Lou Medina's 1986 Mustang SVO


         I found my first SVO after originally looking for a late 60's Beetle to be a second car. I WAS NOT in the market for a high maintenance sports car. I already had one (a '90 Mustang GT). I got my '84 SVO for $1600 and started trying to improve it to '86 specifications, while trying to learn all I could about this car that I knew NOTHING about, much less the physics of turbocharging. I subsequently bought a beat up '85 SVO for a parts car then six months later I found my current pride and joy in a used car lot.

skinny Lou

I saw it at 9 PM on a Thursday and by noon the next day I owned an 1986 SVO. Half my work was completed in that short time, because now I didn't have to update ANYTHING to 1986 specs, they were already there. My 1984 and 1985 became parts cars (I shouldn't have bought the 84 in the first place, it was THAT beat up). I gave it a quick tune up and it ran like a champ. I installed a 3" exhaust and an 8.8" rear end from an 1989 5.0LX. After very minor mods, including a cam retarded 6 degrees, 18 psi boost, cone type K&N filter, and a 190 LPH fuel pump I made 227 Hp at the wheels. That's 271 at the motor. I have the dyno sheets to prove it. 15 months after I bought the 1986 I separated from the Navy and moved from Hawaii to California. One week before I was scheduled to leave Hawaii, I found and bought another wrecked 1984 SVO. Instead of funning and sunning my last week in Hawaii, I was wrenching and stripping this car. I had actually found this '84 two months earlier but I didn't buy it. The guy who did buy it put into both sides of the Interstate(Believe it or not, Hawaii has 3 "interstates", maybe they have a secret?).

         Once in California I planned on being a slug for six months and live off my savings and travel the country. Part of the trip consisted of visiting Jim Whelan at Motion Dynamics in Austin TX. His son had a wrecked XR4Ti with a low mileage motor and ported head. I was just going to swap the motor and leave. I figured no more than three weeks. One project snowballed into another, like trying to install a serpentine belt system, and I was there for eight weeks and I had to find a job. I flew back without the car. I figured since I wasn't going to have it for a while that it might as well get painted. Major cancer was found and the bill got bigger. One year later I picked it up after it made 277 Hp (332Hp at the motor) on the dyno. We ended up being limited by the stock 36# injectors. We also found that my 18 psi indicated on my boost gauge should have been impossible since my ATR wastegateonly has a 14 pound spring. So that's 277 rwhp at 14 psi? Who knows. This called for a Mass Air Flow conversion and bigger injectors, but with no time left, I drove back to California to show up at Fabulous Ford Forever back in April '98. After 30 hours of uneventful, enthusiastic driving I blew the head gasket racing a Corvette (Yes, I was winning!) right outside of Palm Springs; just 30 minutes from my intended destination. D*$@! I spent 8 hours on the side of Interstate 10 until the CHP showed up; I WAS NOT going to abandon the car looking for a call box. Turns out a small hose had ruptured due to some original routing to avoid the turbo heat, but it burned anyway. I put that on the list to fix. I had it towed to Fremont to be fixed and am trying to finalize some details now that the MAF and 50# injectors are installed before I get on the dyno again This has taken over a year to recover from.

Jalapenea Red

         Modifications currently include: Fully ported and polished head with stock size valves, Mass Air with 50# injectors, Accel adjustable fuel pressure regulator, ARP head studs, O-ringed block, windage tray, blueprinted oil pump, Motorsport A237 hydraulic roller cam, fully ported and Extrude Honed intake manifold, 65 MM Throttle body from a 95 Cobra, ATR header, downpipe and external wastegate (all jet hot coated), T3/T4 hybrid turbo, 180F thermostat, Serpentine belt system from a 1990 2.3L N/A Mustang, Interrad intercooler/radiator, 1998 Cobra R 13" brakes with PBR calipers up front with stock brakes in back, stock boxed upper rear control arms with Hotchkiss lowers, a Global West trac-link and poly bushings EVERYWHERE, 91 5.0 tie rod ends, aluminum offset steering rack bushings, Race Engineering adjustable cam sprocket, MSD 6AL and coil, T-5 from an 87 T-bird Turbo Coupe (LOVE it!), Centerforce clutch and pressure plate(Hate it!, soon to be replaced by a Ford product with a lightened and balanced flywheel), underdrive pully made from an 87 Tempo, Motorsport aluminum driveshaft, Centerforce clutch, Forte adjustable clutch quadrant, the aforementioned 8.8 rear and 3" mandrel bent exhaust with MAC muffler (basically the right side of a 5.0L Mustang exhaust system), internally regulated Motorsport/NASCAR 95 Amp alternator and 1998 SVT Cobra wheels. Can't forget the cool cupholder either! Many of the stock parts came off my other cars. Like the spats, wheels, interior (the sharp eyed will notice my 86 car has 84 seats due to piping that did not come on my original seats. I hate leather!) and right fender. My car was originally a wing delete car but it took me 16 months to find the correct lower wing to replace it with. Only the 86's came with the 3rd brake light.

         Future mods - include 2.5L balance and blueprinted stroker motor, a high end bypass valve, A-pillar guage pod with Autometer Boost, H2O temp and Volts, and restoring the air conditioning to service. - Lou Medina