5.0 Mustang & Super FordsEvents
2003 Cobra Powered Ford Focus - Wind Speed
We Don Our Windbreakers And Head For Indy To Check Out The Go-Fast Goodies
Each year in early December, we leave behind the comfortable confines of sunny Florida to check out the latest speed goodies from the automotive aftermarket at the Performance Racing Industry show in Indianapolis, Indiana. For 2003, it was again beautiful when we walked out on the tarmac to board the Buddy Holly express, only to be greeted by frigid temps once we hit the ground in Indy. This is the one time of year the 5.0&SF staff gets to dig deep into their closets for those warm winter coats that would otherwise never see the light of day. Thankfully, we stayed at the Canterbury hotel, which is linked to the Indianapolis Convention Center and RCA Dome (home of the Indianapolis Colts) via indoor halls where PRI is held. While we weren't terribly inconvenienced by the weather, it was still cold outside. Some things never change.
But a few things were different for 2003. For one, usually the entire 5.0&SF staff attends PRI, but Tech Editor Houlahan pulled up lame with a kidney stone just days before we were supposed to leave, while Editor Turner had the enviable job of driving the '05 Mustang in Detroit the Wednesday (our usual fly-in day) and Thursday of the show. As such, Houlahan was put on the injured list for the event, and Turner arrived Thursday night so he could brush up on his patented trade-show stare for Friday before leaving Saturday. This left Associate Editor Johnson carrying the load at PRI, which we all know has to trouble those in authority.
Covering the ever-growing PRI show is a daunting task for one person, but with writing help from Houlahan (now returned from the injured list), we think we circled the performance wagon. Here's what we found for your next Mustang buildup.
Accurate Technologies (ATI)
Builders of a wicked '03 Cobra-powered Focus, the guys at Accurate Technologies [(248) 848-9200; www.accuratetechnologies.com], hopped out from behind the wheel long enough to have two new products at PRI. First up is the IGTM-2000 Ignition Timing Meter, which allows you to see where your timing is throughout the rpm range. The meter also allows for data acquisition and is compatible with most engine ignition systems. The second product is ATI's SmartTach, a universal speed measurement tool. SmartTach measures engine rpm, vehicle speed, chassis dyno roll speed, frequency, period, pulse width, and duty cycle. The SmartTach can be programmed by the user as to the type of measurement, the engineering units to display, and individual sensor pulse width.
Quickly making its presence known outside that of drag racing braking systems, Aerospace Components [(727) 347-9915; www.aerospacecomponents.com] had everything but the kitchen sink at PRI. Along with the company's braking systems, there was also its full line of fuel pumps, billet nitrous bottle brackets, billet battery trays, the Ultra Pro Powerglide shifter, water pumps, AN wrenches, and much more. Oh, yeah-who could forget Alan Dudley's Fun Ford Outlaw car in attendance as well. Sportin' a big turbo and bright red paint, Alan's car kept the Aerospace booth busy during the entire show.
American Racing [(866) 273-7223; www.americanracing.com] needs no introduction to Mustang fans. Now the company offers its new Trakstar line of drag racing wheels. Available in sizes 15x4 to 15x16, they're perfect for Mustang applications. As is the case with all American Racing designs, these wheels look awesome and the finish is top quality. You can thank American Racing's involvement and sponsorship in NHRA drag racing for this new line of wheels.
Anderson Ford Motorsport
Although there were no dancing girls and famous spokespeople around the booth at Anderson Ford Motorsport [(888) 715-6487; www.andersonfordmotorsport.com], it was still a cause for celebration when we happened by and saw the much awaited EEC V PMS (Programmable Management System) on display. This is a completely new addition to the line of PMS products now being offered by Rick Anderson and his group of horsepower mongers at AFM. The new PMS features a handheld controller with a large interface that's easy to use. Now all the various load screens and information screens can be seen at once. The new PMS also features many improvements under its pretty aluminum skin, including an adjustable standalone setting (older models were fixed at 3,500 rpm), electric fan controls, speedometer calibration, and much more. The EEC V PMS is out now for coil-on-plug applications and will be available soon for older EEC V applications with dual coil packs.
Still excited about its ECTED (pronounced "ek-ted") limited-slip differential it had at the '02 PRI show, Auburn Gear [(260) 925-3200; www.auburngear .com] now has it available for 8.8 rearends in all ratios and in 28- and 31-spline applications. For you Cobra owners, Auburn has it available for IRS applications as well. ECTED stands for "electronically controlled traction enhancing differential," which when activated, functions as a locker or spool, but when not activated, it functions as a limited-slip differential. The ECTED should be right at home in street/strip Mustangs.
C.A.T. Power Engine Parts
It amazes us how, even in this day and age of 4.6 modular performance, the 5.0 small-block is still popular enough to have new parts built for it. New intakes, blocks, crankshafts, and more pop up each year at SEMA and PRI. C.A.T Power Engine Parts [(866) 228-7374; www.catpep.com] has introduced a line of valvetrain components for the venerable 5.0. The company offers extruded aluminum roller rockers in 1.6:1 and 1.7:1 ratios, and shaft-mount aluminum rocker systems in 1.5:1 and 1.6:1 ratios. There's also a 1.5:1 intake and 1.7:1 exhaust combination available. C.A.T.'s line of stainless steel rocker arms includes Ford 1.6:1 ratios in both 31/48-inch and 71/416-inch stud designs. Finally, there's C.A.T.'s steel roller tip models 1.6:1 and 1.7:1 ratios.
Yes, it's a funny name, and we have yet to see tire warmers at the dragstrip, but Chicken Hawk Racing Tire Warmers [(866) HOT TIRE; www.chickenhawk-racing.com] representatives are interested in getting into the market. Hugely popular on the motorcycle and road-racing circuits, these warmers lengthen tire life by maintaining heat in the tires. This means the tires don't have to be warmed up on the track, which saves scrubbing them off to get them warm. Translate this technology to drag racing and one can see how it would be beneficial in a drag application as well. If your drag tires are already warm, you won't have to do a huge burnout, making your drag tires last much longer. And, the controlled temperature setting will make your car run more consistently.
Creative Performance Racing
We've used Creative Performance Racing's [(248) 398-2397; www.cpr-racing.com] high-flow injectors in some of our project cars with great results. Now CPR is adding to its line of injectors with these high-quality fuel rails for 4.6 modular applications, with a 51/48-inch inside diameter for great flow and per-formance capabilities reaching more than 4,000 hp. CPR says these rails will be the last set you ever buy for your modular race car. Of course, CPR offers fuel pumps, inline filters, regulators, and its trick injector harness adapters to fuel the baddest mod motor you can build.
Dart's [(248) 362-1188; www.dartheads.com] small-block Ford blocks (now available in cast-iron and aluminum) have made successful inroads into the Ford market. Now the company hopes the same will be true for its new line of Pro 1 CNC aluminum small-block cylinder heads. The heads are named according to their intake port size, with 170, 195, 210, and 225cc designs available. Each design features a 1.60 exhaust valve size, while intake valve sizes vary from a 1.94 with the 170cc head to a 2.08 intake valve on the 225cc head. The heads feature standard valve angles with 0.135-inch raised exhaust runners. While the 170cc head is designed for mild street performance, the performance capabilities go up from there to the 225cc head's serious performance with 337- to 400-plus cube engines.
The folks at Endura-Tech [(847) 843-7277; www.endura-tech.com] are primarily into the compact-car scene and build such products as suspension, brakes, and engine parts. Their foray into the world of the Blue Oval begins with three new part numbers in their valve-spring division for the 4.6 modular. Two are beehive designs (similar to the OE springs) and one is not. The two beehive designs feature 0.55-inch lift and differing opening and closing pressures. All of Endura-Tech's valvesprings are made from the finest chrome silicon wire and are shot-peened, chamfered, and heat treated to be the strongest, most durable springs available.
The big news on the Evans Cooling [(888) 990-COOL; www.evanscooling .com] front is its new '03 Cobra coolant pump (a fancy name for water pump) and new NPG-R waterless engine coolant. NPG-R is formulated for high-performance vehicles. With a boiling point of 400 degrees Fahrenheit at 7 psi, it will never boil over because it immediately condenses back to a liquid within the cylinder head coolant jacket, maintaining a liquid contact on all metal surfaces at all times. For you Mustang people up north, Evans NPG-R will not freeze.
Exedy Racing Clutches
When it comes to putting a lot of horsepower to the ground, manual-transmission owners need a quality clutch to get the engine's power to the rear tires. Exedy Racing Clutch [(800) 346-6091; www.daikin-clutch.com] has two answers for you-its Hyper Single clutch for 4.6 modular Mustangs and Zetec Foci, or the Twin Plate clutch for 4.6 Mustangs. These clutches feature a forged-aluminum clutch cover, a steel flywheel, and a six-puck cerametallic clutch disc with a sprung hub. Exedy clutches are for serious racing use, and limited street use is suggested due to clutch chatter and harsh engagement characteristics. Although not for everyone, they certainly work for those who need them.
Granatelli Motor Sports
J.R. Granatelli continues to use his past racing experiences and contacts to his advantage by maintaining a strong presence in the Mustang aftermarket segment. Granatelli Motor Sports [(818) 996-2753; www.granatellimotorsports .com] now offers a new line of mass air meters featuring brand-new sensors calibrated by Hitachi. Available in many popular sizes, these units might just shake up the mass air market. Along with its wide range of suspension components, Granatelli is marketing Diablo-Sport's Predator flash tuner as well.
Known for its presence in the Mustang aftermarket, J.W. Performance Transmissions [(321) 632-6205; www.auto2000.com/jw] came to PRI with its SFI-certified, 4.6 bellhousing to combine the modular engine with a C4, a Powerglide, and even a Turbo 400. Also on display was a new 4.6 flywheel for both Two- and Four-Valve modular engines, C4 and C6 servo kits, a C4 valvebody and transbrake, and a new oil pickup to eliminate oil-downs at the track.
Jesel [(732) 901-1800; www.jesel .com] had its new 4.6 modular cam followers on display at the show. The Jesel follower is a true, double-roller design with a needle-bearing roller for the cam follower and the valve tip (no more valve-to-follower tip wear as with the OE design). The shot-peened aluminum body is stronger for improved reliability compared to the stock follower, and the Jesel follower allows for higher lift cams and spring pressures the stock followers just can't handle. Available for Two- and Four-Valve applications by the time you read this.
Livernois Motorsports [(313) 561-5500; www.livernoismotorsports.com], the home of Outlaw racer Dan Millen, always has hard-core racing in mind when it comes to PRI. Livernois had on display a 650hp, 324ci modular engine built for the NMRA Hot Street class, along with its 4.6 stud girdle, a 4.6 external oil pump adapter, and 4.6 adapter plates that allow you to bolt a '99-up PI intake on '96-'98 Two-Valve heads. Another new Livernois product at the show was a four-barrel intake conversion for Navigator Four-Valve heads.
Well known for its high-performance mechanical and electric water pumps, Meziere [(760) 746-3273; www.meziere .com] has released a slew of new products for 2004. One that really caught our eye was the company's Ring Lock flexplate for small-block Fords. This laser-cut flexplate is designed with a ring gear that is positioned concentrically for better starter engagement and more precise engine balance. The flexplate comes in 157-tooth size and internal engine balance. Also available is a 164-tooth big-block version.
A new name to us at 5.0&SF, ModCamPonents [(941) 729-2608] wowed us with its adjustable timing gears for both Two- and Four-Valve modulars, along with its solid adjustable lifters for modular Three-Valve heads. By the time you read this you'll likely know the significance of this product because you should be hearing about the '05 Mustang's Three-Valve head design.
Always on its game when it comes to transmission technology, Performance Automatic's [(800) 767-8174; www.performanceautomatic.com] new AODE controller is designed to be swapped into Mustangs that did not come with one from the factory. The controller is programmable, and it allows the user to manipulate shift points and shift pressure to maximize the performance of the AODE.
Probe Industries [(310) 784-2977; www.probeindustries.com] has new Two- and Four-Valve pistons for 4.6, 5.0, and 5.1 modular applications. Forged from 2618 high-strength alloy, the pistons are available in flat-top and dished designs in a variety of bore sizes and weights. Accordingly, Probe had its 302- and 351-based pistons at PRI as well.
Mustang racers have been using QA1 [(800) 721-7761; www.qa1.net] products with great success. QA1 offers a complete front suspension kit in its Pro-Active System, including a tubular K-member, tubular control arms, coil-over struts, caster/camber plates, and more. Of course, QA1 also has a full line of shocks and struts to go with the Pro-Active system, with various parts of the system available separately.
No stranger to the PRI show, RAM Clutches [(803) 788-6034; www.ramclutches.com] always has something new for us to check out. This time around was no different with RAM debuting a new clutch fork for 5.0 Mustangs utilizing a scattershield or aftermarket bellhousing. The new clutch fork corrects the angle of the clutch cable for a smooth release and allows for clearance with long-style clutches. RAM also showcased its new deluxe clutch cable kit complete with firewall adjuster, firewall support, quick-release quadrant, and clutch cable.
There was some wild and innovative stuff for the modular Mustang owner and racer on display at the Reichard Racing [(410) 610-5567; www.reichard- racing.com] booth. Jim Reichard's CNC machines worked overtime to bring some sweet billet bits to display at PRI. Among them were intake adapters for the 5.4 swap crowd. Now you can simply bolt on your stock Mustang (or Bullitt, and so on) intake to your 5.4 and be that much closer to twisting the key! Reichard's other new products include a 4.6 alternator delete kit for racers, an A/C delete/manual belt tensioner kit for 4.6s, and 4.6 billet high-volume oil-pump gears.
One of the cooler displays we saw at PRI was from Rototest [+48 8 532 55 890; www.rototest.com]. The reason the phone number looks funky is because Rototest is a Swedish company. Roto-test's VPA R model is a portable dyna-mometer available in either two- or four-wheel variations. The VPA R attaches to each drive wheel for a slip-free installation, and aside from measuring horsepower and torque, it can also simulate road resistance caused by aerodynamic drag, rolling resistance, and incline. The VPA R can also perform acceleration simulations using the same parameters along with inertia.
Probably the biggest news for modular racers and car builders alike was the release of the Sean Hyland Motorsport [(519) 421-2291; www.seanhylandmotorsport.com] aluminum 6.0 Motorsport engine block. This all-new casting from SHM incorporates many changes and updates to the production block casting, including a smooth, deep-skirt construction; billet-steel main caps; external oil drainbacks; and a 13mm deck thickness. Built from 356 T-7 alloys, the blocks (there's a 4.6 and a 5.4 offering) can be finish-bored from 3.55 to 3.75 inches and are capable of handling up to 2,500 hp! The blocks should be ready to ship by the time you read this, so call SHM for more info and current block options, or have the company build a killer mod motor for your ride with one of these blocks as the foundation.
Popular on the import tuner market, Team Dynamics [(909) 947-0114; www.rimstock.com] has wheels for Mustang applications as well. One wheel that caught our eye was the Pro Race 2, which is available in five-lug and comes in Ice Silver, white, Racing Flat Black, and bronze. Both the silver and black would look great on an SN-95 or '99-up New Edge car.