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  #1  
Unread 03-23-2008, 10:17 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
Project 2003 V6 Mustang Project (aka Project VISA)

This project started out sanely enough, but became progressively more absurd over the last couple of years.

I started out with a new 2003 V6 Mustang, manual transmission, with "pony" option package, in mid-2003. The first round of modifications was pretty minimal; I put in some lowering springs and Mach 1 shocks/struts, added a rear sway bar and a stiffer front sway bar, put on a CAI, and did some relatively minor porting to the intake tract.



About a year later, I decided to go the rest of the way. I got a set of fully ported heads with larger valves, longtube headers, radically ported intake manifolds, a fairly wild cam, an 8.8" Traction-Lok axle (4.10 final drive ratio), and a set of aftermarket rear lower control arms. The car was fun to drive, and had a decent amount of punch in the mid-RPM ranges. It made somewhere around 210 RWHP, which was below the 220-230 it should've made at that level of modification, but far better than the 160 or so RWHP it would've had stock (190 at the flywheel). I also did a couple of minor cosmetic things.



The guy who sold me the heads (Mik, from www.rpm-mustangs.com) believed that we'd probably overdone it on the cam a little, and we decided to go with something a little milder. Around this time, I relocated to Washington to work for a software company that you may or may not have heard of. When I took the car into a local shop for the cam swap, we discovered the real reason the car was down on power--the guy who installed the previous cam had left out a thrust spacer that kept it aligned properly. The thing had basically wiped a bunch of cam lobes, galled up the lifters, sent plenty of metal through the oil pump, and so on. The cam sprocket had even grabbed the backing plate, which was mounted to the block, snapped its bolts, and carved a 1/4" deep circular groove into the front face of the block. Amazingly, it had run that way for over 6000 miles, which was pretty impressive. You can see the block damage in the middle of the picture below.



At any rate, that engine was pretty much trashed, and, being too stupid to walk away from a bad idea, I had Mik build me a better shortblock. The new one was based on a 4.2L truck crank with a .030" overbore, yielding around 260ci of displacement. All of the internals were chosen with forced induction in mind, because I had ordered a supercharger system a while back. (That's a whole different story which I would rather not discuss here.)

After the engine went in, we went back to work on the suspension. The rear suspension was replaced with a Steeda 5-Link unit (basically, a four link suspension with parallel uppers and a Panhard rod). This necessitated some custom exhaust work, which eventually resulted in the side-exit setup the car currently has. I was happy with it, but was getting tired of waiting for more power to arrive.



So, I wound up ordering a different supercharger system, an intercooled Procharger kit, from Justin at www.vmptuning.com. The setup had some initial teething problems, mainly in the form of minor oil leaks. After getting the supercharger, I decided that the car's handling needed further refinement, so I ordered a complete aftermarket front suspension system from Maximum Motorsports. I also obtained some Bullitt calipers, which are basically the same as the SN95 Cobra calipers (basically, I just ordered what I could actually find in stock at Summit).





Finally, I switched from the 4.10-geared Traction-Lok unit to a 3.27-geared Torsen. With the supercharged 4.2L engine, first and second gear were effectively useless, and I could launch up steep grades in third gear with ease. It was kind of silly.

There have been lots of little things since then, mainly focusing on improving the refinement, driveability, and flexibility of the car. I've mainly relied on shops to do the major mechanical work on the car, but I've done the vast majority of the ECU tuning myself, and have learned a fair amount about how such systems work. I've had some minor setbacks along the way, such as continued leakage problems with the supercharger, which culminated in a pretty significant amount of oil lost on a track day last July and a supercharger rebuild (fortunately, it hasn't leaked a single drop since, which is much better than it ever was before!). I think it's nearing completion.

I may yet do a few more things to the car. As my other project, the Cobra, reaches maturity, I'll probably wind up putting better seats in it, and will likely strip the interior. The factory seats from the Cobra will then go into this V6 car. It's also likely that I may try to squeeze a little bit more power out of this car with some minor modifications (I'm still not quite happy with the exhaust and some other things), and I may upgrade the brakes so they're the same C5 Corvette stuff I've got on the Cobra. I'm well beyond the torque rating of the factory drivetrain, at around 350 RWHP, so I'll probably upgrade the clutch and transmission whenever the factory clutch fails.

Overall, I think it works pretty well. It's kind of an unorthodox build, but it's fairly easy to drive, has halfway decent ride quality (at least, compared to the Cobra), turns well, and I think it has enough grip, braking performance, and power for a fun street car.

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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #2  
Unread 03-24-2008, 02:58 PM
afi_ninja_SWEET's Avatar
afi_ninja_SWEET afi_ninja_SWEET is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: the moon
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemming
It's kind of an unorthodox build, but it's fairly easy to drive, has halfway decent ride quality (at least, compared to the Cobra), turns well, and I think it has enough grip, braking performance, and power for a fun street car.
and don't forget the abundance of entertainment (both positive and negative) yielded as a result of this growing legacy!
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"Barring that natural expression of villainy which we all have, the man looked honest enough."

gots the zoom zooms.

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  #3  
Unread 03-24-2008, 03:05 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
It's been an interesting trip.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #4  
Unread 03-24-2008, 03:19 PM
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afi_ninja_SWEET afi_ninja_SWEET is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: the moon
for all parties involved, i'm sure, heh.

i'm curious -- aside from the fiasco with the original supercharger (from..Pete? was that his name?), is there anything you'd do differently with the car if you could start it over? would you stick with the focred induction or build it up NA, or is there anything you've decided to do with the Cobra as a result of "i wish i'd done that to the V6 car instead of xxx?"
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gots the zoom zooms.

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  #5  
Unread 03-24-2008, 03:51 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
Yes, Pete.

This car was the product of a lot of iterative changes. I tried things, decided whether I liked them or not, and moved on. The engine was reasonably well built from an NA perspective before I started messing around with forced induction, I'd gone through a couple variations on different spring/shock combos with the stock components before the current stuff went on, and so on.

If I were to start over again, I think the biggest change I'd make would be to decide on a specific plan and do everything in one shot, because it's generally cheaper to buy the best stuff ONCE than to buy lesser products repeatedly. This was the most important lesson I have already applied to the construction of the Cobra--I don't mess with things until and unless I'm ready to buy the best components I am ever likely to want. For example, I didn't mess around with the factory suspension components at all, I just replaced everything outright because I knew I'd be taking that route eventually anyway. I have a fairly concrete plan for the rest of its development, and I don't think it's likely that I will stray from that plan.

As far as other possible changes go, I don't really regret how the car turned out, but I might try something different next time. I'd probably still go the built engine and forced induction route if I had another V6, because these engines are only good for so much in NA form. I might be persuaded to try turbocharging next time, because a built 4.2L engine has a lot of exhaust energy, and I think it would be possible to build a nice combination. I've generally been happy with my suspension setup, too, but I think I might try something totally different next time. If I went really crazy, I might do something like a modified Cobra IRS and one of the new Griggs or Agent47 double wishbone front suspensions. I wouldn't really be doing this because of any handling deficiencies that this car has; rather, I'd be doing it for the novelty of having a Mustang with a fully independent, double-wishbone suspension on both ends of the car, which is kind of funny when you think about it.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #6  
Unread 05-04-2008, 05:30 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
Heh, just when I thought I could stop worrying about this thing, something new pops up. This time, though, it's (hopefully) minor.

I noticed, when I was messing around with some unrelated stuff yesterday, that the serpentine belt had climbed off the back of the supercharger pulley (that is, toward the engine) by one rib. This would imply that:

1. The supercharger pulley is slightly misaligned with the rest of the accessories, and I need to have the bracket supports trimmed by ~5mm
2. There is too much slack in the belt at high RPM when the belt "grows", which means that the belt might have stretched
3. The tensioner may not have enough range, and it's possible that the tensioner bearing is worn and it's wobbling slightly

I'm thinking that I should look into getting a tensioner pulley with a front and back lip, if I can find one, and possibly also consider adding another bearing to eliminate any possible wobble. For now, I've managed to get the belt back on the correct rib, but I'm definitely going to have #1 addressed next time I take the car to the shop. I'll probably deal with the tensioner pulley myself, if I can find the correct parts.

edit: At least I've got the Cobra back again, now equipped with Torsen goodness.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung

Last edited by lemming : 05-04-2008 at 05:49 PM.
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  #7  
Unread 06-01-2008, 07:47 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
A few developments to report, I guess. Doesn't seem like the belt is misaligned drastically enough to cause these sorts of things to happen, so pulley wobble is the most likely culprit. I had my local shop get a slightly larger idler pulley and press-fit a second bearing into it so it can't wobble as much. I also bought a new belt. Seems to be good so far.

Since I can't seem to avoid screwing with things that work perfectly well, I decided to go ahead and replace all the hose clamps on the pressurized side of the intake tract. I bought 20 3" diameter, .75" width T-bolt clamps to replace the existing worm clamps (of which there are 19--I originally counted 18 and I bought two extras just in case). I've managed to get 14 installed so far. The only ones left are on a leg of plumbing that goes from the outlet side of the intercooler and up through the passenger's side fender well, and they are going to be tricky to get. I've found that some of the existing worm clamps were a bit on the loose side, so this probably wasn't a total waste of time and money.

Insanely enough, I've managed to do everything so far without removing the front bumper cover or even jacking the front of the car. Considering the amount of space I've got to work with (it all fits in there pretty tightly, and the car is fairly low), I'm somewhat proud of that.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #8  
Unread 06-16-2008, 09:34 AM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
I completed my little project. Somehow, I managed to replace every single hose clamp on the intake tract without removing any bodywork, jacking the car, or even turning the steering wheel to provide more room. Some of them were pretty tricky to reach, especially since the FMIC mounts really tight to the radiator. I found a few "interesting" things along the way. For example, the elbow between my MAF and throttle body was made out of 3" rubber tubing, which was a pretty loose fit on the 70mm throttle body. I think it was only a matter of time before I blew that one off. I fixed it by putting an adapter sleeve inside the 3" tube, and it seems more secure now.

I also took the opportunity to replace the 3.5" 90* elbow that connects the air filter to the blower inlet. The original was chewed up, and originally had a 1.5" hole punched in the side for the bypass. To reduce heat and surge (after the track day when I overheated the SC and blew the inlet hat off with surge), I stopped using a recirculating bypass, so we'd originally just put a tire patch on that hole. I didn't really trust it.

The car actually seems to run a bit better and seems to smell a bit "cleaner" at initial startup and while idling. I can't help but wonder whether there was a pinhole leak somewhere between the MAF and throttle body that was causing a minor rich condition.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung

Last edited by lemming : 06-16-2008 at 09:37 AM.
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  #9  
Unread 10-18-2009, 12:49 PM
lemming's Avatar
lemming lemming is offline
STOP EATING MY SESAME CAKE!
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Duvall, WA
Might as well update this a little and post some pictures of the car's current state.

As has been posted elsewhere, the car is currently configured with a single PT67 turbocharger at ~12 psi of boost, which works out to roughly 400 RWHP (dynoed at 380, seemed to lose boost due to a restrictive intercooler, which I've since replaced).

More recently, I have swapped all the cloth bits of the interior from the Cobra into the V6, because I switched to a proper racing seat in the Cobra and therefore didn't need its stock interior.

Finally, I've switched to 10th Anniversary Cobra wheels so I can run 275-285 width tires easily, and I've also switched the front brakes to the same C5 Corvette setup I've got on the Cobra.
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[2003 4.2L V6 Mustang] [1999 Subaru Impreza WTF]
On our way back from the beach, we were trying to decide where to eat dinner. At that moment, we were passed by a Rendezvous with the Ohio license plate "ASK GOD." So we did, and we ended up at some shitty Texas roadhouse-style place. Next time, I pick.--AchTTung
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  #10  
Unread 10-18-2009, 02:42 PM
fordtacomaz fordtacomaz is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Fife, WA
Those wheels look sweet.

Which reminds me....we still need to meet up!
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Attempting to race since 2002

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