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Clinton Phalin’s Wild 3V-Powered 2008 Mustang Makes Nearly 1,000 RWHP With a Set of Twins
What does it say about someone if he builds an engine capable of making way better than 2,000 hp for his street car? Is he paranoid? A little crazy? Or maybe he would rather err on the side of caution.
“The engine was built to handle monster rear-wheel horsepower, so it has some of the best parts money can buy,” Clinton Phalin says with a clear eye. “Hopefully I get it right the first time around if I can. Ha!”
Then again, there’s nothing like going to a gunfight with heat-seeking missile in your back pocket.
For Phalin it’s about a lot more than bragging rights. It is a way of life, a credo to be followed. He says, “In the back of my mind I always knew that the Mustangs of the ’60s were most legendary. When Ford built the full-retro S197, it was what I considered full circle and it represented a shared enthusiasm of Mustang ownership brought together in one car. I fell in love with the car and that legendary concept. At the time, it was the only muscle car being built in the USA.”
So the path to this point is paved with Phalin’s small conquests as well as failures: 1987 and 1990 Fox sedans, a 2001 Lightning, and a 2002 GT.
Phalin drives truck for a living, and one day he was whizzing around out in the sticks. From rural Elkhorn (Wisconsin) Motors, this bone-white 2008 called out, “Come get me!” And he did. It had been more than five years since his last hot rod, so he stopped, took his time, and made a plan.
Although he lives way up north in Wisconsin, he is great friends with some influential, enterprising, and much warmer souls in Florida and Alabama. Discussion began with his friend Dale Metlika at ModMax Racing in Ft. Lauderdale (a subset of ProPower Performance Parts). Talk centered on the three-valve 4.6L engine and the inevitable horsepower tsunami. Metlika would science-out and build the backbreaker short-block. Rather than the stock aluminum cylinder case, he chose the proprietary-iron mix of the FRPP cast-iron Boss block (M-6010-BOSS50). With a renewed bore of 3.700 inches and a stroke of 3.800, he put together an exclusive 327ci parcel composed of a Kellogg forged steel crankshaft, 9.5:1 CP pistons, and Carrillo H-beam connecting rods, all of it a supreme hedge against the ravages of savage boost.
Metlika continued the build with an MMR windage tray and an SVO billet pump beneath the stock oil pan. He slipped in a Comp hydraulic roller (229/228 degrees duration at 0.050; 0.523/0.556 inch lift). The cylinder heads went to his buddy Kris Starnes (Racing) in Hastings, Florida, for porting and other pertinent modifications, including Ferrea Competition Plus 1.378-inch intake valves and 1.550-inch exhausts.
Now the reason for that tough rotating assembly is a Turbo Horsepower Technology twin-hairdryer application, one that jams 992 hp and 939 lb-ft to the Mustang’s back feet. For now, boost has been set at 18 psi. Metlika enhanced the system with a MMR sheetmetal intake manifold, an L&M throttle-body, an HPX mass air meter, three Walbro 450-lb/hr pumps monitored by a MagnaFuel Pro Star regulator, and a 4-inch-thick air-to-air aftercooler.
To ignite the cloud of minute droplets, Metlika used a factory engine controller with HP tuning software, WeaponX pencil-style coils, and NGK spark plugs. The 327 runs with custom-built stanchions for the turbochargers, a 3-inch tract, an X-pipe, and Granatelli mufflers. In addition, Phalin linked the system with exhaust cutouts. Then the show was moved briefly to West Bend Dyno (West Bend, Wisconsin) and its savvy, attentive crew for the proof-at-the-pavement phase.
Metlika lassoed the grunt with a Centerforce DYAD twin-disc system on a billet steel flywheel. G-Force Transmissions built the Tremec 3650 five-speed, strapped an MGW shifter on it, and followed the line with an aluminum prop shaft. The 8.8-inch rearend was fitted with an Auburn limited-slip and 3.55:1 cogs, and the original 31-spline axleshafts were left in place.
Phalin’s intention was going like hell in a straight line, so the chassis modifications reflect that. With the exception of the Eibach coils, the front suspension is factory stock; the rear needs more, though, so UMI control arms, Eibach coils, and a Steeda adjustable Panhard rod are in there. With nearly 1,000 lb-ft of greedy grunt creaking the Mustang’s bones, Metlika did not hesitate to firm the carcass up with a QA1 strut tower brace and tie the whole thing together with Steeda frame connecters.
As for the frictional components, Phalin specified 18x8.5 and 18x10 Metal FX model MFX10 rims and settled them with 255/35 and 285/30 tires. Burning down excess energy is left to the Aerospace Components. The front is squeezed by four-piston pots on a 13-inch rotor; the rear is handled by an 11 3/4-inch-diameter version coerced by four-piston calipers.
For the exterior phase, the Mustang went to Star Craft Conversions in Birmingham, Alabama, to receive Southern Comfort SCX carbon parts—hood, spoiler, and ground effects—and to terrorize the perfect Performance White paint with black widows and Shelby Vapor Silver stripes. Star Craft went to the interior as well, buffing it out with a Cipher harness anchor bar and five-point belts. Star Craft plastered the A-pillar with a three-hole nacelle holding FRPP gauges.
Phalin’s take on the whole thing: “The car handles very well. The suspension and chassis provide a firm grip on the road. The engine is very docile under normal driving conditions. . . but it unleashes insane power if provoked.”
We really like erring on the side of caution—and that heat-seeking missile insane power thing.