Pete Epple Technical Editor
December 1, 2009

As a project gets underway, it begins to develop a personality all it's own. Some are great on the dragstrip, some seem adept at carving corners. Our project car is no exception

Last month we took a basically stock '03 Mach 1, put it through a bunch of the normal tests, and it performed very well in all areas. Our baseline on the dyno was promising, and we were happy with the numbers we saw at the dragstrip. After stiffening the chassis, we decided it was time to add a few ponies and attack some of the driveability issues we had with our mildly modified Mach, now known as Project Shake 'N' Bake.

To get underway, we headed to Blow By Racing (BBR) in Boca Raton, Florida. Our good friends Chris Jones and Matt Frith were quick to bring us in and get things underway. The first order of business was strapping our Mach 1 to BBR's Dynojet 224 to spin the rollers and get a baseline. Just 296 rwhp and 314 lb-ft of torque later, we went to the other side of the shop to take apart the Mach 1.

Things started off with the removal of our existing exhaust. With the stock manifolds and Magnaflo X-stlye midpipe out of the way, we removed the driveshaft, allowing us to disassemble the 8.8-inch rearend.

The stock housing had never been touched before we removed the cover. The stock 3.55 gears still resided in the housing and offered decent daily driveability, but it didn't offer the performance we were looking for. After a lengthy battle removing the stock bearings and races, Frith was ready to install the new differential parts.

Randy's Ring and Pinion sent us everything we needed to beef up our 8.8, including a master overhaul kit, which included all new bearings and seals to freshen our rearend. With the stock equipment removed, Frith quickly bolted the Yukon 4.10 gear set onto the Eaton Detroit Truetrac differential. The Truetrac is a huge improvement over the stock differential, and will add all the strength we need on the dragstrip and road course.

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