Michael Johnson
Technical Editor
February 1, 2003
Photos By: Mark Houlahan

Horse Sense: Dave's GT serves as guinea pig for PA-Performance. It has a PA-Performance 95-amp alternator and a PMGR starter. According to PA, in order to use a 130-amp alternator with a Vortech S- or T-Trim, minor bracket modifications must take place. As Dave was in a pinch for time when he needed an alternator, he went with the 95-amp unit instead of making bracket mods. The alternator still provides Dave with 60 amps at idle.

Dave went the '93 Cobra route when he decided to dress up his GT's exterior. The look works for us-even with the Titanium-colored ground effects. That color almost perfectly matches that of the '95 Cobra R wheels, made possible with a '94-up Cobra brake conversion. Mari-Al Auto Body in Graterford, Pennsylvania, painted the Cobra components and ram-air hood.

The 5.0 Mustang has a huge following. That's a good thing. If it weren't, we at 5.0&SF wouldn't be having so much fun while we're hard at work. However, outside the Mustang community, the 5.0 is looked upon as a lesser vehicle. If we could relate its mystique to that of another car, it would be the C4 Corvette (I promise I'm going somewhere with this, so bear with me).

The C4 Corvette is an immensely popular vehicle. For one thing, Chevrolet made a ton of them from 1984 to 1996. Its technologically advanced components-and the mere fact it's a Corvette- are the other reasons. But if you've ever ridden in a C4 Corvette, you know you have to practically be an origami expert to fold yourself into and out of one.

You don't just sit in a C4-you wear it. Compared to the later C5 model, the C4 rides like a brick on wheels. It squeaks and rattles. And the 4+3 transmission is definitely not one of Chevrolet's brighter ideas. Even with all that, the C4 still remains the most popular Corvette iteration.

The interior of the GT is mostly stock, save for white-face gauges, an aftermarket stereo, a trunk-mounted battery, and a dash-mounted boost retard. Dave would like to thank his wife, Heather, and all his friends who helped out with the car. Since he's far from being finished, he needs to thank his friends so they'll continue to help him out.

The 5.0 Mustang has a similar story. To those people on the outside (i.e., those who don't get it), the 5.0 is a crude, politically incorrect vehicle. First, the ride is not even close to being comfortable, especially when compared to the SN-95 and New Edge Mustang models. Second, many find its looks boring and lacking personality, more like a box with wheels than a performance car. Third, most people are flat disgusted that it takes only a few well-chosen bolt-ons to really crack the whip on anything out there in a straight line. We call these people 5.0 Mustang haters.

Even with all those negative connotations, Dave Macy found a combination of dependability and speed in the '93 GT seen here. We agree with Dave, as we've yet to find a car other than a 5.0 Mustang that more personifies these two characteristics.

When he purchased the car six years ago, Dave was looking only to add some light bolt-on stuff. "I don't know what happened," he says. "Somewhere along the line I threw that notion out the window." With the dependability and speed building blocks handled, Dave set out to build the ultimate (insert Jersey accent here) street car. The upgrades would be geared toward improving the car's braking, comfort, and, of course, performance.

As with many of us, Dave began with the basics by adding roller rockers, an exhaust, and gears. He then became a little more serious by adding a cam, heads, and intake combination, followed closely by a Vortech S-Trim supercharger. Since the car is a '93, it featured hyperpathetic pistons from the factory instead of the forged units in previous models. Amazingly, the factory pistons took an entire year of abuse before a couple of them succumbed to the S-Trim's boost capabilities. The car still ran, but Dave knew it was the beginning of the end of the factory short-block.

The need for a new short-block led Dave to check out Coast High Per-formance's line of performance short-blocks, specifically its 347 combinations. He did indeed choose a CHP 347 utilizing a B50 block with Coast's rotating assembly components, including forged pistons. He fitted his existing heads and intake to the 347 and went on to produce 440 hp on LaRocca's Performance Dynojet with Jimmy Chahalis working the tune.

The underhood area of Dave's GT is an excellent example of the proper way to detail an engine compartment in order to get our camera's attention. Of course, the Vortech S-Trim grabs our attention as well, but the overall attention to detail is top shelf. The use of red plastic wrapping to match the Taylor "409" Spiro Pro Race spark-plug wires and various painted brackets and covers is a nice touch too. To prove the car is not all show, it made 440 hp at LaRocca's Performance. Dave recently replaced the Cobra intake with a Holley SysteMAX II unit, and he's hoping for a number closer to 500 hp on his next trip to the dyno. A PA-Performance 95-amp alternator keeps things charged up, while an MSD 6AL ignition lights the plugs.

It was three months from the time Dave decided what short-block he wanted until the time he received it. During the downtime, he ordered '94-up Cobra brakes from Gene Evans and Cobra R wheels from Summit Racing. These simple additions took care of the braking improvement Dave longed for.

The car's been in this form more than six months, but Dave recently made the switch to a Holley SysteMAX II intake. He's hoping for a boost of 30-40 hp with just the addition of the intake. Future plans call for replacing the stock seats with Corbeau units, which should take care of the comfort aspect. And, with the power onboard, he might succumb to installing a cage in the car to keep it legal for 11-second dragstrip action. Dave's also down with the new Ford hue, Mandarin Copper Clearcoat Metallic-and so are we. He's seriously contemplating a color change to the wild hue. Whatever rendition this car is in, watch for it coming down Main Street. Of course, as he flies by, Dave will be too busy handling the power to wave.

5.0 Tech specs

Block Ford Racing Performance Parts
  Sportsman B50, Canton oil pan
Rotating Assembly Coast High
  Performance–built crank,
  rods, and pistons
Displacement 347
Camshaft Comp Cams XE276HR
Heads Edelbrock 6037, ported
  by Automotive Machining Services,
  Cobra 1.7 roller rockers
Intake FRPP Cobra
Throttle Body BBK 70mm
Mass Air Pro-M 80mm
Fuel System Walbro 255-lph,
  Vortech T-Rex, FRPP 36-lb/hr injectors,
  Kirban billet fuel-pressure regulator
Exhaust BBK long-tube headers
  and H-pipe, MAC Flowpath after-cat
Power adder Vortech S-Trim, 2.95 pulley, Anderson Ford Motorsport Power Pipe
Transmission TTC-Tremec TKO,
  Lakewood scatter-shield, Spec Stage III clutch, Pro-5.0 shifter, BBK firewall
  adjuster and adjustable clutch cable
Driveshaft FRPP aluminum,
  Lakewood driveshaft loop
Rearend 8.8, 3.73 gears

Engine Management Stock
Ignition MSD 6AL
Gauges Auto Meter {{{Phantom}}}
K-Member Stock
Struts KYB, BBK caster/camber plates
Springs FRPP C
Brakes '94-up Cobra
Wheels '95 Cobra R
Tires Nitto 555 255/40
Traction Devices Factory Five uppers
  and lowers
Shocks KYB
Springs FRPP C, cut half a coil
Brakes '94-up Cobra
Wheels '95 Cobra R
Tires Nitto 555 275/40/17
Chassis Stiffening Kenny Brown subframe connectors