Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
'00 Mustang - Irish Pride
Declan Kenny's Race-Inspired '00 Mustang Is A Staple On The Road And The Track.
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Being Irish entails several stereotypes: a love for soccer (referred to in Ireland as football), drinking, and potatoes. While soccer is almost a religion in the Emerald Isle, and the Irish's fondness for stout-Ireland's national drink-is well, self-explanatory, the potato has long been a staple of the Irish economy and culture.
Another thing that goes on in Ireland is some pretty nifty road-rally racing, which Declan Kenny participated in when he was an inhabitant of that fine land. A full-fledged Irishman, Declan has fond memories of those long-gone days. "I was born in Ireland and lived there until I emigrated to the United States in 1987," he says. "Growing up in Ireland, the majority of the cars were four-cylinder vehicles with 1.0- to 1.6-liter engines. We used to race and rally these cars on the twisty roads around the Irish countryside late at night."
When Declan made the voyage to the golden streets of America, he found a whole new world that bristled in V-8 engines and lots of horsepower. "When I got to the States, I was amazed at the powerful Mustangs, Camaros, and Corvettes that were being driven around where I was living, which was Yonkers, New York, at the time," he says.
While Declan started out in a brand-X machine, he eventually purchased his latest musclecar, an '00 Mustang GT. "I decided to purchase the Mustang because I knew there were great aftermarket products for it," he says. "I used it as a daily driver for a year, until I stopped into Extreme Mustang Performance in Irvine, California, and met with Eric Cheney." For some, moving clear across the country might be a major pain. For Declan however, the move from New York to sunny California served as the foundation for the car's future. "I moved to California in 1991, when my wife was accepted to USC's law school," he says. If it wasn't for that acceptance letter, the chance encounter with Eric Cheney would probably never have happened.
Previously knowing what a great-handling/stopping car felt like, Declan was disappointed with some aspects of his Mustang. "While I was happy with the power, the braking and handling weren't the greatest," he says. After a conversation with Eric, Declan enlisted the Extreme Mustang Performance crew to embark on creating a Mustang he felt would be worthy of road-course battle. "I've always been a road-race and rally-car fan, and I started thinking of slowly making the Mustang race ready, but keeping it streetable as much as possible as well," Declan says. With the path clearly marked, his journey began.
Believing that the stock Two-Valve mod motor was a strong enough foundation on which to build, Eric and the Extreme Mustang boys didn't change much to the engine internally. With road racing on the horizon, the stock oil pan was replaced with a Canton racing-bred piece. The power increase came in the form of a Novi 2000 supercharger with accompanying air-to-air intercooler. The blower forces 12 pounds of boost into the motor via a 90mm Lightning MAF. Matching the incoming air with the correct amount of fuel is an Aeromotive pump, which draws the go-juice from a Fuel Safe fuel cell. The good stuff is pumped through a set of -8 feed lines, a CPR pressure regulator, and into the engine via CPR fuel rails and 42-pound injectors. Any unused petrol is sent back to the tank courtesy of a -8 return line. The blown mod mill exhales through the stock exhaust manifolds and into a pair of MagnaFlow Magnapack mufflers. All told, the 4.6 is good for 415 rwhp and 386 lb-ft of torque.
Since the car would be required to do more than just go straight quickly, changes needed to be made within the engine compartment and the engine peripherals to handle the prolonged abuse on the road course. With the blower taking up most of the underhood space, the battery was relocated to the trunk, and the stock radiator was ditched in favor of a Ron Davis custom-built race piece. Knowing that keeping the power-steering fluid and engine oil cool would be keys to being competitive and having the engine live, Setrab was called upon to provide the power steering fluid cooler and engine oil cooler, while Maximum Motorsports kicked over one of its oil-filter relocation kits. Backing the engine is a McLeod Stage 3 clutch. The stock five-speed transmission remains, though the factory shifter was replaced with a Steeda Tri-Ax gear selector for ease of operation. The stock driveshaft links the whole shebang to the 8.8-inch rear, which now showcases 4.10 gears, an Eaton posi unit, and 31-spline axles.