Matt Rawlins
June 1, 2000
Contributers: Rob Kinnan, Matt Rawlins Photos By: Rob Kinnan

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P95330_large 1990_Ford_Mustang_LX Front_Driver_SideP95331_large 1990_Ford_Mustang_LX Passenger_SideP95332_large 1990_Ford_Mustang_LX EngineP95333_large 1990_Ford_Mustang_LX InteriorP95334_large 1990_Ford_Mustang_LX Water_GaugeP95335_large 1990_Ford_Mustang_LX Front_View

It didn’t take much coaxing to turn this ’90 LX Mustang into the 10-second terror you see here. By coaxing we mean it didn’t take much to convince owner Larry Geddes to turn this once-stock, 14-second runner into a quarter-mile screamer.

For Larry, who owns his own company and sells racing products Burnout Guard and Dial-In, racing Mustangs has always been a serious passion. You may recognize the Geddex name. You also may be one of the many who uses the Burnout Guard on your Mustang’s quarter-panels, which makes cleaning your car a whole lot easier after a full day of racing. That white shoe-polish–like stuff that you use to write your dial-in is probably Larry’s, too. But enough about Larry’s business; let’s talk about his car.

Although he purchased the LX new in 1990, it wasn’t too long before Larry realized 225 horses just wasn’t going to cut it. His best e.t. with the bone-stock Mustang was a 14.71at 92 mph. That’s nothing to be ashamed of with a stocker, but Larry obviously wanted a lower number. It was then that he turned to Watson-Ruppel Performance in Sarahsville, Ohio, to build him a stroked 347ci bad boy.

Poised for their new mission, the guys at Watson-Ruppel Performance started with a roller block, dropped in a SCAT steel crank, added a set of Wiseco 10.4:1 flat-top pistons, and slid in an Ultradyne flat-tappet cam which had a total lift of .639 inches on the intake and .632 inches on the exhaust at .500. Talk about your monster-sized cams; these guys really wanted to stress the World Castings cast-iron heads as much as possible.

To make sure these heads would keep up with the rest of the motor, Watson-Ruppel Performance did a complete flow-bench prep job on them. They popped in a set of stainless steel valves (measuring 2.02/intake and 1.60/exhaust), double valvesprings, and a set of Ford Racing Performance Parts 1.72 roller rocker arms. These parts took care of the internals of the engine. When it came down to selecting the right induction parts, Larry and the guys at Watson-Ruppel elected to go with an Edelbrock Victor Jr. manifold which sits comfortably beneath the 750-cfm Demon four-barrel carburetor.

As the air and fuel get thrown into the combustion chambers, they exit in the form of exhaust through a pair of full-length 1¾-inch Stahl headers. There are no mufflers, no H-pipe, just the sweet sound of open headers. Other notable pieces of equipment are an MSD Digital 6 ignition system, an MSD billet distributor, ACCEL spark plug wires, and NGK plugs.

Once all of the engine parts are ready to rock and roll, the hard part is mating them to a tranny that will be tough enough to handle the power. Larry opted to put in a Liberty Pro-Shifted T5 which spins an FRPP clutch. As he bangs away at each gear with a Hurst shifter, the power hits the rear wheels via an FRPP aluminum driveshaft. A set of Moser 31-spline axles, a Strange spool, and 4.56 gears round out the the mods on the stock 8.8 rear.

According to Larry, those 4.56 gears have a lot to do with the LX’s success on the track. As far as the suspension on the car goes, there’s nothing too fancy. The front is basically stock with a pair of Lakewood 90-10 struts, while the rear utilizes a couple of Rancho, yes Rancho, lower control arms and AVO adjustable shocks. The right rear spring also contains an airbag which allows the car to jump out of the hole. A full, 10-point cage installed by Kim Strauss of LaGrange, Ohio, keeps the safety requirements to a T.

If you’re wondering how fast the car has gone thus far, Larry is not ashamed to tell you, it’s a lot faster than it use to be. So far, his best trip down the 1,320 has been a 10.79 at 126.16 mph with a 60-foot time of 1.50 seconds. That’s with a total weight, including driver, of 3,240 pounds. Larry has gone on to finish First in the Open-Comp bracket at both the ’98 World Ford Challenge and the 5.0 Civil Wars this past year.

With such a great combination of parts and such a solid team of guys putting the engine together, it’s hard not to run fast. The next time we see Larry and his LX, we wouldn’t be surprised if they were tickling the low-10s.