Greetings all! First post here so I'll introduce myself, I'm Joe! Well, I have wanted a mustang since I was a kid (under 10) and last year I had the chance / financial stability to buy one. I really like the amenities of a newer car but the look of the older car, so I went with an '05 and just paid cash for it. This year, I purchased my wife (who really likes the car, not my personal favorite) a 2018 fastback turbo 10-speed. Both of our cars are Automatics and need to remain that way since she cannot (read properly as: will not) drive a stick and I want all our vehicles to be drivable by both of us. For the last year I've been looking into what I want to do with my mustang. It's been a childhood fantasy to own one, so I finally settled on a motor swap to a 5.0L. I'm posting here for insight and assistance if anyone has any. Here's what I know: Wiring harness is completely wrong and things like speed/tach won't work right and there isn't good wiring information readily available. Engine fit is a bit of a concern but from what I've seen I can lower it and it'll fit fine, so I need to change motor mounts or have something fabricated for me. Frame is weak and needs to be reinforced, there appear to be some bolt-on reinforcement options according to my Dad, haven't done much research there besides seeing they exist. Suspension is weak and needs to be replaced, I don't want to go with a "lowered" look for daily driving... clearance matters to me as I live in Las Vegas with a lot of speed bumps and sharp incline parking/driveway entry. Rear end is weak and needs to be replaced (not just gears) Drive line isn't designed for that torque and should be replaced (ford's 1-800 didn't give me factory ft lb. tq for the 4.0L driveline, if anyone has that it would be appreciated, I haven't found a proper spec on that that while googling around either) I want to go with a 6R80, thinking about a kit motor and transmission with ECU from American Muscle, the guys over there have been extremely nice and helpful and I want to support their business due to their help. I've been chased away from this build at every turn and I wanted to explain I'm doing it for 3 key reasons: 1. I am extremely analytical and need a mental project that can consume time, or I get bored. I have time and a reliable income, so I'll do this over years and make some great memories along the way. This lets me put my own blood/sweat/tears/effort into making my car into what it becomes. There's some personal pride there, this is my Mustang not someone else’s, and I know what I want and have the physical/mental/financial ability to get it with time. 2. I have recently moved and now live less than 8 hours from my Dad. We have a strained relationship due to previously living 2300 miles apart and not seeing each other for long periods of time (neither of us are good with phone calls or writing). He is a big car guy and has recently converted from Chevy to Ford (yeah, w00t w00t!) and has his own ?71 or 72? project going on right now. Goal is to give him time to finish that then, after he retires in a year or so, start my project so the two of us can do something together on weekends when he visits. 3. I want to keep my car, this '05 silver s197 base without the side scoops or hood scoops, for the next 50+ years... I want it to have more power and I don't want to attract a ton of attention with the build. I want a daily driver dependable build as well, so I don't want to put it under a ton of pressure with twin turbos or anything crazy. I strongly lean toward naturally aspirated (to be clear, as I've read up, fuel injection is still Naturally aspirated by current definition... some people don't agree with that so if I'm wrong, sorry about that) as its permanent future; however, now I'll say I've decided to start without any super/turbo as I believe it will attract unwanted attention on surface streets. Background about me: I'm exceptionally slow to commit and do things and I'm very careful on what I do next... that said, this will likely be a 5+ year project so don't sub to the thread expecting to see things in the next year. My next posts will be back-and-forth with people who might ask questions about things I've decided on or offer help with areas I could use more information in. I don't plan to start any real upgrades for another 18ish months (time to work on paying off wife's car, practice some welding and do some additional research, and wait for my Dad to retire). When I was in college, I helped a guy with an auto body shop doing prep/paint on cars that had been in accidents and repainting (new colors) on cars/boats. There's a decent chance I'll end up doing my own repaint as a quality paint job appears to run $8000+ in Las Vegas (where I live). I've already done a logo vinyl on the side of my car and it came out great. I have a spare to put on. I did a replica small car with Ford Pearl Silver (a bit more flake than the Satin Silver I have) and a Satin Black (unlike the stock stripes, I want painted stripes) and it came out great. I have an air gun and some experience here, so I can always do it, hate it, and pay someone else down the road. The goal is to have silver with the 2 "factory" black stripes (potentially changed to Magnetic color to match my wife's 2018, but not 100% decided on that yet) going down the car. It is a convertible and I already had the stock top replaced with a rag top that they would usually put in the Shelby/Ferrari cars. It already makes it look a lot nicer; however, there are some "daily driver" dings in the car and 2 scratches on the driver’s door and 1 nick on the back bumper that make me want to do some touch up. After about 6+ months of thinking about it, I decided to move away from the vinyl stripes which pushed me into thinking about reworking the whole car, taking the few minor dings out of it, and making it look nice in the end. The reason I bring this up: Paint: Ford's Silver Frost Poly from the 66 Ford Mustang vs the Silver Birch Pearl Metallic... which one has more of a "flake" (sparkle) in the sun? Las Vegas has 300+ days of clear blue skies a year so it will really pop well going down the street with a good metallic flake. Opinions okay and example photos welcome! Searching "Silver Mustang" on Google has lead me to believe the Silver Frost is actually probably better but reading up seems to give Silver Birch the upper leg... hard without a person that compares the two in person (I have seen both at car shows but unfortunately they have all been cloudy and overcast days for the last year of shows I've visited). Information/challenges I'm facing that I could use help with (T for Task, number for referencing back): T1: Quality suspension change that I can have 0"-2" drop and honestly an adjustable drop is ideal if possible. I've seen Eibach is a way to go; however, I also see AM offers a rebranded "SR Performance" brand that has almost all good feedback everywhere I look... thoughts good/bad on SR Performance suspension? Suspension should target daily driving but also performance... adjustable seems like the way to go in that situation. T2: Quality Ford rear end COMPLETE assembly (I'd like new, not used) that fits my car without major fabrication (I was taught how to weld in high-school and I'm going to pick up a welder to practice for the next year; however, I don't want to hit the car with a blow torch if possible as I wouldn't do that myself... due to my own lack of comfort... if at all possible I'd like as much of the project to be doable by myself and my Dad for reason #2)... I've seen a lot of people suggest a 04 Cobra, but I can't find anything with low mileage that I'd trust for long-term dependability, so I'd like a new rear end option. T3: besides American Muscle (hat tip to Paul in their engine department, been a great help and a real nice guy to talk with), do you guys have a great ordering site where there is a human that answers the phone and has solid, reliable, quality information about Mustangs? I've used Summit before and found them to be hit-miss on their information, they have so many employees some know what they're talking about and others don't (to the point they tell you that you're wrong when you're not and one wouldn't even sell what I wanted to buy to me so they almost lost a sale). I've checked with a couple other places as well (i.e.: Jegs) to find they don't offer quality help from my experience. AM isn't bad, but they just don't have everything (and they'll own up to that too!). T4: I currently have all 4 wheels updated with PowerStop drilled/slotted rotors and have no issue with them (I installed the rotors/pads last year, they're holding up great and work great), they're super quiet with carbon fiber brake pads. I do want to have the option to run the 330ft drags at H.A.N. with my Dad when we both have our builds done... so larger brakes are in order. At the same time, I'd like to make a change to swap my e-Brake from my rear left to my front left caliper for burnout comps... I can't find anyone that has documentation of doing this... guessing it's doable but I'll have to run a second caliper? Any tips here would be appreciated. T5: I don't like vibrations while I drive surface or freeway... I've had a lot of people mention a carbon fiber drive axle... I don't know anyone with experience to them, but I only see good "reasons to buy" and not much feedback from end drivers... does anyone here have a car they drove before/after a carbon fiber drive axle change and was it worth it/would you do it again? T6: Wiring/gauges/dash diagrams appreciated as well as any resources you guys might have for customizable gauges. I'm thinking about doing a very specific color and look on all the gauges and haven't found what I'm looking for at Rock Auto, Summit, Jegs, Amazon, LMR, CJ Pony, AM, etc... any recommendations for someone to talk with for custom Gauges and for wiring diagram to connect to this engine: https://www.americanmuscle.com/ford...ule-engine-w-6r80-automatic-transmission.html End goal: A completely new car (minus-frame/body/interior/entertainment), safe and fun to drive, under my current '05 convertible body that fits inside a reinforced original frame without changing / removing the hood (not trying to make something people look at). Keeping the budget under $35,000 and as much DIY as possible for a 30+ year Chevy mechanically minded Grandpa (my Dad) and his IT minded son (me). I'd like to be able to use it as a daily driver and play around at the SNMC (the club I belong to) car shows/parades/drives... I'd like it to last 100k or more miles without major replacements (motor/trans/rear end) Not goals: I don't have specific power goals here, I'm not trying to make "500+" or "1000+" horsepower. I don't care if it's in a magazine or wins awards at a car show. I don't want it to be something that picks up attention from people (no loud/missing mufflers tips, no crazy paint job, etc.). I don't want a trailer queen. If you made it to the end, are interested in project updates, feel free to sub. If you have comments about the build (besides: don't do it, not interested in hearing that, thanks for trying to save the heartburn/money though ) please feel free to leave them below. If you're going to give pointed feedback, please do me a favor and reference back the "T1" / "T2" etc. so I can query the thread appropriately for topics.