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  1. #51


    A lot has been happening but it seems like progress is SLOW. And Sydney's birthday is a little more than a week away. It's clear we won't make it with a running car for her birthday, especially since we're headed to Charleston for a vacation and eclipse viewing.

    First up are wheels. It's time for the car to leave the lift so that we can work on the interior and wiring. Needs wheels to do that so I bolted on a set of the Chump Cobra knockoffs which have the same common offset and backspacing as most all 17" factory Ford wheels (~5.95" backspace, 24mm offset). The problem is that on the front, with the SN95 LCA, the wheel sticks out about 1/2" outside the fender. A lot of camber can barely tuck it up under the fender.

    So, either I use some asymmetric wheels (rear fits fit with normal wheels) or I go back to a fox arm. I'm going with the fox arm, which means we have to fab up a new pair of arms with weight jackers and press the bushings I want to use into the arms. At least we'll have a spare set of LCAs for the SN95 race cars. I've already sand blasted the fox arms and we've taken the existing suspension off the car.

    How long as it been since you've seen a round air filter? Long time for me and it brought back a lot of memories of working on older Fords.

    I forgot to put some detail in on the radiator and fan. There I bought a fox 3 core ally radiator and I wanted to use an electric fan, specifically a Ford OEM fan. We've got a lot of e fans lying around so I chose a SN95 94-95 style fan as it fit really well on the radiator. All we had to do was fab up some ally supports and weld them to the radiator. I suck at ally welding but we were able to get it done well enough to work for the setup. Most of the fan weight is carried by the fan lip resting on the bottom of the radiator, but even without that the mounts are sturdy although not pretty.

    Since electrics are going in I needed a battery in place to fabricate the heavy current harnesses. I've got that in place now and it's tidy, down to the starter, grounds, and some feeds for the fuse panel.

    First job was to locate the Ron Francis fuse panel. That was done by fabbing up a few cardboard templates and trying them in various locations in the car up behind the dash and where the panel would still be accessible.

    Once we had a good location we fabbed the mount from steel and installed rivnuts in it that we could use to bolt the fuse panel to the mount.

    And this is mocked up again with the mount and panel where it will live.

    On other fronts, I secured a set of SVO seats that are in decent shape. They need to be recovered but at least I've got the basics in place, complete with manual pump up bladders for lumbar that work well. The gray will match the interior quite well.

    The dash is starting to get attention too. We had it down for mocking up of the fuse panel mounts and it's time for dash repair to happen.

    And on the ordering parts front I got a 17" spare tire. I hadn't thought about that aspect of the car until I read it on the forum, that is, with the larger Cobra brakes you need a special spare that will clear them. Found one in great shape for a fair price.

  2. #52


    Nice progress! Your fan mounts look pretty dang nice to me! Way nicer than what I'll end up with.

    Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  3. #53


    It has been a busy week so little work on the Mustang. What happened? Five day team meeting at work which knocked me out for the week, followed by family vacation and eclipse viewing, and Sydney got her license. Yep, she's now legal to drive and took her first trip out yesterday to have lunch with a friend. I might be more excited than she is since that means we don't have to ferry her around as much as we were doing. Unfortunately the Fox isn't done yet but the pressure is now on!

    Obligatory eclipse picture from our SC trip.

    Now that our busy late summer is winding down we can get down to business on project Fox. First up is making another set of arms for the car since we didn't like what the SN95 arms were going to require in the way of wheels and fitment. Arms Part Deux.

    Sydney got a bit of welding action in assembling the adjustable spring perches. She did fine with it and overcame her fear of "the sparky things".

    And of course we finally selected the wheels and went with a set of GT/Bullet units, around 2002 vintage. They fit up really well and with some 245s or 255s will be the ticket for this car.

    The arms and the rest of the suspension was bolted on and now we're back to where we were a week or so ago. We've got a roller! She's rolling on some of the Cobra wheels at the moment but at least she is rolling. Need to get it off the lift area so that we can turn attention to the interior and wiring.

    I've ordered a lot of parts - upholstery, new door cards, emblems, wiring sheaths, and lots more. I suspect the next immediate job is to roll out the sound deadener on the interior of the car. Yay, but it has to be done.

  4. #54


    A labor of love -- an outstanding build. Congratulations!

    Some pieces of advise from someone who has a 15 year old daughter himself and also having personally piloted my four eyed fox every day for 18 years then just for fun the other 7 totaling up around 380K miles..... fix the fox rear suspension!

    1- You can go to softer 4-banger LX springs in back (same as the 93 cobra so listen to ford if nothing else) - you'll get a lot less suspension bind. The pair far nicer with the front springs for a way better ride too

    2 - new shocks and quad shocks are essential. Stock style works great with the above springs

    3 - remove the rear sway bar entirely! The stock LX sport and GT front sway bars are stronger than 93 cobra front and rear combined. The rear bar prevents the rear inside tire from staying hooked then the limited slip helps blow the other one off for you.

    Note: I'm well past stock power on my 86 and I can pull out and turn left with my foot planted on the floor and not so much as kick the backend out! You'll have more HP with those heads but I'm certain can see the point

    4 - if possible add a panhard bar or watts link. They are by far the best upgrade I've seen on a fox. The other items above help but this one completely eliminates the rear snap steer that has taken so many cars and so many lives from us all.

    Best of luck getting this beauty on the road. Thanks for sharing all the pictures, we've really enjoyed them!

  5. #55


    Glad you like the build and thanks for the wishes.

    Your handling suggestions are spot on from my experiences. We are pretty well versed in how to get Foxes/SN95s to handle and perform as we've been road racing SN95s for years. I've built panhards and trilinks for our race fleet (three Mustangs) and I intended to build one for this car. But, when I evaluated the timing of the build I dropped that off at least for version 1.0 just so I could get it on the road. Fox V1.0 has 175 lb springs in the rear which are pretty soft. The adjustable rear shocks will be set soft and the rear bar will get ditched before hitting the road. All four corners have adjustable ride height to help dial in the corner weighting and we will do a bump steer analysis of the front when final setup and corner weighting is done. Eventually it'll get a better rear suspension design but it'll be winter I suspect before that happens.

    So much to do with it and projects are piling up. My race partner and I have been splitting some time on this car and on our endurance road race car. We finished building the motor for it a few weeks ago and need to get it buttoned up this weekend. We're both instructing at VIR Sept 8th weekend with the Tarheel Sports Car Club and need to have it track ready for a shakedown in preparation for races this fall. In addition my sprint road race car's transmission pooped the bed at Charlotte the weekend before last and I need to get to rebuilding another T5 as the 2018 points season starts in October.

    I need to quit my job so I have time for my hobbies!

  6. #56


    The offspring spent time putting down some dynamat-like product in the floor of the fox. I used the same stuff in the Torino and while I had no back to back comparisons to judge from I *think* it helped a little. Maybe. Without proper sound frequency measurements, which none of these companies seem to be bothered to do even though you can get good spectrum analyzers for your iPhone, it's a crap shoot.

  7. #57


    Wheels comparison, Cobra:


    I am good with either set of wheels and Sydney is too. I enjoy the look of the Cobras for the styling and edges which match the early Fox well. But I like the Thrusts with the gray that compliments the gray trim of the car and what will be a gray interior.

    Anyhow, I went with the Continental Extreme Contact tires in a 255 size and they are mounted on the Thrusts so the car is going to start life with those wheels. Sydney still wants to call in a favor from a good friend of ours and wheel maker (among many other things) and have a set of 10 hole LX/GT wheels from the 80s replicated in a 17" format.

  8. #58


    Car looks great with the Bullitts! Great progress here! I love my Extreme Contacts.

    If you're able to get 17" 5-lug 10-holes your fellow 4-eye fans may need some too!

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI T-5 (Mustang LWB)
    '17 Ford Transit Connect Titanium LWB
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  9. #59


    It has been a couple of weeks since I have updated the thread. Progress is being made but it is slow going on the wiring. We're chipping away at it but still I reckon we're only about 40% done. But, the hard 40% is done.

    One of the early jobs was the pinout for the gauge cluster. Jeff G. handled that part and make a easy to read diagram for the two connectors. We'll make all new gauge harness based on this and make sure it functions properly.

    Meanwhile I took apart the gauge cluster to make sure everything is functioning. It's in excellent shape and the instrument faces were restored awhile ago. While at this stage I removed the ammeter and applied to decal, step one, in converting it to a voltmeter. After that shut removal and conversion.

    We went down the road of messing with the cluster harness and then stopped, turning attention instead to the engine harness and Sniper rig, as well as the fuse panel mounting. Step one was mounting the Ron Francis panel in its permanent location, under the dash left hand side.

    Once it was positioned I could mock the steering column up for mounting the switch and putting the all new harness in for that - switch, power feeds to the panel, clutch switch, AC wiring, fan wiring, brake, etc.

    Meanwhile Jeff was working on the Sniper. The Sniper has a lot going on because it controls timing, breaks the coil for ignition, it needs to know about the AC, it controls the fan, and of course all of this is done properly with relays and so on. He did a great job tidying that wiring harness up so it looks factory.

    Meanwhile on the inside the HVAC got permanently mounted and the wiring all tidied up there too. Lots o wire, all brand new.

    And, after we got the Sniper in, engine harness, and chassis power/grounds we checked everything and it was good. The final check came with hooking the column up, ignition switch, and firing the Sniper up. It lives!!

  10. #60


    Glad you got it fired up!

    my adjustable proportioning valve is in the exact same spot!

  11. #61


    The engine hasn't been fired yet, but, we're not that far away either. For sure we'll have video of that!

  12. #62


    It has been a long while since posting on this thread. A situation at work exploded in late September and I haven't had much time to coordinate work in the garage with Jeff and Sydney. Sydney is knee deep in school too so she has little free time. Still, work has been progressing slowly and the wiring is done save radio harness and the instrument harness. We should finish those today and we're ready for an engine start. Here are some pics from the last several weeks.

    Once the engine harness was complete attention turned to the corners of the car, specifically getting the lights working.

    Light wiring is fairly straightforward but along the way we encountered interesting problems like the horn switch not working. That switch is part of the column and if you work at it you can take it apart. There are small spring loaded copper pins that push upward and make contact with the circular horn ring. The flexible copper braid had detached from it. After some futzing around we were able to resolder the braids and get it working again. Easy peasy.

    In the course of working with the horn we repaired the wiper switch and made sure all the gear was functioning as it should before installation into the car. We had an extra light switch and ground the connector lock tabs off of it so we could easily use it with the new harness for testing. Invaluable if you aren't planning on installing the dash at this point.

    It got messy inside. Everything with respect to wiring for the car is new. We are using some old connectors when we harvest them but we're making subharnesses and so on as we go so the going is slow.

    Small subharness for corner marker lights. Uses original connectors plus two new ones I purchased for the tiny lights. Eventually this harness was put in a cloth loom better than OEM.

    Success with the corner markers.

    and success with the headlights. A proper Four Eye stare.

    The Dark Gray Box, something that won't be going back in the car.

    Sydney finishing the dynamat liner for inside and doors. This actually happened a bit before the wiring but so it goes.

    Bit of wiring detail for wiper looms.

    These wires got sleeves and looms, just testing fit and length here.

    All the electrical wiring systems have been extensively tested and work properly. Door locks (we had to put in new actuators), windows, all lights, trunk release, etc. everything is functional. Some things I choose not to make functional such as the shift light, seat belt light, and key buzzer. No thanks on those.

    I'll get more pictures up for the inside wiring. We're basically done there and we're ready for the dash. Speaking of which, the dash is in poor shape so I'm waiting to see if I can score a good dash hull for replacement. I have made some repairs on this dash using fiberglass and epoxy but if I could get something better to start with I think I'd go for it.

    Seat covers have been on order from FoxResto for a couple of months but it's going to be at least 6 more weeks before they arrive. Probably the same on the head liner. But for now the next steps are:

    Engine startup
    Install carpet, insulation
    Recondition door cards - I have the new ones just need to transfer existing good skins
    Repair or replace dash
    Recondition interior panels / paint panels
    Install dash / headliner
    Rebuild seats
    Install seats

    The end is in sight. I have learned better to put drive dates or similar on projects but here I think we might be able to drive the car sans cosmetics before Christmas. I sure hope so as it'll be something of a Christmas present to all involved to have this project complete.

  13. #63
    FEP Supporter BMW Rider's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada


    Nice work on the wiring. I respect neat tidy wiring and the effort made to do it right.

  14. #64


    Whew, a month had flown by. We're really close now. The engine is running, not great but running. The Sniper install went fine and initial startup is done, but while we can get it to idle and take throttle it seems to forget all that once you shut it down and let a day pass. Come back and start it up the next day and it's almost like starting all over, it's strange. Anyhow, we're on it and it's just a matter of us learning some particularities of of the Sniper further hampered by the fact we can't drive the car anywhere. I think we'll be okay once we can get the car on the street as I know the ignition timing is good, engine is timed correctly, fuel flow good, and the wiring is all 100% correct.

    We've received the new seat cushions and covers from TMI so we moved the car off the lift and over to the side of the garage where we can get back on the interior. Next up is carpet, seats, and dash. While the car was out of the car hole I shot a few pictures of it in natural light. I think it looks pretty damn good!

  15. #65


    It has been a good while since I updated this thread due to WORK, as in J O B work. January through mid-February is a heavy work time for me and there isn't a lot of time for other pursuits. However, progress was still made on the car.

    First up, the Holley Sniper issue is sorted, or at least I think it is. The bottom line is that I believe the fact that I was turning the ignition switch on and off literally dozens of times per day while testing and making wiring harnesses, then, I'd try and fire the car up for fun was ending up with essentially a overly rich cold start.

    We tested that hypothesis first by performing the actions described and getting the rough start and ****ty running. Then, we following day we'd pull the fuel pump fuse, repeat the same actions, install the fuse and bam, the car runs perfectly. Since then we've verified that many times so I feel the Sniper / engine is ready for some road testing.

    A lot of time was spent rebuilding the door panels, about 3-4 hours per side including the conditioning, cleaning, fitting, etc. It wasn't difficult but it is work I don't particularly enjoy. Given the panels are a mixture of pleather, fabric, foam, metal, and cardboard they came out pretty good.

    Initial condition, although you can't see the warpy waviness of the panel which it definitely has from the cardboard that was warped from being wet.

    Rip the old cardboard out bt removing all the stapes and using various tools to break glue bonds.

    New cardboard in place, waiting for glue to try. Notice new clips around perimeter.

    Mostly assembled and before cleaning:

    Installed and clean door panels. Well, mostly clean. A bit more scrubbing is needed but they look pretty solid.

    And we have finally turned attention to the dash. I've made a bunch of epoxy and fiberglass reinforced repairs to the dash, here are but a couple.

    And the dash has responded well and I think it'll be fine. All the metal support etc. was removed, and the dash was cleaned to get it ready for paint.

    Archaeological find, remnants of the touch up paint I kept in the glove box back in the day.

    And, I cleaned all the interior parts.

    Our local paint connection is going to paint all these pieces so that they'll match. I hope it will come out well, should know in a few days.

    Next up is seat recovering and I'm thinking the interior will be going back in the car inside a week or go. Getting pretty excited.

  16. #66


    Great update!

    The car really pops in the natural lighting!

    I agree with your daughter on the 10 hole 17's. If they looked right they would sell like hot cakes. Even a 15" or 16" in 5 lug has benefits given the available brake parts out there.

    My 1985-006 Saleen build will be Medium Canyon Red also. Staying traditional with 4 lug and 16" mesh wheels, etc.

  17. #67


    Those mesh wheels are great. I had a set of very similar mesh wheels on a Lotus Turbo Esprit I owned a long time ago.

  18. #68


    Mucho work happened in the shop yesterday with a long work session. We're finally at the point where the dash is repaired & painted and the wiring is done, so, it's time to hang it. Not so fast there....

    First up is the repro dash pad. It's a cosmetically nice piece but didn't fit for ****. So we had to modify it considerably to mount on the plastic tabs on the dash. And we had to modify the dash mounting points to fit it too.

    All the metal tabs needed enlarging considerably.

    After that we got to hang the dash numerous times while we fiddled with placement of wires, HVAC crap, and so on. Also, vacuum was pulled again on the HVAC to make sure it's holding and we don't need to futz with the heater box again. A few weeks ago I had to pull that box out again for a fan motor replacement and had to break the AC lines again. So, it's always good to check.

    Success. Speaker wires all in place, cluster, HVAC stuff will reach and it is surprisingly solid. Given how unbelievably flimsy the dash hull is outside of the car you'd never image it'd mount solidly but it does.

    The semi-finished product. Doesn't look like much, but hours of work went into repairing the dash, fixing and checking the HVAC stuff, prepping for paint, paint, and getting it back in the car. Probably 14-18 hours all told. It still has a couple of hairline cracks that are now hard to see, and it's original to the car so that's sort of cool.

    So later today the instrument cluster is going in, radio, and the HVAC controls for testing. All that stuff is prewired and has been checked once but I suppose this is the final run through.

    Then it's time for the interior starting from the top down. Headliner is in the box awaiting install and we'll start there.

    We're getting close!

  19. #69


    Had to take a bit of time off for racing and race car prep, but, a bit of Fox work got done too.

    The dash is all in. Everything is functional and works as it should, no small feat. It's surprisingly rigid too. After having it out and seeing it crack to pieces and flop all over the place I didn't think it would repair well. But, it did. HVAC is working as it should, blows strong with no out of the ordinary noises. Gauges all do their thing, it's like 1985 all over again. Oh, that's an original SVO wheel that hasn't been restored - hard find and it is in great shape. A bit of leather dressing will make it shine.

    Oh, by the way if anyone reads these posts - I am in need of a lower dash fuse cover panel. I do not have one at all. Any color will do as I can paint to match the dash. If you know of anything please let me know.
    Last edited by Ron Earp; 03-17-2018 at 07:57 AM.

  20. #70


    Carpet going in over here boss. Not a fun job and a lot more to go. Found out the front seat belt locks aren't working so I ordered new ones. Probably a good idea anyhow.

  21. #71


    Very nice! Just about time to enjoy it.

  22. #72


    I've got some assistance on the lower dash panel. Thanks much.

    I also need a hinge for the center console armrest and the black panel that surrounds the gearshift. In this picture you can easily tell what panel I'm missing:

  23. #73


    If you don’t mind the word Hurst on it you can get one that goes around their sticks very cheaply on eBay. The originals are out there used if you look and can be had for around the same money if you can find one.

    I run Hurst shifters on all my T5’s but I’m not a giant fan of their handles. My son loves his on his Hurst shifter so to each their own.

  24. #74


    Basically down to some dang old seats. The headliner went in, it went in hard but it went it. Along with it the package tray and the side rear trim and new front seat belt retractors.

    It looks way better in person than the pictures. Dark in there, hard to get much detail with the grays. But, it came out quite nice.

    Next up rear seat recovering.

  25. #75


    Looking great!

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