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Topics - Dogcharmer

At The Track / SCCA Track Night... Awesome!!!!
Got the old Bird out on the road course at MSR Cresson last Tues. They were running the 1.7 mile ccw direction. It was a total blast to get to finally drive this thing all out! The car handled amazing with the MM coilover suspension combined with the incredible tires I had on the car. I ran the novice class so I made sure to get in line when they called first call to grid. I was number 2 behind a 2017 Camaro SS 1le. I wish I could say I could stay with it but he was gone. That was the only car in the novice class I couldn't catch or hang with. The Porsche Cayman that was gridded behind me spun behind me on a fast left hander so i never got to really see what it could do. By the 4th lap I was starting to lap the back markers. It was great lapping a 3 series BMW, s197 5.0 and Subaru BRZ (of course  in intermediate this probably wouldn't have happened, lol).

So that's the good, now the not so good. I was told the track will reveal anything wrong or any shortcomings your car may have and boy was that true. While the engine, suspension and brakes performed flawlessly, the cooling system, not so much. By the 5th lap I was pushing 225 on the coolant and 270 in the oil so I had to back off and run some cool down laps. I think the combo of running a radiator that had had stop leak circulate through it years ago combined with running a stock clutch fan wasn't cutting it on the track. I probably need to box the sides and top of the inlet between the grill and the radiator. Anyway no harm done yet…

In the second session, same deal except I was chasing this open wheel ariel atom looking thing (edit: turns out it was an Ariel Atom!) and actually staying on him. By the time he pointed me by the coolant hit 235 and the oil was at 290. I felt my front tires starting to lose grip in the corners and backed out of it to let the engine cool. That's about the time I was black flagged so I pitted in and found out I was puking coolant which explained the loss of front grip. Tires don’t work too good when you wet em down. That was the end of my day. I had to let the car cool for a couple hours so I could drive it home. Funny thing, made it home with the car running great so I thought I may have dodged a bullet. The next day though it was running rough. Long story short, blew a head gasket overheating the engine. Probably warped a head in process and will have to have them cut again.

Bottom line… was it worth It? He’ll yeah!!!! Blown head gasket and all! Wanted to go back in Sep but I have a kids wedding to pay for. But next March it’s on. I should have a camera set up by then to get some in car video.

Here's one pic, I'll try and get more up later. This is a good one that shows how flat the car corners as this is a hard left hand turn. What impressed me is how with what little negative camber I've got, about 1.2 degrees, it seems to be good. The tires didn’t look like they were killing the shoulders at all…

User Rides / Track Ready, Finally...
I just weighed my car at the local DOT scale in track configuration. It was exactly 3400 lbs. Not bad concidering how much modern cars weigh these days. I remember when we used to consider our cars heavy, lol... now our cars are 200 lbs lighter than s197 and s550 mustangs. I'll be eading to the road course at msr cresson for scca track night in america next tues. I'm hoping the 347 and t5 stay together! Anywho, here's a pic with the track wheels and hankook rs-4 tires on the car.

T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars FOR SALE / 87 Sport F/S Not Running $500
I'm in Springtown, Tx (close to Fort Worth) and need this car gone. It is NOT running and will have to be towed. The driveshaft is still disconnected from the last move. Last I checked a U-haul car dolly is around $65 bucks. The wife has put her foot down and I can only have one project. So about the car...

It's a 87 Sport with no rust and a straight body. There are a few hail dings but not a lot. It would be a great parts/project car for cheap because I'm only asking $500

Front Suspension: MM camber plates, TC 11" brake conversion, Urethane swaybar bushings, TC springs.

Rear Suspension: TC springs, 3.55 TC 8.8 rear with disk brakes, 20K miles on rebuilt traction lok.

Tranny is an AOD from GER with the 2.84 wide ration gear set and non lock-up convertor with 2000 stall.

Engine is a partially disassembled 5.0 E6 block (flat tops) with E7 heads, HO cam. I have all the parts not on the car and all the hardware is bagged and labeled. Its got 19# injectors and stock HO headers with a stock HO mustang cat pipe and dual Magnaflow lers. The EEC IV is a speed density EEC from an 88 mustang.

If you're near north Texas this car may be for you :)

Electrical Tech / Help! Relocating Cruise Control
I have an 86 Turbocoupe with factory cruise but I've got an aftermarket steering wheel. What I'd like to do is wire up the Octane/Antenna switch panel from an 87/88 TC for Cruise. Anybody know what wires running through the column are for cruise or is this even possible?

Electrical gurus please chime in!!!

Thanks in advance :)
T-Bird/Cougar Parts & Cars FOR SALE / Y303 Aluminum GT40 Heads F/S
Blew a head gasket the other day and decided to finally install my Twisted Wedges so now I have these Y303's to sell. They are machined with reciever grooves so a wire-loc head gasket is required such as a TFS-51400901 or equivelant. The heads use the stock pedestal bolt down rockers. I will include all the shims that I have (they install under the rocker fulcrum and are used to achieve proper lifter preload). You may or may not need them with your combo.

The engine was never overheated with these heads and they are ready to bolt on and go. If you want a cheap set of aluminum heads that are supercharger ready these just might be your ticket.

I'll take $500 plus shipping from DFW, TX.

Haven't cleaned 'em up but just took some quick pics.

PM me if interested.

User Rides / Project Budget Bird...
... is about to commence. I've been contemplating what I am going to do with this car for about 2 years now. It's been sitting in my garage under a cover but now it's time to get it back on the road. My house is going into foreclosure and I need to do this while I have a huge flat concrete driveway :)

The plan is to do a stock HO rebuild from start to finish for around $1200-$1400. The reason I'm not making it a drag car or doing something cool with it is because I agreed to sell it to my son for $2000 when he turns 16 in a couple years. (a pretty  good deal all things concidered).

It's already got a long list of upgrades but here are a few of the highlights...

AOD w/solid input shaft and wide ratio gear set
2000 RPM non lock-up convertor
3.55 8.8 TC rear w/ disk brakes
11" TC front brakes
HO Headers and H-Pipe
Magnaflow custom catback exhaust
MM CC plates
Chuck's Motor Mounts
3 row copper/brass radiator
Nice Pioneer deck that you can plug an I-pod into.
and a bunch of other little things...

I think 2 grand will be more than fair concidering all the work that's gone into it. I asked him what he would rather do... Pay me for the Bird or get something else with his 2K and he wants the bird... Smart kid :)

Most of you have seen this car before but here's a couple pics I snapped today....

Lounge / Car Show Pics
There was a small car show at the school next to my house today so I drove over and popped the hood on the bird and had a walk around. There were some really nice cars there. Here's some pics of my favorites.

This S281 was shag on wheels!

Suspension/Steering / Finally, New Tires!
Yes, I finally ponied up for some badly needed new tires. I ended up settling on Continental ContiExtremeContact (Those Germans do know how to run words together). I wanted some good rain tires and these were rated the best in thier class (low priced Ultra Performance All Season). They were close enough to the comparable Yokohamas and spoogehos on dry pavement but noticably out classed the others in the wet.

As for size I decided this time I wanted to be able to rotate my tires to get a little more life out of them. That meant ditching the 275s. 245s seem a little narrow for the back so I decided to go with 255/40's all the way around. It turns out that the 255's fit the 9" wide wheels perfect. They look nice in the back, fit the rim great and dont rub at all in the front.

As for driving on them. My only concern was noise because of a few reviews that I read. Well, mine are nice riding tires and dont produce any noticable road noise at all. The side wall feels stable when cornering, they dont seem to trammel at all and they balanced nicely. Bottom line... After puting about 15 miles on them I can say I'm finally happy with a tire purchase. I'll ressurect this thread after about a year with an update if I remember.

Just FYI... When I ordered them from Discount Tire I brought the price that I printed out from the and they price matched the tire price plus $11 per tire shipping which came out to around $14 per tire cheaper. Just make sure you get the Tire store's price BEFORE you show your hand so they dont price match a HIGHER price.

Lounge / My first T-Bird pics...
...After getting hit by a drunk driver. I was going through old pictures and found these tonight. They were taken back in 2000 when I lived in Federal Way, WA.

In the first picture the car was still drivable. Then I stripped it and sent it to the junk yard. All the parts that I took off are on my 87 sport. There were still a few good parts on the car when I sent it off. It had a complete running 2.3 turbo and good T5 in it but not much else. I picked her pretty clean. The only reason I left the engine and transmission in the car is because the junk yard wouldn't pick it up with out them.

I had to fight with the drunk drivers insurance company but I finally got $2000 plus I kept the car. Persistence paid off!

Cool huh...

Engine Tech / Mass Air Upgrade: Final Update pg2...
Or... Where to get a cheap 70mm MAF.

Lately I've been looking at some simple and cheap (especailly cheap!) areas I can improve the performance of my car. I got to thinking about the stock 55mm MAF which for a stocker or minor bolt on car is fine. On my engine it's the final restriction of the intake path that I haven't dealt with. Basically since I'm using 19# injectors I just wanted a larger meter that I can install my stock electronics on. I  sure didn't want to pay $180 for a C&L meter housing much less over 250 for the one that comes with that prettly aluminum elbow. SCREW THAT! LOL... So I started researching over at the Corral and learned that the 94/95 Mustangs came stock with a 70mm meter. Sweet! Too bad no-one is selling one at the moment. So I did some more looking around and found out that a few other Fords use the same meter/injector combo. Here's the list that I came up with:

94-95 Mustangs V8 or V6
92-94 Crown Vic 4.6
92-94 Town Car 4.6
92-94 Grand Marquis 4.6

I went to my favorite local yard today. There was not one single SN Mustang but I did find 2 meters on 4.6 Town Cars. It seems the secret is out though because there were only those 2 meters out of about 20 Town Cars and Crown Vics. Anyway, I scored them both for $15 because they didnt have change for a 20 but he had five ones, heheh...

They're not a bolt on proposition though. I've got to do a little modification. You'll notice in the pics that it has a square bolt on . I've got to take them up to work tomorrow and cut off the corners and then grind it round with an aluminum wheel... No biggie.
Once I install it I'll update the thread and let you know how it worked out.

In the mean time. Here's some comarisons with the stocker.

Engine Tech / Underdrive Pullies
I was bored today and since it was such a nice day (78 degrees:D ) I thought it would be a good day to take the underdrives off the 87 and try em out on the 86. I took some pics along the way... (I'm such a camera w, heheh) I didn't change out the alternator pulley, only the crank and water pump pulleys.

There seemed to be a seat of the pants difference with the change. The engine seemed to be more responsive and rev a little quicker. It didn't affect the coolant temp at all and the stereo was fine with the lights on. The dash lights would dim a little with the turn signals though (who cares).

Here's a pic of the water pump pullies. The big one is the underdrive.

The underdrive crank pulley is the small one.

And finally, the tensioner stayed within range with the stock (for my config) belt.


This is pretty basic stuff but I figured somebody might find this info useful someday. Also, you dont have to remove the fan shroud to do this job. Just leave the belt on to break loose the fan and crank bolts.
Body/Appearance/Interior / Sometimes the little things...
...make the biggest difference.

5 speed owners might relate to this one. I've been having the nagging problem of my floor mat sliding forward and bunching up under the clutch pedal. Every time I got in the car and occasionally when driving I'd have to slide my mat back. It's been annoying as hell! So I finnaly decided to do something about it.

I drilled a hole in the floor pan. There is an acces hole in the sub frame at exactly the right spot. I cut a 2"X2" piece of steel strap and welded a stud on it and bolted it down to the floor. I drilled the mat for the stud and ran a nut with a fender washer down on it. No more moving mat... YEAH!

The next thing will only apply to guys with fiberglass hoods. My hood lifters finnaly wore out and I've been propping the hood up with a bubble level (It was about the right length). I got to thinking that the hood lifters were kind of a pain to work around anyway and they didn't allow the hood to be raised very high so I decided to go back to the good ole prop rod. I thought about buying one but when I saw the usual $30 dollar price tag I figured I could do just as well at the junk yard.  After looking around a bit I settled on the Dodge Neon rod. It's bolt on, very long and fairly straight (and only 5 bucks!). I got it home and bent it as required to lay on the radiator core support as well as prop the hood correctly. I only had to cut about 5 inches off the end of it and the bend at the end sits right inside the hood pin cup. It raised the hood much higher and at a far greater angle than before. Now there is actually room to work under the hood with out having to go through contortions to get around the hood lifters... and it looks factory.

The hood lifters only raised the hood about half this much.

Suspension/Steering / MM Strut Brace Install
I finally got around to installing my MM STB and I thought I'd post this to try and save anyone from some of the frustrating installation issues that I had. It's really easy to install but there are a few things that can bite you in the ass if you're not prepared. One thing is tools... A dremmel tool saved the day here a couple times; Here's why...

Issue 1: On the passenger side the STB tower mount interefered with the camber plate. So unless you want to remove your camber plate and grind the washer you will have to grind away the corner of the brace bracket and drill a new hole in the brace. The camber plate is in the way of the drill bit so you cant use the inside hole. Here's the pic...

Issue 2: After istalling every thing I noticed the lack of clearance for my oil cap. On my 87 Bird with the worn out stock motor mounts I could get it off... barely. With the poly mounts on this car it was not even close... F@$k! So I had to loosen the STB bolts and pry it up so I could get the cap off. Then I took my trusty dremmel and cut off the bottom of the cap to the first threads. That was enough so now the cap fits fine.

Modified cap: