Making a Faster Horse [Step 1, Skip To Step 3]
A short while ago, three days or so, I posted about my intention to make my 2003 Ford Mustang Mach1 act more like a Thoroughbred than a Mule.
A quick review of the priorities I outlined in my first post:
Step 1: Chassis and Suspension
-Improve upon chassis rigidity flaws inherent in the stock design
-Resolve rear suspension geometry flaws inherent in the stock design
-Replace and uprate worn out components, including dampers and bushings
-Reduce unsprung mass, roll-center, suspension friction/bind
-Increase wheel rates and roll-stiffness
-Minimize reduction in wheel travel from stock.
-Maintain streetable compliance and NVH
Step 2: Driveline
-Increase durability of driveline components
-Maximize power transmission from engine to ground.
Step 3: Transmission
-Replace the insufficient 4-speed automatic with a manual transmission.
-Minimize clutch actuation resistance and deflection over stock design
-Improve shift precision over stock manual design
Step 4: Profit?
-No profit, but maybe with the help of a lot of AutoX and HPDE, I'll have some fun and become a better driver
While priority number one is to improve the handling and chassis, an opportunity led me down a far different path.
A seemingly ‘mint’ Tremec TR3650 5 speed manual transmission came up for sale out of Maryland, which included my preferential MGW shifter, and seemed like a good deal to boot.
As I started to orchestrate shipping and working with the seller to deliver to a nearby transmission specialist for inspection and allowing them to pack and ship to me, the story started to change and willingness to sell remote became more challenging. The shifter disappeared to another buyer, and suddenly the details like mileage and when specified work was done became a mystery, though condition was still assured to be ‘perfect. Another OPPO, S65, that was local to the transmission was super-nice and even offered to go check it out and help with the logistics (Thank you!!!), but by the time he and I sorted that side out, the product itself seemed too sketch to chance. -- and just like that, I’d moved on from this momentary distraction from ‘sensibility’, or so I thought.
Only a bit later in the day, a 16,000 mile-young Mach1 came up for part out, and had everything I could need to convert to manual, the parts looking as new as you’d expect and better met the description of ‘mint’, including a few healthy upgrades I had on the wishlist.
After some back and fourth, I even ended up with a set of American Racing long-tube headers with a catted midpipe.
I still need to order a clutch, flywheel, and clutch actuation solution, which is cable as-stock, but I am considering some hydraulic solutions, using parts from the S197 Mustang and bits from Wilwood.
Of course none of this helps handling, but I am sure excited for all of it. More to come when my pallet full of happy arrives.
WhoIsTheLeader last edited by
@orneryduck Those headers look very nice! Is that some sort of heat resistant powdercoat?
orneryduck last edited by
@whoistheleader I’ll know for sure when I get them, but I believe AR Headers are ceramic coated.
Snuze last edited by
@orneryduck This is awesome, can't wait to see more!
LooseonExit last edited by
Nice job on the parts! It's good to get all that stuff together so you miss anything or have to source it all yourself.
I'm going to say stick with the cable, but just an opinion. My Fox cable/quadrant setup was one of the best setups by feel I've ever had. A long time ago I drove a coworkers '01 Cobra with the TR3650 and I liked it. I test drove a new '08 Mustang GT/CS and wasn't a fan, but just me. It's kind of a pain to swap once installed unfortunately, so not easy to try one and move to another. I don't about the aftermarket solutions - there are a few.
Try to drive both types if you haven't yet maybe?
Urambo Tauro last edited by
@orneryduck Another option for the clutch actuation: there's an extender that you can add to the clutch fork to make the pedal easier to operate, that also reduces strain on the cable. Forte's is the only place I've seen offering this "clutch effort reducer", and... TBH it's kinda expensive for what it is. I've been thinking about trying to fabricate one for my car...
orneryduck last edited by
@urambo-tauro that is interesting and something to consider for sure.
I may try a Steeda or UPR adjustable quadrant and Ford Racing cable, to start and see if further improvement is necessary. Seems the better quadrants keep it adjusted nicely without the popping out of adjustment a stock quadrant does, and the FRPP cable has less friction than stock.
Urambo Tauro last edited by
@orneryduck I've got the Steeda kit on mine, and have been pleased with it. Took the opportunity to change the quadrant and all that when my original cable snapped a few years ago.
@urambo-tauro thank you for the input.
I like the look of the Steeda kit and I’ve never noticed any problems with it on the two Termis I’ve driven that are equipped with beefy McLeod clutches (RST on one, RXT dual disc on the other), I’ll be using a mild Exedy Stage1 clutch to stay close to stock but cover possible future upgrades.
So this is the package then:
-Exedy CrMo lightweight flywheel
-Exedy Mach400 Stage1 clutch
-Steeda quadrant, FWA, and cable
-MGW early standard-handle shifter
-MGW traditional shift ball
If I can logistically handle it, I’ll try to dyno the car as is, using the stock tune and automatic. Then do another dyno after the manual conversion to determine efficiency gains, tune fueling and ignition (these can usually take 5-7* of additional timing with 93 octane fuel) on the dyno. Finally do one more dyno tune after the headers.
Urambo Tauro last edited by Urambo Tauro
@orneryduck Not a bad looking list there! I'm very interested to see what the dyno will have to say about the mods.
Update, my package has arrived.