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  1. #1

    Default The half million mile refresh - 1986 GT

    I've been a member on FEP for a while now and I've posted a bunch of stuff, etc, but I haven't really went through and documented what all I've done to my 1986GT and all that is planned for it when the time comes, etc.

    For those who are not familiar with my car, I've owned it for over 25 years. It was my daily for 18. The first thing people think of when they think of me is my black four eyed fox. Synonymous like Robert Urich in character as Spencer for Hire with his 66 2+2.

    Once the young me with a polished to the hilt shiny and beautiful four eyed fox with a bad-ass stereo.

    Now the older out of shape me with the rusty to the hilt and well worn four eyed fox with that same old bad-ass stereo.


    I've somehow managed to drive my 1986GT from the time it had 78K miles on it until now when its on the downhill slide of the last 100K miles as it works on going from 450K to 500K.

    I ran the car as a sleeper with only mods you can't really see most of the time. Opened up then welded back stock headers, extrude honed intake, VM1 tune SD computer (which it came with -- one of just a few cars that did). A heavy clutch, some sticky street tires, and a lot of the time more guts than sense.

    Its ran a best of 13.26 at 114 MPH on street tires running pump gas which was very quick back in the 90's when I would street race as a broke dude in college and out so I could pay the insurance and afford the parts to make it take me to work every day.

    Two full seasons on the drag strip apparently didn't affect the old 5.0 that much -- it went on to run all these miles since.

    I have receipts for over 50 pairs of tires, 13 clutches, 2 rear ends, and 9 T5 transmissions. One lasted as many as 215K miles, one lasted as little as 10K miles, most were somewhere in between.

    When I started on the suspension in 2015 it had a broken spring in the drivers front and another in the passenger rear.

    The bushings in the A-arms froze in place and the rubber got hard enough to stop giving and eventually the A arm bolts turned the holes in the K member into a football shape.

    All the salt has also taken its toll on this car. The torque boxes and rear floor section are pretty well rotted out. The floor is in extremely bad condition. etc.

    These days the car has the following mods:
    89GT seats with who knows how many miles. fabric dye protected them though.... going to SVO foam and leather
    FB-169 aluminum radiator
    UPR Under-drive pulley kit
    Cold air kit
    MAF conversion with an A9L
    70MM MAF (note -- don't do this without more fuel pressure or a tune, preferably a Cobra ECU.....)
    65MM throttle body
    65MM EGR spacer
    Typhoon EFI intake
    Holley adjustable fuel pressure regulator
    BBK equal shorty headers
    MAC X-pipe with CATS
    2.5" flowmaster mufflers with tail pipes from a ratted out MAC cat-back I bought from Paul at HP Motorsports in 1998.

    HPM caster/camber plates (added finally in 2015)
    Maximum Motorsports Strut tower brace (HPM brace removed in 2015 to clear the intake)
    HPM subframe connectors

    New stock replacement shocks, struts, quad shocks
    Steeda X2 balljoints
    MM SN95 on fox bumpsteer kit
    Reman 86GT rack
    reman PS pump
    transcooler and inline filter for the PS pump -- run with synthetic -- no more noise!!

    Replacement A-arm bushings with JEGs A-arm bolts (what a PITA that job was... next time I'll drop the K-member and put in new arms-- it would be easier)

    1995 Mustang front spindles
    1999 GT dual piston calipers
    M1858 1" bore master cyl
    Summit Racing adjustable proportioning valve
    1995 Mustang 8.8 with SN95 rear disc and 5-lug
    1995 Tri-bar rims
    245/45/17 tires
    Camber bolts
    Low miles take-off 1993 GT front springs
    Low miles take-off 1993 4cyl LX rear springs
    Rear swaybar eliminated
    1986 T5 built with T5Z gear kit and specs
    350lb torque rated clutch

    Planned mods with parts on hand:
    LMR re-popped 1993 Cobra waterpump pulley
    24 Lb injectors
    93 cobra ECU
    Wideband A/F and gauge
    Moats quarterhorse with custom tune (after rebuild)
    Fox witdh Mosier rear axles
    Panhard bar
    battle box torque box re-enforcements


    Other planned mods:
    RUST REPAIR!!!!!
    factory sunroof top grafted in
    stoker kit or 351W based stroker shortblock
    better heads
    EFI friendly cam

    This car is black with a red interior and it is my favorite.



    I'll add pictures of stuff I've done over the years as time permits.

    Pictures from last night when I took it for a drive.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 12:19 AM.

  2. #2

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    More Picts - my Grandpa on my dadís side bought a 1974 Ford Galaxie 500 2dr hardtop with a 351W and D0OE fuelie heads brand new. I rode in it as a baby and many times as a child. After he passed my Grandma sold me his car. It was very special to me as it was to him but it killed my grandma just a little bit every time she saw it so it had to go. I always wanted an 86 so when the chance presented itself grandpaís Galaxie went towards the 86.

    paid $5486 for my car on the very last business day of 1992 around closing time in Norfolk NE. 2600 plus my Galaxie..... made for $86/mo payments for 36 months.

    I was driving one afternoon with my son north of Yankton SD for no real reason at all but to pass the time and the old girl caught my eye through the fenceó pictured is whatís left of my Galaxie as of a year ago.

    Sans motor of course. It had a 360 degree offenhauser intake under the hood when I sold it. A kid bought it and dropped it into a ratty pace car (which is what I waned to do with it too) but then went out and wrapped it around a pole and got himself killed afaik. 300+ HP under the hood of a Stock suspension fox proved way too much.

    what remains of the car is the body. Burn orange metallic, brown interior. It had a white top with tons of rust under it. I replaced it in 1992 with a jc Whitney special after fixing all the rust with new metal. That top is now gone too but the rest of it is still there.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 12:34 AM.

  3. #3

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    More pics. Before and after 5 lug conversion via 1995 8.8 our back and 83 2.0L Ranger rotors. Stopped better than Stock which isnít saying much.instant 25+ HP via a rear diff that wasnít shot - less friction.Also a shot of my tired old 5.0L sans intake upper. One of the last shots before the HPM strut tower brace came off.

    also a pic of me with Trigger in August of 1994 with around 100K miles.

    Also a shot in 1997 with 200K miles. HPM sticker in the window, my now wifeís 89LX convertible that only had 54K miles in the background.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 01:01 AM.

  4. #4

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    More pics

    shot in 94 after a good coat of wax

    shot in front of the very last Kmart in Omaha. I traded my Galaxie for my Mustang while I worked for K Corp.... damn old thing out lasted their presence in the region
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 01:07 AM.

  5. #5

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    B44947EB-8955-442E-BC89-B37458E3C1E0.jpgMore shots. My worn out old 86GT beside my sonís 86GT convertible.

    shot of my son tending to my 86

    first side view of the car rolling on SN95 spindles and X2ís and 93LX rear springs.

    First look at the 170MPH speedometer Iím thinking about putting in Trigger. It has a 140 right now.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 01:17 AM.

  6. #6

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    B97C2870-C856-4A90-AE84-72C4A212B2F5.jpgMore picts. A shot of the Typhoon EFI with a MM strut tower brace and a crappy cold air kit that doesnít fit for anything.

    Also visible the HPM caster/camber plates and Summit proportioning valve and M1858 master cyl.

    A thumbnail of my friends 86GT SCCA car. His holds expensive lessons learned from SVO rear brakes with SN95 front to trying to corner well with Fox balljoints to what 17x9Ē rims work in front, etc.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 01:30 AM.

  7. #7

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    More pics. The original steering column I removed with my dad in Oct 2016.

    Whats left of the pin and bolt from the 8.8 that was removed after around 380K miles during the 5 lug swap. Last few pics of the four eyed fox with its 10 holes
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 01:47 AM.

  8. #8

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    More pics.

    Broken passenger rear spring

    First look before and after front 5 lug conversion using 83 Ranger 2.0L rotors and bearings. Seals are the same, bearings are the same, caps are different.

    pic of the crusty old 8.8. When it went into my car, the car had 150K miles in 1996. It came from a totaled 89GT that had 75K. Came out in 2015 with somewhere around 370-380K miles on the diff.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 01:58 AM.

  9. #9

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    More pics. The harsh reality of what so many miles over 18 years of Nebraska winters does to a nice car. Took most of a weekend to patch it together enough to even put it back down on four wheels. And to think we were just going to put re-inforcements in when we started. Surprise!

    all the parts that are rotten are reproduced, or itís a candidate for a future back half....
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 02:09 AM.

  10. #10

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    More pics. A trip to Taco Bell after a long weekend of fighting with rusty bolts and rusty metal.

    245/45/17 on SN95 8Ē rims rub like a bitch on ranger rotors. The rims clear the struts but not the wheel weights. Had to go to Stock on. Definitely needs spacers. 1/4Ē or more.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 02:23 AM.

  11. #11

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    More pics.

    Yet another T5 bites the dust. I grab my T5Z built and discover my new RAM clutch kit Iíve stored for years is sans clutch disc straight from Amazon. Hugely pissed off - and my LT was in the shop at the time so I needed my 86. Spent many hours chasing after clutches before I finally found the only high performance kit available in Omaha on a Sunday.

    My dad came over and stabbed the T5Z in and helped button everything up then we took it for a rip. First time experiencing 0-60 in my car all in 1st thanks to the 2.95:1 low gear instead of a 3.35.

    The motor doesnít love the 0.63:1 up hills with a headwind when going less than 80.... lower gears are needed. Probably will go 3.90:1 eventually.

    old ratted out flywheel after it had been turned all it possibly can be. Lasted 11 clutch jobs.

    Since my speedometer cable was all messed up from the most recent time I twisted it off I took the opportunity pull the cluster and dig into my parts cluster and make one nice cluster with a 140 mph speedometer.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 02:42 AM.

  12. #12

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    More pics. Glidethunder beside his freshly purchased 86GT convertible. Taken at the Hyatt Grand Cypress in Orlando the day before we headed for home with it. A quick shot in front of Summit Racing on the way home. What a drive! First shot in the driveway when we got home. All told Iíve went Monterey CA to SanFrancisco then I80 to Omaha and Orlando to Omaha between the two 86 Mustangs.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 02:55 AM.

  13. #13

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    D1296383-B2D0-4BDC-ACD2-B93233D4D433.jpg82DCECB9-1BEA-43EF-A9B0-4F27B0B99FFB.jpg1EAB464A-941E-411E-8F67-63CFDECA466C.jpg52C30D48-4272-4BC1-B984-93795CD6C732.jpgC79F663D-9CAE-403C-A688-6428DADAB8DC.jpg

    Last look at the welds. Both 86ís side by side in the garage - kicked out the Lincolnís.

    Last look at the ricer tail lights on Glidethunders car

    First look at my 10 holes on Glidethunders car ó much better!!

    84 SVO tail light lenses on Trigger

    my original 86 tail lights after Glidethunder redid them along with salvage yard light buckets.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 03:06 AM.

  14. #14

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    More pictures. Last few with the 86 spindles and original balljoints under it. Shot of the broken drivers front spring. Matches nicely with the broken passenger rear it also had. Thatís what happens to a suspension dealing with the torque of a 5.0 in the long run I guess.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 03:16 AM.

  15. #15

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    More pics.

    Drivers side A arm bolts were very difficult. The bushings were so hard and deformed a sawzall blade would barely touch them. heat with a torch then cut worked best. UT knife wouldnít touch them.

    The ballpoint was so seized in place I broke a press made for 4wd 1 ton trucks fighting with it. Ended up heating the A arm in the coals pan for my smoker then icing the ballpoint itself then applying maximum pressure with a new press and beating it with a dead blow. Took forever just to do one A arm! Then I pressed in the X2 and wire brushed then brake cleaned and primed and painted painted the rebuilt arm. Then I assembled the drivers side.

    nothing could have prepared me for the passenger side. I just about called her a dead horse and had a wrecker drag it away.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 03:32 AM.

  16. #16

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    More pictures. Nightmare when bolt seizes to the bushing sleeve then the bushing get so hard that the bolt turns in the kmember instead. Had to cut off the grade 10 bolts to get the control arm off then patch up the K member with grade 8 washers and a template and a welder.

    Obviously the reason I now have a replacement K member for this car.

    HPM caster camber plate directions

    Found a picture of the typhoon under the HPM strut tower brace- wow is that lower tall! It actually hits the hood on the front corner unless you swap to 93 convertible motor mounts or a cowl hood. An 86 E6SE motor with a mild cam will pull right to 6250 believe it or not. I try to shift this worn out old mill by 6100 or before when Iím powershifting to keep it off the limiter.

    i will search up a few more pictures when I can. This build is more or less on hold while the build progresses on my Silver ď1985-006Ē Saleen build.

    I am thinking about a pretty radical metal replacement strategy for this rusty old horse that will put the rot out to pasture in a big way. Letís call it an addabacktome. Down low everything behind the shifter comes from an 86 SVO. Up above the A pillar joint is the break point as it was a runroof car. It died in an engine fire years ago but the back of the car survived and is in prestine condition. Pick both apart and tie the two together in the correct way. Add extra bracing, perhaps even a cage
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-27-2018 at 04:07 AM.

  17. #17

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    Drove Trigger out to get together with my friend that helped setup my suspension and brakes this evening. Hadnít seen him in about 18 months because he moved to Nashville in 16.It was a little like time hadnít passed but there was WAY too much to catch up on in 2 hours.

    We took Trigger for a spin after dinner and i showed him how different the car feels with X2ís and how well no rear sway bar works at keeping the rear planted. As I stabbed the gas the rear stayed totally planted ó when turned hard left the frontend actually pushed on the dry pavement in the parking lot where we were horsing around until I let off a little. He said his car would have never took off so quickly and if driven that way would go into massive oversteer. I totally agree - thatís why I took the rear swaybar off.

    He was also shocked at how nicely the car rode compared to stock or his 86. I totally agreeó itís over the top outstanding.the only thing I may do is add a panhard and a small adjustable rear sway bar and a 93 cobra spec front bar. Other than that the suspension and brakes are done. It will soon be time to direct my attention to the 8.8 conversion to fox width with gears, the motor, and finally body and interior.


    He commented that it looked like I was fogging for bugs when I got after Trigger when I left. I decided to see what would happen if I dump Seafoam in the fuel and oil then drive it a while.

    What happens is about a 95% reduction in smoke, vastly better idle, ability to tractor up hills at 1100 with a 0.63:1 OD and 2.73:1 rear gears at 1/2 throttle where before Iíd have to floor it, and no more immediate evidence of any blow-by at all.

    I didnít compression test before/after but itís definitely improved because it stays put on some steep hills when shut off and in gear where it wouldnít before.

    The car was quicker and faster than a stock 86 that is reasonably fresh before - which it better be or whatís the point of the mods.... but now itís improved. I suspect the car might be quicker and faster than itís ever been previously but itís been SO long that itís hard to say.

    I do know it hasnít smoked this little in a very long time. Any time you can take a motor thatís using a quart in 50 and turn around and go through less than 1/2 a quart in over 100 miles, itís a huge improvement. Completely worth the $8 for the 16oz bottle - it made a much bigger difference than premium fuel plus octane boost which is a generally about a laugh a minute once the car has heat cycled.

    I for sure need to change the oil in the near future. I had an all but wrote off this worn out and tired old motor. Shocked at the before/after.

    Just for fun I might change the oil and try another product in it yet too. See if marvel mystery oil shows any improvement after the sea foam treatment.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 04-08-2018 at 08:40 AM.

  18. #18

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    Well - looks like here I go taking to myself.
    Last edited by erratic50; 03-30-2018 at 07:29 PM.

  19. #19

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    I didn't take any pictures because it was dark and I was limited on time, but I did score some more parts for the 1986 tonight.

    Two good doors that are complete. Mirrors, all trim, glass, door panels, etc-- everything. They have minimal rust (looks to be some surface in spots but only a wire wheel will tell for sure)

    A nice straight and rust free hood

    An original 1985 LX facia in good condition complete with headlight buckets and misc parts, etc.

    Pretty good score for not a lot of $$.

    I now have
    K-member + A-arms
    Facia
    CAPA certified new fenders
    hood
    doors


    Now if the rear frame rails, torque boxes, quarters, and floor pan were only in good shape.... Maybe I'll eventually find a ratted out shell with good bones to start swapping things into. Would definitely save some time and money.

    This car is a good candidate for a factory sunroof swap during the build.

  20. #20

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    Looks like some serious progress is being made on the car. That's really cool that the car has basically traveled 500k. Amazing. Good stuff!!!!

  21. #21
    FEP Supporter GT Town's Avatar
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    Love this car and your history with it!

  22. #22

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    The part I’m amazed about is that I somehow managed to not pile it. Quick cars with crap brakes are bad. Young guys with a lead foot and an addiction to power shifting make it even worse.

    All of the above, guilty.

    Those factors above on rough Nebraska roads in bad road conditions (many times TERRIBLE conditions) day after day makes getting to where it is unlikely.

    It has gotten quite hairy numerous times, just glad the car and I made it through.

    The closest call I’ve had in I don’t know how long came from a slightly hung up 99GT caliper after my frontend rebuild. It boiled the brake fluid in the lines and master cyl. I discovered it at a busy intersection and ended up aborting my planned left turn and blowing the red light. I threw it into 1st and let it drag the speed down then hammered it when there was 1/2 a chance to run through and not get clobbered if the other guys hit their brakes. They did, was nothing I could do. Yikes....

    Needless to say I encourage hooking up the Ebrake again after a rear disc conversion..... Something I still haven’t done and almost never got the chance to do.

  23. #23
    FEP Supporter GT Town's Avatar
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    I’m going to run my ten holes until I get some things sorted on my 85. But I love the overall look and stance on yours. I’ve been combing through your threads to identify the parts I’ll need to have on hand. Thanks for sharing!

  24. #24

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    All of the shots with 10 hole wheels is all stock stuff, just beat down. My sonís conv is stock stuff just freshened
    and not beat down....

    17Ē tribar with the Center caps off and the hub sticking out is Stock 86 stuff beat down in front, 4 cyl LX rears. Same with Tacobell shots.


    recent picts at the gas pump are the stance I love.

    FYI - my car had broken front front left and right rear springs when I tore it apart and started rebuilding stuff....


    I wish I would have went 255/40/17 tires instead of 245/45/17 but I think the stance is great either way.

    So what parts? If going 5 lug... use 95GT front spindles

    4cyl lx springs in back. How much or little needs to be cut out on the spring depends upon the spring perch bushings and lower control arms used, etc. I initially got what I wanted with 140lbs worth of sand bags in back. Generally speaking youíll only need to remove about 1/4 or 1/2 a coil.

    in front itís Stock GT springs. I run X2 balljoints which drop the front 3/4Ē. Old school HPM caster/camber plates drop installed with the bushing stack under the hood to maximize bump while limiting droop drop it another 3/4Ē

    to duplicate height with a 4 lug setup youíd need GT springs cut around 1/4Ē which reduces tension and drops the car at the balljoint abut 3/4Ē.

    My car ended up about 1.5Ē lower than factory with nearly full suspension travel available in front thanks to the X2ís and plates. most of it still there in back

    The ride is outstanding IMO and the car handles way better than it did new.

    I also remomed the sway bar out back ó binding up piece of crap.... Iíll replace it with a MM adjustable bar. I plan to add a panhard too.

    on 10 holes Iíd go 235/60/15ís. They work out great.

    we shall see how my 1985 Saleen clone works out. Itís full Saleen Racecraft from the 80ís augmented with Maximum Motorsports goodies and SN95 balljoints for better suspension movement and SVO adapters and SVO spindles to correct the Ackerman problems that plague 4 lug cars usually. (Converted the SVO spindles to 4 lug using 87-93 V8 rotors)

    ill run 225/50/16 on the Saleen build. It will be lower than my GT by around 3/4Ē....

    either car should make it comfortably past 1G on a skid pad too.
    Last edited by erratic50; 05-12-2018 at 06:09 PM.

  25. #25
    FEP Supporter GT Town's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the information!

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