Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1985 5.0L Mercury Capri Flo Tek Cylinder Head And Cam Upgrade Part 4
Our Mercury Capri Gets A Cylinder-Head And Cam Upgrade From Flo-Tek And Summit Racing Equipment.
Having previously launched the car at 5,500 rpm, we thought it wise to back the launch rpm down a bit to compensate for the cold track. Baldwin held the throttle at 4,500 rpm and popped the clutch on the third amber. The tires spun badly and when he dialed up Second gear, Baldwin was put on "shift waiting." Once he found Second gear, he pulled the engine up to 5,800 rpm (a feat that wasn't possible before the new heads due to valve float) and shifted the remaining gears to cross the finish line in 15.47 seconds at 104.35 mph. The heinous 3.19-second 60-foot time told the whole story. Baldwin's second pass was much better.
Dropping the launch rpm to 3,000, the Capri spun slightly but moved out to a 1.92 short time. Three gear changes later, the clocks lit up with a 12.89 at 107.99 mph. It was going to be a challenge to get the Capri to leave hard without spinning, so on the next pass, we lowered the tire pressure from 15 psi to 13 psi. We also opted to rev the engine a little higher on this next run, and a 3,000-rpm launch followed by 6,200 rpm shifts turned a 1.88 60-foot time into a 12.74 at 107.88 mph. Baldwin reported that the car didn't feel like it pulled that high, so for run number four, we backed shift points down to 6,000.
At this point, we handed the keys to the rookie, Chris Crosby, who runs low 12s with his naturally aspirated heads/cam/intake Fox-body coupe. Crosby specified 12 psi of air in the tires and attempted a 4,000-rpm launch, to which the Capri responded with bad wheel spin. Crosby aborted the run and wheeled around for another go. This time, a 3,000-rpm launch resulted in mild wheel spin and a 1.88-second short time, followed by a 12.80 run at 107.97 mph.
Crosby followed this up with a final run of 12.61 seconds at 108.74 mph-a better 1.82 60-foot time surely helped. With a lot more air flowing through the engine and cold dense air being sucked down the carburetor, we thought it was time to try a jet change, which is something we have wanted to do for a while now, but couldn't until Holley set us up with a complete jet kit.
For run seven, Baldwin jumped back in the hot seat after swapping out the Holley's 65 jets for a set of 70s. We opted to make a big change in the sizing to see a good change one way or another. As it turns out, that plan didn't exactly work. Baldwin let the clutch fly at 3,500 rpm and the Capri responded with a 1.88-second 60-foot time. It crossed the stripe in 12.84 seconds at 107.53 mph. At the driver's request, we ditched the paper air filter element and air cleaner, and headed back to the starting line.
The staging lanes closed at this point, so this would be our last run. Baldwin took a risk and left the line at 4,500 rpm. The first 60 feet passed by in just 1.75 seconds-our best time of the night. The timing lights lit up with a 12.54 at 108.72 mph. That's a full second off our previous best e.t., and a gain of nearly 9 mph. The Capri is definitely making some steam thanks to the Flo Tek cylinder heads and the B303 cam. Not bad for budget parts.
As triumphant as the last run was, it was also the scariest looking. The car hadn't made a straight pass all night, and Baldwin went near the center line twice. The Capri wanted to launch left every time and unloaded rear tires pretty good at every shift, so we think we have some suspension work ahead of us. With the help of Lakewood Industries and Moroso, that's our plan for next month. We're also going to finally drop the front antiroll bar (yes, it's still on there), as well as maybe add a few more ponies with a couple of small bolt-ons that we've passed by. Are 11-second e.t.'s possible for our Capri? Come back next month and find out.