Repeat Offender, our current project car aimed at NMRA's Tremec True Street class, has been the cause of some late nights and worried minds over the past year. As each month came and went, so did deadlines. Building an entire car (even a street car) from a bare shell to a running and driving machine is a mammoth task-especially when the technicians are better at writing/photography than turning wrenches.
As bumps in the road arose, we found ways to scale them, go around them, or turn to others for help. As simple as it may seem to build a car, knowledge and experience are priceless, especially when every part is aftermarket and most parts are "universal." Though your author and Steve Baur have plenty of experience swapping parts on lots of Mustangs, working with a blank slate proved to be an enlightening experience. It may be best compared to building a house rather than just hanging a light-there's just no comparison.
As we trudged along, we learned something new every step of the way. When the last bolt was tightened, the fluids topped off, and it was brought to life, a large weight was lifted. As you read last month, the coupe made 455 rwph and 339 lb-ft of torque-perfect for shakedown runs at the track.
But before we could load it on the trailer a few issues had to be addressed-mainly, steering issues. Since we went with a one-off K- member, the location of the steering rack was too low compared to the tie-rod-end mounting points on the spindles. To remedy this, we turned to Steeda Autosports for its bumpsteer kit (PN 555-8105; $167.95). It includes a tapered stud that mates perfectly to the tapered hole in the spindle, spherical ends, a billet adjuster, and an assortment of spacers.
Once ours were installed, we had an alignment done and loaded it on the trailer. With some extra VP Racing Fuel's StreetBlaze 100-octane fuel on hand, we headed to Bradenton Motorsports Park for a Thursday night test-and-tune session. Being early August, we knew the heat would hold us back, but we wanted to shake it down anyway.
At BMP, Editor Smith suited up and climbed behind the wheel. On the first launch, he launched it pretty soft, resulting in a 2.04 60-foot and a 12.59-second e.t. at only 97 mph. Everything seemed to check out, so we rechecked tire pressures and Smith went back out for a little more aggressive launch. This time, he pulled off a 1.61-second 60-foot, and broke into the 11s with an 11.87 at 92 mph after a shift flare on the 3-4 shift, and he coasted to the finish.
Smith said the car was leaving nice and straight, all the vitals were checking out fine, and we had no problem hooking out of the hole, so we went back for more. With an improved 60-foot of 1.59, Smith pedaled our ugly beige bomb to an 11.17 at 118 mph.
Being so close to the 10s, he went back for one more try. This time, he left a little harder, resulting in a 1.55-second 60-foot time. Smith made one last pass, and the scoreboard lit up on the big end, showing 10.99 at 114 mph.
We're looking forward to getting the shift flare issue remedied and getting on track at an upcoming NMRA race, so stay tuned.
The only task we had left...
The only task we had left before getting on track was an alignment. Since Repeat Offender was sitting so low now, we called Steeda for one of its bumpsteer kits. Once installed, we had an alignment done and headed to Bradenton Motorsports Park.
1 Last month, we had Offender...
1 Last month, we had Offender on our in-house DynoJet chassis dyno; it made 455 rwhp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Since the converter was sucking up a lot of power on the chassis dyno, we wanted to see how effective the combination would be on the track. Dressed in the same trim, it sat in the staging lanes awaiting its first-ever run down the dragstrip.
2 Suited up, Editor Smith...
2 Suited up, Editor Smith climbed behind the wheel and felt up the controls.
3 In the burnout box, he...
3 In the burnout box, he heated up the Mickey Thompson drag radials and pulled up to the tree for the first time. He launched soft and ran a 12.59 at 97 mph.
4 We let everything cool...
4 We let everything cool for about 30 minutes between runs, checking things such as transmission fluid level and tire pressure, and making sure we didn’t have any leaks.
5 After a few more runs,...
5 After a few more runs, Smith felt comfortable enough to put some stank on it. The last (and best) run of the evening was a 10.99 at 114 mph with a 1.55 60-foot. We can’t wait to get some better weather and get Repeat Offender on track in competition at an NMRA event. Check back to see how it does on the three back-to-back passes at the event.