5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
2011 Ford Mustang GT - Alpha Mile
What started as a Turbo test Mule became a standing-mile Star
Ever had a burst of creativity? An idea flashes across your consciousness. You know it could work. You dream of bringing it to market. Then you let it slip away and fall back into your daily life. That's the difference between an entrepreneur and a worker bee. We fall into the latter category, but Ken Bjonnes, Jon Lund, and Jake Long definitely embrace the entrepreneurial spirit. Jon and Ken have been in the tuning game for quite a while, and had recently joined forces in Lund Racing (www.lundracing.com) Ken now operates the South Florida arm of that company, using the Power By the Hour dyno for in-person tuning.
This cohabitation sparked a little creative bench racing. As Jake's penchant for turbo hardware fused with Jon and Ken's tuning mojo like chocolate and peanut butter. It seemed so natural that it just had to happen. "I've been installing and tuning various power adders on mod motors for about eight years now. I've had the benefit of seeing the good and bad points of each setup," Ken explained. "This was a chance for me to take everything I've learned and make my version of the perfect power-adder setup for the 5.0. Once we got started on Jon's car, I realized that what we had was much bigger than a custom kit. I knew we had to try and release it as a production kit."
The turbo trio began this mission with Jon purchasing the aforementioned car so that Jake could start designing the kit's turbo hardware. The idea was to build the prototype kit on this in-house car and put it through the testing ringer to prove it out before moving forward with production. They did so in a thoroughly modern way by documenting the process of the car and kit's development on Twinturbo50.com. This gave the Mustang world and potential customers a look into what they could expect. It also allowed the turbo trio to maintain its excitement by sharing with others.
The process began with the first version of the kit built around Jon's stock '11 Mustang GT. The mission was to create a turbo system that was elastic enough to grow from a stock engine combination to an all-out build--they know Mustang owners. To take the car to the stratosphere, they called on L&M Engines for a built engine ready to take all the boost the twins could dish out. Obviously the engine feature more robust internals, and to take advantage of its potential, the stout short-block wears Boss 302 cylinder heads and induction. However, the real secret science of this combo is the quartet of custom turbo cams ground to L&M main man Michael Rauscher's specs by Comp Cams.
"Our goals going in were to build one system that could scale from a bone-stock car to 1,000-plus rwhp without purchasing a bunch of additional parts," Ken explained. "That's why we built it on a bone-stock car and then worked our way up. We went 10.23 stock, then 9.42 with the built engine. As far as the kit goes, not a single part was changed except for fuel system components. "Of course, as impressive as running mid-9s at over 150 mph on the quarter-mile is, there was another segment to the grueling development cycle of the Twin-Turbo 5.0 project. It meant going big. That's what they do in Texas. And for the turbo trio, the proving ground for pushing a stock-bodied Mustang's potential was the Texas Mile.
"It was always on our mind. This was my first trip to Texas, but Jon has been there as a tuner a few times and I wanted to take our shot at it. I thought going in that we could hit 200 mph no problem. When I told everyone that, all I got was, ‘It's a lot harder than you think,' Ken confided, "So that only made me want to do it more. To rub some salt in the wound, we did it with absolutely no added aerodynamics. Most people take their cars and make every effort to get their car clean for The Mile. We even left the stock spoiler on and didn't use any tape at all. "The true tale of the tape was at the end of the Texas Mile, when the 955hp and 867 lb-ft of torque created by the E85-burning, twin-turbo Coyote propelled this project to 206.2 mph in one Texas mile.
"I've done a lot of drag racing, and the Texas Mile was in the same month we went 150 in the quarter-mile. But there is really no comparison to drag racing. It's a slow start, but once you hit the half-mile, it starts to get really exciting. This car really had nothing fancy suspension-wise, so it was moving around quite a bit. I'd have to say on the first pass it was intense," Ken said. "I was much more nervous the second pass because I already had a taste of what it felt like. I could feel the vein in my neck beating while sitting there to go. Needless to say, I'm hooked, and I will hopefully be at most of the Mile events moving forward. In October, we plan to shoot for 220-plus in Jon's car."
At this point, the trio is continuing its testing with three more Alpha-phase--one of which is a Boss--and three more Beta test cars that are receiving the kit for further prove-out. By year's end, the kit will be sorted, seasoned, and ready for sale. However, don't think you'll be on your own getting it to run properly. You'll have to get it installed--most likely by a pro--but Jon and Ken will tune it for you. "All our kits will come with free remote tuning from Lund Racing and the first 20 kits sold come with a free in-person tune from Lund Racing. Yes, that means we are flying to where the customer lives to tune the car for free," Ken said. "...We want the first systems out there to perform as intended and want to avoid any tuning issues. Second, this allows us to put our hands on the first 20 cars to develop one of the best tunes out there for this setup."
You can't deny that these enterpeneurs brought their idea to life and put it to the test. Now it's just about ready to hit the market. So next time that idea crosses your mind, think about the Twin-Turbo 5.0. You could take your idea from concept to 200 mph, just like Jon, Ken, and Jake. 5.0
Horse Sense: Jake Long, one of three partners in the Twin-Turbo 5.0 team, is a huge proponent of turbos. His shop, Power By the Hour (www.pbhperformance.com), built a compound-boost Ford GT that cranked out a whopping 1,046 rwhp and 1,065 lb-ft of torque.
5.0 Tech Specs'11 GT
Engine and Drivetrain
Block Low-pressure-cast 319 aluminum w/ pressed-in thin-wall iron liners
Crankshaft Forged steel, fully counterweighted, induction hardened
Pistons L&M coated
Camshafts L&M Engines/Comp Cams custom w/ with custom Variable Cam Timing limiters allowing 40 degrees of movement
Cylinder Heads Ford Racing Boss 302 w/ Boss 302 valvesprings
Intake Manifold Ford Racing Boss 302
Power Adder Prototype TT50.com kit w/ two 60mm turbos, two TiAL MVS wastegates, a TiAL 50mm BOV, and an air-to-water intercooler
Fuel System Weldon 2345 pump w/ 200-lb/hr injectors, a Weldon regulator, and Aeromotive fuel rails
Exhaust Twinturbo50.com manifolds w/ Lethal X-shape crossover and Magnaflow mufflers
Transmission Stock 6R80E six-speed automatic w/ Circle D 2,200-stall converter and Dynatech driveshaft
Rearend Stock 8.8-in w/ stock 3.15 gears
ElectronicsEngine management Stock Copperhead w/ Lund Racing tune
Suspension and ChassisFront Suspension
K-Member Stock stamped-steel
A-Arms Reverse-L lower
Brakes FRPP Brembo
Wheels 19x9.5-in RTR
Tires Nitto Invo
Control Arms CHE upper w/ BMR lowers
Wheels 19x9.5-in RTR
Tires Nitto Invo