About the LS Mustang…

I’ve mentioned the Mustang a few times in passing, but sit down kids, it is story time.  In the future, I’m going to do more in depth information on car projects as they pop up, but for now, I’m going to bring you up to date on the whole project (and all its pertinent drama), past and present….

I originally got the Mustang as a “gift” from my ex-boyfriend in Southern California.  It was built from a bare block next to a V6 Mustang to a running, driving Hot Rod Power tour car in the span of about a week.

To be fair, the only car I wanted to build after my Cobra was an LS New Edge…

After we got back from Power Tour, it sat and was “no longer running,” though it ran just fine the last time I saw (slash drove) it.  When he bought me out of our co-owned house in California (a terrible process, 0/10, do not recommend), I took the car as a partial settlement for the house.  The car was to be running and driving, and shipped at his expense.  Finally, I gave up and did what I had to do to get my hands on a severely overvalued, not running, not driving car, shipped at my own expense.

You’ve probably never seen such a fresh motor, so low mileage, with so many highway miles….that doesn’t run.  It’s got a sub-5000 mile 5.3L LS engine, and a 350 transmission, and it should (theoretically) be the perfect “fun daily.”

The day the car showed up. I was so naively happy!

In the months since it showed up at my work, we towed it to the shop, and it’s been a gradual process of uncovering all the issues that were thrown at me before the car left California.  The ECU had been stolen, fans removed, injectors and fuel rails changed, sensors missing, the rear end hadn’t been changed back (though that wasn’t a shock – I just wasn’t willing to wait another 6 months to get that done prior to shipping after the 6 months of chaos that was this whole process).

EZ-LS installed

At this point, we’ve solved most of the issues – brand new XFI 2.0 on the car and wired up, new EZ-LS ignition control, new fans, and new sensors (thankfully there’s no shortage of spare LS parts in and around the shop  – I’ll have to show you guys soon, it’s awesome).  The battery’s been relocated for future race car tech-legal fun, and there’s been a lot of sleepless nights.

Literally the only photo I captured this weekend. I’m an EXCELLENT photojournalist.

Friday, my coworker Kevin (LS tuner extraordinaire, and really good people) asked me for a couple pieces of information to get a base tune ready to go.  Of course, he needed to know the injector size.  Well, I knew the night that the car showed up that the injectors and fuel rails had been swapped out – the connectors were different, and that was the first revelation that I hadn’t exactly gotten the car I’d bargained for.

What I didn’t account for until Chris checked the part numbers last week was that they were BMW injectors.  When a BMW mechanic shoves used BMW injectors on something he has no interest in actually running, you can bet on three things – they’re dead takeoffs from a customer, at least one doesn’t work, and you’re gonna have a bad time.

Not sure why I took this subpar photo…

Unfortunately, I realized the injector situation about 2pm on Friday, with a plan to work on the car in just a few hours.  I could have ordered a new set of 36 LB/HR injectors with a little more time in front of me, but there was no way to get them the same day, when I wanted to order that late.  Thankfully, there was a set of injectors sitting around the shop – takeoff from a Camaro SS gone turbo.  It was decided that those would have to do for now, and that I’d owe the owner a set of injectors at some point later.

Friday night I got out of work, drove back to downtown, and took Stan out before heading to work on my car (it’s about 2 hours from my apartment in Memphis). I expected a long weekend of working on the Mustang and finally getting to hear it run, and I was ready to work.  Unfortunately, we could only work until about 12:30, before we ran out of the wire needed for some of the gauges inside the car.  The only task left was to drop the gas tank (I have a real fear that the car has sat for too long, and has old gas in it, maybe with some spiteful “additives”).  No one actually wants to drop a gas tank at midnight after a long work week, so we didn’t.  By the time we called it a night, the new-to-me injectors were in, and a small amount of interior wiring was left to do.

My visual shopping list

Saturday left me with real estate appointments, and getting my hair done, before I could finally get back to the car about 4pm.  Have weekends always been this short, or is that a recent development?  By Saturday night, the wiring was wrapped up, some software chaos with my laptop was resolved (that’s another post all it’s own), and we tried to crank the car. It cranks, it doesn’t kick over, and the “crank” light on the XFI is on.  The internet says low battery, so we checked that and replaced with a stand in.  The internet then says a bad ground on plug A21 in the connector, so we checked that, and it appears all good.  We chased issues until nearly 3am, but the end result: no LS Mustang vroom for a whole ‘nother week.

Probably just taken for blackmail? That’s my guess.

After talking to the techs and engineers at FAST, it seems like there’s a bad ground “somewhere” in the harness.  So this is probably going to be a painful process of elimination.  They gave me a few starting points, and I’ll let you know what we try and what eventually works after this weekend.  Think good thoughts for me. I’m ready to drive this effing car.



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