Rob Reaser
July 1, 2003

Horse Sense: For those of you not familiar with Baumann Engineering's [(864) 646-8920;] Baumannator electronic transmission controller, it's a stand-alone processor designed to control the functionality of Ford's AODE, 4R70W, and E40D transmissions. It allows users to tune shift points, line pressures, and torque-converter operation. It also allows for full-manual gear selection and on-the-fly switching between two preprogrammed settings.

Face it. Many of us are loathe to start ripping into perfectly good Mustangs. Sure, we want to, but often finances and that ever-looming warranty invalidation issue stays our hands for a bit longer than we'd like. How refreshing, then, to wrap your mitts around a genuine wreck-something you can cut and whack on to your heart's content. After all, you can't screw it up more than it already is.

Such was Bay City, Michigan, resident Tim Barber's pleasure when he picked up this '94 GT three years ago. The drop-top was totaled, Tim explained, with the front end gruesomely smashed. No problem, though. Tim's a paint man by trade, so mangled sheetmetal and paint booths are no strangers to him.

The first thing he did was fix the body and slap a fresh topcoat on the GT. Cool enough, but this wasn't Tim's first saucy ride. Previously he'd owned '82 and '91 GTs, both of which were tweaked for 10-second warfare, so obviously this GT was destined for more than Stockville. First up was the installation of a supercharger and exhaust, followed by a cam and intake. Too much timing with that setup resulted in a blown head gasket, so instead of resealing the stock heads, Tim dropped on a pair of Twisted Wedges and rebuilt the AOD, including a GER 3000 nonlockup converter in the process. That little combo was good for an 11.69 e.t. at 113 mph.

During the winter of the following year, Tim decided to address the con-vertible's appearance factor. He yanked the engine before adding a Cervini's Stalker kit, which included front and rear bumpers, side skirts, and sidescoops. Out back went a Cervini's Stalker wing, and a Cincinnati Composites hood was secured for future installation. Everything received an Intense Blue Pearl basecoat/ clearcoat treatment.

With the engine out, Tim figured the small-block needed a bit of stroking-literally. A D.S.S. stroker crank and 5.315 H-beam rods topped with low-compression JE pistons deliver a welcomed 331 ci displacement and 9.2:1 compression. Tim kept the Twisted Wedge heads, fitting them with 2.02/ 1.6-inch valves, Ford Racing Performance Parts rockers and lifters, Anderson Ford Motorsport valvesprings, and an Anderson B-41 blower cam to kick it all into motion. The heads were topped with a port-matched Track Heat intake sporting a BBK 75mm throttle body and a 75mm Pro-M mass air meter. Good huff, but not enough.

Next up was a Paxton Novi 2000 driven by a 3.25 blower pulley and a 7.42 crank pulley. So much for the front end. To deliver the other half of the combustion equation, Tim selected twin Walbro inline pumps rated at 255 lph each to feed fuel through 8AN feed and 6AN return lines. He opened up the injectors by swapping to 42-pound Bosch units. For exhaust management, he chose 131/44-inch MAC long-tubes with a MAC Pro Chamber 211/42-inch H-pipe and 211/42-inch Flowmasters. With a custom Autologic chip in place and the Paxton set for 14 psi, Tim called the powerplant project finished.

For drivetrain upgrade round two, Tim outfitted the Standish Transmission- reworked AODE with a 3,500-stall Art Carr lock-up converter. A Baumannator stand-alone computer handles shifting duties. This is trailed by a factory driveshaft leading to an 8.8 rear boasting 3.73 gears and 31-spline Moser axles. To maintain optimal track grip, a Powertrax auto locker was also added to the mix.

Turning his attention to the ride and handling department, Tim swapped the stock coils with FRPP B springs before dropping in KYB struts and shocks. UPR rear control arms, a QA1 K-member, and welded subframe connectors finish off the special underpinnings. For rolling stock, Tim went with Cobra R wheels sporting Kumho Supra 245/45/17s up front and 275/40/17 BFG Drag Radials in back.

With the performance quotient well in hand, Tim turned toward styling matters. The factory seats were recovered and treated to "331" seatback embroidery, Auto Meter gauges were added, and Tim blasted the interior with a UPR billet shotgun. A custom stereo system (which leaves room in the trunk for little more than a couple sandwiches), a light bar, and custom "331" fender badging put the wraps on this pony project.

Tim finished the drop-top just prior to the '02 World Ford Challenge, where we met up with him for this shoot.

He hadn't yet had a chance to try this latest incarnation on the quarter-mile, but a few holeshots and some dyno time are in the future for this formerly whacked GT.

5.0 Tech specs
Engine AND Drivetrain
Block Stock
Pistons JE
Cylinder Heads Trick Flow Twisted Wedge
Camshaft AFM B-41
Intake Manifold Trick Flow Track Heat
Throttle Body BBK 75mm
Fuel System Two 255-lph Walbro inline pumps w/42-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust MAC 131/44-in long-tubes, MAC Power Chamber H-pipe, and Flowmaster mufflers
Power Adder Paxton Novi 2000
Transmission AODE w/Baumannator and Art Carr converter
Rearend 8.8 with Powertrax locker, 3.73 gears, and Moser 31-spline axles
Engine Management EEC IVw/Autologic chip
Ignition MSD
Gauges Auto Meter
Front Suspension
K-Member QA1
Struts KYB
Springs FRPP B
Wheels Cobra R
Tires Kumho {{{Supra}}}
Brakes Stock
Rear Suspension
Shocks KYB
Springs FRPP B
Brakes Stock
Wheels Cobra R
Tires BFGoodrich Drag Radial