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Old 10-03-2005, 21:20   #1 (permalink)
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Question Cruiser or Racer??



Should I build this to be a daily driver and cruiser or should I build it more with a race theme? I really like the cruiser theme, as it's big and has a great ride which will be dramatically improved with the air ride suspension. With the EFI 302, I can pull between 300-350hp without thinking... (self-ported stock heads, long-tube headers, 1.7:1 aluminum roller rockers, maybe a higher-compression piston, etc) but I wouldn't want to put it beyond the point of being a budget cruiser. The current shift kit (mild) and detent-style shifter would remain and it would most likely end up on 20s.

If I go race theme, I have a 351W sitting in my garage waiting for a 408 stroker kit that will push a minimum of 600hp. The air ride will still come. Instead of the current shift kit, it'll have a high performance shift kit and a different shifter (gate- or ratchet-style) with reverse lock-out. The wheels will be Cragar 17s with the fattest tires possible. I could gut a lot of the interior to save on weight and install at least four racing seats in place.

The stock 2.73:1 ratio gears will remain, but I may install a cheap locker if I decide on the performance theme.

I'm seriously leaning much more toward the cruiser idea, but I'm still slightly borderline. Does anyone have any ideas?
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Old 10-05-2005, 18:21   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

Go ahead with the racer, however, get a overdrive unit from gearvendors.com. This way you can get the best of both worlds.Go with 16" steel rims and have them widened to accept the wider tires and not have any rollover.Also you can still use the stock wheel covers. The overdrive unit fits the rear of the tranny and changes the 3 speed automatic into a 6 speed. If you have a 4 speed auto it then becomes an 8 speed.This gives you the option of going with the lower gear rearend(410)and still get good mileage on the open road or crusin' around town. Now, if you want to race you can turn the overdrive "OFF" and this gives you the standard tranny in which you had added the performance stuff already. This way nobody will ever know just what you got under that mild mannered box... including my fellow brothers in BLUE. Have fun and stay safe!!!!
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Old 10-05-2005, 18:39   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

I could have the entire cruiser theme built up for the price of the Gear Vendors' parts (minus the 20s, of course). That's why I think I'll go cruiser- it's cheaper. I'll be building a Mustang before long, so I don't feel the rush to build something with too many horses.

Good thinking, though- just don't have enough money to spend, being a single father starting a business.
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Old 10-05-2005, 20:42   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

Want a cheap tip? 1996 explorer intake for the 302. Its modeled after the GT40 intake and will add cheap horses, same with the 60MM throttle body (compared to the stock 50MM). Also get the injectors if you can, there better then the stock 19# ones. It all bolts on :) Its a overnight job if you get all the tools. I bought a donner explorer for $100. Rusted peice of crap but had tons of engine parts :)
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Old 10-06-2005, 07:18   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

Wow... didn't even think of that. Does the Explorer intake have the throttlebody on the driver's or passenger's side? That would make a difference, as I would need to extend the throttle cable if it's passenger side. It'll bolt right up? Will it fit under the hood? Sounds like a good mod- I may need to do that.

Was the Explorer a 302 firing order or HO/351 firing order?

I'm about to take one of my extra sets of heads and port them myself. I'll go ahead and hop some junk yards to find those parts and do it all at the same time. (Along with 1.7 roller rockers! ...and maybe a cam, if I can figure out how to switch this thing to HO firing order without too much hassle...)

Thanks a lot!
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Old 10-06-2005, 19:42   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

The GT40 intake can go either way. Also the firing order was different, I think mustang style, but that doesn't matter. The intake will work like a charm. Now becareful. I forget what year but they used a different intake, I think 98 or so. Get a 96 or 97 and you'll see the differnce. I did :) But I went with the actual GT40 intake and a 75mm TB :) You can go with a mustange cobra intake. But the explorer is the same but half the price cause it don't say cobra. Its ones of those things that drive you crazy.
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Old 10-06-2005, 19:50   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

Oh, I'm talking upper and lower intake. Also might be a good idea to go with new lifters and push rods since the intake will be off, also if you feel bold enough you can go with 1.6:1 ratio true roller rockers pedistal mounted (5/16 bolt). That'll free a horse or two. And, if you want more, get the MSD 8.5 super wires and a TFI blaster coil. Also take the injectors from the explorer, there better. Or if you feel you want to snap your neck :) Goto a junk yard, get a 99 or newer injector harness, switch the plugs with your injector plugs. Get a set of 2004 mustang mach one or cobra injectors, they'll snap right into place :) There 24# VS. stock 19# And are bosch style 3 instead of style 1. Also if you do all this, sdvance your timing 4-5 degree ATBC for more wipelash :) And, dont worry, you EEC-4 brain will handle the mods like a dream :)
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Old 10-06-2005, 21:55   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

I'm already holding bids on the manifold set and 65mm throttle body. I did do some research and found that the manifold can go either way- I appreciate the input, though.

Did the throttle linkage fit right on the TB you're running? What brand is it? I'm thinking the 65mm will be plenty for what I'm doing. To go to 70mm or more, I'd need aftermarket and they're too expensive. I'm doing this budget-style.

I decided I'm not going to run a larger cam at all. I'll keep the stocker stick and I'm sure the 1.7:1 roller rockers will provide the extra boost. We're pedestal-mounted? It's been so long since I've been inside that motor I can't remember.

You're throwing a lot of ideas my way- keep 'em coming! 1999 or newer harness? You mean a 4.6L harness? Would that plug in place of the 5.0 harness? I could just find a good set of used 24# injectors for a 5.0 instead...
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Old 10-06-2005, 21:57   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

Oh- and I was planning to do the upgraded lifters (should I just get new stock lifters, since they're roller?), hardened pushrods, and stiffer springs. I want to pull all the RPMs I can out of this bad boy. Input?

...and you talk about whiplash. Remember, I'm in a station wagon, not a regular Crown Victoria- it weighed in a 4,000lbs last time I checked. Not much of a chance of whiplash. Hehehe.
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Old 10-07-2005, 02:59   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Cruiser or Racer??

All linkage hooked right up. I'm running a BBK, but you can get a SVT lightening intake that has a 70mm TB. Becareful with 1.7:1!!! You might be going to drastic and slap valves and bend valves. 1.7 is a the distance from center of the rocker bolt to the center of the valve. If you go to much it'll be off vulcrum and cause problems. I'm going with 1.7:1 cause I redegreed my timing chain and have ford motorsport pedistal full adjustable (rare!! But the best!!). All stock CV or wagon heads are 5/16 witch is pedistal mounted. For the harnes, you need to switch the injector plugs, new injectors from 99 and newer are way better! The bosch style three add power :) Stock roller lifters are fine. And as for wipelash in a wagon :) You never seen or been in my war wagon :) Its 5,000 and I get wipelash :)
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