Michael Johnson
Associate Editor, 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords
June 13, 2007
Photos By: Steve Turner

Horse Sense: Tim showed up on Modular Madness' doorsteps the day the Bradenton, Florida, shop opened for business. Since then, he and his Mach 1 have been fixtures there, often playing guinea pig for new performance components.

"In my spare time, I like to hang out with the gang down at Modular Madness," says Bradenton, Florida, resident Tim Vendette. It may seem strange to hear that someone actually likes hanging out a performance shop, but to us it's no surprise at all. When we do a tech story at a Mustang shop, inevitably people come and go throughout the day. Some come to drop off a car for repairs or upgrades, yet it seems as though the majority of people use that time for bench racing, telling stories, or-like Tim-just hanging out. Call it the automotive enthusiast's version of the mall, but when you want to be close to the action, your favorite Mustang shop can provide hours of entertainment.

When the Mach 1 returned for '03, Mustang fans flocked to the car's old-school character, and Tim Vendette was no different. As such, he didn't change much on the outside. He dropped it down a smidge using Eibach springs and filled the gaps with replica Mach 1 wheels-17x9s up front and 17x10 1/2-inch examples out back. Nitto treads constitute the rolling stock.

For Tim, Modular Madness is a home away from home. Located nearby in the small city of Sarasota, Florida, the shop is quickly gaining a reputation for building fast modular Mustangs, and Tim's Mach 1 is testament to that.

Similar to his favorite shop, Tim is no stranger to Fords. His dad started the trend with a '63 Galaxy 500, and Tim and his brothers followed suit with an array of classic Fords and Mustangs. His first car was a '67 Galaxy 500 with a 289, but he expanded his automotive horizons via a variety of sports cars. After those experiences, he went off-road for a few years in several four-wheel-drive trucks.

With the Mach 1's reintroduction for '03, Tim returned to his automotive roots. He planted his behind in this Azure Blue example-or Pepsi blue, since Tim is a fleet manager for our favorite soda manufacturer (Pepsi is responsible for Mountain Dew, Associate Editor Johnson's life fuel). "I just had to have one," Tim says. "I wanted a combination of show, street, and strip performance." To that end, the Mach 1 received a Vortech SQ S-Trim supercharger. A combination he refers to as "fairly mild." With the Vortech, Tim's Mach was right at the 430-rwhp mark.

Of course, he wanted more. Tim took a two-pronged approach at realizing his goal, which at that time was eclipsing the 500-rwhp mark. He realized he would need a built engine, so he had Modular Madness build an iron-block 4.6 with Manley rods and Mahle pistons. The heads and intake remained stock, but he also made the switch to a ProCharger F-1A supercharger to accomplish his goal. The reason Tim wanted more power was because he wanted to go to the track more, and he wanted to get some horsepower behind the Mach. With the power upgrades, he knew rearend components would be sorely overtaxed, so he upgraded the stock parts with an Eaton Posi, Moser 31-spline axles, and 3.73 gears. But Tim left the stock TR3650 transmission to take the abuse of 620 rwhp. That's right-he easily met and exceeded his 500hp goal.

Realizing his goal meant Tim was done working-wait, are you kidding? At the '06 SEMA show, he laid eyes on Hellion Power Systems' new Four-Valve single-turbo kit, and the wrenches began turning again. It brought to the foray a T76 single turbo, but he didn't just add the turbo kit. Tim upgraded the transmission with a ProMotion-upgraded TKO 600, Lakewood scattershield, and a Pro-5.0 shifter. Crower custom-grind cams also came on board with the Hellion kit, and a UPR Products' tubular K-member kit provided a bit more space to work with.

When asked what his future plans are for the Mach, Tim simply says, "Race it!"

We've done several features on '03-'04 Mach 1s, and we're fairly sure all of them have retained mostly stock interiors. We guess it's because the Mach 1 interior was a major reason why the car was bought in the first place. As for Tim's Mach 1, he added the essentials such as an AEM boost gauge, and AEM air/fuel meter, and a Raptor shift light. Connected to the ProMotion Powertrain-modified Tremec TKO 600 is a Pro-5.0 shifter.

Modular Madness [(941) 527-0156; www.modularmadness.com] in Bradenton, Florida, put together a solid power foundation by using an '03 Cobra iron block, a Cobra crank, Manley rods, and Mahle pistons. This combination dropped the compression ratio to 8.5:1, which is much more boost-friendly when compared to a stock Mach 1. The heads-well, they're Mach 1 Four-Valve heads, so they were simply treated to a valve job and high-rpm-capable valvetrain components. After going through a Vortech SQ S-Trim and a ProCharger F1-A supercharger, Tim settled in with a Hellion Power Systems single-turbo kit with a Turbonetics T76 unit. To make the most of the turbo kit, Modular Madness added Crower custom grind camshafts with the corresponding valvesprings to enable the combination to easily rev past 7,000 rpm. A pair of Ford GT fuel pumps feed the hungry Four-Valve, thanks to Performance Fuel Systems' high-impedence 83-lb/hr injectors. All told, the combo is good for 732 hp and 695 lb-ft of torque to the tires on 116-octane race gas. Modular Madness' Don Walker says the Mach will be tuned for 93-octane gas to around 650 hp, but more is in store to bring the horsepower numbers up to the 800-850 mark.

5.0 Tech Specs
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAINRearend
Block8.8, 3.73 gears, Eaton differential,
FRPP '03 CobraMoser 31-spline axles
Displacement 
281ciELECTRONICS
Rotating AssemblyEngine Management
Cobra crankshaft, Manley Stock computer, DiabloSport custom
H-beam connecting rods,tune by Modular Madness
Mahle 16cc pistons and pistonIgnition
rings, ARP fastenersStock Mach 1, NGK TR-6 spark plugs
Cylinder HeadsGauges
Mach 1 Four-Valve, HerbAEM boost gauge, AEM air/fuel,
Yancer Competitive {{{Edge}}}Raptor shift light
Racing valve job, Crower 
valvesprings with titaniumSUSPENSION AND CHASSIS
retainers Front Suspension
CamshaftsK-member
Crower custom ground toUPR Products tubular
Modular Madness specsA-arms
Intake ManifoldUPR Products tubular
Stock Springs
Throttle BodyUPR Products coilover
Stock Struts
Mass Air MeterStock
Sniper Tuning 3000Wheels
Power AdderReplica Mach 1 17x9-in
Hellion Power Systems single-Tires
turbo kit, T76 turbo, AEM boostNitto 555 275/40
controllerBrakes
ExhaustStock
Stock manifolds, Hellion PowerRear Suspension
Systems piping, MAC after-catSprings
exhaustEibach
Fuel SystemShocks
Twin {{{Ford}}} {{{GT}}} fuel pumps, '03Stock
Cobra tank, custom dual pickupControl Arms
and -8 fuel lines, CPR fuelBMR Fabrication uppers and
rails, Performance Fuel Systemslowers
high-impedence 83-lb/hr fuelWheels
injectorsReplica Mach 1 17x10 1/2-in
TransmissionTires
ProMotion Powertrain-modifiedNitto 555R Extreme Drag radials 315/35
Tremec TKO 600 with cryo'd gears,Brakes
Lakewood Industries scattershield,Stock
Pro-5.0 shifterChassis Stiffening
 FRPP subframe connectors