Overcome with emotion, I pulled over on the return road still clenching the time slip. I hopped out of the car, screaming in my helmet. The next thing I knew, I was jumping up and down like a a kid on Christmas morning, ecstatic that I finally broke into the 12-second zone with my stock-motored '89 LX. If anyone had seen my victory dance on the return road that day, I'd be locked up in an institution. But like a true addict, that ecstasy was short-lived. Before I made it back to the pits, I was already pondering: If this car can go 12s on the stock motor, could it run 10s with some boost?
Yes, it's true. I have a problem. I am an adrenaline junkie and horsepower is my drug of choice. They say that acknowledging you have a problem is the first step toward recovery, but I'm not looking for a cure! And so began the second phase of our Fox buildup. Our new quest was to see how far we could push our stock-motored Fox with boost and all of the necessary peripherals.
First we put the car on jackstands...
First we put the car on jackstands and removed the wheels. Then we removed the fender liners so we could get to the nuts that hold the front clip in place.
Turbos, nitrous, even positive-displacement blowers are all viable options, but I've done well with a ProCharger in the past, so the choice was easy. The first call was to Accessible Technologies Incorporated, better known as ATI-ProCharger. When we told the staff about the project, they were happy to participate. When we told them we want to run their F-1R blower, it took several moments for the laughter to subside.
Yes, it's ludicrous to put the F-1R on a stock 302. This is the same blower that pushes NMRA Drag Radial cars into the low 8s in the quarter-mile. Still, there was a method to our madness, and the boys at ATI understand our sickness, so they played along. They set us up with the F-1R with their 50mm cog drive setup; the race bypass; and a three-core sheetmetal air-to-air intercooler.
With the front clip removed,...
With the front clip removed, everything is accessible, but it's a little unnerving to see your pride and joy disassembled this far.
ProCharger's F-series blowers don't come with any of the required tubing, so we enlisted the help of Rob Lewis at Rigid Race Cars outside Cincinnati, Ohio. On the inlet side of the F-1R, we used a Power Pipe from Anderson Ford Motorsport. Using aluminum tubing, silicone couplers, and T-bolt clamps provided by Darin Matera at Race Parts Solutions, Rob then constructed a masterpiece, fabricating a setup that could easily be marketed as a true bolt-on kit for the F-series blower in a Fox-body Mustang.
With boost taken care of, we turned our attention to the fuel side of the equation. Aeromotive manufactures some of the highest quality fuel systems on the market, so we turned to it for our fuel system needs. The company had just come out with its Stealth system, which our own KJ Jones introduced to the world in his article ("Sump-thing to Talk About," Sept. '08, p. 106). The system is available with the A1000 or Eliminator fuel pump mounted inside the tank in a custom sump/pickup arrangement. We chose the Eliminator system for a better match with the ProCharger F-1R.
After removing the factory...
After removing the factory fuel tank, we removed the fuel-level sender, wiring harness, and other peripherals; They were then reinstalled on the Aeromotive Stealth tank. Here we have painted the sump flat black, clearanced the plastic cover, and taped it into place.
The system includes everything you need to supply the engine with fuel, right down to a custom fuel tank, which is a direct replacement for the factory tank. The tank features a custom sump which houses the Eliminator pump and inlet filter in a trick pickup arrangement. It runs an -8AN line to the outlet filter, another -8 line to the Y-block underhood, two -8 lines feeding each of the included aluminum fuel rails, -8 lines running to the boost-referencing regulator, a -6 return line, and all of the necessary hose ends and fittings. The kit even includes all of the wiring necessary to power the huge pump. This is a well-thought-out kit and its quality is second to none.
With boost and fuel in abundant supply, the last necessary ingredient for combustion is spark. Summit Racing Equipment set us up with an MSD Digital 7 Plus ignition box and the Pro Power HVC ignition coil that matches it. These two can set fire to just about anything that crosses the combustion chamber, and the adjustable rev-limiters in the ignition box are certainly handy.