Horse Sense: If you want more information on Ken's car, you can usually find him hanging out with his modular-hip friends at www.modulardepot.com.
Since 1965, the Mustang GT has been the meat and potatoes of the Ford Mustang lineup for any given year. Sure, there are always going to be the limited-edition Mustangs with their striped paint schemes, bigger rims, custom suspensions, or bigger motors. But the average enthusiast can always count on the Mustang GT to provide a cool ride that won't bore him or her to death on the way to and from work.
With lots of preparation,...
With lots of preparation, a good track, outstanding air, and wild driving, Ken spiked an 11.72 e.t. at 116.35 mph, establishing his car as the quickest naturally aspirated Two-Valve 4.6 Mustang in the country that still displaces the stock 4.6 liters.
That's what Ken Bjonnes, a 29-year-old instructional-pilot, video producer from Cincinnati, was looking for when he bought this '00 GT from his local Ford dealer. As a new car, the GT served him well for almost two years. Then, Ken slowly began making modifications. At first he was more interested in making the car handle and look better. Then he visited the local dragstrip.
"I'd never been to a dragstrip in my life," Ken says. "I met Vinny Changet from www.stangbangerz.com, and he convinced me it would be cool to have a quick car in the quarter-mile. There were a lot of other GTs there, so I figured with a few more parts and a drag suspension, I could have the quickest GT in town."
Ken also met Brandon Alsept and Gene Fine who, being fellow modular junkies, would team together with Ken to introduce a Web site (www.modular-depot.com) that would help promote modular performance. Oddly, as Ken's car received more and more attention on the Internet, it spurred him to pick up the pace, teaching others as his own car became modified for straight-line battle.
It's what you don't see here...
It's what you don't see here that's impressive. Mid-11s have come without the benefit of a supercharger or a shot of nitrous. Digging into the motor, Ken had the stock heads ported by Ron Robart at Fox Lake Power Products. Cams are from Comp Cams, but the bottom end remains as stock as Ford delivered in 2000. Heads also carry the trick, new spring and valve package from ModMax designed for these cars. Until Fox Lake releases a final version of its much anticipated P-51 Two-Valve intake, Ken has to make do with a Bullitt intake and throttle body that has been ported by the Modular Depot. A Pro-M mass air meter and air filter deliver the fresh atmosphere. A Ford Focus pump and 24-lb/hr injectors are under the constant control of a Jerry Wroblewski Superchip Custom Tuning tune-up. Hooker long-tubes and DynoMax mufflers help to round out a package that's good for 318 rwhp and 317 rwtq.
With full-length headers and exhaust, a drag suspension, a C&L mass air, and 4.10 gears, Ken's GT was running 12.80s at more than 105 mph. Setting his sights on taking the '03 Modular Shootout in Columbus, Ohio, he became serious about removing weight from the car. He replaced the stock seats with lightweight Kirkey racing buckets. He also ditched the air conditioning, the heater, the rear seat, the bumpers, and as much of the insulation and nonessential items as he could unbolt from the car.
But since a light car doesn't always win the race, Ken began working out how to get more power. He decided it was time to dig into the motor-the top end, as the stock short-block was going to remain in service. Fox Lake was called upon to port the stock heads as well as stuff them with oversized ModMax valves and a custom ModMax valve-spring package to gain some rpm. For cams, Ken went with Comp Cams XE270 units. Topping off the motor is about the only intake that was available at the time-the Ford Bullitt intake with a stock throttle body. Together with a custom Superchips Custom Tuning chip, the car was good for 318 hp and 317 lb-ft at the wheels, or almost 100 hp more than when delivered.
At the Modular Shootout, Ken's naturally aspirated GT impressed everyone in attendance. While he lost the final to John Edwards by only 0.007 second, Ken did get the e.t. of the event with a 12.22 at more than 112 mph. Being a trained pilot and well versed in the effects of air density on engine performance, he calculated what the GT would run in better (denser) air. As it turned out, the corrected elevation for the 12.22 pass was 3,243 feet-not good for power.
Ken was sure that as the fall months came around and the Midwest weather turned cooler, the power would go up. On a 700-foot-air-density day in Bowling Green, Kentucky, at the NMRA World Finals, the car ran an 11.99 at 112.5 mph. On a 1,100-foot-air-density day, the little GT really turned on, rewarding Ken with a blistering 11.72 e.t. at more than 116 mph (1.59-second short time). While Ken is quick to point out the Two-Valve 4.6 engine isn't more susceptible to bad weather than any other performance motor, it does show what waiting for the right conditions in which to run your car does for the bottom line.
Inside the GT, you realize...
Inside the GT, you realize that this thing is a race car. Gone are the air conditioning, the heater, the rear seats, and the stock front seats-Kirkey racing buckets weigh almost nothing. The shifter is by Steeda, and it runs the stock T45 five-speed-a smooth-shifting box from the factory. From the transmission, the power goes through a Ford Racing Performance Parts aluminum driveshaft and then on to the stock 8.8 rear packed with 4.30 gearing, Moser 31-spline axles, and a Moser spool. All this effort has gotten the car down to 3,000 pounds with driver.
With his amazing performance at the Modular Shootout, interest in Ken's GT really picked up on the Internet. But when he began spitting out high 11s from a bolt-on Two-Valve-well-people just couldn't get enough. In fact, his involvement with Jerry Wroblewski and Chris Johnson of Superchips Custom Tuning has led to a unique marketing deal for the once humble little Modular Depot site. Ken, Brandon, and Gene now sell the SCT software from their Internet site, which comes with access to a private forum for direct support from the software writers and designers. Ken is rightfully excited about this new venture with one of the leading forces in aftermarket computer programming.
For the '04 season, Ken is looking to push the envelope with the Two-Valve combination. Ron Robart of Fox Lake Power Products has become seriously involved in the project, and he will provide Ken with a 0.020-over short-block with flat-top pistons and further work to the cylinder heads. Also, prototype Fox Lake cams, valvesprings, and other top-secret valvetrain hardware will be utilized to provide the GT with a redline that's north of 8,000 rpm!
The big news out of Fox Lake is the new P-51 intake manifold. Ken has tested this intake with his stocker setup, but a new, yet-to-be-seen-by-the-public race version of this intake does exist. It has a larger plenum area with radically changed internals, and it will be on Ken's car in 2004. Ron and Ken are hoping for 375-400 rwhp from this package.
See what can happen when you take your Mustang to the dragstrip? You can modify it, race it, create a new Internet site, set a national record, and wind up in the pages of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords. Not too bad, is it?
The low stance and striking BBS rims tell you something special is going on with this '00 GT. But it isn't until owner Ken Bjonnes fires up the free-revving modular beast and you hear the song of twin long-tube headers bellowing through DynoMax Bullet mufflers, that you know something hairy lives under the Cobra R hood. The V-6 bumper and Bullitt sidescoops are subtle additions that set off the car. Ken exhausted just about every trick in the hot-rodder's handbook to come up with a mid-11-second combination that still uses the stock 4.6 bottom end. That's outrageous performance for a 3,000-pound car without the sauce. The suspension consists of QA1 struts and shocks, Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates, PA Racing tubular front-end components, and UPR control arms in the back. Maximum Motorsport subframes and a Reynolds Fabrication rollbar ties up the chassis tightly. When launched hard, the car really digs in, rewarding Ken with 1.57-second short times.
|5.0 Tech Specs|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN||SUSPENSION AND CHASSIS|
|Displacement||PA Racing tubular chrome-moly|
|Cylinder Heads||PA Racing|
|Fox Lake-ported stock heads;||Springs|
|ModMax valves and springs||QA1|
|Comp Cams XE270 (0.550 I/E||QA1 coilover|
|Intake Manifold||BBS RK 18x8.5 (street), Bogart|
|Bullitt, ported by Modular Depot||Drag-On Star (strip)|
|Stock Bullitt||M/T Front Runners|
|Hooker long-tube headers,||Springs|
|Hooker X-pipe, DynoMax Bullet||Stock Fox body|
|muffler w/ dump pipes||Shocks|
|Focus pumps; 24-lb/hr injectors||Traction Devices|
|Transmission||UPR control arms w/ solid|
|Stock T45||aluminum UPR bushings|
|8.8 w/ Moser 33-spline axles, 4.30||BBS RK 18x10 (street), Bogart|
|gears||Drag-On Star (strip)|
|Superchips Custom Tuning chip||Stock|
|Stock w/ NGK TR55 plugs||Maximum Motorsports full-length|
|Gauges||subframe connectors, Reynolds|
|Auto Meter gauges and||Fabrication six-point rollbar|