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Brian Meyer's 1989 Mustang LX
Banging A Jerico In The Ruthless Renegade Ranks
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Ever since its introduction in 1997, Renegade racing has garnered a fair share of the Mustang drag-racing excitement. With its promise of close racing and street-carfriendly rules, it was (and probably still is) one of the more hotly contested classes. In its infancy, you could enter a street-driven car and have a good chance of winning.
That trend has changed, however. These days, if your freak show doesnt run nines, dont even bother to take it out of the garage. Renegade classes were designed for power-adder street cars to bridge the gap between Outlaw and non-power adder classes. In a loose sense of the term (and we mean really loose), maybe you could take Brian Meyers coupe down the road, but what was a class designed for hotted-up street cars has become increasingly out of touch for daily street drivers.
Brian Meyer and partner Rick Anderson have definitely blown past regular street driving. Brian used to run his own NSCA Limited Street car, and Rick has built numerous crazy-fast Mustangs, with his own AOD-equipped running deep into the nines. Brian and Rick havent taken home the top cash as of this writing, but putting their heads (and money) together on this project, they have served notice that the Renegade class is up for a big change in the firing order.
Using the NMRA rule book as a guide, the duo purchased an 89 LX four-cylinder coupe and began to outfit it with Renegade-spec performance components. What differentiates this Renegade racer from others within the class, however, is the use of a Jerico four-speed transmission. Brian found a stick car more fun to drive, Rick says, and the Jerico is more reliable than a C4. Its harder on the chassis and the clutch, but thats the learning curve. You cant break a Jerico. Brian shifts the Jerico using a Long (inline) shifter while utilizing a McLeod clutch to transfer power through a Dennys Driveshaft aluminum unit.
In front of the Jerico, an FRPP R302 block was punched out to 306 ci to get the job done. It was injected with a Scat crank and rods, and JE pistons with the corresponding rings. JDC Engineering assembled the short-block and treated a pair of Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads to a port job. Through much testing Rick learned the Holley SysteMAX II intake is the intake to beat, so he had JDC Engineering port the lower for a little extra flow.
Great heads and a great intake arent so great without the right cam. To ensure the engine is capable of running with the boys from the LaRocca camp, Rick chose one of his own grindsa B4R. The B stands for blower and the R stands for Renegade. In Renegade competition, valve lift is limited to 0.550 inches, and the B4R comes in with plenty of room to spare with a 0.544-inch valve lift. You can get this same cam for your own Renegade project. Other key valvetrain components include stock lifters (as per Renegade rules), 1.6 roller rockers, Erson valvesprings, and 2.02/1.65 valves.
Besides the camshaft limitations, the reason Renegade classes are closely contested are the blower limitsnot so much the blowers themselves, but restrictions that determine the inlet and discharge diameters, as well as crank pulley diameters competitors are allowed to run. To fit within the NMRA Renegade rules, the boys utilize a Vortech YS-Trim with the required eight-rib belt setup with the maximum 8-inch external blower crank pulley. The guys are still toying with blower pulleys to maximize horsepower potential. In this configuration, 18-20 pounds of boost is the norm.
The combination certainly seems to work, as Brian recently ran the into the NMRA EFI Renegade record book with a 9.47 at 145 mph effort at the Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove. Its unlikely this record will last long as the hyper-competitive Renegade class is home to other tough customers, and those folks are taking a hard look at the Jerico. Soon this class will be down to the best one on the stick, and Brians got a head start.
Horse Sense: Rick Anderson tells us the reason he and Brian Meyer chose to enter the Renegade waters was because of the stringent rules. The horsepower limitations of the class translate into a set investment throughout the year, instead of the constant upgrading as in Outlaw and Pro.