Michael Galimi
July 27, 2010

By now most readers are familiar with the all-new 412hp 5.0L that is standard in the '11 GT. It might be the most powerful base-model Mustang in the storied history of America's Pony car, but that didn't stop speed shops from tearing into brand-new cars for the sake of speed and glory. Within days of cars shipping to dealers, we heard of one shop banging off 11-second times in naturally aspirated trim. That's when we got the call from Justin Burcham of JPC Racing.

"I am on my way to Virginia to pick up a 2011 5.0L Mustang GT," he stated. "Get down here tomorrow. We want to run 10s before anyone else." We learned a longtime ago to never doubt Burcham-he delivers on promises, and this time would be no different.

The race to 10s was accomplished in a little over 24 hours from time of purchase to the scoreboard lighting up-and it was done under a veil of secrecy. There were two other shops vying for the first 10-second timeslip, so Burcham had one night to do it.

"I am not leaving anything on the table," was his comment. Back at the shop, his team was preparing for an all-out thrash, while Burcham motored back to the JPC digs in Millersville, Maryland.

First, the GT went on the dyno. With a mere 221 miles on the odometer, the 5.0L cranked out a respectable 349.4 rwhp, in Fifth gear.

Once the car cooled off, they tore into the beast with astounding efficiency. The rearend was replaced with a fortified 8.8 housing that was built while Burcham went to pick up the car. They used a spool to eliminate any chance of breaking the stock differential.

The rear suspension was also modified with Metco control arms, adjustable rear shocks, and an Eibach Drag Launch kit. The team added Eibach adjustable struts and springs, and a Racecraft front sway bar removal kit to help transfer weight.

By midnight, the car was on the ground and rolling on Bogart big 'n' littles with Mickey Thompson rubber. The next morning, Jeff Reinoehl of Insane Racing Fabrication, located next door to JPC, fired up his cutting torch and welder. He cut away the after-cat exhaust system, fabricated a 3-inch X-style pipe, using a Bassani crossover, and then reduced it down to Bassani 2.5-inch mufflers with turndowns.

Once the exhaust was completed, it was back on the dyno. Tuning software wasn't available, so Burcham crossed his fingers and prayed to the speed gods. The moment of truth was upon them and the response was interesting. "All the warning lights came on. The Airbag light was on, as was the Check Engine, ABS, Traction Control, and tire pressure-it was a freaking light show. There was even a light with tire track/burnout marks; I didn't even know what that was for," laughed Burcham.

At this point, we concluded the X-style pipe and steeper rear gears caused the computer to freak out, but the dyno result was a stout 370 rwhp. It turns out the new 5.0L doesn't like the gas tank to run too low while at WOT.

While on the dyno, the team wired up a dual line-lock and pulled a Zex nitrous system ('05-'10 kit) off the shelf. Burcham put in the smallest nitrous and fuel pills in the single nozzle (75hp), which was plumbed into the air-inlet elbow. Burcham wouldn't give out the exact size pills, but he did show us the dyno graph. The 5.0L laid down a mild 430 rwhp and 400 rwtq on the spray.

"The PCM uses two wideband O2 sensors and was constantly trying to keep the air/fuel at 12.4:1. That is definitely not a good air/fuel ratio on nitrous. This engine will run much better and cleaner if I can get in there to control the air/fuel better and alter the ignition timing," stated Burcham.

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