This essay is presented for reading enjoyment only. The Bay Area Probe Owners Club recommends safe and responsible street driving and performance driving only at authorized facilities.
At the track: With GReddy and the custom cold air thingy only, I have run 15.2x's (usually 15.3x's to be fair) at the track. I never ever, ever, ever, in all my experience at the track, have seen a butt stock 4.6L Mustang GT run faster than 15.4x's-15.5x's. The 5.0L can be quite quick, but needs a lot of mods to do it. Stock (and especially at this age) they aren't as potent as you'd expect.
Take a look at the Corral. There are loads of 5.0Ls with lists of mods as long as my d.....uh...leg, that only run 13.7x's. Go ahead, look.... http://www.corral.net/Spotlite_2.html The fastest time that I see on this page is 13.72. The rest are 13.8, 13.9, and 14.2. Now with going as far as installing aluminum drive shafts to conserve weight on their cars, why does my 13.90 start to look *real* fast? If I spent the amount of energy and money these guys do, I'd be running high 12's <light bulb goes on> :-)
If I ever see one run anything close to low 14's, I'll assume he's spraying a small shot (75HP) or has good amount of engine work. I am not sure what it is, but the 5.0s seem to either run low 15's or high 13's....nothing in between?! The ones that run high 13's on motor usually run low 12's on the bottle (150HP)....well, at least the ones I know.
Back on track....even if the Mustang (4.6L) was slightly modded (K&N, exhaust), we would be pretty even. Unless the Mustangs are running slicks/drag radials, I always have better launches than they do (me=2.15-2.21 60', seen them anywhere from 2.20-2.33 60'). They have a lot of torque and may be able to make up for this deficit by the long end of the track, but chances are they may never pass me.
On the bottle (PGT and MGT), it's a little different. They do hook after they get going and can spray a little earlier than me. As such, most modded (150shot NOS, exhaust, intake) MGTs will run 13.8x's where I run 13.9x's with intake, exhaust, & 75 shot NOS.
On the street: The key here is choosing your battles wisely. I get chances all the time because my track numbers are permanently affixed to my windshield and hatch. I am not nervous about any 5.0L no matter how loud their exhaust is or how big their rear tires are...they are definitely more bark than bite....most of the time. Around here, most are kids who get the loudest exhaust, think that their car is fast, and try to scare you into submission by revving next to you at the light. On the other hand, if the car is shaking so badly that the driver says H-e-e-y---m-m-a-n-n, y-o-o-u---w-a-n-t---t-o--g-g-g-o-o? (from the cam) and has 35 gauges mounted to his cowl, I generally go on my merry way and wish them well :-) The only other time that I decline is if I still have my dial-in on the hatch window (usually 13.89) If they see that and still want to race, chances are they know they run faster than that and I won't waste my time or NOS.
I raced a guy like this (shakey car, gauges, big tires) on the bottle and managed to keep my nose with his front tire (me=NOS, him=motor). He had a '90 MGT with 3.55 gears, cams, Flowmaster exhaust, K&N intake, GT40 intake manifold, GT40 heads, shortie headers, M/T competitors, et al. (Talked to him later at the local hangout) To shorten this, he was running 13.8x's all motor (actually respectable for a Mustang). We ran three times from stop lights....same result each time...my front end at his front tire. He always had me off the line with those damn huge tires!! We then went from 50mph up for the "fair" run. It was dead even. I mean neither of us gained 1" on the other. When we were done, I was full of myself (or my car) and he simply stated how impressed he was with my car. That was the very first night are I installed the NOS, so I was happy :-)
4.6L are little more difficult to discern. Vortech has a wonderful under-hood blower kit for them that you'd never know was there...can't even hear the whine if you're on the driver's side. Blown MGTs generally aren't much faster than my car on NOS, but I seldom drive around town with my bottle on so I would receive a whoopin' if I picked a fight with one of these thinking it was stock/slightly modded. 4.6L DOHC ala Cobra are similar to MGTs with NOS/Vortech. Without the bottle, I'd be dead in the water, with NOS, I'd have a fighting chance. A Cobra with the Vortech is untouchable. D---- would have a difficult time with his NOS'd Z28 (12.10x's). I have seen them run as fast as 11.8x's ON THE BRAKES using drag radials (i.e. 11.4x-11.5x car)
Since being at the track all the time, I see all of these "fast cars" running really slow and have lost all fear of most of them. There's even an inside joke among some of the regulars, that all the Mustangs and Camaros that run in No-Time are doing so because there's a PGT running high 13's and they're embarrassed to show their times next to me :-)
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