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Owner: Doctor DeBo
Year: 1992
Model: Mustang LX
Mods: Heavy
State: GA
Type: Nice Weather
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[11/21/2002] The Ford Racing FR100: Traditional Styling with State-of-the-Art Technology and Performance


Calling it “the perfect project to follow our FR500 Mustang and FR200 Focus efforts,” Ford Racing Technology unveiled its FR100 concept at the Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) show. The FR100 is a vintage 1953 F-Series pickup with a modern modular V-8 engine that melds Ford’s heritage in pickup trucks with today’s performance and advanced powertrain technologies.

“We wanted to package our new 5.0-liter Cammer crate engine in a living, breathing vehicle that can be seen and driven in order to provide an accurate look at the performance potential engineered into the new parts,” said Dan Davis, director Ford Racing Technology (FRT). “We picked a vintage Ford truck as the showcase because it’s both eye-catching and something any enthusiast can relate to. A lot of customers build hot-rod trucks, so we felt that building up a ’53 with modern performance and technology was the perfect project.”

Based on an original 1953 F-100, the truck was transformed into the FR100 with contemporary design touches. The foundation of FRT’s hot new 5.0-liter Cammer crate engine is the Ford SVT Mustang Cobra 4.6-liter 4-valve engine. However, the crate version has several unique qualities and components.

Key differences include larger cylinders for five liters of displacement, forged pistons, an 11.0:1 compression ratio, ported heads, higher-lift cams, beehive-shaped valve springs, higher-flow fuel injectors, and a magnesium variable geometry intake manifold.

According to Ford Racing Technology engine engineer, Andy Schwartz, “The 5.0-liter 4-valve delivers a healthy 425-430 horsepower at 6700 rpm. The torque curve peaks with 370 foot-pounds at 4000 rpm.”

Ford Racing has created one of the most technologically advanced crate engines ever manufactured. Then the package was taken one step further by manufacturing the 4.6-liter 4-valve modular wiring harness to make the crate engine as retrofit-friendly as possible for vintage Mustangs, street rods or classic truck projects.

Six parts numbers cover varying battery and computer mounting locations, as well as include optional circuits for air conditioning and electric cooling fans.

The project began when Ford Racing personnel obtained two well preserved ’53 F-100s. The first order of business was to see how many of the original parts could be used to accommodate the intended modifications.

At project headquarters, McLaren Performance Technologies in Livonia, Mich., the donor trucks were promptly disassembled. Front frame rail spacing was similar to the current Mustang, so the independent, unequal-length-control-arm front suspension system from the FR500 Mustang project was grafted in after McLaren fabricated a new custom frame. A modified Mustang Cobra Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) now takes the place of the original F-100 solid rear axle. While the powertrain was being assembled, extensive body modifications were undertaken. The art of this procedure was to preserve the look and feel of the original truck. Even though every major panel except the hood and doors are extensively altered (the cab was extended by 6 inches and the bed shortened), the finished piece reflects the harmony of shape and style instilled by Ford designers half a century ago.

Inside, a custom roll cage was built for passenger protection and to serve as a secure mounting point for various components. The classic truck then received all of the modern amenities: Mustang tilt column, Vintage Air air conditioning, Ford Racing gauges, Kugel Komponents pedal assembly, reupholstered Ford Ranger seats, Harman/Becker TrafficPro II stereo/CD/navigation system, Sirius Satellite Radio and Infinity speakers.

Once the interior was plotted out, the powertrain was added. Backing the Cammer crate engine are custom headers and a dual-exhaust system with two catalysts, a Cobra radiator, a Tremec T56 6-speed manual with a prototype Ford Racing/Centerforce clutch and a custom aluminum-metal-matrix drive shaft. Brembo disc brakes were added at each corner to stop the 18-inch BBS wheels and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires.

During recent preliminary testing at Grattan Raceway in Michigan, the FR100 circulated the 10 turn, 2.0-mile road course at an average time only two seconds slower than the Mustang FR500. The truck then went back to McLaren for complete disassembly in preparation for paint. Sikkens two-part urethane in a tasteful charcoal-silver tone coated all the chassis parts, while a special Ford Racing Silver formulation by DuPont was selected for body panels. The second truck, scheduled for finishing after SEMA, will wear a drastically and dramatically different paint scheme, which won’t be revealed until sometime in February 2003.

Like other Ford Racing project vehicles, the FR100 is greater than the sum of its parts. Blending a traditional appearance with state-of-the-art technology is no mean feat, but the FR100 pulls off the task convincingly.

FR100 SPECIFICATIONS

Under the hood

* 5.0L Cammer crate engine
o High-flow 4-valve cylinder heads
o Variable geometry magnesium intake manifold
o 80mm mass air sensor
o 70mm dual-bore throttle body
* Ford Racing modular wiring harness
* Cobra radiator
* Custom stainless-steel tubular headers

Estimated performance

* 425 horsepower @ 6700 rpm
* 370 lb-ft torque @ 4000 rpm

Powertrain

* Tremec T56 six-speed transmission
* Custom Ford Racing short-throw shifter
* Hurst shift lever
* Centerforce clutch disc
* Prototype Ford Racing/Centerforce pressure plate
* Lincoln LS hydraulic clutch cylinder
* Metal matrix composite driveshaft
* Torsen limited-slip differential
* 4.10:1

SOURCE: None

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