There has always been an exotic mystique surrounding turbochargers, especially in the Mustang market. Turbochargers have always had a cult following, but the entry fee and subtle intricacies of a turbocharger setup have kept them out of reach for most Mustang fanatics. However, hearing a turbo car come out of the burnout box with its unmistakable swooshing sound leaves a lasting impression. Seeing one of the many turbocharged Mustangs put a top-end charge on an opponent is dizzying. If you ever get the chance to ride in a turbo car, your days of not owning a turbocharged Mustang are numbered.
One ride in Mike Breen's twin turbo-charged '88 GT will have visions of turbo-chargers dancing in your head for decades.
The River Edge, New Jersey, resident has owned this GT for about 10 years now, but it's been a sometimes slow, sometimes fast ascent to its current status. When Mike first purchased the car, it was mostly stock, save for an NOS nitrous kit. He started out with the 100hp jets, but he quickly upped that level to150hp. Spraying a 150-shot eats up a lot of nitrous so Mike had to mount two big bottles in order to keep the fun going. To say Mike was trigger happy with the nitrous is like saying Paris Hilton craves attention. Just like Paris not seeing a camera she doesn't like, Mike was in love with his nitrous button. "I would get both bottles filled at the Hot Rod Shop in Clifton, New Jersey," Mike says, "and I wouldn't make it home before one bottle was completely empty." Mike knew he needed a power adder that would always be at the mercy of his right foot.
"I thought about adding a supercharger, but everyone had one," Mike says. He always did like the sound of a turbo, and the fact that he wanted to do something different led him in that direction. Unfortunately, his first stop on turbocharger lane was a turn in the wrong direction with no instructions. "The fit was terrible," Mike says, "and I almost gave up on turbocharging altogether."
Having to regroup from getting lost, Mike spoke with Turbo People's Job Spetter Sr., and he pointed Mike in the direction of Turbo Technology in Tacoma, Washington. "I called them and ordered their single-turbo race kit," Mike says. Mike's reasoning for going straight for the race kit was that he thought another street kit would be a waste of time, not to mention, money. While he was busy getting the turbo installed, Mike also added Trick Flow Street Heat heads, a Turbo People solid-roller camshaft, and a custom intake. Furthermore, Mike also added an ACCEL Gen 6 DFI, and Job once again stepped in to matriculate the spot-on tune-up. This setup took Mike into the low 10s at 130 mph in the quarter-mile.
However, at Mike's power level, he was afraid the stock bottom end was living on borrowed time. He enlisted the services of Merkel Racing Engines to build him a stout short-block using a FRPP R302 block, Eagle stroker crank and H-beam rods, and Ross forged pistons. This combination sent the GT into the high 9s at 136 mph on BFGoodrich Drag Radials. He ran this combination for a while, but it didn't take Mike long to yearn for more power. Did he want to step up to a big single turbo like a Big Thumper setup, or go with twins? "It was an easy decision," Mike says, "as I have always wanted a twin-turbo car."
Mike once again turned to Turbo Technology for a twin turbo set-up, which came with all the proper tubing in the kit. Mike upgraded for larger tubes, but for the most part the kit on his car is a street kit you could buy for your own Mustang. Mike also added an ACCEL Gen 7 DFI, to update the car's tuning software. When asked why the twin kit was such an easy decision, Mike says he always liked Racin' Jason and Bill Devine's twin-turbo cars, so that's what led him in that direction. "It was my own cool factor for me to add the twin kit," Mike says.