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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2006, 11:36 AM
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Cool Best/Worst decision when ordering SPF MKIII

As soon as I get the funds together I am going to order one of these fine machines. There are so many choices to be made It can cause loss of sleep. The dealer has suggestions and I have faith in his experience, but would like to hear from owners about these decisions, both the ones which worked out well and those which did not.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 10-03-2006, 12:06 PM
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Get the tko trans with the .82 5th gear. I wish I had. Fortunately it is possible to swap out the .64 for the .82. Other than that I am very happy.
Corner weighting/alignment really helps a lot too. Mine was so far out that the windshield frame rattled somewhat. The car had most of the weighton the left rear and right front before balancing. I believe it was putting undo stress diagnally through the chassis. Now that stress is gone because my car's coilovers are nicely balanced. Hey, at least that is my theory anyway. lol
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:36 PM
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put as much motor into it as you can afford . there is no replacement for displacement, though many will argue the virtues of sb vs bb. each has its merits . but most want more horsepower once they get used to the car, so get it when ya can,but in long run it is cheaper to do it once and do it when you get your car. if you just want to go cruising and no track or strip time . almost any engine will work . options, it is what turns your head and fits your wallet. not too many options available though, the car in roller form w/o options has alot standard that is optional on other brands. bill
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Old 10-03-2006, 01:43 PM
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Love my SPF! The fit and finish is superb. I was torn between BB & SB. Went with the 427R Roush engine. Car is crazy fast, yet very steetable. Really like the silver ceramic pipes. Also got roadster bumpers front and rear which set the car off really well. Also recommend the Yoko tires with the rear upgrade.
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Old 10-03-2006, 02:19 PM
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I've had my SPF for almost 6 years now. I've upgraded to the .82 TKO 600 Tremec tranmission, and the Torsen 3:27 locker rear end from Olthoff Racing. I can't say enougyh about this combination...extremely quick...much easier to hook up the ponies as compared tot he 3:73 Ford rear end...less wheel spin...more traction. Plus, at 70+ mph, the car's much more civil when cruising along at a little over 3K RPMS, rather than closer to 4K...

Big block..small block...you pick'em. You'll have way more horse power than you'll ever need with either. I like the Roush 427 combination, but their 402 stroker motor is way more'n you'll need anyway. Big blocks look good in there, but a small block's almost as potent...either will get you dead real soon, if you're not careful.

I'd also recommend Olthoff designed Bilstein coil-overs...excellent handling, improved ride, too. Plus, the Wilwood Superlight conversion Dennis O does in his shop in Charlotte. The extra braking power is phenomenal on the track...you're able to go much deeper into turns with more control and less fade. All in all, a couple of worthy upgrades.

My biggest complaint...?

Waiting as long as I did to buy one...!

UPDATE: I incorrectly guestimated my revs at 70 previously. I drove my MkIII to work today, and I made a point of noting the RPMs on the highway. I was cruising along at ~70 and I was happily turning 2.2-2.3K. ~80 was a 2.5-2.6K...but still comfortable and with plenty of pull in 5th.
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Old 10-03-2006, 04:45 PM
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Great responses so far. I do plan to get my car from Olthoff... lots of reasons for that and they are less than 40 miles away! They seem to be steering me toward the Rousch 402, but I may do the 427 anyway. I am certain I will not often, if ever use the power and there is not too much difference between the two, about 10% more with the 427. I am quite interested in the brake upgrade and will certainly investigate that. Also the rear end upgrade.

To me, the pleasure of deciding what to get, "the chase" is as much fun as the end result and I plan to enjoy the ride!
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Old 10-03-2006, 05:01 PM
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Depends on which way you want to go. If you want "correctness", then the choices have already been made for you. You just have to follow what was in one of the originals. BB & CR Toploader!
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Old 10-03-2006, 09:01 PM
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Use the "search" feature and, for a topic, type in any option you are considering. Odds are pretty good it's been thrashed to death, propped up and beaten some more and maybe even resurrected and given a few more kicks for good measure. Topics such as big block vs small block (type in "big and block and small and block"), tires, fuel cells, air conditioning, transmissions, etc.: they've all been debated ad infinitum et ad nauseum.

I have the TKO transmission with the .64 OD in my car behind a 530 HP small block. It's my second motor and I wish I had gone this route in the first place but honestly, I was a little bit afraid that after owning the car for awhile, I might not enjoy it as much as I initially expected and didn't want to sink more money into it. WRONG!!! Get the motor you want, exactly as you want it the first time.

I'm not sure about the .64 vs. the .86 with a different rear gear ratio. I think the final drive ratio is pretty well matched to my motor/car/type of driving but I might have been better off with a .86 and, say a 3.50 rear. In any event, I can accelerate smoothly but not hard from about 45 MPH in 5th gear, and am turning 2,000 rpm at 60 MPH. I think it's a pretty reasonable compromise.

I had the dealer install a fuel cell for a little extra safety, also a second roll bar. I think the front and rear bumpers are well worth the cost and the glove box is handy. Any kind of paint protection for the front of the car and the front of the rear fenders is worthwhile. If I had actually spent all the extra money to put in an air conditioner, I might have used it a few times but I've never wished I had had it installed.

As you use the car and get to know it better, you'll probably buy or make other accessories and perhaps re-engineer some parts you feel need improvement. It's all part of the ownership experience.

Good luck,

Lowell
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Old 10-04-2006, 04:26 AM
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Depending on the budget, and if I was going to order another one, I would go with some of the options the way I had mine built which was the S/C dash and glove box, roadster hood scoop I (I like the smoothed in look) round tailights, and the 1/4" pinstripe on the outside of the two wide stripes, and quick jacks. Now what would I change. Go with the upgraded Oltoff springs, add the second roll bar (for track days), go with the new Tremec 5 speed, and as much as I like the Southern Automotive stroked 396, I would go with their stroked 426 or the Roush 427.

Mike
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:34 AM
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I am also close to ordering an SPF, and have been getting conflicting opinions on what type of transmission to get - top loader or Tremec. I will definitely be getting a big block, either 427 or 428. According to the dealers, the SPF's are now coming from the factory with Dana 3.45 rears. Any opinions on which is the better trans considering the standard rear gear ratio vs. 1st gear vs. overdrive?
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:43 AM
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When I was in the local SPF dealer last year, they were offering a 3.46 final drive ratio. That with a CR Toploader might make a nice combination. Something to consider.
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Old 10-04-2006, 06:59 AM
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427snakeSC,

They were telling me that depending on the rear ratio, a 1-2 shift with a five speed may occur to quickly. Also, I was told the FE engines do not like to operate at anything under 2,100 rpm's, which may cause some "lugging" problems in overdrive depending on your speed. You could always drop into fourth at that point, but then why have an OD?
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:04 AM
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I have a 5 spd in my Classic Roadster now. You are right, the 1 - 2 shift is too quick. I find that there are no "legs" in 1st or 2nd. I am opting for a CR toploader in the new car I have ordered. I have ordered it with a 3.54 final drive and will be running a 427 SO. With the 3.54 final drive, there might be a bit too much noise at highway speeds, but it is something I will deal with. I am going for "correctness." When I was visiting the SPF dealer, they were telling me that the 3.46 is a nice comprimise between the 3.31 and the 3.54.
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"The 427 Cobra is easily the highest performance car ever sold for street use. A decent 427 - not the worst, not the best, will go from zero to 100 mph and back down again to zero in less than 14 seconds. All thing considered, you can put together a pretty good argument that the 427 Cobra is the ultimate performance car, judged on any basis you want to name." Taken from; Corvette, The Sensuous American
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:13 AM
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I'm in Charlotte, purchased my SPF from Olthoff's last year. They've been great to work with. I started with a Roush 392 but recently upgraded to their 402IR motor (525 hp). Still in break in, but it runs great. I had them change mine to undercar exhaust, which I prefer over the sidepipes. 3.73 rear and the .64 TKO600 have been a good combination for me.

Terry
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Old 10-04-2006, 07:38 AM
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427snakeSC,

Thanks for the feedback. It makes me feel better hearing you are ordering almost the same combination I am thinking of, based on your past experience. I would hate to go through the whole ordering process, only to be disappointed with some aspect of it, especially with regards to the drivetrain. - Thanks
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:03 AM
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Just out of curiosity? What is a Superformance running now not counting engine or tranny?
Thanks,
Todd
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:17 AM
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Archrms, I don't think you can go wrong if you go for "correctness". From what I have read here on the forum, that seems the way to go, if you want your investment to at least hold it's value. IMHO

franklin, When I was considering a SPF last year, the price quoted to me then was $60,800./Canadian. You can convert that to US and I would think prices have risen since then.
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Old 10-04-2006, 10:29 AM
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While top loader is certainly the 'correct' way to go a five speed can be pretty nice. For me the 'key' would be MUST have a 'correct' style gear shift, forward swept like the top loaders have. Not sure you can do that with a five speed.

HUGE down side of the five speed, as noted above, 1st and 2nd gear are basically useless. Combined with the typical .6 overdrive which WILL 'lug' the engine without a really low rear gear (and that further complicates the 1\2 shift points) and the overall package just doesn't work well at all.

What to do? Get a five speed that YOU can specify ALL the gear ratios for. You want a 1st and 2nd gear that is as close to the top loader ranges as possible (the WIDE ratio top loader, not the CLOSE ratio top loader, big difference). Then go with a .8 overdrive (thats a MUST have in my opinion). Run a 3.5 rear gear with this setup and you will have the 'perfect' trans solution. Now this ASSUMES you can get a 'correct' style gear shift (and put a four speed knob on it)!

Oh, and do go with an FE block of some kind, so you'll be 'different'!
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:15 AM
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I seem to recall $39,800 as a roller chassis. Typical out the door price of MkIII Roadsters was between $55K and $65K, depending on your tastes and pocket book.

The "useless 1st and 2nd" is overcome by the 3:27 rear end. Having had both a Tremec 3550 and now a TKO 600....as well as the Ford 3:73 limited slip, and now the 3:27 Torsen locker, I've observed the pros and cons of each. I can honestly say the TKO 600 with the .82 overdrive and the 3:27 locker is THE perfect combination. You can really use first gear again, as well as second. The 3:27 provide plenty of hole shot...and limits your wheel spin at the same time. Plus...like I said earlier...when you're cruisin' along at ~70, the power train is a lot more civil at 2250 revs than 3300.

Oh..and with the Tremec 5 speeds...they all have the correct forward sweep of the shift lever...unlike some have noted.

But...talk to Dennis and Mark...they'll set you straight. Another good thing about Dennis...like his Dad, Bob....he's never sold a car to a stranger. Once you meet him and talk with him a lot as I have over the years, he becomes a friend. I trust his judgement and advice completely. He's knowledgeable about the product, can recommend what's more suited to your driving style, and can back up his reasoning and advice with service and support. All in all, a great combination.
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Old 10-04-2006, 11:43 AM
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The tko 600 has a 2.87 first gear. Combine that with the 3.46 rear that comes now, makes for a pretty nice first gear. I forget what the gear calculator said, but it is 50plus mph in first, 80ish in second, 120ish in 3rd, buck fifty in 4th. Now I just have to swap out 5th for the .82
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