*** Update 4/10/08:  A friend in Minnesota was giving me crap about not updating the site - well I do have updates - but not for Superstang! I have been working on my truck.
for now Superstang is just sitting in my shop collecting dust! That will change as the diesel conversion project on 8lug.com is completed...

 <see previous updates>

You can contact me at garnerjohn@earthlink.net 

(click on a Superman logo to view a photo book)

- Tech Articles -

Cog Belt Guard

50mm Cog Setup

SFI Cage Install

Insulated Water Tank

Supercharger Idler & Strut Support

Intercooler/Fuel Temp Gauge

Air Conditioned Seats

Drivetrain Horsepower Loss

MAF Table

Aftercooler Description

Mustang Story March 2002

Fuel Cooler

Powered Exhaust Bypass

Installing the Interior

 

 

- Photo Books -

Magazine Articles Mustang Pics 2004
SEMA 2004 Navigator Rebuild
Trailer for Superstang! Dyno Sheets
Mustang being painted Exhuast pics.
Damage caused by a screw! Mustang @ my office 2001
Boat Pictures XR650 Pictures (Pit Bike?)

 

My favorite Vendors!
 

<previous updates>

 

*** Update 2/13/07:  Well stuff is happening again!  I am going to do everything I can to make Superstang the first car to break 1,000 Wheel Horse Power on my new Dyno.  In an effort to do that I just installed an AEM Low Impedance Injector Driver as fuel delivery and injection pulse width is critical when you are pushing things to the edge like I am.  The new driver is installed - the thing that amazed me was how much better Superstang runs.  I expected more accurate fuel delivery at high RPM but I didn't realize how much better idle and cruise delivery would be.  I can't wait to get it on the dyno.  The AEM driver build quality is amazing, all the wires/connectors are very high quality with the injector number printed on the wire and each injector a different color.  They did a great job - part of why I love AEM products.  I am installing a bunch of AEM hardware at my new shop, so far every install has gone great.

What is holding me back now is my exhaust.  I don't drive Superstang that often and the inside of the exhaust rusted causing a huge cloud of rust dust to come out when I was on the dyno.  I have the exhaust at Jet-Hot getting coated (inside and out) to hopefully solve the problem.  If it doesn't I will have to have a custom stainless system made - which I would prefer to not have to do.

*** Update 11/30/06:  8 months ago I made a decision to stop the corporate "job" thing and open up my own speed shop.  I still have Superstang and did get ready for the Z2Z but did not make the race.  I just finished construction of a new facility designed to be the ultimate dyno shop and I have all the latest tuning gear available.  More info can be found at www.hpranch.com.  One of the things I have done that I think is really cool is have custom t-shirts made that have horsepower increments from 400 to 1000.  If a car makes over any of the power levels the customer gets a shirt!  Here is an example.

More updates will be posted of the changes made to Superstang.  I do plan on doing a few big races this year and now that I have my own dyno you can bet my tune will be dead-on and make tons of power.  Now I just have to earn that 1,000 hp club shirt for myself fair and square.

*** Update 3/31/06:  My tires & wheels showed up!  The Bear Brakes are not here yet so I can't install them yet but at least I can sit in the garage and stare at the wheels - here is a pic:

I need to thank Discount Tire for getting me a great deal on the Billet Specialties Wheels and the Pirelli Tires.  I was going to run Nitto tires but I had to have a 28" tall tire that was at least "Y" speed rated (186+mph) and the comparable Nitto was only rated for 168mph.  The rear is a 285/45-18 and the front is a 245/40-18.  The rear slicks are Mickey Thompson 275/60-15 (same as a 28x11.50) ET Street Radial mounted on matching 15x10 Billet Specialty Wheels.

*** Update 2/24/06: I am getting ready for the Baer Brakes Zero-200-Zero contest and will soon have my Baer Extreme+ front 14" brakes with the serious street 13" rears -AND- the 11.5" rear rotors.  I need to keep the smaller rears rotors to clear drag slicks.  When I am running the 18" rear wheels I will bolt the caliper to a different spot on the mounting bracket and swap on the 13" rear rotor. My next step is to pick new wheels (yes, I know - everyone has said I needed new wheels for a long time).  I had picked out a different set of wheels but so far the response has been a little negative - thanks everyone for letting me know.  The new wheel I think I want to run is from Billet Specialties and comes in 15x10 (for rear slicks), 18x8 (front), and 18x9.5 (rear).  I personally love the staggered look of a larger wheel in the back and I think this wheel would look good on the car.  I would not run a front skinny with this combination, which would slow me down a little in the quarter mile.

If you are interested this is what I was going to run in the front and rear drag racing and these 4 are what I was considering for my street tires Steeda Chrome, Steeda Satin, Steeda Chrome II, MB Wheels.

*** Update 2/2/06: I picked up another Mustang!  I found a triple white 93 LX Convertible (White exterior, white leather interior, and white convertible top).  It was pretty clean and priced right so I now have a new project car to start modifying.  Click a pic for more.

 

On the black Mustang (Superstang) I just purchased a set of front fenders (larger wheel openings) so I can finish my big brake conversion.  I have not made my final selection of brakes but am working with a couple vendors to help me with a complete setup that can kill the competition this year if I do the RSE again.  I hope to do the Big Red Camaro Challenge (Zero to 200mph to Zero) if they run it again this year.  The web page doesn't show a race for this year yet and I am still waiting for all the details from Baer Brakes (the official sponsor).

For those that don't know I now have AEM as a Sponsor for my Mustang.  They have actually been helping me out for a while but I now have an official page on their web site.  For those that haven't hear me raving about my AEM EMS system allow me to sum it up by saying it has made more power safely than any modification I have done to my car.

I also have to thank Vortech for their great support.  My YSi supercharger recently had a problem and they completely rebuilt it for me in record time.  Thanks!

*** Update 1/5/06: For all you techno-geeks like me my good friends Roald & Ben are down at CES and are creating some really cool HDTV quality videos from the show.  If you are like me and didn't get to go to the show you will love watching the videos, check them out at www.technologyevangelist.com

*** Update 12/31/05:  Just wanted to say Happy New Year to everyone.  This last year saw a lot of change for me, I hope 2006 can live up to 2005 with bigger and better modifications to the Mustang.  I would encourage everyone to drop me an email, I love hearing from everyone.  To my friends in Minnesota, I miss you all.  To my old and new friends in Seattle, looking forward to an exciting year.  To everyone I wish the best of luck and love for 2006!

*** Update 12/16/05:  Yes, I know - no updates for months really sucks.  A lot has changed since my last update as well.  I converted to a crank trigger pickup system but still retained the stock distributor using the AEM engine management system, this has helped with timing accuracy and the car does make more power because of it.  I also went to a plate style nitrous system and now have a 150 shot in place of the 50 shot.  I did one dyno run with just the crank trigger and made 900 RWHP (and 920 RWTQ), and that was without nitrous.  I have not dyno'd since but I am confident that I can break the 1,000 RWHP mark (which is 1,200 at the crank).

I did make it to the Car Craft Real Street Eliminator competition in Norwalk Ohio.  I ran a new personal best of 9.46 @ 148 mph (will post a time slip soon) and did well in every event but braking.  My braking wasn't that bad but the other cars all had anti-lock brakes so they did a lot better.  I will have anti-lock brakes on my car by next year and hope to get invited to a few more contests where I can hang with the cars in all events.  My 9.46 crushed all previous bests at the event by over a full second (which is a huge margin).  The article was just released in the February issue of Car Craft (just out now).  Here is the text from the main portion of the article.

"John Garner '90 Ford Mustang:  It was a first in RSE history; a 9-second quarter-mile pass.  Previously, we've generally assumed that any vehicle capable of producing such a time slip would fail the rest of the competition miserably.  John Garner has changed that.  His name and his Mustang have been seen in Car Craft before most recently in the August '05 issue, when we were impressed with the car's 10-second ability, so when he ripped off a 9.60 at 146.38 mph is first time down the Norwalk's track, everyone was astounded.  Garner himself was elated with the personal best (previous vest was 9.96 @ 136) and satisfied with the performance, but we asked him to try again for the cameras.  He couldn't resist lead-footing it and turned a 9.46 at 148.30.  Bear in mind, this is not some street race outlaw car; by NHRA standards, it's completely legal for the nines.

The next day, as it had in the past, John's Mustang provided Comfortable road transportation on the ride-and-drive and was unaffected by the inclement weather.  The stereo thumped, the heated seats toasted our buns, and the noise level was completely unobjectionable.  The Lentech AOD even shifts itself when the stock shifter is left in Drive.

John scored well in both engineering and craftsmanship, and was probably the only guy in the group who didn't mind the autocross rain-out, though he was fully willing to sling the 'stang around the course, even in the rain.  The only glaring shortcoming of this car during the competition was braking, which could used some dialing, as John placed last in that competition.  Though by the time you read this, John will likely have separated his retinas dialing in his upgrades."

Here are some scans of the article.  I promise more frequent updates.

 

<Click an image to enlarge>

*** Update 7/19/05:  Well the Car Craft show has come and gone and I didn't make it with my car!  Of all the things that could go wrong my water pump broke and since it is a shorter pump (to clear my larger crank pulley and cog belt) the replacement is not available for a month.  I did send my failed pump back to the manufacture to see if they can rebuild it but I may not be able to drive, dyno, or race for a month!  The impeller broke right off the end of the shaft on the pump.  The frustrating part is this failure had nothing to do with anything I had done, it was just a manufacturing flaw.  I hate it when parts just break.  Here is a pic:

I did get a chance to dyno my car once before the show.  With my serpentine pulley setup making 17lbs of boost and a 150 shot of nitrous I made 820 RWHP!  I had installed my cog pulleys that make 24 pounds of boost for the Car Craft show and hoped to make 950-975 RWHP (math = 700hp @ 17lbs of boost = ~300 NA * 1/2 BAR of new boost = additional 150 HP at the wheels).  I guess I will have to wait until my water pump gets back to see if the math is accurate or not...

If you didn't hear a Model A at the Car Craft show broke the strap on the dyno and nearly launched off the end!  The car was maknig 1200 RWHP when the strap broke.  I talked to the dyno operator after it happened and he said the exhaust was too close to the strap and heated it up to the point where it could break.  I have the video here.


*** Update 6/20/05:  URGENT!  - Car Craft is doing an invitational only race called the Real street Eliminator. (more info here). They have picked 25 cars and have online voting to select the final 10 (I think) that will be invited. The race will include a drag race, autocross, braking, ride & drive, and an overall fit & finish.  My car is listed hereYou can vote here.  I am number 19 on the list.

*** Update 6/13/05:  Exactly 1 month after the Pump Gas Drags and I have not posted an update!  What happened???  Well...   I did great!  Here is the story!

The final car count was 49, that means only one car didn't show.  Much better turnout then last year.  The first thing I noticed was the cars looked much more like race cars this year. I knew from the moment I got there that I was not going to make the top 10 which was my original goal. I drove down with Brian Oberg (local - raced a 67 C10 pickup). Several people said they were going to be in the 8's and I didn't believe it. Boy was I wrong! 

The drive from Comp Cams to the Memphis race track killed 3 cars, that left 46 cars in the event. That is less cars than last year that died on the drive.  During the race 14 more cars died, either huge engine failures, running into the wall, or just wouldn't start.  The fastest time run was an 8.629 by a twin turbo dodge viper.

I ran a 9.965, then a 10.120, then a 10.602. My last run I was worried about the engine so I ran without the nitrous and short shifted. As it turns out everything was ok. My average was 10.229 and was good for 26th place.  At that point I was very happy - I had made a 9 second pass on 93 octane gas, made all 3 runs, and everything was fine. I didn't think I was going to win an award - again, I was wrong!  I didn't realize they were giving a jacket for the "Most Legit Street Car". Anyway, I was sitting in the pits working on my trailer when I heard my name over the PA system. WAHOO - I won a jacket!  Those that are not car obsessed will not understand but winning a jacket was one of the greatest moments ever.  My son was there in the staging lanes helping me strap into my car.  My friend Tony from Seattle was there and my friend Scott from Denver was also there.  They got to witness my 9 second run (on pump gas) and were all there to see me when I won the jacket.  It was great!

I need to thank DG Motors for building an incredible engine that can take the abuse,  AEM for the amazing support and totally kick-ass engine management system, Weldon for building a fuel pump that can deliver the fuel without overheating, and Vortech for the great support and awesome supercharger.  Oh-yea, thank you Hot Rod Magazine for inviting me and hosting such an awesome event!

*** Update 6/14/05Hot Rod posted a video of each of the cars running during the event.  This was my final run (the video they used). <click here>

 

Here is my timeslip

In a future update I will be posting my success with the AEM system.  I am converting to a crank trigger and have a few surprises for the Car Craft Summer Nationals.  More later...

*** Update 4/14/05:  Tons of updates - not all SUPERSTANG related!

Weight:  Weight going backwards???  First I decided that I did not like the center console without the storage so I took it completely apart and swiss-cheesed (drilled lots of holes) all the metal brackets.  Doing this I was able to drop 2.5 pounds but I still had to add 5 pounds back into the weight of the car.  I also added a nitrous system that is a dry system and uses a carbon fiber bottle but it still added 25 pounds (with a full bottle) to the weight of the car.  The final weight concession was tail pipes on the car.  I found that without the tail pipe the exhaust ended next to the fuel cell.  I was concerned about heat from the exhaust making the fuel hot and decided that the extra 12 pounds (tail pipes without the mufflers) was worth the weight penalty.  I also found another 5 pounds of misc. stuff to remove so my final weight total (pre Pump Gas Drags) is 208 pounds of reduction.  Not bad but not the 250 pounds I was looking for.  I will dig further after the Pump Gas Drags.

Insulation: I finished the insulation project with the Dynaplate and I am very happy.  The dynaplate was not only 1/5 the weight of my previous insulation but I was also able to cover more places to provide better sound deadening.  Getting more for less - I like that!  The one place that Dynaplate isn't "less" is the price but I found a while back that sometimes you get what you pay for, in the case of Dynaplate it was worth every penny. 

 

Nitrous: Nitrous on SUPERSTANG?  Well yes but not what you may think.  Last year at the Pump Gas Drags a lot of cars suffered damaged engines and this year I predict even more broken parts.  Part of the problem is the detonation control with only 93 octane, especially under boost.  What I have done is install a small 40 hp shot of nitrous under the Intercooler (in the lower plenum of the intercooler manifold) to provide extra cooling of the air charge.  My plan is the 40 horsepower shot will cool the air a few more degrees then it is already after going through the intercooler and the AEM Engine Management system will back out extra timing and provide extra fuel during the nitrous operation.  The end result should be a small horsepower gain under nitrous (maybe 10-20 horsepower) but a much safer (colder, less timing, more fuel) intake charge for more detonation control.  On top of this I also installed a fuel pressure safety switch that will set a rev limiter to 2,400 RPM if fuel pressure drops below 30 lbs of pressure.  That way if I do run out of fuel or if I have fuel heat problems the engine will shut down in a controlled manner rather then grenading!  I also kept all the nitrous controls out of view by hiding them in the cowl.  I am not really trying to hide the solenoids but I do think it is cool that from the engine compartment you can't even see the nitrous!

AEM/Tune: All I can say so far is the AEM system ROCKS!  Wiring the system was easy since it plugged directly into my existing harness.  All I really had to wire was the nitrous controls and the 3.5 Bar MAP sensor.  The first time I tapped the key it started and idled!  The software is great to use and I am looking forward to tuning.  Tonight I hope to start the drive - tuning (using the auto-calibrate feature).  This process takes input from the wide band oxygen sensor and fine tunes the fuel map automatically.  Once that is done you still run in closed loop so short term fuel trim is always adjusted based on actual wide-band air/fuel readings!  Add to that the nitrous controls and many other very advanced features and this is one kick ass product!

Cog Belt Update:  I finally finished my custom 50mm cog setup where the belt is tensioned on the non-torque side of the belt and the pulley is on the cog tooth side (not the back of the belt) which is how cog belts are supposed to run.  Time will tell but I am positive this will be a huge improvement for belt life and belt control.

 

Truck: Truck you say?  Well I have this 1978 Ford F350 4x4 Dually pickup - here is the story...

Around 10 years ago I built a truck for my wife to use to haul her horse trailer.  Originally she was going to get a 5th wheel trailer and wanted a dually and I loved the 1978/79 Ford trucks but Ford did not make a F350 4x4 dually in that year.  I ended up buying a really nice supercab non-dually truck and did the rest of the conversion.  After I finished the truck Karen decided she didn’t want a 5th wheel trailer so that gave me the ability to lift the truck (4”).  The truck was then used for years to haul her trailer from Seattle to southern California, Idaho, Minnesota, and several other states several times.  Karen became so attached to the truck that it became her truck and she would never let me drive it.  Whenever we would go anywhere she always drove.  The only complaint she ever had was after the lift the tires that were on the truck looked too small and she wanted “bigger wheels”.

After looking for years to find bigger tires/wheels that would work on a dually I found a conversion kit that adapts the 8-lug to a 10-lug wheel size that semi trucks use.  The wheels are now 19.5” tall by 8.5” wide and the tires are 285/70 19.5’s and are load range “H” (16 ply)!  I just finished the tire/wheel conversion.  The next modification to the truck is a 521 cubic inch stroker motor with Edelbrock aluminum heads, Weiand Stealth intake, BG Road Demon carb, roller rockers, etc.  The truck already has power door locks, air conditioning, 6 disc cd changer, cruise, tilt, captains chairs, all the creature comforts but this summer I also plan to go through and re-fresh the interior and add power windows.  The truck will never again be used as a truck, just as a toy to maybe haul my motorcycle around.  I won’t say that I will never haul a trailer with it again but that is no longer the plan for the truck.  I figure a guy just needs a 521 cubic inch dually supercab 1 ton 4x4 pickup to drive to work everyday…  For those that wonder, this was not the truck Karen was driving when she was in the accident.

  

Brandon's car:  Brandon's Del Sol is nearly finished.  The interior turned out great!  It has been a blast working on the car with him, something I had always hoped we would be able to do.  We put new tires/wheels on the car and had the factory seats recovered with a two tone leather and I think the end result is incredible.  Not bad for a $400 car!

 

*** Update 3/5/05:  WAHOO!  I was picked for the 2005 Hot Rod Magazine Pump Gas Drags!

The list for the Hot Rod Magazine Pump-Gas Drags was just released and I was one of the 50 competitors selected for this years event!  That means that for a second year in a row I have one of the 50 fastest street cars in North America as selected by Hot Rod Magazine.  I will now be in the invitation only race on May 13th in Memphis!

Making it the first year (last year) was one thing, this year car builders and shops made cars just for this race - taking every rule to the limit.  To be selected a second time is a true honor! Here is the list of who made it...(notice who is #1 on the list)


I have also reached 245 pounds of weight reduction!  I actually used more of the Dynaplate then I expected so I increased the total weight to 15lbs for added insulation.  I have a few more things to remove but mostly I am done.  I will find those last 5 pounds!

*** Update 2/25/05:  Well the goal of reaching 250 pounds of weight loss is getting close.  I hit one major road block in the effort and that is I was expecting a major weight savings in the Cervinis fiberglass deck lid and wing.  The sad part is the fiberglass lid only weighs 3 pounds less than the steel one did.  Even so I am at 228 pounds!  The remaining 22 pounds will be tough, I will have to fight for every pound. 

I was also disappointed by the amount of weight removed after spending days scraping the factory insulation from the floorboards.  The saving grace is the Dynamat Dynaplate product is amazing and VERY light.  I have been very happy with the current progress of the insulation install.  I will do a full story on how it works in a future update.

I am also converting from my TwEECer engine management system to the AEM Plug & Play Engine Management System.  I will also provide a full update on my results when I finish.

     

*** Update 2/2/05: Yes, I suck - no updates for over a month.  In all fairness I spent 4 weeks of the last two months working in San Jose (not a bad place to be - especially when the alternative is Minnesota in the winter).  So - consider it only 1 month since my last update :P

I have lots of updates.  First my goal of 250lbs of weight loss is getting closer (for the car).  I just replaced my 9" rear end with a Strange aluminum case with a full spool.  That alone saved 28 lbs!  I have a bunch of stuff that will be installed soon for my car that will get me within pounds of my goal - I just can't post them until they are ready to install so I can verify my weight.  As it is I am at 179 lbs already!  Thank you Matt for setting me up with all the parts!

I also just picked up a trailer to haul my car to all the shows this year.  The trailer is an H&H 26' enclosed trailer with a walk on roof and an RV door.  I really love the way it looks behind my Navigator.  The pictures below were taken at late dusk so they didn't turn out that well but you can still see the trailer is very nice.  The walk on roof is nice for events, you can sit on the roof and see over everyone.

I also forgot to update that my car was just in the February issue of Car Craft Magazine (page 30 in the Extreme Machines Article).  I have been very lazy scanning in the magazines my car has been in.  I promise to fix that soon.

*** Update 12/19/04:  The weight loss program is moving and is ahead of schedule!  Who said dieting was hard, just chop off all the stuff you don't need and stuff gets lighter right away!  Even after adding a few parts back my new weight loss is at 146 pounds!  My goal is 250 and I have some easy wins on the way to get to my 250 pounds.

One thing I did change was rather than having my existing wheels widened I found I could get Weld Draglite wheels to fit over my Aerospace Components front and rear brakes.  The combined savings with the front wheels and Mickey Thompson Front Runners with new larger 28x12.50x15 MT ET Street tires is 44 pounds!  One thing I have to say is getting a 28x12.50 tire to fit in a stock wheel well on a Mustang is NOT EASY!  I bet I have 8 hours into "massaging" the inner fenders with an air hammer, regular hammer, and cutter.  They do fit!

I will be spending a lot of time in San Jose for the next few weeks so my updates may be a little slow.  I hope to have the new Cervinis rear deck lid and spoiler along with the Dynaplate by my next update.  I may also have my new lightweight Aluminum 9" carrier with 3.7 gears and spool by my next update.  Each of these will add up to more weight savings and better performance.

Look out everyone at the Pump Gas Drags - I am looking to kick some serious butt in 2005!

*** Update 12/5/04:  Well, so far my diet has been successful.  I dropped 100 pounds just this weekend!

OK, in all fairness the car lost 100 pounds, not me - and some of the parts I have to build lightweight alternatives which will add some weight back.  What surprised me is how easy it has been to drop some serious weight without compromising any quality of ride or sound issues.  I have setup a page to cover all the weight loss, keep checking it for more updates.  My goal is 250 pounds over the winter.  This will all be weight that is gone but not missed.  In other words I will not compromise ride quality for weight.  Think I will make it?

One of the products I am really excited about to help me reach my goal and keep the weight down is a product by Dynamat called Dynaplate.  It is a very light weight (0.17 pounds per square foot), and very thin (.014 or .5 mil) insulative material that provides structural integrity enhancements and better sound deadening than nearly any other product on the market.  The weight and thickness are what are convincing me but remember, I hate loud cars!  I will post a full page with my results assuming everything goes as planned with the product.  In any case I will let you know what happened!

I also got my new 28x12.50x16 Mickey Thompson ET Street tires and let me tell you, the fit is TIGHT!  I spent hours with a hammer "massaging" my inner fenders and now need to send my wheels in to be widened (by 1") just to make these damned tires fit!  To verify fit I put 600 pounds of sand bags in my trunk to push the suspension to the bump stops.  I took pictures with the car loaded and unloaded so you can see how they fit.

On a personal note, I have had a lot of email from my web friends expressing condolences for my wife's passing.  One thing that I have been asked is "how do you keep working on your car after this happened" and what I always say is my wife was my biggest supporter for my Mustang and loved driving it more than I did.  What is ironic is the friend who was with my wife (in the accident) when she died was the person I purchased my car from originally (she bought it new in 1990).  To me I have more reason now to continue tinkering and refining than I ever have.  I appreciate everyone's thoughts and ask those that care to realize that my Mustang is as much therapy as anything else.

*** Update 11/30/04: Well, it is time for a diet - not for me but for my car! 

I plan on applying to the Hot Rod Magazine Pump-Gas Drags again this year and I am confident I can be very competitive next year.  I have a plan that will drop 250 pounds from the weight of the car while converting to a taller and wider slick for better traction.  The combination of these two should keep me deep in the 9's even with pump gas.  I will post regular weight-loss status as the winter goes on.  

This last year the problems that plagued me have all been solved.  The first problem was a head gasket that kept blowing which ended up being two injectors that would cut out at high pressure/duty cycle.  The second problem was a belt drive system that kept destroying belts which has been solved thanks to D&G Motors and ASP Racing

*** Update 11/12/2004:  I have some terrible news to announce.  I have always tried to keep this site updated with the modifications I have made to my car and updates on all the events I have attended along with a little personal information. 

My wife was killed in a car accident in October.  She was hauling one of her horses to Tucson, AZ and was rear ended by a semi while on the way.  She had a friend with her who is going to be fine (injured severely but will be ok) who said they were just driving along talking.  It was 2:00 AM, the moon was out, and everything was going fine when suddenly everything just got thrown and the truck was rolling.  Karen was thrown from the car and died on the scene.  The truck driver was behind on his log book and had to have been speeding and fallen asleep to cause the accident.  The police report has still not been released. 

Needless to say I am at a crossroads.  I know that I will keep my car and that I will continue to work on it.  I have committed to several events this next year and have every intention of making those events and doing my best to be top of my game when there.  I have been tinkering on the car and it does help relax me but I have not taken on any large upgrades and probably will not for at least a month.

For those that are interested a memorial web site has been setup for Karen at www.karengarner.com.

*** Update 10/25/04:  Lots of changes....

I have taken a bunch of new pictures of my car.  Not much has changed but I do have new clear front headlights.  Let me know what you think (click picture for photo book)

I just modified an RCD Top Fuel belt guard to fit my supercharger.  I think it provides a very finished look and I can stop destroying my hood! (click picture for more info)

I have been working on my new 50mm cog setup and just installed a modified shorter water pump and custom machined a new water pump pulley (click picture for more info)

I also updated my Fuel System page.  It is funny how you forget the problems of the past.  For 3 years all I could do is complain about vapor lock and try everything to fix it.  In the end all I needed was the proper fuel pump.  Do yourself a favor and USE A WELDON PUMP!

*** Update 9/25/04:  As far as I know I now have the ONLY 50mm cog drive supercharger drive system for a passenger side mounted system on a Mustang!  It took a ton of design work and lots of modifications but I now have a 50mm setup and still have my working air conditioning, power steering, and EVERYTHING!

What did it take to mount a 50mm drive system? 

  • The engine had to be set back 1"

  • The radiator had to have the inlet water neck moved to the top of the radiator

  • A custom drive pulley had to be made (in a specific size)

  • A low profile fan system had to be installed

  • An SCH bracket system had to be used

  • A custom idler pulley spacer had to be machined

Now luckily for me I had previously done the engine set back, radiator modifications, had the fan system, and already had the SCH bracket setup.  I had the custom lower pulley built for me and then went to D&G Motors to machine a idler pulley spacer using their metal lathe.  One of the things I really enjoy doing with my Mustang is designing parts that are not available, especially when I have been told what I want to do is impossible.  Everyone I asked said I would never get a 50mm drive setup to fit without moving the supercharger to the driver side and losing the air conditioning.  I am very happy!

I also promised a follow up on my injectors after having my intake manifold flow tested.  As it turned out my injectors where not a matched set with flow numbers all over the place.  I ended up trying to make a matched set out of 16 of the 83 lb/hr injectors but could not find any close enough. I ended up ordering a set of 95 lb/hr flow matched injectors and having them flow tested again locally at TPIS.  I am confident with my exact matched injectors and intake manifold that my tune will be much more accurate and I will make more power and get even better mileage! 

Here are a few pictures of the cog setup

<pic1>  <pic2>

*** Update 8/18/04:  I got my 50mm supercharger pulleys and idler in today.  Look down below for pictures comparing the pulleys and idlers.

*** Update 8/17/04:  I just had my intake manifold flow tested to try and determine if any runners were flowing either extremely poorly or extremely well.  If any where significantly off I would modify the intake to try and even out the runners.  I am going to have the injectors flow tested (and cleaned) so I can take the higher flowing injectors and install them in the higher flowing runners to help even the air/fuel per runner.  My intake was not all the same but the runner differences where small enough I think with injector matching I will be ok.  Here are the flow numbers

  1. 299 CFM - 6%

  2. 302 CFM + 7%

  3. 296 CFM + 5%

  4. 281 CFM - 0%

  5. 281 CFM - 0%

  6. 293 CFM + 4%

  7. 305 CFM + 8%

  8. 281 CFM - 0%

All measurements where done at 28" hg and where through the entire intake.  This includes through my intercooler core.  This would be like someone with an air/air intercooler blowing at the inlet of the intercooler, through all the piping, into the upper intake, and measuring flow at the port.  I was happy with the flow numbers and although I wish the ports where closer I bet my injectors are similarly matched (I hope) so I can put proper injectors with proper ports.  My current tuning system (www.tweecer.com) does not allow direct port compensation for injector/port flow.

*** Update 8/15/04:  Well, one of the reasons people like my site (I have been told) is I post when stuff works, when stuff doesn't work, when I do something right, and when I screw up.  This is going to be a "when I screw up" post. 

After my last rebuild I found I had 25% leakdown with my Total Seal Gapless Top rings.  I expected it was due to a problem with the rings when what I actually found was I installed the top ring upside down.  With the two piece design you have a thin and a thick ring, I put the thin ring on the top which is backwards.  Here is a pic of how they are supposed to be installed.  So, I can't blame Total Seal for my problem although I am not going to run the same rings again.  This time I am looking for the tried and true method as I don't want to tear the engine out again.  I guess the nice part is the inside of the engine looked great and I don't need many new parts. 

I am going to be flow testing my custom intake manifold/intercooler setup and having my injectors flow tested and blue printed this time.  I don't know if it will make a big difference but at least I will have the confidence that everything is matched.  I will post the flow numbers and what I find when I am done.

One of the things that was pointed out to me lately was I am way behind on the magazine list that Superstang has been in.  I need to scan the pages and put them on my magazine list page but for now here is the list:

  • Hot Rod Magazine, August 2005

  • Car Craft Magazine, August 2005

  • Hot Rod TV, July 2005

  • Car Craft Magazine, February 2005

  • Hot Rod Magazine, August 2004

  • Hot Rod TV, July 2004

  • 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords, October 2003

  • Hot Rod Engines, October 2003

  • 5.0 Mustangs & Super Fords, May 2003

  • Car Craft Magazine, November 2003

  • Car Craft Magazine, February 2003

  • Car Craft Magazine, November 2002

  • Muscle Mustang & Fast Fords, 2002 (unprinted)

Along with this list there is an upcoming article in Car Craft Magazine (shot at the Car Craft Summer Nationals, July 2004). 

The story behind the unprinted article is strange.  In 2002 a freelance writer for Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords magazine wrote a story on Superstang.  Originally Muscle Mustangs Magazine lost the article when the moved offices, then they said the would print it again but it got bumped.  Now the story is so old I doubt it will ever get printed.  Here is the text from the article.

Cog Pulleys:  One other change I will be making this swap is to go from my 35mm Vortech Cog Pulleys to a 50mm setup.  The problem with 50mm is the belt is very big and most engine compartments can not fit the belt between the engine and the radiator.  In fact nobody makes a 50mm setup for a passenger side mounted Vortech supercharger.  Vortech makes a 50mm setup but only for the driver side mount that puts the supercharger back further.  Because it sits back further the spacing for the drive pulley is all wrong for a passenger side setup.  I refuse to remove my air conditioning and power steering so I was unable to get a 50mm cog setup.  I finally found a place that would make a custom setup for me and it is on the way.  The other changes I had to make to clear a 50mm cog where moving the engine back 1", running a thin fan setup, moving the water neck on my radiator to the top of the radiator, and some other adjustments to clear everything.  I can't wait to get the system installed.  My first 30mm setup sucked, I would rip belts every pass.  The Vortech 35mm was much better - I never threw a belt anymore.  The fact is I can fit 50mm and I see no reason to not run it (the belt will look awesome on the front of the engine) so I am going 50mm!

I had a 30mm, 35mm, and 50mm belt sitting around so I took a picture to show the difference in size.  I also have small pics of the pulley size difference.  Click to enlarge.

<pic of cog belt sizes

<pic of pulley sizes>  <pic of idlers front> <pic of idlers side>  <pic of all together>

*** Update 7/28/04:  Well, I owe everyone this update.  My goal was to break 800 RWHP, run 9's in the quarter mile, and get 20mpg by the end of this month.  Well, I didn't quite do it but I did get close.  I also ran into a serious problem and need to tear the engine apart again (more near the end of this update).

800 RWHP:  I successfully made a consistent 770 RWHP and 790 lb/ft of torque but never did eclipse the 800 RWHP mark.  I know I could have but I ran into a problem with my old plugs and a gap that was too large.  The dyno sheet showed that had the power not cut out with the extra boost (kept the same curve as the smaller pulley) it would have reached around 820.  I was ready to break 800 at the Car Craft Summer Nationals but they ended up not having the dyno challenge so I didn't run.  Later at the track I found some engine problems so I did not get a chance to re-dyno to reach my goal.  I know I could have done it but the fact is I have not yet actually done it.

9's in the 1/4 mile:  Nope, didn't get there.  It was all traction problems.  I ran 8 passes at Rock Falls last weekend and ran a bunch of 10.5xx - 10.7xx but I could not get anything to hook up.  My best 60' times were 1.68's (not good) and I could not actually put the accelerator to the floor until I was over 100mph or the tires (MT ET Streets 26x11.50x16) would break loose.  I have to admit it is cool to be able to break a heated set of MT tires loose at 90 mph on a prepped track but it does not make for impressive quarter mile times.  Maybe with a better track (they don't call Rock Falls "Slippery Rock" for nothing) or maybe if I back some power out of the bottom end I could get it to hook up.  I would like to get back and test but I ran into other problems (keep reading).

20 MPG:  Yes!  The one I thought would be hardest I reached!  Now, I did have to cheat a little to get 20mpg.  To get 20mpg I first remove the supercharger belt to reduce drag.  Then on an all highway trip (160 miles) to Mankato and back with an average speed to 55mph I averaged 20.8 mpg.  If I had to credit one thing to the mileage it would be my new optimized injector timing - it is amazing how much better the idle is and how much less raw fuel you smell when the car is idling with proper injector timing.

So - everything was attainable but I did not quite reach my goals.  I am sure I will get there but when....

Engine coming back out?  After the day on the dyno I changed my plugs which requires removing the supercharger outlet pipe.  I noticed when I removed it that there was a bunch of oil in the discharge tube.  After running at the track all day last Saturday I actually blew the dipstick tube out of the pan (a couple inches) and oil came out.  These are all signs of excessive blowby.  I did a leakdown test and found that the average was 25% (not very good).  Those that check the site regularly will remember I tried a set of the Total Seal Gapless top rings with this rebuild even though I had previously tried a set with my Navigator and they never seated (I had to rebuild the engine in the Navigator again).  Well, looks like they didn't seat this time either.  Before I bash Total Seal I need to take the engine out and inspect everything to make sure it wasn't something I did.  All I can say is I followed Total Seals directions exactly and even ordered the stones for the Sunnen hone machine that they recommended (the machine shop didn't have the stones they recommended).  I also used their "sure seat" powder and piston lube.  I used everything they have in hopes of getting the benefits of gapless rings without having a ring-seat problem.  I will let everyone know what I find but it does not look good for Total Seal. 


*** Update 7/16/04: Another short update during the Car Craft Summer Nationals.  First while checking the spark plugs gap I noticed I had two cracked plugs - the insulators on the electrode side had cracked.  One was just loose, the other was missing a piece.  I did some research on the internet and the most likely cause was over-torque on the plug.  Both of the plugs were the only two that can't be reached with a ratchet and a wrench must be used to tighten the plugs.  My guess is I just over tightened the plug which cracked the insulator on the inside of the plug next to the center electrode.  There were no traces of detonation or heat damage.  The good news is my power should definitely be up, the bad news is I did not get a chance to dyno after the plug change.  I saved the plugs and will post a picture soon.

My Weldon Fuel Pump is AWESOME!  Today I pulled my trailer (note: I pulled the trailer -with- the mustang, I didn't pull my mustang on a trailer) to the Car Craft show and cruised around at the show for hours in the high heat (pulling the trailer) and NEVER had a problem with vapor lock.  We are talking about 2 mph cruising for 2 hours straight with no problems.  Later I cruised University for 2 hours with a nearly empty tank and never had a fuel heat problem.  I watched my fuel temperature and it actually reached the point where my old pump would vapor lock but the pump just kept running and pumping very consistent fuel pressure.  THANK YOU WELDON!

This year at the Car Craft Summer Nationals they are not doing a dyno challenge.  They have the dyno there but all you get are two back to back pulls with no score keeping and no prizes for a top pull.  Car Craft is not keeping track of who does what on the dyno.  I don't see any reason to pull on the dyno if I don't have a chance of winning something as I would rather spend my time and money tuning on a dyno where I can actually get something done (thank you John Haley Motorsports).

*** Update 7/16/04:  Short update, in dyno tuning before the Car Craft Summer Nationals I made 770 RWHP and 790 lb/ft of Torque.  My goal is 800 and I think it is only a plug-gap away.  When I went to the smallest pulley the torque curve was a cool 40 hp over the larger pulley until around 5,000 RPM when it started breaking up.  I am thinking the plug gap may be too large for the cylinder pressure with the smaller pulley.  I don't have any more time to tune before the Dyno Challenge so I am going to have to just re-gap the plugs and hope - if nothing ~770 RWHP is pretty damned good, but 800 would be WAY COOLER!

*** Update 7/9/04: The latest issue of Hot Rod Magazine is out with the Pump-Gas Drags results, I am #36 on the list.  David Freiburger had some very nice things to say about my car, which I appreciate.  Per usual the only picture of my car was the engine.  I am not complaining but you would think my car was a rusty hunk-o-junk when you see how many times the engine is photographed versus the rest of the car.  I know my custom intercooler is what stands out and I guess I should be flattered that the part I hand made is what is featured most but I would really like to see the "whole car" in a magazine someday.

Hot Rod also put the URL for this site in the article so if anyone is new (to this site) this is my official BLOG for my Mustang.  I post whatever is going on and future plans for the car along with a few technical articles and photo books of work performed.  If you scroll to near the end of the page you will see previous updates with a link at the bottom for even older updates.

Blew my 9" Rearend up!  I didn't think it was possible with the small tire size I run but I warped the front pinion cover on my 9" rearend.  It was a factory piece so I upgraded to a new Curie 9+ nodular case with a Daytona pinion support just to make sure it doesn't happen again.  I originally put it back together with the same 3.50 gears but they were a little noisy.  I am sure they would have quieted down but I really wanted 3.40 gears so I ordered a new set and installed the new gears.  The change from 3.50 to 3.40 will give me 4.5 MPH at the end of the quarter mile and help me from bouncing of my rev-limiter (at 150MPH).  I can now reach 155 MPH in the quarter mile (with the same slicks).

My new Weldon fuel pump ROCKS!  In the past to make long drives I would have to stop all the time and re-fuel to introduce new cold fuel into my tank.  At the Hot Rod Pump-Gas Drags my fuel system overheated and so did 4 others who were running the same pump I used to run.  I run a temperature gauge on my fuel system and monitor temperature very closely so I know when it is going to overheat.  With my new Weldon 2025 pump I drove today with a mostly empty tank for 100 miles in some pretty hot weather (with the air conditioning on of course) and the temp never even came close to my old pump.  Beyond the lower temp the fuel pressure remained much more consistent.  I could not be happier - do yourself a favor, buy a Weldon pump.  You will be happy you did.

Getting ready for the Car Craft Summer Nationals:  I just got the new rearend installed today (Friday) and the show starts next Friday.  I have to drive a few more miles to break everything in then I will dyno and tune my car next Thursday at John Haley Motorsports.  My hope is to break 800 RWHP on the dyno next Thursday.  I will post the results.

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