A big smoky burnout was done to heat up the M/T rubber that has been sitting in the garage
The big hand and little hand both pointed directly at 12 on the clock at Radical Racing. The clock didn't chime when midnight came, but those present didn't need an audible reminder of that moment in time. There were only three of us left at that point, and patience was running low, at least for this author.
Our workday started some 16 hours earlier with a running and driving Silver Stealth Stang--an ongoing MM&FF project vehicle focusing on Two-Valve budget performance mods. Our goal was a simple task of installing a stroker engine from Modular Mustang Racing (MMR). The game plan was to yank the stock engine, swap over the accessories, exchange various covers and components, and then maybe make some runs on the dyno. In our minds, in the worst-case scenario we were going to walk away after a day of work with a car that would be ready to chassis dyno test the next morning. None of us thought that it would end up taking three days to get a new stroker engine into the engine compartment of Silver Stealth Stang.
The engine looked the same as it did before the swap. The only clues that it was modified
While yours truly was growing impatient, Radical's Craig Radovich and Mitch Miner would crack off a giggle every once in awhile to break the tension in the air. Not once did these guys lose their cool--this wasn't their first late night nor troublesome install, after all. Radical Racing has been in business for over 15 years and the shop used to run a highly competitive Pro 5.0 car. Radovich and his staff are seasoned pros in this game. "This isn't the first Two-Valve engine we've worked on, nor is it the first that had this much trouble fitting everything together. There are so many variations of these engines that you have to be prepared for the worst, which was definitely the case with this car," commented Radovich.
Our night had been months in the making as we embarked on an adventure to turn a high-mileage '99 Mustang GT into a respectable street/strip machine--without breaking the bank. The car belongs to our esteemed colleague, Ken Miele, who most readers know from the tech question/answer column Yo, Ken! The silver Stang was purchased from a used-car lot, and we began modifying it when the odometer read 160,000 miles.
Mitch Miner unhooked all of the wiring and accessories in the quest to remove the engine.
The first order of business was a new suspension system due to the extraordinarily high mileage. A Hotchkis suspension system tamed the bucking horse on the rough New Jersey roads.
Miele is a die-hard drag racer and he gave us strict instructions to start upping the ante on the dragstrip. We started simply, with a JLT cold-air kit, TFS upper plenum, TFS 70mm throttle body, and pulleys. That brought the car into the high 13s consistently. The exhaust was opened up next, with Ford Racing shorty headers, a Bassani x-style pipe, and a Bassani exhaust. We also enhanced the car's performance by switching to a looser torque converter from Pat's Performance Converters, and Radical Racing rebuilt the rearend with parts from Downs Ford Motorsport.
The intake was removed before the engine hoist was attached to the long-block.
To help the Silver Stealth Stang on the dragstrip, an Axle Exchange aluminum driveshaft was installed. It reduces the all-important rotating weight. All said and done, the car ran a best of 13.62--with the stock torque converter. We were unable to get to the track with the new torque converter in place. We thought that with 240 rwhp and armed with the looser P.P.C. torque converter and a set of sticky rear meats, the car was a mid-13-second hot rod.
We will never know Silver Stealth Stang's ultimate fate on the dragstrip with the stock engine--the new MMR stroker bullet is secured under the hood and ready for battle. The new Two-Valve monster was featured in the May '09 issue ("The Western Swing," p. 74), where we followed along with the engine build. It's a rather simple piece; MMR added a stroker crank to a brand-new factory iron-block.