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This 2004 Competition Orange Cobra Mustang Was Built to Reach a Whole New Level
Orange Whip: Ford designed the Terminator to be a badass build right out of the box, but some guys just need to take things to a whole new level. Meet one Mustang fanatic who did just that
Through the annals of time, the color orange has been associated with amusement and the unconventional. The hue can also be used as a warning not to come too close, a sign of danger. Orange is not subtle. It stands alone as a beacon. It’s definitely for the extrovert, those who want to make a mark and be seen.
So when Wesley King of Belton, South Carolina, decided to ante up and go all in on building a 2004 Terminator for his own personal style, it’s only fitting that he went with the most vibrant color that Ford laid upon the model’s flanks. Competition Orange just screamed out to young King, and he immediately laid out his hard-earned cash for the project you see here.
We say “project” because the car was already going through a metamorphosis of sorts. The less-than-a-decade-old car had seen some changes put into effect from its last owner, and that was just fine with King—well, basically because he was going to go even further “out there” with his one-off show-stopping build. From the start he knew that car needed more boost, and much more power to push the back meats. So he drew up a plan to build this 2004 into an orange rocket that could compete with today’s high-tech, high-powered offerings.
King grew up in a horsepower-driven family. During King’s formative years his dad raced stock cars on the small tracks in his home state of South Carolina. At an early age he knew that hot cars would always be a part of his life. When he turned 16 he took his first ride in a 2003 Cobra Mustang, and he never looked back. By the time he was a senior in high school, he had his own 2003 Mach 1. Not a bad way to start off the pony car hobby, to say the least.
Since then King has owned a small stable of cool Mustangs, including a 2004 Cobra in Redfire (which he traded for this Terminator) and a new 2015 Competition Orange GT that he still owns. He’s never had the need to drag race any of his cars, but he still has had the wherewithal to build them up with plenty of horsepower, just in case the need for speed arises.
Once King got his paws on the Terminator, he put his plan into effect. His goal was to push the limits of the stock block and see what dyno numbers he could pull off. There would also be suspension and aesthetic modifications to suit his taste and needs, because what’s a fast car without the killer looks and handling to match? He was determined to make this ride into the hottest Terminator on the East Coast—or any coast, for that matter.
King dug in to the engine bay and extracted the already modified powerplant. The much heralded L&M Engines of Hatboro, Pennsylvania, did all the engine work; the stock block, crank, and rods were all salvaged and used in the new build. From there Diamond Custom 10:1 pistons modified by L&M were used to fill the bores, and all ARP hardware was used in the build. A pair of FR500 cams degreed with a Cloye’s primary adjustable gearset get the valves jumping in synch.
A JLT NextGen2 cold air intake and SCT BA3000 MAF were added into this high-power recipe. When it came time to make everything look the part of a high-tech build, King had the valve covers powdercoated Competition Orange, while the timing cover, power steering reservoir, brackets, lower pulley cage, and pulley bridge were all done up in satin black.
When King received the car, the engine was still topped with the original Eaton supercharger, which had been heavily ported, along with a matching ported inlet. He had different plans altogether for his new ride. This time he added a 2.9L supercharger on his Terminator, using a 3.2 upper pulley. Metco double bearing idlers and a stock lower pulley were added to this radical build. A True Forged intercooler reservoir was used along with an AFCO pro heat exchanger; this complete setup makes 25 psi of boost to help pump up some extra power.
To feed the hungry engine, a full return style fuel set up was built. A Fore Innovations fuel hat with twin Walbro 405 pumps is the start of an intricate fuel supply system. Fore fuel rails, an FC2 pump controller and regulator, and an Aeroquip fuel line and ID850 injectors help feed this thirsty engine the high-octane E85 blend it craves. Spent gases are removed by a setup consisting of ARH 1 3/4 long tubes and 3-inch off-road pipe with a 2 1/2-inch Borla cat-back Stinger exhaust.
Behind that nasty powerplant is a T-56 six-speed transmission, built with a McLeod RXT clutch and a Fidanza aluminum flywheel. A MGW blue handle short-throw shifter gets it through the gears. A fully built IRS handles the suspension duties. It has an FTBR kit, a Ford Racing differential cover, and stock 3.55 gears. Stock springs sit out back, and they have had 3/4 inch of coil cut out to get the car to sit nice and low.
Full-length Maximum Motorsports subframe connectors keep this ride from twisting and add that extra dose of rigidity. A full Maximum Motorsports sits up front, consisting of K-member and arms, front coilovers, an oil filter relocation kit, and a bumpsteer kit. Other MM pieces include chrome caster/camber plates and aluminum rack bushings. Tokico D-Spec adjustable shocks and struts give the ride the firm feel King was after.
King was critical of the aesthetics of his ride as well. This Terminator rides on a set of CCW Classics, 18x9 up front and 18x11 in the rear, shod in Nitto 555s and Mickey Thompson 305/35-18s, respectively. Sequential taillights were added for that vintage look, HID fog- and headlights (6,000 Kelvin) help this Mustang see with 20/20 vision no matter the conditions. Last but not least, the battery was relocated out back, and the tasteful wire tuck was done by Paul Connor at Pro Dyno.
The cockpit of this beast also has some upgrades. Speedhut Revolution gauges are found on both the A-pillar and the steering column. A Speed of Sound gauge pod holds the fuel and oil pressure gauges. To hear the music over the engine drone, a Memphis Belle 1300 five-channel amp pushing two JL 10-inch subs, with door speakers and tweeters, was installed. A Pioneer AVIC D3 head unit controls the decibel-driven chaos. Out back, a trunk lid Terminator mat makes the boot look nice.
This Terminator has gone through some changes and is now more formidable than ever. King would like to thank Paul Connor, Dan DeSio, and the great guys and crew at Pro Dyno for their expertise and support. Without the help of this bunch, his project would have taken a tougher and much longer road to fruition.
It goes without saying that King has really pushed the limits with this beautiful ride. Now he’s enjoying the fruit of his labor. So if you happen to idle up to this particular Mustang at a stoplight, take the orange color as a warning. This ride is built to the hilt and means business. This Stang definitely doesn’t play around for your amusement, my friend.