Pete Epple Technical Editor
December 1, 2009

After completing the tune-up, Frith shifted his attention to the air intake system. When we purchased our Mach 1, it had a nitrous oxide system on it that we didn't plan on keeping. Removing the system meant we would have a cold-air intake with a hole it. Instead of patching the hole, we decided to install a new piece from JLT Performance.

After a long conversation with Jay Tucker, owner of JLT, we made the decision to go with its Carbon Fiber '99/'01 Cobra kit. We did this for two reasons: one, the design of this kit will allow for plenty of clearance when we put our strut tower brace on, and two, the kit is worth a few more horsepower with the mass air meter and air filter mounted in the fender. The downside to this kit is the shaker that we love so much is now just for looks, but we can live with that.

Once the boys at BBR finished all of the mechanical work, it was time to strap our Mach back on the rollers so Jones could handle the custom tune. We turned to SCT for a Livewire handheld flash programmer, along with the Pro Racer Tuning Software to whip our ECM into shape. Although the Livewire comes with a bunch of tunes preloaded, we really wanted to maximize the potential of our Four-Valve. Jones made quick work of writing a tune and he set our Mach 1 up for its new gears, headers, and cold-air intake.

After a few dyno pulls, our Mach 1 laid down just shy of 310 rwhp and 321 lb-ft of torque, giving us a gain of 13 rwhp and 7 lb-ft of torque. Although our gains were not ground breaking, the biggest strides came in driveability. Our problem with a hanging idle is no more, and our Four-Valve accelerates smooth and quickly.

Once we got back to MM&FF command central, we bolted on the Mickey Thompson drag radials and headed back to Bradenton Motorsports Park for 1,320 feet of fun. With a little bit of added power and a healthy dose of gearing, our Mach 1 reacted well and laid down an impressive 12.83-second e.t. at over 107 mph.

Though we didn't see huge gains on the dyno, our Mach 1 reacted well to the added mods. The car feels strong and has picked up just under 0.7 seconds in the quarter-mile. Not bad for a mild daily driver.