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Donovans Rio Red 94 GT Convertible Build

38768 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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New intake combo - Found a great deal on a 90mm TB and Hogan intake.

One of the things that I wanted to do is get rid of the 60s tech distributor....So I got some LQ9 coils and fastened them down to some Moroso 94-95 specific VCs (thanks for the tip on this Keith)

I had to redo the harness and add a crank and cam sensor. I wanted to stick with the factory stuff so i could buy them anywhere.

Some misc parts that i needed:

I completely rebuilt the harness. I added coil pack plugs, a gm map, a gm iat and a ford crank and cam sensor. I also deleted the MAF, GM data link connector and the factory 02 harness and all emissions harness components. I did add a delphi connector for my fuel pressure and one wideband 02 sensor.

Harness before it was modified:

Harness finished with LS2 coil connectors, Explorer crank and cam and a bunch of things removed such as the 02 sensors, all emissions stuff and the data connector.

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I know there is a contingency on this board who could care less about stereo stuff. However, I believe anything that moves has to have some good sounds. My old stereo was never finished like other parts of the car. Accordingly I decided that a nice glass box would be a good way to make some sounds and keep the weight down. I also HATE mdf in general so I wanted it to be wood free. I also needed to get this finished to put the tank back in as i wasnt about to weld on the chassis above the tank....

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I ended up buying a cheapy intercooler from cx racing. Not sure how it will work out. I am hoping that it will be ok. I also had an old FMS oil cooler kit so i built some custom mounts so that i could put it infront of the intercooler.


Mock up with YS

Finished intercooler mounts

Clearanced bumper

Power steering cooler

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Relocation of the ABS for the turbo kit

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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.
Did you use the 135 degree boots or the 180s?
Heres some of the parts for the turbo system that i have:

Heres some pics of how i routed the fuel lines back to the pump....

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Here was my original mock up with the Vortech YS trim. I wasnt really happy with the finderwell clearance and also the radiator to belt clearance so ultimately that played a big role in going to the B&G kit (which i havent recieved yet).

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Someone should make a combined unit that performs both blow off and wastegate functionality. That would be a seller. The problem with blow offs is that they are either completely open or closed. Of course a wastegate is way over built for that application and then you have the extra weight and complexity.

I actually got this idea from a Mercury racing motor in which they control boost through the computer (on a supercharged setup) and then learned that there were others doing this on mustangs with big blowers.
No it's all good. I am not needing to be a thread virgin. If some haters pop on here (like they have in other threads where I have posted) I will let them know. Love the double din setup. Was it a real PITA? Do you happen to have a parts list of what all you needed?
I have a few updates.

I made a bracket to mount the fuse box to in the fender. Its 1/8" which is way thicker than it needs to be but it was all I had at the time.

I also after speaking with Keith offline realized that cutting the smog ear off would be a good idea on the P/S bracket. Surprisingly my plasma cutter made quick work of the bracket and then I cleaned it up witha flapdisk so I wont mess myself up on some aluminum shards.

I also got my dampner back from Limited Productions in Bellevue, WA. They not only machined me an adapter but they did it with one of their CNC milling machines. These guys do some serious work!

I also got my custom plug wires from Taylor. The specs that I used were 135 degree boots on both ends with Thundervolt 10.4 wire and 8.5" of wire between the boots with their "space age" heat boots. In total it was 150 including shipping and a pleasant 15 minute phone call to Taylor support. Not a bad deal! I also have installed some other things so I am coming along slowly but surely....
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Well after I just installed the damper It looks like i have .085 to .090 of clearance. Everything I have read has said you need .040 -.060 clearance between the reluctor sensor and wheel. I may need to clearance the sensor mount a bit to reel that clearance in.

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With the senor that close..I would elongate the hole. Looks like only one bolt is holding it correct? hard to tell with a bird view.
great build thread!

whats your fuel system consist of ..fuel pump and fuel line size.

There is actually two bolts. After looking at the MS docs they are saying that theoptimal clearance for the vr to wheel is 1mm (.039) but 3-4 mm can be tolerated. Seeing that I am a hair over 2mm I may give it a shot and try it out.

On the fuel lines I have a -10 feed and a -6 return which I was told by Glenn from Glens performance would work good with my twin walbro 255lph pumps.
Looks good. I may steel the fuse box bracket idea.
I have stolen MANY of your ideas so I am glad to be of some help!
Well shoot. It appears that the 1401 AEM box that i picked up off the corral classified is not in good health. Arggghhh. Used parts. Sounds like it will be 275 + to get it fixed.
post up a negative buddy
Yeah. I am working on that. Also trying to give the guy the benefit of the doubt before I blast him. Things happen sometimes....I did feel that I paid a working price for the unit though.
No at a first glance the problem lies in the EEC-IV converter side of the PCB. At least one of the pathways is smoked. I will post a picture up when i get a chance. Unfortunately it's an actual hardware issue. It would be hard to tell (and even more expensive to replace) if there was a problem on the PCM side of the board. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Well I have made some progress. I got the computer back from AEM. It had some bad traces and cost 300 to fix.

I also send a wheel to Cal Chrome for replating and got that back as well. I think the electrical is close to being finished. I also not have the hotside and turbo so i am on the way:

This is close to finished. I ended up rewiring my battery in the back with 1/0 guage cabling. I think the 2 guage i had in there wasnt enough for the 200 amp alternator etc...I needed more cable to do the cut off switch anyway so it was a good time to get it done.

I rattle canned the engine compartment after some cleanup and masking to make it look a little bit better.

The clearance in here (d/s) is crazy tight. I am going to bend the brake lines and route things away from the tubing. The clutch cable i want to put in front of the no 5 cylinder but i am not sure if it will reach....

I had to relocate the abs unit closer to the fenderwell. I actualyl chopped the bracket slightly to get the clearance i was looking for from the wastegate.

Finished Cut Off switch

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CNC impeller

New Vaccum line

Looks like you could fit a full size filter with a sandwich adapter with this B&G hotside. I will however be installing a Amsoil bypass relocation kit most likely.
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That driverside looks great without the A/C in the way of everything.
Sadly one of the reasons why i wanted to get an AEM was so that i could put the AC back in so it will not stay that way for long. Black interior on warm days just was a bit too much for me.
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