My 1984 Ford Mustang SVO and tow rig...

CraigB

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1984 Ford Mustang SVO



I bought this car from a friend of mine who had let it set under a tree for a bout 5 years. It's a typical 23 year old car and has been a major headache and wallet drain. Of course it's not your typical Mustang. Instead of 5.0 liter V8 it has a turbocharged and intercooled 2.3 liter I4. There where less than 10,000 built over the three years of production, with this being the 251st.

I've gotten it close to being a nice reliable car and as soon as the cold snap clears it be back out on the road.


2003 Ford F-250 Super Duty



Yes, it's true Americans do like trucks. This is my fourth truck and my first diesel. For a 7500+ pound vehicle it will move thanks to the turbocharged and intercooled 6.0 liter V8 diesel that makes a bunch of torque. It has ran a 16.48 @ 79, but if I could get off the line without spinning I'm sure I'd pick up a tenth or two.
 
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VR6

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Gnalry tow rig, as for wheel spin, no 4wd? Nice mustang wierd engine though, what kind of power does it put down?
 

Ianspeed

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Nice Mustang! I have a special place in my heart for the 2.3 turbo as it was one of the first race cars I was allowed to work on. It was a screamer. I'm not sure what parts he had on the car, but I remember many of the parts I assumed were coustom were Ford Motorsport bits.

It looked the biz. Any plans on modding the truck? I hear big numbers are possible with the new turbodiesels.
 

Vitamin J

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Ha, that truck does the 1/4 mile in the same time as my Miata!

I love that Mustang, it looks great! What else is wrong with it? Isn't that the same motor as in the Merkur XR4Ti and Escort Cosworth or Ford Sierra?
 

CraigB

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VR6, nope. I wanted 2wd and got a 1wd. The truck doesn't have an LSD. I haven't dynoed the 'Stang yet, but it was factory rated at 175 hp and 210 lb. ft of torque.

Ian, cool deal on the 2.3t race car. Road race I assume? I do plan to add a chip and exhaust to the truck, maybe slip into the 15s with it...
 

ruuman

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if your suffering wheel spin best thing to do is chuck 1/2 ton of rocks in the back. With that much torque it shouldn't really make any difference to your speed.
 

CraigB

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I've thought about adding some weight to the bed to see if it helps, but haven't tried it yet. I was thinking about a steel pipe filled with lead shot would do the trick...
 

GraemeH

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That Mustang looks like a Sierra or an Orion



Is that what it was based on or something?
 

Scott

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There was short run of the SVO in a "normal" Mustang body (I think it was either late 83 or early 84). I actually had one of those in Germany for a while (and I got it for FREE!) but I was not nearly as smart about cars back then and I let it go to hell. I wish I had kept that car because it is ULTRA rare and worth quite a pretty penny now! :(
 
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jetsetter

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That Mustang looks like a Sierra or an Orion



Is that what it was based on or something?
The Mustang SVO was a limited-production version of the Ford Mustang sold from 1984 to 1986, during which time it was the fastest, most expensive version of the Mustang available. Although it departed both physically and mechanically from any prior version of the Mustang, it held the same spot within the lineup, both in terms of performance over "lesser" variants and in prestige, as had variants such as the Shelby tuned and "BOSS" Mustangs of the 1960s and 70s.

History
In the wake of the oil-crises of the 1970s the American muscle-car had effectively died off, the result of ever-rising fuel costs and the advent of more strict safety and emissions controls imposed worldwide. As a result, the "big three" automakers (Ford, General Motors and Chrysler Corporation), for whom muscle cars had been a steady and reliable source of income, began to suffer somewhat financially. Many of the great vehicles of the muscle car era had been either completely discontinued or had been painstakingly detuned to help keep them in compliance with new Federal emissions regulations and the rising demand for better gas mileage. The Mustang, although still in production, had suffered greatly through this time; diminished power output and Ford's seemingly complete inability to come up with an attractive bodystyle in the post-fastback era were major issues.

Ford began to make a major push forward with the Mustang in 1982, nearly completely re-inventing every aspect of the vehicle, which included putting a new emphasis on the model's sporty nature. Just prior to this, in the fall of 1981, Ford decided to form a division that could oversee both the company's racing program and the production of limited-edition, high performance street legal vehicles based on or taking technology from the race vehicles. Officially, the division was called the Special Vehicle Operations Department, but the public came to know them as simply SVO (S-V-O). Tasked with developing something that was both plainly American and competent to compete with entry-level European sports cars of the day, the team went to work on the new Mustang, deeming that it was the most obvious choice as a platform basis for a high-performance vehicle.

Turbocharged Power
Still ultimately concerned with issues such as fuel consumption and emissions, SVO engineers opted to pass over the venerable Boss 302 in lieu of an updated, turbocharged version of Ford's 2.3 litre inline four, originally used in the Pinto. Endowing the engine with an advanced, computer controlled fuel injection system and an intercooled turbocharger system helped push power output to 175 horsepower(130 kW), fairly high for the time. With fine tuning and the addition of a new water-cooling system, power output rose to 200 horsepower for 1986 (205 horsepower for a very limited run of 85.5 SVOs) In addition, a "fuel grade" switch was added to the dash, allowing the driver to adjust the vehicle's performance level depending on if premium or standard grade fuel was being used. The vehicle's standard 5-speed manual transmission was updated as well, eventually receiving revised gearing and a factory installed Hurst shifter to improve feel and quickness.

The Overall Package
In addition to the advanced engine, the SVO featured several key modifications over the standard Mustang to help increase performance. The front suspension geometry was modified, a 15:1 ratio power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering system replaced the standard system, a limited slip, 3.73:1 Traction-Lok axle was added, a new, ventilated four-wheel-disc braking system replaced the GT's disc/drum setup, specially designed pedals were used to aid "heel and toe" shifting and a complete Koni suspension system featuring specially tuned adjustable struts, shocks, and horizontal dampers replaced the setup used on the Mustang GT. Five-lug, 16 x 7 inch aluminum wheels wearing P225-16 Goodyear Eagle VR 50 "Gatorback" tires were standard as well.

Interior features included adjustable sport seats with lumbar supports, a leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel, shift lever, and emergency brake handle, power windows, door locks and A/C and a premium stereo system, options that weren't normally found on small American coupes. However, an optional Competition Prep package deleted many of those features to save weight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mustang_SVO
 

CraigB

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That Mustang looks like a Sierra or an Orion



Is that what it was based on or something?
They where similar. I know we got the Sierra over here as the Merkur XR4Ti. One major difference would be the rear axle on the Merkur was independent, where it's a solid axle on the Mustang.


There was short run of the SVO in a "normal" Mustang body (I think it was either late 83 or early 84). I actually had one of those in Germany for a while (and I got it for FREE!) but I was not nearly as smart about cars back then and I let it go to hell. I wish I had kept that car because it is ULTRA rare and worth quite a pretty penny now! :(
They made turbo non-intercooled 2.3 liter Mustangs from 1979 to 1984 in varying bodies. A friend of mine used to have a '79 coupe.
 

Bubs360

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I have never really been a fan of Mustangs, but the SVO you have actually looks quite nice, and the turbo and intercooler setup sounds promising. Being rare, and one of the first built, how much do you think it is worth?

Definently looks much, much improved compared to sitting under a tree for five years. :)
 

CraigB

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Bubs360, The do have some potential. I've seen a '79 hatch with a similar motor (it was actually from a Ranger pickup) run in the 9s on the 1/4 mile. Mine is not worth a whole lot really. I could probably get $2,500 out of it. I saw a fully restored Hertz rent-a-SVO go for only around $8,000 and it was a full concourse restoration.

I'll agree that it looks better now, here's a couple of shots of it when I first got it about a year ago:



 

CraigB

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A little update on the SVO. I've got it running much better and yesterday ran a 15.51 @ 86.79 mph. The next step is to install an 8.8" rearend. I've got the housing, but need gears and axles...
 

CraigB

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This has the same motor as the Turbo Coupe T-Birds. I've seen several turbo Rangers go cheap around here, but my Toyota rock crawler is my current project...
 

Top Geek

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Do you have that hideously long shifter on the SVO? I drove an SVO once with a shifter that at a foot, yes a foot-long throw across each gear. It was rubbish.
 

CraigB

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Yep, still has the stock Hurst shifter. You get use to it after awhile...
 
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