October 1, 2007

When Santina Giuliano picked up her 2000 Performance Red Mustang, it must have seemed like a dream come true. After all, what 20-something media sales professional wouldn't want to be seen cruising around the urban centers of New England in a red supercharged convertible? The three-year-old car had already been an attention-getter before the Saleen blower went on with advice and assistance from fellow members of the Late Model Mustang Club of Connecticut.

Unfortunately, when things can't get any better that sometimes means that they can get worse. And so they did. Under pressure from the blower, the stock bottom end of the motor decided to take a vacation from reality. Obviously, there were going to be some bills to be reckoned with. In true Mustang enthusiast fashion, though, Santina didn't really see this as a mechanical disaster, but as an opportunity to fund some new upgrades under the hood. Doubtless, there was plenty of advice to be had from her fellow club members, but when it came down to actually making things happen, she relied on Scrivener Performance in Middletown, CT.

Bill Scrivener, the owner, operator and fabricator of Scrivener Performance, has been building race engines and chassis for more than three decades, so practicality is equally balanced with performance in his work. There was little doubt that Santina wanted to keep the Saleen blower, so stronger pieces for the engine internals were put on the 'Buy' list. These included Manley forged connecting rods, Diamond forged aluminum dish top pistons and pins, as well as ARP hardware throughout.

Moving On, Smartly
As Editor Evans knows well, the Brits have a saying - "In for a penny, in for a pound." Since the engine was apart, replacing a few more components was going to cost a lot less now than doing it later on. As a result, the Buy list was expanded to include a set of Scrivener's Stage III ported and polished cylinder heads, VT Engines' Stage II blower cams and a set of Comp Cams' valve springs to keep things right. As is the case in most parts of the country, good engine builders are in short supply, so rebuild jobs take time. After stripping down the engine in her 'vert, some of the major pieces to be reused, as well as the top end of the Saleen power adder, were to be modified. Santina's boyfriend was helping out through the process and took these pieces away. An ill wind was blowing, but nobody knew it yet.

Those engine and blower parts were to be taken to another shop, but before he could deliver them, the boyfriend's car was broken into and the pieces cleaned out of his trunk. Santina was devastated. "So that killed me - two bad things to happen to me in one year," she told us. Her pride and joy Mustang had suffered two disastrous incidents, not to mention the financial load of recovering from them. It was a tragedy, for sure. Still, Mustang owners are made of sterner stuff and Santina was no exception. "Oh well. So, I sucked it up and ended up getting a 1.7-liter Kenne Bell supercharger. Best move I did!" With the rebuilding of the bottom end already in progress, the new blower was a great fit to where the engine was going.

Some additional changes were put in place to create a powerful, but street friendly motor. A BBK 65mm throttle body and Ford Racing 42 lb/hr fuel injectors would help out on the intake side. A set of Bassani's new (at the time) mid-length headers and 2.5-inch crossover pipe were tasked, in addition to a set of Flowmaster American Thunder mufflers, to handle the exit side of the mill. To handle output to the driveline, a S.P.E.C. Stage III clutch disc and pressure plate set was called for. The remaining energy output of the engine would be in the form of heat, so instead of relying on the factory equipment, a new Fluidyne aluminum radiator was installed.