Mmfp Yo Ken Readers Letters Lead
Ken Miele
January 1, 2010

Taming The Turbo

First off, great magazine! After reading Pro-Stock Pony, I had to have a turbo on my '93 Stang. I have a mostly stock motor except for a Cobra intake, BBK 65mm throttle body, and an Aeromotive fuel pressure regulator. I installed a Treadstone single turbo kit with a Turbonetics 62-1 turbo, Summit 42 lb/hr fuel injectors, PMAS blow-through mass air meter, T-Rex fuel pump, and an MSD 6AL-2.

Running 10 psi of boost and with base timing at 10 degrees and fuel pressure at 42 psi, it runs really good, except for some minor idling issues. I want to have it tuned, but I still want to do more to the motor, like heads, cam, 331ci forged bottom-the list goes on.

I was wondering, what you think of the TwEECer or Anderson PMS tuning devices? How hard would it be to tune with either one? Should I dyno tune over and over? It just seems like a hassle. The car will see limited track time, and street miles. I just have to say that after running a 150hp shot of nitrous and filling the bottle over and over, I'm addicted to boost!

Thanks for all the great turbo articles. Maybe you could do a few articles on the Tweecer?

Loren Grimm
Acme, PA

Loren, both TwEECer and Anderson Ford Motorsport PMS are real-time tuners and a good choice if you like to get into your own tuning. The learning curve for these tuners can be steep, but once learned you will be glad you went this route. Both of these companies have great support. I suggest you go with the one that gives you the best deal.

Thumping and Ticking

Maybe you guys can help me out. I've got a '98 Mustang GT convertible with a 4.6L stock engine, C&L cold-air intake, 80mm C&L mass air meter, 70mm FRPP throttle body, Trickflow upper air plenum, 1 5/8 BBK long-tube headers, JET performance chip, and 3.73 rear gears.

Everything seemed to be running great, and then I decided to step things up a bit and installed an FRPP PI intake, ported PI heads from an '04 GT, Comp Cams XE274 cams (236 intake/240 exhaust), MSD coil packs and 8.5mm Super Conductor wires, and a Pro-5.0 shifter. Now my Stang isn't running properly.

There is a ticking/pinging now at all speeds (I was told it was running lean by one person, and another told me it was the lash adjusters) and sometimes, although it has the great cam-thumping sound, it dies at idle. At first I considered upping the fuel delivery (bigger pump and injectors), but then I thought it might be a tuning issue. I wanted to get your opinion before I went any further. How can I get my baby back to running like she should? Any help or advice will be greatly appreciated!

Cody Barner
Via email

Cody, its sounds as if you're a little lean or you have too much timing. I always suggest getting the right tune when you start upgrading, but it's extremely critical when going with cams as big as yours. I'm running similar cams in Project Silver Stealth Stang and I can tell you getting it right took some time, especially with an auto trans. Get yourself a good tune and all will be well.

Stroke, Man, Stroke

I am the very proud owner of a 2003 Mach 1. With that being said, I have a serious issue. The engine has a bad rod knock and my garage has already told me that it will cost $1,500 and some change to tear my motor down and put it back together if I want to rebuild it-that includes all machining.

So my question is should I buy a straight rebuild kit or invest in a stroke and poke? I have checked out Coast High Performance. I know of its reputation and I want to know which of these three would be best for my application-the 4.6 (Dominator), 5.0 (Streetfighter), or the 5.1 (Streetfighter). I have no intention of going with forced induction-just a K&N cold-air intake, SLP headers, X mid-pipe, and Loud Mouth exhaust. With that combination of parts, which kit would you recommend?

Keith Ramey
Via email

Keith, in your case bigger is better. I like the 5.1 Street/Strip. I would go with the 21.1cc dish pistons to keep the compression down in case you want to supercharger it in the future and to be suitable with 91-octane pump gas. You're also less likely to run into detonation problems. Coast High Performance has a good reputation and you will definitely like the extra torque from the 5.1 Street Fighter.

Unsprung Hero

I recently read that losing one pound of rotating mass, or unsprung weight, will give you the same performance increase as losing 10 pounds of dead weight. Is this true? If so I was thinking that it would be neat to see you demonstrate it on a car. Maybe use a car that's close to stock, and use the same tires both before and after the mods. It seems that you can actually drop a considerable amount of rotating mass/unsprung weight off of a Mustang.

If you could lose 50 lbs of unsprung weight/rotating mass that should be equivalent to losing 500 lbs dead weight performance-wise. I'm sure that's true, but I think it would be neat to read about the results it would make in all performance areas (acceleration, braking, handling, etc.). Also, I was reading that there is performance to be gained using ceramic wheel bearings. Do you feel that they would be worth the expense for the performance that they give you?

Jesse Nelson
Gaston, SC

Jesse, those numbers, for the most part, are what the average racing combo will gain. There are many variables to consider. For instance, an engine that makes a lot of torque on the low end may not pick up as much as an engine that makes less torque at a higher rpm. All of the components you mention will help you accelerate quicker, but may not give the same performance to all combinations. Hopefully we can have some tests on this subject in the near future, but keep in mind that the results may not be the same for all vehicle combinations.

Ceramic wheel bearings will most likely not give a good cost-effective performance gain, but that depends on the type of racing you do. I know race teams that would spend tens of thousands of dollars just to pick up a tenth in a quarter-mile mile drag car.

Just Swap It

I own three cars and "the boss" wants me to get down to two. She says that car No. 3, the Volvo S80, stays, so here it goes.

Car No. 1 is a '91 LX 5.0L with a fresh 331ci engine, ported Trick Flow "High Port" heads (the old-school good ones), a Holley SysteMax II upper/lower intake, a custom blower cam, an S-trim blowing out 10 psi at 5,000 rpm through a custom after-cooler, 17/8-inch long-tube headers (BBK), a Moroso vacuum pump, and the usual supporting cast of throttle body, MAF, and such. The car made 500 rwhp at 5,000 rpm before my 42-lb/hr injectors ran out of fuel on the chassis dyno. I have 60-lb/hr squirters in the mail, as well as a bigger blower pulley so that I can keep the stock block alive. My goal is 500 rwhp at a higher 6,500 rpm.

Car No. 2 is a '98 LX 3.8L. Yep, the wimpiest Stang ever created, but the car is immaculate. How hard would it be for me to combine the go-fast parts from the Fox-body into the chassis of the '98 LX? Is it as easy as swapping over the transmission, rear axle, the engine, the wiring harnesses, and other items? I am very concerned about the long-tube headers fitting. Am I crazy to consider this? Also, I am still using the stock T5 with only a steel bearing retainer added. Will it live on the street as long as I use tire incineration to prevent too much torque from killing it?

Keep up the great work!

Chris Dziuban
U.S. Coast Guard, Clearwater

Chris, the wife might think you're crazy with this swap, but I think it's a great idea. The Fox-body and the SN-95 are basically the same chassis. Everything from your '91 LX will swap over to your '98 except for the wiring. Find yourself a '94-'95 5.0L wiring harness from a salvage yard. The Fox rear axle is also slightly narrower than the SN-95 chassis version, so keep an eye on wheel size/fitment. The BBK long-tube headers will work.

Your T5 is living on borrowed time with 500 rwhp, whether you're incinerating or not. Upgrade the transmission as soon as you can.

Low-Pressure Situation

I am having trouble with my '90 5.0L Mustang. You guys are my first hope to figure out what is wrong with my baby. I built a new 302 bored 0.030 over and put everything new in the block. It started fine and sounds great, but it has only 10 lbs of oil pressure at idle. I checked it with three different gauges and still have only 10 psi. I have taken the motor out and checked the mains and rod bearings three times and changed the oil pump twice with new ones, and the same thing happens. What else should I check? If you can please help and email me back, my blue baby is sick.

Pikeville, KY

Tim, I assume when you checked the main and the rod bearings you meant the clearance. Too much clearance and you will get little to no oil pressure. If the clearances check out, you may have dirt or some debris in the oil galleries. I suggest you go through all the oil galleries with a wire brush. Depending on the condition of your previous engine, and where you are picking up the oil pressure from for your gauges, the factory hexagonal log that the stock sending unit is screwed into can become clogged and produce skewed readings. The only other thing I can think of is the gasket between the pump and block is not sealing properly.

Diving Right In

I'm new to the Mustang scene and so far I love what I see. Your magazine is by far the most informative of all. I want to build a '94-'95 Mustang project. After seeing the power gains of the 4.6 over the 5.0L in your August issue, I would like to install a modular 4.6L Four-Valve in place of the stock 5.0L. Is this swap possible? Or am I better off sticking with the 5.0L? And if so where can I look to find out how to do it? Thanks and keep up the great Mag.

Casey Stanley
Burlington, NC

Casey, the 4.6L Four-Valve is a bolt-in swap, although it can be frustrating for a novice. If you have good amount of mechanical experience it is a good project. If you're a new comer to swaps like this, I suggest you stick with the 5.0L. The best advice I can give you on a detailed swap likes this is to hit the forums such as,, and have a wealth of info for this swap. You could also just sell your 5.0L and buy a '99-newer Mustang GT or Cobra, which would make things a lot easier on you.