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SN95 LS3 Pony Build Thread Profile - SN95 Mustangs

3,446
3,198
Well done, it's nice to see how guys get over adversity, I'm a fan of Grassroots Motorsports myself, I've competed in their 2014 or whatever challenge. Not a fan of the LS swap because I'm a Ford guy, but it's good to see hot rodding still alive in this country. Hooker really does build a decent set of headers for a reasonable price, they can be a PITA to get installed but once in, they usually fit quite well (think 69 Mustang Cobra Jet here). The center hump that covers the trans is a vitally important part of these cars, that and the roof really can't be messed with too much, unless the car is in some type of jig, or maybe has a cage..Then you need to find away to build another tunnel that is equally strong, but it does make things a lot easier to work on.
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
Updates!



The Lokar dipstick came in. I had to cut 1/2" of to get the oil level to match the stock LS3 dipstick and I had to drill out the hole in the mounting bracket to use it in the factory location. The handle placement is much better with this dipstick. The factory one was in an awkard position right under the strut tower bar and hard to get to.

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All the parts for my diff swap came in. I planned to swap out to the 3.27 gears I got from FatMongo but I decided to keep the 3.55's for now. I think they will be better for the track days I'm planning on.

1596653777_img_0750-1_mmthumb.jpg



The factory Trak-Loc was long overdue for a rebuild. I decided to upgrade to an Eaton Truetrac with Moser 31 spline axles.

1596654027_img_0752-1_mmthumb.jpg

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Here's the Truetrac after getting the ring gear swapped over and new bearing pressed on.

54114_361192e1-e0e8-4e59-84c5-53633cc07aa6_mmthumb.jpg



Diff installed and shimmed. Ford recommends .008-.012" backlash. I think this will work.

1596655646577.gif1596655646603.gif


Eaton doesn't recommend synthetic gear oil so it got topped off with some Lucas.

1596655405_img_0770_mmthumb.jpg



I have been wanting to swap over to Cobra brakes on the rear for awhile. I was running the Baer Eradispeed kit that uses a 13" rotor with the stock caliper. This is very similiar to what came on the car originally from Roush. My problem with this is that the rotors are not vented. I already bought a set of Cobra rotors a couple years ago and was just keeping an eye out for a set of brackets. The GT and Cobra use the same caliper but the Cobra uses a different bracket to push the caliper out for a bigger rotor. The Cobra rotors are vented.

1596654480_img_0768_mmthumb.jpg

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The Cobra brackets are getting harder and harder to find unless you buy a whole kit that is very overpriced and includes stuff I don't need. I came across a company called Drift American. They make drift parts for SN95 Mustangs. Among their parts is a billet dual caliper bracket for Cobra brakes. This solves the issue of the caliper bracket and also gives me the option to add a hydraulic ebrake or staging brake later on.

1596654444_img_0766_mmthumb.jpg



Out with the old and in with the new. The second picture is with the Drift American brackets, Moser axles installed, and ARP studs pressed in.

1596654559_img_0765_mmthumb.jpg

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I wasn't able to get the piston to retract on the old calipers so I traded them in at Oreilly's for some fresh ones(Lifetime Warranty for the win). I've come to the conclusion that these things are one time use. The wife helped me push some fresh Motul 600 fluid through them and the car was done.

1596654646_img_0776_mmthumb.jpg



...or was it?

I started the car back up and it ran fine for a few minutes then started going downhill. It wouldn't stay idling and kept wanting to die. I figured out the TPS signal wire was grounding out somewhere and it wouldn't allow me to do a TPS Autoset in the Holley. I thought maybe the wiring had got against the headers and melted. Then I realized that when I bolted up the transmission I didn't get everything pushed out of the way well enough and pinched the harness between the block and the bellhousing. So this morning I had to get out the soldering iron and fix my boo boo. I know really smart people that are anti-solder and really smart people that are pro-solder. I use it for certain things and this is one of those things. I also use marine grade adhesive lined heat shring tubing over the top.

1596655196_img_0783_mmthumb.jpg

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The idle issue is resolved and it drives great. I bedded in the new brakes this morning. Yesterday I noticed a tapping sound that I've never heard before and the AFR's seem to be a little rich on the passenger side. I sent the video to an engine builder friend and he thinks it sounds like a lifter but I'm going to pull the valve cover and see if anything is out of place.

1596655646626.gif1596655646647.gif
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,154
1,142
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
Updates!



The Lokar dipstick came in. I had to cut 1/2" of to get the oil level to match the stock LS3 dipstick and I had to drill out the hole in the mounting bracket to use it in the factory location. The handle placement is much better with this dipstick. The factory one was in an awkard position right under the strut tower bar and hard to get to.

View attachment 57216

View attachment 57217

View attachment 57218



All the parts for my diff swap came in. I planned to swap out to the 3.27 gears I got from FatMongo but I decided to keep the 3.55's for now. I think they will be better for the track days I'm planning on.

View attachment 57219



The factory Trak-Loc was long overdue for a rebuild. I decided to upgrade to an Eaton Truetrac with Moser 31 spline axles.

View attachment 57220

View attachment 57221



Here's the Truetrac after getting the ring gear swapped over and new bearing pressed on.

View attachment 57222



Diff installed and shimmed. Ford recommends .008-.012" backlash. I think this will work.

View attachment 57215View attachment 57212


Eaton doesn't recommend synthetic gear oil so it got topped off with some Lucas.

View attachment 57223



I have been wanting to swap over to Cobra brakes on the rear for awhile. I was running the Baer Eradispeed kit that uses a 13" rotor with the stock caliper. This is very similiar to what came on the car originally from Roush. My problem with this is that the rotors are not vented. I already bought a set of Cobra rotors a couple years ago and was just keeping an eye out for a set of brackets. The GT and Cobra use the same caliper but the Cobra uses a different bracket to push the caliper out for a bigger rotor. The Cobra rotors are vented.

View attachment 57224

View attachment 57225



The Cobra brackets are getting harder and harder to find unless you buy a whole kit that is very overpriced and includes stuff I don't need. I came across a company called Drift American. They make drift parts for SN95 Mustangs. Among their parts is a billet dual caliper bracket for Cobra brakes. This solves the issue of the caliper bracket and also gives me the option to add a hydraulic ebrake or staging brake later on.

View attachment 57226



Out with the old and in with the new. The second picture is with the Drift American brackets, Moser axles installed, and ARP studs pressed in.

View attachment 57227

View attachment 57228



I wasn't able to get the piston to retract on the old calipers so I traded them in at Oreilly's for some fresh ones(Lifetime Warranty for the win). I've come to the conclusion that these things are one time use. The wife helped me push some fresh Motul 600 fluid through them and the car was done.

View attachment 57229



...or was it?

I started the car back up and it ran fine for a few minutes then started going downhill. It wouldn't stay idling and kept wanting to die. I figured out the TPS signal wire was grounding out somewhere and it wouldn't allow me to do a TPS Autoset in the Holley. I thought maybe the wiring had got against the headers and melted. Then I realized that when I bolted up the transmission I didn't get everything pushed out of the way well enough and pinched the harness between the block and the bellhousing. So this morning I had to get out the soldering iron and fix my boo boo. I know really smart people that are anti-solder and really smart people that are pro-solder. I use it for certain things and this is one of those things. I also use marine grade adhesive lined heat shring tubing over the top.

View attachment 57230

View attachment 57231



The idle issue is resolved and it drives great. I bedded in the new brakes this morning. Yesterday I noticed a tapping sound that I've never heard before and the AFR's seem to be a little rich on the passenger side. I sent the video to an engine builder friend and he thinks it sounds like a lifter but I'm going to pull the valve cover and see if anything is out of place.

View attachment 57213View attachment 57214
I really hope others will start posting more updates like this in their build threads - when they have time of course. These are so great to read through and absorb. It's the best aspect of online communities in my opinion.
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
In non-Mustang related news I hit a damn possum on the way home from work the other night. The premilinary quote from the dealership is $1005.86. My deductible is $1000, go figure. They have had the car a week at this point and still haven't taken it apart to confirm there isn't any hidden damage. The Ford dealerships in my area are trash.

1597597113_img_0788_mmthumb.jpg

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On the Mustang front. Not a great deal of news. I pulled the valve cover on the driver side to see if there was anything obviously wrong. When I started pulling the spark plug wires I noticed there was an exhaust leak at the header flange right where the noise was coming from.

1597597298_img_0808_mmthumb.jpg

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I replaced the header gasket hoping I might get lucky after the week I had but the universe had other plans. After getting it back together and starting it up the noise is still there. It's definitely a mechanical noise, like a "clack, clack" so I'm almost sure it's a lifter. I'm using LS7 lifters and I'm pretty disappointed that one would fail this quickly. It's possible I have too much spring pressure for them.

1597597485_img_0811_mmthumb.jpg

1597597503_img_0810_mmthumb.jpg



With the heads coming off to do the lifters I'm going to go ahead and change cams. The goal I'm working towards is running time trials in MiDiv Production D and right now I'm on the wrong side of the power/weight formula. I got in contact with a couple companies to spec a custom cam. I want to lower the RPM for the sake of reliability and I need to kill power to make class.

My current camshaft is 232/240 duration @.050 with .615/.615 lift

New camshaft from Cam Motion is 222/232 duration @.050 with .553/.553 lift

Cam Motion said this will lower my peak power by at least 400rpm and kill power through the whole curve.

For reference this is my dyno graph with the current cam.

97936_db1cdff2-8d04-4d0a-be18-2db241b69d9f_mmthumb.jpg



The Mustang is taking the rest of 2020 off while we regroup. The lifters I intend to run are sold out everywhere so really no rush to get it fixed right now. I'm going to focus on finish getting the fire suppression installed, installing a battery shutoff switch, and install the crotch straps for my 5 point harness. I'm going to hold off on anymore upgrades until I can get the car to the track and really see what I'm working with. I don't have nearly as much seat time in this car as I need and I know it's much more capable than I am right now. I just need to find those limits.
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,154
1,142
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
After seeing a post in the TMO FB group where Dan Apalenek had his Mustang burn to the ground at the track, the fire suppression system sounds like a great project to finish up. Off topic, but anyone know if Dan is active here in the forum, and if so, what his username is?

nc_ohc=bDbxrSactJ4AX8-pmL0&_nc_ht=scontent.fsjc1-3.jpg
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
The plan is to get back on this car after the Holidays. I got my order in today for the new cam with Bobby at Cam Motion. He was great to work with and asked lots of questions about my setup and what I wanted before he made a recommendation. I was told turnaround time would be about 4 weeks. Specs are 222/232 @ .050, .595/.595 lift on 112.5+2 LSA.
1604361726307.png
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,216
1,082
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
halfway between Mosport and Shannonville
After seeing a post in the TMO FB group where Dan Apalenek had his Mustang burn to the ground at the track, the fire suppression system sounds like a great project to finish up. Off topic, but anyone know if Dan is active here in the forum, and if so, what his username is?

Any idea what the cause of that was? Always nice to be proactive and learn from others misfortune.
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
Some serious lift. Is that normal for ls'?
This is actually pretty mild for a LS. The cam that's in it now is .615/.615. Up to .650 is pretty normal for an aggressive street cam. Over 1in is not uncommon in all out drag race stuff. I'm talking valve lift though, not lobe lift. The LS has 1.7 rockers from the factory.
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
Not much going on lately but my new cam from Cam Motion did get here. I still need to pick up quite a few things; lifters, gaskets, oil pan baffle, etc The plan is wait until I have everything I need and then pull the motor to do a partial tear down to inspect everything and install the new cam/lifters and oil pan baffle. I don't want to tear it down until I have all the new parts because it's still drivable if it needs to be.

That new Tremec TKX looks really appealing too. I already wasn't planning on running this car next year so I might try to get my hands on one of those too and put an end to my trans issues.

3D5A5D36-4690-4699-9B3C-DDD45A47AAC5.jpg
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
The goods showed up from Bowler today! This is the new TKX with the close ratio 2.87 first gear and .68 5th gear. With my current 295/35's I'll be at 76mph in 2nd gear or if I switch to 315/30's it will put me at 74.9mph. Both should be great for autocross or the track. The bellhousing and Tilton throwout bearing also came in earlier this week.

IMG_2018.JPG

IMG_2019.jpg

IMG_2020.jpg

IMG_2021.jpg
 

racer47

Still winning after 30+ years
328
381
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SE WI
Very nice car, you have tons of work into it and it all looks good!!
 

Ludachris

Chris
Staff member
Moderator
1,154
1,142
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Newcastle, CA
The goods showed up from Bowler today! This is the new TKX with the close ratio 2.87 first gear and .68 5th gear. With my current 295/35's I'll be at 76mph in 2nd gear or if I switch to 315/30's it will put me at 74.9mph. Both should be great for autocross or the track. The bellhousing and Tilton throwout bearing also came in earlier this week.

View attachment 64217

View attachment 64218

View attachment 64219

View attachment 64220
Christmas in April! I bet you had a grin opening it up. 🙂
 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
Christmas in April! I bet you had a grin opening it up. 🙂
Oh yeah. I'm hoping after 4+ years of dealing with transmission issues I can fix it for good. I've already spent more than double what this trans cost just to make all the other crap work. In my defense though, the TR6060 should have been a good option in the very beginning but the fixed yoke and solid axle just did not want to play nice together.
 

racer47

Still winning after 30+ years
328
381
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SE WI
TR6060 should have been a good option in the very beginning but the fixed yoke and solid axle just did not want to play nice together.
In that situation, the driveshaft itself needs to have a splined slip fit. The only reason it worked at all was because you have a torque arm with the pivot point close to the trans tailshaft. If you had a 3 link, something would have broke almost immediately. You needed something like this.

 
387
341
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
10-20 Years
Kansas City, Missouri
In that situation, the driveshaft itself needs to have a splined slip fit. The only reason it worked at all was because you have a torque arm with the pivot point close to the trans tailshaft. If you had a 3 link, something would have broke almost immediately. You needed something like this.

I'm not aware of any companies that will make a custom driveshaft like that out of aluminum. Though I'm not saying it doesn't exist.

I explained exactly what I had to the company that made the driveshaft and they said it would work. We found out it didn't.
 

racer47

Still winning after 30+ years
328
381
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SE WI
They are available. Every 2005 - 2014 Mustang has fixed flanges on the trans and diff and a sliding driveshaft. The one I linked to has a sliding spline under the black bellows. Mine is a Spidershaft (out of business) and has about 2 inches of travel, similar to the std slip yoke on older transmissions and is aluminum. Driveshaftshop.com can make what you needed. But I guess it doesn't matter now. I just mentioned it so that you knew they existed in case it comes up again.

I'm surprised the driveshaft company would sell you a solid driveshaft. They should know better.
 

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