The Red Car
Derek Peterson had a Fox with a 12.5:1-compression, 331-inch small-block that ran on E85 out of the pump. He bought it when he was 17 and toasted three Ford small-blocks looking for more power. "I kept blowing up these things, but I was 18 so I didn't have any money for good parts," says Derek. Eventually, he built a strong short-block and almost seemed satisfied with the combination. At the same time, Brian was swapping the 460 for a stock 5.3L and a Chinese turbo and walked right by Derek and his expensive 331. What happened? Tremayne Brown, that's what.
"Tremayne had been playing with turbos from a Freightliner on a dirty gen-one Chevy," says Derek. "He had a 100-gallon tank from Harbor Freight full of water-meth. It would spool for a country mile then it was the fastest thing you've ever seen. For a car that looks so ratty, it runs flawlessly."
Tremayne influenced both Derek and Brian that turbos make the car fast, and Brian had learned that the 5.3L LS engine was not only good but also cheap. Derek was paying attention and ditched the 331 for a 5.3L LS with a blow-through. "I had always used EFI, so I didn't know anything about carburetors," Derek says. "I would keep my foot in it and melt down pistons; it was a learning curve, but there are plenty of truck engines."
For Derek and Brian, it is simple hot rodding. They stand in parking lots and BS all summer and once in while go somewhere and find out who is fastest. "I raced Brian on the closing day at the track," Derek says. "Brian was blowing through his converter and was ahead of me and I went 10.30 at 134."
Who: Derek Peterson
What: '90 Ford Mustang
Where: Blaine, MN
Engine: Yup, Derek also has a 5.3L LS engine with a turbo. The combo is similar to Brian's with LS9 head gaskets and stock heads. He added a Comp LS6 roller cam with 218/220 degrees of duration and 0.555/0.555 lift on a 118 LSA. The rocker arms and pushrods are from a 6.0L truck engine with "yellow" valvesprings. For boost, Derek uses a "Chinna GT45" turbo with twin 38mm wastegates and a 50mm BOV (blow-off valve). The turbo blows into an Extreme Velocity hat and an Edelbrock Victor Jr. and a 750 Holley carburetor. It also uses E85 from the pump. The engine is controlled by an MSD 6010 LS1/LS6 ignition box and tuned using MSD software and a FAST wideband O2. Derek puts a guess at 600 hp and 510 lb-ft of torque.
Fabrication: The LS has flipped truck exhaust manifolds with a homebuilt 2.5-inch hot side and a 4-inch downpipe.
Trans: The Fox uses a TH400 with a B&M 10-inch converter with a 3,600-rpm stall and a Trans Go shift kit.
Suspension: Fox Mustangs benefit from a four-link rear suspension. Derek added adjustable control arms from UPR, an antiroll bar, and Gas-O-Matic shocks. The frame connectors are Battle Boxes from Wild Rides.
Rear: The rear is the factory 8.8 with 3.27:1 gears on a Moser spool with Moser 35-spline axles and C-clip eliminators.
Interior: It is mostly stock in Ron Burgundy red with a Hurst Quarter Stick and a big Auto Meter Pro Comp Ultra-Lite II tachometer.
Rollers: The skinnies are 15x4.5 Weld Draglites with 165R15 Michelins and the rears are 28.0/11.5-15 M/T ET Streets on 15x10s.