Old School vs. New School
I'm having a problem deciding what to do. I have an '88 Mustang GT 5.0 convertible with a stick. So far, I have installed an MGW short-throw shifter, BBK long-tube headers, Eibach lowering springs, K&N air filter, a new top, and 17-inch Cobra wheels. It has 190,000 km.
I'm looking at a new rebuilt engine, installed for $5,000. Nothing special—mass air meter, GT-40 upper and lower, and some head work. The car needs paint and body work, and I would also like to go with a five-lug conversion. I am looking at spending around $20,000-$25,000 for everything. In your opinion, should I go this route, or buy a new '12 Mustang GT convertible demo for $37,000?
I have asked friends who have said to go new, but I'm still on the fence. Please give me your thoughts on this crazy situation.
Burritts Rapids, Ontario
Dale, this is a tough one. The Fox-body Mustang deserves a special place in history. It resurrected the muscle cars in the early '80s, and there is a wealth of parts and info to make it a great performance car. I owned three of them myself. They were great, but with today's technology, it's hard to not choose the '12. If you drive a '12 Mustang GT, I think you will make up your mind very quickly, as it handles better, drives better, and is more than quick enough from the factory. I know you won't be disappointed. It's a car you can enjoy driving every day.
Fuel Me Up
After reading Richard Holdener's article “Pump You Up” in the Nov. '12 issue several times, I'm still undecided as to the right way to go with my '03 Marauder fuel system. My setup is a poked and stroked Four-Valve 4.6L (8.6:1 compression, built by Fox Lake Racing) with a JT-trim Vortech, connected to a built 4R70W by a 4,000-stall Circle D converter, terminating at an 8.8 C-clip–eliminated rearend housing with a Detroit Locker and 4.30 gears.
The first time on the dyno, it made 649 rwhp, even with a multitude of problems. All issues except fuel delivery have been resolved. Currently, I have a returnless system utilizing twin Ford GT fuel pumps in a stock tank, and individual fuel-pump drivers to supply the 80-lb/hr injectors against an expected max boost of 22 psi. The problem is, my tuner had an almost identical setup that ran out of fuel on a dyno. He suggested I consider a return-style system. I'm contemplating going with the Holley 12-1800 Dominator fuel pump and a fuel cell. Any thoughts?
Charlie, I suggest going with a return-style system. The Holley will work well, but I would also look into the Aeromotive line of fuel pumps. Its fuel pumps come stock in the new Cobra Jets, which are making well over 800 hp. Aeromotive has a complete system with the fuel pump in the tank, and can also custom design a system for you.
I have an '08 GT500 with a 2.9L Whipple and Kook's exhaust from headers back. The motor has never been opened up. Right now it's making 700 rwhp at 18 pounds of boost. I am wondering, should I build my current bottom end or should I put a new 5.8 block in it and build that one? I'm not sure if there are any advantages in putting in the 5.8. Would I be able to use the 5.4 heads on the 5.8 block?
Hilton Head, South Carolina
John, the 5.8 block is essentially the same as the 5.4 as far as strength. The heads will physically bolt on, but you will have to do some machining to make the swap. There are extra coolant holes along with small differences in deck height that makes the swap impractical. I suggest you stick with the 5.4—it can handle well over a 1,000 hp.
Do you have any issues with tech advice in what is needed and any necessary information to swap out a five-speed transmission to an AODE in a Fox-body? I do not want to use an AOD. Thank you for your time and assistance with this matter.
Cherry Hill, New Jersey
Curtis, I would go with the 4R70W. It's a better trans and there are a lot of good parts available to handle high horsepower applications. Baumann Electronic Controls has all the info you need for this swap, and makes the electronic controller for the AODE and 4R70W trans to make this swap simple. If you're looking for a bulletproof trans, Lentech lentech automatics.com has a great product. Other parts needed for the swap are a crossmember, flexplate, shifter cable from a '94-'95 Mustang, and the transmission separator plate from an AOD Fox-body.
Emissions-Legal Hot Rod
I have a '10 Mustang GT with the 4.6L Three-Valve engine. Do you have any information on how the new Ford Racing Performance Parts Hot Rod Cams (M-6550-3V) affect emissions? I also have the same question for the Three-Valve Performance intake manifold (PN M-9424-463V).
Larry, the FRPP Hot Rod Cams were designed to pass emissions. The intake will also pass emissions with no issues. Remember when you install the cams, get a proper tune, otherwise your Mustang will not run or drive the way it should, nor get the most power from the cams.