Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
1985 Mercury Capri Lakewood Industries Suspension Upgrade Final Chapter
We Get Our Project Capri On The Straight And Narrow With Help From Lakewood And Moroso.
With us launching the car at about 3,500 rpm and our short times off by about a tenth of a second, we knew there was more in the car, but we also needed to address the suspension before we headed to the track again. The car didn't go straight on any of the most recent passes, and our drivers reported that the Capri wanted to dart right on every shift.
To remedy our suspension woes, we called up Lakewood Industries and ordered 90/10 front drag struts and 50/50 rear shocks, as well as upper and lower rear control arms. Lakewood also sent us a driveshaft loop, which we actually should have installed long ago when we started running the car on slick tires.
To help with weight transfer, we called up Moroso and ordered a set of the company's legendary Trick Springs for the front. After cutting out two coils, we stuffed them in and then got to installing our Hurst SST billet shifter for the T-5 transmission. The SST shifter (super short throw) comes with a chrome retro stick and white shift knob, and features very short, and precise, shift throws.
To help us dial in our carburetor without resorting to reading spark plugs, we installed Holley's wideband air/fuel meter. It's a pretty simple installation and provides accurate, real-time air/fuel metering so you can make accurate carburetor changes for increased performance.
Holley also sent us a jet kit, rebuild kit, and a trick kit for the 4160 Holley carb we're using. We also got a copy of Holley's carburetor installation and tuning DVD, which should be a must-watch item if you're going to start tuning the four-barrel fuel mixer and don't have much experience with a carburetor.
With our latest round of tweaks, we went to Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida, where we unloaded the Capri and made ready for some quarter-mile fun. Until this point, we had been worrying about the increasingly bad shifting issue with the stock T-5 transmission. It appeared to be a bad Second gear synchronizer, but it was really only a problem when driving the car in a normal fashion. At wide-open throttle, it was more or less fine. This was not to be the case for our last test session, as we managed to find Second on a couple of occasions. Furthermore, the stock 8.8 Traction-Lok differential was throwing in the towel, and the vast majority of our runs featured just one wheel with traction.
That being said, we finished the day with a best e.t. of 12.56 seconds at 108.79 mph. On one pass, we logged our best 60-foot time, which was a 1.72-second effort. On another, we hit 109.35 mph-the first and only time we ever got past 108 mph.
There's definitely more in the Capri as it sits, and adding an electric fan and a set of race pulleys has to be worth a couple of tenths as well. There's probably a solid 12.2 performance in the car-and this is a fully loaded and equipped Mercury we're talking about. That being said, the scale at Gainesville did show the Capri to be a svelte warrior at 2,940 pounds without a driver.
We'd like to thank Summit Racing Equipment and all of the other companies that helped make our Mercury fly. They made it really easy to go fast. We also need to thank the car's owner, Dave Bohnsack, for letting us whip on his 5.0L, as well as George Xenos, Brian Bohnsack, Rob Baldwin, Mark Johnson, and Chris Crosby.
We don't necessarily like going out with a fizz, as opposed to a bang, but next month, we will debut our new NMRA True Street project car. It's another early Mustang that should have the foureyedpride.com guys all excited, and it's going to be another carbureted build as well.