The car went for a leisurely trip to the day spa but will return with the rest of the MM suspension welded up and the built rear end swapped in.
Got my Momo Corse steering wheel back from Chris Scow @ www.leatherwheels.com and he did a superb job. If anyone needs a steering wheel recovered I’d give him a shout!!
Scored a bunch of spare stuff from a buddy who was going to toss it out.
1: Cobra bumper w/ header panel
2: Side skirts
3: Trunk lid
4: decent tail lights
5: Uber dark, ninja tail lights
6: decent drivers mirror
7: passenger side side skirt extension
8: rear quarter trim
9: Inner fender trim
10: A-pillar trim
11: sail panel trim
12: Momo Corse steering wheel, 90’s style baby
Going to have this bad boy recovered in black leather with a red stripe at the top. This gives me an excuse to get a quick release hub.
Preliminary roll bar installation SUCKS!! It’s going to come back out to be welded and painted.
Installed my new retro fit headlights and HID kit from @B.mad over at Madd Retros!! More information on these can be found here:
Took some time today to “finalize” the engine compartment side of the battery relocation and to also install the O2 sensor.
The ground cable from the trunk terminates at the passenger side engine mount.
I followed the brake line and took care to keep it away from the exhaust.
This needs no explanation..
Didn’t have the proper size heat shrink so I will revisit that never.
Terminated the positive cable to the starter.
Overview at this point:
Mechanical grounding point!
One of the biggest mistakes people people can make when grounding electrical components is not properly preparing the area for a good connection. This is done by removing any paint at the termination point.
What are are you looking at?
Its ugly but have you seen the rest of the car!?
This was my preliminary route for the 02 sensor wiring…
…but I ran out of tywraps! Another time..
Moving to another task…
Thankfully I was able to reinstall the HVAC duct because God knows we can’t live without AC in Louisiana
Such a cluster fuck!
The last time I posted was back in September of 2018. Since that time, there have been several key changes to Project Unicorn’s direction. If you may recall (if not, you can just read back a post or two to catch up) we were counting down the days to a first start. While function checking the electrical system, I discovered my SCT tuner couldn’t rear the ECU via the OBD2 port.
Vat ez fook?
As it turned out, there are differences between the Mustang GT and Cobra wiring harnesses. You cannot simply plug a Cobra engine/ECU harness into a GT dash harness and also use the Cobra ECU. Not without re-pinning the harness and running new wires where necessary. This could’ve been remedied by using a GT engine/ECU harness and ECU by lengthening wires for certain sensors.
Well, shit. If I had to go through that much trouble I might as well take it up a notch. I made the decision to rip the Ford engine management out and upgrade to a Holley HP EFI (HEFI) setup to facilitate future growth.
There is still much work left to do:
- Finish connecting the HEFI
- Finalize the battery relocation
- Wire in the battery kill switch
- Have brake calipers powder coated
- Install upper, race shock mounts
- Swap rear ends and LCAs
- Fit and weld roll bar
- Weld in torque box reinforcing plates
- Weld in torque arm mount
- Install adjustable rear sway bar
That’s just a surface scratcher!! To further update this, I need to mention that I sold my Jongbloed Racing Wheels. They were just too awesome and I didn’t want to cut my car up to facilitate their überness. So, I traded them for a stack of cash and a pair of 18×11 Enkei RS05RR wheels. The plan is to buy a pair of 18×10’s and use them for track day/autocross action. I also bought a set of Forgestar F14’s in 18×9/18×10 for street wheels.
This is current day, awaiting a trip to the have the welding work done:
Found an older JLT cold air intake on eBay for cheap. Things are starting to really take shape now!
We “finished” the AN power steering hose swap!!
The finalized routing just needs to be permanently mounted:
The tee fitting for the low pressure side:
Reservoir to tee:
The rack connection:
It was brought to my attention that the power steering fitting blocks a fluid passage. I took the stock fitting out of an old pump to see what he meant and found this:
Did some research and found a thread over on the TCCOA (Turbo Coupe Club of America) forum where someone found an easy fix by cutting the Russell fitting down:
More on this at a later date!!
Not very significant achievements but I install the sway bar relocation + shorter end-links and started the AN power steering hose swap. More importantly, I squared the k-member and can now begin the end…..to reach the beginning. 🤯
Finally found the correct throttle return spring:
There will be some modifications to the trailing edge of the bumper to fit the front suspension.
My list, in no particular order, to just hear it run:
1] Square the K-member then nut and bolt check the front suspension & perform ‘mechanics alignment’
2] Bolt the tail shaft down
3] Install the engine power harness, connect the 02’s and install transmission harness
4] Rewire the fuel pump relay
5] Tighten the header bolts and the one oil pan bolt we apparently missed
6] Tighten fuel line fittings
7] Swap the Cobra ECU for the GT ECU, upload the start tune; mostly to keep PATS happy
8] Fill the engine with oil, fuel in the tank and engine coolant; leak test fuel system…
9] Mount CAI and MAS
Fire in the hole?? I should be able to at least hear it run for a moment, listen for weird noises and check for oil leaks. On top of that, I also need to acquire some bolts to mount the AC compressor and power steering pump as well as the accumulator plus both AC hoses. I’m not going to attempt to drive the car or even get it up to operating temperature until I can drive it legally. I need to go beat on it right away to set the rings since they’re stainless steel. Lol, this will happen with some mufflers nearly bolted directly to the headers because my foxbody 5.0 x-pipe needs to be modified to fit the SN95 4.6 Probably need to acquire some corner lights while I’m at it..
Now, hearing the damn thing run is all fine and dandy but there is MUCH more to do. My list, in no particular order, to drive the car:
1] Mount AC compressor, PS pump and PS reservoir
2] Complete PS lines, fill the system and…..bleed?
3] Install rear brake pads, fill and bleed the system
4] Install the driveshaft
5] Install the front sway bar + MM relocation kit
6] Connect the steering shaft
7] Car insurance?
8] Hope for the best?
Rough draft of my modified coolant system.. The secondary [bypass] outlet in the coolant crossover has been welded shut and the thermostat is now inline with the upper hose. This will allow me to use my traditional radiator setup with an overflow tank instead of the typical, closed system with the hideous degas tank that most every modular car has.
I’m going to cut the coil pack mount off of the engine accessory bracket to make it at least sort of look better.
These new power steering hoses fit like SHIT and look like ASS!! As mentioned in an earlier post I’m going to convert to the AN fitting setup.
For some reason, I thought I could install the headers from the bottom since I have a tubular K-member. Well, I couldn’t be more wrong.
Yeah, the passenger side header hit the starter mount but almost makes it. Had it on the studs but couldn’t get the rearmost portion to seat. Mother @&$#er but at least the driver’s side went in like it was meant to be. Everything was going well until I realized I needed TINY HANDS to reach two of the studs. .
So, that leaves me with this scene:
Decided to move onto finishing the oil filter relocation kit but ran into ANOTHER snag. It seems that switching from the 96-98 oil cooler to the Mach 1 type [that deleted the cooler] it puts the fittings directly into the power steering pump. So, no filter relocation for now. I did try rotating the adapter but then the PS lines get in the way. Speaking of power steering lines, they’re also WRONG for my application. It seems there were changes between the 96-98 and 99-04 models concerning fitting size. My high pressure line doesn’t fit the hydroboost.
Weekend before last, I dropped the tank to inspect and clean, if necessary..
Swapped the Walbro 190 lph pump out for an Aeromotive 340 lph..
Since the price was right, I picked up a Dr. Gas x-pipe. This car is going to sound pretty sweet.
This weekend we were supposed to install the 4V but a 0200 call from work screwed that up. So, that has been pushed back again. However, I was able to get some other stuff done. Traded a S281 spoiler for a Cobra gauge cluster, a good headlight panel, a pair of OEM Cobra headlights (that need restoration) and some other miscellaneous items.
1) Installed my CGE rear seat delete
2) Installed the frame side of the MM oil filter relocation setup. This normally mounts behind the fog light but I have a bash bar. So, I had to get a little creative and I do still have some minor fab work to complete.
3) Installed the caliper hoses, connected the remaining brake lines and did some janky “good enough” bending to the lines that go to the hydro booster from the proportioning valve.
4) Cleaned up my exhaust studs:
5) My buddy Benjy welded up the EGR connection on my headers. After that, I made some simple brackets to adapt the 96-98 fuel rail system to the Mach 1 Intake and back he welded the new brackets on.
6) Installed my FR500 steering wheel.
Really need to clean up then dye the airbag and the center console.
7) The Cobra cluster I plan to use but that depends on how it looks with LED bulbs at night. The stock, GT gauges with white LEDs has a really nice blue glow.
8) The car looking angry because the engine didn’t get installed.
9) The oem Cobra headlights that need to be restored.
It almost looks like a Mustang again lol
This past weekend, we pushed the unicorn under the carport for final assembly. I’m hoping to have the engine/trans back in the car in February but first, a few loose ends to tie up.
Next, I removed the airbag sensors, the hood latch mechanism/cable, put the battery tray back in, installed the Champion, 3 core radiator and installed the new AC condenser:
Installed the proper ABS pump and started plumbing the lines:
Swapped the proportioning valve out for the proper unit:
I have to re-route the lines to the hydro-booster, connect the ABS pump to the rear brakes, install the braided lines to the front calipers, install the rear pads, connect the e-brake cable and the brake system will be “finalized”. That is where I stopped because I took some time to start cleaning my shop up and then began planning my fuel system. Next weekend, I plan to have these cut and re-welded to line up with the 99-04 rail mount. I’m also going to use this set of Coyote EV14 [34# hr] injectors instead of the stock, EV1 24’s.
Also, I found a grille pony and painted it white!
Lastly, I came across a vent pod I had bought and installed it to see how I liked it:
I have taken the time to amass a small cache of parts!!
2003 Mach 1 intake manifold + throttle body + throttle/cruise control cables + bracketry:
These parts will come in handy down the line a bit when the Supercharger enters the mix!
2004 Cobra timing cover
Freshly reworked 2003 Cobra cylinder heads
There wasn’t any progress made this past weekend due to being on call at work, I did pick up some brake lines, cam covers and a center console from a buddy. Also, since the unicorn was looking particularly crusty, I gave the unicorn a much needed bath. This led to blowing more paint off of the quarter panel but it has to come of anyway.
Finalized the vehicle wiring with the installation of the dashboard, steering column and door wiring. The rear seat belts have to be removed in order for the rear panels to be installed but I need to obtain a star bit set. I should be able to have that done and I can finish the interior with a roll bar and homemade rear seat delete. My buddy Austin has a center console for me from a 2003 Cobra. I’ll have to paint it grey to match before installing it. Soon, I’ll have the driver’s seat back in and it’ll be complete until I have some harnesses to install.
After weeks of researching modular engine combinations and a sneaking suspicion of my engines health, a new plan was hatched. After talking to my good buddy William Luketich, the decision was made to tear the 4V down and install a better rotating assembly. The new plan involves:
- 2003 Cobra heads [freshened, 5 angle valve job, shaved 0.010″]
- 2003 Mach 1 intake
- Diamond pistons [10.9:1 compression as advertised, Total seal rings]
- Boss 302 rods [Clevite rod bearings]
- 96 Cobra forged crank [Clevite H series bearings, ARP main studs/jack bolts]
- 4.6 3V windage tray
- Boundary Division oil pump with billet gears
- MMR oil pan
Upon engine disassembly, William discovered a few issues that would’ve eventually ruined the engine:
A blown head gasket!!
An exhaust valve was cracked and failure was likely eminent!!
These discoveries justified the rebuild, which I’m not excited for but is obviously necessary. The process will be slow but has the potential for greatness.
Also, the wife and I swapped the doors from Space Ghost to the Unicorn. This way the door locks will match the ignition key, the passenger window won’t fall off the track any longer and the paint is in much better shape. Hard to tell from this picture because it is very filthy. Also swapped in the HVAC box from the donor Cobra.
This past Friday, [9-29-17] I pulled the remaining ’95 specific wiring out of the Unicorn and began the assimilation of Space Ghost. This will take some time due to brake lines that need to be fabricated and other bits I’m sure to be missing.
What a mess!!!
Installing the wiring from the donor Cobra:
The ABS pump needs to be swapped out for the ’98 specific part, also the lower coolant overflow mount and that TFI module needs to be removed
Did not accomplish much Saturday [9-30-17] but managed to complete the wiring swap over.
Today I decided to take a plunge and swap the oil pump. Boy, this was quite the job and I’m very fortunate the engine was on a stand. To begin, the harmonic balancer, cam covers, oil pan and front engine cover had to be removed. Next, the crank trigger, timing tensioners, the chains, guides and crank gears were all removed. The oil pick up and pump were removed. So.. Then I had to phone a friend to set the timing and my buddy William came to my rescue with EXCELLENT information. It turned an intimidating job into a breeze.
My wife can’t WAIT for me to put this into the car 🙂
Ok, I’ll stick to this and stop trying to be punny. Started the process by removing the remaining wiring harness and began taking the intake. That came to a halt when the coolant crossover protested. So, I moved on with other tasks, starting with the solid engine mounts from SMR.
The other side didn’t fit very well but that’s nothing my grinder can’t remedy.
After that issue, I test fit the header and it fits great. Then, I took the old filter off to install the start of an oil filter relocation setup.
Took a chance on another intake manifold that I happened to find on craigslist. The guy got it from a buddy with the intention to swap his 4.6 2V to a 4V. He lost interest, sold the car and listed the intake. He asked $65 and I happily agreed. As you can see, it has been painted and thoroughly cleaned. What I didn’t know until closer inspection at home was the fact someone cut the bottom off at some point and welded it back together. As it turns out, someone had shortened the intake runners by 1.75″!! For those who don’t know, that job will set you back roughly $700. What does this mean? This results in meaningful horsepower gains in the upper RPM range with a slight loss in low speed torque. This can be remedied with a steeper rear gear but that won’t be decided until after I drive it. Most people with similar modifications report rear wheel horsepower levels in the 285-305 range.
This weekend was quite productive given the fact I had limited time. Finalized the Maximum Motorsports #tubular k member installation after taking delivery of a replacement front control arm. The professionals at Maximum Motorsports take customer service very seriously, Jack Hidley accurately diagnosed the issue I was having and quickly rectified the situation. After that, I started putting the puzzle back together until I ran out of time today. Also had an opportunity to install the coolant crossover kit that Wonder Racing, LLC supplied me with. Kevin Shea offers top quality products at very competitive prices.
My first step was to prime and paint the spindles prior to installation. This would later prove to be done in error, but we’ll get back to that.
Along the way I managed to snag a nearly unobtainable 2000 Cobra R steering rack from BTM Autosport.
So, I have to drill the spindles out to accommodate the bump steer kit. This was the step I wasn’t aware of and missed early on.
This is the aforementioned coolant crossover mod from Wonder Racing, LLC.
I’m patiently awaiting a shipment from Maximum Motorsports to arrive this coming Friday. Taking advantage of this minor setback, I brought my spindles to work to be blasted and painted. Much to my dismay, the blast cabinet was too low on sand to be of any use to me so i settled for removing the dust shields and brought them home.
Further progress was made this past weekend by installing the MM k-member setup. This brought an issue to light with one of the control arms and after a conversation with Jack Hidley, will be rectified. As you can see in the pictures, the spindles aren’t installed. This is because I’m going to paint them prior to final assembly. Otherwise I need to purchase new sway bar endlinks, scrub some more old grease/grime from the subframe and button it up. During this time, rain bands from Hurricane Harvey were pushing through my area. In between downpours, I removed most everything from the front of the 4V in preparation to install a new oil pump.
Further disassembled the Unicorn to sell of some of the remaining pushrod specific parts. Next weekend I will install the Maximum Motorsports K-member, ’00 Cobra R steering rack and related parts. Also, assembled my engine stand and now the 32V has a sturdy place to live while I work on it. I’m also hoping to send Space Ghost to it’s final resting place next weekend. My intentions are to strip it completely and part ways with her.
The DOHC, 4.6 is a very wide engine. In fact, it’s as wide as the old 385 series big block engines [429, 460, etc] and as a result, Ford switch to a hydroboost brake system instead of the traditional vacuum assisted setup. This meant that I had to update my ’95 GT to ’96-04 specifications to accommodate the added girth.
Upon closer inspection, I discovered some surface rust that had accumulated below the brake booster and needed to be dealt with. It appeared that there had been an undiscovered brake fluid leak and it really did a number on the paint.
The easiest way, which wasn’t really that easy at all, to reach the nuts securing the booster/master cylinder to the firewall was to remove the dash board assembly. This also paved the way for the upcoming dashboard and wiring harness swap from the donor car.
After removing the old parts, I was able to fully survey the rust damage.
Luckily, it was very superficial and I was able to clean it up nicely using a wire brush, some “Scotch Brite” pads and “elbow grease”. A quick coat of self etching primer and gloss white paint finished the job.
There is SO much work left to do!! Stay tuned for pictures of the upcoming engine, transmission installation!! We have also acquired a cowl hood to replace the current, well worn Cobra R hood. Next, we will be ditching the abused Cobra bumper and upgrading to something a little more aerodynamically suited for autocross.
Our friends over at Madd_Motorsports [IG: Madd_Motorsports] were happy to make us a deal we couldn’t refuse to trade some Maximum Motorsports suspension parts for this one-of-a-kind hood. Thanks guys!!
I’ve taken the past week to start installing my wife’s supercharger! The Department of Boost GT450 kit uses an Eaton M122 and a custom, billet aluminum manifold. The rest has been a custom affair with many trips to find obscure parts and a few parts through the mail. When all is settled, it will be one tire frying monster.
I have been absorbing information on 4.6 4V engines at a rate that would make Johnny 5 jealous. In conversation with friends and different vendors, I have come up with a simple plan of action. I’m going to upgrade the oil pump, the oil pan and install a rear cylinder head cooling crossover mod. All of those are geared towards endurance and prolonging engine life. In addition, a set of long tube headers and an oil filter relocation kit will round out the first wave of modifications before installing the engine.
Boundary Pump Division: 3V/GT500 oil pump with billet gears
BBK: Long tube headers
Wonder Racing, LLC: cylinder head cooling mod
Maximum Motorsports: oil filter relocation kit
We recently sold the complete engine package out of our ’95 GT after it had been sitting idle for a long period of time. In recent conversation with a friend, a deal was struck for it’s replacement. We procured the entire engine and drivetrain package from a wrecked 1998 SVT Cobra. For those unfamiliar with this particular setup, here are a few brief specifications:
4.6 4V & T-45 Transmission
- Horsepower: 305 hp @ 5800 rpm
- Torque: 300 lb·ft @ 4800 rpm
- Redline: 6800 rpms
- Compression ratio: 9.9:1
- 0-60 mph 5.3 | Quarter mile 13.8 [3391 lb curb weight, 3.27 gears]
- T45 gear ratios: 1st 3.37, 2nd 1.99, 3rd 1.33, 4th 1.00, 5th 0.67
The Unicorn is a 1995 Mustang GT that has had it’s fair share of abuse and neglect. It is my first Mustang and I’ve owned it since 2006. We’ve been through three engines, multiple suspension setups, took my wife on our “first date” in it, used it as a work car, a storage room and it is the #1 reason I have a few grey hairs in my 30’s. We’ve come a very long way together and still have such a long, long way to go. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s going to surprise a few people.