Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
October 1, 2004
Photos By: Courtesy Of ATI-Procharger

Of course, the first item on Athena's installation list was a Bassani exhaust system. Here she's admiring the completed system, which included Mid-Length headers, a cata-lytic X-pipe, and an Aft-Cat. These systems sound as good as they look, and they work too.

First, Athena and Jet Car Jeremy Jennings removed the factory headers, the four-cat H-pipe, and the after-cat exhaust.

Next, they installed the Mid-Length headers, which are leaps and bounds easier to install than traditional long-tubes.

Then they bolted up the metallic-cat X-pipe and the Quiet Thunder after-cat system, giving the Mach 1 a great new sound and a con-siderable boost in power and torque.

Before the testing regimen began, the folks at ATI bolstered the stock rearend with Strange 31-spline axles, an Eaton Posi differen-tial, and 4.10 gears from US Gear. This was in anticipation of Athena testing the car at the strip. The car already had an aftermarket clutch and a Steeda Tri-Ax shifter, so with the rearend mods it was ready to take a beating. At MC Racing in Overland Park, Kansas, the Mach 1 baselined at nearly 260 hp on the Dynojet, which is quite a bit less than Ford's 310hp flywheel rating. Adding the Bassani Xhaust made things more interesting, as it picked up power across the rpm range and boosted the peak numbers by 24.15 hp and 23.79 lb-ft. In this form, Athena hit the dragstrip in the car. On slicks it ran a best e.t. of 12.72 at 106 mph in cool weather. After the blower install, the dyno numbers picked up considerably across the rpm range, but the peak gains were impressive-keeping in mind that a static chassis dyno doesn't really do an air-to-air intercooler justice-at 170.97 hp and 113.45 lb-ft. The graph with its additional data resolution shows even higher peaks. In this form, but with warmer temperatures at the track, the newly boosted Mach 1 ran a best e.t. of 11.66 at 120.95 mph, again with Athena behind the wheel. The folks at ATI believe a few more passes could have resulted in a mid-11-second e.t., but any way you slice it, a 170hp/1-second gain is impressive enough to put stock '03-'04 Cobras on notice.