Pete Epple Technical Editor
November 1, 2009
Photos By: Patrick Hill, Kevin DiOssi, Team MM&FF, Justin Cesler
With the panels removed from the truck, we unbolted the shocks and laid the shock tower brace in place to mark the holes. After removing it we were able to drill the required holes to finish the installation.

With our chassis stiffening complete, we turned our sights on replacing the defunct shifter. After some investigative time in the shop, we realized our Mach 1 didn't have the Tremec 3650 five-speed it was equipped with from the factory. After a lengthy conversation with the previous owner, we came to the conclusion that a shop had "rebuilt" the 3650 a few months earlier. In reality, said shop simply swapped in a T45. Unfortunately, that shop is no longer in business and we weren't able to reach the owners. Either way, our Mach 1 needed to be restored to running condition. A quick call to UPR Products netted us a new Blue Thunder shifter and its Extreme Pistol Grip handle. The unit dropped right into place and solved all of our shifter issues. The billet pistol-grip handle is very comfortable looks great in the retro styled interior.

As our project moves forward, we have a slew of testing in store for our new Four-Valve. Once our baselines on the slalom and skidpad are in the books, we'll add some power, improve the suspension, and increase its braking abilities to create the perfect daily driver.