Photos by: Rick Seitz
With Big Street/Strip Plans In-Store for Project True Blue, It’s Time to Tackle the Basics First
After lots of thinking about which year and platform to buy, Blue Oval Muscle’s first Mustang project came to us needing some love. The 2001 SN95 Mustang with stock 2V 4.6L was an absolute bargain, but the foundation needs some love before we move onto bigger and better things for the ‘Stang. Some issues make the car undrivable, like the brakes, which we’ll cover in the next article, but even the basic serviceable parts were in dire need of attention.
We can tell by a rough idle and lazy feeling engine when you push the pedal, that the car isn’t quite ready to hit the street, and certainly not the dyno. In order to measure our success with future modifications, we need to know what we’re working with. Hopefully, the Mustang will at least reach its stock power expectations on the dyno after the tune-up.
Rated at 260hp at the flywheel from Ford, we certainly want every horsepower we can extract from the stock engine. From our experience, these cars hover between 230 to 235 horsepower to the tires, bone stock, and that’s on a Dynojet chassis dyno. On a Mustang dynameter, you can expect 5-10% less, putting it in the range of 207 and 223 horsepower, so that’s the expectation we have.
As oddly as it sounds, it’s not really the engine we’re doing all this for. The idea is to make sure it’s running as it should, so we can get some seat time and start in on the suspension and wheel/tire package right away. True Blue’s engine isn’t getting any aftermarket modifications as the 4.6L is being yanked and replaced with a 5.0L Coyote powertrain, but that’s on down the line. The initial focus is getting it to hook, handle, stop, and have better ride characteristics before we worry about the engine.
The New Edge Mustang isn’t terribly high-mileage; with 139k miles on the clock, there’s still a lot more life left in True Blue’s 4.6L. This basic tune-up should be enough to make it stronger than before, and ready for some work. We will be changing the oil, oil filter, fuel filter, air filter, the spark plugs, and giving it a healthy cycle of fuel injector cleaner.
- Royal Purple Fuel Injector Cleaner
- Royal Purple HPS Full Synthetic 5W-30 (5.5 quarts)
- NGK TR55 Spark Plugs
- Motorcraft Air Filter (PN- FA 1632)
- Motorcraft Oil Filter (PN-FL820S)
- Carquest Fuel Filter (PN-86595)
The tune-up has fixed the idle issues and the engine feels stronger. Up next is the brakes, and with the tune-up, this will at least make it possible to get some seat time over the next several weeks, as well as allow us to get some solid, and fair, baseline numbers of the car.
Elizabeth is hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!