Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
February 5, 2008
Contributers: Tom Wilson, K.J. Jones Photos By: Tom Wilson, K.J. Jones

Among Holley's [(270) 781-9741; www.holley.com] expansive offerings, its NOS brand piqued our attention with its new Launcher, which combines a number of nitrous-control features in a high-tech package. The Launcher allows actuating four stages of nitrous with tuning choices available through a handheld touch screen controller or laptop software. The controller allows for on-the-fly tuning changes and datalogging to an SD card, which can be transferred to a computer for review. It can also interface with other NOS products via an NOS bus two-wire network interface.

Talk about technical knockouts. Hurst's [(818) 483-1366; www.hurst-shifters.com] newest version of its popular Competition Plus shifter series is designed specifically for '05-'08 'Stangs sporting Tremec TKO transmissions (PN 3915074; $397.33). The billet-aluminum and steel shifter's 85/8-inch setback provides a stock look and feel in an S197's console. Its positive short throws are just what the doctor ordered for confident powershifts in the heat of light-to-light battle with Brand X enemies.

If you're looking for cool custom touches for your next project, Illinois Tool Works [(847) 657-4334; www.itwhalcyon.com] showed off these touch-sensitive Active Metal switches with no moving parts. Besides being high-tech, they just look cool. ITW says the switches are unaffected by dirt, moisture, heat, or impact, so they should be rugged enough for street and race 'Stangs. The company also offers a capless Bling Ring fuel filler opened with one of its switches.

Our old friends JBA [(800) 830-3377; www.jbaheaders.com] scored when it landed as OE on Shelby's Super Snake. The company also has upgrades to 800 hp with 13/4-inch long tube headers, MidXPipe, an XCalibrator tune, and no boost increase.

All new at the JME Enterprises [(619) 669-9904; www.jmeenterprises.com] booth was this short-long arm replacement front suspension for '64-'08 Mustangs (later 2008 availability for S197s). Built from slabs of interlocking CNC'd aluminum, the suspension is sold for $9,000 and includes everything--K-member, arms, bushings, bearings, spindle, Koni shocks, and so on--except for the required Fox steering rack. A variation uses rocker arms so the shocks can be mounted fore-and-aft on the framerails "because it minimizes frontend weight and looks neat." JME says to expect a torque arm and Watt's link rear suspension this coming March. JME was also showing brushed billet-aluminum bezel instrument cluster panels for Fox Mustangs that seemed just right for race, track, and minimalist street car projects.

A quick-adjust, bolt-on caster/camber system for '05-to-present Mustangs (PN 182516J; $370/pr) was the highlight offering from Australia's K-Mac (www.k-mac.com) at the SEMA show. K-Mac's trick, multipositional plates replace the upper strut mount on S197s and allow enthusiasts to quickly switch between street and race alignment settings by simply loosening four bolts. Also worth mentioning are the company's cool ratchet-adjust rear lower control arms for '88-'97 Mustangs, which facilitate quick and easy ride-height and weight-bias adjustments for the street and the track.

Another OBD II-capable datalogger is the M.1 Performance Computer from Magden Technologies [(949) 599-0301; www.magden.us]. This system can read data from a factory or aftermarket ECU and add up to 11 analog and four digital imputs and download all of it to a personal computer over USB. You can view the data in-car with Magden's touch-screen or another compatible video screen. Besides all the performance logging, the M.1's display graphics can even be customized to match a car's interior.

Formula 1 hits the streets with this cool race car-style electronic paddle shifter from MasterShift [(888) 658-2727; www.mastershift.com]. It retrofits to any 'Stang's automatic transmission (trans mods aren't required) and stock or aftermarket steering wheel. It allows fast-paced enthusiasts to up- and downshift their way through spirited jaunts with their hands firmly stuck to the wheel.