Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
May 1, 2001

Step By Step

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P65930_large 1987_Ford_Mustang_GT Front_Driver_SideP65933_image_largeP65931_large 1987_Ford_Mustang_GT InteriorP65932_large 1987_Ford_Mustang_GT Engine
Using a rather small 5.0 stroker of 327 inches, Brian Carpenter relies on the efficiency of his Harry Hruska–built 96mm Precision Turbo (Hebron, Indiana) turbocharger to make an estimated 1,500 hp at 21 psi. The short-block consists of an FRPP block, a Scat billet crank with a 3.250-inch stroke, and 8.8:1 compression Ross pistons with Speed Pro rings. The Trick Flow Street Heat heads have been ported by Bob Langer (Langer Racing Engines) and assembled with 2.05-inch intake and 1.60-inch exhaust valves. The cam is a custom Precision Turbo–grind solid-roller that works with 1.6 roller rockers and Comp Cams valvesprings.
P65934_large 1987_Ford_Mustang_GT Driver_Side
Yes, this is another stock-suspended 5.0 Mustang that runs in the low-eight-second zone on a 10-inch tire. HAL springs and 90/10 struts work up front with a Griggs K-member and A-arms. Out back, AFCO double-adjustable shocks and springs work with ancient Stormin’ Norman upper and lower control arms. Brian found these babies at a George Klass yard sale for cheap money. Through-the-floor subframes work with a 12-point chrome-moly cage to keep Brian safe from harm and the chassis in one piece.
P65935_large 1987_Ford_Mustang_GT Rear_View

Turbocharged NMRA Super Street Outlaw cars certainly ruled the roost in 2000, what with Job Spetter Jr. winning the championship and several other swoosh-mobiles stepping it up. Brian and Amy Carpenter of Forest Lake, Minnesota, fielded one standout team. Brian, a 29-year-old chiropractor, made great strides throughout the 2000 campaign, never winning a race, but taking a few with him before he would bow out in the later rounds. His wife, Amy, is a critical member of the team. "She wrenches on the car with me, she helps me at the track, and she lets me spend my money on the car," Brian says. Sounds like a match made in heaven to us!

The '87 GT Brian currently races is a logical continuation of his past experiences with the 5.0 platform. His first '89 LX ran mid-11s, but bent chassis components forced him to move on to greener pastures. The following '89 LX ran low 10s after several rounds of modifications. As you may have guessed, those 10-second e.t.'s came by way of a turbocharger kit, which followed several supercharger units for a turn under the hood of the Mustang. The current GT was purchased in Tacoma, Washington, from a 'Stanger who certainly knew what was what with straight-line performance. The car had its problems, such as much-needed chassis and suspension upgrades along with a well-worn twin-turbo system, but Brian saw a diamond in the rough with this car. The well-built 327-inch motor with Trick Flow Street Heats stood out, and with enough work Brian knew he could have a winner.

"I completely rebuilt this car," says Brian, who relied heavily on his dad's body shop (Ken Carpenter of Carpenter's Autobody) to help straighten and freshen the exterior package. From there, it was off to the chassis shop for cage work and final suspension additions. "We focused heavily on the fine points on the car--the chassis work, the wiring, and cleaning up the body. I ran it with the Precision Turbo twin-turbo kit for a while, but with the 2000 SSO rules, we switched to Harry Hruska's 96mm single kit." The car debuted in the Wild Street class at the '99 Mobil 1 World Ford Challenge in Joliet, Illinois, still wearing the twin turbochargers. Shakedown runs in the 9.90 range showed the potential was there for a serious player. Qualifying third with a three-run average (after a 30-mile cruise on the street and no cool-down) of 8.92, Brian was in the hunt for sure. However, no one told him about Willie Figueroa in the Unlimited GTS that was running 8.50s when it had to. Willie went on to beat Brian in the semifinals en route to victory, but the country had been served notice that the turbocharged GT from Minnesota was for real.

From there, Brian and Amy set their sights on NMRA's SSO class, where low-eight-second, 10-tired cars battle it out in 32-plus-car fields on a heads-up, pro-tree format. For the Carpenters, it was time to get serious. The aforementioned Precision Turbo single turbo went on a completely rebuilt short-block with the help of Langer Racing Engines. So far, the turbocharged freak has laid down a best of 8.41 seconds at more than 170 mph with a 1.36-second short time--good, but not good enough to dominate this class. During the winter of 2001 look for heavy upgrades coming in the form of a ladder-bar rear suspension featuring a 9-inch Ford rear. Gearing will go from 3.55 to 3.89 for more rpm and boost. Dean Sibik has worked up a killer antiroll bar as well. The motor will receive a clean-up hone with expectation of more than 21 psi coming from the new, rules-mandated 91mm turbocharger. An interesting note is that Brian competed all last year with a hair-dryer that is closer in size to the new class standard that all SSO races mandate in 2001. Will he have an advantage over the recently downsized turbo wonder machines?

Horse Sense: Brian's intake is the first Trick Flow R lower Vortech ever made for an Igloo aftercooler--it set the Carpenters back $6,100 for the whole package, but it flows the air! Accufab's 90mm throttle body, 160-lb/hr injectors with Weldon pump, Speed-Pro sequential fuel-injection system, and an MSD ignition add support.