together so nicely I don't what to have to pull it apard for a clean out.

The MSD issue will have to wait until a different time, I can get it to run and spark nicely until the ECU is hooked up to it. Then no spark.

I guess if you only do something once, it isn't truely hot rodding.
The stock brakes were inadequate at best in stock form on the Foxbody platforms, the 4-bolt arrangement on Mustangs was even more ridiculous.

This particular Fox ended up with a 5 bolt conversion at some point in it’s life before coming into my possession, but remained un-upgraded to a better rotor or caliper. The 10” stock discs did not provide any real confident stopping power in spirited driving or autocross/road course situations. The stock rear drums don’t even need to be mentioned.

Front suspension received 1995 hub assemblies, rebuilt to new specs, with the upgraded ball joints and poly bushings. In the same flavor of other things on this Fox, the arms were sand blasted and refinished in black.

The Cobra Brake Kit came with brackets, calipers, braided lines and E-Brake cables (which being a VERY late 1993 model, this unit has 1994 rear cables – found out the hard way). The rotors and pads were deleted from the kit and ordered separately, as I wanted something more aggressive for this build. The kit can be had with or without these items, the vendor was amazing and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or reuse on the next project.

For various reasons, I opted for a manual Cobra brake system. The factory booster is quite heavy and it’s huge, creating awkward access for headers, plugs, bolts and anything in that area. This was performed properly, with the correct aluminum master cylinder for the application, correct lines from Maximum Motorsports, and the firewall adapter and pedal kit from MM as well.

For reference, the wheels installed (previous owner) are 18" diamter.

Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Vehicle brake Tire

Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Locking hubs Vehicle brake

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Automotive tire

Light Art Line Circle Glass

Wheel Tire Automotive tire Locking hubs Vehicle

Motor vehicle Bicycle part Automotive design Rim Automotive exterior

Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive design Automotive tire Hood

Wood Gesture Rectangle Table Flooring

Hood Automotive design Automotive lighting Automotive exterior Font

Product Font Wood Machine Rectangle
See less See more
Nice. Good to see another Fox 'vert build. Finally finished my '86 'vert in 2020 - that was about six years long. Also an autocross/track car but not a drag racer. Be interested to know what yours weighs when it's done.
I had followed your build thread pretty closely, I really like seeing highly modified Foxes - but the drop top version has alwasy been special to me.

Love you car and how the build turned out @qtrracer

I will definitley scale it once it's finished.
Just a little update……..

The ECU system is truly a plug and play system, though I have had some difficulties in tracing a few things down within the car.

Sometimes you modify too many things, and don’t take out enough of the old system.

This is what I have done.

The SDS system allowed the removal of quite a few things without any issues. Which is nice, as you often don’t need them in a performance build. This inspired a wire tuck during the downtime the car has experienced. Initially I expected to remove all of the un-needed wiring (A/C, Smog, MAF, EGR, and anything else useless to the build), though I did not. The wire tuck commenced with the wiring that is there, and made a small visual difference, but that will now become a project for another winter.

The purpose of this post, was to bring a little joy to you all in the form of an overlooked problem that had me using cursing as plain language for a while.

The fuel pump would not turn on for any reason whatsoever. There EEC relay, the fuel pump relay, the ignition switch and everything in between would power. The pump wouldn’t turn on unless it triggered it manually at the fuel pump relay. 40 psi almost instantly.

The ECU came out, went back to the manufacturer for a review, then the vendor, and it all checked out. By this point I have pulled wiring apart that was neatly loomed and tucked, then for a moment when I pulled the harness, the pump engaged for a couple of seconds.

Realizing that there was a wiring issue, I went straight from the ECU to the relay – BINGO! The wire tuck and pulling led to some older wires to break and loose continuity.

The no fuel problem is 50% solved. As the fuel pump now turns on, and pressures up with ease at the stroke of a key.

The other 50% I will be working on this weekend…………
Circuit component Handwriting Electrical wiring Computer hardware Electronic component

Circuit component Passive circuit component Hardware programmer Electronic engineering Electronic component
See less See more
1 - 20 of 67 Posts