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87 Mustang V8 conversion project

Posted 10-18-2011 at 09:04 AM by sschering

After 2 years of just plain ignoring it (and my wife complaining about the ugly dead thing in the driveway) I finally found some time to get my Mustang running..

I started this little project more than 2 years ago at my old house where I had loads of shop space.. We knew we had only 2 months to get it together before I moved. It arrived at my house as a roller with no engine or trans.. It had started life a factory 2.3 auto car. Over about 6 weeks with the help of a few good friends we tore out the 7.7 rear axle, shocks springs, control arms, tank, fuel lines, brakes, master cylinder, peddles, steering rack, air box, exhaust, ECU and engine wiring harness plus anything related to the 2.3 4 banger.

In went a 5.0 we salvaged from a Lincoln town car. added a Mass Air engine harness, V8 ECU harness and A9P ECU, FMS A/C delete kit, Smog pump delete, plugged the thermactor ports in the heads. Bolted up a new flywheel, clutch, and a T-5. dropped a 8.8 3.26 posi in the rear with GT springs and KYB shocks.
new fuel pump, V8 fuel lines, GT steering rack, BBK offroad H pipe and flowmaster exhaust plus a lot of other junk..

We missed our finish deadline of 6 weeks HA and had to tow it to the new house..
From that point I didn't get much done.. New house stuff took priority, then a bike to get running, life moves on and the car sat for the next 2 years..

I tinkered with it from time to time doing little stuff but never got truly motivated until a few weeks ago.. I got out there and finished the engine wiring, got a new battery in and figured out the ignition switch was shot.. In goes a new one.. still won't crank.. Bad neutral safety switch.. swap that.. now she cranks but won't fire.. Fresh gas. No joy.. I got 50 psi fuel pressure.. I got spark.. Check the plugs.. OK time for new plugs.

Did they ever change the spark plugs in that Lincoln? It had gaps form .086 to .094"

New plugs in Vroom she fires! but it won't idle.. Funny how you forget what you did and didn't do 2 years ago.. Lots of vac lines on the back of the engine not hooked up.. Like the PCV and brake booster.. prob the 2 largest vacuum leaks I could have..

Got them sorted out and it's running great.. Took it around the block and she'll light em up real nice
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  1. Old Comment
    cobra525's Avatar
    Nice, With all the fctory v8 cars out there I never wanted to do the swap. However it is easier to find 4cyl coupes than it's big brother. I will have another after my Cobra gets back on the road. Keep us updated on your progress.
    Posted 10-18-2011 at 11:23 AM by cobra525 cobra525 is offline
  2. Old Comment
    BikerSk8rKid's Avatar
    What KYB shocks did you go with? No pictures or videos? psh! Someone on one of the Mustang Forums did a Viper Swap, but I think it was on a SN95 model. I've been debating of doing a 5.4 Swap, but I doubt I will. I just want the 03-04 Cobra "Terminator". lol
    Posted 11-02-2011 at 12:53 AM by BikerSk8rKid BikerSk8rKid is offline
  3. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    It has GR2's struts and Gas-a-just rears on it.

    I Still lots of work to do.. Alt died so I may do a G3 swap on it.. Lots of little electrical issues to deal with..
    Posted 11-02-2011 at 07:40 AM by sschering sschering is offline
  4. Old Comment
    james1300's Avatar
    Dude! You got Skills! I wanted to do a V-8 swap with my '90 'stang. Lucky for me sanity took hold and I sold it instead!
    Awsome build!
    Posted 11-08-2011 at 05:59 AM by james1300 james1300 is offline
  5. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    Thanks.. I working down the list of electrical crap to deal with.. Alt is dead.. I gota find where I stashed the spare..
    Got the wipers working (bad circuit breaker), got the HVAC controls back in so I have heat , got the good tail lights in, new license plates bolted up..

    It got it's maiden voyage down the gas station for a tank of fresh fuel.. Had to be a short trip with a bad alternator.

    Only major mystery at the moment is why the turn signals don't work.
    Posted 11-08-2011 at 12:14 PM by sschering sschering is offline
  6. Old Comment
    BlackSuperHawk's Avatar
    Sounds like grounding issues from corrosion from sitting outside:

    Clean the bulb bases and grounds on the lights, sounds like you have a bad left and right grounding problem. Check the big grounds at the engine block too and chassis too. Could be the cause of your alt. problem also
    Posted 11-19-2011 at 07:38 AM by BlackSuperHawk BlackSuperHawk is offline
  7. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    I figured out the alt problem.. I used the wrong headlight harness when I did the swap..

    I had a 91-93 harness.. It plugs in but they moved a few wires around. One being the signal wire for the alternator.
    The alt won't turn on unless it sees power on that line. If I had a fog light switch the horn would have honked when I turned em on

    The reason the the headlight harness swap is because the 2.3 alt is on the other side of the engine and the wires are to short to hook up on a 5.0

    Seeing as I don't have the correct 87 v8 headlight harness I've come up with a new solution..

    I took a damaged 91+ harness I had kicking around, stripped it down, removed the v8 alternator wires and stuffed them into about 4' of heat shrink tubing to make a tidy alternator harness. This harness had already been converted for a 3G alternator so I got a 3G alt for the car too. The 2G alternator connectors are a fire hazard so I planned to do it anyway.

    Then I took the stock 87 2.3 harness, removed it's alternator wires and spliced in my new alt harness.

    Now I just need some free time to get it into the car.

    As for the turn signals.. The lights all flash when you turn on the hazard light switch so that bit works..
    The turn signals use a separate flasher unit from the hazards so I suspect that flasher the problem.. I just can't find the darn thing to swap in a new one.. I bet it's MIA and the wires are tucked away out of sight.. It's supposed to be around the glove box somewhere.
    Posted 11-20-2011 at 10:49 PM by sschering sschering is offline
    Updated 11-20-2011 at 10:54 PM by sschering
  8. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    The stupid alternator has been driving me nuts..

    I got the modded headlight harness back in.. mounted the 3G alternator and fired it up.. Still only seeing 11.4 volts.. crap.. Yank the alt and haul it down to the parts store for testing.. FAIL. only puts out 11.4 volts.. I picked up a new voltage regulator, swapped it onto the alt and put it back in the car.. WOW 14.3 volts! Cool.. one less thing to fix..

    Now I can tackle the turn signals..
    I dug around under the dash with a flashlight and finally found the plug for the flasher.. It didn't have a flasher can so I was thinking easy fix.. pop a new one in and still no turn signals. I finally found a schematic so I can chase this thing down..
    Posted 11-27-2011 at 01:38 AM by sschering sschering is offline
    Updated 11-27-2011 at 07:06 PM by sschering
  9. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    Turn signals fixed!! I traced the wire from the fuse, to the flasher, hazard light switch and finally to the turn signal switch.. 12v all the way.. Then I noticed that the retaining tab in the plug block for the 12v feed to the turn signal switch was broken.. When you plugged the block into the switch the wire would push out and not make contact..

    Still lots of stuff to do inside but it's drivable now.
    Posted 11-27-2011 at 07:13 PM by sschering sschering is offline
  10. Old Comment
    KevinD's Avatar
    A lot of work, but nice.

    Too bad you picked an ugly 'Stang...

    Posted 12-06-2011 at 06:25 PM by KevinD KevinD is offline
  11. Old Comment
    findley's Avatar
    nice job! Let me know if you have any spare parts laying around you would like to sell
    Posted 01-20-2012 at 09:03 PM by findley findley is offline
  12. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    Who knows maybe the whole car in the spring

    When I get the interior put back together and cleaned up I'm thinking of selling or trading so I can get a newer bike.
    Posted 02-02-2012 at 08:45 AM by sschering sschering is offline
  13. Old Comment
    sschering's Avatar
    MOre work done on the car today

    I got the replacement headliner in.. Getting the old one out was a dirty job! all that foam and jute padding turned to dust.
    The new headliner really looks good in there.. I think the interior will looks nice with a mix of black and tan.

    I finally dug in and got the speedo hooked up.. my hands are shredded but it's done.
    HVAC controls all done and bolted down.
    Buttoned up the dash and put on all the trim I had parts for..

    I need to buy some of those big push in button retainers for the kick panels. Ace might have em.

    need a new drivers side sill plate.. the one I have is broken in half.

    I vacuumed the car out, put all the spare parts in the trunk and took it for a spin..
    Sounds like I have an exhaust leak to deal with.

    It's starting to look like a car again
    Posted 03-04-2012 at 08:43 PM by sschering sschering is offline

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