May 1, 2001

Step By Step

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P66037_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Front_Passenger_SideP66044_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Engine
The big power—an estimated 1,400-plus horsepower—comes from the massive induction system. The intake is a truck lower with heavy work performed by Ron Robart at Fox Lake. It flows 345 cfm per runner, and Bob had it HPC-coated for longevity. The Vortech aftercooler upper has been ported by Fox Lake to match the lower and to make room for the 90mm Accufab throttle body. The ’cooler is a heat exchanger that has ice water running through it. The XX-Trim Vortech Mondo is spun by BDS 50mm pulleys measuring only 72-tooth on the crank and 32-tooth on the blower for a modest 22 psi. The discharge tubing is 3.5 inches and was custom built by Bob. Another trick piece is the inlet tubing that feeds the blower. It was created by John’s Racecraft on an English wheel from two pieces of flat steel. They are also respon-sible for the clean hood dissection, which clears the tubing.
P66045_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Driver_SideP66046_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Hood_EngineP66047_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Front_Passenger_SideP66048_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Interior
Bob has installed a complete array of Ford Racing gauges inside along with a valuable Edelbrock Quik Data datalogger. It records every engine function throughout a pass, including a two-dimensional G-meter to inform the chassis man if the car is moving laterally down the track. Taking all the downtrack abuse is a JW Ultraglide that has “every option they make” according to Bob. It features a 1.76 First gear, a Vasco input shaft, and an 8-inch J&W 6,200-rpm converter.
P66049_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Rear_Wheel
Mimicking a ’98 GT, the body is an exact-reproduction VFN fiberglass Pro Stock Mustang body. Of course, the first thing to hit you about this machine is the incredible paint job. Within a three-week time period, Randy Beaudoin at Drag Graphix (N. Brookfield, Massachusetts) designed and then applied the eye-catching hues. “I dropped off the car, telling Randy I wanted something that’s never been done before,” Bob says. “I wanted all four sides to be different while incorporating the American flag, the Mustang running-horse logo, and the Ford blue oval.” Bob also took the time to fit real Ford headlights and taillights into the body instead of just putting stickers on the body. All we can say is “Bravo” for one of the more spectacular cars in recent memory!
P66050_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Rear_Spoiler
There are ballast bars in the car if the need to go heavy hits. Overall, the Mustang measures out at a 102-inch wheelbase including the 17-inch Jerry Bickle wing. Straight- forward and functional, the Mustang weighs in at 2,300 pounds with Bob in the captain’s seat. Short times of 1.07 seconds set this car apart from anyone else’s out there.
P66051_image_largeP66056_large 1998_Ford_Mustang_GT_Pro_Stock Front_Passenger_Side_Burnout

Simply stated, Bob Pucel's goal is to put a Vortech-supercharged, 8.2-inch- deck, 5.0 Mustang into the six-second zone.

That's right. A feat that a few years ago would have seemed as ludicrous as colonizing Mars, is now within reach. It's just a matter of time before someone is the first six-second Mustang pilot. Running a serious campaign to be that person is Mondo Bob Pucel. And, to do that, Mondo Bob has pulled out all the stops in creating this wild Pro Stock-style '98 GT.

A little background for those of you just tuning in is in order. Bob had run a 7.49 e.t. at more than 185 mph in a tube-chassis T-bird two years ago. However, a freak accident sent that car to an early grave and Bob back to the chassis shop looking for more performance, all the while keeping the whole package as safe as possible when a 200-mph timeslip is the goal.

Starting over for Bob meant a trip to John's Racecraft (Brockton, Massachusetts), where Pro Stock-level cars are nothing new. The only parts that remain from the T-bird are the side rails that run the bottom of the chassis, the front four-link brackets, and the wheelie bars. Everything else in this 25.1C-certified car is newly fabricated. The tube-chassis frontend holds Lamb struts, brakes, and rotors, as well as a Wilwood rack-and-pinion. Out back, a 9-inch fabricated housing holds 44-spline Mark Williams axles and spool with 4.10 gearing and JFZ brakes. The rearend is suspended by a Pro Stock four-link suspension featuring Koni double-adjustable shocks and a Jerry Bickle antiroll bar. Rims are Monocoque in the rear with 33x17-inch Goodyear slicks, and Bogart Drag Lites in the front wrapped up in Goodyear front runners.

A solid chassis is a given, but if you want to go into the sixes with a 5.0, it had better be one hell of a 5.0, right?

It is. Assembled by Mondo Bob himself, this 356-incher is a beauty. Machined by ABT Machine (Holliston, Massachusetts), it features an 0.080-inch-over R302 block. The big bore came after sonic-checking a number of blocks and then picking only the thickest of the lot. The advantage, other than some cubes, is to unshroud the cylinder heads' combustion chambers as much as possible.

The engine's LA Enterprises crank has a 3.400-inch stroke working with 5.4-inch Oliver Ultimate billet steel rods and Ross race pistons with a static compression ratio of 8.6:1. Bob gives high praise to Dale Metlika of Pro Power for helping to pick these parts, especially the custom pistons--which have lateral gas ports, 1.5mm first and second ring lands, 3mm oiler rings, and 927-tool-steel wrist pins. Other parts in the bottom end include a Moroso 10-quart oil pan, wet-sump oiling system, and a Stef's evac system.

Atop the 356ci 5.0 are a pair of Fox Lake Trick Flow Street Heat masterpieces. Fox Lake's Ron Robart calls them a Stage IV, and when he's done with them they end up flowing 335 cfm on the intake and 260 cfm on the exhaust at 0.750-inch lift--a number clearly reached by Bob's cam. The heads feature 2.08-inch intake and 1.625-inch exhaust, titanium valves riding on K1100 K-motion springs. Just to give you an idea of how trick these heads are, the exhaust ports on these little gems are actually past the stock Trick Flow bolt holes thanks to lots of welding material and epoxy. The block has been O-ringed, the heads have been receiver grooved, and the head gaskets are SCE copper.

Making the best of the high-flow Street Heats is a cam chosen by Terry Williams at Cam Motion. Fortunately, Bob was generous enough to share the cam dimensions with 5.0&SF readers. It specs out like this: 0.767-inch intake lift with 264 degrees of duration at 0.050, with 0.716-inch exhaust lift with 275 degrees of duration at 0.050 on a 114 centerline. This wild cam works with a rather unique rocker-ratio arrangement--1.75 intake and 1.65 exhaust. The rockers are shaft-mounted T&Ds, and rounding out the valvetrain are Comp Cams lifters and Jesel pushrods. The whole package is designed for a 9,000-plus-rpm operational range.

Feeding this beast is no small chore, so the fuel system begins with a Jaz 3-gallon fuel cell and ends at 160 lb/hr injectors stuffed in the fuel rails. In between there are twin Weldon 2025 fuel pumps, a custom Turbo People modified Weldon fuel regulator (to handle more flow), and -12 pickup lines to -10 feed fuel lines. Other goodies in the motor include ARP fasteners throughout, an MSD 7AL ignition, an MSD crank trigger, and an MSD billet distributor. Bob built his own step headers. They begin at 17/8-inch primary tubing, go to 2-inch, 2-7/8-inch, and end in 4-inch collectors. There are no mufflers on the car.

If you're wondering what class this thing was built for, it's designed for NHRA's Top Sportsman as well as match-race action at Ford-only events. If things stay the way they have, though, you are seeing what Pro 5.0 cars will look like by the end of 2001. Bob is quick to point out that his Mustang is too light to meet the 2,700-pound minimum for NMRA supercharged Pro 5.0 cars, but we're sure the thought of adding some weight and going Pro 5.0 hunting has crossed his mind.

Regardless, the performance of this car has been extremely promising. Remember, this car began testing at the tail end of the season with cold Northeast racing surfaces the norm. Still, Bob has been rewarded with a best quarter-mile charge of 7.60 seconds at more than 180 mph (best eighth-mile times of 4.83/151), but these numbers came with a nonfunctional Igloo, a still-green chassis, and tons of tire shake.

Bob's goal of running six seconds in the quarter-mile seems certain. He's yet to fully test this car's chassis, which means the true power hasn't been realized. And don't forget, there's still the Vortech XXX-Trim and Z-Trim superchargers to add on top of everything. If he doesn't go into the six-second zone this time around, he's getting a doomsday mill ready just in case. It features an 8.7-inch-deck block (FRPP S302), Brodix Neal heads, a sheetmetal intake, and custom pistons with half an inch more of skirt, which will certainly shore things up in the deepest confines of an engine. Most impressive is that other than the chassis and machine work, Bob is doing all of this work at his daily place of business, C&E Racing in Milford, Massachusetts [(508) 482-5599].

Six seconds in a supercharged small-block Mustang. Who would have ever imagined? Well--Mondo Bob, that's who.

Horse Sense: Tuning is critical, especially on a big-power Mustang such as Bob Pucel's. In Bob's case, the fuel injection is a DFI sequential unit that he gives ultimate credit to Job Spetter at Turbo People for the tune. As Bob says, "Job is the best at his craft. He has given me reliable, big power that doesn't frag parts!" For his part, Job has called this "the loudest 5.0 I've ever heard in my life!"