Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Purpose, and the Plan

In my journey to find a project car, I had always put in the back of my mind that I wanted something that I could slowly build up to take to the week night drags and bracket race. The previous owner had already set up the car just for this purpose, and it came with a 11.5:1 CR 302, manual C4, 3000 stall, 9" with 3.70's and a spool. Most of the luxury options were removed out of the car to shave weight, and it also came with a disc brake conversion and power steering. After taking ownership of the car, a fiberglass cowl hood was added, suspension was rebuilt and the power steering was converted into manual.

After storing the car for seven years, I've decided to take a different route for the car. I've always have had a love for road racing, and particularly the American Iron series. After reading and watching a few Mustangs be built up as tributes or replications of the FIA Group 2 Sedan cars from the Trans Am series, thoughts started floating around in my head about building a road racer. The plan I've put together is to build a purpose built track car, as well as one that I can drive home at the end of each session. The purpose of my build is to participate in local HPDE (High Performance Driving Event) sessions and other NASA events. My goal in this build is not to replicate or reproduce the Trans Am series racers, but use them as an inspiration to build a more modern version that conforms to more recent regulations.

To begin my project, I will be starting at the foundation of the car, the chassis. As stated in my previous post "The Short List" there are areas of this vehicle that need to be addressed from either damage, rust or age. In addition to these areas, modifications will be added to improve the torsional stiffness. Two websites outline in almost perfect detail the modifications that will be performed. Julians (pictured below) and a thread on Stangnet "Torsional rigidity test: 67 coupe".

Improvements will be made to the chassis by adding a number of modifications, including adding inner rocker panels from a convertible, which will be a major improvement to the torsional stiffness of the chasis. The driver and passenger individual seat pans will be removed and replaced with a one peice convertible unit that ties both rockers together and reinforces the transmission tunnel. Subframe connectors will be added along with jacking rails to tie them into the rockers. A trunk divider panel will be added and modifications will be done to reinforce the shock towers.

The first order of business with the project will begin with repairing the damaged areas first, which will follow shortly in my next posts.

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