Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
May 20, 2007
Contributers: K.J. Jones Photos By: K.J. Jones

Horse Sense: Clevite is a sponsor of "Follow a Dream" founder Jay Blake, the only completely blind crew chief in motorsports. He is the crew chief for the foundation's alcohol funny car, driven by Dave Ray. Jay has more than 15 years experience in the auto mechanics field and 20 years in drag racing. Not only does he perform countless mechanical duties for the team, but he's also responsible for the organization's management, operations, and community outreach programs.

What do you get when you attend a PRI show? You get to see the components that make 2,000 hp a reality. You get an up-close look at cutting-edge suspension pieces that make your Mustang out-handle anything on the road. You get to rub elbows with the who's-who of the performance aftermarket industry. You get to leave the frozen tundra of the north and escape to Orlando, Florida.

For us at 5.0&SF, the first two points are the primary reasons why we like to attend. That, and we get out of the office for a few days to test the limits of the magazine's budget. Just as much as readers do, we love to see the new products designed to take our hobby to the next plateau. The products are aimed at making each racing class that much faster, safer, and more exciting. They enable you to make the Mustang in your garage a giant killer.

We can't wait to see the products in action during the '07 racing season. Will your Mustang be wearing any? If you want to go fast, it will be.

OK, so ad sales rep Glen Castle and Associate Editor Johnson are walking down one of the many aisles at PRI, and we pass by Scorpion Performance [(954) 779-3600], manufacturer of high-quality roller rocker systems. Scorpion happens to be holding a raffle right when we go by, and two tickets come our way--but we're working so we take the tickets and keep going. When we pass back by, T-shirts and hats are being thrown to winning ticket holders. Then comes the big-ticket set of roller rockers, and guess who wins. No, not Johnson; he doesn't have that kind of luck. Glen won the set of rockers, but he owns a Toyota Corolla, a Lincoln Navigator, and a Yamaha R1. None of those vehicles have roller rockers in the traditional sense. Guess who got a free set for a 5.0? You got it-Associate Editor Johnson. Thanks, Scorpion.

We didn't know whether to drool over BLE's [(305) 221-1017; www.bleproducts.com] new solid-lifter conversion setup for Shelby GT 500s or the spicy Latin models at the booth. We couldn't nail down details about the babes, but we did learn that the conversion package includes everything needed to replace the OEM hydraulic lifters in your Shelby's blown 5.4. The benefit of a solid-lifter valvetrain is that solids won't collapse like their hydraulic siblings will when revs are taken way past redline. The solid lifters also eliminate the dreaded lifter tick since BLE sets each one to spec lash. They don't require any attention unless you decide to make an adjustment.

We got our first look at this idea in the pits at NMRA events. Hot Street World Champion Charlie Booze is a huge fan of rapid, between-rounds engine cooling using a coolant-circulation system such as this Drag Chiller that was on display at C&R Racing [(317) 293-4100; www.crracing.com]. Just plug this unit into a race 'Stang's waterway, and it will efficiently cool down a hot engine in record time using a combination of ice and fresh water that's stored in its tank. The chiller features a three-position diverter valve (radiator only, radiator/tank, and tank only) to set cooling methods that will prevent engine or radiator thermo shock.