With the nitrous still on the car, Dan had avoided using it and the supercharger in concert-until he finally gave in to temptation and gave it a shot. "I didn't really feel any gains from the 25 shot," he says, "but the 50 shot was fun to use with the supercharger. On a cold night at the track, I gave the 75 shot a try and blew the engine at 101 mph going through the traps." Needless to say, Dan and his V-6er got a lift home that night.
Dan tallied up the damage, which included one melted piston, one shattered piston, lots of bad piston rings, and several damaged cylinder walls. Sadly, he had to part with the nitrous kit in order to pay for getting the car back on the road. He had the block bored 0.020 over and added Wiseco pistons, shot-peened Super Coupe rods, a Crower cam, and a pair of Super Six Motorsports-ported and -polished heads with Ford Racing Performance Parts roller rockers. A Ram clutch was squeezed into the mix as well. To help recoup some of the power loss from selling the nitrous kit, Dan fabricated an air-to-air intercooler to cool the intake air charge going into the engine. A second boost gauge was installed, along with an electric fuel-pressure gauge in an Auto Meter dash-gauge pod.
With the new additions, the car needed to have its tune-up tweaked once again. Dan drove it to Super Six Motorsports in Georgia, and then on to Johnson Motorsports in Alabama for another dyno-tuning session. With the new tune, the car ran consistent high 13s. Dan then added a 60mm throttle body, a Jacobs ignition, and a BBK adjustable fuel-pressure regulator. He also replaced the Cobra fuel pump with a 255-lph unit.
If you think Dan's Mustang looks way different with this Erebuni front bumper cover, then he's accomplished his goal. As a bonus, the opening at the front feeds plenty of air for the two-core intercooler mounted just behind the bumper cover. Apart from the front cover, this V-6 features such staples as a Cervini's Cobra R hood, AFS Wheels Cobra R wheels, and a DynoMax side-exhaust kit. Even though the sticker theme is played out on the import scene more than J-Lo's latest CD on hip-hop radio stations, the same treatment down the side of the doors doesn't detract from the car's looks. Besides, those manufacturers listed have sponsored many components to help Dan make the car what it is today.
After a year with the new setup, it was time for more power. Dan installed a mandrel-bent inlet pipe and changed the location of the intercooler. "I moved it just behind the front bumper and made a dual-bypass-valve setup to keep blower surge to a minimum," he says. "From there, I put on a custom 2.5-inch blower pulley, which kicked boost levels up to 18-plus pounds of boost." The car improved greatly by running a best of 13.1 at 112 mph.
In 2001, the only things Dan changed included swapping out the Borla Cat-Back for a DynoMax side-exhaust kit and adding an Auto Meter tach on the dash so he could concentrate on the road and not the dash. However, for 2002 he added a more aggressive cam, a pair of Super Heads from Super Six Motorsports, adjustable roller rockers, a Fluidyne radiator, a relocated battery, and Corbeau Forza seats. He also removed the A/C system to lose some weight.
As with most of us, Dan began his first mods on the exhaust and intake side with the addition of a Borla Cat-Back and a K&N filter. Then came a MAC cold-air kit and a Super Six Motorsports-ported and -polished upper and lower intake. Horsepower took a giant leap forward with the addition of an NOS 5115 adjustable dry-nitrous kit. With regular nitrous use, refilling the bottle became rather expensive, so Dan purchased a Vortech S-Trim supercharger from Super Six. "The 8 pounds of boost didn't give me the same hard kick that the nitrous did, but the added power was always there, and I liked it," he says. On one trip to the track, Dan experimented by adding the 75hp nitrous jets along with the blower. That Eminem/Elton John-like duo resulted in one melted piston, one shattered piston, several bad piston rings, and a few torn-up cylinder walls. The current setup is a result of that experiment gone bad.
Unfortunately, a quest for 12s ended with Dan getting another tow home when the 7.5 rear decided to give it up. He quickly replaced the busted 7.5 rear with an 8.8 from a '95 Cobra, an FRPP 31-spline Traction-Lok, Moser 31-spline axles, FRPP 3.73 gears, and a MAC rear support cover, all courtesy of Muscle Motors, one of Dan's many sponsors.