Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
Project Smog-Legal Killer - Rollbar Installation and Mickey Thompson ET Rubber
Hooked Up and Rolled Out: With a Maximum Motorsports rollbar and plenty of Mickey Thompson rubber, we’re finally ready for a 10-second timeslip.
Let It Eat
After months of preparation, there was no way we were leaving anything on the table. With the ultimate e.t. in mind, we contacted Mickey Thompson and asked them to pull out the big guns. Nothing against radials or even ET Streets, but we wanted big hook and plenty of drivetrain-saving sidewall flex so we stepped up to the big dogs, some ET Drags out back and low rolling resistance ET fronts on the leading edge.
We knew some fenderwell massaging would be in order, but that was the price we were prepared to pay for big traction and so we opted for a set of ET Drags in a 28/10.5-15S (PN 90000000851). These sticky Mickeys measure a stout 28 inches tall for big sidewall flex and plenty of speed on the back end while also giving us a full 10 inches of tire width. It took some work but we stuffed them inside the arches after mounting them on a set of lightweight, old-school Mickey Thompson one-piece drag wheels.
Up front we opted for 26.0/4.5-15 Mickey Thompson ET Fronts (PN 90000000820) since proper drag skinnies like these can possibly cut 0.1 off your e.t. compared to a heavy full street tire. The Mickey's cut rolling resistance and wind drag, not to mention they also look the biz. If you're after every last e.t., some ET Drags are certainly an E-ticket ride to killer 60-foots and are equally easy on the drivetrain.
After months of hard work and plenty of prep work, it was time to see if the Smog-Legal Killer had a 10- second e.t. in it. After paying another visit to AED for some preparation work, it was time to visit Sacramento Raceway and let it eat.
Astute readers will note the baller Weld AlumaStar wheels up front. Due to a scheduling conflict, our 15-inch front skinnies didn't arrive in time, so the guys from AED came to the rescue and let us borrow their personal set of skinnies—now that's a helping hand. With your author behind the camera, we threw hot shoe Drew Wallace from AED in for a few passes. What transpired was nothing short of frustrating.
Despite the little feeling in our guts, we decided to try for the 10- second e.t. without sway bars or even an antiroll bar. This was a bad idea, as the car launched crooked, and danced all over the track, even on the top end. To say it was a wild ride would have been an understatement—it was plain scary.
To add insult to injury, we under-spec'd the clutch. By no fault of the clutch, we opted to keep costs down with a budget single disc—in the end, it bit us. However, the unit did admirably well despite being overworked 100 lb-ft above its torque rating. Surprisingly enough, it survived multiple 5,000-rpm launches and produced consistent 1.5-1.6 60-foot times despite being overtaxed. After several good launches, the last pass of the night was finally too much, as the clutch slipped at the hit and each subsequent shift.
So what did she run? Well, with a wildly crooked launch, a slipping clutch, and having to lift at several points for fear of our lives, we crossed the stripe in 11.08 at 123 mph. Yes, we missed our goal by 0.08 second. While the fact that we chopped nearly a second off our last track outing of 11.98 at 122 mph was impressive, there was no way were going out like that. We could taste a 10-second e.t.!
Down but not out, we loaded up and went home. After a few days the sting of defeat wore off and determination set in. We have a clutch upgrade to address and some chassis-stiffening to fix, but we'll be back at it again. Stay tuned—there's no turning back now!