KJ Jones
Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 1, 2008
Photos By: KJ Jones
Performance Solutions Racing's lineup of Extreme Tube K-members features engine cradles constructed of seamless D.O.M. steel. They're available in five eye-popping colors: Chrome Blue, Clear, Black, Translucent Red, and Competition Orange.

Horse Sense: Four-Valve upgrades are what Performance Solutions Racing does best, as evidenced by the '03-'04 Cobras and Mach 1s in the shop for upgrades while we were there. Owner Dan Boardman's turbocharged, low-9-second Terminator is the baddest in the fleet. We think Dan should consider changing his shop's name to "The Snakepit," as it's a fitting moniker for a shop with that kind of SVT clientele.

Living by the clich "Necessity is the mother of invention," we constantly evaluate new concepts for late-model Mustangs that fully support this notion. We do our best to provide details on new products as soon as we get the chance.

While many of the aftermarket parts we tell you about are produced by huge conglomerates, we really dig it when 'Stangbangers take it upon themselves to make various bolt-ons for their cars and others like them, especially when the need for a part is critical and supply can't support demand.

Performance Solutions Racing's owner Dan Boardman experienced the supply-versus-demand debacle last year: New Edge ('99-'04) K-members that are normally readily available to his Phoenix-based installation/dyno facility were suddenly impossible to get.

"We found ourselves in an unusual position," Dan says. "We were unable to get K-members from anywhere, and we needed to finish several cars in the shop for suspension upgrades. Although I had orders out for three K-members each from anyone and everyone who builds them, I consulted with an engineer for information on how we could make our own so we wouldn't be caught in the same situation ever again."

The all-inclusive Extreme Tube K-member is shipped preassembled. Installing one is as easy as removing the old frontend and hoisting this new piece into position.

K-members did eventually arrive from various manufacturers, and the crisis ended. However, Dan decided to move forward with making a PSR version of a mod-motor cradle. "I took all of the different K-members to the engineer and had him blueprint each one," Dan says. "We then overlaid the blueprints and saw several variances between most aftermarket K-members. "While the differences are fine-and expected to an extent, we took our research further and installed each K-member back-to-back on the same car, noting what we liked and disliked about each one."

The data gleaned from the testing helped the crew at PSR develop its new Extreme Tube K-member (PN PSR46; $995). It's a lightweight piece that features improvements in design, geometry, and overall construction, which according to Dan, makes them "far more superior to the other mod-motor K-members on the market." The K-member supports Two- and Four-Valve engines in '99-'04 Mustangs.

A recent trip to Phoenix afforded us an opportunity to stop by PSR, where we got a good look at the company's new K-member. We followed along as PSR technicians Shane Baker and Andy Morgan installed one on a stock '03 Mach 1. The car has a nitrous system, but the juice hadn't yet been used before the K-member swap.

Working as a team, Shane and Andy transferred the parts efficiently and added a UPR front coilover spring kit (14-inch/175-pound street/strip) with UPR's three-bolt Shark caster/camber plates before returning the Mach to the ground. After a wheel alignment, which is recommended any time a K-member is replaced, Shane reported the 'Stang's ride is good on the street.

Follow-up dragstrip tests were also performed. With the 'Stang's best 60-foot e.t. in stock trim on street tires recorded as 2.0 seconds, the weight reduction and improved weight transfer brought about by PSR's Extreme Tube K-member improved the Mach 1's short times by one tenth. The car's setup was otherwise unchanged.