Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
April 1, 2003
Photos By: Steve Turner

Horse Sense: Super Six Motorsports' Super Heads are '94-'98 V-6 heads that are fully ported and feature 1.85-inch intake and 1.55-inch exhaust valves, and a three-angle valve job. Super Six reports these heads even outflow fully ported '99-up split-port V-6 heads.

Chances are, if you're reading this magazine you have a fascination with speed. Whether it's down the quarter-mile or the twisty stuff, nothing satisfies or unwinds you like the thrill of going fast. Mustangs are good at helping quench that thirst even in factory trim, although some are more suited to it than others. Obviously dwelling at the bottom of the Mustang food chain are the '94-'98 V-6 Mustangs. From the factory, the initial 3.8 V-6 possessed 145 hp, with later SN-95 V-6s boasting a floorpan-ripping 150 hp. But that didn't stop Abingdon, Maryland's Dan Haga from pursuing his quest for speed from behind the wheel of this '98 Mustang V-6.

"When I purchased it more than three years ago, it was fast compared to my previous car (a Chrysler Lebaron)," Dan says. Thank goodness for that, but once GTs and Z28s starting kicking his tail, Dan just couldn't ignore the fact-he had to make his V-6 go too.

He began with the small stuff, such as a Borla Cat-Back and a K&N filter. Saleen graphics followed suit, along with AFS Wheels Cobra R wheels (to at least make people wonder what they were dealing with), but the power department still needed a few key components. At this time Dan installed a MAC cold-air kit, followed by a Super Six Motorsport-ported and -polished stock intake. With the addition of Eibach springs, he was happy with the way the car looked, but he still wanted more power.

The interior of Dan's V-6 is dominated by a pair of Corbeau Forza seats and a slew of Auto Meter gauges. However, when the factory Mach 460 stereo system sprouted a crackled speaker, Dan pulled out the whole thing and installed a Pioneer head unit, Kenwood speakers in Q-logic enclosures up front, Infinity Kappa speakers within a custom rear-seat-delete kit, a Lightning Audio 200-watt amp, and a Cerwin Vega 12-inch subwoofer in the trunk. "After fixing a license plate rattle, I was happy with the stereo setup," Dan says. With those components we should think so.

That desire for more prompted Dan to add 3.73 gears and a Traction-Lok differential to the car's 7.5 rear. "I was getting tired of those embarrassing one-wheel burnouts," Dan says. "The gears greatly improved acceleration, and the new differential let me leave two rubber tracks down the road rather than one." He also added a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter and MSD plug wires.

But power-making capabilities went off the chart when Dan added an NOS 5115 dry-nitrous kit to the equation. The kit is adjustable from 25 to 75 hp, and Dan fitted it with a remote bottle opener, an upgraded safety fitting, and a safety blow-down tube. Extra lights and switches were also added to keep everything on the cautious side. "To make sure the engine was getting all the fuel it needed," Dan says, "I put in a Cobra fuel pump-which cost a fortune, but it was my only option at the time. I was very impressed with the power the nitrous added, and I left the car alone for a while, adding only a few things such as a pair of GT foglights, clear corner lights, blue headlight bulbs, and a pair of headlight blackouts."

With the weekly nitrous refills, Dan quickly surmised that he could probably get more performance value from a supercharger. To that end, he added a Vortech S-Trim from Super Six Motorsports. Though the blower didn't give him the kick equal to that of the nitrous, the power was always there when he needed it. Again erring on the side of caution, Dan added the appropriate boost and air/fuel gauges within an Auto Meter A-pillar gauge pod.

After adding a complete stereo system to replace the factory Mach 460, he decided to get back into increasing the car's power. This round of mods included a MAC off-road H-pipe, a Pro-M 75mm mass air meter, 30-lb/hr injectors, and a custom Johnson Motorsports computer chip. "With better tuning and more fuel," Dan says, "I was able to install a smaller blower pulley, which increased my boost levels from about 8 pounds to 12. At this point I was pretty happy with the car and began taking it to shows and racing it at the local quarter-mile dragstrip, turning times in the low 14s." To improve traction, Dan also added BBK upper and lower control arms and Nitto Extreme drag radials.