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Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

Project cars, modifications or other general showoff

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Hatchtopia

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostTue Apr 17, 2012 6:56 am

Brake lines? You've got front brakes, right?

Awesome thread. I enjoy these types especially since I have no space, time, money or most of all, skill, to complete such a project. Thanks for letting me live vicariously.
My garage: 2005 Ford Escape, 1972 BMW R75/5, 2003 Vespa ET4, 1975 Apache Royal
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Xedicon

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostWed Apr 18, 2012 8:50 am

Zach,

This project is sweet! Love all the updates, keep em coming!
94 XJ Country, 09 Cobalt SS/TC 4 door, 02 Yamaha Road Warrior
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bzr

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostWed Apr 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Remember Zach, disc brakes are for cowards.
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LeftofLucky

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostFri May 11, 2012 6:58 pm

Progress. Last weekend I yanked the IRS back out with the help of a friend and set to permanently mounting the rear mounting brackets. This, of course, meant starting by removing the last remaining sound deadening in the rear and dropping the fuel tank.

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Removing Sound Deadening

This stuff is held on by some pretty flimsy adhesive, so a little time with a heat gun and an old credit card had it pealing off pretty quickly. Like a so:

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More Sound Deadening

With that stuff gone, we could focus on the brackets proper. I've been using this guy's write-up as a rough outline, so I knew the brackets mounted directly to the front-most factory quad shock hole. That left three more holes that would have to be drilled: two on the bottom and one on the side.

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Bracket from below

We used a half-inch metal bit long enough to clear through the bottom of the "frame" and into the actual cabin. Results:

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Marked and drilled from below

As it turns out, the upper sheetmetal is gas station toilet paper thin, so my buddy suggested we use a a little bar stock to create a bracket. I spent a little time smoothing the edges and shot a little paint to clean it up.

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Bracket top plate

Of course, I didn't compensate for the top plate when I bought the hardware, so my bolts are just barely long enough to clear the nylon lock nuts I purchased. Right now, I can't decide if this is good enough or if I should go for longer pieces.

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Bracket bolted in place

At this point, I could have probably dropped the brake lines in place and slammed the IRS cradle back into its new home, but I wanted to ditch the remaining solid axle mounting points and the rear seat belt mounts as well. These pieces were fastened with an epic shit ton of willy-nilly spot welds, so my previous cold-chisel method was straight out. I decided to give the spot-weld cutter another go and bought a new set from the local parts store. As it turns out, Blair makes a pretty good product. Steady pressure and low speed seems to work best. I found using a cold punch to start the bit helps tremendously.

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Spot weld removal

This whole episode was an epic pain in the ass. I blew three evenings crammed in the axle well of the Horse cutting, grinding and bashing with the cold chisel. As it turns out, the lower brackets were seam-welded along one side. I used a grinder on the driver's side to loosen the metal, but the passenger's side had a number of fuel and brake lines in place that made that a non-option. So, out came the cold chisel and the three-pound sledge. After it was all said and done, I shot some white Rustoleum on everything to keep it from going cancerous.

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Brackets gone, painted

Looks like a fresh dollar bill. After giving the paint a day to dry, I tackled the hard brake lines. I decided to take a slightly different route than Mouthbreather by using a T fitting with two 3/16ths line, one four-feet long and another two-feet long.

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Brake lines in place

I mocked everything up with some wire I had lying around and bent the lines using a combination of my hands and a tube bender. I also picked up set of plastic tube holders from the parts store. I drilled a pilot hole using a 1/8th inch bit and sheetmetal screws to hold them in place. Finished product?

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Brake lines

Now, I need a drive shaft, some axles and a set of braided stainless lines. And a drink. Or three.
"Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you." ~Chuck Palahniuk
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seat safety switch

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostFri May 11, 2012 8:34 pm

Making some excellent progress - this is definitely my favorite project not least because it looks so beaten on but has a nice clean stripped interior that's all business.

It's always ridiculously hard to remove seat belt mounts in any car (for good reason).
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LeftofLucky

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostSat May 12, 2012 4:58 am

seat safety switch wrote:Making some excellent progress - this is definitely my favorite project not least because it looks so beaten on but has a nice clean stripped interior that's all business.

It's always ridiculously hard to remove seat belt mounts in any car (for good reason).


Thanks for the encouragement. It feels so slow when you're actually face to face with it. Strangely enough, those seatbelt brackets gave me some of the least trouble of everything underneath. Each disc had four spot welds of so-so substance. That sounds scary, but really the back plate just had to hang there long enough for the mounting bolt to run through from the inside. The plates are just there to keep everything from being pulled through the skin of the belly pan.
"Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you." ~Chuck Palahniuk
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Batshitbox

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostSun May 13, 2012 7:50 pm

LeftofLucky wrote:Of course, I didn't compensate for the top plate when I bought the hardware, so my bolts are just barely long enough to clear the nylon lock nuts I purchased. Right now, I can't decide if this is good enough or if I should go for longer pieces.


Excellent build thread! Re: above... I mis-read it and though you had less that optimal thread engagement. If they're all the way through the nuts then anything else is mere speculation.
Hot things burn!
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LeftofLucky

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostMon May 14, 2012 1:40 pm

Yeah, that's kind of where I wound up. I took everything back apart and hit it with red thread locker, so it shouldn't be going anywhere anytime soon.

Batshitbox, is that your 800 in your avatar?
"Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you." ~Chuck Palahniuk
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kevinspann

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostThu May 31, 2012 5:48 am

When I had my Mustang, that joint in the steering came apart too. Happened upon a replacement, already removed, on the ground at the JY...from a Cougar, it was made of nylon that doesn't disintegrate like the stock rubber.
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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostWed Jun 13, 2012 9:55 am

Is this thread dead yet? Has Zach done any work on his Mustang? All these questions and more will hopefully be answered soon!
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Aaron Richardson

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostThu Jun 14, 2012 7:54 pm

@groove: Relax holmes, good things take time to create.
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LeftofLucky

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Re: Ugly Horse: 1989 Ford Mustang 2.3T IRS project

PostMon Jul 09, 2012 5:22 pm

I've been busy, kids. I finally sourced the CV boots I needed for the rear axles, which meant I could move forward getting the IRS permanently situated. After searching high, low and everywhere else, I came upon the outfit CV Unlimited in South Carolina. For $60, they were kind enough to ship a set my way. Keep in mind these were the same boots Ford refused to sell and every parts store on the planet told me couldn't be had. So, thus began the rebuild. Since the joints themselves sounded and looked just fine, I stuck to simply swapping the boots. This meant breaking down the axle.

There are two ends, and while both may be dissected with varying degrees of difficulty, I decided to stick to pulling apart the inner joint. Cut the old boots off, and you'll be confronted with something that looks a bit like this:

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After you've pulled, pushed and weighed which of your mighty hammers would be best to demolish this thing, wipe off a little more grease and you'll see a small C-clip. Remove said clip. I'm sure there's a tool just for this, but I found 45 minutes of prodding with various small screwdrivers to be much more effective.

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With that gone, you can simply pull the three bearing assembly off. Like so:

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Shoot a little paint, pull the new boots in place and you're back on the road. I used the old clamps where I could and the shitty new band-type where I had to. If you find the boots to be troublesome, shoot some Pledge on the axle. Seriously.

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Now, I've had the IRS in place for a spell, which meant I had to dissect the rear suspension to get everything back in place. This was what came with the assembly:

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So, shit comes back off.

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Just to put it back together.

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With the axle back at home, I could install the new rotors and pads I'd had laying around the garage for the past three weeks. Shiny = good. At least under the car.

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One of the great benefits of living in Knoxville is that there are a slew of businesses around ready to help get a project like this off the ground. Take the brake lines, for example. Royal Brass and Hose will happily whip up custom brake lines in either standard rubber or braided stainless. Needless to say, I went with the latter.

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Also, am I the only looser who finds manufacturer logos on random parts cool as hell? Seriously.

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The parking brake cables also took some figuring. Technically, the '04 Cobra cables are too long. The stock '89 cables are too short. I decided to run the '04 bits until I can find a solution. Stuck the pieces in there, and discovered a problem. They were long enough that they actually touched the driveshaft. I used a pair of clips from the old '89 cables to sort of push them up out of the way, and the rerouting actually put enough tension on the cables to make them work well enough. I wouldn't trust the car on a hill with just the parking brake, but it should suffice for now.

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Now about that driveshaft. I came up against a small dilemma when I switched to the IRS rear. The stock solid axle was a 7.5, and the new chunk is an 8.8, which meant the old '86 GT driveshaft I sourced would no longer party. Like a rational human being, I decided to solve this problem with a new Ford Racing aluminum piece. It weighs in at 15 lbs, and while I haven't stuck the old bit on a scale, it's noticeably heavier.

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Old piece vs new:

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The site I ordered from made it clear the driveshaft wouldn't fit the '04 Cobra. I cross referenced all the numbers and I couldn't see why, so I ordered away. After wearing the UPS tracking site thin, the the driveshaft showed up and I began the install. Only, surprise surprise, it didn't fit. Por que?

As it turns out, the companion flange on the rear is substantially different on the GT 8.8 and the Cobra 8.8. A quick trip to Mustang Performance in Kodak and $20 later, I had a small-diameter flange with a suitably large inner diameter. From left to right, GT, LX, Cobra:

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And reverse:

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With that shindig taken care of, I was able to throw the whole mix back together.

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Shiny. And, since I haven't loaded this post with enough photos, one more with the shindig together.

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Money.
"Then you're trapped in your lovely nest, and the things you used to own, now they own you." ~Chuck Palahniuk
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