Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Project for Bruce? Maybe.

I need a project car. Money is tight so for now it's being built in my mind only. But I've got it just about completely figured out. Let me know what you think.

I'm going to start with a first generation Falcon, probably the model with the thicker "C" pillars just because I like the looks better. Under the hood will be 5.0 (302) V8, hopefully a '89 or newer fuel injected version. I'll probably start with a used engine primarily for financial reasons but also I don't want to fool around dialing in a performance engine right off the bat. It will be backed up with a T-5 five-speed manual transmission. I've decided to forego the normal 9" rear end and think I'll adapt an 8.8" from a 5.0 Mustang. I haven't decided if I'll keep the leaf springs or see if I can make the 5.0's coil spring set up work.


The front suspension will remain basically stock. Most of the parts will be replaced with new stuff and the hubs will be upgraded to take the 5-bolt wheels (this means the rear end will need new axles and drums to match).

The front brakes will be disk, probably from the same 5.0 (there's a company that makes adaptors to fit 5.0 brakes to early Mustangs; I think they will work on the Falcon as well). If I can find an inexpensive rear disk set up I'll do it otherwise the rear will remain drum. Of course the master cylinder will be upgraded to a dual chamber type.

I haven't settled on the full interior yet but I'll keep it simple. Air conditioning is a must so that will be a period under dash unit. Likewise a great sound system. The dash will have a speedo and tach, fuel, temp, oil pressure and ammeter (most likely Stewart-Warner because I like the look). I'll have to find some compatible, comfortable front "bucket" seats.

I haven't decided on wheels and tires yet but I'm leaning towards American Torq Thrust Originals. I'm thinking of going with the stock 5.0 tire size, 225/6015. They should be plenty big enough.
If I go with an injected 5.0 I will most likely put catalytic converters on it. CHP used to take the mufflers off their training 5.0s but leave the converters on with an otherwise full exhaust; they had a nice tone. Maybe that's what I'll do.

Given the Falcons 2,300 lb weight (plus or minus with the changes) even a stock 5.0 should make it fly. Fuel mileage should be at least, probably better than a stock 5.0 Mustang. I think I've got a winner here. Maybe once my bank account is doing better I might swap in a hotter, new 5.0 but for now the used one will do.

Now all I have to do is get the bucks together and get building. What do you think?

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