JG Pasterjak
JG Pasterjak Production/Art Director
5/31/02 10:35 p.m.
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Since our visit to Steeda back in January, the Mustang has been mainly a research project while we wait for parts to arrive. Although some shiny new toys in boxes have shown up, we don't quite have all the pieces yet to move to the next phase.

The prettiest of the stuff to arrive has to be Baer's Sport brake kit (http://www.baer.com) for the Fox Mustang. This bolt-on kit is designed to fit inside 16-inch Pony wheels and replaces the pathetic front disc/rear drum (yes, we said "drum") brake setup with a 12-inch front and rear vented disc arrangement complete with aluminum four-piston calipers and a specific master cylinder. Baer claims that the beauty of this system is not only how well it works, but the ease of installation, especially when compared with other brake kits out there.

We opted to go for a five-lug conversion since the wheel choices became much larger at that point. Witness the deal we snagged on eBay: a set of 17x8-inch 1995 Mustang GT wheels with worn out R1s for $215. Eventually we'll have to go to 17x9-inch wheels if we want to have a real shot at being competitive in Street Modified, but for $215, these eight-inchers are a great place to start sorting things out. Now all we have to do is find some tires for them.

More research was done out West when we visited Mac Products(http://www.macperformance.com) in Temecula and Central Coast Mustang (http://www.centralcoastmustang.com) in Tehachapi, Calif. The folks at Mac produce some cool, and exceptionally reasonably priced power enhancers for Mustangs, and their 70mm throttle body and cold air intake bolted right on with no fuss at all. We also acquired one of Mac's Pro Chamber exhaust systems, which they say has all the advantages of an H-pipe and an X-pipe combined. A trip to the dyno should prove interesting with these pieces installed.

Our visit to Central Coast Mustang was eye opening as well. CCM's Dennis Hilliard is a major proponent of the GT40P heads that Ford installed on Explorers and Mountaineers fitted with the 302 V8. When installed on a Mustang, these heads can give an instant 25- to 35-horsepower boost. Best of all, CCM can sell you a set of new (as in "BRAND NEW") GT40P heads, prepped and ready to bolt on, for just over $600. That's an unbelievable bargain for that kind of horsepower, and one that we'll be experiencing personally this summer.

The other major change we've made since the last update is the installation of our Eaton limited-slip and a swap of the stock 2.73:1 rear gear for a set of 3.55:1 gears that we got from Roush Racing (http://www.roushracing.com).

This change really woke up the car, and increased performance notably. Our 40-70mph acceleration times (in third gear) dropped nearly two seconds.

The biggest problem now is getting all the torque to the ground. The Mustang's rear suspension design is horrid. The Steeda pieces do a lot to correct some of the shortcomings of the Fox chassis' inherent design, but we think they may need some help. We're thinking of augmenting the Steeda setup with a torque arm and Panhard rod from Griggs Racing. These pieces should allow us to eliminate the upper control arms that bind whenever the rear axle moves at all and sends wheel rates through the roof.

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