Jeff told us that he found the customer service at DSS very professional and that their layaway plan allowed him to get his plans in gear, even though his finances needed time to sort things out. In the meantime, Jeff and his brother began the job of removing the hurt pieces from the Mach and getting ready for the replacement from DSS. There were quite a few long nights and Jeff says that his brother was a big help through a tough time.
When the short block finally arrived, Jeff was ready for it. In particular, he'd come to view this challenge as an opportunity and was also going to upgrade the exhaust system. MAC Performance had been called on to supply a set of long tube headers for the Mach, in addition to their 2.5-inch H-pipe. For a little more unique sound, Jeff went with Magnaflow's 2.5-inch MagnaPack mufflers to complete the job. Making sure to take no chances with the future of this motor, he also added a Canton 7-quart oil pan. Knowing that the car would have to go back for tuning after the engine was together, Jeff started asking around for recommendations and checking out the actual work of several shops. In the end, he took the car to Kauffman Motorsports, in Dillsburg, PA. Pushing the nitrous jetting up to a 185-shot, the Kauffman folks were able to wring a safe and solid 440 rear wheel pony count.
Building The Package
Along the way, Jeff's Mach I has received more attention than just the engine. He's replaced the front K-member with a tubular version from UPR, along with their matching lower control arms. The car's new dry cell battery has been relocated to the trunk and dual Cobra 255 lph fuel pumps have been added to make sure that the engine has a more than adequate supply of gasoline. The SCT dual tune chip that Kauffman installed is switchable between nitrous and non-nitrous tunes. The task of keeping the needed 411 available to the driver fell to Auto Meter gauges, including Air/fuel ratio, nitrous pressure and oil pressure units. Since there are ongoing competition plans for the Mach, g-Force's 5-point restraints were installed for both front seats.
The car rolls on 17 x 8-inch aluminum rims with Fuzion 245's up front, and 18 x 9.5-inch rims out back, shod with BF Goodrich's finest drag radials in the 295/35-18 size.
All of this work was called to the forefront when Jeff took the car to the track after engine tuning was complete. With the NOS bottle wide open, he was rewarded with a 1.6 second short time and a 11.70 @ 120 mph at the big end. Jeff's day finished there, but with only a minor problem. It seems that the wide open throttle switch decided to pack it in, so that was the only run he got in. The problem is now fixed up, but as we're writing this, Jeff hasn't been back to the track. Rightfully so, he feels that there's still more left in this Mustang andis looking forward to the spring so it canshow it's best.
Speaking of Show, Jeff has been known to take the car out for a quiet day among like-minded enthusiasts. In fact, a visit last year to the Hot Rod Weekend at Maple Grove raceway rewarded him with a 1st place nod in the Best Ford class. Along the way, he's added a few showy bits, including FRPP chromed cam and coil covers, an MGW Mach I fuel cap cover and a flamed pony emblem up front.
Jeff's plans for this year include some rear suspension work and a lot more racing. When we asked him what thoughts he'd like to pass on to our readers, he didn't have to think twice. "Checking out a tuning shop is important. Ask around and don't just take what the shop says for granted. If you're not comfortable with what you're hearing, move on. There are more shops around," he said. That sure seems like sound advice to us.