Jim Walrod's 91 Mustang LX

1991 Ford Mustang LX

Power:
542 RWHP
Torque:
514 lb/ft
Boost:
PSI
S/C:
V-1 Ti Supercharger
Like a lot of younger guys, Jim Walrod’s automotive interests originally lead him towards imports, high-revving, noise-making, slow-moving imports. It wasn’t long before reality set it and Jim had a change of heart. “I realized I wanted more power and performance,” he decided. Whoever didn’t see that coming, raise your hand. Jim was considering a Thunderbird Super Coupe since they were factory supercharged, but those plans took a sharp left turn when a friend with a strong Mustang stopped by. “A friend intervened and offered up his '89 LX for a test drive,” Jim states. That’s all it took. “After driving the car around my neighborhood I immediately knew this was the car I had to have.” Jim began scanning the ads for the right 5.0 Mustang, and eight months later, found just what he was looking for. He made the phone call and the next day, made the deal. That was in August, 1995. He came home with a nice find. “A '91 Titanium Frost LX, 39,000-original-mile, bone stock in immaculate condition.” Sounds good, huh? Jim drove it awhile, enjoying that famous 5.0 punch. But his inner hot-rodder would not rest. “I decided it was time to upgrade the suspension,” Jim says. He met Brad from Brad’s Custom Auto who laid out a plan for the upgrade, and they weren’t messing around. Jim went full-tilt and installed Griggs GR-40 suspension with tubular control arms, coil-over shocks all around, and Maximum Motorsports Adjustable Camber Plates. The rearend got Ford Motorsport 3.27 gears, a torque arm, panhard bar, Griggs control arms, and anti-sway bar. Now, the chassis was state-of-the-art, and you know how that can get the snowball rolling. “Once the handling was upgraded it exposed just how bad the factory brakes were so a Cobra brake kit conversion was in order,” Jim reasoned. “The four lug pony wheels were replaced with M179 Cobra R 17x9-inch wheels along with 255/40's on the front and 275/40's on the rear.” Next in line for a big upgrade was the engine, which got BBK equal length shorty headers, H-pipe, Flowmaster exhaust, GT40 intake, Accugab 70mm throttle body, and a larger mass air meter. That wasn’t good enough, so Jim upgraded the upgrade with a Procharger blower set for a bolt-busting 17 pounds of boost. Just for reference, factory superchargers run maybe 5-6 pounds, and more aggressive systems might do 8 or so. Not surprisingly, it didn’t take long to run into problems. “This proved too much for the head gaskets,” explained Jim, “and out came the engine.” While the engine was out, Jim took the opportunity to install a Kenny Brown Super Street Cage, Kenny Brown Matrix braces, jacking rails, and a Super Street cage with BBK in-car subframe connectors. Sparco seats, and Schroth 4-point harnesses. Meanwhile, the engine was taken to Dave Bliss of Bliss Performance, who opened it up to 306 cubic inches, and installed Trick Flow Twisted Wedge heads, a stud girdle, and an Anderson Motorsports B-3 cam. The stock and breakable T-5 was transmission was replaced with a Tremec TKO and a McLeod scattershield. These mods culminated in engine failure Number Two, with a busted crank and a cracked block. Back to the drawing board. Jim sold the Procharger in favor of Motorsport R302 block, Eagle stroker crank (made of forged steel), forged H-beam rods, and a fresh port job on the TFS heads. Displacement was bumped again, this time to 331 cubic inches. Jim also upgraded his Anderson computerized engine management system with an Accel Gen 7 digital fuel injection system. “The Gen 7 provided much more tuning capability and increased drivablilty,” Jim observes. While the engine was out this time, the engine compartment was cleaned up, and readied for the new powerplant. “The new assembly was installed and this is how the car stands today. It was literally finished this month,” Jim told us. He’s owned the car 17 years, but a lot of that time has been down time between installs. As a result, the car has only 78,000 miles. So we don’t have blistering quartermile times to report or tales of slaying Ferraris — it’s still a fresh build. But as Jim finally gets to take his place behind the wheel, those things will come. The hard work and big spending are over. “My goal was to have a car with above-average performance with the look of a stock LX Mustang, and I think I have achieved the goal thanks to the meticulous work and knowledge of the crew at Brad's Custom Auto,”Jim says. “Now it’s time to drive it and enjoy the final product.” That is unless Jim gets itchy to install something else.

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