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Posted: 10/17/2004 12:00:17 PM EST
Here is what I would like to do....


Build a solid performing street car, putting as much emphasis on handling and horsepower.
Keep total cost to under $4500
Build something a little or a whole lot unusual
Keep it American made and probably a V8


Now I am wondering what to start with... and leaning toward a 75-78 mustang II. Its ugly, seldom thought of as a performance car, and can be had dirt cheap with a 302. I can pick them up from $600-1000 locally.

Any of you done a cheap project like this?
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:02:01 PM EST
I drive sport compacts but I would say any late model ( 80-90s) 5.0 mustang. I dont remember if a 302 is 5.0 but I think it is. Car has good looks and so many parts arer available for it.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:03:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Any of you done a cheap project like this?



No, but my friend has.

He bought a '87 Camero, with the true V8 engine that it was ment to have. Cold air intake and air filters added on a little more.

Overall, he's got a monster of an automobile for $3,750.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:05:31 PM EST

Originally Posted By svtfast:
I drive sport compacts but I would say any late model ( 80-90s) 5.0 mustang. I dont remember if a 302 is 5.0 but I think it is. Car has good looks and so many parts arer available for it.



Yeah, thats my second choice right now, I can pick up an early 80's V8 fox body mustang for $1500 or so around here.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:06:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Here is what I would like to do....


Build a solid performing street car, putting as much emphasis on handling and horsepower.
Keep total cost to under $4500
Build something a little or a whole lot unusual
Keep it American made and probably a V8


Now I am wondering what to start with... and leaning toward a 75-78 mustang II. Its ugly, seldom thought of as a performance car, and can be had dirt cheap with a 302. I can pick them up from $600-1000 locally.

Any of you done a cheap project like this?



Older A-body (Valiant/Volare/Duster/Dart/Aspen/Demon) Mopar products can be made to perform very well. Don't overlook the B-bodies either.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:09:21 PM EST
Probably the funniest and cheapest project like this I know of was done by a buddy. He bought an old AM General postal jeep, right hand drive, for $200. The factory slant 4 came out and a 400 small block was a drop in fit almost. With the automatic and the limited slip Dana 44 rear (4:11) it was damm fast 0-60! Of course it sucked if you had to go around any corners.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:30:57 PM EST
We built a similar car like this: www.hemmings.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/classifieds.cardetail/id/2134889

Another example for an odd in the US performance car sleeper is a Canadian ACADIAN: www.hemmings.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/classifieds.cardetail/id/2131165

The thing is similar to chevelles and you can upgrade the suspension to corner well without leaning. As a "sleeper" we had that in ACES. Was fun beating the hell out of the stangs who thouught they had it all. Go sixties street machines!

The price thing will hold you back, ya can't get cubic inch H/P without cubic Dollars I'm afraid.

Railgun....
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:36:40 PM EST
Plymouth Duster + 440 big block = very fast, very cheap. You can probably find a chassis that is already set up for it. $4500 may be a little on the low side, but at least with a huge engine it won't require very much work to make it fast.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:38:12 PM EST
Fox body mustang.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:38:51 PM EST
If you want performance, and want it cheap, then pick a bodystyle that's common and popular. A mid 70's Mustang II is not a good choice...

Stick to 82 and up Mustangs or Camaros... Parts are plentiful and cheap. The Camaros will outhandle the Mustangs easily, but the Mustangs were a bit quicker... If it were me, I'd be looking for a '94 Camaro with the LT-1 engine in it... They are pretty cheap, and are fast as hell right out of the box... Even with 100k+ miles on them they are still bullets...

If you start with something that is cool and "factory fast", you are already ahead of the game...
If you start out with a turd, then all you have in the end is a fast turd...


Just my opinion...
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:41:03 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:42:33 PM EST

Fox body mustang.


+1
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:49:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
Here is what I would like to do....


Build a solid performing street car, putting as much emphasis on handling and horsepower.
Keep total cost to under $4500
Build something a little or a whole lot unusual
Keep it American made and probably a V8


Now I am wondering what to start with... and leaning toward a 75-78 mustang II. Its ugly, seldom thought of as a performance car, and can be had dirt cheap with a 302. I can pick them up from $600-1000 locally.

Any of you done a cheap project like this?


Before you begin your project, define what you want better. How are you defining "Handling". Do you mean something that will eat up the curves, or simply handle the 1/4 mile without leaving you ghost white? Curve management and a good 1/4 mile are opposed goals given your budget.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:52:50 PM EST
A second on the 302 vs. 5.0 question. Anybody know this one for sure? Some articles I read treat them as if they are the same and others refer to them differently.

I have a '66 Mustang that is getting a 302 put in it. It originally had a 289 in it, so all my reading had been directed in that area. I found out that the 289 was cooked- 2 cylinders shot. I could replace it or go with the higher-displacement engine for the same price. Being a red-blooded American male, I elected the 302. Are heads, cams, manifolds, etc. compatible between all these engines referred to as 5.0's and 302's? I realize that the exhaust components like headers and pipes will be car-body specific.

DK-Prof is also doing a Mustang buildup... but he's run into some issues.

Thanks for starting this thread. How many HP are you looking to build to?

-Hobbit
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:55:33 PM EST
for sheer cheapness Plymouth duster

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 12:59:01 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 1:03:37 PM EST by DK-Prof]

Originally Posted By Hobbit:
A second on the 302 vs. 5.0 question. Anybody know this one for sure? Some articles I read treat them as if they are the same and others refer to them differently.

I have a '66 Mustang that is getting a 302 put in it. It originally had a 289 in it, so all my reading had been directed in that area. I found out that the 289 was cooked- 2 cylinders shot. I could replace it or go with the higher-displacement engine for the same price. Being a red-blooded American male, I elected the 302. Are heads, cams, manifolds, etc. compatible between all these engines referred to as 5.0's and 302's? I realize that the exhaust components like headers and pipes will be car-body specific.

DK-Prof is also doing a Mustang buildup... but he's run into some issues.

Thanks for starting this thread. How many HP are you looking to build to?

-Hobbit




My MAIN problem is that I'm an idiot - and bought a mustang that I wouldn't have touched with a 10-foot pole, had I known what I know now (and had the seller not lied his ass off to me)!!

Although once I get the body issues resolved, and new headers put on, the 351 cleveland with new intake and carb should be (fingers crossed) a beast!



ETA: I think the idea of a Mustang II is brilliant, because NOBODY wants them ! (Another possibility might be the 1971-1973 "Grande" version of the mustang - because those are also so goddam ugly that they're hard to sell) There's an advantage in some states, like MO, if cars are 1973 or older, because they are exampt from emissions laws - so that might be worth looking into locally as well. It would suck to build a really cheap performance car, and then have to pony up HUGE bucks to get it to meet emissions.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:08:41 PM EST
Mousestangs are NOT unusual or unique, yeah they aree quick and all but so is a Corvette to which I have two. I think the unusual sleeper is too cool. I admit that I would prefer GM products just for interchangability and aftermarket performance goodies that are CHEAPER than the dirty four letter word..... FORD.

I transplant small block chevy powerplant and trans into an early sixties off brand like buick or pontiac and upgrade the brakes and suspension and off ya go.... sleeper.

www.classicperform.com/chevelle.htm
parts for the links in my other post.
Railgun....
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:11:03 PM EST
I'd like to do something along those lines in the next couple years....


My thinking right now is finding a 84-92 (as close to 92 as possible) camaro RS (the Z28 and IROC versions are too expensive for not that much improvement, considering i'm gonna change stuff anyway) and upgrading suspension and engine.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:11:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By Railgun:

I transplant small block chevy powerplant and trans into an early sixties off brand like buick or pontiac and upgrade the brakes and suspension and off ya go.... sleeper.

www.classicperform.com/chevelle.htm
parts for the links in my other post.
Railgun....



The "sleeper" I've always wanted is the Volvo 240-series with a big honkin' V-8 dropped into it. There's some company in New Jersey or somewhere that does those conversions.

Maybe I should just take my Mach 1 engine and try to find an old Volvo 240 Stationwagon
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:14:11 PM EST
AAAAAANNNDDDD another thing.....

Cars with full frames are better than unibody half baked cars. I hate the cracks that develop from the quater windows on performance driving and body twist. Mustangs, Camaros, Darts....they all do that right at the back of the quarter windows.

Railgun....
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:17:56 PM EST
What do you want from the car? Straitline speed? straitline quickness? A cornering car? What is your driving style, pedal to the metal or finesse the apex?

when you say "performance" it can mean alot of different things!
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:20:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:22:43 PM EST
you want sleeper? take a pontiac Fiero, preferably a 4-banger model (they're cheaper, and the badging will come in handly later) and put a cadillac northstar v8 in it and put in the '88 fiero gt suspension since its FAR superior to the other years. if done right, the car looks (doesn't sound though) like a standard 4banger, including the 2m4 sticker on the decklid. (2wheel drive mid-engine 4cyl).


Also, chevy 350s fit fairly well, and i'm told you can put corvette engines in as well if you want a lot of work.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:24:32 PM EST
We did something like that to a Jaguar XJ6 sedan, 502 with overdrive auto trans. Ripped out the Lucas nightmare wiring and went painless!

Had custom springs made to support the extra weight but it sat mean and still would corner well. Ripped off the line and was always overlooked as a potential street machine at lights!

Railgun....
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:24:57 PM EST
All you need is engine, tires, suspension... not necessarily in that order. Cold air intake on a nice v-8, and good tires... good start.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:48:43 PM EST
first ever.....BUMP.


Railgun....
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 1:52:26 PM EST
For you guys that asked, I am looking for accelleration and cornering ability, top end is not that important as I live in the mountains where a straigh 1/2 mile strech is not found that often. Its more about ability to handle the corners and accellerate between them.

I tend to be a more finesse driver.

The Fox body mustangs would be a good choice, but they are real common here, I like to be different. I have no problem scrounging parts slowly and fabricating things to keep it cheap.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:03:01 PM EST
Plymouth Valiant/Duster/Scamp, Dodge Demon/Dart. Insert Big Block Wedge (440) or small block 408 stroker, Torqueflight auto trans and Dana 60 rear end. Instant 11 second car.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:10:34 PM EST
'90 Mustang......visit a speed shop and have fun.....

You will likely get beat in the twisties by many cars that are newer and have IRS, but you will pummel them from light to light.

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:10:44 PM EST
My rumble-the-pavement-stink-up-the-air-eat-the-tires-off-fast car is a '67 Impala SS 427.

My high-speed-take-the-corners-at-90+-out-run-everything-fast car is a modded but stock looking '95 Mazda RX-7 R2.

My daily-driver-out-run-the-Mustangs-and-Civics-but-still-fairly-practical-fast car is a '96 Impala SS.

If I was going to do something cool but different with an American car, I would do a '78-'80 Monte Carlo with a 400 small block. The late '70's Montes are great looking cars, fairly light weight and can still be had for cheap.

Think Denzel's car in Training Day but without the wires, juice, and bullet holes.

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 2:14:44 PM EST
Howz about a 454ssTruck? www.454ss.com/
Have one of these bad boys too!

Railgun....
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:36:45 PM EST
Ok, he said low budget...

I would agree on the A-body Mopar with the stroker 408, or a stout 440...

Nothing like a big block dart!!

www.bigblockdart.com

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:44:43 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 4:20:52 PM EST by gaspain]

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:
For you guys that asked, I am looking for accelleration and cornering ability, top end is not that important as I live in the mountains where a straigh 1/2 mile strech is not found that often. Its more about ability to handle the corners and accellerate between them.

I tend to be a more finesse driver.

The Fox body mustangs would be a good choice, but they are real common here, I like to be different. I have no problem scrounging parts slowly and fabricating things to keep it cheap.



Based on that Im gonna recommend a BMW e30 chassis, either an M3(ideal) or a 325is, these can be had for 2k-5k
e30


Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:53:40 PM EST
IF you go with a mustang, get an 87 or later as they have a mass air fuel injection and are easier to tune and upgrade than the older speed density management. Brakes and handling kinda suck but are easily upgradable.

Whatever you do dont buy a 74-78 mustang.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 3:58:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By CFII:
Fox body mustang.



+1
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 5:45:41 PM EST
How about a cheap 1995 Chevy Caprice with an LT1 engine and police package?

GunLvr
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 5:51:05 PM EST
well for a cheap fast american car:

take a Fox body(74-93) mustang 4 cylinder(I know what you're thinking, but read on)
find a wrecked thunderbird turbocoupe
take the turbocoupe engine and drop that bad boy into the mustang
get a decent intercooler and a boost controller and you'll be kicking ass

this also works with ford rangers as well since they all have the same engine(2.3 liter) and the turbocoupe engine is merely a turbocharged version of that engine

now if an import could be dealt with, I'd say get an E30 BMW 325I. then turbo that biotch, the M20 SOHC 2.5 liter inline 6 that comes in that car is pretty cheap to turbo and the turbo manifold is actually off a production BMW car so they are easy to find. turbo cars are just cool, and when you set them up right(as in not running them lean) they can be as reliable as a non turbo car, you just need to tune it right.

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 7:53:43 PM EST
If the car doesnt have to be american, and you want incredible handleing..checkout soem of the datsun 510's. I work with a guy who has 2 and they are incredible and if you shop around they are cheap, I almost picked up an old 510 race car for $3,500.

Check out these websites, the second website is run by the guy I work with.

www.dimequarterly.tierranet.com/

www.510garage.com/photos/
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 7:55:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By svtfast:
I drive sport compacts but I would say any late model ( 80-90s) 5.0 mustang. I dont remember if a 302 is 5.0 but I think it is. Car has good looks and so many parts arer available for it.



I think a 5.0 is a 302, but I know a 5.7 L. is a 350 ci
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:01:46 PM EST

Originally Posted By GunLvrPHD:
How about a cheap 1995 Chevy Caprice with an LT1 engine and police package?

GunLvr




I got an Impala thats basicly the same thing, except add a few nicer options. Its respectable, and with some work could be alot better. One day I'll put more into it, the only problem is those damn things weigh over 4000 pounds.


Im thinking of getting a Duster myself.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:46:15 PM EST
5.0 is 302 same engine

Well actually 302 is closer to 4.9 but hey that's just gay sounding.

Get a 87-93 Mustang, 79-86 stangs look like crap but they are the same chassis as 87-93.

Put on nitrous or supercharger. and you can have 12 second car for your budget.

With a 75 shot of Nitrous or 12lbs or so of turbo or supercharger you will still be reliable. Want to go faster well you might break something. It's up to you.

Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:49:12 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 8:49:31 PM EST by TheRedHorseman]

Originally Posted By lambchops:
If the car doesnt have to be american, and you want incredible handleing..checkout soem of the datsun 510's. I work with a guy who has 2 and they are incredible and if you shop around they are cheap, I almost picked up an old 510 race car for $3,500.

Check out these websites, the second website is run by the guy I work with.

www.dimequarterly.tierranet.com/

www.510garage.com/photos/



gotta give him a big +1 datsun 510's with a twin turbo 3 rotor RX7 or Cosmo(jap only) engine just plain rock!
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:51:29 PM EST
I think the standard way it goes is: Person builds engine good, Trans cant handel it tears it up, Puts heavy duty trans, Rearend and handel it tears it up, But heavy rearend, Person cant handel it and wrecks it.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:52:19 PM EST

Originally Posted By Taxman:
I think the standard way it goes is: Person builds engine good, Trans cant handel it tears it up, Puts heavy duty trans, Rearend and handel it tears it up, But heavy rearend, Person cant handel it and wrecks it.



problem being?
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:54:30 PM EST
Cousin's build up:

85' Chevy Camaro w/ V6--------$0
Crate 350----------------------- $ 2000
other odd's and ends:----------- $1000

you can probably find a camaro like this relatively cheap. They arn't the most beautiful cars on the planet, but if you find one with a half way decent body, and a blown motor, you will be in the money.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 8:58:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By MT_Pockets:

Fox body mustang.


+1


+2

lots of parts, can be fast with little work.

or be different an build a maverick (71-72, 302 from factory an no 5 mph bumpers)

Brian
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 9:01:21 PM EST
The best thing you can do is save your money and buy something already built, trust me on this...I just lost my ass on the 67 mustang I just sold. Also, dotn be in a rush to buy anytihng and look at lots of cars before you buy.

Redhorseman, the regular L20 Datsun engines rock, the guy I know spins his to about 7,000 rpm all day long and has won autocross championships with his "street" car. Around 220hp in a 2,000 lb car is a winning combo.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 9:04:08 PM EST


Maybe I should just take my Mach 1 engine and try to find an old Volvo 240 Stationwagon

And sell me the body!!!!
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 9:09:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/17/2004 9:09:54 PM EST by TheRedHorseman]

Originally Posted By lambchops:

Redhorseman, the regular L20 Datsun engines rock, the guy I know spins his to about 7,000 rpm all day long and has won autocross championships with his "street" car. Around 220hp in a 2,000 lb car is a winning combo.



interesting, didnt know that it was that good of an engine, 220hp all motor or forced induction?

there's a 510 running around here with a 3rotor in it built to about 450WHP, that car is absolutely evil, wicked, sick, and nasty all rolled into one. me likes
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 9:18:41 PM EST
I'va always done trucks for the rare and unusual,for this area they are rare. Specifically FORD trucks. All here us GM as there are lots of junk around for the so called ease of parts interchange. Fords last , so no parts swapping needed. Just get what I have currently, 1967 F100 shortbed. 1970 429 block, 1972 shitty heads, TRW 10.5-1pistons, CC 292 - 560" lift cam. Little other shit there and I own the fucking roads around here. I'm the Mayor. That motor is going to the 79 Bronco in the spring and a bored/stroked 460 will replace it. Haven't decided to use the early P.I. heads or the Dove C's. I have 4 different sets of various cc chambers. You just don't need to use something popular or it will be like everybody elses fucked up ride.
Link Posted: 10/17/2004 9:23:25 PM EST
Id say for the money do a Camaro or for a sleeper do a Caprice.There cheap and Chevy aftermarket parts are a lot less than Ford/Dodge.I know a place around here that has x Highway Patrol cars on the cheap.They come with a LT1 and have better suspension.
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