By on July 26, 2010

TTAC Commentator geozinger writes:

Sajeev, if you could find more info on the SHOStang, I’m curious to see how it was done. And I’d think others would be too. Thanks.

Sajeev asks and the SHOStang’s creator, Tom Kahle, answers:

SM: Fair disclosure, I have a serious bias in this matter. I’d toss my LeMons judging robe in a heartbeat to drive this beast in a race. Anyway, Tom, where did you get this car?

TK: We had the car (or should I say the hull) on our property, sitting here, seasoning. We hacked our way through the jungle (7 foot Sunflowers and Johnson grass) and survived an attack of locals (wasps and Yellow Jackets!) to get it!

SM: So you guys started in LeMons with a Lincoln Mark VIII racer. Which isn’t exactly normal. What the hell were you smoking/drinking/snorting when you came up with this idea?

TK: There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to walk out to the edge and look out into the 5.0 abyss. At that moment, he finds his true calling, to achieve something strange and wonderful and out of step with the norm.

SM: How much cutting of the unibody was involved to get the engine/transmission in?

TK: We did not have to modify any of the Fox uni-body to install the SHO motor/transmission.

SM: I saw a new firewall made up, kinda like what you see in a full-size van. Care to tell us more about that work?

TK: We cut the majority of the firewall and cowl, but this was a voluntary move to relocate the engine in a more strategic position. All the pieces were cut and hand fitted to make this possible.

SM: And this craftsmanship is impressive. What changes to the Mustang’s fuel and exhaust systems were needed to feed the SHO motor?

TK: We did not change any of the SHOStang’s fuel system (fuel injection lines, fittings, etc.) to accommodate the SHO motor. The exhaust system was hand built with care and concern for maximum flow.

SM: How does it accelerate, steer and shift compared to a regular 2.3L Mustang? Compared to a 5.0? To a SHO?

TK: Because it is so new, we are still on a learning curve but all indicators point to a well behaved Pony that wants to get out and run with it’s step-brother’s front wheel drive action. We can only say about comparing it to a 5.0 Mustang being a Blue Oval Cult member in good standing, that the SHOStang is 218lbs lighter in the engine compartment when compared to a 5.0 cast iron motor. But only giving up 15 to 20 horsepower difference from the factory 5.0 Mustang.

TK: In comparison to a Taurus SHO, we carry a significant advantage in regards to our motor placement, which adds greatly to our handling capabilities (all our weight is between the four tires). Can the other Taurus’ make that same statement?

SM: Good point. If this weren’t a $500 LeMons car, what would you do to the suspension/brakes/etc to make it really turn?

TK: I would add a three-link suspension with a Panhard bar and coil overs would be the ticket for the rear. Up front, tubular k member, 4-piston caliber with vented, cross drilled rotors. And coil over front struts.

SM: Seriously, are you guys out of your frickin’ minds?

TK: To the contrary, we are very serious. We are on the fanatic edge and are sometimes looked upon as if we were some kind of cult. That’s why we are The Blue Oval Cult.

SM: Sh*t yeah!

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15 Comments on “Piston Slap: The (24 Hours of LeMons) SHOStang, Explained...”


  • avatar
    Stingray

    When will these guys turbo it?

    That car is so full of WIN…

  • avatar
    geozinger

    Thanks Sajeev for putting that up there. However, I thought that once I knew what and how they did that, I would be satisfied.

    Not so. I will have to fight off this compulsion to get another Fox body to actually try this swap…

  • avatar
    patman

    So wrong but so, soooooooooo very right. Love this car.

    Saw a SHO with a complete motor at the Pick-n-Pull a few weeks ago…

    V6 engine: $124.47
    warranty: $30.84
    core charge: $20.30

    Almost bought it just so I could frame the intake and mount it on the wall. I hope someone snatched it up with the intention of using it for evil.

    Maybe this is what I should do to my ’96 GT if and when the time comes to replace the faithful 4.6L…

  • avatar
    Steve-O

    As an owner of an ’84 Mustang SVO, this thing really excites me. Seriously, why wasn’t this the next generation SVO? Ford could have carried over the 4 wheel discs, adjustible Konis, unique bodywork, etc… Wait, I just answered my own question: for the 2nd time, no one would have paid extra to have a better handling & braking, more efficient, almost-as-fast-as-GT Mustang variant. *sigh*

  • avatar
    celebrity208

    SHOStang… sounds like something Pootie Tang would say.

    Maybe a replica of Pootie’s belt buckle should serve as the hood ornament.

  • avatar

    The irony of this Piston Slap feature sitting next to the Explorer’s crazy Ecoboost engine pricing is just too delicious to not mention.

    So there, I did.

  • avatar
    Wheeljack

    A couple of guys with Merkur XR4Tis have done this swap and it looks like it belongs there. The upside over the fox platform is IRS and a race-proven chassis campaigned sucessfully in Europe for many years (not that Mustangs don’t have racing chops, mind you).

  • avatar

    This is one of the sweetest frankensteins ever to grace the LeMons stage.

    Needs more pics. And maybe diagrams. And a build list.

  • avatar

    Ok, the motor is cheap, and the car probably free…. How did they get a trans adapter, flywheel and clutch within budget?

  • avatar
    SVT48

    I may have missed it but what was done for the transmission? Is it possible to use the FWD trans and wouldn’t the output already be going through a differental? Or, how do you adapt the FOX-body trans to the Yamaha block?

  • avatar

    Trans is probably the 5-spd unit out of a (Vulcan 3.0) Ford Ranger, or at least a Ranger bell housing on a Mustang tranny. Didn’t get that info from our email Q&A session, but that’s a safe bet.

  • avatar
    KeithBates

    They could also use the bell housing from the Aerostar, as that was the first
    swap I heard about in ’87 or ’88…

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