Modified Mustangs & Fords
1984 Ford Mustang SVO - More Than Skin Deep
In Rebuilding This SVO Mustang, The Owner Found That The Beauty Was...
Fully armed with the knowledge of these differences, Craig - by now a 22-year-old defense systems engineer - and his father began by stripping the body down to a shell. The interior was removed and the car repainted by Scott Lockhart, of Bridgewater, MA, in PPG's 'arrest-me-now' Viper Red paint. Before reinstalling the interior, all cloth items were carefully reupholstered to bring back the SVO's original glory and feel.
We're guessing that Craig's dreams the night before his 16th birthday were not about what kind of cake he was going to get. Doubtless, he was already planning the what, where, who and when events of his first day with a driver's license. There's little to risk in guessing that his ride was one of the more unique cars to show up in the high school parking lot.
With 5 psi of boost, the intercooled motor was putting out 175 horsepower and, given the handling prowess of the SVO, it would certainly hold a surprise for anyone that thought they could dust off this Pony just by turning. Still, given that the car was 16 years old by then, automotive technology had advanced by furlongs ... at least. The throttle body fuel injection was leading edge stuff at the time it was originally built, but now it was holding back a motor that SVO enthusiasts well knew could take up to 30 psi of boost.
After three years of driving the car, Craig decided to enlist help from his cousin, Paul Slaney, of Plymouth, MA, to rebuild the SVO's motor. That process began by pulling the motor and stripping everything down to the bare, cast iron block. The cylinders were bored 0.30-inch oversize to accept new dish topped, forged pistons from Wiseco. After porting the cylinder heads, Paul installed the Ford Racing A237 hydraulic roller follower camshaft. The cam's 274 intake and 282 exhaust duration, coupled with a .420-inch lift has good idle characteristics and offers excellent mid-range horsepower on turbo engines.
To help feed that cam, Slaney hogged out the intake manifold as well and installed the 65mm throttle body from a 1995 Mustang GT, along with the needed adapter. On the go-juice side, fuel delivery would need to be ramped up to match the improved air intake. To manage this, a Walbro 255 lph fuel pump was coupled with a Kirban adjustable pressure regulator. At the other end of the pipeline was a set of new 52-lb.hr fuel injectors. Driving the whole forced air idea was a new Turbonetics T3/T4 turocharger unit, regulated by a Tiny Avenger bypass valve. With a target boost setting of 20 psi, upping the ante in the intercooler department was a must. Craig sourced the intercooler from an Isuzu NPR medium duty truck. He also fabbed up his own 2.5-inch intercooler tubing and you'll see from our photos that Craig did a top drawer job of that. On the lively side of things, ignition is handled by a MSD 6AL controller, a standard Ford ignition coil, Taylor wires and Autolite plugs. An SDS stand-alone engine management system was also installed to replace the throttle body fuel injection control system. To keep a close tab on the most vital functions, Craig added Auto Meter boost and fuel pressure gauges, as well as a SDS air/fuel ratio meter.
The remainder of the driveline has stayed reasonably true, although a Pro 5.0 shifter now sits atop the T-5 transmission, replacing the original Hurst unit. To keep the axles up off the ground, this Mustang relies on a set of 17 x 8-inch Eagle Alloy rims, wrapped in Goodyear Eagle 235/45-17 tires. Since completing these upgrades, Craig has taken the car to a couple of shows and was rewarded for his efforts. A second place from the World of Wheels show in Boston, along with a First in Class and Editor's Choice award from an FFW event in Epping are his to brag about.