Alternative Auto Begins Ambitious Project for Summer of ’04
Friday, July 23, 2004
We’ve purchased a brand new 2004 Mustang Mach-1. This car is going to be used as a project car to showcase many things, but primarily used to show our ability to make the modular motor’s stock, cast pistons survive serious supercharged applications – all it really takes is proper and responsible tuning.
We chose a Mach-1 for several reasons. First, it’s the last year for what’s left of the easy-to-modify Mustangs, (we feel that it will take the aftermarket a fair amount of time before well designed supercharger kits/tuning emerge for the new 3-valve ‘05s).
The Mach-1 has a straight axle (perfect for drag racing), we of course choose an automatic transmission (once again – perfect for drag racing & stronger + more consistent then most sticks). It’s much more difficult to maintain true reliability and consistency with a stick. Manual transmissions are the number one problem and cause for very powerful cars to not run up to their full potential when drag racing – usually because of driver error. Today’s Ford overdrive automatics like the 4R70W (which comes in the Mach-1) can easily and reliably handle 700+ HP with the proper torque converter and tuning – plus are very fun on the street. And the Mach-1 is a 4 valve engine, which responds very well to supercharging. The fact that the Mach-1 is not equipped with a factory supercharger leaves the doors open to many other power adder or tuning options. In short, the Mach-1 is a very understated car if you’re looking to go very fast in a straight line.
We will be installing and tuning a Kenne Bell twin-screw type supercharger on this Mach-1. Because of our extensive experience in the last couple of years with the Eaton M-112 on the Marauder 4-valve motor, we’ve decided to do roughly the same thing with essentially the same drive train, except in a vehicle that’s 800-900 lbs lighter.
The game plan is to install one of the newest supercharger kits from Kenne Bell that’s soon to be released for the Mach – 1. Kenne Bell has AutoRotor type kits coming for the ’99 and ’01 Cobras and the current Mach-1 which is essentially the same motor as the ’99-‘01 4-valve Cobras.
The short-term plan is to leave the stock 3.55 gears and the stock torque converter alone. We feel that these two components will work very well left alone and take better advantage of the available low and mid range power the Kenne Bell’s are capable of. We’re also going to leave the stock exhaust manifolds in-tact because we’ve found that on roots equipped cars like the Marauder, Lightning and the ’03 Cobra they don’t gain much from headers once the rest of the exhaust has been upgraded to a higher flowing system from the stock manifolds back to the tails. On the Marauder with the Trilogy Eaton blower, we’ve learned that those motors can handle about 14psi of boost on 93octane with a proper tune. On the Mach –1 we’re going to try to go up to 15psi on 93 octane and hope for very low 11’s and high 10’s in the 1/4 mile.
The exhaust has already been upgraded to a full 2.5” with two hi-flow cats and FlowMaster Delta 40’s. The stock drive shaft has been replaced with an aluminum unit and the rear lower control arms are now HP Mega-bite JR’s. The stock 3.55 gears and posi are going to be left alone and the only trans mod planned is a Baumann shift kit to help increase shift firmness if we can’t firm it up enough through chip tuning.
At first we’re going to try and squeeze as much as we can with the totally stock long block at about 15 psi of boost – if it lives and all goes well, we’re going to try to push it up to 22-25 psi using leaded race fuel and aim for low 10’s and possibly high 9’s in the 1/4 mile.
For traction, our plan is to attempt all of this using the stock rear wheels widened from 8” to 10.5” and a 315 drag radial.
This is the plan for our new Mach-1 project car – check the web site for regular updates as the project progresses.
Our ambitious summer project!