Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsFeatures
Jake Anderson’s 2004 GT Knocks on the 8-Second Door
The Old College Try
“I was sold on the color before I even got all the way into this lady’s driveway,” Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Jake Anderson recalls of the 2004 Mustang GT he saw in a classified advertisement. As a high school student, Anderson was searching for a sports car to replace his recently sold pickup truck and sport bike. The Competition Orange coupe fit the bill.
Anderson couldn’t wait to start wrenching on the GT. “The small mods started immediately. It got a set of long-tube headers, a tune, and gears within my first week of ownership. The racing community combined with the sheer amount of aftermarket options available for Mustangs turned that interest into an obsession.”
Anderson’s newfound passion for Mustangs even affected his career choice. “This car was a large factor in my decision to major in mechanical engineering, and definitely helped me stay sane through college when things got really stressful.”
During his first year of college, the orange coupe’s mill gained a set of blower-friendly camshafts and a blower pushing 11 psi down the 4.6L 2V’s intake. “I combined my hands-on knowledge with of the principles I was learning in college and started tuning the car myself. It made 410 wheel horsepower on a Mustang dyno and ran a best quarter-mile time of 11.65 119.9 mph, which I thought was lightning fast at the time!”
But Anderson wanted more. With money earned working 60-hour weeks during a summer internship, Anderson bought his first built short-block. Unfortunately, a thrust bearing failure sent thousands of dollars up in smoke. “The word ‘devastated’ doesn’t even begin to cover how I felt,” Anderson laments.
After flirting with selling the car, Anderson decided to soldier on and build the next engine himself. “After about a year of picking up parts, graduating college, and moving to my first house, I finally had the second engine together. The engine ran well the entire summer and in fall the car clicked off a 10.79 at 129.8 mph pass…and lost oil pressure.” A bum set of oil pump gears starved the bottom-end of crucial lubrication. “It only takes a couple seconds to destroy engine bearings when you lose oil pressure at 7,000 rpm,” Anderson reasons.
The second engine failure would’ve convinced some owners to throw in the towel. But Anderson doubled down. “That winter, I decided to go all-out. I bought a set of ported DSS cylinder heads, a new rotating assembly with Wiseco pistons, H-beam rods, ARP rod bolts, and Cobra crankshaft. I sold the supercharger and bought a CG Fab turbo kit with a Turbonetics 7668 ball bearing turbo.”
Anderson was done taking chances. “I was obsessive about this engine build. I put the entire engine together in my kitchen and made sure everything was medical grade clean during assembly. I measured every tolerance over and over again and compared them to what other racers were successfully running.
“Even though the engine started right up and ran fine, in my paranoia I pulled the engine three times that summer to check for any abnormal bearing wear. Fortunately, everything looked great. I put a couple thousand street miles on it, scared the daylights out of my friends that were brave enough to ride along, and collected ten second timeslips every weekend.”
With the thrills of the ten second zone wearing off and his home-built engine healthy, Anderson was eager to turn up the wick. He wanted to run nines. “I upgraded to a Precision 7675 billet turbo, added a drag friendly rear suspension, built the rearend with Strange Engineering axles and Ford Racing 3.55 gears, and swapped in a built 4R70W with full manual valvebody, transbrake, and Circle D 4000-rpm stall torque converter.
“I turned up the boost to 18 psi, and the car effortlessly clicked off multiple 9.6 passes at over 146mph! I was blown away at how well this little engine responded to the new turbo and transbrake.”
Now, Anderson’s goal is to run eights. Larger 160 lb/hr Fuel Injector Clinic squirters feed Anderson’s 4.6L with additional E85 fuel to complement 25 psi of boost. His current best run is 9.09 at 152.92 mph, but given good air and a little luck, he’s confident an eight is in the cards. Regardless, Anderson is pleased. “It’s faster than I thought this combination would be able to achieve—ever.”
What’s next for Anderson’s tangerine turbo two-vee? “I’m going to add the necessary safety equipment to make me class legal, then enjoy the car for a while.”
By “a while,” we assume Anderson means more than eight seconds at a time.