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S197 [TBD] Racing endurance car Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

I've been doing autocross and time attack for several years now, and really want to progress to wheel-to-wheel racing, but not in my current car. After some research it seems like the Lucky Dog endurance racing series is a great fit for my preferences and goals, so I started searching for a 2006 or older car to turn into an endurance road racer.

I found this car on Craigslist for $6,500. It came in rattle can flat black, with Stalker bumpers and a pretty worn-out interior (tears in the seat upholstery, etc.) However, it's been a California car from day one so it's rust-free and the body appears to be straight, and the engine and transmission seem solid. With over 142K miles on the odometer it needs a thorough refresh to be track ready, but that's half the fun, right? Ya gotta "nut-n-bolt" a new car before you can say you really know it.

My plan is to perform major maintenance on the motor (replace all the valve springs and seals, the camshaft timing components, coolant and oil pumps, belts and pulleys, etc.) but at this time I'm not going to build the motor up for more power. I want to see where we place with just the stock power levels. I'd prefer being at the front of the B group, but I have a feeling we'll be fighting in the A group.

I hope to have the following work complete before the next time attack on June 11, 2022. I'll have my lead mechanic run the car in the green group (he's new to road racing), and I'll run it in time attack. If possible, I'll try to find someone to run it in the blue group as well so that it gets a good workout. We'll need to validate all the work we've done to it, and start to get a baseline suspension setup figured out.

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Day 1 (April 10, 2022)
• Tried to get the car off the street and into Ryan's garage (Ryan is my lead mechanic), but the battery had died over the ~3 weeks it sat on the street. Jump started and rolled into the garage. Will need to track down the source of the parasitic loss.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
6,503
5,442
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
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20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
The first comment I would have to say is simply , " That is one heck of a list, ha!" Looks like you have done your homework and one of your biggest jobs was just chasing down all those parts. I would suggest you get in touch with one of our Key Sponsors, Capaldi Racing , as many parts are unavailable or in short supply and what you are doing is what their business is all about. They have very close ties to Ford Performance, so you will have a source to talk to and not just someone in a cubicle at a large Warehouse Company that may not really know the many intricacies of building a race car along with parts that may be better to use for your application.
 
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Day 2 (April 11, 2022)
• Put the car on the scales and it weighed 3,449 pounds (1,880 (54%) F / 1,569 (46%) R).
• First job was to figure out the source of the clunk from the RF when turning hard left. Got the car up on jack stands and inspected the front end. Found that the front sway bar had substantial side-to-side play. Removed front sway bar and did a test drive. Could not reproduce the clunk, so it looks like that was the culprit.
• Also noticed some play in the left side of the steering rack, as well as torn or loose boots on both ends. Decided to investigate electric steering (EPAS) instead of replacing the steering rack, the pump (which was already leaking and in need of replacing), and adding a power steering cooler.
• Put battery on charger and then tested it. Battery failed with only 96 CCA out of a rated 580. Decided to order a new OEM-sized Odyssey battery and not tackle a battery relocation at this time. 4–6 week lead time!
• The engine sometimes stumbles after lumbering along the highway at low RPMs, then downshifting and giving it some throttle. Cleaned the MAF sensor in case that was causing the problem.
• Removed the air box and intake plumbing. Found that the intake snorkel has a significant tear under the band that is probably letting air in. Went to the local junk yard and found one in good condition for only $20. That might be the source of engine stumble, too?
• Removed A/C compressor and installed A/C delete pulley. Still need to remove the condenser and associated plumbing.
• Drained the coolant.
• Plan for the next day is to start removing / disconnecting everything to replace the camshaft timing system.
 
Day 3 (April 12, 2022)
• Removed the A/C condenser and associated plumbing.
• Removed the wiring harnesses from both sides of the engine. Several of the coil connector clips broke; should probably replace all clips / connectors.
• Removed the spark plugs. Fortunately they were not the original plugs, so these came out very easily.
• Removed the cam covers and the front engine cover. Very clean inside with very little varnish; either it has seen very good maintenance, or had been cleaned recently.
• Passenger-side cam chain tensioner was frozen and allowed for significant slop on the top side of the chain run. Good thing we're replacing it.
• Both chains could be pulled ~1 mm off of the tops of the cam phasers, so they've stretched a bit. Good thing we're replacing them.
• No immediately observable other wear issues with the cam timing system. Guides were whole.

(Sorry for the oil-smeared camera lens!)

Frame-18-04-2022-07-36-10.png
 
Day 4 (April 14, 2022)
• Replaced the following valvetrain components:
• Valve springs
• Valve spring retainers
• Valve seals
• Valve keepers
• Roller followers
• Lash adjusters
• Replaced cam timing chain guides, tensioners, chains, crankshaft sprocket
• Managed to bugger-up the Woodruff key on the crankshaft. Have ordered a new one and will need to figure out how to remove the old one.
• Did not get a cam phaser locking tool (doh!), so had to order one and will have to receive it before we can install the new cam phasers and re-time the engine.
• Removed the water pump. Looks like it's the long version, so ordered an Edelbrock 8804 to replace it.
 
Day 5 (-ish)
• Got busy with work, so Ryan did this stuff solo:
• Supported engine and removed lower subframe mount
• Degreased underside of the motor and suspension
• Removed the steering rack
• Discovered the outer tie rod ends were shot, too
• Installed the new water pump
• Installed the new oil pump
• Found one of the threads in the block for the oil pan studs was stripped; re-threaded
• Test fit new Moroso deep sump oil pan and windage tray
• Fabricated a shield to protect the crankshaft, then welded an attachment to the Woodruff key so that it could be pulled out of the crankshaft. Removed old (buggered-up) Woodruff key and installed new key.
 
Day 7 (May 1)
• Finished getting motor re-timed
• Installed camshaft timing chains, crankshaft sensor ring
• Made really, really sure all timing marks lined-up correctly
• Hand-cycled the engine to verify that there was no interference
• Installed new engine mounts
• Installed new oil pan + windage tray
• Lowered engine and found the clearance between the front cross-member and the new deep sump oil pan was very small (~1 mm). Cut off an edge of the cross-member and re-welded it to provide more clearance.
• Re-installed the front engine cover with a new crankshaft front oil seal
 
Day 5 (-ish)
• Got busy with work, so Ryan did this stuff solo:
• Supported engine and removed lower subframe mount
• Degreased underside of the motor and suspension
• Removed the steering rack
• Discovered the outer tie rod ends were shot, too
• Installed the new water pump
• Installed the new oil pump
• Found one of the threads in the block for the oil pan studs was stripped; re-threaded
• Test fit new Moroso deep sump oil pan and windage tray
• Fabricated a shield to protect the crankshaft, then welded an attachment to the Woodruff key so that it could be pulled out of the crankshaft. Removed old (buggered-up) Woodruff key and installed new key.
I understood (haven’t gotten in there yet) that the 3V engines already had a wind age tray integrated from the factory. I purchased the 20548 Moroso road race pan but did not source the windage tray based on that understanding. What did you find when were test fitting?
 
Yes, there was a windage tray already present when we disassembled the oil pan. I wasn't aware there was one when I bought the Moroso deep sump pan, so I purchased Moroso's windage tray as well at the same time.
 
Discovered that the rear tray holding the evaporative system was damaged and only being held in place by a single bolt. Yet another trip to the local Pick 'n Pull! I figure we'll delete this at some point, but right now we're trying to get the car ready for it's first test day June 11.

1653263464257.jpeg
 
Setback! While installing Steeda's Stage 3 front strut apparently we got the nut with the anti-rotation tab on the wrong side. We didn't know there was a "correct" side, but it rotated down while tightening and put some pressure on the top of the black cap at the bottom of the strut and let a jet of fluid came out! I called Steeda and they said the strut is non-repairable. :mad: Fortunately they had another in stock, so it's making its way cross-country now.

In the meantime we've finished stripping out the interior, except for removing a previous owner's Dynamat in the trunk and stripping the OEM sound deadening. The seat mounting brackets from Planted should be arriving later this week so that we can get our OMP HTE-R seat installed.

We also removed the rear axle and dropped it off at the local driveline shop to get the Truetrac and 3.73 installed. While that's out we removed the bump stop bracket to make room for our 11" wide wheels.

At the front, while we wait for the replacement strut we got the Kenny Brown brake ducts installed. I've had a Kohr power steering cooler on order for many months, but they hadn't provided us with an ETA so I bought a stock replacement and got it installed. Of course, today I got a shipping notice from Kohr… :D

We've also got the torque box braces welded in, so we're making good progress! I just hope we don't find too many problems as we get ready for our first test day on June 11.

I also picked up a used Interstate enclosed trailer for cheap and have been rehabbing it. It doesn't need much, but the marker lights were intermittent, so I cleaned all the contacts and replaced all the bulbs. The emergency brake cable needs replacing, as does the battery for the winch. While the primary tires are new Goodyears (yea!), the spare tire is 20 years old so I've got a new one on order.
 

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