Michael Galimi
January 1, 2009
Our baseline drag test netted us a 14.43 at 95 mph. The car was stock, save for a Hotchkis suspension, American Muscle 18-inch wheels, Nitto 555 tires, and 3.73 gears.

Today, we all like to talk about budget, reasonable cost, and things that are flat-out cheap when talking in the aftermarket Mustang ranks. Unless you have been living in a cabin in Montana without contact to the outside world, it is no secret we are in the middle of a recession. But just because the state of economics is in limbo, it doesn't mean you cannot modify your Mustang and have fun racing it or ripping up the streets. There are some great cars out there-including the bevy of '99-'04 Mustang GTs.

Getting into a Two-Valve modular motor-powered Mustang is not hard these days, and they are pretty easy to modify, too. Thanks to New Edge Stangs hitting dealerships nearly a decade ago, the cars are well into their service life, and most have racked up quite a bit of mileage. That means, for a reasonable price, you could walk away with a V-8-powered Mustang in relatively good shape.

The engine sports 160,000 miles on the odometer. It isn't the lowest-mileage engine out there, but it still runs strong. We aren't going to throw big power at it due to the high mileage, but that can't prevent someone from adding mild bolt-on parts and still running fast and having fun. This is not an engine you want to introduce to 10 psi of boost from a blower or a 150 shot of nitrous!

Kenny Miele of our Yo, Ken! column found out firsthand what a bargain high-mileage New Edge cars can be. He picked up his '99 Mustang GT a few years ago with 129,000 miles on the odometer. For the sweet price of $5,400, he walked away with a clean Mustang. Now this silver GT serves as his daily driver and he has run up the odometer to 160,000 miles while commuting to and from work. Thanks to regular oil changes and general maintenance, Miele has only had a small problem with a sensor for the A/C system. Past generation Mustangs would be ready for the scrap yard with that mileage, but not these mod machines. They are well built, sturdy, and high mileage shouldn't be a concern-provided the engine was maintained properly.

Last month we embarked on a mission to modify the sedate-looking Mustang. In the first installment, Yo Ken's Silver Stealth Stang received a complete Hotchkis suspension system upgrade along with Nitto tires and American Muscle wheels to help handle the corners better. Miele is a die-hard drag racer, but we told him the car would be more fun on the street. He reluctantly handed us the keys, but has since changed his tune. The car sits lower, looks better, and handles great. It was time to start upping the horsepower.

TFS sent us a larger upper plenum, which we asked for in black (right), and a 70mm throttle body (left). As a combo, Summit sells these parts for $250.

All too often, it is easy to throw on a centrifugal supercharger and get the thing tuned up to around 420-450 rwhp. However, not every enthusiast has several thousands of dollars lying around. That said, we thumbed through our big book of speed secrets to find parts that were more reasonably priced. Our first order of business was to free up the induction system to let the Two-Valve breath better. We opened the Summit Racing catalog and ordered two key components from Trick Flow Specialties, a Two-Valve High-Flow Upper Plenum (PN TFS-51811001) and a 70mm throttle body (PN TFS-24070). Summit has the plenum listed for $109.95, while the throttle body retails for $165.95 if bought separately. We prefer the black finish to the natural one, but the choice is yours as Summit has both colors listed for the same price. The combo package retails for a scant $250. That is almost a $26 savings with the combo deal.