Mike Moss and Chris Crown have become masters of the Modular domain with their 8-second Mustang GT.
The '02 Mustang hooks, thanks to Steeda's Hardcore suspension package, which includes upper and lower control arms along with an anti-sway bar. Other suspension goodies include Lakewood shocks and struts and a tubular K-member from Performance Automotive.
Since 1996, Ford has been equipping new Mustang GT models with its 4.6-liter, SOHC engine, known inside and outside the Blue Oval as the Modular V-8. The company made a radical departure from the traditional pushrod power to the high-tech engine.
Ford did its homework and from the factory these powerplants are quite efficient. Up until this point, several people have bolted on blowers or nitrous kits and rebuilt these engines in an effort to run in the low 10s. However, there are enthusiasts across the country that are always willing to take something to the next level. In the world of Modular Mustangs, the two racers are named Mike Moss and Chris Crown. Together they operate Outlaw Turbo Systems/Racing, a performance shop that specializes in turbo systems as well as performance work. The result of their work is an outstanding and unmatched 8.77 at 162 mph--on BFGoodrich Drag Radials, no less!
Many said they could not run that quick with a two-valve Modular engine, but Moss and Crown were ready to not only compete in Drag Radial but also to set the two-valve, Modular engine record. And let us tell you there is no better attention getter than breaking a world record. The aftermarket is slowly catching up with the "Romeo" V-8s, but there aren't any aftermarket cylinder heads available yet. While most engine shops would have steered away from such a project, Ron Robert and his Fox Lake Power Products company was ready, willing, and able to build an engine to run in the 8s. Their work in the Modular field enabled the Ohio-based company to build a fortified short-block, then top it off with a set of ported stock cylinder heads.
The fastest Modular-powered Mustangs have thus far resorted to four-valve, DOHC engines, however Chris Crown and Mike Moss use a two-valve, SOHC mill to run 8.77 at 162 mph.
Fox Lake took a stock block and added a stroker kit from Mod Max. The displacement was enlarged to 302 cubic inches due to a bigger bore (3.572 inches) and slightly larger stroke (3.765 inches) on the crankshaft. The new pistons set the compression ratio at a boost-friendly 8.5:1. A set of billet rods are attached to the pistons to ensure they remain connected to the crank, even at 8,000-plus rpm levels. Fox Lake ported a set of stock, aluminum P.I. heads mainly because there currently aren't any aftermarket casts for these engines. The P.I. stands for Performance Improvement and Ford added these cylinder heads to production cars in 1999 to add more horsepower and torque to the sluggish GT models.
With only 302 cubic inches, this engine produces around 1,100 hp thanks to the Innovative 76mm turbocharger. Another impressive fact is the engine utilizes stock cylinder heads and a stock block. Think the legendary 5.0 is capable
of this type of performance? Fox Lake ported the heads and added custom Mod Max camshafts to take advantage of the extra airflow from the turbo.
Mod Max valvetrain components were used along with a set of custom Mod Max camshafts. Crown and Moss began the 2003 racing season with a Vortech Mondo Aftercooler, but have recently upgraded to a Spearco dashboard mounted setup. They have also upgraded to a custom sheetmetal intake manifold from Hogans. Of course, the turbo system was built in house at Outlaw Turbo Systems/Racing and it uses an Innovative 76mm turbo. Based on the e.t. and mph performances this year the team estimates the engine produces around 1,100 hp.
Creating that much power with the Modular engine required a fuel-injection system that was capable of controlling everything. The Floridians turned to a New Yorker for the tuning. They have Job Spetter Jr. of Turbo People massaging the DFI GEN 7 computer. When you are dealing with 33 psi of boost, the ignition timing and fuel delivery must be dead on. Spetter's tune up is only as good as the parts that supply the fuel and spark. So Moss and Crown turned to a MSD Dis-4 ignition with ACCEL coil packs and MSD wires. A Weldon fuel pump and regulator supply the race fuel to a set of 96-pound injectors.
From the beginning, the goal for this car was to run 8.50s on drag radial tires and only a dedicated car was capable of running such times. A chrome-moly cage was welded into place to stiffen the unibody car and also to offer the driver protection in the event of a rollover. The front suspension consists of a Performance Automotive K-member, Lakewood 90/10 struts, Steeda coilover conversion, and a Flaming River rack and pinion. A Steeda bump steer kit helps the car drive straight down the dragstrip.
Out back Moss and Crown went right to Steeda's Hardcore line of suspension parts. The upper and lower control arms were bolted on as well as one of Steeda's anti-sway bars. A set of 50/50 Lakewood shocks sit out back. The 8.8-inch rearend was fortified and filled with 3.55 gears and a Strange spool and 33-spline axles. This '02 Mustang has gone 1.46 in the 60-foot on drag radials with this suspension setup.
A Performance Automatic Powerglide was given the duty of transferring the power to the tires. A Skinny Kid Race Car aluminum rear wing helps keep downforce on the back end to keep the tires planted throughout the run.
Outlaw Turbo Systems/Racing has chosen to compete in the FFW Drag Radial class, where the radial-type tires are the deciding factor in the outcome of the race. It is tricky to get the cars down track with this type of DOT rubber, but Crown and Moss find a way to apply the 1,100hp engine setup.
The car debuted this year and was an instant success. It made blistering runs in the high 8s in its initial outing. They had made a mark in the Drag Radial class in Fun Ford Weekend competition, while also setting the standard for a two-valve, Modular-equipped Mustang. After a few more outings to sort the suspension and a few more trips to the chassis dyno to get the tune up right, the car ran a best ever run of 8.77 at 162 mph.
Again, Moss and Crown run on drag radials, BFGoodrich size 325/50x15 to be exact. The partners share the driving duties, with Crown competing at FFW events and Moss wheeling it at all other races. This project is ongoing and they hope to put this Stang into the 8.50s to run with the front runners in the DR class.
And if someone gets close to their two-valve Modular record, then they will get serious and put on slicks and a larger turbo to lower the mark even further.