5.0 Mustang & Super FordsFeatured Vehicles
Ford Mustang LX - Turbo Lover
A Longtime Devotee Of Turbocharged Race Cars, John Urist Is Infatuated By Street Turbo Cars Like His Red LX
It's hard to believe that six years have passed since John Urist of Albuquerque, New Mexico, burst onto the Mustang racing scene with a ball of fire spewing from under the hood of his Fox-bodied Outlaw car. It was the NMRA's first foray in West Coast racing in Phoenix, Arizona. Believe it or not, the race was rained out, in the desert of all places. But it was there John earned his nickname, the Fireball. At the season opener in Bradenton in '99, John began his first of many cross-country treks in the name of drag racing. By then he was packing a less flammable turbo under the hood, but the name stuck.
In the ensuing years, John has become both the elder statesman of Super Street Outlaw, and one of the foremost proponents of turbocharging. However, in 2004 he competed in Dwayne James' supercharged Mustang to make a statement about what he felt were rules biased against turbos. The car performed well, but John has yet to decide what his racing combo will be for 2005. However, he has found a place where turbos are less restricted, and he's again teaming with his customer and new partner, Dwayne, for the capital to take on blowers and nitrous on a new playing field-the street.
That's right, John decided to tread where few have succeeded before. His ambitious plan is to build and sell mass-market turbo kits that fit, are in stock, and are competitively priced. Lofty goals indeed, but John has a racer's burning desire to succeed, and living in the heart of those flames is a new company, Hellion Power Systems [www.hellionpowersystems.com]. Not just about turbo systems, this company's mission is providing complete, power-enhancing packages for the street, be they turbo- or supercharged. If you want race car stuff, John still has Urist Racing & Development [(505) 880-9729; www.uristracing.com], but HPS is set to light the street aflame.
With Dwayne's help, John was able to dedicate much of his time to designing a kit that fits and installs easily. Considering early 5.0 turbo kits required trimming shock towers and the like, it's impressive that John was able to design a system for five-speed 5.0s that bolts on, requires no cutting, and retains such street amenities as the smog pump and unmodified factory air-conditioning lines. In addition to its street friendly install, the kits include such niceties as stainless steel tubing on the hot and cold components, silicone hoses, stainless steel T-bolt clamps, and more. Projected pricing is approximately $4,700 for the 5.0 system.
All that's cool, but it usually takes a bit more to attract our attention. John's been talking about this street car he's had in mind for the last four years, but the HPS turbo systems finally pushed the car into reality. We asked John why he built the car, and he half-jokingly said, "To be on the cover of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords magazine." That's the goal of many Mustang owners, but the real reason he built this wolf in sheep's clothing was to promote the turbo systems, and at that, it does a fine job. After all, who wouldn't get excited about an 800-plus-horsepower street car that looks bolt-on stock circa 1995?
If you thought we'd breeze by that horsepower number, don't worry. At press time, John had only put one dyno pull on the car before sending the clutch to friction-disc Valhalla. However, the car laid down a thunderous 740 lb-ft of torque at 3,700 rpm before the car started free-revving. Once John gets another clutch in the car and starts tuning on it, the sky's the limit. Of course, he'll likely have to move up those smallish 42 lb/hr injectors as well, but he's confident that 800 at the Mickeys is no problem with this car-and that's from a car with all the factory accessories.
Of course, that's no bolt-on engine underneath that classic GT-40 intake. Lurking below the retro is a built short-block, which formerly powered John's Fox-body Outlaw car. The engine had been sold to John's pal Gabe Gonzales, who never really used it, so John drafted the stout shorty for street duty. It's based on a vintage FRPP A4 block and filled with a Cola crank, Eagle rods, and Probe pistons. Camming is courtesy of a street-friendly FRPP E303, while the heads are Edelbrock Victor Jr. parts, treated to a Urist Racing & Development CNC port job.
John recently added a new clutch to help withstand the engine's brute force, but behind that is true street gear. He rows a Tremec TKO 500 gearbox that feeds tire-shredding power back to a stock 8.8 rearend with stock suspension parts. The only real concession to the power level is a set of Mickey Thompson drag radials. John says these really work. Since adding them, the car no longer wants to swap lanes under power. Of course, the real swapping John is hoping for is a movement toward street turbo systems. If this endeavor tracks with John's racing success, six years from now, the Fireball might be known more for his turbo systems than his racing exploits.
|5.0 TECH SPECS|
|ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN|
|Heads||Urist Racing CNC-ported Edelbrock Victor Jr.|
|Fuel Pump||Weldon 600A|
|Headers||Hellion Power systems|
|Exhaust||Bassani X-pipe and after-cat|
|Power Adder||Hellion Power Systems turbo system w/Turbonetics T-76 Q-Trim ball bearing turbo|
|Transmission||Tremec TKO 500|
|Engine Management||EEC IV with DiabloSport chip|
|CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION|
|Tires||Mickey Thompson Drag Radial|