Frank H. Cicerale
February 9, 2007

Step By Step

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0703_mmfp_02_z Mustang_convertible Convertible_cruise0703_mmfp_03_z Mustang_convertible Engine
Take one John Deere farm tractor, raid its turbo, bolt it to a 5.4-liter Triton motor, and the result can be seen when Matt Parker pops the hood on his '92 Mustang convertible. He did all of the work himself, from stuffing the mod motor between the framerails to running all of the plumbing associated with the turbo.
Mmfp_0703_09_z 1992_ford_mustang_convertible Interior
The drop-top's interior is mostly stock, save for the Maximum Motorsports rollcage and G-Force five-point harness. With the top down and the turbo spooled up, Matt's hair is whipping while the car is out butt-whooping.
Mmfp_0703_10_z 1992_ford_mustang_convertible Cowl_mounted_gauges
The Steeda billet A/C knobs enhance the visual picture of the Stang's cabin, while cowl- and dash-mounted Auto Meter gauges help Matt keep an eye on things up front.
Mmfp_0703_06_z 1992_ford_mustang_convertible John_deere_turbo
Forget Turbonetics or Hellion; Matt went John Deere all the way. The homebuilt turbo system uses the 60mm turbo to create 436 hp and 546 lb-ft or torque.
0703_mmfp_04_z Mustang_convertible Front_view0703_mmfp_01_z Mustang_convertible Dragstrip
The 330ci modular powerplant propels the Fox-body down the quarter-mile to 11.6-second times at 118 mph. Accompanying the 11-second times are 60-foot clockings in the 1.6-second range.
Mmfp_0703_07_z 1992_ford_mustang_convertible Matt_parker
What started out as a car for Matt's wife has turned into a hot ride for himself. Don't expect to hear him complaining anytime soon.
Mmfp_0703_05_z 1992_ford_mustang_convertible Cobra_wheel
Matt's choice of rolling stock is pretty basic. The Cobra rims are shod in BFGoodrich G-Force rubber up front and BFG drag radials out back.
Mmfp_0703_08_z 1992_ford_mustang_convertible Rear_view

Ask anyone who's married (or in my case, getting married), and you'll be advised the one resounding phrase used to keep the peace with the missus is "Yes, Dear." When Matt Parker picked up a stripped-out '92 drop-top Mustang for his wife, it brought a whole new meaning to those words.

"A friend of mine had the car, which I bought as a shell," Matt says. "It was in good condition, as the body had only a few small dings. My wife wanted an awesome car to drive, so I bought it for her." Unfortunately for her, though, Matt-and the ingenuity he was blessed with-made the car a tad bit overwhelming. How so, you ask? Here's a teaser for you-change the spelling of "Dear" to "Deere," as in John Deere.

With the car coming as a roller, it was up to Matt to supply the drivetrain. Instead of going with a conventional 5-liter pushrod engine, he picked up a 5.4-liter Triton engine. Except for the P.I. heads, the engine remained stock on all sides.

With the big mod motor filling up the engine bay, Matt decided the power for the Stang would come in the form of a homemade turbo kit. Instead of having to sell the farm to finance the purchase of a bolt-in kit from a major manu-facturer, he went down to the farm, picking up a turbo off a John Deere tractor. "I decided that doing it myself would be the best way to get the job done," Matt says. "I got the John Deere turbo and proceeded to do all of the piping of the turbo, exhaust, and intercooler." Finishing off the turbo installation and getting the air into the combustion chambers is a Cobra throttle body, a K&N filter, and a custom upper intake manifold mated to a Lightning lower. Thanks to a custom tune from CRT Performance in Norwalk, Ohio, the combina-tion idles smooth and hauls tail.

With the 60mm tractor turbo forcing air in at a rate of 12 psi, Matt needed to upgrade many other parts of the car to feed the engine the proper amount of fuel and timing. He rigged up a Mega Squirt II fuel-injection system complete with 42-pound injectors and a Paxton fuel pump. Regu-lating fuel pressure to 43 psi is a Kirban regulator. Ignition chores are handled by a Ford EDIS ignition box, which sends its spark to the NGK plugs. When the engine is on the exhaust stroke, Ford Racing Performance Parts headers scatter the exhaust fumes into Hooker Aerochamber mufflers that are a part of a 3-inch exhaust sys-tem. Backing the 5.4 is a stock five-speed stick out of a '99 GT. Sandwiched in the bellhousing is a Centerforce dual-disc clutch. Gear changes are easily made thanks to the Pro-5.0 shifter. When it comes to getting the grunt down, a Ford 8.8-inch rear handles the job. The housing features 3.27 cogs that spin 31-spline Alloy USA axles and a Traction-Lok posi unit.

With the mechanical portion of the drop-top dealt with, Matt moved on to the rolling stock and looks of the car, slapping on '99 Cobra wheels shod in standard-size BFGoodrich G-Force tires up front and BFGoodrich drag radials in the rear. He swapped in KYB shocks and urethane bush-ings out back, and a QA1 K-member, A-arms, and UPR coilover kit on the front. Under the quarter-panels, Lakewood shocks, Granatelli coilovers, MAC control arms, and a stock Cobra sway bar were installed. Tying the flexible con-vertible frame together is a pair of Maximum Motorsports subframe connectors. Stoppers for the Stang consist of stock discs on all four corners. After a Boss hood was bolted on, a basecoat of DuPont white was topped by a coat of clear, finishing off the outer portion of the LX. For the interior, a Maximum Motorsports rollbar was installed along with a G-Force five-point harness. Sprucing up the looks and functionality of the cabin are a set of Steeda billet A/C knobs and an assortment of Auto Meter gauges.

For Matt's wife, though, the car was a bit too over the top. "She told me it has turned into my car because it has too much power for her," Matt says. "Not that I'm complaining-with 546 lb-ft of torque and 436 hp at 4,800 rpm, it's fun to drive. It's smooth, fast, and has very little turbo lag."

Fast is an understatement, as the Stang has ripped off a best pass of 11.69 seconds at upwards of 118 mph. If this is the type of Mustang that Matt would build for his wife,what would he do for himself? Oh, Deere!