Peter Haag sets goals and then works to achieve them. Some of those goals have short timelines and others are, well, not so short. Take, for example, the Fiberfab GT40 kit car that has been a fixture in his garage for the past 30 years or more. It is coming along, but slowly. Meanwhile, a number of other notable cars have come and gone through his driveway. "Some of the more interesting cars I have owned included a 1987 Buick Grand National and 1995 Porsche Carrera. Both were bought new and driven for five or so years. Before then I owned a 1978 Porsche 928. That car was fun to drive, but it was not what you would call reliable transportation," Peter told us.
As an Engineering Consultant in Michigan, Peter is in a hotbed of automotive performance customization shops. One day, he decided to take advantage of that. "I loved to drive my Porsches, but having a car identical toeveryone else's no longer had its appeal.I wanted to be able to pick out parts and try my hand at customizing the car's performance. I liked the looks of the new 2005 Mustang models and really liked the looks of the Saleen improvements."
In the Spring of 2005, he made his first move, picking up a low mileage, normally aspirated Saleen Mustang via the Internet. He bought it sight unseen and without a test drive. The car arrived with 1,500 miles on the odometer and a baseline dyno ratings of 276.1 RWHP and 294.2 RWTQ. Peter had a plan for this car and began executing it in short order. "Within a few months I had installed Brembo front brakes, changed out the shifter for a Steeda Tri-Ax, and changed out the ring & pinion gears for a 3.73:1 set."
Since before the car had arrived, Haag's plans also included a power adder, but when the time came, his first choice was experiencing production and supply problems. His patience ran out after several months of waiting and calling the company. In the meantime, he had read of several instances where people had great success with Saleen's own supercharger kit. Looking like it was a good alternative, he picked up the phone and ordered one. When that one arrived, it was not in the same shape that it had left the Saleen shipping dock - significantly so. A call to Saleen resulted in Peter visiting the company's Troy, MI, location to pick up a replacement unit.
Peter continues the story. "While there, I made arrangements to have the Saleen factory install their supercharger kit on my car. The supercharger was installed in the late fall of 2005. The car was subsequently re-dyno'd and found to have 383.9 RWHP and 379.1 RWTQ with just a stock supercharger and 4-inch pulley on a stock engine." Shortly after, it was time to take the Saleen off the road and let it hibernate for the winter. The chilly months in Michigan were put to good use, as Peter checked out what others were doing with their Mustangs, along with what successes (and otherwise) they found.
As spring approached, he found that his goals for the car had solidified. "First, I intended to build a 93 octane pump gas street car that I could drive occasionally on a road course. I wanted a car reliable enough to be a daily driver, though because I drive over 50 miles to work each day, I intended to drive it just on Fridays and the weekends. I was specifically not interested in build a straight-line drag car. Second, I demanded that my new car be drivable on the street with good idle, predictable boost, great balance, cornering and braking. Frankly, I was spoiled by driving my Carrera. Third, from my experiences from driving my Porsches I missed only having a 5 speed transmission. I wanted a six speed. Fourth, I wanted a car that would GO! as quick as it looked it could."
He had found that the output achieved from the standard supercharger wasn't entirely up to his liking. Roasting the rear tires isn't something that he'd be doing on a constant basis, but having the capability was important. His current setup was still having a hard time getting those 20-inch tires to light up on demand. He now intended to build up a 500 RWHP motor for the Saleen and understood, from other's experiences, that the bottom end was going to need some strengthening. For this work, he chose Livernois Motorsports in Dearborn Heights, MI. "The plan was to use my aluminum 4.6L block as a base for a 'built' stroker engine using the stock Saleen supercharger, break the engine in on the road and then bring the engine back in to increase the air, fuel and boost and re-tune for maximum power."