Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1990 Ford Mustang LX Hatchback - Sleek, Stylish, and Pearly White
Jeremy Aliaga’s ’90 Lx hatchback rocks with 806 horsepower
In southern California, show-stoppin' hot-rods can be found regularly cruising the streets.
Exotics, low-riders, streetcars, and muscle cars triumph the street scene and grab the peripherals of on-goers. As Mustang enthusiasts, we tend to have a Blue Oval radar built in, noticing every GT, Roush, Saleen, Lightning, or Cobra cruising by. For Jeremy Aliaga, he's created not only a show-stopping menice, but also an asphalt-ripping machine that's sure to twist some heads.
In his late teens, Jeremy got his hands on his first Fox-body. Like most Mustang owners, he couldn't leave his Stang stock and added a new pair of heads, a cam, and intake to his ride. As a daily driver, heavy modifications weren't an option, but that didn't stop him from working on his car. He would typically be in the garage until the early hours of the morning wrenching on his pride and joy. From the occasional oil changes to clutch installs, the only thing important to him was the thrill of doing his own work. Working at a machine shop on the side, Jeremy's mechanical knowledge was strengthened even further. This would be put to the test in his later years.
"My first car when I was 16 was a '68 Mercury Cougar, and that's when I started to learn how to work on cars," Jeremy told us. "It was simple stuff but I was always learning something new. Finally, when I was 18, I was able to buy my first Fox-body and work on that."
While slowly building his mid-to-high-12-second Stang, all of it would soon come to a screeching halt when news came that he was going to be a father. He sold the Stang and purchased an SUV. With a family to feed and take care of, purchasing another Stang wasn't an option for the next eight years. It wasn't until January 2008 that the Fox-body urge would kick up again.
"I searched classified ads online relentlessly for several months, but only found beat-down, neglected Mustangs that needed full restoration," explained Jeremy. "Eventually, I found a mildy modded '90 5.0L LX on Craigslist. I took the chance and drove 200 miles to San Diego to check it out. It turned out to be in excellent condition body-wise, with a fresh pearl-white paint job and a Mach 1 fiberglass hood, but it had the undesirable red interior."
Having scored this gem for $3,500, equipped with bolt-ons such as a Trick Flow Specialties intake and 170cc heads, and a Ford Racing Performance Parts E cam, Jeremy still had his work cut out for him. Initially, he focused on cleaning up the engine bay. Polishing the accessories and hiding the engine wiring was first on the to-do list.
Searching the online classified ads again, Jeremy scored a complete black interior from another Fox-body. He tossed the dreadful red interior in the trash and installed his new interior. Next up, he ditched the four-lug drum brakes for a five-lug Cobra brake swap. A myriad of wheels would come and go until he finally settled on a set of 18-inch Azevs.
Not completely happy with the exterior of his Fox, he had Auto Body 2000 of Rancho Cucamonga, California, paint the side moldings, along with a 3-inch cowl hood and '93 Cobra grille insert, to match the body color.
With his Stang's aesthetics coming along, Jeremy turned his attention to making more power. "When I was a kid with my first Fox-body, I always wanted a blower," Jeremy told us. "When I was making minimum wage—I'm not even sure how much it was back then—I could never afford to buy one. But now, I wanted to finally do it with my LX."
Jeremy accomplished his goal of buying a supercharger, but did so in a trio. When he bought his '90 Fox-body, it came with a built 306. To start, Jeremy purchased a Novi 1220 supercharger and installed it onto his Pony. On 11 pounds of boost, his Stang laid down 475 rwhp.
Satisfied at first, this setup would only remain on the car for about a year. Next, he upgraded the Novi 1220 to mimic Vortech's Si supercharger specs. This put him at 546 rwhp. Pushing the limits of the stock short-block, he knew it was time to finally build an engine capable of handling more than 600 horsepower.
Jeremy contacted JMS Racing Engines, in El Monte, California, and had them assemble a Dart Iron Eagle 331 short-block equipped with Scat forged internals. Once at home, he installed the rest of the engine components including a pair of Trick Flow Specialties Twisted Wedge 205cc heads CNC ported by Total Engine Airflow, and a Comp Cams roller cam. Once finished, it was time for tuning.
"I originally had the car tuned by a local shop here in Glendale," Jeremy explained. "Unfortunately, while on the dyno the tuner ended up blowing four pistons in my brand-new short-block. I wasn't happy to say the least!"
With that stroke of bad luck, Jeremy sent his "used to be new" short-block back to JMS for machine work. This time he had them bore it out to 347 cubic inches. Once back and assembled, Jeremy wanted someone 100-percent trustworthy. He contacted Bob Kurgan from Kurgan Racing for his tuning needs. A few phone calls later, Kurgan emailed him a tune that was spot-on for his new engine and blower. With the Si-trim and E85 fuel, Jeremy's Fox laid down 700 rwhp.
Still, Jeremy wanted more. To complete his trios of blowers, he installed a Vortech YSi supercharger, along with a new cam, specked by Kurgan. This time, Kurgan flew out to Glendale to provide a complete custom tune for Jeremy's behemoth, and on 24 psi, Jeremy's snarling Fox cranked out 806 rwhp and 689 lb-ft of torque.
Making that much power, air and fuel is crucial, and it's handled thanks to 120-lb/hr injectors and a Glenns Fuel System 1000 HP Sleeper kit. Feeding the air is a ported Edelbrock RPM 1 intake and Accufab 75mm throttle body. Sparking the mixture is an MSD ignition system. Exhaust gases flow out through Mac shorty headers, following into a 3-inch X-style mid-pipe and into Flowmaster mufflers.
Jeremy gave Team Z Motorsports a call and the company sent him a complete tubular front suspension setup along with a coilover kit with 12-170 springs. Controlling the rear are FRPP heavy-duty upper control arms and Maximum Motorsports lowers, Steeda subframe connectors, and Strange 10-way adjustable shocks.
According to Jeremy, he still has future plans for his ride. A 9-second pass down the 1,320 is hopefully in the works, and next he plans on replacing his stock transmission with either a built 4R70W automatic or T-56 six-speed transmission and upgrading the rearend. Surely, that should bring him close to his goal.
"I am extremely satisfied with the outcome of the car so far. It's come a long way since I picked it up in San Diego," Jeremy said. "The task of building a true heavy-hitter, high-horsepower street car isn't an easy one to complete, but the pay off is worth the effort in more ways than one!"