Steve Baur
Former Editor, Modified Mustangs & Fords
October 25, 2006
Photos By: Team MM&FF

With the '03 Cobra making 390 hp, it is easy to forget about the two-valve modular engine. Mod motor gearheads naturally seek more power and, therefore, many opt to go for the quad-cammed motor right from the start. However, we've noticed that its little brother likes being hot rodded just as much.

The new Cobra is a completely different breed of snake thanks to the addition of a supercharger, and we're here to tell you that the GTs like forced induction just as much. While we sought out different engine combinations for our shootout, the vast majority seems to be moving towards blowers, and that is what we ended up with.

Since its placement in the Mustang, the modular engine has made quite a few leaps and bounds in performance. This was accomplished in just a few years, and in that same span of time, the aftermarket has begun to produce a plethora of parts guaranteed to add even more oats to the feedbag. We gave you a look at some hard-core 4.6-liter parts in our May issue with "The Future is Now," and in this issue, we have included a parts interchangeability story, "Modular Mix and Match, Part 2." These, along with our '01 Mustang GT project car, have (or will) show you what is possible with modular-powered Mustangs, and the 2002 two-valve shootout offers additional real-world experiences with various combinations.

Modular muscle was in abundance at Englishtown as some of the single-overhead-cammed cars cracked off multiple 10-second passes. All attendees, but one, were supercharged, but, by far, the most interesting vehicle on-hand was that of Jeff Bloch, whose Crown Victoria was capable of low-13-second e.t.s. But before we give the story away, go ahead and read the results. Keep in mind that all of these competitors are licensed and insured, street-driven cars, and if you had doubts about the modular powerplant, these potent performers should put them to rest.

Jim Vaccaro
Armed and ready to assault the 9-second zone, Jim Vaccaro's Mustang GT didn't quite make it there but was still able to take top honors with a 10.50 run. LaRocca's Performance, which tunes the car for Vaccaro, turned up the wick with the addition of an ATI F-1 huffer and an EPEC computer.

Vaccaro, who is the promotions director for SuperStallions of the Net, said that they still have a few things to work out but even still, the car made 640 hp at the rear wheels. On pump gas. With over 30 10-second passes on the car, Jim hopes to put his silver bullet in the 9s with slicks and wants to be able to run low-10s with drag radials. We don't think he's too far off.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Jim Vaccaro
Hometown: New York City
Driver: Jim LaRocca/ Jim Vaccaro
Year/Model: {{{1999 Mustang}}} GT
Weight w/driver: 3,{{{720}}} lbs.
Engine: 281 ci
Built by: LaRocca's Performance/{{{Fox}}} Lake
Intercooler: 3-core air-to-air
Power adder: ATI ProCharger F-1
Maximum boost: 16 psi
Intake manifold: Bullitt
Cylinder Head(s): Fox Lake
Compression ratio: 8.5:1
Camshafts: Stock
Ignition: Stock
Computer: EPEC
Exhaust: MAC long-tube headers, MAC 3-inch ProChamber and BRS custom after-cat with Dynomax Race {{{Magnum}}} mufflers
Transmission: Lentech Street Dominator Overdrive
Rear type: 8.8 with Moser axles, Auburn Pro differential and 3.73 gear
Wheels: Bogart
Tires: {{{M}}}/T ET Street 26x10-inch
Suspension front: Stock
Suspension rear: Mustang Magic/Steeda upper and lower control arms, Tokico shocks
Best shootout ET/MPH: 10.50/129.95
Best-ever ET/MPH: 10.18/137
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 1.99 1.51 6.85 101.50 10.70 128.73
2 1.07 1.51 6.70 106.81 10.50 129.95
3 1.51 1.54 6.72 106.53 10.60 125.08

Alan Alfaro
With a claimed 610 rwhp, Alain Alfaro's Mustang made mincemeat out of its previous best e.t. by running a 10.98 at 127 mph. The mph is not quite indicative of the power on tap, but the Silver beast reacts quite violently on the track with the wheels coming up in Second gear. Some chassis tuning and a smoother run should chop down the e.t. tree further.

Alain's Mustang is a true story of progression, as he has taken his horse from 14.8 seconds at 93 mph to high-10s at over 127. When he gets all of the available power to the ground, Alain should be able to go mid-9s. Not bad for a two-valve.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Alain Alfaro
Hometown: Nazareth, Pennsylvania
Driver: Alain Alfaro
Year/Model: {{{1998 Mustang}}} {{{GT}}}
Weight w/driver: 3,528 lbs.
Engine: 281-.020 over, compression, CP pistons, Cobra crankshaft, Manley rods
Built by: Alain Alfaro/Easton Electric
Intercooler: Paxton Intercooler
Power adder: Paxton NOVI 2000 RR
Maximum boost: 15 psi
Intake manifold: Bullitt intake manifold
Cylinder Head(s): PI, ported and polished, 5-angle valve job by Heads Up Performance
Compression ratio: 8.{{{90}}}:1
Camshafts: FOMPK Motorsport regrinds
Ignition: MSD DIS-4
Computer:  
Exhaust: MAC long-tube headers, MAC H-pipe and Flowmaster 2.5-inch mufflers
Transmission: Tremec TKO, McLeod clutch, Pro 5.0 Shifter
Rear type: 8.8 axle with Traction-Lok, 31-spline Moser axles
Wheels: Weld Draglite front, Bogart back
Tires: Mickey Thompson ET Drags
Suspension front: D&D K-member and A-arms, Lakewood coilovers
Suspension rear: Stock upper control arms, MAC lower
Best shootout ET/MPH: 10.98/127.16
Best-ever ET/MPH: 10.98/127.16
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 1.06 1.{{{62}}} 7.44 99.06 11.52 122.76
2 .545 1.{{{57}}} 7.15 {{{100}}}.04 11.14 125.45
3 .905 1.55 7.06 98.90 10.98 127.16
4 .866 1.56 7.11 100.42 11.10 125.61
5 .949 1.61 7.21 99.94 11.21 125.27
6 .590 1.69 7.49 97.03 11.59 122.81
7 .734 1.55 7.16 100.50 11.17 125.03

Roxanne Shepherd
"Tweety," as Roxanne Shepherd's Mustang is so eloquently named, has been racing in modular classes for a few years now. The Village Ford-sponsored racer used the FRPP supercharger kit to make low-11-second power but replacing it with a Vortech S-trim unit has helped quite a bit.

Roxanne said that the positive displacement FRPP blower was better suited for street driving than race duty and even though its times were respectable, the Vortech offered the top-end charge that was needed. Livernois Racing Engines is responsible for the new motor, and combined with the additional boost from the Vortech, finally propelled the little bird into the 10s.

Over the winter, Roxanne has plans for long-tube headers, custom camshafts and a tubular K-member. With these mods and another computer tune, the Mustang should be good for 10.60s.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Roxanne Shepherd
Hometown: Inkster, Michigan
Driver: Roxanne Shepherd
Year/Model: {{{1999 Mustang}}} {{{GT}}}
Weight w/driver: 3,556 pounds
Engine: 285 ci
Built by: Livernois Racing Engines
Intercooler: Aftercooler
Power adder: Vortech S-trim
Maximum boost: 18 psi
Intake manifold: Bullitt intake manifold
Cylinder Head(s): Ford PI, ported and polished
Compression ratio: 9:1
Camshafts: Stock
Ignition: MSD
Computer: F.A.S.T.
Exhaust: FRPP headers, BBK H-pipe, Dynomax 2.5-inch mufflers
Transmission: C-4, Precision Industries 4,000-stall converter
Rear type: 8.8 axle, 31-spline axles, ARB Air Locker
Wheels: Weld ProStar
Tires: {{{M}}}/T front-runners, M/T 28X10-inch ET Drag
Suspension front: Stock with Koni struts
Suspension rear: Granatelli control arms, Koni shocks
Best shootout ET/MPH: 10.99/121.94
Best-ever ET/MPH: 10.99/121.94
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 .582 1.53 6.99 98.06 11.00 121.89
2 .819 1.49 6.97 98.01 10.99 121.94
3 .569 1.56 7.02 98.16 11.03 122.27
4 .564 1.54 7.04 97.81 11.06 121.83

Chris Colitas
Chris Colitas was able to yank the left front wheel several inches in the air upon launch. Now that's not exactly new in the racing world, but he lifted the factory 17x8-inch wheel. That's definitely something you don't see every day.

Chris leased the Mustang new in 1998. After two years of driving the pony, he bought the car and promptly purchased an ATI ProCharger for it. He then modified the rear axle for race duty, as the Mustang competes in Fun Ford and NMRA modular competition, as well as his local Heavy ET class at Raceway Park. Running mid-12s, Chris' Mustang has obviously responded well to forced induction, as there are not many other mods to it.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Chris Colitas
Hometown: Bethlehem, PA
Driver: Chris Colitas
Year/Model: {{{1998 Mustang}}} {{{GT}}}
Weight w/driver: 3,566 lbs.
Engine: 281 ci
Built by: Ford
Intercooler: 3-core air-to-air
Power adder: ATI ProCharger P-1SCH
Maximum boost: 12 psi
Intake manifold: Stock
Cylinder Head(s): Stock
Compression ratio: Stock
Camshafts: Stock
Ignition: Stock
Computer:  
Exhaust: MAC off-road pipe and 2.5-inch after-cat
Transmission: Stock T-45, King Cobra clutch, Steeda shifter
Rear type: 8.8 axle, 3.73 gear, 31-spline axles and Traction-Lok
Wheels: Stock 17x8-inch front, 15-inch Weld ProStars
Tires: Mickey Thompson 26-inch ET Drag
Suspension front: Stock
Suspension rear: Steeda Adjustable control arms
Best shootout ET/MPH: 12.63/109.42
Best-ever ET/MPH: 12.{{{62}}}/109.5 MPH
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 .551 1.69 8.05 87.59 12.63 109.42
2 .587 1.66 8.60 82.67 13.34 105.66
3 .633 1.81 8.33 85.74 12.95 108.41
4 .589 1.67 8.09 86.01 12.69 108.74
5 .647 1.65 8.07 86.16 12.66 108.58
6 .506 1.65 8.53 83.51 13.21 107.02

Ken Coons
As an aviation machinist's mate working on F-14 fighter planes, Ken Coons is rather familiar with high-horsepower hardware. The Mustang GT that he brought to our shootout was built by his brother, who sold it to Ken upon his return from deployment in the Middle East.

The 1996-98 4.6-liter engines have been purported to be the weakest of the modular family, but this Mustang receives intercooled air from an ATI ProCharger making 12 pounds of boost. This along with a stout suspension has given the horse the power to stand tall and defend the Blue Oval, if Ken wasn't already doing enough.

Ken's track day was unfortunately cut short due to some bad spark plugs, but he reported that a recent outing to Atco Raceway netted a 12.52 e.t. at 107 mph, with a 1.72 short time. The weakest 4.6? Not any more.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Ken Coons
Hometown: Virginia Beach, VA
Driver: Ken Coons
Year/Model: {{{1998 Mustang}}} GT
Weight w/driver: 3,570 lbs.
Engine: 281 ci
Built by: {{{Ford}}}
Intercooler: 3-core air-to-air
Power adder: ATI ProCharger P600B
Maximum boost: 12 psi
Intake manifold: Stock
Cylinder Head(s): Stock
Compression ratio: Stock
Camshafts: Stock
Ignition: MSD DIS-4
Computer: Stock
Exhaust: BBK headers and H-pipe, 2.5-inch Flowmaster mufflers
Transmission: Stock AODE
Rear type: 8.8 axle with 3.73 gear
Wheels: 17x9-inch Cobra R
Tires: Nitto 555/ {{{M}}}/T ET Street
Suspension front: Stock
Suspension rear: BBK control arms, Eibach springs
Best shootout ET/MPH: 13.02/102.83
Best-ever ET/MPH: 12.52/107
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 .831 1.92 8.36 82.22 13.24 {{{100}}}.52
2 .750 1.{{{90}}} 8.28 84.31 13.02 102.83

Jeff Bloch
As a park police officer in Washington, D.C., Jeff Bloch has been behind the wheel of a Crown Victoria for the last eight years. When the urge to modify his cruiser became too much to bear, he purchased this 1998 model from a police car auction ,and though he originally looked at bolting on the PI heads and intake, he bought a low-mileage 260-horse Mustang motor for $1,500 and sold the original powerplant for $650. Jeff found it easier (and probably cheaper) just to swap engines.

With the addition of an S-trim Vortech supercharger, Jeff created one of the neatest sleepers around. Or so one would think. Jeff told us that the Crown Vic gets more attention than his 10-second LX Mustang did, at least at the track. Jeff also left many of the cruiser amenities on board like the antennae and spot light, which no doubt adds to the confusion of surrounding traffic. Is it still impersonating an officer if you actually are one? We're not sure, but if they tried to get away, the pursuit wouldn't last long with Jeff behind the wheel of his personal Crown Vic.

Since the shootout, Jeff reported that the cruiser has gone 12.59 at 109.78 while still on the Dunlop street rubber. The decrease in e.t. was the result of an additional 2.5 pounds of boost from a smaller blower pulley.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Jeff Bloch
Hometown: Brandy, Maryland
Driver: Jeff Bloch
Year/Model: {{{1998 Ford Crown Victoria}}}
Weight w/driver: 4,124 lbs.
Engine: 281 ci
Built by: {{{Ford}}}
Intercooler: Aftercooler
Power adder: Vortech S-trim
Maximum boost: 8.5 psi
Intake manifold: Bullitt
Cylinder Head(s): Stock
Compression ratio: Stock
Camshafts: Stock
Ignition: Stock
Computer: InjectTech custom computer chip
Exhaust: FRPP headers, Dr. Gas X-pipe, Dynomax Ultraflow 2.5-inch mufflers
Transmission: 1999 4R70W, Level 10 2,400-stall converter
Rear type: 8.8 axle, 3.73 gear
Wheels: 16-inch
Tires: Dunlop 255/50/16
Suspension front: Stock
Suspension rear: Stock13.06/106.48
Best shootout ET/MPH: 12.59/109.78
Best-ever ET/MPH: 12.52/107
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 1.44 2.25 9.48 60.06 14.39 102.39
2 1.42 2.06 8.41 84.24 13.06 106.48
3 1.36 2.22 8.61 85.34 13.20 107.50
4 .990 2.01 8.53 83.55 13.21 106.07
5 .836 2.01 8.45 84.16 13.12 106.11

Chris Bower
Chris Bower of Toronto is a relative newcomer to drag racing, at least on a track. He's made a pass in his '68 Shelby GT500 (a tire-smoking affair), but this was the first time that he put his '02 pony through the paces on the 1320.

Chris purchased the Mustang new and has been modifying every part of it. Sean Hyland Motorsport rebuilt the 4.6-liter engine in anticipation of the ATI supercharger, but Chris was not able to post the car's potential as an ailing clutch limited the amount of down force exerted on the loud pedal. This, and having to make the trip back to Canada, did not make for optimum e.t. extraction but since the car had never been to the track before, its performance was great nonetheless. He's definitely making 11-second power, based on his mph.

With a new clutch and additional tuning, Chris'Mustang will be ready to hit the track just as soon as the snow breaks.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Chris Bower
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Driver: Chris Bower
Year/Model: {{{2002 Mustang}}} {{{GT}}}
Weight w/driver: 3665 lbs.
Engine: 281-.020 over
Built by: Sean Hyland Motorsports
Intercooler: 3-core air-to-air
Power adder: ProCharger P-1SCMaximum
Maximum boost: 8 psi
Intake manifold: Bullitt
Cylinder Head(s): Sean Hyland
Compression ratio: Stock
Camshafts: Sean Hyland
Ignition: Ignition Solutions Plasma Booster, MAFterburner
Computer:  
Exhaust: BBK long-tube headers and H-pipe, Dynomax Super Turbo mufflers
Transmission: Stock Tremec 3650, Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
Rear type: 8.8 axle, Auburn limited-slip, Moser 31 spline axles
Wheels: Steeda 17x9-inch
Tires: BFG KDW 275/40/17
Suspension front: Tubular K-member and A-arms, QA1 shocks
Suspension rear: Steeda upper and lower control arms
Best shootout ET/MPH: 13.10/113.35
Best-ever ET/MPH: 13.10/113.35
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 3.07 2.78 14.09 45.66 22.78 51.30
2 1.26 2.31 10.09 68.33 15.39 97.15
3 1.59 2.35 9.65 {{{80}}}.68 14.29 110.43
4 1.23 2.31 8.81 85.44 13.31 106.66
5 .833 2.20 8.68 84.34 13.10 113.35

Mike Kelly
After a few run-ins with some of the General's crew, Mike Kelly sought out Paul's High Performance in Jackson, Michigan, to help him extract some power from his pony.

Mike purchased the car new, and when the decision to boost engine output was made, he opted to go the naturally-aspirated route. Getting the hefty horse hauling was as easy as installing a 4.10 gear set and a Lentech transmission with a transbrake. Attention to the intake and exhaust systems has rewarded this pony with low-13-second timeslips, but Mike plans to get it into the 12s with a few more mods.

STRIP SPECS
Owner: Mike Kelly
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Driver: Mike Kelly
Year/Model: {{{2001 Mustang}}} {{{GT}}} convertible
Weight w/driver: 3,568 pounds
Engine: Stock
Built by: {{{Ford}}}
Intercooler: None
Power adder: None
Maximum boost: None
Intake manifold: Stock
Cylinder Head(s): Stock
Compression ratio: Stock
Camshafts: Stock
Ignition: Stock
Computer: Stock
Exhaust: JBA headers, Bassani X-pipe
Transmission: Lentech overdrive with transbrake, 2,800-stall converter
Rear type: 8.8 with Moser 31-spline axles and 4.10 gear
Wheels: Weld ProStar
Tires: {{{M}}}/T ET Street
Suspension front: Stock
Suspension rear: Paul's High Performance springs and control arms
Best shootout ET/MPH: 13.33/102.81
Best-ever ET/MPH: 13.33/102.81
STRIP LOG
Run # R/T 60-ft. 1/8 MPH 1/4 MPH
1 1.10 1.{{{90}}} 8.56 81.59 13.42 102.40
2 .786 1.89 8.50 82.20 13.33 102.81
3 1.54 1.90 8.52 82.25 13.35 103.21
4 1.21 1.91 8.55 81.{{{80}}} 13.39 102.59
5 1.14 1.89 8.53 81.84 13.38 101.55