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Donovans Rio Red 94 GT Convertible Build

38764 Views 182 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  Donovan
After a few suggestions to make my own thread on my car I decided to put something together.

The back story on this car was that it was bought in 98 from an older lady in the portland area. It had 12k and was hardly driven. I was looking at 95 cobra convertables, but I could justify the extra 7k since I was just going to start chopping away at it as soon as I got it in my garage. Over the following 5 years I ended up installing the full Saleen body kit, put a R-4 blocked N/A 347 stroker in it plus a bunch of other stuff. Then due to some other projects this thing got back burnered. It basically sat (in working condition) until the spring of 09. Here is what it looked like at that point:

Original 347 build from 01'

Here is one of the problems that I had that made me start the rebuild/update. Fel-Pro paper gaskets don't seem to hold up for long.

My new goal was to fix some of the problems the car had with the charging system, fuel system, cooling system and some minor other bugs. Of course the right thing to do was start with a Aeromotive / Glens performance fuel system and some new gaskets. Well that led into a blower and now a turbo. Keep in mind that it hasnt been ran at all. I just keep changing my mind about what I want to install.

The goal at this point is to have a streetable 600-700 rwhp car. Here is my progress so far:

The basics of the new fuel system. They are twin walbro 255lph pumps with a stock sleeper (-10 an)pickup. The lines are a single -10 feed and a -6 return. I am then running a aero boost indexing FPR and aero rails. I am also using a 100 micron filter before the pumps and a 10 micron filter after the pumps for fuel filtration.

The (now gone) first blower moch up with a YS trim vortech:

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Looks good man.

You may have the same issue I had. When you put the plug wires on the coils they will sit pretty far off the valve covers. I have my stands in the same place as yours and wished they were an inch more inward.
Looks good. I may steel the fuse box bracket idea.
Donovan, good to see an update here. That driverside looks great without the A/C in the way of everything.

Mine has zero updates, I did not get anything done before the wife and I set sail sunday.

Keep up the good work.
Bump for some updates Donovan.

I am mounting my intercooler right now and your pics are very helpfull. Now if I can just figure out what I am going to do about the power steering cooler.
sounds like yours will run long before mine. I won't be home again until Dec/Jan.

Have you figured out the clutch fork and pivot ball?
Can you get a pic without the wires on the #3 and #4 cylinder so we can see the gap? What about flipping the coils and making a longer wire that runs under the headers?

This is one main reason I built my own wires and have plenty of left over parts.
Man it looks like you are making some fine progress.
Glad to help!
Brian talks about a factory Ford/Sterling truck turbo air inlet out there that will fit on a T76 and with little mods will clear. Supposedly it will put the air filter on a 4" pipe and give you unlimited options for filter location and size.

I tried to email him a few months back but I never heard from him. I don't have the time to chat with him on the phone.

If you can find a source on the adapter let me know i would be down for one.
Looks good man. Have you stested the radiator hose yet with the catch can there?

The a/c lines, OH the a/c lines! I pulled the sandwich brace off and bent the outlets and still could not get it to line up. I am gonna flip the condensor to put them on the drivers side bottom by the radiator outlet. If not I am gonna see if I can have a new condensor cut and rebuilt to put the lines at the bottom of the passanger side. Eitherway I am looking at making new lines for the condensor to make it work. If I CANNOT get a clean look I am just gonna pull the a/c off all together. I am very close to going that route right now. I mean chit it is a convertable, put the top
I like the update man. Good work on the new aluminum shrouds for the cooling.

You can take an a/c manifold and have steel -an fittings tig'd to it. I am already looking at relocating the condensor inlet/outlet.

I am really close to saying F'it and pull it all out and just get the car running while I rebuild the system on the bench.
For a transmission reverse lockout, there is a guy here on the corral that had a less stiff spring made for the acuator. There is no electric connections or switch needed to operate it. Imagine taking half the force out of the going to reverse now without a lockout installed. Takes 10 minutes to change and cost me $8 shipped to me.
Donovan thanks for the posting those links. I am going to be using them for sure but first thing is for me to remove the A/C system and run a short belt to get the car running.
Small Update:

I ended up realizing that I was a little too low to the ground on the fittings with the cheapy ford racing oil cooler so i found one made by Setrab that would be bigger in capacity but with less height. Interestingly enough the generic cooler I had in there had a capacity of 20,500 BTU’s per hour. It also seemed to seep a bit around the fittings.... The Setrab I found which is their series 9, 25 row (50-925-7612) has the capacity of 42,000-60,000 BTU an hour so its literally 2 to 3 times the capacity. I am thinking that with the Mocal 180 degree thermostat and the amsoil bypass and remote unit it should round out the oil setup nicely. I wont have all the parts to put it together for a couple weeks though, but i will post pictures then.

I was also able to get the ac lines in with some effort, minus the condenser to dryer line that I am going to extend. The biggest fit issue was that I had to tilt the bottom of the dryer towards the outside of the car to clear the downpipe. Also the clearance between the dryer to compressor line against the header required some work as well. I will throw some pics up shortly.....

I am really curious to see your A/C line solutions. I two spare sets of A/C lines sets to use as parts and am thinking of having steel -an fittings braised to them to allow me to use braded lines. I would like to ditch all the factory lines coming from the manifold on the back of the A/C compressor to better clear the headers and to reroute the small line going to the condensor.

Post up some pics man.
Damn hommie, leaps and bounds of progress. When is the start up video coming?

I love the A/C work.

Where did you source the heat sleeving for all the lines?
Looks real good Donovan. You are so close. I look forward to the videos.

September leave is going to be 2 plus weeks of working on mine. Hopefully I can get the wirring the way I want it and all buttoned up.
I just heard from the tuner that it made 560 rwhp and 600 rwtq.....Should be interesting.
What boost? That is just perfect for a fun little street car. I am looking for 550-650 on a street tune in mine.
Looks really good man. I fought the NT05 vs NT555R delima back and forth and decided NT05 in the end.

So what pin out problems did you have? I have my entire harness from ECU to each component laying on a table right now. My plan is to check each line one by one to make sure they are correctl; then check again.
Donovan - bringing it back to the top to hear how it is running.

With a start up tune mine should turn over this weekend.
It's running. :) It has never really been tuned properly though.....and it has a inconsistent misfire at around 5k the origin of which I have not been able to identify. Originally I thought it was an ignition problem so I replaced the plugs but that was not it. It's most lilkely a fueling issue I am thinking.....

I also have some startup delay which has been frustrating. It usually takes 3-4 seconds to fire. This is partially the startup enrichment and partially the time it takes to get a crank sensor signal that is strong enough to fire the ignition. I worked with AEM on this which made it a bit better but it still needs improvement.

I also have some serious vapor coming from the charcoal canister or through the fuel lines which is a bit irritating. I have a new charcoal canister that i need to pop in to see if that will help....

Lots of finishing details.....
Do you think your problems would still be there had you used the EPM instead of the ford parts? How helpful have the guys at AEM been?

As soon as I can get someone to sell or give me a start up tune I will be starting mine this weekend. Then on to the finishing details for me too.
Just scrolling up I noticed the P/S post. It looks very good. What did you use to paint the resivior?

I ditched the factory lines in favor of steel braided teflon and -an fittings. So much nicer now. Figuring the return from the cooler to the bottom of the pump was a little bit of a challenge though.
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