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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For a long, long time, I was a Mustang junkie. I've owned at least one since 1993, and my current Mustang is a '92 I bought in 1996. I've been through hell and high water in that car, and it has about 209K miles on it. I used to think that playing with a Mustang was an expensive deal. Then I got into JK Jeeps, and the Mustang seems downright cheap by comparison.

This past year has been crazy for me (in a good way), got married, got a house, spent a lot of time playing with the Jeep. The Mustang, meanwhile, has sat in storage. I would take it out and run it around the neighborhood, just to get things warmed up and lubed, but didn't really have the time to fix the little things preventing me from driving it more often. Then I broke the clutch cable, and it has sat for more than 8 months.

Over the past couple weeks, I've been ordering parts and collecting the things I need to fix the car's issues, and yesterday I dropped a new battery in it.

Sitting in the car, which first off seems like I'm sitting on the ground compared to the Jeep, I always note how comfortable I am in this car. It's odd to say it about a car which is known for not fitting a lot of people very well, but I fit better in this car than any other vehicle I've ever sat in. I've run cross-country non-stop in this car, and it's no problem. I damn near wear this car.

Dropping into the seat, everything just feels right. My hand falls to the short-throw shifter (first to second is shorter than the JK's first to neutral) just perfect, and there's a certain smell in that car that awakens so many memories of late-nights being stupid out on the street.

Click the key to ON, the dashboard bings to life, the Autometer tach's needle flicks to zero, the shift light pulses, and the fuel pump primes up sounding proper healthy. My foot instinctively tries to push the clutch down to start, but there's nothing to greet it, since I still need to change out that cable. Either way, I just want to spin the motor for a few minutes.

I press the starter, the first couple turns are a little slower than I'd like, but expected considering how long the car has been sitting. Two more turns, and the engine catches and immediately settles into that familiar lumpy idle. Never fails. This car has never failed to start on the first try. I blip the throttle a little, a bit of a hesitation, but again, expected and easily addressed.

Throttle response on a 5-liter Mustang is something to be experienced. It was the benchmark for throttle response for a long time (and a big part of why it's so damn fun!). Stab the gas, and you get a lot of RPM, let it go, and you drop right back down. The pace at which the JK loses RPM after you let go of the throttle is downright glacial in comparison. Rev the JK to 4K RPM and I can rev to 4K two or three times in the Mustang before the JK hits idle.

I hop out and check everything under the hood. No weird noises or anything out of place. No smoke from the tailpipes, just that syrupy-sweet smell of an exhaust that is thoroughly illegal in this modern age. I know everyone has their preference as to how an engine should sound, but to me, there is no better sound than a healthy Mustang exhaust. Shut it down, unhooked the battery, shut the hood, then locked up the garage.

I'm really jazzed to have heard/felt/smelled that motor again. I've got to find the time to continue working on it, but I'm really excited to get it back on the road. After driving the Jeep, driving the Mustang feels like that moment when they jump to hyperspace in the movies. Corners so flat and just feels ON the pavement. I can't wait. I'm gonna get myself in trouble.

~SoCo
 

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I grew-up around Mustangs. My very first car was a 1985.5 SVO that my father and I stripped down and completely rebuilt from the frame, up. Before it's final 2.3L gasped it's last breath, I had a little over $25K into the engine, and it was turning about 850RWHP. That's 4 cylinders and a gianormous turbo!

While the engine was trick, it had nothing on the suspension work. And with a full cage, and my ass parked squarely in the driver seat, the whole package weighed in at less than 2700-pounds. That car was AMAZING. You "wore" it just like you are saying.

I've, since, had an '87 GT, and two Cobras (1999 and a 2003). While these were all trick, and the 2003 Cobra was just TITS, none of them compared to that SVO... I still dream about that car.

If you ever run into any issues that you need help with, SoCo, let me know. I know a guy in Houston (Stafford) who knows a little about them. And if you've read his books, you've seen my SVO...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey, I appreciate that. I do love the SVOs, they were something else. Local guy here built a 90 or so 4-banger the same way, fully built, big-ass turbo, 50-shot to get it off the line because the lag was so bad. That car pulled the wheels for the first 60 feet, and was downright scary to a guy who had been in 8-second cars.

I'm lucky enough to have a couple shops nearby that specialize in Mustangs, although the only time I ever have anybody else turn a wrench on the car is when I need something done that required a lift or a tool I don't have.

~SoCo
 

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My only Mustang was a 1988 LX 5.0 that I had in Germany. That thing was flat out fun on the autobahn. Can't count the number of time I had it up in the mid 100's. Not 105 mind you, I'm talkin' 145+. Just insane it was, but alot of fun, too. I made the ~55 mile trip from Rhein-Main to Heidelberg in 28 minutes flat... a couple times. :D
 

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I completely understand about someone else turning a wrench on go fast shit! I always had a real problem with it, but I never really knew the how or why, thanks to my dad having all the know-how and the same, "let's just get it done," attitude that I have.

If you've got a '92, and you haven't read the "Mustang Performance Handbook" (1 and especially 2 since you're into 1/4-mile) you definitely should. They can be a little difficult to find, now, as they are out of print, but they are definitely worth the read.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you've got a '92, and you haven't read the "Mustang Performance Handbook" (1 and especially 2 since you're into 1/4-mile) you definitely should. They can be a little difficult to find, now, as they are out of print, but they are definitely worth the read.
I've been inside and out on most things Mustang, read everything I could get my hands on back then. And I actually prefer road-course stuff over drag strip. There's nothing quite like the sound of a perfect 4-3-2 heel-and-toe downshift under hard braking. I don't think it has to be mutually exclusive. There's far too many examples of Mustangs that can run brutal fast at the dragstrip, but get out on the track and do some laps as well.

~SoCo
 

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If you like the idea of dropping it into corners, you should definitely look up the books. William Mathis, the writer, has more than a few TransAm wins, used to build for and was then sponsored by AJ Foyt... He's also pretty well known around places like, CornerCarvers.com and Corral.net and so on. (Goes by MustangTaz, or did. I'm not sure if he's still helping out. He got tired of a lot of the bullshit.) He also helped Eric Zenkowsky (sp?) develop the suspension on the GT500KR, along with multiple trips to Arizona to help with the Ford GT when they were finalizing the suspension on that. He also build Bob Haun's A-Sedan that he won the SCCA Championship with.

He's done a lot of shit, and claims to know a lot of things that he has no FUCKING idea what he's talking about... But with Mustangs, especially Fox bodies and SN95s, he knows...
 

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Do you mean an 88? *edit* Oops, yes you did. I see that now.

And, wheeeee!!!!



~SoCo
Yeah, I looked back saw I'd posted '98 the first time and edited it. Hoped no one caught it, but you did.

Just for fun, I ran the numbers. I think the '88 had a T45 in it, right?

If so...

225/60-15 tires @ 4400rpm in 5th gear (.67:1) with a 3.08:1 rear end gives me ~158mph. Probably was a little off, but I'm sure I was haulin' ass a few times...
 
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