Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
2014 Ford Mustang GT - Naturally-Aspirated Build, Part 2
All-Natural Coyote - No blower, no turbo, no nitrous.
Check out Part 1 of our All-Natural Coyote build!
So you've already done the basic bolt-on mods to your '11-up GT, and you're wondering which direction to take it next. The intake swap, headers, exhaust, gears, and tune put you in the high-11s, but you still want more. Well, you could always save up a few grand to do the blower or turbo install (like most would expect you to do), but that will set you back a few thousand dollars at once, even if you install it yourself.
The other option, though certainly not as flashy, is to step outside the box and stay NA. That's what we've chosen to do with the white '14 GT seen on these pages. You could do it all at once, like we're doing, or one or two changes at a time as you can afford it. That's the beauty of staying NA. That is, of course, until you decide that you want to build a stroker. But we're not going there on this project—at least not now.
Last month, we transformed JMS Chip & Performance's completely stock '14 GT into a mild street/strip performer using only bolt-on components. The automatic GT had gone a best of 13.24 at 107 mph in stock form, and after a CAI; FRPP CJ throttle body; and intake, headers, exhaust, gears, and tune, it went 11.94 at almost 117 mph. We chose those particular mods because those are the mods that most people do first.
So what's next? We've been in the 10s with stock suspension on a '13 GT (see “Our One-Day DIY Roush Install” series), sure, but there's something to be said for shaving every tenth possible off your 60-foot times, especially when you're staying NA. So, we've turned to Lakewood Industries for a slew of its components for this GT—we're basically throwing the catalog at it. OK, not really, but we're doing shocks, struts, rear upper and lower control arms, lower control arm relocation brackets, and an adjustable Panhard bar.
We also wanted to free up some horsepower by swapping camshafts. We had considered leaving the stock cams for this two-part series, but decided that it wouldn't be a fair assessment since cam swaps are becoming very popular on Coyotes, especially when companies like Comp Cams are making no spring required (NSR) camshafts. We opted for the XFI Stage 3 NSR versions (PN 191160; $1,514.86), which are Comp's most aggressive NSR cams for the Coyote. The profile consists of 0.492/0.453-inch lift, 236/239 degrees duration at 0.050, and are designed to operate best between 1,900 and 7,200 rpm, with the strongest gains from 5,500 to 7,200 rpm. They require a limiter kit, which we also sourced from Comp.
And in order to take full advantage of the new higher power band, we decided to take the step of swapping out the torque converter. We chose the Pro Series Stage III 258mm converter (PN 38-13-05) from Circle D Specialties. This 6R80-specific converter features a custom CNC, billet-aluminum front cover, and your choice of five stall speeds, ranging from 3,000 to 4,200 rpm. We chose the 5C, the 4,000-4,200-stall version. This sweet piece will set you back $1,100, but it's well worth the price.
Since the driveshaft was already out for the converter swap, why not ditch it for a lighter one-piece carbon-fiber part? We called on The Driveshaft Shop for one of its CV-equipped pieces (see A Dynamic Solution sidebar in this story). We also added a bolt-on driveshaft loop from Stiffler's. To top it all off, we turned to LatemodelRestoration.com for a set of its new SVE drag wheels and tires.
A Dynamic Solution
Since we're going bolt-on crazy trying to squeeze as much e.t. out of this NA Coyote as possible (without going overboard), a lightweight driveshaft swap was a must. And when it comes to carbon-fiber units for the '11-up Stangs, The Driveshaft Shop knows a thing or two. It manufactures shafts in aluminum, steel, chromoly, and carbon fiber, and has been doing it over 30 years.
We chose carbon fiber for this build and took a behind-the-scenes look at how a carbon fiber driveshaft is made, being curious. The raw carbon-fiber tubing is cut to length, bonded to the billet ends (one end is a CV joint), and balanced at over 9,000 rpm, ensuring no vibration issues. We opted for the off-the-shelf shaft for our application (PN FDSH23-C-CV1; $1,249.99), but the company will build you a custom shaft for your street or race car.