Frank H. Cicerale
December 8, 2006

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0701_01z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Front
The in-the-weeds stance of the Stage 2 can be attributed to Air Ride Technologies' airbag system that found its way onto the chassis. The bags provide a killer stance along with improved handling when Bill carves corners.
Mmfp_0701_02z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Rear_logoMmfp_0701_03z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Engine_supercharged
The power created by the mostly stock 4.6 Two-Valve was boosted 10 pounds courtesy of a Vortech SQ-series huffer. Combined with a Vortech intercooler and improved fuel system, the powerful Blue Oval sets Bill back in his seat every time he gets into the loud pedal.
Mmfp_0701_04z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Wheel_and_rotor
The Roush-specific 18-inch chrome rims are wrapped in BFGoodrich rubber on all four corners. The front meats size 265/35/18 while the rears measure 295/35/18.

In the world of high-performance cars and going fast, few of us are ever fully content with our rides. Every day, we scour the Internet, talk to our friends, and flip through the latest issue of MM&FF looking for different parts and pieces to bolt on in search of more tire-melting horsepower.

Take Bill Abendschein, for example. Bill, who also owns a '96 Mustang, found his '00 Roush Stage 2 in New York after a search on the 'Net. "I originally had plans to purchase a Cobra," he says. "I happened to come across a Roush on a new-car lot and fell in love with it. After researching Roush Mustangs on the Internet, I talked to a few dealers locally. To make a long story short, I met a dealer over the Internet and ended up purchasing the car from Bud Kearny Ford in New York."

Notice Bill says he "originally had plans." Like the saying goes, best laid plans of mice and men, right? He changed his mind about buying a Terminator, and took the brand-new Performance Red Roush Stage 2 back to his Edgewater, Maryland, home. After driving the car and enjoying it, however, Bill realized the Roush just wasn't finished.

The transformation from Stage 2 to Stage Bill began by refining the original Roush platform. An awesome car in its own right, Bill's Stage 2 came from Roush with upgraded brake and suspension packages in addition to the Roush body kit and ultracool side-exit exhaust system. Bill started from the outside before moving to the interior and, eventually, under-the-body work. He swapped out the original GT taillights and replaced them with APC pieces. After painting the cowl and mirrors the same hue as the car, he dumped the factory grille for a billet piece. He then moved into the interior portion of the car, where an array of Auto Meter gauges was added. Bill enlisted the help of Conley's Upholstery, which performed the interior work, including the seat inserts and door panels. When the crew at Conley finished, Bill hopped in the Roush and cruised over to Jorgy's Customs, which stitched the embroidered Roush Racing logos in the seat's headrests.

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0701_05z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Front_side_drivingMmfp_0701_06z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Seat_head_rest
Bill added some personal flavor to the specialty-built Stang by having Jorgy's Customs stitch in the Roush Racing logo to the headrest of the Pony. Jack Roush himself would be mighty proud of the finished product.
Mmfp_0701_07z 2000_ford_mustang_roush Rear
Bill Abendschein enhanced the visual appeal of his '00 Roush Stage 2 with a set of APC clear rear taillights. The license plate should serve as a warning to all who even consider messing with the Mustang.

As a siding contractor, Bill knows that before you put on the finishing touches to a house, you need to have a solid foundation. He kept that in mind as he took care of the suspension and brake portions of the specialty Mustang before throwing some more power at the 4.6 mod motor. While the Roush suspension and brake upgrades perform well, Bill wanted the Mustang to corner like a slot car, sit in the weeds, and stop outright. Air Ride Technologies shipped out an airbag suspension kit, and while the bags were being bolted in, Bill had a set of Bilstein shocks swapped in along with 3.55 gears in the rearend. A car will only handle as good as the components that complement it, so Baer 13-inch rotors were bolted on up front and 12-inch stoppers were placed on the rear axles. The big brakes are hidden from view by the Roush-specific chrome rims shod in BFGoodrich 265/35/18s up front and 295/35/18s out back.

The foundation was laid and it was time for the final stage of construction. Bill kept the modular engine's long-block just as it came from Dearborn. Instead of putting his effort into refining the engine components, Bill decided to go the forced-induction route. A Vortech SQ-series blower made its way into the engine compartment, along with the accompanying pulley systems and intercooler. Coinciding with the 10 pounds of air being pushed into the engine is the corresponding amount of fuel being pumped in, courtesy of 30-pound fuel injectors and a Holley fuel pump. Filtering the incoming air is a K&N filter, and backing the powerful small-block Ford is the stock five-speed.

"The ride is great considering it's a sports car," Bill says. "The handling is superb. I started out with a Stage 2, and now I have a car that I love everything about."

Maybe Bill has reached the final stage of construction with his Roush. But if he's like the rest of us, sooner or later he'll be back for more.