All in all it took about a year for Schneider to transform the '82 from rolling shell to fully functional track car. "I guess for me it was relatively straight forward to build this car - there's nothing really fancy about it - but quite a few things on it I engineered myself as I wanted to see if some of my ideas actually worked in practice. Probably the hardest task of all was making it a 'clean build' project - not messing with the car too much and keeping it looking more or less stock without hacking things up."
One of the most important parts to any Mustang often concerns the way it gets motivation and to that end, we'll begin our focus on the engine under the scooped hood. "It's nothing too fancy," exclaims Schneider, "it's a 408 cubic inch Windsor V8 - stroked from 351 inches. It's got an Eagle 4340 crank, Eagle H-beam rods and SRP forged aluminum pistons. It runs a 10.25:1 compression ratio and there's a pair of Edelbrock Victor Jr. heads on it. I'm really happy with those heads. I had Flow Technologies do the porting work on them - and they work great. The camshaft is a Trick Flow Specialities Stage 3 roller hydraulic piece and I had the Carb Shop build a specific carburetor for it - a 750 cfm Holley double pumper. It has a Canton race oil pan and an oil cooler to help keep the temperature down - it's a nice reliable engine.In the car it made 438 rear wheel horsepower and 447 lb/ft of torque. The thing I like aboutthis engine, other than the reliability is the very usable spread of power - it's got a very flat torque curve - it starts coming on strong around 3000 rpm and it's already making 400 lb/ft at that point. It just works really, really well." Coming from an engineer, you know he truly means it. Where a single-rail four-speed overdrive once sat, a T-5 five-speeder now calls home, but it isn't your garden variety gearbox. "It's a G-force unit with dog-ring gears - no syncronizers," adds Mike. "It's got a .79 fifth gear and I'vealso installed a Fidanza aluminum flywheel,Ford Racing, King Cobra pressure plate and McCleod dual friction clutch." The gearbox gets power to the ground via a Ford Racing aluminum driveshaft and a trusty 8.8-inch rear with a 4.10:1 ring and pinion and Traction-lok diff - well actually, that power gets to the ground via Ford Racing heavy-duty 31-spline axles and 275/40-17 Kuhmo R-compound rubber (mounted on Cobra R rims of course).
However, when you start looking into the suspension on Schneider's car, that's where things really get interesting. "Having a background in vehicle dynamics and being a road racing nut, I spent a lot of time figuring out the handling and setup on my '82." Case in point, the stock K-member. "A lot of people are keen to ditch the stock K-member when building a project Mustang," says Schneider, "but I wanted to see if I could make it work - it was kind of a personal thing. " And make it work he did. "It turned out to be quite an enjoyable project. I ended up moving it back one inch to improve weight distribution. I moved the control arm attachment points inboard, that way I could utilize SN95 front lower control arms (they're longer than Fox ones) and move them up .80 of an inch. What this did was eliminate a lot of the common problems lowering one of these cars, namely bumpsteer, by improving roll center height. Now the car maintains constant negative camber on the front, which is very important, especially on a road race car." The '82 currently sports Maximum Motorsports lower A-rms (yes, SN95 length), Steeda SN95 ball joints, regular SN95 front spindles, 2000 Cobra R Bilstein front struts, with MM 400 lb coilover springs and camber/caster plates, plus Mike turns the front wheels via a 2000 Cobra R steering rack. The stock '82 GT front sway bar remains.