September 1, 2003

Horse Sense: The Ford performance aftermarket is brimming with parts for the V-6 Mustang. Shop around a little and you'll find not only turbocharger kits, but also exhaust systems, electronics, severe-duty valvetrain components, supercharger systems, ported heads and intakes, and internal stroker engine components.

You have to hand it to Mustang owners. No matter what year, body type, engine configuration, or state of tune, these cars are modified to our personal tastes. A growing number of enthusiasts have taken to upgrading the late-model V-6 Mustang. What-a V-6 hot rod? Well, in case you haven't noticed, the fastest growing segment of the aftermarket performance industry has been built around foreign four-cylinder tin cans. So a V-6 Mustang really isn't that big a stretch of the imagination.

Xavier Tellez, a 27-year-old customer service representative from San Antonio, Texas, got caught up in the V-6 Mustang game when the local V-8 crowd wouldn't leave him alone. "My car started out as a basic Mustang just to go to and from work," Xavier says. "But, after a while, I got fed up with the V-8s always revving up on me at the stoplights and wanting me to race, even though they knew my car was a stock V-6."

Xavier decided to do something about the daily teasing. Instead of swapping engines or trading in his base Mustang for a GT or Cobra, he turned to the turbo- charger experts at The Hod Rod Store.

Keith Campbell, owner and chief engineer at the sister Pro Turbo Kits shop (www.proturbokits.com), had worked with top Mustang racers such as Mike Murillo and Chip Havemann on their turbo-charged combinations. As fate would have it, Keith was in need of a V-6 Mustang research and development car. Xavier's piece fit the bill because it was stock to that point, and he was motivated to go fast with what he already had. The union was formed, and The Hot Rod Store went to work on Xavier's Mustang.

Xavier's '00 Tropic Green V-6 Mustang is completely stock except for a Pro Turbo system designed by Greg Johns and Keith Campbell. With only 7 psi from the $4,150 kit, this auto-trans car runs 13.20s at more than 107 mph on stock tires.

Greg Johns of Pro Turbo took over the project. He installed the basis of what would become the retail Pro Turbo kit for V-6 Mustangs. It includes a T3/T4 hybrid Precision turbocharger; dual three-into-one headers; a crossover pipe; a downpipe; an H-pipe adapter; an Autologic ECU chip custom programmed by Chris Johnson of JMS; an in-tank 255-lph fuel pump; 42-lb/hr injectors; a 23-inch, two-core air-to-air, bar-and-plate intercooler; and all the associated hardware. As designed, the kit includes all ball-and-socket attachments, with only one gasket required for installation. Xavier also opted for a Bassani after-cat exhaust system, an Auto Meter Phantom boost gauge, and a B&M transmission cooler.

When the design was finished and the prototype kit was bolted to the car, the final numbers were shocking.

In its stock configuration, the V-8-bait Mustang pinched out 119 rwhp. With the Pro Turbo system, the car laid down an impressive 235 rwhp with a safe 7 psi-nearly doubling the stock Ford V-6's output. Xavier headed right to the track and ripped off a shocking string of 13.20s at more than 107 mph through the stock automatic transmission. The Pro Turbo kit retails for $4,150-a realistic price for this kind of performance and value.

If you're wondering about the ultimate potential of this kit, so are we. Keith tells us Xavier's car was tested up to 12 psi, which sent 315 horses thundering to the rear wheels. But it was thought this level of power may be too much for the stock internals, so Xavier's application has been limited to the stock 7 psi.

Best of all, Xavier is a satisfied customer. "Let's just say the V-8s aren't as bad as they think they are anymore-especially a '97 Trans Am owner who thought my little old V-6 couldn't take his V-8. He'll think twice before he tries me again!"

Keith does have a customer with a built bottom end (stock displacement with top shelf crank, rods, and pistons), ported heads and intake, and a serious drag racing suspension to which they are adding a bigger V-6 kit. He fully expects this Mustang V-6 sleeper to run 10s-maybe even mid 10s-in the quarter-mile when the tuning is done.

You don't see many of these in the pages of a performance-car magazine. This Ford V-6 engine has been completely reengineered by Pro Turbo (www.proturbokits.com). A hybrid Precision T3/T4 turbocharger is the heart of the kit, with Pro Turbo headers, intercooler, and tube work rounding it out. Electronics include a Lightning mass air, 42-lb/hr injectors, and an Autologic computer chip. It all adds up to a sleeper so mean, it's almost unfair.

5.0 Tech specs
Engine AND Drivetrain
Block Stock
Displacement Stock
Heads Stock
Camshaft Stock
Intake Stock
Throttle Body Stock
Fuel System 255-lph in-tank pump w/42-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust Pro Turbo headers, and H-pipew/Bassani after-cat
Power Adder Precision T3/T4 turbo
Transmission Stock
Rearend Stock

Electronics
Engine Management EEC V w/JMS/Autologic chip
Ignition Stock
Gauges Auto Meter Phantom boost

Suspension and chassis
Front Suspension
K-Member Stock
Struts Stock
Springs Stock
Brakes Stock
Wheels 17x9 Motorsport R
Tires Nankang 275/45R-17
Rear Suspension
Traction Device Stock
Shocks Stock
Springs Stock
Brakes Stock
Wheels 17x9 Motorsport R
Tires Nankang 275/45R-17