KJ Jones
May 2, 2013
Photos By: KJ Jones

Managing Expectations

While Cheaper Sleeper's driveline is filled with stealthy little upgrades, we're equally as excited about some of the tricks that are going on in the 'Stang's engine management and power adder.

As Fox veterans know, getting factory EEC-IV engine management to play nicely with a slew of aftermarket engine upgrades—especially a completely new fuel-injected stroker engine with a power adder—requires manipulating various fuel and timing tables, which is achievable only with chips, piggyback processors, or standalone ECUs. Many of the standalone systems, while excellent, are oftentimes a bit too advanced for some setups. Enter Modotek, an electronics- division of Cometic Gaskets that has created a plug-and-play management system for modified '86-'93 EFI Mustangs that serves these Ponies in the same capacity as the standalones. The BlackBox 2.0 ECU ($1,349) connects directly into a Fox 'Stang's stock wiring harness, and allows users to precisely tune engines for maximum performance with a laptop.

As the undisputed most affordable power adder, nitrous oxide is the steam enhancer of choice for Project Cheaper Sleeper. For the nitrous setup, Stevie Morrow pulled all of his old-school knowledge out of mothballs, taking various NOS-brand bits and creating a 150hp nitrous kit that we anticipate will hop things up quite nicely and make our undercover LX a really fun Mustang.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery
The finished engine looks pretty plain-Jane, doesn’t it? Down below, Bassani short-tube headers and a full exhaust system with an X-shaped crossover that includes high-flow catalytic converters and stainless mufflers let out the growl. Now you know the secrets. Try one or try ‘em all on your low-buck Mustang project. Hop-up efforts like this are a lot of fun, and they definitely prove that pretty and expensive don’t always apply to cool Ponies. 5.0