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1985 Ford Mustang GT - Finders Keepers
After A Fruitless Search For The Right LX Coupe, Jarret Ralton Hit Pay Dirt When He Came Across This Tasty '85 GT.
Even though the rear disc conversion was done, the brakes felt weak. There was no lock up, even with a full pedal push. Damn 10-inch front rotors I thought! What was impressive was the Ford Racing heavy-duty clutch, installed when some of the motor mods were done. This guy Larry didn't thoughtlessly bolt on some "go fast" parts, he seemed to have taken a far more proactive approach. The medium canyon red paint was claimed to be the original and it looked it but there was evidence that the hood had been resprayed. The stock hood had a cut in it to accommodate a functional 1983 cowl scoop. The interior was immaculate in comparison to the stained carpets and worn seat bolsters typically found in the early Foxes by that stage. In my opinion, the 1985-86 Mustang GT seats are arguably the nicest Ford ever put in a Mustang and unlike my Capri, the red piping was still vibrant and the bolsters had no tears. The dash had no cracks and it was evident that this car was well taken care of. That afternoon I gave up the quest for the ultimate notch and bought this '85 GT the very next morning.
A year later, I considered painting the spokes of the BBS wheels in black. Although they were in excellent condition, I wanted to simulate the Saleen look from that era. In the end, I wound up finding a decent set of 16-inch black mesh Riken wheels and that took care of that. I traded the BBS rims for an 1989 11-inch front brake setup and some stereo equipment. Replacing those miniscule brakes with Russell steel braided lines and adding the wheels dramatically changed both the look and feel of the car.
The suspension was improved with the addition of Eibach springs, a strut tower brace and Maximum Motorsport lower control arms. Installing the arms and a pair of Nitto 555 R's resulted in some crazy grip in the rear. While doing this, I also decided to install an aluminum driveshaft. My only regret was not replacing the upper arms at the same time, as today, there's still some noticeable rear body movement when going around corners.
A K&N air filter was added to free up the breathing and the air/fuel cocktail now gets mixed in via an Edlebrock 650 Thunder Series carb. At the time, the 650 Holley Double Pumper seemed to be too much of a carburetor or just simply not compatible for my setup. It would constantly bog and flood during a hard brake. I tried my luck with the Edlebrock. Many Mustang owners seem to prefer the Holley carbs, but back then I was driving the car more often. Installing the E-brock gave me better gas mileage than the double pumper and the engine now felt almost as smooth as a fuel injected five-oh. I also replaced the original fuel hoses with some steel braids, colored AN fittings and a couple of new filters were added to the fuel path.
Just recently I added an X-type mid pipe, an MSD ignition and finally replaced the tired old Madden cam with a Steeda # 19, which makes great power in the mid to higher rpms. The entire air conditioning system was removed, the heads were milled slightly and a few other small details were addressed. I'd really like to thank Realspeed Automotive on Long Island for the installation and pointing out a few things that needed attention.
The new mods unleashed a lot of power, but that low end bog still remains. Don't get me wrong, the Edlebrock is a good carb but with the new additions, it will soon be replaced with either a 670 Street Avenger or a 750. The car was dynoed before and after all this work. It turns out, even with the extensive list of modifications, the old cam was robbing me of about 60 horses.