Rob Kinnan
Rob Kinnan Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
November 19, 2019
Contributers: Rob Kinnan, Henry De Los Santos

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Check out Day 2 here!
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This week begins the fourth Week To Wicked project for the Mustang group in our Santa Ana (CA) Tech Center, and this time we're turning the wrenches on a 1990 Mustang LX hatchback belonging to our own Mark Houlahan.

The body work, Cervinis four-piece body kit, and House of Kolors Kandy Brandywine were done in Florida before being shipped to our shop in California, and we all marveled at the quality of Dean Santiago's (Spike's Performance & Refinishing) paint skills. The first order of business today was to push the car onto the 4-post drive-on lift and install the Maximum Motorsports (maximummotorsports.com) full-length subframe connectors. We used the drive-on lift so that the car would be sitting on its tires with zero frame or chassis flex as the connectors were installed. These are weld-on subframe connectors for maximum rigidity, and we had to pull out the mashed stock frame rails in a few places to get a good fit. Watch the floor jacks Houlahan!

Once the subframe connectors were welded in place, the entire stock suspension will be removed to make room for Maximum Motorsports' K-member and complete front and rear suspension, including a torque arm for the rear. But before we removed the stock K-member, we yanked the original engine from the car (it has had three engines but the stock one went back in years ago), while the Maximum Motorsports guys began prep on the Moser rearend, attaching the torque arm prior to the new rear going into place.

We got part-way through the suspension installation before calling it a day. Tomorrow we'll (hopefully) finish off the suspension bits and get started on the rest of the car, including the Ford Performance Parts X2302E 302ci crate engine and Performance Automatic (performanceautomatic.com) 4R70W transmission. In reality, we'll probably have to wait until Wednesday to drop the engine and trans into place, as the suspension takes time to install properly and perform a rough set-up on.

Once the suspension and drivetrain are handled, we'll move inside and up top to finish off the interior with TMI Products (tmiproducts.com) seats and other pieces, bolt up the wheels and tires, and finish the million other tiny tasks that any build like this requires. Then finally, sometime on Friday, we'll add fluids, cross our fingers, turn the key and make this baby bark. Then it's burnout time!

Stay tuned all this week as we continue the thrash here in Santa Ana making a 1990 Mustang LX hatch truly wicked!

Step By Step

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