Horse Sense: One of the booths that had our minds going was that of RacingJunk.com. Whatever you need when it comes to racing, it's on the site--and then some. If you're looking a new race whip, or maybe a wicked street car, it's there. If you already have one, make it that much faster by perusing the classified section for more go-fast goodies. We could spend more time on that site than MySpace. Oh great--RacingJunk.com has a MySpace, too. So much for that.
When we're planning our calendars for the upcoming year, there are several events that jump out at us as must-attends. As such, we allot more than one staffer to those events. The NMRA Bradenton opener in early March is usually the first event on our calendars, but its bookend is the Performance Racing Industry show. The PRI show brings our season to a close, but in actuality it starts the next year off with a bang since the products we see at PRI we'll no doubt see at Bradenton and throughout the next year. So check out the new products waiting to find a home bolted to your Mustang.
Abaco's [(877) 883-1717; www.abacoperformance.com] super-rad DBX air meter was, without question, the most talked about EFI Mustang ('89-to-present) product introduced at the PRI show. Available in 85mm and 97mm versions, the revolutionary new digital mass air meter holds as many as 10 different injector calibrations that can be changed by turning a small switch or downloading new values from the Abaco Web site. Gone are the days of sending a meter back to the manufacturer for recalibration or making ECU adjustments to compensate for bigger injectors. This thing is hot. Nuclear hot.
We can always count on seeing something new from Aeromotive [(913) 647-7300; www.aeromotiveinc.com] at the PRI show. While this may seem to be any 100-micron prefilter, its anodized red handle makes it much, much more. Basically, turning the handle on this innovative filter (PN 12331 AN -10; $185) (PN 12332 AN -12; $205) operates a chrome-plated, Teflon-sealed ball valve and shuts off fuel flow from the tank, allowing easy removal of pre- and post-filter elements for servicing or replacing fuel pumps without having to drain a 'Stang's fuel tank to get the job done.
We've loved American Racing Equipment (www.americanracing.com) wheels since birth, and the company's new Torq Thrust Pro spindle-mount wheel promises the love affair will continue. These Torq Thrust Pro skinnies are in a 15x 3 1/2-inch size, and as of now are only available in a spindle-mount application. We can only hope the wheel becomes available in a five-lug application because they would look killer on the street. The wheels are one-piece, forged T6061 alloy and exceed SFI-spec 15.2 guidelines.
If you're looking for performance exhaust components for your '99-to-current Mustang, American Racing Headers [(631) 608-1986; www.americanracingheaders.com] probably has what you need. At PRI, the company showed off its '07 Shelby GT 500 headers and X-shape crossover in off-road and catalytic forms. The standard header features 1 3/4-inch primaries, but a header design featuring 1 7/8-inch primaries is available as well. The headers are made from stainless steel, boast laser-cut 3/8-inch flanges, and merge-style collectors with scavenger spikes. American Racing Headers has these setups for '99-'04 Cobra and GT models, as well as '05-'08 Mustang GTs.
The gang at BBK [(951) 296-1771; www.bbkperformance.com] showed off a host of new 'Stang gear, highlighted by its new 65mm twin-bore throttle body for supercharged 5.4-powered Shelby GT 500s (PN BBK1764; $309.99) and chrome-plated, titanium Three-Valve cam covers for '05-to-present Mustang GTs (PN BBK5050).
Always prepared to make a splash with new products, Bassani Xhaust [(866) 782-3283; www.bassani.com] had these adapter plates at PRI. Big deal, you say. Yes, they are. These adapters enable you to convert to round-tube headers for big power gains. They're designed for 351W applications, but will not work with heads featuring raised ports. The adapters feature flat Allen-head bolts, and they don't require a gasket. Just a little silicone around the ports is all that's needed to form a seal. To bolt headers to the adapter plates, Bassani includes individual gaskets for the headers.
The crowd went wild over the 17-inch drag wheels on our project T-top coupe, but we think these new 15-inch Street Lite hammers from Billet Specialties [(708) 588-0505; www.billetspecialties.com] are all that and more. Street Lites, unlike other lightweight, aftermarket wheels available for late-model 'Stangs, are DOT- and SFI-approved (accepts 5/8-inch wheel studs). When coupled with their bad style, that makes them one of the best alternatives to swapping wheels for the street or 'strip that we've ever seen. Sizes range from 15x3 to 15x10 with various backspacing.
We like to call the company CCW [(888) 577-0144; www.ccwheel.com], and it used to be rare to see a set of CCW wheels on a Mustang. However, with the classic two-piece Drag wheel available in five-lug Mustang applications, that should change. We've already seen these wheels on several '03-'04 Cobras and Mach 1s, but they weren't of the drag variety. Until now, we've only seen them in full-size form. However, a skinny 17-inch Classic Drag would look killer on any Mustang.
Some parts showcased at PRI are so new, the manufacturers haven't even released information about them. This was the case at the Canton Racing Products [(203) 481-9360; www.cantonracing.com] booth, where we found this cool, billet-aluminum remote oil-filter mounting block (PN 22-626) for 4.6 and 5.4 mod motors. The smaller, lighter adapter utilizes the factory mounting location and accepts 1/2-inch NPT and AN fittings as large as -10 for oil lines, as well as AN -16 fitting for the coolant line. The company also has a GT 500 intercooler reservoir on the way.
DiabloSport [(877) 396-6614; www.diablosport.com] has stepped up in a major way with its long-promised Trinity, the company's latest state-of-the-art performance programmer (PN T1000). While the beloved Predator isn't falling by the wayside, Trinity's sleek styling and touch-screen functionality represents the company's move to the next level of tuning and diagnostic devices.
Among its array of modular Mustang intake components, Dragon Performance Parts [(270) 791-8654; www.dragonperformance.net] had this Two-Valve intake on display at PRI. A direct replacement for '99-'04 Two-Valve Mustangs and '96-'98 Two-Valves converted to PI specs, this intake features a removable plenum cover and generous wall thickness to make easy work of porting for increased power. The intake is said to boast generous radii and optimal taper for improved airflow not only at the peak, but over a broad rpm range. Dragon reps say Anderson Ford Motorsport was testing one of the intakes before its final release so it should be available by the time you read this.
In the Dynomax [(734) 384-7806; www.dynomax.com] trailer, we found a New-Edge Cobra up on the lift featuring the company's 3-inch exhaust system for IRS-equipped Mustangs. Oh wait, that's not an actual car, it was a sticker on the ceiling of the trailer, but the exhaust was real. Aside from the exhaust display, DynoMax also had a listening station so you could hear one of the company's exhaust systems on a variety of vehicles, including a Mustang.
When you find yourself doing more grinding than finding of the gears in your 'Stang's stick tranny, Fidanza [(440) 259-5656; www.fidanza.com] comes through in the clutch--literally. The new 1.0 Mustang clutch (PN 381840; $232) is the company's low-cost/high-performance clutch package for mildly modified 5.0 and 4.6 Ponies. Each kit features an organic disc capable of holding 350 rear-wheel horses, a leg-friendly pressure plate (2,400 pounds of clamping force), and a new throw-out bearing, all for an extremely wallet-friendly price.
Budget 5.0 aluminum cylinder heads are always of interest, and it appears Flo TEK [(800) 270-0095; www.tristatecylinderhead.com] offers a set that may be too good to pass up. The company's 5.0X ($798 complete) heads are made of A356 aluminum and feature 1.94 intake/1.54 exhaust stainless valves, a five-angle valve job, 180cc runners, 58cc chambers, and high-performance springs. Rocker-arm mounting is your preference, as castings can be set up for either pedestal- or stud-mount arms. Based on the flow numbers we saw (248 at 0.600 intake/191 at 0.600 exhaust), these heads could probably work well on a Fox 'Stang that's receiving its first major (heads/cam/intake) high-performance upgrades.
Need to cool the intake charge on your blown '05-to-current Mustang or '07-'08 Shelby GT 500? Check out Fluidyne High Performance's [(800) 358-4396; www.fluidyne.com] new low-temperature radiator. Its namesake is just an engineering term for an intercooler, but since it also moves water, Fluidyne engineers call it a low-temperature radiator. The LTR's 1.97-quart coolant capacity is more than double the stock GT 500 unit's capacity. The three-row core design is used to produce a significant decrease in water temperature, bringing with it an increase in power.
We didn't see this chopper listed in the Ford Racing Performance Parts [(800) FORD-SVT; www.fordracingparts.com] catalog, but we'll take one just like it with small-block power and a Boss block as its basis. We don't see why anyone would need such an animal, but that makes us want one even more. We definitely wouldn't see ourselves going in the opposite direction on this beast. The real news in the FRPP booth, however, was a wet-sump version of the Ford GT's aluminum 5.4 block.
We have yet to meet a Mustang enthusiast not crazy about aftermarket wheels, so it shouldn't be a surprise that we almost fell over when we saw this Forgeline [(800) 886-0093; www.forgeline.com] wheel on display. In Forgeline's brochure, it's listed as the ZX3-PC, but the wheel carries ZX3P nomenclature on the Web site. No matter--we want a set exactly like this in an 18x9 front and 18x10 rear. They'd look super sweet on our '94 Cobra. Of course, Forgeline has plenty of wheel designs besides this one, and most of them are available in a variety of color combinations.
This product is geared toward NMRA competitors and other Mustang enthusiasts who store their 'Stangs inside enclosed trailers or in their garages at home. H3R's [(800) 249-4289; www.h3rperformance.com] new HalGuard Automatic Fire Suppression System (PN HG4500S/75-pound and HG5500S/85-pound) is a super-sized version of the popular (and effective) portable fire extinguishers we've used in past projects. The system's steel cylinder, which can be mounted on the trailer's ceiling or in a corner of the garage, features a thermally actuated head that triggers a discharge of HalGuard whenever it senses temperature higher than its rating. HalGuard is a clean, nonconducting, residue-free agent, so cleanup is simple if the system is ever called on to save your 'Stang. M5LP-080500-PRI-19
Sometimes information on the cool stuff has to be dragged out of folks manning the booths at PRI, but we get the details nonetheless. We found these shaft-mount, Harland Sharp (www.harlandsharp.com) rocker arms at the back of the company's display. The rockers are made specifically for Edelbrock Victor small-block Ford cylinder heads, but can easily be retrofitted to work with Victor Glidden heads (by milling 0.100-inch from their base). The system is completely bolt-on and features offset intake rockers (to accommodate for the offset in the heads), a solid shaft for better stability, and enough clearance to work with gigantic 1.687-diameter valvesprings.
This new Shelby GT 500 Dampener from Innovators West [(785) 825-6166; www.innovatorswest.com] is reported to be much lighter than the original found the '07 models. The '08 Shelby GT 500 will have a revised factory dampener, but Innovators West dampener is 12 pounds lighter than the '07 model, and it offers a 10 percent overdrive that could result in as much as 5 more pounds of boost. It's said to have the lightest possible rotating weight while still maintaining proper dampening. Innovators West's Brad Waddle says, "It's super cool." That's all we needed to know.
A longtime import market playa, Injen Technology (www.injen.com) has performance air-intake systems for '05-'06 Mustangs in 4.0 V-6 and GT forms (bottom). Injen calls them its Power-Flow systems, and both feature cast-aluminum intake elbows, new filters, and mass air meter provision.
10.5 Outlaw 'Stangbanger, Dan Millen's Livernois Motorsports [(313) 561-5500; www.livernoismotorsports.com] introduced its new steel valvespring retainer for Three-Valve cylinder heads. The cap is approximately 20 percent lighter and much stronger than OEM pieces. Awesome qualities, combined with a value-minded price ($119.95), make a set of these retainers a definite must when you hop up your S197's heads with killer cams.
A fixture on the Mustang scene for several years now, Metco Motorsports Solutions [(864) 332-5929; www.metcomotorsports.com] boasts a new '05-to-current Mustang GT Three-Valve dampener, GT 500 fuel rails, and an upper control arm (third link) bracket for S197 Mustangs. The bracket is said to sturdy the upper control arm, which takes all the abuse in a third-link suspension. The GT500 fuel rails are designed to enable more fuel delivery while not getting in the way of any blower upgrades.
Two new ignition components for '05-to-current Mustangs from MSD [(915) 857-5200; www.msdignition.com] are its Blaster coils for coil-on-plug applications and its Ford Launch Master, which is a fancy name for its new two-step. The Blaster coils are designed to improve spark energy, direct bolt-in installation, and a patented winding design and materials. The Launch Master is the ultimate automotive toy, next to a line-lock. It allows you to hold a specific rpm until you release the clutch--then it's go time. It connects to the factory coils for an easy installation, while an LED light shows when the launch rev limit is active.
5.0&SF ad rep Glen Castle swears by Motul [(909) 625-1292; www.motul.com] fluids in his sportbikes, so when we saw the company's automotive fluid display at PRI, we took notice. Motul has a variety of engine oils, gear oils, brake fluids, coolant additives, car care items, and brake cleaning products. Motul boasts 100-percent synthetic engine oils and synthetic blends to meet the needs of your performance Mustang.
If there's one product that's hugely popular in the Mustang world, it's radiators. We can never have too many choices when it comes to keeping our Mustangs cool. Northern High Performance [(320) 235-2288; www.northernfactory.com] not only has these new '97-'04 Mustang radiators, but they also have Fox Mustang and pushrod SN-95 offerings. For the Fox Mustangs, Northern also carries electric fan kits.
A familiar face in Pace Setter Performance Products [(602) 266-1964; www.pacesetterexhaust.com] had new exhaust components for '05-to-current Mustangs at PRI. Pace Setter showed off its new TFX mufflers, off-road and high-flow H- and X-shape crossovers for short- and long-tube headers, and short- and long-tube header designs for 4.0 V-6 models.
Remote-mount water pumps are gaining popularity among the small-block Ford faithful for race and street applications. However, one of the challenges for those who wish to install a nontraditional (electric and unmounted timing cover) pump has been how to channel water through the timing cover and into AN -12 braided lines to the pump and radiator. Philadelphia Racing Products [(215) 969-3550; www.prpracingproducts.com] has the answer in its new Remote Water Pump Adapter kits. Each kit includes a pair of AN -12 male block adapters, a backing plate (for early or late-model covers), and stainless-steel hardware for simple installation.
We have a love affair with nitrous, so when we came by the booth of Precision Nitrous Technologies [(215) 949-8786; www.precisionnitroustechnologies.com], we were stopped in our tracks by its new Halo Hex Plate system. This system employs three separate plates to distribute a mixture of nitrous and fuel. In looking at the plates, we got an up-close peek at the passageways for the nitrous and fuel and how each enters the intake. The company has single-, dual-, and triple-stage plate systems available with up to 800 hp on tap. Precision not only markets complete nitrous systems, but the company also offers custom manifold plumbing, flow testing, and calibration on all nitrous systems, as well as available trackside tuning and consulting with guaranteed results.
Professional Products [(323) 779-2020; www.professional-products.com] brought a high-performance Hurricane to storm-prone Florida. At first glance, this new Hurricane manifold (PN 54039; $295) appears to be just another carbureted intake for small-block Fords. However, a closer inspection finds this piece is ready for EFI, with injector bosses and mounting-bracket holes machined in all the right places, and a deep, open plenum that will allow a 1,200-cfm EFI four-barrel throttle body (PN 69800; $375) to do its thing.
With the ease of extracting more power from the Shelby GT 500, the stock T-6060 six-speed transmission will definitely need upgrading. Thankfully, Rockland Standard Gear [(800) 227-1523; www.rsgear.com] has three new T-6060 offerings to keep the power to the ground. The company has two different ratio offerings for its 850 lb-ft of torque rated transmission, and a 1,000 lb-ft of torque rated transmission for those really pushing the envelope. Rockland Standard Gear blueprints these offerings utilizing 1-2 triple-cone carbon fiber synchros, 3-4 and 5-6 double-cone carbon fiber synchros, a steel 3-4 shift fork and shift interlock, a 9310 30-spline main shaft, and heavy-duty bearings and seals.
A stop at the Sniper [(407) 321-5725; www.snipertuning.com] display garnered us this first look at the company's new Vehicle Interface Module, one of the coolest data-gathering devices we saw at PRI. In the huge world of hand-held flash tuners for OBD-II-equipped Mustangs, this small, inexpensive (less than $200), plug-in module doesn't support tuning in any way. The quality that makes it endearing is its serious diagnostic and dyno functionality for all '96-to-present Fords, which includes the ability to save data on a laptop or cell phone via a simple USB connection.
Although replacement axles (stock, to 31-spline) and C-clip eliminators for '94-'04 'Stangs have been available for a while, using the equipment required removing a 'Stang's factory rear disc brakes and more specifically, losing ABS functionality. Strange Engineering [(847) 663-1701; www.strangengineering.net] has eliminated, so to speak, the need to take off OEM rear disc brake/ABS pieces with this new super-stout C-clip eliminator system for Ford 8.8 rearends.
This is Cortex--a stylish, new flash tuner by Superchips [(407) 585-7000; www.superchips.com]. The 50-state-legal programmer features dyno-proven performance calibrations (power modes and shift-point adjustments) for all OBD-II Ford vehicles, as well as data acquisition, vehicle diagnostics, gear and tire calibrations, and a really cool MSDP-link connection that allows the unit to interface with accessories such as remote displays, sensors and gauges.
This slick new Heritage GT S197 twin-turbo setup by Team Performance Products [(888) 990-TEAM; www.team-ppi.com] is a hands-down winner when it comes to clean engineering, as the ultra-sano kit installs without any need for cutting, welding, or modifying a new 'Stang's engine compartment. The system, designed for stock Three-Valve engines, is highlighted by a pair of Garrett 2871R ball-bearing turbos and a high-flow, air-to-air intercooler that together are capable of generating 440 rwhp and 465 lb-ft of torque at 8 psi of boost, using 91-octane pump gas.
CNC-ported Three-Valve cylinder heads stood out during our visit with Brian Tooley of Total Engine Airflow [(330) 634-2155; www.totalengineairflow.com]. According to Brian, TEA's Stage 1 Three-Valves offer significant airflow gains (over stock) on both sides (287 at 0.600 intake/223 at 0.600 exhaust). When paired with a set of stout camshafts, they will awaken a sleepy S197 with a big increase in power.
When Vortech/Paxton representatives approached us about needing a race car for its PRI booth, Jay Meagher's Vortech S-Trim-powered Fox coupe was the first car that came to mind. This car had been sitting in Jay's garage for more than a year, but he was recently able to get it back in one piece. Frankly, this was the nicest we've seen the car in a couple years. Jay liked the 5.0&SF-sponsored Real Street class so much, he named his new shop Real Street Performance, and no doubt he'll have no problem installing any number of Vortech/Paxton products when the need arises. Along with Jay's coupe, the Vortech/Paxton booth also sported a supercharged personal watercraft. We weren't the only ones wanting a turn at the throttle on that beast.
Here's something for S197 V-6 owners: Wheel to Wheel's [(248) 589-1190; www.w2wpowertrain.com] new supercharger system. This kit bolts directly onto stock '05-'08 V-6 'Stang engines (injectors and flash tuner are included), and can produce an estimated 300 rwhp at 7 psi of boost, in what appears to be a simple package. While the kit was in a show-off state and not quite ready to sell in mass quantities at PRI, we understand it will probably be available by the time you read this.