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Thread: 86 Saleen

  1. #1

    Default 86 Saleen

    I have an 86 that has been sitting for close to eight years now as it has had very little traffic since. Last time it was on the road was about two years ago and the right front caliper got stuck. Needless to say, it needs some work to get road worthy now, and even more love to look presentable, but baby steps....

    While digging into it, I noticed front bearing races in the hubs have spots in them from the roller bearings, and that rotor and hub is one unit. I am not keen on either of those. The brakes themselves are "upgrades" to what I presume are SVO or Lincoln 5 lug. Caliper piston is 73mm phenolic anyway. I am not really impressed with those either. The more I dig the more I want to replace.

    At some point in the past the car has been hit in the front and I guess part of the replacement was new struts. Well, the ones used the top poked holes in the interior reinforcement of the hood. From what I know Saleen used Koni. Are those the same as the SVO ones? I have scope on a used set and those can be restored. The car still retains it rear ones after 120k miles or so.

    One part of me wants to do an original resto but another part is looking at upgrades to brakes and handling. Appearance will however not change. The car has five lug 16" Enkei baskets from a later Saleen, and I possess the original four lug Enkei as well.

    The idea if I do brake upgrades are to use SN95 early spindles and Cobra brakes or fitting Brembo with suitable rotors. I read some say there will be bumpsteer and others say not. Some claim to use SN95 lower arms to work around bumpsteering and use SN95 struts. There is evidently a lot of confusion here as all information contradicts. I would greatly appreciate all educated input on the matter.

    THANKS

  2. #2

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    The dampers will be different than what came on an SVO.

    You can purchase SS pistons for the 73mm calipers, but if you do that, you will also need to get the clips linked below for the brake pads to fit properly.

    https://www.maximummotorsports.com/S...pair-P981.aspx

    If you change to 1994-95 spindles, then you will need to change to disable the stock proportioning valve and install an adjustable one.

    Installing some version of the SN95 rear brakes is a good idea.

    There will not be a bumpsteer problem.

    Don't use SN95 struts, unless you are building a drag car.

    You can possibly install SN95 FCAs. With the correct adjustments, this will decrease bumpsteer, bit it will also severely limit the size the width of the wheel and tire that will fit in front.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  3. #3

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    Thank you for your reply, Jack.

    Hmmm I have the onion heads on mine. I was told by PO that the struts were not the correct ones on the car currently, as the set screw for dampening is too long and poke the hood, and if I found the ones used on the SVO they were the correct ones used in the original build from Saleen. Maybe he was wrong.

    I am not worried about any other wheels fitting than those I've got. I will see how I go with that route of using SN95 parts for now, but appreciate the insight. I am not building a drag car.

  4. #4
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    What is your bumper number?
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  5. #5

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    It's lacking the digits right now as well as the banner, but it is #120. Funny thing with the banner is that different font size of the lettering has been used. I can tell from the outline in the tinted area in the top of the windshield. I am willing to wager it still has its original windshield since new, alternative replaced very early in its life, as it has an accident in the past.

    It seems like I have the correct struts/shocks in the front after all from quick research: Koni 8741-1103. Someone in the past has halfa**ed quite a few things on the car. The steering column was not screwed together properly, which I fixed asap after buying it, but now I came across a big play on the right side. The spindle and the strut did not have the nuts tightened so there is a substantial play, and this could explain the popping when I was doing slow roll turns. Well it is getting fixed now.

    As one can tell, there's been some interference between the top of the strut and the hood. The onion head does not look too fresh either. I need to hunt down a substantial amount of parts it seems like the more I pull here and there on the poor thing.

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    Maybe this needs to be moved to the Saleen section as I discovered there is one, if a moderator wouldn't mind.
    Last edited by BearWolfe; 12-28-2020 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Adding pictures

  6. #6
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Thought it was 120, you have Randy's old car. Never met the guy in person but he educated me a lot about early Saleen's before I bought my 86. Your car is a one of one by the way. Only canyon red 86 Saleen with sandy beige interior. From what I remember, Randy bought it as a roller and installed the drive train. There is a build thread on one of the sites of your car. Its been so long I do not remember which site.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  7. #7
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Hard to tell from your picture but those onion heads look funny to me. I don't recall mine having that flanged spacer thing under the nut. I took my onion heads off a couple 3 years ago as they were worn and caused the car to wander all over. I replaced them with MM units. Even though they are not original, the car drives and handles so much better. I kept the original ones in case someone figures out how to rebuild them.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  8. #8

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    You're correct. I bought it from Randy end he bought it from his buddy, Kyle (I think his name was). Kyle had bought it from Gary aka Bigwingsaleen in TN. There is a thread on here from 09 or so, right before I bought it.

    I love the color combo but finding anything for the interior is a nightmare, as you very well may know. I thought I had scored big when I found a black 86 GT with really low miles without paper, but as it turned out to have grey interior I was rather bummed. The interior looked minty and had piping from the poor pictures I saw but it was impossible to tell what color it was so I had my hopes up.

    What do your onion heads look like? I am curious. I've seen some show up on fleabay and been thinking of getting replacements as I think my heads are probably rather tired at this point. You can see a sliver of rubber creeping up and coiling. From what I have read there's only one style, but those sources can be wrong too.

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    Last edited by BearWolfe; 12-28-2020 at 11:04 PM. Reason: added picture

  9. #9
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    Here is what my original onion heads looked like. At the time this picture was taken I had some used KYBís on the car is the original koniís were leaking. Last year I was finally able to afford to have my original koniís rebuilt. Not cheap but well worth it. NOS Original onion heads are not cheap. There are some good deals at times on eBay but they seems to be few and far between these days. Not sure if I would buy used. Must say I am real happy with my MM camber plates. Even though they are not OEM the car drives and handles so much better than my worn out onion heads did.
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  10. #10
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    I think the two main differences is that spacer flange thing. I did not have that and the plate that is on top of the shock tower is one piece that surrounds the onion head. I have them up in my rafters if you want more pictures. I always wondered what happened to 86-120. I always thought canyon red was a pretty color. I think it pops even better with beige interior. From what I remember the interior in your car was decent. I know Randy replaced the dash pad and console armrest. Rest looked ok from what I remember. I also think he had the original floor mats which was super rare.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  11. #11

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    Thanks, Tigger. I really appreciate the picture. There's no need to get up in the rafters for additional pictures. However, I may nudge for some pictures of your car from various angles as I progress with mine. There are mods done to it, like 5 lug conversion but I have the original rims at least, and who knows what else is missing. I think there's supposed to be a brace under the engine, just a simple angle iron, but that is missing.

    The interior is decent and mostly the butt cushion on the driver seat that is torn. However, it is sun bleached so it looks almost grey. The floor mats are wrong, unfortunately, but correct for a later fox as they have the delta. Regardless, tan anything fox interior I think is pretty rare by any standard.

    I am missing the third brake light, but nothing I really care for anyway. I would like to find one to at least have it for completion.

    I wonder if the onion heads on mine are modded or something done at the conversion, like an experiment. It would be interesting to get hold of the owner who owned it when it was in the snafu to get some clarity of it. It was hit so hard that the lower dash board is cracked and the A pillar is a little off. There is misalignment in that whole section on the driver's side. I'll see how I go about addressing that the day I take the car apart. The problem is there are more vehicles than this car in the garage waiting on work. I need 48h days and 10 day week to get to it all LOL

  12. #12
    FEP Senior Member Tigger's Avatar
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    I have the same problem with lots of project cars and very little time. Let me know if you need pictures of anything.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  13. #13

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
    The dampers will be different than what came on an SVO.

    You can purchase SS pistons for the 73mm calipers, but if you do that, you will also need to get the clips linked below for the brake pads to fit properly.

    https://www.maximummotorsports.com/S...pair-P981.aspx

    If you change to 1994-95 spindles, then you will need to change to disable the stock proportioning valve and install an adjustable one.

    Installing some version of the SN95 rear brakes is a good idea.

    There will not be a bumpsteer problem.

    Don't use SN95 struts, unless you are building a drag car.

    You can possibly install SN95 FCAs. With the correct adjustments, this will decrease bumpsteer, bit it will also severely limit the size the width of the wheel and tire that will fit in front.

    Jack, I have tried to find SS piston but without any success. Maybe Google isn't my friend after all and THAT wouldn't be the first time. I looked at your MM site and I couldn't find it there either. Do you know of any sources? I saw rockauto had something that looks like it would work with the clips, but didn't specifying anything else more than "metal," whatever that is. About those clips on MM, is there a specific type of pad that work with only those or is it designed just to remove the clips from any pads for SVO for them to fit?

    Thanks

  14. #14

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    Nearly built a medium canyon red clone until we discovered the original color for my 85 was 1E silver.

    86-120 has great potential. Good luck with your build/repairs

  15. #15

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    Thanks Erratic. I think I will need it.

    I am sticking with what the car had when purchased about a decade ago, but it is getting some makeover.

    It looks pretty sad here in the front.
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    Front caliper's phenolic piston has seen better days. There's actually a groove in it.
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    I am a numbers person. Anyone with an idea what they mean?
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    If I am going thru all this work I want it to last. First attempt ever with powder coating and it does not look too shabby. It is just very time consuming to do.
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    Not too rad in the back either.
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  16. #16

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    I had a not so nice surprise when taking the rear calipers apart. They were full of muck! How's this even possible?
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    And I found some numbers on the rear ones too. Input?
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    Rear splash shields got a satin black coat and they cleaned up nicely. I am hooked on powder coating now. I need to build a bigger oven than the freebee I got from CL, to fit bigger parts/more parts at the time.
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    How are the rear brake assembly supposed to look like? My brake line is zip tied to the axle and the hose is hanging free in the air. Evidently the axle is not the same as the SVO, but if I recall correctly Saleen used the SVO brakes from 87. Do I need to drill and tap for screw to attach it to the axle behind the shock? Pictures would be greatly appreciated!
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  17. #17

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    When removing the MC i found a mystery loom. I hope someone can shed some light to it. It has two red wires coming from the coupe.

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  18. #18

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    https://www.saleenclubofamerica.com/.../1984-1993.htm

    1984 - 1993 Saleen Brake Guide

    1984 - 1986

    For 1984-1986 Mustangs, Saleen used the standard Ford brakes for almost all production vehicles. At least a one owner DID request and receive an upgraded braking system in 1986. In addition, there was some in-house R & D that occurred with different systems and pads on "company cars". Other than those few exceptions, 1984 - 1986 Saleen Mustangs used the barely-adequate stock Ford 10" front disc and rear drum brakes.
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  19. #19

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    Moving along on my brakes I ran into a little problem. My proportioning valve didn't want to get disassembled.

    This piston is supposed to be pulled out with pliers.

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    Well, I gave up on that idea after a couple of hours and spent a few hours driving around town to get parts for an assembly of persuasion.

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    A few minutes to assemble it and a few pumps... done deal

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    Guts, full of dirt. I wonder how all this got in there.

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    Now. here is where I am getting the blues with this project. After cleaning the valve housing it revealed some serious pitting.

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    Anyone who has a spare one?

  20. #20

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    Nice job!

    If you are going to disable the stock valve and install an adjustable proportioning valve, then the corrosion shouldn't be a problem. If that is the case, I would grind it out, so that nothing gets into the brake system.

    If you do need a new housing, you should post the part number for your valve, because the different part number valves have different fitting geometries and proportioning valve parts.

    Was the differential pressure valve in the other end, seized also or would it move? I'm seeing more and more of these cars where the combination valve has never been opened to be cleaned and the DPV gets stuck blocking off flow to the rear brakes.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  21. #21

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    It is the SVO one, E4ZX-2B328-AA. I can probably venture down the alley of sleeving it somehow if I can find a willing machinist around town. I want to keep it stock.

    The proportioning valve popped right out without any issues, but that is the bore that looks the worst with pitting and it was full crud. It was the pressure differential switch that didn't want to come out. That bore looks better but there's few spots of pitting tho so it still needs to be redone.

    Why in the world Ford didn't make this out of brass is beyond me. It's heavier than alu or is it too soft for wear as compared to anodized alu?
    Last edited by BearWolfe; 02-13-2021 at 08:12 PM.

  22. #22

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    The bodies are 6061-T6 aluminum with a chromate conversion to given a protection to the finish. I'm sure they didn't make them out of brass, because the material is way more expensive than aluminum by volume. As long as water isn't allowed to build up in the brake system, they last a really long time.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  23. #23

    Default

    I contacted Scott Hollenbeck from whom I bought the rebuild kit for the proportioning valve, and I he put me on a lead to a company, White Post Restorations, that rebuilds and sleeves all kinds of brake parts. I reached out to them and we'll see what the reply will be. It will be sleeved with a brass insert if they take it on.

    I am, however, confused about their warranty as it is circumvented if the brake parts are subject to DOT5. Is there something I don't know about silicone brake fluid? I thought that was one of the best options to use. I like it as it doesn't ruin paint job or is hygroscopic. What's not to like about that?!

  24. #24
    FEP Senior Member Lubner's Avatar
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    Its getting hard to find good proportioning valves anymore they all seam to be in rough shape. I just took apart two that I picked up for my 81 Cobra and both are pitted real bad.
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  25. #25
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    DOT5 fluid in a brake designed for glycol-based DOT3/4/5.1 fluids is a real bad thing. It will cause the seals to swell and it will react with the old fluid and precipitate, clogging up the system and leading to brake failure.

    Since your original system was designed for DOT 3, there are good odds that you would not be able to get all of the old fluid out unless replacing the whole system with new parts. That is the reason for their warranty clarification. Good luck!
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