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Old 09-03-2011, 10:33 AM   #1
Chris White
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Default 944 + V8

After reading endless posts about V8s and 944s I figured it was time to get this whole Porsche 944 and V8 combination done right. After a lot of thought I figured there was a much better solution to the “944 + V8” question.

Since I don’t like reinventing the wheel I came up with a much different answer – instead of fitting a V8 into a Porsche I decided to fit a Porsche into a V8. The ‘V8’ in question is my old 1965 Mustang Convertible. I have owned it for 25 years and it needed a full restoration. I don’t really care much for over restored cars – they and not for driving, just for looking at (no fun). The project started out with engine selection – the good old small block Ford build has been done a million times and coming up with something ‘new’ is not possible. I want a fun driver that has some power but will also get decent millage and act very civil when not being driven hard. Final answer – the Ford ‘Coyote’ motor that just came out in the new Mustang GT - 5.0 liter 32v DOHC with variable cam timing. 420hp stock, 18/25 mpg in a heavy Mustang. Plus it looks pretty nice too! Ford sells it as crate motor with ECU and harness made for installing in older cars.

OK, once that decision was made the next question was suspension upgrades – the 60’s suspension is not very inspiring. I used to race my GT350 and even with lots of mods its still 60’s technology. There are lots of other upgrades, the most popular is a Mustang II front suspension…..yeah, like I really want to upgrade my crude 60’s suspension with a cheap 80’s suspension. By the time I priced out a good Mustang II based front suspension with some decent Wilwood brakes it was over $4k.

So one Sunday morning I woke up thinking that it would really be nice to use the Porsche turbo brakes on the Mustang (I have lots of spares). So I started to think what it would take to use them. Adapters?...maybe use the Porsche Spindles…I could make some adapters, yeah, sure…I could do that. But what if I use the A arms?...yeah, I could do that….but how about the struts?...Yeah, I can make that work….

So I grabbed a tape measure and did some calculations. In the end I came up with a way to use the entire 944 suspension (front and rear). The whole suspension is going to be fit to the ’65 Mustang – aluminum cross member, struts, steering rack and complete front suspension, the rear suspension converted to coil overs, torque tube and LSD transaxle.

The body is going to be 99% stock so it will look like a nice ’65 convertible – but the driving experience will be all 944 feel with a modern V8.

So there, I think I have figured out the right way to marry a V8 to a 944!

The project has started. The body has been completely stripped down, mounted to a rotisserie and glass beaded to bare metal. The sheet metal restoration is about to start and the front suspension mods are underway. Figure about a year to get it done (this is a ‘after hours’ project!). In fact I just found out that the featured marque for the 2012 Fall Vintage Races at Watkins Glen is the Mustang. Sounds like a good place for an ‘unveiling’.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:13 AM   #2
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Wow, that's thinking way outside the box Chris!

Very cool.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:17 AM   #3
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I love rotisserie chicken! Last car I had on a Rack was was when I restored my two 1970 Trans Ams. Looking forard to your project and display your fabrication skills.
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Old 09-03-2011, 11:25 AM   #4
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wow, not much left of that body. Salted roads do a number. Does this car have some "historic significance" for you? How much would a decent stock solid '66 go for? Once in awhile I see some unrestored Mustangs running around here in CA.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:15 PM   #5
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That is definitely thinking outside of the box and very creative...looking forward to seeing your progress, Chris.
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:22 PM   #6
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love it! haha
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:26 PM   #7
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There was a guy at the Parts Heaven swap meet a while back who had installed the full dash, center console and seats from a 944 into his early El Camino (or maybe Ranchero). It looked pretty darn nice in there. While I actually like the original Mustang interiors, I throw it out as food for thought...
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:30 PM   #8
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Since these vintage American cars have always left a lot to be desired in terms of handling (at least with the stock suspension), this will sure be an interesting drive.

If you are going to use a 944 transmission then why not put a 951 engine in there? You could always play V8 tapes in the stereo...
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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You know, I bed Fuchs would look pretty good on a '65 Mustang convertible...
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:32 PM   #10
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I like it.

I'm thinking a nice 3.0 turbo would be pretty cool in there too.

Or how about a 32 v turbo Porsche engine.

It would be sacreligios to many but it's your car so....
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:48 PM   #11
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I thought about the dash and I even measured it - it would got nicely, but I like the looks of the old dash. It also adds to the 'sleeper' factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom M'Guinn View Post
There was a guy at the Parts Heaven swap meet a while back who had installed the full dash, center console and seats from a 944 into his early El Camino (or maybe Ranchero). It looked pretty darn nice in there. While I actually like the original Mustang interiors, I throw it out as food for thought...
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Old 09-03-2011, 01:53 PM   #12
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As much as I like the 944 engines there is something nice about the V8 sound.
Years ago I did contemplate building a Factory Five Cobra with the 944 suspension and engine.
It would fit well but after driving a couple Cobras I gave up on that idea!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thom View Post
Since these vintage American cars have always left a lot to be desired in terms of handling (at least with the stock suspension), this will sure be an interesting drive.

If you are going to use a 944 transmission then why not put a 951 engine in there? You could always play V8 tapes in the stereo...
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:01 PM   #13
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I bought this car when I used to race the GT350 back in the early '80s. The idea was to drive something with the 'feel' of the track car. So yes, I do have a connection with this car.

Pretty much all old Mustangs have a good dose of rust. Convertibles are the worst due to leaky tops!

On the good side the parts are dirt cheap compaired to Porsche parts!

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Originally Posted by gpr8er View Post
wow, not much left of that body. Salted roads do a number. Does this car have some "historic significance" for you? How much would a decent stock solid '66 go for? Once in awhile I see some unrestored Mustangs running around here in CA.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:23 PM   #14
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i LIKE IT...that should get some ink as well with the trend for modern V8's/modern drivetrain and handling.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:55 PM   #15
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I love you, man! I actually did some of the early work on that engine before I left Ford.

Hey, since you've got all the stuff there, care to see how feasible it would be to stuff one of those in a 944 chassis? It is a whole lot smaller than the old 32V Mods.
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Old 09-03-2011, 02:55 PM
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