Dale Amy
October 1, 2003

Horse Sense:
On a road course, the Mustang's stock, rubber-bushed, parallel-lower-arm, four-link rear suspension design is its biggest handicap, varying from grinding understeer to snap oversteer at the most inconvenient moments.

Welcome back to our multi-issue buildup of a Mach 1 Racer, the affordable track brainchild of CDC Racing and Mustang Racing Technologies (MRT). In case you missed it (and a subscription would help avoid these little lapses), the idea here is to allow those with a bad case of competition fever to get a brand-new racer-armed with a factory-fresh Mach 1 drivetrain-ready for the road course or quarter-mile for well under twenty-five large, complete right down to the last nut and bolt.

In our initial installment last month ("Cost-Effective Competition" Sept. '03, p. 99), we began with a stoutly caged body-in-white, added the all-important three main chassis electrical harnesses, and then began bolting in hardware from the firewall out, much as the factory does at the Dearborn plant. Classic Design's Craig Colden fabricated some sheet-aluminum block-off plates for the firewall openings normally occupied by heating and air-conditioning paraphernalia. He also mounted a wiper motor and actuator arms, the firewall support bearing for the steering shaft, the brake booster/master cylinder, and associated Hydro-Boost lines around the engine bay. Inside, the clutch, brake, and gas pedals were hung, the dash assembly (modified to clear the cage bars) was set into place, and the interior portion of the steering column-with integral ignition and accessory switches-was secured to the dash.

With the exception of the cage, absolutely everything installed up to this point has consisted of Ford factory parts, as will the majority of the rest of the car, some coming from the Mach 1 parts bin, some from the Cobra's, and even a couple from the V-6 model. CDC Racing bundles these brand-new FoMoCo parts into affordable packages that are amazingly all-inclusive, so you can spend your time building rather than scrounging for miscellaneous parts. We will divert from these conscientiously engineered and highly reliable factory components only where necessary to suit the specific needs of a track car. That's where MRT comes in, with its diverse line of race-specific aftermarket hardware.

This month we'll go underneath to plumb the fuel and brake systems, craft up a road-course-oriented suspension, and bolt the complete Mach 1 drivetrain in place, moving us a giant step toward track readiness. We can almost hear the tortured screaming of tire rubber and the car's owner already.

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