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Thread: Pace Car Build

  1. #1

    Default Pace Car Build

    Hi all,

    I thought I would share my plans for my Pace Car Build for infromation sharing and feedback. Just to start I bought this Pace Car back in October with plans to make it all oringnal or go resto mod. Based on the amount of miles on the car, seat condtion and the fact that it has been repaint i chose the restomod path.

    My goals with this build is to make a performace street(first)/ basic track car. I want to be able to take it out on a road course for a track day or autocross event. Not to lay down blistering lap times. Just want to drive faster than I can on the street. Most of the time it will be a Sunday cruiser.

    Other goals are to keep the car the same look as the original Pace Car. This would include the TRX wheels, Recaro Seat, Paint and super cool stickers. The only problem I see with this goal is staying with 4 lug wheels will limit my options brake size.

    The Plan:

    1. Reupholster the Recaro Seats. LMR.com sell a kit. and fix all the little issue with lights and things. This project has already started.

    2. Upgrade suspension

    - 87-93 V8 Spindles
    - 11' 4-lug brake kit
    - Blistein B6 HD shocks and struts
    - Maximum Motorsports K-member package with 300lbs coilovers
    - Strut tower brace
    - Maximum Motorsports full length sub frame connectors
    - Pan Hard bar (rubber upper control arm Bushings)
    - 175lbs spring in the rear Stock location (no coilover)
    - Aftermarket upper and lower rear control arms (free from a buddy)
    - New front and rear Sway Bar Eibach

    3. Engine (goal is 300hp)
    - This is one of Edelbrocks packages. Engine block has been rebuilt recently. I plan on doing and compression test and send a sample of oil of for analysis to make sure its all good to go.
    Performer Series Carb #EDE14063
    Performer 289 Intake Manifold #EDE2121
    Performer-Plus Camshaft Kit #EDE2122
    E-Street Cylinder Head #Part #EDE5023
    Performer-Link By Cloyes Timing Chain Set #EDE7820
    COMP Cams Roller Rocker Arm Magnum 3/8" Stud 1.6
    BBK headers and Mid Pipe
    Flowmaster cat Back exhaust.


    4. T-5 transmission or TKO600 Swap (next winter)

    As I complete projects or run into issues I post up some pictures and infromation

  2. #2

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    I started to reupholster the seats using the TMI kit from LMR.com. I am attempting to do this myself with a crash course in upholster off youtube. Rear seats are easy. I think this took and day for the entire back seat. Front seat has been not so easy. It has been a lot of trial and error. I have used up a lot of the hog rings trying to get things right. I still have the lower part of the seat to do and the entire passenger seat to do.
    I did have to buy hog ring pliers and 200 hog rings.
    Also, material is a lot easy to stretch when it is warm. Doing this in garage didn't help even when it was heated. I think.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by MNbuckeye; 06-28-2020 at 01:34 PM.

  3. #3

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    Wow, good luck with your build. Back seat came out looking great. I'm sure the front will come out looking just as good. Keep us updated with pics while you fix this bad boy up.. Again , good luck with build...

  4. #4
    FEP Power Member Fearnot's Avatar
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    Good luck on the project. I’m getting ready to start the same basic build on my PC.
    Your Seats are looking good already! My car came with NOS upholstery and I’m debating on having a shop do the seats.
    Look forward to the sharing of info.
    88 Turbo Coupe auto
    88 Turbo Coupe 5spd
    79 Fairmont Futura 4.6
    79 Capri RS - 2.3/5spd restomod
    80 Capri 5.0/5spd project
    79 Zephyr Z7 factory 5.0 sunroof
    79 Pace Car 5.0/5spd project
    85 LTD LX factory 5spd?(not documented)
    86 GT conv 5.0/5spd
    79 Pace Car 2.3/4spd - needs new home

  5. #5

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    Well finished the entire driver side seat.
    I use the TMI Products Kit. One thing that I notice is that the TMI kit has a 1/2 inch pad attached. On the side bolsters on the bottom I had to cut the padding out so it would fit. After I cut the pad off which was easy it went one kind of easy. The pad is glued to the cover and it separates easily. Also, you have to do everything in a specific sequence, or it is tough to get it right. I went through a lot of hog rings to figure out the sequence. But if anyone has any question let me know. The plan is to knock out the passenger's seat tomorrow. I'll take some step by step pictures.
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    Last edited by MNbuckeye; 06-28-2020 at 01:34 PM.

  6. #6
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Seats looking great! I had a local shop put the kit on mine. It was just one of those things I was afraid of screwing up. Not a big deal on a $400 upholstery set, but this Recaro set is high rent. Per TMI's recommendation, I went with new front seat foam. While the seats turned out nice, I will admit that the seat bottoms are slightly different than factory. The originals were deeper, but probably not as accommodating to some (ahem) "frames".

  7. #7

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    Well, this weekend I swapped out all the lights out on the dash with White LEDs. That changed the color from green to blue. Got both the seats completed and put them back in the car. Fixed the broken tilt steering (pain in the butt)

    Remove the rear axle and found some concerning things with what the previous owner had done.
    1. loose bolt of the driver side rear lower control arm
    2. bolt was way too short on the upper control arm with just a few threads engaged
    3. the use of grade 2 bolts with non-lock nut nuts.
    4. both e brake cable broken
    5. some horrible welding

    Next step:
    1. Drop gas tank.
    2. wire wheel the rust to prep underbody for Eastwood undercoat rubberized undercoating
    3. Sand and paint rear end
    4. swap drums out with 93 Cobra 4 lug disk brakes
    5. new upper control arm bushing. Going with the factory rubber bushings
    6. new brake lines
    7. New Rear Diff Cover
    8. New upper control arms
    9. Reinstall rear end
    10. new sway bar

    I got to take more before and after pictures.

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  8. #8

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    The past two weeks I have wire brushed all the loose rust off the rear end housing and paint with the rubberized undercoating. Started to install the Cobra rear disk and ran into some clearance issues.
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    1. I bought brackets off of eBay with dust shield for 60 bucks. I can't use the brackets because the stock axle length for drum brake requires an offset for the caliper. Still, a good purchase because the dust shields new are 60$ on LMR or 40 or 50 on eBay
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    2. I bought brackets from LRM.com, painted black and installed. Note: Make sure the axle bracket is free of rust and other contamination. I use a wire brush and a file to make sure it was flat. I installed them the first time with just hitting them with a brush and some junk was between the axle and the bracket.

    Once install the bracket I put a rotor on and installed the caliper just to see the fitment. I found some clearance issues with the caliper hitting the bracket. Just took a grinder and removed enough material for the clearance
    .
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    3. No clearance between dust Sheild Bolts and rotor. DO I NEED TO RUN DUST SHIELD?????
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    Need some feedback:

    1. Don't run dust shields

    2. Mount the dust shields on the inside. I would need to cut on them

    4. Something I hadn't thought of yet.

    Thanks
    Last edited by MNbuckeye; 04-28-2019 at 08:54 AM.

  9. #9
    FEP Super Member JTurbo's Avatar
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    Nice Pace Car build. Look forward to more updates.
    1979 Indy Pace Car Mustang 302 / 5spd
    1982 Mustang GT T-Top 302 / 4spd
    1986 SVO Mustang - 1C

  10. #10

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    Well, I think I am going to swap the 7.5 to an 8.8.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MNbuckeye View Post
    Well, I think I am going to swap the 7.5 to an 8.8.
    I'm thinking that's not even a 7.5. Looks more like a 6.75", which is even worse. But regardless, do swap it out for an 8.8.
    79 Capri RS 5.0/T5
    82 CHP SSP #0513 5.0/SROD
    83 NCSHP SSP 5.0/SROD
    84 FHP SSP 5.0/T5
    93 LX Convertible 5.0/AOD

  12. #12

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    Build is coming along great, neighbor! My Zeph had that same tiny rear. Let me know if you need anything, I'm starting to accumulate some extra parts.

    Ever hit any shows locally? I never miss Street Machine Nationals or the Apple Valley spring show.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZephyrEFI View Post
    Ever hit any shows locally? I never miss Street Machine Nationals or the Apple Valley spring show.
    I haven't been to any shows. I hope I can have this thing done before July so I can hit a few.

    Other Update:

    found a bare 8.8 on eBay. The seller said nothing is wrong with and its free shipping.

    I am going to go with:
    ford racing 3.73 gears
    Auburn Pro series limited slip diff 31 spline
    New bearings and shims
    then some 31 splines 4 lug axles. (not sure why I am staying with 4 lug.)
    I have a buddy that has all the tools to set backlash and that other stuff.

  14. #14

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    Quick update on the build.
    May was full of rust removal and painting the underbody.
    - Removed the tank- Sanded and painted. Inside the tank looked good.
    - Replaced tank straps. Found at national parts depot. Bought the wrong straps from LMR.com. Labeled that they would fit a 79, but they don't.
    - The 8.8 builds has hit some snags.
    - had a repair shop press the bearings on the diff and they damage them. Had to order new and just got them on June first
    - The pinion is in with setup bearing. Using and racetech shim kit instead of a crush sleeve on the pinion. Takes a little more to setup but way easier to torque. Next step is to install the diff and set backlash and check the pinion height.
    - I have almost all the parts on hand to finish the rear end, front end, and engine. Hopefully the next few weeks I will be able to show more progress (with Pictures).

  15. #15

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    Things are coming along.

    Rear diff setup took longer than expected. I was reading the contact pattern wrong and decreased pinion shims instead of increasing. That added a lot of time.
    The axle I bought did not fit into the diff ID on one side so much that I could not get the retaining clip on. I had to turn the axle down to get it to work.
    Installed 3-inch wheel studs was a good idea as well
    I installed the exhaust and wrapped the section by the fuel line. I will let you know how that holds up.

    I am finishing a few things with the engine and front Coilover then I post some pic of that stuff.
    I have ordered a lot of incorrect parts during my build. The 79 has a lot of unique things compared to other fox bodies.





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  16. #16
    FEP Power Member
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    Nice work! It's going to be a totally different car to drive when you're done.

  17. #17

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    Got the car out of the garage and went on a small test drive. Needs and alignment and the transmission shifts hard but should be ready to go soon.

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    Before

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  18. #18

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    Watch out for that diff cover hitting the spare tire well. MN_Stang has one that's similar, if not the same and had that problem.

    Car's looking great!
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  19. #19

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    Hey Everybody,

    I though I would give an update on my Pace Project and get this forum moving again.

    Well after doing all that work last year, I've decided to go another direction.

    Break down of what I did last year:
    Frontend- Bump steering kit, Coil-overs, chamber plates, sway arm, MM A-arms, SVO (4lug) brakes and master cylinder
    Engine- RPM 170cc heads, cam(flat tappet) , roller rockers, dual plane intake, 650cfm carb (edelbrock power package)
    Rearend- Replace 7.5 with an 8.8 auburn pro series diff, 93 cobra disk brakes, MM adj lower control, Upper control arms, sway bar 3.73 gears and diff cover.
    Interior- Recovered the seat added some gauges
    SVE 10th anniversary wheels 4lug 17x9's

    What I didn't like about the car- the brakes are better but still suck, lots of noises, seat position to high, 3 speed auto with 3.73 (top speed 95mph), over steer was bad.

    What I like about the car- Engine made good power (not great), handling had improved, car looked awesome

    Plan moving forward:
    Transmission- Tremec 3550 with Spec stage 3 clutch and aluminum flywheel, Aluminum drive shaft
    Rear suspensions- I traded my 8.8 for a 04 cobra IRS with low miles with some good mods. still need to update the sway bar and tie rod ends but its ready to go. I figure I didn't need to purchase a panhard and a torque arm so I am saving money. I also got a magna flow exhaust (brand new) in exchange for my flow masters. Full swap. Adding coilovers to the rear.
    Brakes- manual brake conversion, 13" Brembo's for the front with the cobra brakes in the back. Need to figure out what master cylinder will work.
    Engine- MSD ignition upgrades, 7qt road race canton oil pan
    Front end- MM- K-member
    Interior- sound deadener all over the place , new lower seat, roll cage, fix the heater core
    Wheels- AMR dark stainless wheel 18x9 in the front and 18x10 in the rear. I'll be rolling fenders

    I want to do some fuel system upgrade but having trouble find information on the 79 with no return line. if you know something please share.

    I am currently in progress of disassembling the entire car.

  20. #20

  21. #21

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    The braking difference!
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  22. #22
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    Looks good. For my pace car, I added a sump to a new factory-style tank with two bungs. Ran AN fittings, Holley Blue electric pump, and braided hose to a Holley bypass-style fuel pressure regulator. The excess fuel is routed from the fpr back to the tank.

    A friend replaced the tank on my 82gt (long story, but I gave the car to him and now it's mine again lol). I haven't really looked at the car, but he said the new tank had a built-in sump area already, so all he had to do was weld the 2 bungs in.
    79 Pace Car - 331, t5
    79 Cobra - working on 351w, t5
    82 Capri- working on 302, t5
    82gt - working on 408w, c4

  23. #23
    FEP Supporter Broncojunkie's Avatar
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    I have to admit, the car is pretty loud but the external fuel pump really puts out some noise. An in-tank pump would have been a wise investment.
    79 Pace Car - 331, t5
    79 Cobra - working on 351w, t5
    82 Capri- working on 302, t5
    82gt - working on 408w, c4

  24. #24

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    That should be sweet. Sometimes I wish I'd stuck with my IRS plan.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  25. #25

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    My understanding is that the 79 and 80 fuel tanks are different size than a 81 or onward and won't fit. Or can I just throw a tank from 82 with a return line and call it a day?

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