Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1993 Ford Mustang Cobra Project Stolen Goods - Doctor, We Have A Pulse
Project Stolen Goods Is Alive And Breathing Again.
Boy, we're getting tired of the local auto parts stores. It seems like we've been going there every other day to pick up this or that, and throughout this story we'll let you in on what some of these expeditions entailed. We may have even forgotten a few, as there were lots of trips prior to this installment of the project. More importantly, though, the end is now in sight and the sound of the crackling exhaust was well worth it.
That's right, Stolen Goods is up and running. As we mentioned last month, we had to leap a few hurdles, but we made it past each one, and our project Mustang has been revived.
In last month's installment, several things occurred that somewhat delayed our progress. Our first issue was a problem with the fabulous-looking Meziere billet starter pressing against the flywheel and subsequently freezing the engine from turning. While researching part numbers on the Centerforce Web site, we realized we had installed the wrong flywheel. Our combination required a 28-ounce weight unit, but we installed a 50-ounce, which would be fine for a stock-stroke, later 302. More importantly, we noticed we were using a 157-tooth flywheel. The Meziere starter works only with 164-tooth wheels. We were sad to see the starter head back to California, as it is truly a work of art and no doubt a stout piece of hardware.
So the transmission came back out, the new flywheel went in along with Centerforce's Light Metal Clutch assembly, and the Astro Performance-built T5 was reinstalled. To remedy the starter issue, we called up MPS Auto Salvage in Winder, Georgia.
In addition to supplying us with a number of factory fasteners for the engine/transmission assembly, the MPS guys hooked us up with a number of items we were missing, including a serpentine belt tensioner, a clutch cable bellhousing clip, a T5 reverse light harness, a starter motor, and a harness.
The '93 Mustang-or at least our Cobra-came from the factory with a mini starter, which we didn't realize until the MPS box showed up with the same harness that was on the car. The problem was, our wire-hiding efforts rendered the harness too short, so a new one was created. We have to say, though, that with a buildup like this, MPS Auto Salvage was an invaluable resource as we would've spent countless hours at the local home center trying to get things to bolt up, or in cases like the clutch cable clip and reverse light harness, fabricating something from scratch.
The second issue that we left off with last month was an interference with the throttle cable bracket hitting the valve cover. We tried a different throttle body spacer, but it moved the bracket from hitting the valve cover to hitting the heater pipe on the intake manifold. We ended up cutting off a portion of the bottom of the bracket; welding up a gusset, and bolting it back in place with the normal-sized throttle body spacer. Problem solved.
When planning Project Stolen Goods, we tried to keep things as simple as possible, but there were always issues-minor ones for sure, but when deadlines are looming, they look awfully big. Thankfully, Editor Smith has been understanding about the situation, and you guys haven't sent us hate mail. We also want to thank Stolen Goods' previous owner, George Xenos, who has toiled with us in the garage trying to get the Cobra back on the road. We've spent some long days and late nights-one while tackling the wiring issue.
Prior to selling the car, Xenos started to hide the major wiring harnesses inside the fenders, and we had planned to finish that task. Several trips to the parts store later for wiring, connectors, and a plastic loom, and we finished everything but the O2 sensor harness. That didn't stop us from firing this bad boy up, however, and we were extremely pleased with the engine's response and sound. We did hear some valvetrain noise from the passenger-side valve cover and had to grind down the baffle bosses for rocker-arm clearance, but other than that, everything looked and sounded perfect. We've even put up a short video of Stolen Goods on our Web site, www.musclemustangfastfords.com, for you to enjoy.
The one thing we haven't done yet is fill the brake fluid and bleed the brakes, as we discovered we have the wrong fittings for the rear brake lines. Obviously, we haven't track-tested the car yet or even put it on the dyno, but we promise to have all that and more for you next month as we take to the road in Stolen Goods.