On paper, our '87 Fox Mustang should cruise right past the 10s and into the 9s now that we have the horsepower and weight numbers. But that's on paper. In reality, you have to get in the thing and hold the pedal to the floor while it walks and talks at more than 135 mph. Ron is ready, but are we?
If you're just catching up, Ron Burgundy was a $2,000 four-cylinder '87 Fox Mustang with a 302 swap that we found on Craigslist. We added a turbo kit from Hellion, ran some 11-second passes, and felt that a 500hp Z363 crate engine from Ford Racing and a larger 76mm turbo would make more power and more fun. The result was 618 hp and 565 lb-ft at the wheels. Using the power-to-weight calculation [e.t. = 6.269 (weight/hp)1⁄3] or just using an app like Drag Times, we plugged in the 2,900-pound weight of Ron and the power at the wheels. The result was a generous 9.75 at almost 140 mph. We shall see.
Unlimited burnout potential.
Out of the car, the Z363 made 507 hp and 452 lb-ft of torque using a Wilson 1-inch tapered spacer, a Holley 750 HP carb and an Edelbrock Super Victor intake. The rest of the combo consists of a Performance Automatic 4R70W overdrive, the stock 8.8-inch rearend with Moser axles, and a Detroit Trutrac differential. The suspension is from Maximum Motorsports with a complete tubular front K-member and front and rear tubular control arms. Using ride height and shock adjustments, we reduced the 60-foot times from 2-plus seconds to 1.59. With an additional 150 hp we should be in the 40s.
The final step before track day was to dial in the Holley HP EFI on the dyno. The HP kit has a Ford part number that allows it to plug into the factory injectors, but to use the factory Ford IAC and TFI distributor you need an additional harness available through Holley. Holley can help you with a base map to get the car running enough for a break-in cycle, but to fine-tune the system, we used the Westech dyno. The biggest thing we learned was to give the Holley HP system clean power and grounds directly from the battery so it can work correctly. Otherwise, the directions are simple and complete.
On the dyno, the HP learned what it was doing quickly after the base map was installed and the timing was set at the distributor. The final numbers were made with a conservative 19 degrees of total timing and 12 pounds of boost. We know there is potentially more power in this combination, but we are going to try to get what we have to the ground before we start adding more pressure to the system.
We were screaming the engine a bit for the big power number, but the engine revs fast. We will likely be seeing the 7,000-rpm rev limiter at the track. Note how fast the power numbers climb between 4,000 and 5,000 rpm. Timing was 19 degrees total and the A/F ratio was a comfortable 11.0:1.
We had to jack the rear end up to get the 28x10.5-15 M/T ET Drags to clear the quarter panel. On race day, lower will be better to correct the instant center and get the car to launch.
For the engine dyno tests, we used an Edelbrock Victor Jr. single-plane and a Holley 750 HP carb. For the turbo application, we added a Trick Flow intake and reused the factory TFI distributor and IAC.
The Holley HP EFI has an output for a small screen or even a tablet so you can drive around without a dashboard if you want. Women don’t understand why we do this type of thing.
Holley also offers a water/methanol system that can be triggered using the Holley HP EFI system. When the engine sees more boost, the cooling properties from the system will help avoid engine-killing detonation. The solenoid was plumbed into the intake charge pipe just before the throttle body.
See the dyno run and goofball burnouts on CarCraft.com. Maybe.
310 Woodside Avenue
Holley Performance Products
1801 Russellville Rd.
Trick Flow Specialties
1248 Southeast Avenue
1326 East Francis St.
1185 Park Center Dr., Ste. B
340 Victory Lane
3430 Sacramento Dr., Unit D
San Luis Obispo
Hellion Power Systems
2735 Della Rd. SW
101 JEGS Place