5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
Mustang LX Hatchback - Rio Engine Red
How A Fireman Heats Up Things On His Days Off
How many of us have Mustangs that look better 10 years later than the day we bought them new? Jason Krassow does, as a quick glance at the photos shows. Then again, how many of us have 685 hp at the rear tires? Not too many hands up for that question either, so let's skip asking how many of us are both stronger and better looking than we were a decade ago.
For Jason, 10 years ago meant a shiny, new Rio Red Mustang LX hatchback. A daily driver and commuter car for two years, the LX proved itself as transportation around his San Jose, California, hometown. Never one to leave things stock, Jason quickly had the usual bolt-ons in place, followed by what turned out to be a fairly serious autocrossing-parts suite at one point. But he noticed that most of his action came on the street between stoplights, so his interest gradually turned to drag racing. Off came the autocrossing parts and in went the Lake-wood 90/10 struts and 50/50 rear shocks. The front received Lakewood drag springs, the rear Eibach's straight-line coils, Wolfe bushings and torque reinforcement plates, along with Hotchkis control arms, J&M subframe connectors, a six-point Magnum Racing rollbar, convertible engine mounts, and a Flaming River manual-steering rack. The front sway bar came off.
More drag-specific suspension parts include airbag-assist springs, Weld Racing wheels, and 28x12.5-inch Mickey Thompson big and 3.5-inch front-runner little tires. The brakes are stock in back and feature cross-drilled front rotors with stainless steel lines and Hawk pads.
Feeling the need for single-digit e.t.'s, Jason knew he had to have a bulletproof rear axle. Sticking with the 8.8-inch architecture, he installed spool holding 3.55 gears, reinforced bearing caps, a T/A girdle cover, and Moser 33-spline forged racing axles with C-clip eliminators. The driveshaft is an SVO aluminum unit caged with a safety loop.
Drag racing being mainly an engine looking for a place to party, the biggest action is under the 3-inch-rise Maier hood. Starting with a '69 351 block, Jason had Coast High Performance bring it up to 408 cubes in its Dominator Series format. That means an Eagle forged-steel crank, ARP hardware, Probe forged 8.5:1 pistons on Eagle rods, and O-rings in the block provide a stout foundation, while the breathing parts are built around 2.02x1.600-inch-valved Twisted Wedge heads with Stage III porting by Probe. A custom blower cam measuring 0.580/0.590 inch of lift and 232/242 degrees of duration at 0.050 inch valve lift calls the tunes. A Probe Spyder intake atop an Edelbrock Victor manifold fitted with tweaked MSD 50-lb/hr injectors feeds the heads. The valvetrain is built from various parts, with the lifters being Lightning truck units, the pushrods from Ford Racing Performance Parts, the valvesprings from Crane, and the rocker arms from Probe.
Not wanting to fall down in the fuel department, Jason laid out the cash for twin Aeromotive 1,000hp fuel pumps and filters. The braided steel line plumbing is as large as -10, dropping to -8 at the fuel rails, and a single -8 return line back to the Summit Racing fuel cell. An Aeromotive regulator sees to the pressure. The chore of lighting all that fuel is shouldered by a Crane HI-TR box and PS92 coil. The secondary wiring consists of 10.5mm Taylors attached to NGK N6K spark plugs. Engine management is via a stock A9L computer and a custom chip burned while on Powertrain Dynamics' chassis dyno.