Welcome to the latest exciting installment of 5.0 Revival, wherein we chronicle the transformation of a solid-but-shabby 1995 Mustang GT into a high-performance street hero, using quality, affordable Summit and Trick Flow Specialties brand parts.
In Part One, we baselined the GT at Big Shot Dyno in Hudson, Ohio, then threw on some simple upgrades:
• Summit Voltmax X-Treme Wire and Cap Kit
• Summit TFI Coil
• Summit Cold Air Intake
• Summit 75mm Mass Air Flow Sensor
• Summit Aluminum Underdrive Pulleys
• Summit 2.5 inch Cat-Back Exhaust
• Summit Short Throw Shifter
• Summit Adjustable Clutch Quadrant Kit
These Stage 1 upgrades not only added power (10 horsepower and 8 foot-pounds of torque at the rear wheels), they also improved the Mustang's overall driveability and most likely, fuel economy as well.
Mustang in Technicolor
The next step ended up being a biggie-a color change from the tired old black to something a little snazzier. With rendering in hand, we took the GT to Tallmadge Collision in Tallmadge, Ohio. Being the professionals they are, Heath Vaughan, Brett Reynolds, and Mike Horvath understood what we wanted and went to work. They massaged the minor dents and dings out of the Mustang's sheetmetal, applied the PPG Orange Atlas basecoat/clearcoat, laid out and sprayed the ghost flames, then added black Lemans-style dual racing stripes. The GT certainly left Tallmadge Collision a lot snazzier than it arrived there.
Closer to the Asphalt
When the Mustang came back from the body shop, it was delivered to Jim Perdue at AutoDynamics for the Stage 2 upgrades. Most of those upgrades involved replacing the existing suspension and brakes with new Summit stuff:
• Drop coil spring set
• Rear upper and lower control arms
• Extreme Performance Cross-drilled/slotted brake rotors
The silver powdercoated coil springs dropped the GT around 1 ½ inches, and their progressive-rate design will help out the handling without trashing the ride quality. The control arm kit replaces the spindly stamped steel factory arms with strong tubular steel arms, complete with polyurethane bushings. That means better handling and much improved launches at the track. And the Extreme Performance rotors are both cross-drilled and slotted for better heat dissipation and reduced brake fade-the perfect complement to the Mustang's upgraded handling.
Plenty of attention was paid to the engine side of things, too. The first order of business was replacing the stock cam a hotter grind. Trick Flow Specialties had the ideal stick-a Track Heat hydraulic roller cam that specs out at 221/225 degrees duration at .050 with .499/.510 inches of lift. The Track Heat has a nice, streetable 2,000 to 5,500 rpm powerband with just a hint of lope at idle. AutoDynamics also replaced the stock lifters with new Summit pieces, and swapped out the tired factory timing chain with a new Summit roller timing chain.
Please Feed the GT
Attention was paid to the 5.0's air and fuel system as well. AutoDynamics replaced the 75mm Mass Air Flow sensor with a larger Summit 80mm Mass Air Flow sensor, replaced the factory throttle body with a Summit 75mm unit, and added a set of Summit 30 pound/hour fuel injectors. We know what you're thinking-why bump up the airflow and fuel on a basically stock motor with a hotter camshaft? All we'll say is, everything will come together when we get to Stage 3. In the meantime, feeding the engine some extra air and fuel will certainly not hurt things.
More Better Exhaust
In the Stage 1 buildup, the Mustang's exhaust was upgraded with a Summit 2 1/2 inch cat-back system. This time around, AutoDynamics finished the conversion with a pair of Summit shorty-style headers and a Summit 2 1/2 inch H-pipe. The headers feature 1 5/8 inch diameter primary tubes, and the shorty design helps boost low and midrange torque and are an easy swap for the factory tubular manifolds. The H-pipe features mandrel-bent tubing, and will further enhance the 5.0's midrange power production. Since the H-pipe replaces the factory pipe and catalytic converters, it's for off-road use only.
Rims 'n Skins
We couldn't let our automotive Cinderella go to the ball without a new pair of shoes. Summit obtained a set of black American Racing Killer wheels in the 18 inch giant economy size. AutoDynamics shod the wheels with BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW tires, size 245/35ZR-18.
With the upgrades installed, it was off to BigShot Dyno and Performance to see what all of our efforts were worth at the rear tires. Keith Wenzel made a couple of preliminary pulls, noting that the Mustang was running lean and wanted more fuel. The EEC-IV computer was pulled and given a new chip with recurved fuel tables. With the tuning complete, Keith clicked into fourth and stomped on the loud pedal. The reward was 242 horsepower and 299.6 foot-pounds of torque at the wheels-a solid gain of 25 horsepower and 4 foot-pounds of twist.
On the road, the new suspension bits and brake components worked hand-in-hand with the newfound power to improve all-around driveability. The Mustang handled better, stopped shorter, and had plenty of power for passing without compromising throttle response.
Our next installment of 5.0 Revival will be all Trick Flow as we install a pair of Trick Flow's famous Twisted Wedge aluminum heads, a Track Heat EFI intake manifold, 1.6 ratio roller rocker arms, pushrods, and valve covers. If that doesn't wake up our GT, we don't know what will.
SUM-227215 Summit 75mm Throttle Body
SUM-29055B Summit 80mm Mass Air Flow Sensor
SUM-240030 Summit 30 lb. Injectors, set of 8
TFS-51402000 Trick Flow Track Heat Roller Cam (221°/225° duration, .499"/.510"lift)
SUM-HT220 Summit Roller Lifters
SUM-G6651 Summit Billet Roller Timing Chain
SUM-720100 Summit Lowering Spring Kit, set of 4
SUM-790000B Summit Rear Control Arm Kit
SUM-640945 Summit 2.5" Off-Road H-Pipe (non-catalyst)
SUM-G9076 Summit 1 5/8" Shorty Headers
SUM-DSEP-54011L Summit Cross-Drilled Rotor, Left Front
SUM-DSEP-54011R Summit Cross-Drilled Rotor, Right Front
SUM-DSEP-54017L Summit Cross-Drilled Rotor, Left Rear
SUM-DSEP-54017R Summit Cross-Drilled Rotor, Right Rear
ARE-374-88566 American Racing Killer Wheels, Black w/Stainless Lip, 18 x 8.5
BFG-63734 BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW Tire, 245/35ZR-18