Although suggested tire-pressure...
Although suggested tire-pressure settings for Nitto's Extreme Drag Radials vary among the posts we read on Mustang message forums (we found that 12.5 to 14 psi works well), doing "a super-smoky burnout" definitely was a unanimous recommendation for achieving good traction and launches. A Two-Step (for launch-rev control)/line-lock (for front brake control) combo like the one we installed on our '02 Mustang GT is exactly what you need to get the tires clean and hot without torching the rear brakes, and also stage your 'Stang and launch with consistency.
Horse Sense: We're back on track (pun intended) with our '02 Mustang GT. On track in the sense that from our Dec. '08 issue to this April '09 edition of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, we've been able to bring you three stories on the project's progress ("Letter-Perfect Power," Dec. '08; "Air Traffic Controlled," Jan. '09; and this report) without taking a full production year or better to do so. With this article, we're literally on track with the New Edge, as we finally get it out to the dragstrip for its long-awaited quarter-mile evaluation. A good thing comes to a very good end indeed.
Modern-day Mustangs-we'll say Ponies of '79-'93 vintage (and with this being the 30th year since the emergence of the Fox body, calling those cars modern is a stretch)through S197s of today-are like chameleons in many respects. Depending on an enthusiast's desires and, of course, budget, 'Stangs can be configured or adapted for use in a wide variety of high-performance (street, dragstrip, road racing, and so on) or show/display applications, similar to the way a chameleon changes its color and adapts itself to nearly any environment or situation with relative ease.
While street car (registered; insured; retaining most creature comforts, such as power steering, air conditioning, heat, stereo, and so on; and capable of being driven regularly without major drivetrain or suspension issues) is the universally accepted starting point and constant for most Mustangs that we focus on, we know that many of you either own or desire Ponies that go beyond simple streeters and are capable of holding their own in whichever alternative driving arena you choose.
Right now-and for a long time-the dragstrip and the chassis dyno have been the hands-down winners in the performance category. What it runs (e.t. and mph) and what it makes on the dyno (rear-wheel horsepower) are the two hot buzz questions we're always asked by readers who follow our 'Stang projects.
Dyno figures and making big steam (our new slang for lots of power) are usually the highlight of our bolt-on efforts. However, we also like to get 'Stangs to the track whenever possible, simply because we realize that running a Mustang on the quarter-mile is probably one of the most important and-to most hard-core 'Stang aficionados-official litmus tests for evaluating a Pony's performance progress as the car transitions from bone-stock to whatever levels of radical its owner desires.
We're installing this trick...
We're installing this trick brake-control system (line-lock) made specifically for '99-'04 Mustangs from SLP Performance Parts (PN M25000; $159.95). Check out the prebent hard line that runs between the master cylinder and the heavy-duty solenoid, which is the heart and soul of the device. Everything you need for a trouble-free, bolt-in installation is included with this kit, which can be installed using just a few basic handtools.
The last two reports on our supercharged Two-Valve effort focus on B&D Racing's man with the laptop Brian Schapiro's efforts to tune the GT's D.S.S. SuperMOD 4.6 and ProCharger F-1A combination for power, and more importantly, good street manners. Remember, it's Crystal Jones who pilots the Mustang on a daily basis, not KJ, so making our unconventional race-blower/Two-Valve/street-car application easy to drive and as issue-free as possible is of utmost importance.
With Brian's pump-gas (91-octane) SCT tune all dialed-in and producing 535 hp at the rear tires with a relatively conservative (for an F-1A) 15 psi of boost, it's time to take the project car to the 1,320-foot proving grounds to see what it will run. However, before doing that, we decided to upgrade our supercharged street 'Stang with a few cool parts that we hope will help make it easier to run and more consistent at the dragstrip.
We're definitely suckers for the little touches that 'Stangbangers take the time to engineer into their projects. While turbochargers, superchargers, and multiple-stage nitrous systems usually are the stars of the modded Mustang show, unseen aftermarket performance accessories are also high on the props list, especially when they're effective and make a significant contribution to the greater good, otherwise known as covering the quarter-mile as quickly as possible.
Take away the built engine and the sinister scream of the ProCharger residing under the project GT's hood, and the Mustang falls right in place with so many other 'Stangs like Crystal's. They roll on deep-dish, 17-inch Bullitt wheels and fat tires at all four corners, and include not much more than billet body accents, similarly treated interiors (with gauge pods and Auto Meter instruments), and other basic pieces that give unassuming Brand-X jockeys a first-glance impression that the 'Stang they're sizing up will have a hard time running 14s, let alone anything quicker.
The first task in our brake-control...
The first task in our brake-control installation is removing the factory hard line that runs between the master cylinder and distribution block. The area is super tight, and SLP recommends cutting 3/8-inch and 13mm line, and using open-end wrenches down to 3 1/2 inches, which makes loosening and tightening the hard lines easier. We understand full well any reluctance you have about sawing through your tools (Saul opted to keep his Snap-on wrenches intact), so be prepared for this effort to take a little bit of time due to the minimal amount of swing you'll have with a long wrench.
Once the stock brake line...
Once the stock brake line is loosened, Saul pulls it out and prepares to install the line-lock assembly. We recommend setting rags or some sort of catch can below the master cylinder to capture leaking brake fluid when the line is removed.
Saul completely preassembles...
Saul completely preassembles the SLP line-lock before installing it, leaving all of the fittings loose to allow for adjustments when the unit is in place. Although Teflon tape is not required for the master cylinder-to-solenoid brake line or the small hard line that links the solenoid to the stock proportioning valve, Saul uses tape at each connection with the solenoid as extra insurance against brake-fluid leak.