Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
1992 Ford Mustang SSP Coupe - Project Smog-Legal Killer
Our emissions-friendly, 11-second Fox-body gets an SCT chip tuned by a legendary tuner for serious power gains.
The Right Parts
We started with a call to Coast High Performance (CHP), which offers the only smog-legal stroker short-block on the market, the 347e. Capable of 550 hp (or more with optional internals), it comes spec'd with a healthy cam (0.491/0.509lift, 212/222 duration, 112 LSA), and even has the paperwork to prove its legality.
The 347e sports Probe SRS forged 14.2cc dished pistons, a cast crank, and machined CNC beam rods. The 347e uses 5.315-inch rods instead of the more traditional 5.400 versions, which allows for pistons with a dry-ring design. This dry-ring design helps with seal and keeps oil consumption and emissions down, so legitimately passing smog for tens of thousands of miles won't be a problem.
We admit that an officer or a smog guy would have a hard time detecting a mild non-carb compliant stroker, but the CHP deal insures you'll legitimately pass. If you're already buying a stroker motor, why not get one that's smog-legal?
A stout stroker is nothing without free-flowing cylinder heads, so we opted for the new Air Flow Research (AFR) Renegade 195s. These big dogs feature full factory CNC porting on the intake and exhaust runners, as well as the combustion chambers. Big 2.05/1.60-inch valves with steep 20-degree intake valve angles help them flow 317 cfm at 0.650 lift—more than the outgoing 205 head.
These all-new 195 heads are emissions-legal, and have a 3⁄4-inch-thick head deck that's perfect for forced induction or nitrous. These high-flow casts come in 58cc and 72cc versions with 70cc exhaust ports, and are intended for 331-392ci motors spinning in the 2,000 to 7,000 rpm range. We opted for the 58cc versions; when paired with our Fel-Pro gaskets and the dished pistons, our CHP 347e arrived at a boost-friendly 9.6:1 compression ratio.
A call to Comp Cams helped solved our valvetrain questions with a cam, lifter, and spider valley tray kit. While the supplied CHP smog-legal cam is nice, its specs weren't ideal for our boosted intentions, so a Comp 284HR blower cam was our bumpstick of choice. With specs of 0.533/0.544 lift, 224/230 duration, and 114 LSA, it's better suited to our blown setup. The wider lobe separation, exhaust-heavy numbers, and the fact Comp's blower cams open the exhaust valves earlier than NA cams makes it better for boost.
Trick Flow 1.72 aluminum roller rockers and Comp Cams Hi-Tech pushrods were called to tickle the valves. The roller rockers necessitated tall valve covers and eventually a 1-inch phenolic spacer to solve our clearance problems.
We opted for fasteners from ARP and head gaskets from Fel-Pro. Some of the ARP goods included a 7⁄16-14 Pro Series head stud kit, 7⁄16-20 1.90-inch rocker stud kit, oil pump driveshaft, harmonic balancer bolt, and intake manifold bolts. As for the Fel-Pro lineup, a set of the Fel-Pro 1133 PermaTorque MLS steel head gaskets are beyond strong, as are the Fel-Pro intake manifold, valve cover, and header gaskets.
Other noteworthy additions included BBK 15⁄8-inch ceramic coated shorty headers, 75mm throttle body, 76mm MAF, adjustable fuel-pressure regulator, and catted X-style mid-pipe. Summit Racing Equipment stepped up with a Trick Flow Street Burner intake manifold, 255-lph fuel pump, 42-lb/hr injectors, water pump, and plenty of other bits like the Summit harmonic balancer, FRPP timing cover, Milodon oil pan/pickup, and Meiling oil pump.
We turned to Rankin Performance Machine for the build since an all-star list of parts is easily wasted with a lackluster assembly. Owner John Rankin assembled the new bullet with the utmost care, making it easy to see why they're known for some of the fastest engines on the West Coast.
A Spec Stage 2 clutch was called into action to feed the power to the pavement through a set of sticky Mickey Thompson ET Radial tires. The combo worked well on the street and offered enough bite to snap a stock axle. Of course, the stock hood no longer fit, so an Auto Metal Direct (AMD) aluminum 2-inch cowl hood sealed the deal. AMD sells the only aluminum cowl hood that weighs a scant 17 pounds, less than half the stock piece, and still uses the factory hinges and hardware. It's light as a feather and fits like factory.