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The Bolt-On Wonder


'91 Turbo Mustang

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Project Bolt-On

Stinger Performance is sponsoring this car to showcase what our performance parts can do for a stock engine.  Matt Culpepper from North Carolina is the car owner.  

This car was originally a V8 drag car.  It had a healthy 351W with the usual bolt-on's and a shot of nitrous.  After realizing that his daily driver 2.3T powered car was faster than his V8 "race car", Matt decided it was time to convert the car to 4 cylinder turbo power.  He contacted me hoping I could help him out with some bolt-on's, the tune, and the technical details.  With very little time before World Ford Challenge 9, Matt began the daunting task of ripping out the V8 in favor of 140 cubes of turbo power.  With only 10 days to spare, the car had a fresh coat of paint and was under turbo power; ready for some 1/8th mile shakedown runs.  With only 3 clean passes under his belt, Matt left for WFC9 with the goal of his first ever 11 second time slip.  With nothing but bolt-on's and some spray, we descended upon WFC9 and Project Bolt-On was born...

Here is what Matt had to say about this project:
"I went into the V8 to 2.3 swap looking for something that would stand out, test the raw potential of these engines and be obtainable for nearly anyone to duplicate. After having great success with Stinger parts on my 12 sec. 2.3 daily driver, I decided it was the only way to go again. Within a very short time after envisioning the swap, I made the hardest launches and the fastest passes of anything to date (including the V8)."  

If you'd like to contact Matt, Email Him

The fact that the engine and transmission has over 320,000 miles on it and has never been rebuilt is testament to the strength of the 2.3 Turbo engines.

Update 9-14-2010: The car has been apart for a complete rebuild for a few years now but it's slowly coming together. The new engine is ready for assembly (CP Pistons, Partially Filled Block, etc.), 95% of the new trans/clutch parts have been purchased (Doug Nash 5 Speed, Slipper Clutch, etc.). Need to finish updating the cage, then just need to get a few more items and assembly can begin. Hopefully it will be ready to hit the track in 2011.

Update 10-14-2007: Videos (some new) are now on YouTube and on our videos page: Click to View

Update 6-30-2007: Video of the Launch from behind here: Click to View

Update 6-24-2007: Video of the 10.89 @ 124.49 1/4 mile run here: Click to View

Update 6-15-2007: Matt is currently in Wilson, KS visiting the area while preparing to move out here so this project, as well as many others can get moving at a faster pace. He should be living here by the middle of August.

Update 5-19-2007: We built a "new" engine that go Crower rods, ARP rodbolts, and some baffling in the oil pan. Otherwise it was just a freshened up stocker with stock pistons, crank, etc. We bolted on a fully ported head from Bo-Port Racing Heads and shut off the nitrous completely. We also got rid of the stock air meter and upgraded to a 90mm Lightning Mass-Air meter. On the third pass with the new setup, while qualifying for Open Comp at World Ford Challenge X in Indianapolis, Matt ripped off our first 10 second pass. We began to experience transmission issues on following runs but from the data we received during those runs, we believe it can go a few tenths faster before we turn the nitrous back on. Here is what the timeslip said:
60': 1.536
330: 4.47
1/8: 6.92
mph: 99.41
1000': 9.076
1/4: 10.89
mph: 124.49
Update 12-17-2006:  Here is Matt's Latest trip down the 1/4 mile strip (view timeslip here)
I left the boost at 17-18 and used the 70 shot, w/ bottle pressure at 1000psi.
On the first run I didn't get the burnout I wanted and it didn't hook great.
60': 1.685
330: 4.687
1/8: 7.209
mph: 97.73
1000': 9.403
1/4: 11.277
mph: 120.54
So long story short, it's a new 1/4 mile best though it was off the 1/8 mile best by a few tenths/mph and it was done on a 70 shot, not the 100-125 shot we were using before. Plan is to get a new run in late February with a few small changes. Once it goes 10.xx the new engine and such will be installed.

Update 12-6-2006:  I backed the timing to 5* base, boost to 16psi and backed up to a 70 shot.
While staging I did a somewhat light dry hop which pulled the wheels about 8-9 inches so I thought I was good to go. I staged up a blew the tires off on the initial snap. Then as it hooked it started slowly lifting the drivers wheel and then up again on the 1-2 shift. It laid down a little so I clicked the nitrous off at the 1000ft here's the time slip running the 70 shot:
60': 1.84           (.27 off pace already)
330: 4.897
1/8: 7.474       (.39 off pace now)
MPH: 95.92      (3.3 mph slower than best)
1000 9.679
1/4: 11.598     (Extremely "dirty" run but still a new best ET & mph)
MPH: 116.73
So I made another run and got out of it early because it was worse than the first.
We were running out of time so I figured I was ready to go into kill mode
(with Stinger on the phone saying..."yeah, go ahead try it may not get another chance"). I set the timing to 7*, boost to 17psi, switched to the 125 shot, and let some air out of the tires. Seemed to hook and A/F was pretty close so we were set. I jump in and as I'm headed to staging there was a wreck on the track that closed the entire place. A fox body mustang hit the wall at the 1/8 going an estimated 120mph and broke/knocked over two sections of interlocking jersey walls......we'll head to the 1/8th mile track in search of a 6 second pass this weekend, then head to another 1/4 mile track the next weekend aiming for 10's again (with the 125 shot this time).
Update 7-6-2006: Playing around on his local 1/8th mile track, Matt ran a best ever 7.19 sec @ 99.20 mph bouncing off the rev limiter about 70 feet before the lights.  That converts to a 11.20 @ 122 mph on a 1/4 mile track.  These runs were made without the new clutch installed (clutch is still slipping).  The only change was the addition of a 2 step to launch harder and an additional 25hp of nitrous.  It did run 7.29 @ 97.25 without the additional nitrous.  I have a feeling a 10 second run is very close.   
Update 6-26-2006: Competing at the Fun Ford event in Richmond, VA, Project Bolt-On was the #1 Qualifier in the 4/6 class with a 12.89 qualifying run.  Battling clutch slipping problems all weekend,  Matt still managed to make a best ever run of 11.84 @ 116mph!  We are confident the new 3 puk clutch will get us a solid 11.50 @ 120mph if we can get a clean run.  

Old Stats
Engine:  Stock 2.3 Liter with 320k miles (from 88 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe)
: Stock un-ported cast iron 
: Stock slider with worn down lobes (high mileage)
Induction: Holset HX35 From Cummins Diesel @ 18psi

Power (flywheel):
~445hp, 480 lb-ft
  Stinger Header/Stinger 3" From Turbo To Muffler
Transmission: Borg-Warner T5 5-Speed
Clutch: Clutchnet 3 Puk Solid Hub, Stock Pressure Plate. Click for picture
Rear End:
8.8" w/
3.55:1 gears
Brakes f/r:
Suspension f/r: D&D Tubular K Member, QA1 110lb 12" Coilovers,/Tubular Control Arms, Airbags-18psi in right-0psi left
Struts/Shocks f/r: Koni Reds adjusted full soft/Stock
Curb Weight: 2650 lbs
Weight Distribution f/r %:
Black with Red/Silver Decals

Performance (Best 1/8 and 1/4 ET/MPH listed, not all in same run)         
60 Foot:
1.53 sec
0-60  MPH: 2.30 sec

1/8th Mile:
6.92 @ 99.41 mph (1/8th mile track, no 1/4 mile times for this run)
1/4 Mile:
10.89 @ 124.49 mph  Click to see OLDER Timeslip, Left lane was a 514ci Aluminum Headed Big Block Mustang


Stinger Performance Tubular SS Header, Holset HX35 Turbo, Stinger 3" Header Downpipe & 3" exhaust, Isuzu NPR Intercooler, LA3 ECU with Stinger Tuned J3 Chip, Blow-Thru Big VAM, 46 lb/hr Injectors, Stock Head, Stock Cam, 65mm Throttle Body, Stock Lower Intake, K&N Cone Filter, Adjustable Boost Valve, Kirban Adjustable Fuel Pressure Regulator, NOS Nitrous Kit (100 Shot), Nitrous Purge onto Intercooler, Stinger Oil Feed Line, Stinger Oil Return Line & Flange.

Drivetrain--8.8" Rear w/Spool.

Wheels/Suspension--15x8" Weld Wheels w/28-11.50-15 ET Streets, 15x3 Weld Wheels w/Skinnies

Chassis--Full Cage, Thru the floor Sub-frame connectors.

Waiting For Installation--Doug Nash 5 Speed, Slipper Clutch, MS3 ECU

Stinger Performance Engineering 2016