Project Street Legal Stocker
Welcome to my Mustang stock eliminator project. I do hope you find some of this informative or entertaining. I grew up always drooling over the 1960's and 1970's NHRA stock and super stock race cars. Needless to say, I've been hooked on the prospect of class racing since I was very young. Finally, in 2003, I was able to spend some time and money working towards my goal.
My goal: Build an NHRA stock eliminator legal mustang that can be driven to the track and run under the class index.
I've got a long way to meeting my goal. However, I've got some great help available to me.
UPDATE: I have since sold the car, however check out the additional 88 Mustang photos and information.
It is a 1988 Ford Mustang LX notchback with a 5.0L V8 EFI and an AOD automatic. The only options originally on the car are A/C and cruise control. The car has undergone some minor changes over the past 5 years. Current upgrades include:
- 4.10 Richmond gears
- rebuild traction-lok
- Transgo HP AOD shift kit (shifted in D)
- Stock rebuilt motor, stall converter, 5500 ft air
- rebuilt stock 5.0 motor
- windage tray
- valve job
- MAC underdrive pulleys
- 180 degree thermostat
- upgraded plug wires, plugs, cap & rotor
- Flexalite Electric fan
- 130AMP alternator
- Lakewood 70/30 struts and 4 cyl springs
- Lakewood 50/50 shocks and GT springs
- Removed sway bar
- BFG 275/60 drag radials
- Flowmaster 40 series mufflers with dumps
- 190lph fuel pump
- Removed the A/C system
- Removed front sway bar
I originally purchased the car in the summer of 2003 with 180,000km. The car was completely stock - including the original plug wires and silencer. As any AOD owner knows, the car barely could spin the tires. Especially due to the fact it had 2.73 gears. As with any high mileage car, I've done endless maintenance ranging from brakes, suspension, to heater core(s) (Argh), and countless leaks.
Drag Race Time Slips
|June 2011||13.78 @ 99.4||Short belt, little tail wind, 5100 shifts|
|Sept 2010||13.79 @ 97.7 (1.90 60ft)||Baro pressure at 30.6, good air, 5200 rpm shifts|
|Aug 2010||13.97 @ 97.1||short tube headers, x pipe|
|June 2010||14.13 @95.5 mph||poor air, no changes|
|Aug 2009||14.18 @ 95.1 (1.91 60ft)||Stock rebuilt motor, stall converter, 5500 ft air|
|Sept 2007||14.38 @ 95.1 mph (2.15 60ft)||Electric fan installed and still shifting in D @ 4500rpm|
|Aug 2007||14.42 @ 94.8 mph||No changes|
|Aug 2007||14.44 @ 95.5 mph||14 degrees, 45psi fronts, wheel alignment done up front
(tail wind at this race helped the mph), drag suspension, no sway bar
|July 2007||14.62 @ 90.5 mph||Better air, 13 degrees of timing|
|July 2007||14.69 @ 91.9 mph||4.10's rock|
|Aug 2006||15.25 @ 91.7 mph||Better air, more air in front tires|
|July 2006||15.32 @ 92.3 mph||BFG drag radials, leave at 1200rpm verge of creeping, cooler air, shift kit|
|July 2006||15.50 @ 91.5 mph||Better air, more timing, need drag tires|
|July 2005||15.59 @ 91.1 mph||More timing and a good tune|
|Sept 2003||15.89 @ 88.6mph||First time ever down the track. Shifted in D.
Front tires 40psi / rears 32psi.
My plans for the car to near the M/SA or N/SA index (currently low 13's) with the AOD are:
- Better Valvebody and maybe more converter
- Custom stocker camshaft with stock lift, way more duration ;)
- Rebuilt motor with stockish bottom end, stocker cam, upgraded valve springs, and a hell of a lot of attention to the small details
- 3400+ converter, big tranny cooler, manual VB
- Lightweight wheels & tires (26 by 9 slicks)
- Holley SD management system or Ford Extender
- Electric water pump drive
- Long tube headers
- Manual steering
Have any advice? Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Drag Racing Tips and Tricks:
I've been fortunate to have a very consistent car. In fact, on many race dates I've varied as little as 5 /100ths all day long. These are my thoughts on how to be successful at drag racing and making a consistent starter bracket car.
- Be a robot: the driver is a massive variable that gets affected by ever little thing - much more so than the car itself. So, do everything the same - make a ritual about how you enter the car, enter the burnout, do the burnout, and approach the tree
- Listen, listen, and listen more! Other racers are the real source of knowledge. Listen to what they are saying to each other and make sure to ask every question you may have...even the stupid ones. I know as I've asked tons of them :)
- Pay attention: Racers are an extremely competitive bunch of people. They'll spend thousands of dollars and hours just to gain a small advantage. Don't forget that.
- Put your time and energy where you can make a difference: My mantra has been make the car consistent and learn to cut good lights. I'm sure I could wring another 3-4 tenths out of my car at the cost of some consistency. The car can take years to get dialed in. However, for $99 you can buy a practice tree.
- Be alone at the tree: Ignore you opponent until your near the last 200ft. It is you vs. the tree.
- Cutting good lights = Win lights
- Do the maintenance: If you hear a squeak or rattle or something seems amiss - it probably is! Spend the time and money needed to rectify the problem before it begins. It is no fun losing first round but it's even worse to lose in the final because your your starter just died.
- Know your car: Make changes one at a time until you find out what works for your car. Don't jack the fuel pressure, timing, adjust the tires, etc.. all at once. You need a planned approach for understanding what works best for your car. Make changes that make your car more consistent not necessarily faster. In my case, I often tell people I'm running about 90% - and I'm not referring to nitro - by taking out some timing and rpm my car responds by being more predictable.
My quest for success would not be possible without supports of friends. Thank you to:
- 2009 SIR King of the Track
- 2006 & 2007 SIR Street Legal Points Champion
- 2007 SIR 2nd Place Overall Sportsman Class
- 2007 - 5 Street Legal Class Wins, 1 Runner-Up
- 2007 - 2 Sportsman Class Wins, 1 Runner-Up
- 2006 - SIR Most Improved Racer Award
- 2006 - 3 Street Legal Class Wins, 1 Runner- Up
- 2006 - 1 Sportsman Class Runner-Up
- 2003 - 1 Street Legal Class Win
Links & Inspiration:
- Evan Smith
- Ed Hohenberg
- Jeff Swanson
- Earle Holt
- Lee Valentine
- Travis Gusso
- Al Renkel
- Ed Smith
- Bob Cosby