There are plenty of other threads here discussing doing a mustang hub swap but I wanted to chronicle my choices/options if you plan to start this project in 2017.
The basic idea is that by swapping to Mustang hubs, you can use much cheaper 17" mustang wheels on your tbird. My specific needs are a bit more complicated though because I essentially needed to do this twice: once for the hubs on my car and once on the full set of spares I take to the racetrack
MN-12 Bolt Circle Change and Brake Upgrades
HOWTO: drill the rear rotors and hubs (without a fixture)
HOWTO: Replace rear wheel bearings
93-97 Tbird Front Spindles
94-04 SN95 Mustang Front Hubs (#F6ZZ-1104-AA or TIMKEN 513115): $22-$45 depending on brand on RockAuto
93-97 Tbird Hub spindle nuts OR modified Dorman 615-098.1 spindle nuts.
94-05 SN95 Mustang Front Rotors
93-97 tbird calipers+brackets OR do the PBR upgrade and swap in 99-04 Mustang GT calipers+brackets.
(5) 1/2"-20 lug nuts per wheel (stock tbird used M12x1.5 lugnuts)
Impact Gun: makes spindle nut removal a snap
250ft-lb torque wrench: avail as free loan-a-tool from Autozone OEM 1/2 in. drive adjustable click type torque wrench 27043 - Read 3 Reviews on OEM #27043
Giant Vise: makes torqueing down the spindle nut a cinch
* You need to use 93+ front spindles
* If your stock spindle nuts get messed up during removal, the Dorman 615-098 spindle nuts ($5 at autozone) have messed up threads but can be fixed by chasing the threads with a simple M24x2.0 tap before use.
- M24x2.0 tap is <$15 on eBay
* The dust covers may be removed using a hammer and chisel. The key is to whack the chisel until a gap opens up between the cover and the spindle and then angle the chisel upwards so it forces the cover off on the next tap. They can be reused.
* I first attempted this on my two spare front spindles and it was seriously like a 15 min job.
* You tap off the dust cover, zip off the spindle nut with the impact gun, the old spindle will lift straight off and you drop the new spindle on and reverse the process.
OPTION: Use Cobra rear spindles
99-04 Cobra Rear hubs may be swapped onto the rear tbird spindles but you will need cobra rear rotors (to match the new bolt pattern), and a rear caliper relocation bracket to use the stock tbird brake calipers. Even though someone offered me a good deal on the rear hubs, I didn't want to spend another $100+ on brackets.
Cobra brake 11.65" rotor upgrade kit.
(5) ARP 100-7703 Studs per rear axle -- I needed 4 sets. Pepboys was selling 4 of them for ~$14/ea shipped on eBay
(5) 1/2"-20 lug nuts per wheel. All in, I need 25. I was able to buy 40 from eBay for $22 so I have enough to use for the install process as well.
- Unnecessary if you are redrilling the hubs while still on the car
- Very likely to be needed if you are using used Cobra rear hubs
- Need to be pressed in/out
(2) Rear wheel bearings (ex: TIMKEN SET49 @ <$24/ea on Rockauto)
(2) Rear wheel bearing retainers (TIMKEN RET115 @ $1.09/ea on Rockauto)
- 5x4.25" -> 5x4.5" drill jig: $122.60 shipped from Menu
- 1/4" drill bits: for pilot holes
- Cutting oil
- Hydraulic press for installation of bearings
(3-4) 39/64" or 15.5mm drill bits:
- keep in mind I'm planning to drill 5 holes x 4 rear axles + 5 holes x 4 brake rotors = 40 holes. You will want a spare though.
- The hole size is knurl specific. My ARP studs have a knurl of 0.625" so I need to drill a hole smaller than that and pull the stude through. 39/64" = 0.6094" and 15.5mm = 0.6102"
- I chose 15.5mm drill bits because I found them for $3.76 shipped on eBay 1/2" Straight Shank 15.5mm Split Point Tip HSS High Speed Steel Twist Drill F9O0
whereas 39/64" bits were more like $10/ea.
I'm frugal so I picked the re-drilling route for the rears (drill out the tbird hubs to 5x4.5). I was NOT planning on replacing the rear wheel bearings since I have a set of race spares (if the rear bearings go out during a race, I'll simply swap in a different axle/spindle assembly).
- Use the fixture to drill out the existing hubs. MadMikey says you can do this ON THE CAR if you plan to reuse the stock hubs and drill through the brake rotor and hub in one-shot (obviously starting with a smaller drill bit and working your way up to 39/64 or 15.5mm). Take your time, go slow, and use plenty of cutting oil.
- Soak the old wheel studs in PB BLaster or equivalent and bang them out.
- Install the new ARP wheel studs with a sacrificial 1/2-20 lug nut and impact gun.
Update Aug 22, 2017
I received an offer from another lemons team to hook me up with 8-10 17" rims in the tbird bolt pattern so I've decided to switch up my plans a bit. Instead of switching over to the mustang hub pattern, I will stick with the existing tbird bolt pattern (5x4.25) and upgrade my wheel studs to the ARP ones.
- All of the Mustang hubs went back to rockauto (great return policy)
- I will use the 15.5mm drill bits to enlarge the existing holes in my rear hubs.
- The four sets of ARP wheel studs I already own will now be used to make sure that the front/rear wheel studs on the car are all new (we sheared some off during our last race when we lost a wheel so they have likely been overtorqued/abused already). This means I will still use the new 1/2"-20 lug nuts I already purchased.
- My race spares will retain their stock tbird wheel studs so I will need to keep my extra M12x1.5 lug nuts. This is a small price to pay though to insure that I don't need to scramble if I ever need additional spares (any tbird can be a donor without additional work).
- Since I didn't want to upgrade the wheel studs on front wheel hubs with 100K+ mi on them only to potentially repeat the work in the future when the bearings go out, I went ahead and bought a pair of new front wheel hubs to serve as donors for the ARP studs.
- Stud removal is fairly simple: soak in PB blaster and then hit with a hammer.
- The only "wasted" items i have are some new Mustang rotors I purchased (I have 4 for some reason) but cannot return. I plan on unloading these on CL and if I can't, I'll use the fixture to redrill them to 5x4.25 and just use them on the tbird.
- I also have a set of the 'ugly' 17x8 94-95 Mustang GT rims to unload as well. Considering they were fairly hard to find in the SF Bay Area, I suspect someone will buy them off of me for what I paid ($100).