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Discussion in 'Corner Carver Racing Tech Discussion' started by Vorshlag-Fair, Nov 8, 2019.
Wow, solely judging by the picture that is a great looking car. Thanks
Project Update for January 30th, 2021: Since our last post in this thread in May of 2020 we have finished a huge chunk of work to this Mustang. After we got to a point where we needed fenders and hood to fit things, we loaded up the car and I trailered it to the painter to have bodywork fitted (October 2020), and while there, things snowballed into a lot of body work - but with amazing results. The car came back from the painter on Christmas Eve 2020, looking very complete and ready for paint.
From May to September we completed a ton of tasks: strut towers were modified and reinforced, initial camber plates built, spindles and brakes installed, steering completed, and the front suspension was wrapped up. A power steering pump was modified and installed, a bit of cage work completed, the 18x11" wheels and 315mm tires were fitted, a fuel cell was ordered and mounted, the entire fuel system was plumbed, and the Holley EFI system was wired. Long tube headers fitted, cooling system started, and hood hinges modified. Tremec has since released their TKX, so I can show that now. At the body shop a new hood was installed, the front doors and fenders were fitted, the rear wheels flared, a carbon lower air dam went on, and the whole body was blocked, sanded, adjusted, sanded some more, and primed.
This Mustang is coming along nicely, as you can see in the image at the body shop, above. We have had some personnel changes in the months form May to December, and have found a great fabricator in Zach, who will wrap up a lot of the remaining work in 2021. Brad spent some months finishing up our shop construction, and we now have a more efficient area to resume work. Lots to cover on this projects so let's get started!
FRONT SUSPENSION WORK
Myles and Jason had been working on the front suspension for quite some time, and the front control arms were designed around the stock shock tower placement (which would be heavily modified) and a 2011-14 Mustang GT "S197" spindle, hub and brake.
Evan took the the templates and we scanned those in to make some CNC cut plates that fit inside the towers and key off of certain stock locations. The goal is to make something we can reproduce in the future - which could be installed by others in their own home garage. We tooled up a temporary camber plate and strut to get some dimensions, then Jason drew up custom front struts which we had built by Motion Control Suspension (MCS) out of Georgia.
These double adjustable, S197 style MCS front struts arrived May 29th, 2020. Things started to happen more quickly after that point.
With the temporary strut tower and camber plate installed, brand new 14" rotors, 4 piston Brembo calipers, ARP stud equipped S197 hubs and new S197 spindle were installed along with our custom lower control arms in the AJE cradle. Evan mocked up one of my 18x11" wheels and 315/30/18 Hoosier R7s on the front and we started some geometry checks.
Juggling with wheel spacers we took these S550 fitment front wheels and were able to tuck them within 5mm of the strut, which we do to maximize front wheel room. Steering angle looked excellent - lots of room and lots of total steering lock possible. Time to lower things down and get the car off the front dolly that it had been bolted to for many months.
Seeing this really got everyone fired up. The big 11" wide wheel, 315mm Hoosier, the Brembo calipers and meaty rotor in there... wow. With the front fender installed we realized we had plenty of room - these massive wheels might have fit with the stock fenders, but they were long gone. Time to get to work on the final strut tower design with the suspension in place, and initial camber numbers in hand.
The initial setup had too much negative camber so the strut tower was built to take away some of that, but still give plenty of adjustment range. We also designed this to give ample positive caster adjustment.
As the strut towers were reconfigured to take full suspension loads and not just shock loads, the steel plates we CNC cut were welded in and massively reinforced the whole area. A well anchored strut tower brace will also be designed and added. A temporary CNC plasma cut camber plate was cut and installed, but the final version will be CNC machined from aluminum and use counter sunk (flush) bolts for the caster adjustment.
By the end of June we had strut towers modified, the MCS struts / brakes / hubs installed, and both of my 18x11" MOMO Heritage 6 wheels and 315mm Hoosiers installed. The car was on the ground and rolling again - the dolly that had been holding up the front end for months was taken apart and put away.
FENDER ISSUES + FORGESTAR 18x11" WHEELS
We had great luck fitting the VFN fiberglass doors, as we know this brand and have used it well on other cars. But the Maier fenders really fit very poorly, and the side-to-side differences were quite astonishing. The fender openings were off by 3/4" side to side! We cannot install either fender with the doors installed, because they are made much longer than the stock fenders. We had marked center on both sides and "split the difference" for our front axle centerline.
Making these fenders fit with a Maier supplied hood would end up taking nearly 2 weeks at the body shop, who had nothing good to say about the quality of fit of these parts. They had to modify the arches to sort of line up side to side and shorten the rear lengths to fit the doors.
To get the fender tops and hood to line up took DAYS of work and a LOT of fiberglass filler - and these are parts from the same company. Lots of time was spent sanding, fitting, and blocking to get the body lines to look like this. Many thousands of dollars in bodywork to get this level of fit. Just be warned - not all aftermarket composite bodywork is made the same. Don't let a "name" fool you into thinking these parts actually fit well. They don't, not without a LOT of work.
Adam's Mustang rolled in here on some Shelby replica wheels in 17x8" front and 17x9" rear with 245mm Michelins. The tires were flat spotted badly in the front, due to some brake components made by Wilwood that had what appears to be horrible front to rear balance. We're fixing that with modern Brembo brakes and ABS, but the little bitty wheel and tire package is getting a major re-do also. This 18x11" Forgestar F14 Super Deep wheel set was ordered for another car in the shop and it just so happened to be a near perfect fit for Adam's Mustang.
This happened at the perfect time for Adam - a set of wheels that fit his car arrived in the right size, without the 4+ month wait we usually have to sit thru for their wheels. All it took was some longer wheel studs in the rear and a bit of a spacer out back. These 3" ARP studs went in place of the short 1-1/2" studs in the Currie axles out back.
Brad and Evan dialed in the spacer thickness needed until I liked the inboard wheel room to the chassis, above. We can get away with 1/2" of room there due to the Watts Link and 3-link rear suspension under the car.
Brad noted that the axle was not centered, so he checked and adjusted the axle to have the same side to side measurement. Then a set of 315/30/18 Rival-S 1.5 tires were fitted to the wheels and they looked great on the car. The outer fender lips would need a little massaging, but no "mega flare" work would be needed.
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The fronts bolted on with no spacer and no tricks. These were the perfect offset, astonishing. Sometimes you get lucky. The spacer setup on the rear is very minor and will allow Adam to rotate the same wheels front to back, for an ideal track setup. The deep spoke offsets look REALLY good on this little coupe, too! So by the first week of July 2020 we had the final wheels and tires on the car, which was a big step.
FUEL TANK REPLACEMENT & TRUNK WORK
Evan removed the fuel tank in early May to do some rust repair in the trunk. Just a small section at the right side, but too close to the tank to do without removal. We also were looking at a solution to properly feed a dry sump 427" LS7 on track with big fat 315mm tires we would soon install.
Evan got the rot repair done, quickly and beautifully. Now it was time to talk about options. After researching a few replacement fuel tanks, looking at remote surge tanks, and offering up a fuel cell option - Adam went with this modular 15 gallon Radium Engineering fuel cell with integrated surge tank, pumps, and FIA certs.
This was a relatively new offering from Radium Engineering, available piece by piece or as a complete fuel cell, with lots of options.
This is the real deal, and comes in 5, 10, and 15 gallon versions. I only wish they made a 20 gallon, then we'd have them in several road race cars. This is a full containment can, Kevlar bladder, foam, the works. We ordered this 15 gallon version with the "FCST" upper, fuel level pickup, filler neck and cap, and supplied our own pumps.
The best part of this complete fuel cell system is the integral "Fuel Cell Surge Tank" portion of the tank. These integral surge tank tops can be ordered separately for other fuel cells, and they make variable depth pickups and fuel level sensors. Evan lobbied hard for this, as he has one in his own race car. This is a thing of beauty and precludes the need for an external surge tank.
All of the wiring connections are on the top, as are the filler neck, rollover valve, and feed/return lines. Evan added Walbro 430 pumps for the lift pump (at right, with the sock) and the internal surge tank (which can take 1, 2, or 3 pumps). Then the internal surge can (black part shown below left) was added and it was bolted into the Radium cell.
All of the internal wiring is connected and ready for plumbing at this point - it went together quickly. You can even order this with pumps and then they pre-assemble the whole thing. Very slick system.
We ordered this with the optional mounting cage from Radium. Sure, we could have built this, but not likely for as little as they charge. The work now was making this fit the larger opening of the stock tank. We experimented with front to back as well as height adjustment then Evan started making the pieces to fit that spot.
With some steel angle tack welded in place and load spreader plates at the rear frame rails, the mounting cage was clamped in place. Then some a drill fixture was made from CNC machined bushings we use for something else.
That allowed him to perfectly drill these smaller holes though the Radium cage and into his angle structure. The angle structure was then finish welded and primed in the car.
The final install of the cage (above left) uses hardware from the steel can of the fuel cell (above right) and bolts into threaded inserts through the cage and into the steel angle mounting structure Evan added.
This ended up being one of the slickest - and quickest - fuel cell installs we have ever done. This won't be the last Radium Engineering modular fuel cells we install, that's for sure.
Some of this has been known before - this car came in here with a built Currie Ford 9" rear axle (below left) and we added the crate 525hp LS7 (below right).
One thing I was under NDA not to disclose until November 2020 was the Tremec TKX 5 speed manual transmission, which we got early due to our testing relationship with Tremec.
This is a clean slate redesign of the old TKO transmission with modern 3-piece synchros, carbon blocker rings, a new case, new everything. It is still very compact and lighter than any T56 Magnum, which would have taken tunnel surgery work to make fit. As it is the TKX was a super easy install. We did zero cutting, just made the transmission crossmember shown. That's it. It bolts right in.
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The T56 Magnum was what we would have used, but when the opportunity came up to test the TKX on two chassis in our shop (E46 LS swap endurance car + this 67 Mustang) we jumped at the chance. The TKX seems perfect for this build, as it is lighter (95.9 lbs vs 128 pounds for Magnum XL) and smaller than the Magnums in every dimension.
The TKX is a great size for this car, and I took a measurement showing the bellhousing to rear most shifter location above. It is rated for 600 ft-lbs of torque and comes in several gearing options. We had this bolted up to his crate LS7 engine in early May 2020.
The RAM heavy duty hydraulic throw out bearing slave kit was used, shown above left. This slides over the input shaft and one bolt on the front bearing retainer is replaced with a stud to locate the slave. This was shimmed to work with the LS7 clutch and flywheel that came with the crate engine.
We built custom lines for the Wilwood slave cylinder that Adam already had in the car for use with the T5 the car used to have. The crate motor came pretty complete but Evan removed the intake and exhaust manifolds to make installation easier.
With the appropriate bellhousing attached the engine was attached to our hoist and leveler and Brad and Evan installed this into the chassis in early May 2020. We had a mock-up LS engine in place for months while we worked on the TKX crossmember and other work.
The stock Tri-Y manifolds were too bulky to fit but these 1-7/8" stainless long tube headers we developed for another LS swap happened to fit perfectly. After 12 different chassis we have swapped so far, we FINALLY got lucky and had one set of headers that actually fit. This saved us MONTHS of development work. I will show the header install in another section, below.
ROLL CAGE WORK
In late May we made some good progress on the roll cage. We had already cut out the old 4-point roll bar, relocated the main hoop back almost 10 inches and added some "feet" to mount that onto the rear seat shelf. This gives more room to the driver and we were able to raise up the hoop to nearly touch the roof skin.
The rear downbars were re-routed to the trunk and then Evan started on the forward hoops along the top of the doors and down the A-pillars.
That worked out well, and we will not add a "dash bar" - which would require a lot more surgery. Instead the factory dash will remain intact. This car is being built for fun HPDE and Time Trial events, not wheel to wheel racing. It will also be street driven, so some compromises are being made to accommodate both track and street use.
At the end of May, Adam came by and we test fit him in the car (above left) with multiple seats, including this Sparco EVO II and his Corbeau seats the car came in with. This helped us design the floor mounting brackets, which will also reinforce the somewhat weak factory floor.
The shop schedule got pretty hectic but at the end of July, in his last weeks with us full time, Evan managed to wrap up the upper windshield bar. This was bent, fitted, and tacked in place.
He also finished the main hoop diagonal (above left), which was fitted around Adam's seating position. The rear down bars were also tacked in place with load spreader plates in the trunk. The only tubes left are the harness bar and door bars, which will be "NASCAR" style and cut into the composite doors. The cage is only tacked in place, and the front tubes land on removable plinth boxes. When the door bars are complete we will drop the cage down off the plinths, finish TIG weld the tops of the cage, then raise it back up and finish the rest of the welding in situ.
COOLING & OILING SYSTEM PARTS ADDED
Back in July, as the he LS7 and TKX drivetrain were installed, it was time to start looking at the cooling and oiling system parts needed. Adam had a nice oversized aluminum radiator and large electric fan, so those were reinstalled and will be utilized - with some additional shrouding panels ahead of the radiator.
It was time to lay out where the coolant reservoir and oil tank would fit. We ordered this billet remote coolant reservoir from Radium and it can fit lots of places, since the size is pretty compact. But not there, above right. Something else needs to go there.
The oil settling tank needed for the LS7 dry sump system is rather large, but the OEM version is one of the only ones out there that has an actual dip stick. It seems crazy, but its true - so we ordered one of these from a local race shop. Measuring proper oil level in aftermarket dry sump tanks is amazingly difficult. I asked Evan make a cardboard cylinder to mimic the OEM tank's shape and it looked like nowhere would be good fit, without some cutting.
We determined that the only viable spot for this tall oil tank was the RF corner of the engine bay, and Evan cut away some of the inner fender to make room. It was at this point that we realized that we needed the fenders, hood, and headlight buckets installed to lock down the final location - as the tank was going to need every inch of room vertically, and would be close to the headlights and tires.
This is where we stopped on these systems in July 2020. We needed to finish the fuel system to finalize layout of the regulator and cold air inlet tube, and we needed the nose back on the car to layout the engine oil and power steering coolers. We knew roughly where they could fit but didn't want to order those pieces until we were sure and had the body all put together.
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POWER STEERING PUMP
Adam had issues with the power steering pump with the old 1985-90 5.0L Ford V8, and had purchased an expensive KRC road race style power steering pump kit to fix that issue with on the old V8.
When it was determined that he wanted to stick with hydraulic power steering on the LS7 engine, we called up and ordered the LS7 bracket and proper pulley (above right) for use with the LS brackets and RPM range the engine could see.
These parts arrived after Evan had left us, but he came back for a few days in September and knocked out the pulley swap, which is not a trivial task unless you have the right puller and installation tools. The bracket bolted to the block, as shown above.
I admit to being a little worried that this pump made for a Ford would fit the GM LS7 engine (because there are 3 GM LS engine pulley fore-aft placements), but with the help of KRC we ordered the right parts and it all bolted up. One less thing to worry about, and with a proper cooler and some hoses to the rack we should be golden.
FUEL SYSTEM PLUMBED & HOLLEY EFI WIRED
Back in early June we had convinced Adam that the stock fuel rail was going to be trouble to work around, due to the planned fuel system plumbing route on the other side of the engine bay.
An aftermarket Holley LS7 fuel rail kit was ordered and installed in late June. This will allow us to install a fuel "return style" fuel system in this car more easily and cleanly.
Along with the rail kit, the pressure regulator also came from Holley. We're trying to stick within this brand when we can, for several reasons.
The Holley Terminator X-Max EFI system was chosen, based on experience with our tuner Jon Simpson as well as Evan's own experience. This system has a lot of power and control for the cost, and near infinite tunability. It can also control the drive-by-wire LS7 throttle body and pedal.
We gave Adam several digital dash choices as well, including these two Holley versions above. He went with their Pro Dash 553-112, which is shown above right. This has touch screen capability so you can literally create buttons on the screen to touch to turn on or off systems. Full color TFT display, should be pretty slick.
The EFI parts arrived in July and Evan got to work. An Odyssey Red Top AGM battery replaced the old lead-acid battery in the trunk, which was wired into the Holley system for initial testing. We will mount this with one of our brackets for the Odyssey 75-25 series to secure it in all 3 axis.
Within a few hours the plug-and-play harness was installed, the ECU was wired in, and the digital dash was connected. It all fired up and communicated perfectly.
If we had oiling and fuel systems on the car we would have cranked it that day in July! But by the time that the Fragola parts arrived for the plumbing, Evan had left to start his own shop. Luckily he came for handful of days back to wrap up some things on this Mustang in late August/September 2020.
The OEM hinges immediately became an issue. These spring loaded units are big and bulky - they take up some much needed room under the hood, where we needed to place the fuel pressure regulator and coolant reservoir. We found some fancy billet versions that were much smaller, but in the end the customer decided to go with the stock units sans springs.
Evan had spec'd all of the components for the fuel system so he got to work mounting and plumbing everything from the fuel cell forward.
The Radium fuel cell feeds a Radium fuel filter, mounted in one of their heat sink mounts, which is installed in the trunk. An AN -8 line feeds the engine and a -6 AN line goes back to the surge tank return. These pass through a bulkhead in the trunk, and we will build a firewall to separate the trunk from the passenger cabin.
The hard lines were routed above the frame rail and subframe connectors, so they are not the lowest part of the car. The lines were secured with Vibrant dual line clamps throughout.
Once they reach the engine bay and pass through another pair of bulkhead connectors they feed to the regulator and fuel rail via Fragola braided lines.
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By September 4th the fuel system was fully plumbed and the Holley EFI system wired, other than a few things like fan relays. We just had a few more things to wrap up before taking it to the painter.
RACK AND PINION STEERING & HEADERS
This is where brad jumped into this project to wrap up a few things before the car went to paint. The main item missing was functional steering - we had no steering rack or steering shaft connection. We also needed to final install the long tube headers, which had only been test fit before.
After Jason and I looked at both SN95 and Fox racks, I purchased a brand new Fox Mustang GT power steering rack, which has a known amount of travel and 15:1 assist. This was one the AJE crossmember was made to accept. This was installed and it was time to find the right tie rod ends to connect the Fox rack and S197 front spindle.
I purchased both Fox Mustang and S197 Mustang tie rod ends - these arrived and we got to work finding the right solution - which might include a hybrid of both.
Seeing both parts let us measure the different tie rod threads but similar tapers on the ball joint end, where it needed to connect to the steering arm on the S197 spindles. So the Fox tie rods were utilized.
With the rack connected to the spindles it was time for the final install of the long tube headers. We needed these in place to verify the steering shaft clearances.
We took some existing parts that Adam had on the car, added a new steering U-joint at the rack, and built a custom 2-piece steering shaft. This connected his steering column to the Fox rack, and clearance to our headers was ample. Hot damn! We had a car that steered on September 15th, 2020. We were almost ready to load up for the body shop...
Of course we had to get a "weight in progress" on this chassis. I was a bit startled at the weight we took, 2375 pounds. This weight is with most of the cage, the 18x11" wheels, 14" Brembo front brakes, Ford 9", complete LS7 engine, and most of the bodywork. The doors weigh an additional 29 pounds for the pair. There is no windshield, seats, and probably 50 pounds of cage are still in the future. There's no hood, either. But still, our goal of sub 2700 pounds is not impossible at this stage.
LOADING UP AND HEADING TO PAINT
It was a beautiful day in late September when Brad and I loaded this car into the trailer. It let us take a few pictures of this car outside, sitting at a proper ride height, with these giant wheels and tires.
I was hoping the rear fenders wouldn't need a lot of massaging at the body shop, Heritage Collision in Sherman, TX. The owner Shiloh has dome plenty of flare jobs for us in the past and knows what needs to be tested, how much clearance we need.
Normally we would do this fab work ourselves, but at this moment I had no fabricator, as we were "between hires" - but I trust Shiloh and he is one of the only people we would let do this level of fab work and have it be right.
In early October, while we were waiting for our slot to open up at the body shop, Adam had made his decision on the hinges. Instead of aftermarket versions he wanted to keep the OEMs, so our new fab guy (who came and went in October) got to work.
He removed the springs and trimmed down the flanges to make room for the regulator that had been mounted. We would leave it up to the body shop to align and fit these to the hood.
PANEL FITTING AND BODY WORK
On October 13th I dropped off the Mustang at Heritage Collision and they got right to work. We brought the doors and Maier Racing hood, which we had never even removed from the box. The Maier lower air dam was ordered by Adam and shipped direct to the body shop.
Like I said in the section about the poorly fitting fenders above, they spent a fair amount of time making the fenders and hood fit with the factory shaped composite doors (which themselves fit great). Then they installed the front Shelby style grill surround and new lower air dam. Shiloh and his crew also fitted the front wheel arches side to side for proper steering clearance.
The other wizardry they managed was reworking the stock rear sheet metal to clear the 315mm tires at full bump travel - as shown above right. They know to remove the springs and compress the suspension so the tire can be checked at full bump. These flares look amazing and match the front bodywork perfectly.
Lots of hours spent getting the car blocked, sanded, fitted, and primed. We still have some work to do so they will come back after the first track test and paint the interior, trunk, and underhood before tackling the outside. The bodywork was done to a high standard, which makes sense if the car is to spend any time in the Optima / Holley LS Fest / Ford Fest / Goodguys circuit of competition events.
Since picking the car up on December 24th we have been extremely busy on other customers' cars in the shop, as well as wrapping up some shop construction. Look for another update from us after the remaining oil system work is completed. A number of items have been ordered for that, then we can tackle the rest of the cage work, then clearance the doors like our endurance E46 below (which also has a TKX). Myles and Zach can knock out the cage work, no problems.
The false floor pattern recently started (above right) on the E46 needs to be replicated in aluminum on the '67 Mustang as well, with a dead pedal incorporated. We also have to CNC machine the final production version of this 1st gen Mustang camber plate, shown below left in Solidworks. Why? Because if this car tests well on track, we plan to do this conversion again on another 1st gen Mustang - and soon.
We also liked how much headroom we gained in this car by removing the flimsy 3 inch tall "shelf" that the stock seats sit on, so we will make our seat bracket base a production part for the same type of install as well. The oiling system, coolers, and coolant reservoir need to be wrapped up, and something done about the bumpers. Then we should be ready for a dyno tune and track test. Tune in next time to see these tasks wrapped up, and I will definitely post up before the track test.
Thanks for reading,
Isn't that arrangement likely to increase the fuel temperature in the surge tank, right before the pump sends it to the injectors? Do you have an easy option to plumb the -6 return line to the main tank?
Increase the fuel temp - yes.
Easy option to plumb the return line to the tank - yes.
Is that optimal - maybe not.
We want the feed to go back to the surge tank first, as the MAIN priority is to ALWAYS have fuel available. The compromise is that sometimes the fuel is a little hotter. That would be an issue if we were running a fuel system at the ragged edge of it's capability, and running ultra high pressures to counteract forced induction. But we're not close to the ragged edge of the fuel system performance, and we aren't running at ultra high pressure because we're naturally aspirated.
If you can guarantee that you will always be able to get fuel to the lift pump, and up to the surge tank, then you can run the return to the fuel tank. But if you plan on running down to the last drop, then run the return to the surge tank and an overflow from the surge tank to the fuel tank.
The work on that Mustang looks exceptional. And expensive. But mostly exceptional. Looking forward to the end result.