KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
January 28, 2010
Photos By: KJ Jones

Horse Sense:
Editor Turner, Associate Editor Mike Johnson, former contributor Dr. Jamie Meyer, and your tech editor have all done Mustang builds for you to enjoy, as well as learn from, by taking cool ideas and new concepts in our hobby to various stages of “the next level.” Street/strip Mustang builds have been well covered in 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, most recently with our ’86 T-top coupe LX, which is—according to many of you who have followed the build series or seen the car in person—one of the baddest Fox bodies (rare, registered/insured/cruiseable, full interior, 830 hp at the feet, and capable of covering the quarter in mid-9 seconds at more than a buck-forty) this magazine has ever produced.

Even though taking on a “full-build” Mustang project is probably the last thing many of you will ever consider doing yourselves, we here at 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords apparently enjoy the challenge.

The sometimes-daunting challenge of building from-the-ground-up Fox-body, SN-95, and New Edge Ponies has been taken on by writers past and present. The Mustangs that are the result of these efforts have always had the great looks and stout 5.0 and 4.6-liter performance that has had us all hooked on the hobby for a long time.

Like our California-based T-top coupe, Project Road Kill (Mike’s long-term build) and Fox 500 (Big Steve’s blown 5.4-powered, T-roof hatch) are two ’Stang projects that are being prepared primarily for street duty, as well as occasional workouts on the dragstrips and road courses of Florida. Building project Ponies that are “street compliant” really is what we’re all about. We understand that there are some states that have super-stringent emissions and other regulations on vehicles, so it’s important that our readers understand that when we use the term “street” to describe over-the-top/not-emissions-compliant project cars, we’re saying the ’Stangs absolutely must have valid/current registration and insurance that permits driving on local roads, freeways, and so on—period. Of course, building a brutally powerful street ’Stang, including power steering, stereo, heat, cold A/C, and other amenities (like the cars we see in our King of the Street competition each year), definitely get extra props.

We’re going slightly left of center with Project Boss 340, and assembling our ’90 LX hatchback ’Stang for one purpose and one purpose only—to go drag racing. There won’t be any street-compliance to speak of with this Pony. And with a nitrous-gulping, AFD Cleveland-headed small-block giving it life, we’re anticipating nothing but good things from the modern-day Boss Mustang once it’s completed and running.

If you’re just joining us, we strongly suggest that you bring yourself up to speed by dialing up our website and reviewing all the previous reports about the entire Boss 340 effort. You can also learn more about our intentions with the LX by grabbing a copy of our May ’09 issue and reading the intro story (“Here We Go Again,” p. 60).

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The Boss 340’s front suspension is the first area we address in our build. We’ve mentioned before that our intentions are to keep the car as light as possible, and installing chrome-moly, tubular front suspension pieces has long been one of the tried-and-true methods of taking pounds off a drag ’Stang.

If you’re not familiar with Racecraft, you definitely should be. Racecraft’s bolt-on chassis gear supports the front of our T-top coupe (and many other class-specific Mustangs competing in the NMRA). Once again, we’re going with the company’s lightweight (approximately 55 pounds) front-suspension hardware (K-member, A-arms, Pinto rack and steering linkage, 2-inch drop spindles, caster/camber plates with Strange Engineering’s single-adjustable struts and coilover springs), as well as an ultra-light, front-brake package from Strange Engineering, which we’ll count on to bring the Boss to smooth, safe stops at the end of the quarter-mile.

As parts installations go, a front-end upgrade such as this one is definitely the type of project that can be taken on by do-it-yourself-inclined enthusiasts. However, we recommend having a friend or two handy to provide assistance with tasks such as bolting in the K-member and raising the struts into position.

The accompanying photos and captions highlight and spotlight Boss 340’s Racecraft/Strange front-end parts and install procedures, as Rocco and Tony Acerrio (A.R.E. Performance and Machine of Simi Valley, California) begin their mission to complete our ’Stang in time for us to run it at the PSCA’s Street Car Super Nationals V event in Las Vegas (November 19 to November 22).

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