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I bought a 91 super coupe with a 5.0 dropped in it about a year ago. It was someone elses project that got 75% done and sat there for 3 years. After this tax season i will be able to finish it off. i have some questions.

1. it needs upper control arms and most of the front end bushings are pretty bad, should i just replace all the other crap too while i'm in there? is there problems with taking apart all that stuff(ie. the ball joints) just to do bushings and put it back together?

2. it needs pads and rotors. for 200 bucks i can get drilled slotted rotors and pads (all 4 corners)on ebay. the company has nothing but good feedback and i'm going to try them out. its too good of a deal NOT to give it a chance. any comments welcome.

3. the tachometer seems to be off. will the s/c tach work properly with a v8? aside from swapping in a LX tach, is there a mod i can do to make it read properly? how far would it be off by? i read a thread a while ago that said they go off distributor pulses, so a V6 tach would read 120% rpms on a v8 motor, is this correct? any info appreciated!

the above items obviously NEED TAKEN CAR OF for safe operation of vehicle, and i can do these things by myself with the help of friends if needed. however, my first priority starts with the engine. its out of a 89 cougar donor car. new rings, e-cam, 95 cobra intake, 1.7 roller rockers, u/d pulleys, 60 mm s/c tbody, msd ignition, electric cooling fan/tstat, flowmaster cat back were on the car when i got it.

i was driving it pretty hard one day in october and i may have over revved it (the computer is an auto so it has no rev limiter). there was a "thwoot thwoot thwoot thwoot thwoot thwoot "(like a large bird taking off?) sound like something was spinning or loose or both so i pulled over reved it up a little. i popped the hood expecting to see smoke or fluids or SOMETHING, but nothing. got back in and started it up. the inital noise was gone but if the hood was open you can hear just a little tiny intermittent tick or loose metal noise. it is not consistent. i drove home, maybe 2 miles at most, and it still made good power, ran fine, etc. when i backed it into the garage, a little oil was spitting out the exhaust.

i popped off the valve covers a week later, and everything SEEMED okay. the arms were tight (i was half hoping one would be swinging around or something) but i didn't feel comfy digging into them or any deeper, so i let it be for the winter.
i have started it several times to move it and what not, and i've never seen oil come out of the pipes again. what could this be?

so, i'm taking it to a nice shop, dyno and all to get it checked out and finished off. if the heads, valves, or anything up top there IS bad i'm getting a pair of aftermarket heads, headers, injectors and a dyno tune. (30# injectors, mac headers, possibly patriot heads but i'm not sure)

if its something in the bottom, which i doubt and pray that it isnt, i'm getting the engine rebuilt and dynoed in its current form. the prices for both are very close, but i would much prefer to get more power out of the deal!

thats all i have time for now, any help or comments would be much appreciated. this is my 4th tbird, but 1st super coupe and i've always wished the 5.0s came in 5speeds, so it is in all honesty my dream car. i can't wait to get it going this spring!!
 

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2. it needs pads and rotors. for 200 bucks i can get drilled slotted rotors and pads (all 4 corners)on ebay. the company has nothing but good feedback and i'm going to try them out. its too good of a deal NOT to give it a chance. any comments welcome.
I don't know what your plans are for this car, but drilled rotors are prone to cracking, especially if you will be doing any kind of road racing/autocrossing with the vehicle. You are better off getting quality standard rotors, or just slotted rotors (although, I suppose there is some question as to how effective the slots are, I believe that the Jury is still out on this).
 

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Super??

Hello

No blower, Not a Super Coupe. Just a Coupe.

89 302 Engine?? I thought that the T-birds & Cougars didn't get the 302Ho's untill 91-93

Tail pipe, Was it oil or carbon filled coolant? Get the cylinders - pressure checked.
Also the Radiator, See if it's building presure.

My 85 T-bird now has a 302, but was a Turbo 2.3.
I call it an 85 coupe.

My 90 T-bird has a 351W Call it a Street stock racecar, 1/2 mile oval.
Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #4
thats a good question about the oil... it was black.. and oily. that i know for sure. didn't smell like coolant. didn't really drive it a lot, but no noticable loss of coolant.

anyways, thought he said 89, maybe i'm wrong. regardless it was a 5.0 cougar, same diff. the car is still "super"!

thanks for the info on the rotors. will keep that in mind. it is a total backroad cruising street car though. not a helluva lot of intense braking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
also, the rad hoses were always firm, this definately confirms pressure correct?
 

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presure

Hello

Yes, there will be some presure, Good.
To much presure, bad. to much presure can push your coolant out the over-flow.

also milky gunk at the oil dip stick shows coolant in the oil pan.

These tests can point if your head gaskets are starting to go.

Paul
 

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1. Me personally when its a car i truely care about then i replace everything, will taking it apart and putting it back together hurt if things arent replaced? -as long as you dont damage any of the boots for the joints or tear any other bushings, you will be fine. simply put, if you plan to re-use anything just take the time and more care.

2. pads and rotors off ebay- will your car stop?-yes. will it stop better? -in theory. anything else, you can always go to the auto parts store and try something different if it doesnt work for you/your driving style. Read up on theory on braking and the different kinds of rotors on Tccoa.com tech articles as well as any car magazine or reputable performance part retailers. they usually break it down to explain the type needed for your style driving/habbits.

3. your assumption about the tach is correct, that tach is meant to be used on a v-6 car not a v-8 car so im not sure if they are adjustable in any way or if you just need to replace your tach with an LX tach from a v-8 car.

enjoy your bird, sounds like a blast with the 5.0 5spd. and the benefits from a sc car (suspension, interior, neat features).
 

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1. From the factory, the SC cars had different LCA bushings and arms; if yours are the larger size, I'd try to rebuild them rather than replace them. All OEM ball joints had teflon inserts and lower operating friction, if you can find new ones.

I'd replace everything on the suspension at once if you can afford to do it; Anything with a rubber component or ball joint that is original is about toast by now, depending on care and mileage, and you only have to have it aligned once. There is a thread with all the standard part numbers in it in the suspension forum.

Check the rubber brake lines to the calipers; if they are original, replace them.

If you have to replace the rack, do it sometime you have the engine out, if you can... maybe a 5.0 has more room, but a 4.6 is a drag! :)

2. Drilled/Slotted stock replacement rotors are a waste of cash, IMHO. If you need better braking power use ceramic pads, just remember they su*k cold. ;)

The PBR brakes or other big brakes solutions are much better than stock; if you go that far, drilled/slotted rotors might actually help. Search for brake upgrade/swaps.

I warp stock rotors before I wear them out; 2 sets in 5 years, so far, on the Red Cougar.

3. A stock tach doesn't have a switch to set the # of cylinders, so it will be off for sure. A V6 has fewer pulses per second than a V8 for the same rpm, so a V6 tach should read high with a V8 engine. 8/6=1.33, so 1k rpm would read 1333 and 5k would read 6666. (I think that's right; if not, I blame it squarely on the Heineken... :D)

EDIT: I'm wrong about the switch, read ClintD's post below. :)

I've heard an over revved engine make some pretty crazy noises; (usually just before they break,lol) If it got pegged until it quit accelerating rpms, the biggest things to worry about are broken rings, bent valves, holy pistons, stretched rods...etc. If it runs ok, the worst things are off the list. :) A compression check is probably a good idea...I think the risk of breaking a ring and not finding out until the bore is completely trashed makes it worth doing at least that.

As far as the ticking noise; an 89 is fuel injected...are you sure you aren't hearing them? Mine made a heck of a racket (to my ears) the first time I heard it. You can use a mechanics' stethoscope to pinpoint the noise; (I use a long screwdriver... :D)

If it's in the lower end, it need attention now; it just gets more expensive the longer it goes. (grind crank vs. new crank...)

Hope this helps.
 

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3. A stock tach doesn't have a switch to set the # of cylinders, so it will be off for sure. A V6 has fewer pulses per second than a V8 for the same rpm, so a V6 tach should read high with a V8 engine. 8/6=1.33, so 1k rpm would read 1333 and 5k would read 6666. (I think that's right; if not, I blame it squarely on the Heineken... :D)
If it's a 91 tach it does have a 8/6 option.


connect the top pin (C) to ground and it will read correct for an 8 cyl.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
is there something specific i ground it to or a ground wire near that i splice into? thanks a lot for all the pics and info. this is much appreciated.

the tick is nothing like injector noise and i can't say its a tick anymore than its a ting or a clink. its very intermittent and not really constant.

when i was getting on it, heres the deal. i had read, pretty much as you said, to calculate the rpms on the tach of this particualy swap (v6 to v8) what you are reading on the gauge is actually 133 % of the engines actual rpm. so, since i had taken the car up to at least 6200 on accident once already, and to 5800 all the time and it would still pull and sound and run great. As a matter of fact, i had strong reason to believe it was down on power when i got it. it seemed like when i shifted into 3rd it kind of fell flat on the butt dyno.

I found out then about the odd gearing of the transmission and the low gears the car has from the factory. so putting the tach error and the gearing thing, i decided i was being misled buy the guages into robbing my engine of its full potential. so one night on my way to work I decided to test this theory in full.

I dropped it down hard core on an open hiway and took 2nd high into the revs hitting 6500 at last sight and i went up a little past that when i quit looking to watch the road anf what not. slammed that shifter up into 3rd and it felt like it was pulling harder than it ever had before. this seemed to make sense and i wanted it to go all out and see how fast it REALLY was.

the second i dropped it into fourth, and slammed the gas back to the floor it happened. It revved for 500 or so rpms and then i heard the sound i initially described.
 

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oh yeah, say i revved it to 6900rpms on my tach. if the formula -- {displayed rpms X 133%=actual rpms} is correct thats only 5200 rpms. is this definately correct? i should be safely revving to that range, should i not? is it possible that its not getting enough fuel in the top end and it couldn't keep up the supply? the pump is original.
 

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well, i wouldnt be reving a unkown history 5.0 to 5 g on regular basis , your oil issue, you may have bad valve stem seals or a plugged pcv system .could be a slugger too . before you run out and get a tune, get a 94-95 gt stang pcm and rewire, if you search there is a thread about it .

brakes, before you buy anything , get a set of 93+ tbird/ cat/mark8 spindles and sway bar links. you need them if you want better brakes then you can do the pbr swap like stated above. then do your drilled rotors and the better pads for the pbrs.

your ticking, you may have a valve train geometry thats not set up correctly, it may be loose.

front end parts. the sc lower arms are obsoslete, but you can get them through a dealer there is plenty in stock at vintage parts .you can still get the tbird/cougar stuff from ford. btw i would recomend doing the ford oe everything on the front if you can . it has been proven here that the parts tend to last longer than the aftermarket equivilants .

the tach, youll have to check it out , clint is right about the repin, but if i remeber correctly , the sc tach is v6 only

i am wondering does the a.r.c still operate ? if not you can put std tbird arms on it with out an issue, the lowers are the only thing different as they have different spring heights .

justin
 

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Discussion Starter #13
dude, first of all... that cougar is fricken sweet. pm me some time and let me know about your progress on that project!

i don't necessarily want bigger better brakes. if the factory rotors weren't so prone to warping, i would surely just get them. if the stock pads don't throw dust all over everything i would have no problem using them either. and if the ford dealership wasn't so expensive i would buy everything from them!

any recommendation on the cheapest good quality breaks around would be highly appreciated!

the arc does still work, does this mean that the standard ones will not work on my car? i've seen sc ones available on several sites. i don't think it'll be an issue finding them.

when you save valve train geometry, what would be loose? i checked the rocker arms and they seemed tight, is there anything else i can check without undoing the rockers?

the pcv system, is there a filter or something i can check out?
 

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thanks the compliment on the 69 , heres a link to my album, i have removed all the pics from the other sites, the red 69 in the album is my friends other one he has for sale http://s733.photobucket.com/albums/ww339/jk69cat/69cougar/, as far as shocks, if you want to keep the arc you will need sc specific shocks.and yes the sd tbird /coug stuff will fit .brakes even if you upgrade to the 93+ knuckles and pbrs you wont have the wrap issues with stock rotors. i recomend ceramic pads personally .the pcv there is a filter under the valve in the intake . the valve train, it has pedistal type rollers? , if so , just make sure you cant spin the pushrods or move them .

also as far as dealers , there is ones you can get discounts from the sites sponsored one , or others (hint)
 

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I agree with updating to 93+ spindles and going with the newer calipers in the mounts. The places the pads slide on were toast on my 89 Cougar, I always hated the brakes on it. While I didn't go for standard sized brakes when I upgraded, and I have never has a 93+ with standard rotors and calipers, I installed the larger Sport/Mark VIII setup on the 89, and PBRs on the 97 with smaller standard rotors.

I didn't replace any suspension parts on my 89 until it had about 160,000 miles. I started getting the popping so I got new UCA, LCA (full arm with new bushing and ball joint), end links, strut rod bushings (frame and arm), shocks, upper shock mounts, outter tierod ends. I didn't really want to put that much into the 89 so I put it all on the 97 and put the 97 parts on the 89 (it had 65k miles on it) since I planned on getting rid of the 89 soon (that was 3 years ago and another 15k miles hahaha).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
did you go with all the factory front end stuff? did you get it at the dealership or online? i would love for the car to ride like new when i'm all done with it.
 

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i should mention, if you decide to go aftermarket, at least do the oe strut rod bushings, front and rear . they are far superior to anything else out there for these cars

heres a shot of my 89 after i did mine , i so miss my kitty




 
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