Modified Mustangs & Fords
1966 Ford Mustang Fastback - Test Mule
Detroit Speed’s latest R&D car is no ox cart thanks to a revolutionary suspension design
You won't find a brand-X engine under the hood of this fastback, however. Instead, the Tuckers opted for Ford's latest and greatest modular sensation, the '11-'13 Mustang's 5.0L "Coyote" 32-valve, all-aluminum V-8.
This isn't just a production engine from a wrecked Mustang though. You might have jumped ahead, though, looked at the pictures already, and noticed the Roush Yates logos. The folks at Roush Yates are neighbors of DSE (they are in the hotbed of NASCAR country after all) and actually knocked on their door one day looking for help to get into the hotrod engine market. Kyle and Stacy just happened to have a Mustang in the shop with an empty engine bay, and the result is what you see here. The Coyote uses the Boss 302 Mustang intake and special Motec engine management for the Tuckers to get the most out of the engine. However, Roush Yates will be selling the 5.0L modular with a Ford-based engine management similar to Ford Racing's Control Pack system for ease of installation for the masses.
For the rear suspension DSE engineers started with the same QuadraLink product used in other DSE rear suspension packages, revising the architecture to fit the Mustang. A three-link setup was considered, and even track tested (DSE builds a test car for every suspension platform they manufacture). During testing, the DSE Mustang was run with a three-link design, then brought in to swap to the QuadraLink (which took all of 11 minutes!) and hit the track with a fresh set of tires.
"We were within tenths of a second of the three-link and it was easier to drive at the edge," Stacy explained. She should know, as both she and Kyle are capable and experienced drivers (Stacy campaigns an FR500S Mustang in the NASA American Iron series). DSE says the QuadraLink also rides better than the typical three-link setups on the market.
The Mustang also helped DSE design subframe connectors, Deep Tubs mini-tub kit to allow wider rear tires, stainless fuel tanks, a two-speed windshield wiper system, and more. Even the custom hood they designed for the Mustang might end up in the catalog, Stacy tells us, as they are currently considering having the hood made as a new stamping.
With 7,000 miles on the Mustang since February 2012, the Mustang has been driven to almost every event it has attended except for those too far away for Kyle and Stacy to be out of the office that long on a road trip (someone has to sign the paychecks right?). Plus the Mustang ate up plenty of track time and autocross laps at each of those events as well without a single failure.
What's next for DSE? Stacy tells us they're looking at adapting their front and rear suspensions to the Falcon and Fairlane chassis, so stay tuned for details if/when that happens.
Oh, and when we asked Ron—a member of the Daytona Mustang Club—if he was going to get his '66 fastback back, he chuckled and said that Kyle offered him a '67 Mustang that they used in the shop to validate fitment of the Mustang front and rear suspensions (their products work on '65-'70 Mustangs). The '67 is currently getting the full DSE catalog thrown at it, while back home in Florida, Ron rebuilt the 302 with Edelbrock aluminum heads and a Comp roller cam. He also bolted up an AOD four-speed automatic to the small-block in anticipation of the '67 coming home to Florida soon.
It looks like Kyle and Stacy aren't the only ones that'll be enjoying a Mustang test mule chock-full of DSE hardware.