Our year of high-performance Mustangs winds down with the Performance Racing Industry trade show. While it's not the actual end of the year it's a symbolic punctuation on the year. It also presents a crystal ball into the future of hardcore performance gear for the coming year.
If you aren't familiar with the PRI Show, it is a yearly gathering of the racing industry where manufacturers, sanctioning bodies, marketers, and media come together to further the cause of racing. It serves as a place for racers and manufacturers to discuss new products, plan racing builds for the coming season, and even celebrate the year's victories.
Of course, for your friends at 5.0&SF it's a chance to look at the new gear and see what might be worthy of coverage on these pages in the future. We also pound the pavement to see what cool new hardware might interest you.
In all it's a good time, and one that we've enjoyed having in our back yard for the last several years. Next year the world of racing tradeshows will reunite in the heartland of racing—Indianapolis, Indiana. We look forward to a really strong show next year, but for now, check out what we spotted at the last PRI Show in Orlando, Florida.
Horse Sense: If you want to see the latest and greatest racing hardware in person, mark your calendars. The PRI Show returns to Indianapolis, Indiana, from December 12-14, 2013.
The bolt-on heroes at BBK (www.bbkperformance.com) were on hand to share its latest wares, including its trick new strut mount for all ’05-’13 Mustangs. We saw those at the SEMA show, and the Varitune mufflers met the world last year. The good news is the mufflers should be on the market by the time you read this.
When we think of Bilstein (www.bilsteinus.com), we think of handling, but that’s not all the company is up to these days. The company is now ready to help your ’87-’93 ’Stang run quicker down the quarter-mile with its shock absorbers for drag racing. Bilstein says this shock’s gas-pressure preload offers better launch control and quicker response times to deliver e.t. reductions of up to 0.3!
There isn’t much about the S197 suspension that BMR (www.bmrsuspension.com) hasn’t addressed, but there were a couple of new bits at the show, including the lightweight radiator support (PN RS003) and A-arm support brace (PN AAS001) for ’05-’12 Mustangs. The former is a new version of an existing product that allows you to retain the factory sway bar.
Chris Alston Chassisworks
We know all about Chris Alston Chassisworks’ (www.cachassisworks.com) rearends and suspensions, but a growing part of the company’s lineup on display at the show was its Competition Drive Systems. This new version incorporates an accessory drive for both alternators, distributors, power steering pumps, and fuel pumps, like Aeromotive’s (www.aeromotiveinc.com) vaunted belt-drive unit. CAC offers these gear-drive arrangements to spin one or two superchargers for those that really need huge boost and zero belt woes.
Dart Machinery (www.dartheads.com) featured various cylinder heads and short-block options for Ford fans. The company also had this intake to present a carbureted Dart option for Ford fans.
DIY Auto Tune
Long a popular tuning option for Fox and SN-95 Mustang owners, DIYAutoTune.com’s MegaSquirt fuel-injection system lineup expanded with the new MegaSquirt PNP Gen 2. It works with ’86-’95 Mustangs and offers a four-bar MAP sensor, an electronic boost controller, a two-step rev limiter, a knock sensor, a wideband interface, and much more.
To highlight its lineup of valvetrain gear for Coyote engines, Ferrea Racing Components (www.ferrea.com) lit up a cylinder with LEDs. The head in question was ported by Headgames Motorworks.
Flaming River For S197 racers, Flaming River (www.flamingriver.com) offers this manual steering rack for ’05-’10 ’Stangs (PN FR1515; $629). This bolt-in rack will help you shed 10-15 pounds.
A standout part at the show was this complete cooling solution for ’11-’13 Mustang GTs and Bosses—the Boss 302R-Hx from Fluidyne (www.fluidyne.com). After a driving school kept putting its Boss 302s into limp-home mode, it contacted Fluidyne for a cooling solution—this product is the result. It combines a high-efficiency, triple-core radiator with a hearty air-to-oil cooler to keep all the fluid temps in line.
Ford Racing Performance Parts
Ford Racing Performance Parts We previewed Ford Racing’s new Cobra Jet intake manifold and crate engine at the SEMA show, but there were plenty of new FRPP (www.fordracing parts.com) parts that we didn’t get to in Vegas. Namely, a TVS tuner kit for Shelby GT500s, a ’13 GT500-spec intercooler core, a Laguna Seca-style rear-seat-delete with X-brace for ’11-’13 ’Stangs, and a ’13 GT500-style cooling fan for all ’11-’13 Mustangs. (PVT needs one of these.)
To give your modular engine increased accessory-drive belt grip, Innovators West (www.innovators west.com) has a new kit complete with one of its SFI-spec crank dampers. You can opt for a standard-diameter damper or the popular 10-percent overdriven units.
We’ve long known about Jet Hot’s (www.jet-hot.com) silver high-temp coatings for exhausts and other engine parts, but the company’s new line of premium colors looks like the way to take your project to the next level.
Installing aftermarket high-flow cats has long been a gray area for residents of strict-emissions statesKooks Headers (www.kookscustomheaders.com) tirelessly combed the aftermarket to find a high-flow cat that would pass emissions in all 50 states. Kudos to them, and good news if you live in one of those areas, as you can now run Kooks Green cats.
For those pushing the envelope of modular engines, Manley (www.manleyperformance.com) showed off its Platinum Series pistons. Here are the 4.6 and 5.4 slugs, but Manley also offers these beauties for Coyotes and Raptor 6.2-liters. These pistons are made from a high-strength, lightweight 2618 alloy, and feature an offset wristpin for quiet operation.
McLeod Racing In Vegas we were smitten with McLeod Racing’s (www.Mcleodracing.com) easier to install RXT twin-disc clutches for the latest GT500s. Well, the company offers RXTs and the streetier RSTs for most Fords, including the latest Coyote-powered ’Stangs.
Senior Tech Editor KJ Jones was born excited about cars, and it showed when he saw Weld Racing’s (www.weldracing.com) black Alumastar 2.0s wearing Moroso’s (www.moroso.com) new 17-inch DS-2 skinnies. The Alumastars are lightweight lookers for the ’strip, and the second-generation Drag Special tires are lightweight and feature a high crown for decreased rolling resistance.
Known for its stout 9-inch rearends, Moser Engineering (www.moserengineering.com) showed off a floating brake hub for Wilwood brakes. These setups completely divorce the braking system from the axles for maximum durability. The company also offered a complete rear suspension, including upper and lower control arms and an antiroll bar.
Even if you own a 662hp GT500, couldn’t you use just a little bit more horsepower? If so, Nitrous Express (www.nitrousexpress.com) stepped up with a plate kit for ’07-’13 GT500s. This bolt-on kit is ready to add 50 to 350 hp to your Shelby’s already formidable output.
In the blur of the SEMA lights we had assumed Optima’s (www.optimabatteries.com) new Digital 400 charger was mainly geared for the Powersports market. While it is comfortable there, it is a fully capable automotive battery charger, just like its larger, quicker-charging cousin.
Appropriately, Procharger (www.procharger.com) highlight its new F3A-121 supercharger, which boasts a maximum boost level of 40 psi with a 72,000-rpm impeller redline. This unit will move 2,100 cfm of air and turn an 800hp naturally aspirated race engine into a 2,100hp monster.
Racers know Racepak (www.racepak.com) for its datalogging and gauge expertise, but what fun is all that data without some video to accompany it? Now the company offers this new camera module interface, which lets you feed GoPro or Replay video footage into your datastream. How cool is that?
Want to drop a 600hp Coyote into your project? Want one complete with a TVS supercharger? Well, the new 5.0-liter RSC Coyote crate engine from Roush Performance (www.roush performance.com) offers that kind of package. Based on Ford Racing’s Aluminator long-block, this turnkey solution is tuned for premium fuel and ready to go.
The future of Ford performance is clearly in the hands of Ecoboost and Roush-Yates (www.roushyates.com) has a leg up, as it’s been building up Ecoboost 3.5 V6s for Daytona Prototype racing. This example is designed to produce 500 hp from 10.5:1 compression with a 7,500-rpm redline. It runs dry-sump oiling and a low-inertia Borg-Warner EFR 6258 turbo.
We hear there might have been some sort of SCT (www.sctflash.com) party at PRI, but we know for sure that the company displayed its latest flash tuner, the Livewire TS, in Orlando. This touchscreen device will store up to 10 tunes, offers a performance calculator, and displays OBD-II data in virtual gauges.
In addition to its new S197 shocks and struts, Strange Engineering (www.strangeengineering.net) presented its Pro Series brake systems. The company offers single- and four-piston front kits and four-piston rear kits. Battle tested by sportsman racers, these kits are designed to reduce weight, eliminate warping, and ramp up safety.
We are well versed in VMP Tuning’s (www.vmptuning.com) lineup of products, but the company showed everyone its line of TVS superchargers for Condors, Coyotes, and RoadRunners. The company also display its own mass air housings, pulley-swap tools, and tuning offerings inside the convention center. Outside, VMP set up its mobile Dynojet (www.dynojet.com) so both companies could show the chassis dyno in action.
Wilwood Did someone say carbon? Yep—Wilwood did! The company (www.wilwood.com) now offers high-tech carbon-ceramic braking kits for S197 Mustangs. These kits allow you to drop unsprung weight, improve stopping distances, and shed heat faster. However, if you want all this goodness, expect to pay a premium price.
Winberg Crankshafts On display in the Winberg (www.winbergcrankshafts.com) booth was a crankshaft for 4.6 and 5.4 modulars, but the company offers cranks for all manner of Fords from pushrod small-blocks to FEs. Made from aerospace-certified alloys, these billet cranks feature aerodynamically profiled counterweights. The company also had a shiny crank on display. We mistakenly thought this was just to attract showgoers. Instead it had been treated to the company’s eight-step polishing process, which is said to increase oil shedding, decrease oil foaming, and reduce parasitic losses. It definitely looks impressive.