Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1993 Ford Mustang LX - Tool Time
Willie Johnson scripts his own version of Home Improvement.
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With all of that power (970 rwhp and 700-plus rear-wheel torque) just a flick of the right foot away, Willie knew that a beefed-up driveline and adequate suspension changes were needed. A Dynamic Mighty Mite II C4 three-speed auto made its way between the back of the engine and the front yoke of the custom aluminum driveshaft. Squashed in the bellhousing is a TCI 9-inch converter rated with a 5,500 stall. The trans itself showcases a reverse manual valvebody and a transbrake. Keeping the fluid cool is a Dynamic cooler, and Willie hits the gears via a Hurst shifter. The driveshaft spins a set of 3.73 gears in the 8.8-inch rear, which is stocked with a set of Strange axles, as well as one of the company's spools.
Knowing that routine trips down the quarter-mile would be in the car's future, a set of PA upper and lower control arms, along with Strange 10-way adjustable shocks, team up with a PA chromoly K-member and a Flaming River manual rack to lighten the frontend and transfer weight to the rear. Upon launch, compression and rebound of the car is held in check with Strange adjustable shocks, stock springs, custom upper and lower control arms by Spence Hart, and a TRZ antisway bar. Subframe connectors tie everything together, while a rearend brace keeps the gears from getting launched out of the housing.
All of the suspension and powertrain work would be for naught if the power never made it to the ground. Solving that dilemma was the replacement of the stock wheel-and-tire combination, with a set of Bogart rims enveloped in Mickey Thompson skinnies up front and 28x10.5 ET Drags out back. Hidden behind the wheels are Aerospace brakes fore and aft.
"The paint was in great shape when I bought the car, so I didn't have a lot to do in that regard," Willie says. While he did make one change-ditching the factory bonnet for a Cervini's lid-he spent most of the time revamping the interior for both safety and legality. Pro Tree Race Cars installed the needed 12-point chromoly rollcage, which was promptly followed up by the installation of a pair of Kirkey racing seats, obligatory five-point harnesses, and a Grant steering wheel. The rear tire space was removed, and a set of Auto Meter gauges made their way into the cabin to clue Willie in to the happenings under the hood, as well as the right time to shift.
"The street manners of the car are acceptable," Willie says. We dig what he said about how he drives the Mustang on the track the best, though. "When it comes to my driving technique, I just let her eat." The Pony has quite an appetite, as it has ripped off a best elapsed time of an 8.90 at 156 mph. Oh yeah, and that comes with a 1.26 short time.
Willie says his wife would kill him if she knew how much time and money he invested in the Mustang. We say tell her it was part of his home-improvement plan. After all, the garage did need a makeover.