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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 Rapid Red/black 2011 Kona Blue/white
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31,672 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Congratulations to @Jarhead75 for being FordGT500’s June 2019 ROTM! Here is his story and his fantastic 2008 named “Lucy:”

To say I am honored to be chosen as a ride of the month is an understatement. Many thanks to Tim and everyone else who has taken the journey with me making this car what it is. I always love reading the ride of the month. Every car there is a beautiful, show car quality vehicle. I never thought my car would be the caliber car to be chosen. It’s far from a show car. I guess I can say “it’s all go and no show.”

Growing up, my father taught me how to work on cars. He worked at the ford plant as their crash test guru before I was born. At the age of 7, he had me turning wrenches and helping pull the engine out of the family truck. I use to sit in the garage and help him clean carburetors. Moving on to my first car, almost 30 years ago, a 1987 Pontiac 1000. I guess it was the ugly cousin of the Chevette. Man that thing was ugly and busted but it was mine. After high school came the Marine Corps. We made $744 a month so it took a long time to get another car. I was lucky enough to score a 1967 mustang, that’s when the love affair for mustangs began.

I came back to Orlando Florida, this is when I met another mentor, Dennis Lugo at Lugo performance in Apopka. He took me under his wing for building high horsepower mustang drag cars. After a few years of working with these amazing machines, I knew I needed more, I wanted to know more. I decided to get an education in this field so I graduated at the top of my class from Wyotech in Sacramento CA. I studied high horsepower engines and chassis fabrication with automotive technology. After graduation I spent a few years with Energy suspension in San Clemente CA. While there, I designed many bushing kits from Acura to VW’s along with the 2008 mustang. So if anyone here has an 08 and installs the energy suspension kit, that was made by yours truly. It fits into more years than the 08 but that is the car I used to design the kit. After Energy suspension, I moved on to Mariah Motorsports in Santa Barbara CA. We built RX7’s and other Mazda vehicles. We raced on the NASA circuit road courses and won many championships.

It was many years later until I was extremely lucky to find my baby. We named her “Lucy” after Lucile Ball because my wife loves the show “I love Lucy”. We may have had her for a week and I already bought two 15” no name drag wheels, BMR’s rear sway bar relocation brackets, drag radials, eibach pro lowering springs with eibach shocks and struts. Off to the track we went. Later on I got rid of those rear wheels and bought 2 race star drag wheels. Then came the trial and error of mods. We started with a JLT cold air intake and a 2.5” upper pulley, added a 100 shot of nitrous from nitrous express and tuned by Lund but it just wasn’t enough. I wrestled with exhaust sounds and went through 2-3 different cat backs and x-pipes. My wife said “will you stop messing around and just do it already!!” Yes ma’am. We yanked out the nitrous kit and in came the stage 3 Kenne Bell 2.8LC kit with their twin 78mm throttle body, gimme 5 cold air intake along with the biggun intercooler and their dual boost-a-pump. A C&R dual pass heat exchanger with twin fans, a Moroso supercharger coolant tank, JLT oil catch cans, McLeod rst clutch, a one piece aluminum driveshaft from the driveshaft shop and a trufiber 3” cowl carbon fiber hood. I love the old school hood pin look but I wanted something a little more trick so I went with Quik-Latch vintage style quick release hood pins.

She started feeling better but it just wasn’t there. Lucy wasn’t that screaming GT500 that I knew she could be. We started making more power with different tunes and pulleys. As the power went up, we needed more fuel so we added Deatschwerks twin 340lph pumps. Lucy is a chubby girl so she needed a 3.73 rear gear and upgrade to the RXT clutch. She got a Barton short shifter and that’s when we started destroying differentials. A grizzly locker seemed like it was up to the task but we ended up twisting the axle housing tube like a drinking straw. Yep, blame the drag radials for all that, time for bias ply. In came the Moser M9 ford 9” rear end with 35 spline axles, a spooled 3.89 rear gear and a custom made one piece aluminum driveshaft from Inland Empire driveline in Corona CA. We tightened it all up with an adjustable panhard bar that I made, BMR’s extreme anti roll bar, panhard bar support brace, rear upper and lower adjustable control arms and front tubular K-member with their front lower control arms and lower radiator support. Steeda’s triangulated torque box braces and Viking performance double adjustable crusader rear shocks.

Here comes the long winter. No track time to see what the new rear end can do. Then I hear that voice in the back of my head “just do it already” was it me or did she just say it again? Okay, okay, phone calls to engine builders begin. After a few weeks of phone calls and haggling, we decided on MMR’s 1500hp short block with a few changes from their advertised build. It is a brand new ford racing cast iron block with 9:1 compression forged pistons, redfire piston coating and total seal rings. Manley Forged I beam rods and a forged cobra jet crank shaft. Everything is held together by ARP fasteners. We did Stage 2 comp cams, MMR oil cooler kit with filter relocation, billet timing kit with heavy duty secondary chains. Billet crank sprocket, billet oil pump gear and hurricane oil pump, billet rear main seal housing and MMR’s composite windage tray. While the block was being built at MMR, I ordered lethal performance’s triple pump return fuel system along with I.D.1050x injectors. I am still using the DW 340lph pumps backed up by a walboro 450lph high pressure pump on a hop switch. Flow tested at 1120lph at 13 volts, safe to say we’ve got fuel. Once I received the short block, it was time for surgery. As soon as I had the engine out and disassembled, I port and polished the heads then sent them out for a valve job. While at the machine shop, they were fitted with Manley high lift valve springs and titanium retainers. When the heads came back, We threw the 1500hp head gasket set on it from MMR. The heads are held down with ARP head studs. The cams are held in with MMR’s cam cap bolts and ARP 12mm cam gear bolts. I installed all new roller followers, intake and exhaust lash adjusters.

We wanted to be track legal with our harmonic balancer and wanted more power so she got the ATI 10% overdrive balancer. Van from Revan racing hooked me up with a gates racing 87.9” belt to fit the 3-1/4” upper pulley for the 91 octane street tune at 15psi. I don’t know the power output right now, the butt dyno says it has more power than before and this is the low boost tune. Once we start hitting boost upwards of 22psi on the 2-3/4” upper pulley, we need spark plugs that would take that abuse so she has NGK iridium TR8-IX plugs. I wanted to keep things cooler under the hood with the added power so we decided to wrap the kooks 1-7/8” headers with DEI titanium exhaust wrap. The headers are held in with stage 8 locking header bolts. Thanks to Lund tuning for the hard work so far, we are able to tune with the Lund nGauge and the Zeitronix ZT-2 wide band data logger. The wide band is Plumbed into the kooks 3” catted x-pipe. I wanted to make sure the exhaust stayed put under high boost so I welded in stainless 2-1/2” v-band clamps onto the x-pipe and the roush 2-1/2” mid pipe. They seal much better than the factory clamps and it’s much easier to remove the exhaust when needed. To quiet this beast down, we chose Borla’s S type axle back mufflers.

For monitoring vitals, she’s equipped with a speed of sound a-pillar triple gauge pod with auto meter ford racing oil pressure, coolant temp and boost gauges. The nGauge helps monitor as well which is tucked in my center air vent to the right of the steering wheel.

From a glance, other than the carbon fiber hood, the car looks pretty much stock. I still cruise the original wheels and tires. Drilled and slotted rotors with factory brakes. I still have air conditioning, full factory interior and factory stereo.

Lucy is my daily driver. She’s the school bus for my kids, my personal Uber to work and everything else in between. The kids are never late to school while I’m on duty haha.

Of course I’m not done with the mods. Plans in the near future is a 6 point roll cage for safety. race seats and 5 point harnesses. race star front 4.5 x 17 rims to match the back rims while on the track. Some better sounds for entertainment, I’m thinking a nice touch screen stereo with Bluetooth and navigation. Maybe a single sub woofer and amp in the trunk.

I could have never imagined I would actually own an American icon. This car has been a true pleasure and a blessing.

I can’t thank everyone enough. I am deeply honored by all of you.
 

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Registered
2010 GT500, Kona Blue/White Stripes
Joined
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282 Posts
What a beast and daily driven too! Congratulations onROTM.
 

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#1 Mike!
2019 Shelby GT350
Joined
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9,332 Posts
:pPutting your knowledge and expertise to good use!! Great engine rebuild! You could have bought another Shelby with all the money for mods!! LOL!! Congrats on being chosen. Good to see all the hard work to get to your destination!
 

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Registered
2011 GT500, Ingot Silver
Joined
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1,866 Posts
Holy smokes that’s a stout mod list! Easy to see why your kids are not late for school.
Welcome to the ROTM club.
 

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Premium Member
2019 GT350R FPB
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2,610 Posts
Bought and built it himself! Drags and daily drives it! You sir, are a bad ass. Well deserved recognition. Congrats.
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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239 Posts
It’s been a lot of fun so far. Thank you all for the awesome words.
We Will have new bias ply tires soon. I’m thinking Hoosier quick time pro.
Time to see what Lucy can do at test and tune in the 29th.
 

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Premium Member
2007 GT500 Torch Red/White custom
Joined
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1,060 Posts
:pPutting your knowledge and expertise to good use!! Great engine rebuild! You could have bought another Shelby with all the money for mods!! LOL!! Congrats on being chosen. Good to see all the hard work to get to your destination!
Reptile is right..you could of bought another Shelby but what would be the fun in that. Congrats well deserved!

Joe
 

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Premium Member
Joined
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4,347 Posts
Congrats on being selected for the ROTM!

Lucy is nasty. All of those mods and still a DD. Well done


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Moderator/Admin Dude!
2020 Rapid Red/black 2011 Kona Blue/white
Joined
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31,672 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
The deal is, whoever gets their PHD first gets my car.
Brilliant! That’s a good motivator and it solves the problem of who gets it with some good competition!
 
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