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PIcked up this 2003 Mustang as my first project car back in 2012 without a clear goal of what I really wanted to do with it. Left it stock for a year or so until a I sourced a used Vortech V2 kit off the forums, installed it, and had it tuned by Greg @ RET. That same evening I got the car back I took it to the drags and had a blast and followed it up with a track day at Big Willow the next day. Both were fun but the quick burst of fun from drag was no match for the near constant rush that came from the road course. From there that set my plans for the project to be a car for the twistys. After that I incrementally added little things here and there until I finally dropped the big bucks and threw full Maximum Motorsports suspension and Wilwood brakes all the way around. After the suspension work it spends most of its time driving either in the corners of the Angeles Crest or at the track with big drivetrain plans in the future *Coyote howls in background* 1. Tell us the story behind your ride. What made you pick this particular one? Where did you find it? When I first got my license I honestly wasn’t really into cars. I was taught in my parent’s 1999 purple Saturn station wagon and bought my brothers 2001 Oldsmobile Intrigue which he got from our grandmother. I ran in that for a few years and it was actually pretty quick being a old people’s car (210hp). That car really woke up my love for cars as I used to take it to and from school on this one little stretch of canyon road where I would go flying through it like a bat out of hell. Unfortunately, that car met its fate as do most cars driven by teenage males and I took a turn too fast in the rain and snapped the axle and tweaked the frame (totaled). After that I drove my parents 1990 Silverado for about a year while I saved up for a new car. Didn’t really know what I wanted at the time but I looked at a bunch of different options ranging from the typical tuner fare (300zx, 240sx, 280z, WRX, etc) but one car got brought up by my brother and that was a Mustang. I had always loved the New Edge body style and my brother filled me in that there was a huge aftermarket support for them so I started looking. After a few months I tracked down the car I have now off a post from Craigslist. It was in rough shape cosmetically and 3rd gear grinded but besides that it was in good shape (at least good for what I could afford). We tried negotiating with the guy but he didn’t really want to budge on the price so we walked. I was pretty upset since I was so close but my Dad told me to just let it go and there would be another option down the road. But just as we were getting in the car to leave the guy came out and agreed to our offered price. Took it home that night and it has been robbing me blind ever since haha. 2. Describe the modifications you have made. Where did you start, what’s the most recent mod and what motivated it? It is a pretty long list so I will attempt to summarize it all as best I can. I started out with the basics (CAI, Steed short throw, BBK TB, Flowmaster Super 40 Cat-Back) and then got the car repainted to the blue it is now. From there the car stayed pretty much the same for a year or so until I sourced a used Vortech V2 kit from the forums and pieced it together with a PMAS HPX MAF, TiAL Q 50mm BOV, and a Treadstone intercooler with a set of Autometer Colbalts for AFR and boost. The combo was then tuned by Greg at Racer's Edge Tuning in Downey, CA where it put down 363 whp (eventually 396 after a pulley down). I then had a local shop rebuild the stock 8.8 with an Eaton Posi, Ford Racing 3.73 gears, and Moser 31 spline axles. I then shifted focus to the suspension and threw the kitchen sink from Maximum Motorsports at it (tubular k member/lca/front control arms, FLSFC, coilovers, adjustable bump steer, strut tower braces, adjustable CC plates, torque arms, panhard bar, adjustable rear anti roll bar, Eibach front anti roll bar, list goes on). At the same time paired the new suspension with a set of Wilwood 6 piston front brakes as well as a set of rears from them as well. After that major overhaul the build has been somewhat stagnant with mostly fine tuning and adjustments to dial in what suits me best with stuff like a Fiore adjustable clutch quadrant, MM adjustable clutch pedal plate, Sparco Ergo II, and a Fluidyne radiator to help with cooling issue on the track. As for the motivation for this build, the goal has always been since the first time I took it out on track was to make it rip through canyon roads and on the track. 3. Of all the mods you’ve made, which do you think offers the biggest bang for the buck? Best bang for the buck mod was the supercharger. For any guy/gal trying to wake up a 2v 4.6 this is by far the most cost-effective way to do it. With just the V2 the power went from the factory 260 crank to 363 whp for roughly $3.5k (this includes the original kit, a rebuild, upgrades, and tuning). Trying to get the same power increase going the NA route would cost you anywhere from 2-3x that. The only real downside to the blower is you need to be careful with throwing too much power at the 2v if you keep it with stock internals. 4. How did you go about selecting the specific parts for this build? Any installation tips to share? Honestly just about every single decision I made on this car was somehow influenced by the forums and Google. Forum posts gave me 90% of the information I needed about performance gains, product quality, customer support, etc. As for installation tips I don’t really have much to say besides research your part and make sure you’re 100% clear about what you’re doing. I have seen people do some pretty dumb/careless stuff with installations because they didn’t do the research and know what they were doing and how it worked (myself included when I first started wrenching and I still cringe about some of it to this day). 5. What’s been the biggest challenge with this build? Time and Money (more so the later). Biggest holdup on this project has always been finding the cash to dump into the big upgrades. Unfortunately for the project time has also been creeping up as a problem. Combination of marriage, work, and buying my first home has soaked up the majority of my project funds and time. Somehow though that didn’t stop me from buying another project back at the end of March (1987 BMW 325). 6. What are you planning next Right now, the next big mod on the list is a major Engine/drivetrain/fuel system overhaul. I’ve been running the boosted 2v and stock Tremec 3650 for over 5 years now and the engine more than anything has been showing its age (trans has shockingly taken the abuse like a champ). A Coyote swap has been the #1 mod on the table since I got the car back in 2012 and to this day is still the end goal. Right now, I am in the planning phase (read “saving the fortune needed phase”) and am hoping to get started on the swap sometime next year if finances work out the way I hope.
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