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2016 Mustang Week: Horsepower Is King When It Comes to Our Battle at the Beach Dyno Competition
Our Dyno Competition Is a Battle of Horses, and Horsepower Is King
When it comes to Mustang enthusiasts, the two things that are important to everyone are dyno numbers and track times. We want to know what our Mustang makes on the dyno, and what it runs at the track. Those two stats are more commonly given out than your birthday. When you’re at the track or a meet, no one asks about the day you were born; they ask you how much power your Mustang makes or what it runs at the track. Those are the two most important figures to Mustang enthusiasts.
Our annual MM&FF Pro Dyno Battle at the Beach during Mustang Week is all about horsepower. We are not concerned with track times as much as we are about how much power your Mustang makes at the rear wheels. Knowing how much power your Mustang leading up to the Battle at the Beach is what gets you into the competition, but once at the competition, all previous numbers are out the window—all that matters is what you make at the Battle at the Beach.
For each Battle at the Beach, we try to come up with different combinations to show you guys what is possible with a variety of engine and power adders. We feel this makes for a more exciting competition than having 10 of the same combination of engine and power adder. Granted, with Four-Valve engines easily making a ton of power, those have taken over competitions like this in recent years. However, we are still able to show you different power adders when it comes to those engines. Plus, for this year’s competition, we were able to find a Windsor combination that did really well (more on that later, but suffice it to say, the car was very impressive). This year we had Four-Valves, a Two-Valve, a full-on race car, and the aforementioned big-inch Windsor combination. We had something for everyone, and that’s the goal.
The Battle at the Beach wouldn’t be much without the help of the people at Pro Dyno, who brings their portable Dynojet to Mustang Week each year. If you’ve been to Mustang Week, then you know it’s hot. The Pro Dyno guys are a well-oiled machine at getting the cars on and off the dyno. Frankly, the Battle at the Beach wouldn’t happen without Pro Dyno, and we greatly appreciate them helping to make each event a huge success.
Without giving away too much, for this year’s Battle at the Battle at the Beach we had cars ranging from 1,000-plus horsepower down to 300-rwhp and everything in between. Peep the captions to get the full story on our 2016 Battle at the Beach.
2014 Shelby GT500
Aside from rock stars and models, Jeff Scofield could be one of the most popular people on Instagram. His 2014 Shelby GT500 is a big reason for that. The car is found on numerous memes across the Internet, and the majority of his followers are interested in his GT500. Aside from full-race GT500s, Scofield’s is probably one of the baddest Shelby GT500s around.
Scofield found the GT500 at a small dealership south of Tampa, Florida, and wasted little time modifying the car to suit his needs. The combo first inhaled boost from a Kenne Bell 3.6LC supercharger, but an oil pump gear malfunction spelled the end of the original engine. Progressive Racing Engines rebuilt the stock engine, but through no fault of Progressive, it broke a rod at Mustang Week 2015.
At that point, Scofield went to MPR Racing Engines in Boynton Beach, Florida, for a built engine. Unfortunately that engine didn’t last too long because of a tuning/fuel issue. The engine went back to MPR, where it was assembled with what MPR’s Tim Eichorn says was “the best of everything.” Scofield and Eichorn made sure the engine would live under Scofield’s demanding right foot, so a Bryant Racing 4.350-inch billet stroker crank, Manley billet rods, Diamond custom pistons, and Clevite coated bearings were inserted, as were Darton sleeves. With the previous combinations, the heads remained untouched, but this time around MPR sent the heads to Kris Starnes for porting and the addition of Ferrea valves, a MPR/PAC valve spring and retainer kit, Bullet Racing cams, and ARP cam bolts. Once back at MPR, the crew used Cometic MLX head gaskets and a Cloyes billet steel secondary gear and chain kit. MPR also massaged the engine’s lower intake.
Scofield had already replaced the 3.6LC with a Kenne Bell 4.7 supercharger, and each progressive combination made more power. However, with this last iteration and Palm Beach Dyno’s Ken Bjonnes doing the tuning, Scofield and his 2014 Shelby GT500 were good for over 1,200 rwhp leading up to the competition. For the Battle at the Beach, his GT500 won the competition by deafening everyone with 1,231 rwhp.
Our thoughts before Randy Koon’s SN95 hopped on the dyno was that it could be a car that made 500-1,000 rwhp. His was the only pushrod-powered competitor, which in a dyno competition against new powerplants does not bode well. However, our fears that Koon’ former V-6 car would not be able to keep up quickly vanished when it made 1,064 on its first dyno run. Unlike many cars that make less on the second pull, Koon’s made more. On the second dyno run the combination made 1,094 hp, just shy of 1,100 rwhp!
Koon’s Mustang has a Pro Dyno–built 427ci Windsor with Comp 67mm turbochargers, a pair of AFR Renegade 220 heads, a Bullet Racing custom cam, an Edelbrock Victor intake, and a FAST EFI system. A Tremec Magnum six-speed lives behind the Windsor with a McLeod RXT clutch.
What threw us off was that Koon’s SN95 looks like it has plenty of room for a bigger tire out back, but once up on the Pro Dyno Dynojet, what tire was there was doing work. All told, his final number landed him the second spot this year.
2013 Shelby GT500
Jason Ragan’s guess for how much his Shelby GT500 would make was “somewhere north of 1,000.” Like Jeff Scofield, Ragan bought a Trinity 5.8L Shelby GT500 to the Battle at the Beach. Also like Scofield’s GT500, Ragan’s featured a built engine. Ragan’s is a Competition Auto–built engine using Oliver rods, Diamond pistons, and cams from Comp Cams.
Up top is a 4.0L supercharger with a Ford Performance Cobra Jet throttle-body and a JLT Performance cold air intake. Ragan’s GT500 uses a Fore Innovations return-style fuel system. Exhaust exits via Kooks long-tube headers and off-road mid-pipe with a Corsa after-cat system. His GT500 also features a Cervini’s hood, Vossen CV3 wheels with Nitto NT555s up front, and Mickey Thompson ET Street radials out back.
As for his guess, he was right. His first pull was 1,036, and then 1,023 on the second run. Those numbers resulted in a third place finish.
2013 Cobra Jet
It is not every day you get to see a full-fledged race car on a Dynojet, but at our Battle at the Beach you were in for a real treat when Johnny Lightning’s NMRA Coyote Modified race car pulled up on the rollers. His Cobra Jet has run a best off 7.91 at 175 mph in NMRA competition, and it was NMRA-legal for the Battle at the Beach. He told us that the Kenne Bell 3.6–motivated car made 1,185 rwhp back home, but added that he had just changed out the stator in the car’s ATI Turbo 400 and that horsepower would be negatively affected. He was right. His best run resulted in 994 rwhp.
Lightning’s Cobra Jet boasts a Ford Performance block, JLP-spec Manley rods and pistons, DeatschWerks injectors, and the aforementioned Kenne Bell 3.6 supercharger and ATI Turbo 400 transmission. As of this writing, he sits in third place in Coyote Modified with one race left.
Unlike his exploits in NMRA competition, Lightning may not have won the Battle at the Beach, but we guarantee no one in attendance will ever forget the time they witnessed his Cobra Jet on the dyno.
1999 Mustang GT
Steve Shrader’s little 323ci Two-Valve was first up on the Pro Dyno ramps. Since it wasn’t ridiculously hot out yet, he was probably happy to be in the No. 1 spot. Shrader has long been a champion of all things Two-Valve. His shop, Shrader Performance, specializes in modular engine builds and especially Two-Valves. The special aspect of his 1999 GT is the fact that it uses a Copperhead ECU from a 2014 GT, along with a 6R80 transmission with upgraded Exedy clutches and a Circle D converter.
Shrader had plenty of hardships along the way, but he has the car pretty well sorted out now. He even added a Vortech YSi supercharger over the initial S-Trim the car had previously. The GT, nicknamed Brightmare, also features a Zex nitrous system. You could definitely hear the nitrous kick in on the Pro Dyno Dynojet during the competition.
Before leaving for the Battle at the Beach, Shrader’s GT made 924 hp at the wheels, and his guess was that it would make 920 at the competition. Unfortunately the Pro Dyno Dynojet appeared a tad stingy in Shrader’s case when the car made 899 hp at the wheels.
2004 Mustang Cobra
A Competition Orange Cobra is definitely on every Mustang enthusiast’s wish list. Mitch Hobson’s example features a Teksid block with a Cobra crank, Oliver rods, Diamond pistons and custom cams. The engine was built by Hobson’s shop, Quarter Mile Mustang, in Braselton, Georgia. With a 4.0L supercharger up top, his Cobra needs all the E85 the ID1300 injectors can supply.
For exhaust, Hobson employed Kooks long-tube headers with an off-road X-pipe and a Bassani after-cat exhaust, while a built T56 transfers power back to a built IRS featuring Full Tilt Boogie bushings and Driveshaft Shop Pro-Level axles.
Hobson says the car has made north of 1,050 on the old slipping clutch. After Mustang Week they tore the engine down to discover a bent connecting rod, which attributes to the car making “only” 892 hp at the Battle at the Beach.
2013 Mustang GT
Eric Rockwell’s Paxton Novi supercharged 2013 GT made easy work of getting up on Pro Dyno’s Dynojet thanks to an Airlift airbag suspension. Once in place, the GT made a touch under 800 hp at the wheels. Rockwell summoned Ed Thomas Racing to perform the necessary machine work and build the short-block before taking it from there. Ed Thomas Racing used the stock crank with Manley forged connecting rods and pistons, and MMR oil pump gears. Up top, the heads and cams are stock Coyote, but what’s not stock is the GT’s Paxton Novi 2200 supercharger, which normally puts out 17 pounds of boost.
With the stock MT82 six-speed transmission in the tunnel with a McLeod clutch, Rockwell’s GT runs both pump gas and E85 in the car, but for the Battle at the Beach the ID1000s were sipping on corn. Revolution Automotive in Maryland handles the tune on the GT. Rockwell actually drove the car to Mustang Week and back to New Jersey on pump gas, and switched to E85 for the competition.
For all the hard work, Rockwell’s GT made 798 hp on Pro Dyno’s Dynojet, which was oh so close to 800.
2012 Shelby GT500
If you have a pre-2013 Shelby GT500 and are looking for 700 hp at the wheels, Justin McCarthy’s 2012 Shelby comes close to providing a fool-proof recipe. His Shelby features a TVS blower with a 2.4-inch upper pulley, an Innovators West 10 percent lower, a Cobra Jet mono-blade throttle-body, a JLT Performance cold air intake, 72-lb/hr injectors, and a Pro Dyno custom tune. For exhaust, the Shelby uses an MBRP catted H-pipe and Black Series after-cat.
In ideal conditions, McCarthy’s Shelby is good for 700 hp at the wheels. Mustang Week weather isn’t usually ideal conditions. Accordingly, his Shelby made about what we thought, which was 662 rwhp. That is exactly the number the 2013-2014 Shelbys were rated at from the factory.
2008 Shelby GT500
If there is a dyno competition, our Battle at the Beach tells us a few Shelby GT500s will be more than eligible to participate. Right out of the box they are the most powerful of the breed. Jamie Messer’s 2008 GT500 is the oldest Shelby for our 2016 competition, but even so, it too showed why these cars are so desired.
Messer’s 5.4-powered Shelby benefits from a 2014 GT500 TVS supercharger, a JLT Performance intake, a 2.4-inch pulley, and a VMP tune. His guess was the Shelby would make 650 rwhp, but the final number came in at 609 on pump gas.
1992 Mustang LX Convertible
Chris Smith’s 1992 Fox convertible was the oldest Mustang in the competition, but with an updated Terminator swap with a Kenne Bell supercharger. Smith has done extensive work to get the ’vert to where it is today. He actually rescued the car from a junkyard, where it was about to be crushed. He swapped everything over from a Cobra donor car and added a Kenne Bell 2.8 supercharger during the conversion. He also added the corresponding T56 six-speed transmission, but not before upgrading it with a 26-spline input shaft.
On the Kenne Bell, Smith employs a 3 1/2-inch upper with a 4-pound lower to arrive at 18 pounds of boost. On pump gas at the Battle at the Beach, his ’vert made 515 rwhp.
2002 Saleen S281 SC
The other Two-Valve in the Battle at the Beach was Caleb Younts’ 2002 Saleen S281 SC. He relishes being the underdog, and his Saleen certainly was that for the competition.
Younts purchased the Saleen in January 2015 as he was about to graduate pharmacy school. During that time he has been able to modify the car for more power as his budget allows. The Saleen SC stock features a Series II supercharger, but Younts added a MoSaleen idler pulley, a C&L 95mm mass air meter, an Accufab 75mm throttle-body, and a 21st Century Performance heat exchanger. For his hard work, the spotless Saleen made 296 rwhp.