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Rushcanuck Reader
12/17/19 8:36 p.m.

Hey GRM, I've been away busy moving time and time again and away from motorsports for the past 6 months but have finally come to a place where im a bit more stable and can keep a blog moving forward a bit. I had noticed my original forum posts have basically been stripped of photos and instead of going through them and editing I thought it may be easier to combine both mine and my beautiful girlies blogs into one...and in the future might get some good heated rivalry once they are both on track. I will also make posts here once my 1995 Bronco prerunner project gets back going, and might even do a portion of that on the backstory and progress of that. So sit back and enjoy my projects


Original blogs




This going to be a sort of time warp back to approximately 2011-12 after searching for about the last 6 months to find a affordable four eyed foxbody, t-top car. Something i wanted since highschool. I eventually settled for a 1989 Mustang LX. It wasnt a four eye, nor was it a t-top, but what it was was affordable. Although it had no motor, and the engine harness was gutted, interior was in rough shape. Hell I even originally thought it was green from the moss and forest growth that had started to take its new home. I being even more young and dumb as I am now fell instantly in love, reading a few articles gave it a close look over checking the strut towers and torque boxes and floor boards before handing the man over some cash.

First got it home about a week later and gave it a much needed bath, quickly located a engine and harness and started piecing the car back to its former self

First was get the motor in, and with that I needed a clutch and flywheel and what I didnt realize was missing off the transmission.... a damn bellhousing. sourcing that was a bit of a task but I found it, paid way too much for it and continued on my way. Within about a month id say, working every moment I had I got the car put back together, frying a computer in the process crying and using a jumbled mess of ford truck parts I had left over from other builds (1995 Bronco) and junkyard parts raids.

First start up, and soon after I slapped insurance on it and went for a cruise with my bestfriends in his Ford Probe, which if you know the story ironically was the car that almost replaced the mustang in the late 80's. Even more ironically that Probe never made it through the night, highway pull after highway pull we soon learned that maybe having a dash cluster hooked up could be useful... His car threw a belt, never had a check engine light, never had a gauge to say it was overheating. lets just say a rod ventilated the side of the block and that car became his parts car for a build that he was working on for a few years before having kids. He has since bought a 1967 Ford Falcon that once he gets working on it solidly I'll pressure him into showing you guys his progress.

I soon found a set of 17x9 rims and 245's off a guy locally, funny thing is he is now the husband of my girlfriends bestfriend and since has even asked to buy the rims back off me haha. I also removed the chrome fender trim that made it look oh too reminiscent of something my grandfather would drive

I enjoyed cruising for much of the rest of that fall, even joined the Victoria Mustang Club.

That winter I took on a task which most foxbody owners dread...heater core replacement

Its a long process, i think all data says 8-10 hours to replace because according to them you've gotta pull both front seats , console, column, everything well I've got a trick I learned from my father and it wasnt so bad. This time it took I think 4 hours, and the second time the girlfriend did it with some simple instruction.

That winter also went on some eibach prosprings, as well as hedman longtube headers

Right about then I started really wanting that four eyed foxbody again...craving it. It was something I just couldn't shake, I thought that the aeronose would stick with me but it just didnt. I made a post on kijiji looking for a 84-86 GT... and a guy soon after replied saying he had a 1985 mustang GT he was wanting to sell

I immediately bought the car basically without looking at it, did some killer burnouts had plans to build this into a cruiser and focus more so on the aeronose with racing. First time I jacked the car up i realized that this wasn't going to be a reality with the budget I had and the condition of the car... It had basically no front subframe, and the firewall and floor was basically gone too. I was choked, I think that was a pretty big actual learning experience for me as like i took a hit financially for this mistake. I tried selling it but Im honest I told them what was up and nobody took it.

Ended up parting out the motor, trans diff, I took the front clip off and taillights. and the rest went to scrap.

Fun part begins...

I was doing a delivery for work and had noticed a mid-70's Ford Capri for sale, looked in fairly nice shape and I pondered the idea of asking the guy if he was willing to trade. after work I drove over there and the car was gone, I knocked on the door to the house to as the guy if he maybe had moved it or if it was sold. I missed out but he then looked over at my car and said "Hey Ive got a motor for you" and he pointed to his backyard where several late 90's explorers sat rusting away next to his shop. I at the time had only just really started realizing what those motors had. GT40 heads and an intake. I quickly worked out a deal that I'd come over and pull them in exchange for helping clean his shop and a bit of cash as well and I walked away with a set of 1996 GT40 heads and intake

Hand porting and polishing them, followed a few DiY walk throughs got the heads and intake matched to each other before sending the heads away to have the valve seats machined and drilled for rocker studs to replace the pedestal mount

I also loved the look of louvers, it was a big need for me to have as well. I was talking to a guy at a meet and he had a set he had chopped apart to fit on his GT that he was willing to part with for cheap

I fixed them up and put them on the car


I got into some more clubs, bit of fast n furious stuff in mexico... I won by the way

That winter started the engine rebuild with the GT40 top end


This engine was the workhorse up to the winter of 2018. The build was simple, ported GT40 heads and intake. Comp XE270HR camshaft, PRW 1.6 stainless rockers, 70mm throttle body, as well as a 190lph fuel pump and Accel 24lb injectors. The engine was left basically untouched from about 2014 to 2018 with the exception of the distributor eating the cam gear. This engine dyno'd 220rwhp, and 295ftlbs of torque the summer of 2018. With a 200,000+km bottom end that i didnt touch

Rushcanuck Reader
12/17/19 9:05 p.m.

Right around then I also decided to change out the 3.08 gears for 3.73 gears

and that summer i had taken my first steps at painting, painted on some stripes

Made a simple heat shield for the air filter


Right around here was my first introduction to autocross. Man I went from dominating the streets to being absolutely schooled by everything from a miata, to an MGB to a damn datsun 510. It was a real eye opener for me to really start growing up at the time and actually challenge myself. I basically started really learning as much as I could from the people at these meets and started getting a much more dialed in game plan

I also swapped over at this time to the 1979 taillights

Also swapped over from 245's to 275's on all four corners

All I did was add a turnbuckle in the fenderwell to push out the lip and make space for the big rubber

or it might have needed a bit more haha

I drove this car as a daily driver every day to work, to the gym to the store everywhere. I even used it to go camping and road trips. was super reliable.


Finally with the newly worked suspension, fatter tires I got out to the track again and it was significantly faster this time. Making laptimes much faster then before

led a cruise for the victoria mustang club

and at this point is when me and my girlfriend got together finally, pretty close to a first real date was autocrossing in victoria, followed by the engine dying, and me tearing the engine apart in victoria, and a 2 hour tow home... most. expensive. date. ever!

This is her helping me out change over the camshaft that had been eaten by the distributor

we also built a set of valve covers together. mixing truck windsor valve covers with old modified valve covers


We enjoyed going to car shows, racing, working on my truck and car. It was a super enjoyable year.

Although vancouver island was a place if your looking to buy a house, get going on a career. Without family help its really hard, we made the tough choice to move some 1100km's north. To Prince George BC... And the Mustang drove the entire way, averaging 33 miles per gallon


Rushcanuck Reader
12/17/19 9:30 p.m.

Once There I tried out actual drag racing! and god it was slow! fastest I could manage was a 13.9 second quarter

We bought my current daily soon after moving, an 01 dodge 2500 with a cummins

soon following that remember that 1985 GT I bought well... yeah


I basically in an afternoon decided F*** it Im putting that nose on my car


At that point I drove it across town, about 45 minutes to my uncles farm. The headlights were in but still only had wiring for the aeronose lights, and no front signals.

where I painted it

first epoxy primer

the high build and i block sanded that


Not bad for a paintjob done at a dusty farm with ash from wildfires falling from the sky. It was good enough I got a job at a bodyshop soon after...best resume ever!


Winter of 2017 I decided to do a SN95 spindle swap. Off to the autowreckers I went to grab spindles and brackets off a 1995 mustang, got the brake calipers off a 2001, axles everything... and with a bit of paint made everything look new

fox front to sn95 front

and the big thing... disk rear brakes also off that 1995 mustang

I also swapped out the control arm bushings...dont have a press gott burn them

Made brake cooling ducts out of the GT foglight holes

And my new 5 lug wheels


I think this is where Im going to stop tonight. Next update will be mostly about the girlies project that she got late in this same winter. Thanks for reading

mr2s2000elise Dork
12/17/19 9:59 p.m.

Wow beautiful mustang 

how is Prince George treating you ? Love the dodge truck and white probe 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
12/17/19 11:02 p.m.

I've been a fan of fox bodies since they were the hot new thing.

All these years later, I probably won't ever own one, haven't even sat in one, but still a fan.

Good read!

slowbird Dork
12/18/19 10:28 a.m.

Whoa, very cool! I love the front end swap, the 85-86 style has really aged well in my eyes. Nice job with all the work you've done, and I really want to know about the Bronco as well!

Rushcanuck Reader
12/18/19 11:15 a.m.

In reply to mr2s2000elise :

PG is good, we are going though a bit of unemployment pandemic right now although, many mills are shutting down and from what ive seen and heard alberta is doing no better. It will hopefully improve soon, dont really need to get into canadian politics lol!

In reply to slowbird :

The bronco Im thinking will be an inevitable post sooner or later. Im hoping to get it out of storage by this spring which is when I shall probably post about it

Rons GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/18/19 11:17 a.m.

As your pictures become available I have to ask were you living in Parksville, Qualicum Beach?

My picture pulled over on 99 just west of the 97 junction I think you have a picture headed north on 97 just south of the junction.

Rushcanuck Reader
12/18/19 11:44 a.m.

In reply to Rons :

Good eye, yea thats qualicum beach in a few pictures. I grew up not far from QB. Moved to PG from nanaimo

Rons GRM+ Memberand Reader
12/18/19 12:09 p.m.

In reply to Rushcanuck :

Our plan is to sell in North Van and move to Qualicum Beach in the new year.

Rushcanuck Reader
12/18/19 7:53 p.m.

So the girlfriend wanted to join me on the track, and she had interest in getting a Chevy Vega for her to build, learn, autocross with me, go to shows, and go drag racing as well. After about year of looking we found a 1975 Pontiac Astre for sale in Burns Lake BC (About 2-3 hour drive).

Her plan was to 350 swap it

The car is in fairly good shape for what it is. Had a bit of rust where the battery sat. but the floors and underneath were mint.

These had a kinda really cool...odd engine as well. an aluminum block 4 cylinder, with a cast iron OHC head. This is actually the high output engine that made 86hp with the 2 bbl carb

She immediately started tearing the engine apart, we have a rule Im only allowed working on it under her supervision. This not going to lie was a miserable task as it was late winter, mud season and we had to work on days that the ground was thawing, super muddy, and through snow, and some days were -20 below

we first started on getting the engine and trans out this due to not having a shop involved us hoisting it out on a 2x6 which the engine without a head wasnt too bad. The transmission though was a huge pain

Then came fixing the massive hole in the fender skirt where the battery goes

this sucked, Ive never shocked myself with a welder so many times!

Then came the engine and transmission, which we got for free if we would pull it

Quick cam change and built a oil pan for it

before squeezing and I really mean squeezing that engine and transmission combo into the car. It took about 100 tries to get the trans and headers to fit

and then we fired it up. ran flawlessly


Rushcanuck Reader
12/18/19 8:02 p.m.

That following summer was my first true full season autocrossing in PG and Quesnel, had a lot of fun learning better techniques and learning my car. The brakes worked so much better and i could really bury the car into the corner for the first time.



I even learned what overdriving looks and feels like


About halfway through the summer I decided to change out the eibach springs in favor of H&R Super race springs... the wider stance of the car made for roll heavy cornering

First time actually trailering the car to events in quesnel

Rushcanuck Reader
12/18/19 8:27 p.m.

Then life changed I decided to go back to school and become a millwright

This you might think shouldve slowed production of both builds.... nah 

The mustang started my first true engine build, 333ci stroker with performance world PRO185 heads, new BBK longtubes, hand made exhaust. Motor now should make a just under 400hp and 400ftlbs of torque...plenty for autocross...Oh and it was all built in our living room

Im a pretty big star wars fan.... this made gapping rings easier

I ported the intake following an old Tmoss walkthrough


That winter didnt stop there.

The Girlfriend was busy too, she got a car tent of her own and tore down the suspension on her Astre so that I could make sleeves to change the upper and lower balljoints to ones out of an S10 so we can also run s10 spindles, brakes... as well as run an S10 4.10 diff as well

For those of you wondering how you stay warm in -25

more bushing torching

finished product. s10 ball joints in a vega control arm

diff came out

she also found a set of vintage turbine wheels for it

From here Im missing a ton of photos myself. I changed phones and lost about 6 months of pics. mostly was just putting the engine into the foxbody, and the end of school. But at this point we moved again across town.

She also bought tires for her car. toyo proxie RTR

Living there i built my own spray booth out of a car tent and sprayed her new front/used fenders

Last summer we only really went to the fathers day show with the mustang and that is it. engine didnt run consistently on my wideband to trust really opening it up

I dove into a whole new realm of confusion for me MS2pnp for the foxbody​​​​​​​

Rushcanuck Reader
12/18/19 8:37 p.m.

Well in august of last summer something happened that was quite a shock to us. after living in the new place for only 2 months we were awoken at 1:20am by a neighbour screaming saying a car was on fire on the street. it wasnt either project but it was the girlies daily driver. I ran outside and in my house coat put the fire out with the garden hose, with the horn blarring I calmly and efficiently used my volunteer firefighter training for the first time in years

The car was a complete write off though and it was found that it was set on fire as well. someone had left two bottles of gas on the cowl in fabric bags which they ignited and the bottle melted and poured gas down the cowl into the engine bay and interior. After learning this we didnt feel at all safe, we lived there for only 2 months and already been broken in to once and now this... The hood of PG is not a good place to be

We then moved again to where we are now and that basically catches you all up to present day. The girlie is busy stripping the paint on her car and Im busy working long hours 7 days a week being frustrated with learning tunerstudio and mega squirt as well as helping her out on the body work on her car.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
12/18/19 9:09 p.m.

That's awful about the car fire and the break-in.  Sounds like you bounced back from that well.  Great projects. 

Rushcanuck Reader
12/20/19 10:54 a.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

I feel like we are still working on getting back to where we were financially. moving once only to move again, missing a daily driver was very costly. That and the rush job of finding another affordable rental was basically impossible. We are however slowly getting there Im hoping to have both cars done for next summer, mustang ready for may. It may require me trucking the car to calgary to get the megasquirt tuned although

Rushcanuck Reader
12/30/19 11:30 a.m.

She made a little more progress on her car fender replacement. has the new fender trimmed and cleco'd on, as well as the filler hold cut out of the old fender.

Rushcanuck Reader
1/2/20 11:08 a.m.

Point of no return

Inner fender looks better than expected. Made a small patch for the front of it and rocker door brace. Although the rear pinch weld area needs a complete replacement. will take a fair amount of time. On the brightside the fender already almost fits perfectly

Flanged the horizontal edges to allow me to cleco the patch back on. looks like I may have to shift the fender up to match the bodylines a bit better. it all just takes time. defidently not looking forward to welding the patch in with my flux core welder, probably going to spot weld a flange on the vertical edges to give us a bit more meat to weld to then the thin vega 20g panel

Rushcanuck Reader
1/13/20 3:18 p.m.

So the girlfriend's project has mostly come to a bitter stand still due to the cold front we've been overwhelmed with lately. -38 degrees celcius is just a bit too nippy for us

I've started pittering at attempting to learn the Megasquirt for my car. Difficulty Im having is Im not super computer saavy and I work well with a sort of checklist nature and ofcourse I cant find one of the sort for tuning this megasquirt. Has anyone done any tuning with this system? bit of experience with tuning a ford 302? Im struggling with getting it to start, and idle effectively. The idle screw can be cranked up to get it to start, but it idles high like 3000-4000rpm. now from there once its warm I can turn the screw down and have it idle at 900rpm but once there it wont start up again.

Is it worth paying for the full version of tunerstudio? I understand it has the ability to dial in your fuel table much faster then manually. Giving you a quick baseline after start up.

Im super timid tuning this thing because I dont want to grenade an engine with only 500-600km on it

Rushcanuck Reader
1/21/20 6:14 p.m.

Here is some videos from autocross the other summer before the Stroker motor i have finally got around to editing and uploading

I have always like the behind a tire view, gives a good idea of the tire fit in the wheel well. Miami Vice probably influenced it too haha! that day I was struggling with a pretty narly tire rub


More on Car view



Now this was canada day weekend, we did a double header. Saturday had a cruise and sort of a treasure hunt that finished in Quesnel where we spent most of the afternoon racing and then drove home and Sunday in Prince george airport autocross.




Earlier that year we showed up to racing in quesnel, it rained off and on all day making it difficult to have consistent track



The car is quick on a flat smooth surface. This club was racing the same course in prince george every race, shame we dont have access to the PG airport anymore. Built the stroker specifically to assist on the big straights to allow me to use 3rd gear too.

Rushcanuck Reader
1/21/20 8:07 p.m.

little update on the girlies Astre build. We've got the fender tacked in and are working on slowly stitching the fender on with my old used lincoln flux core buzz box i got for $50. It is for sure a process of patience but im so glad that it looks as good as it does. Makes all those long nights trimming and making it all fit worth while

Now I took a lot of time just practicing tacking and welding scrap sheet metal in order to know the settings and basically how long I can tack, and how far of a wire feed to have and yadda yadda. Seems to be an object of discussion is using a flux core welder able to weld sheet metal, and how well, and how to. This is what Im doing, and I know its not a beautiful weld. But this will work and I've seen a lot worse in this trade with actual MIG setups running .023 wire with gas.

My settings are B on voltage and about 2 on the wire-feed on this little lincoln weldpak 110. Its an older model probably Im guessing early to mid 90's Im not sure. I've got Praxair .030 flux core wire, although I initially tried with lincoln .035 flux core wire and the change didnt do much, I'd say use whatever wire you have on hand either .030 or .035 .

Now I spent hours cutting up the old panel and butt welding it together and I struggled to not burn through, even on the settings described. I found on another forum unsure which but someone had said try to feed out with flux core wire a bit more from your tip, about 3/4"-1" and try that and I admit t was weird at first because the way Ive learned with a Mig setup you have about 1/4" because of the gas shield to avoid porosity. But IMMEDIATELY this solved my burn through issues, and have when Ive got a decent fit I can do a nice flat weld without burn through. Miller does recommend a 3/4" tip gap for using flux cored wire without gas but I rarely read instructions haha. I just if anyone finds this or is trying to learn how to do it and to save them a lot of frustrating hours trying things. Just feed your wire out about 3/4" and try it again, it may help you.

I do use cleco fasteners (could use self tapping screws) to hold the fender tight on the wheel well, and filler neck, and I even had made a clamp tie in a spot and if you flange any spots they work well there too.

I initially tack weld spots directly on body lines to hold the panel, I do this to every body line or any location where I have a sort of reference that Im welding it in the right spot. from there I go 4" away from those spots and tack again, moving around the panel randomly all over. Then once the panel has sufficient tacks I start to tack about every 2" and run a lap around the panel. after a lap, I use an air gun to cool off the panel, brush away the flux and tack just ontop of that last tack and  work my way around until i've filled in the gaps. You do the short tacks and move to ensure that the panel doesnt warp which will cost more time and effort later, and cooling the panel also helps prevent warping.

Now in my experience with a actual Mig you can do short 1/2" to 1" beads then cool that bead down. move about 4" away, another bead, cool it, 4", another bead, cool it... With the flux core and the current gap Ive got which isnt bad Im basically tacking and moving, laying dimes on itself. 

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/21/20 8:36 p.m.

In reply to Rushcanuck :

Thanks for the info about wire stick-out and burn-through.  I'm also learning with flux core and haven't really paid attention to stick-out length.  I'll pay attention to it now.  Also, there are a lot of experienced megasquirt tuners on here.  Maybe start another thread with "megasquirt tuning help needed" in the title.  User madscientistMatt is kind of a guru.

Rocambolesque Reader
1/21/20 10:47 p.m.

Good info about the welder setup. I only have a 110V welder with flux core too and did some body panels. Like you, I had the voltage at B (or setting 2 out of 4), but ran the wire feed at around 6. Next time around I'll try the longer wire stick-out and dial back the feed a bit. 

Rushcanuck Reader
1/22/20 10:58 a.m.

In reply to AngryCorvair :

Thanks I'll for sure start another thread once I start working on that car again. Just struggling with what Im pretty sure is Ford related. bloody idle will not work.

Rushcanuck Reader
1/22/20 10:59 a.m.

In reply to Rocambolesque :

yeah the longer the stick out the colder the weld is. so now with getting a sort of hang of it. If Im lap welding, I will run a 1/4" stick out. tight butt welds I'll do 3/4". and butt welds with a bit of a gap i'll do even a bit longer. all without touching the setting on the welder.

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