Video: Tuff Mounts Barra-powered Mustang

The Tuff Mounts FOXSAKE Mustang is ready to rip at Drag Challenge Weekend Victoria

Photographers: Matt Hull, Chris Thorogood
Videographers: Matt Hull

UPDATE, March 22: Since its date with the dyno at MPW Performance, FOXSAKE made its on track debut at the Tuff Mounts Holden Drag Nationals late last month with some awesome results.

“We’d only taken it for a lap around the block (at MPW) before loading it on the trailer to get up here,” Jason told us at Holden Nats. “I basically haven’t driven it, so we’ll just take it easy this weekend so I can get used to the car.”

Even with some soft launches the car easily leapt into the low 10s with a 10.2 @136mph, and Jason will be targeting a nine-second slip at Drag Challenge Weekend on 25-27 March in the Tuff Mounts 235 Blown class.

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February 15: Jason Waye and the his crew from Tuff Mounts and Muscle Garage have outdone themselves with their latest build, taking a stocko four-cylinder Fox-body Mustang and shoving it full of turbo-Barra goodness to create FOXSAKE.

This isn’t the first time Jason and his team have Barra-swapped a street car, having campaigned a 10-second Barra-stuffed VS Commodore ute at Drag Challenge for several years.

The biggest difference between the two is that, unlike the Commodore, the Fox-body wasn’t a cheap budget challenge. While the main aim is to show the Yanks what a stock-bottom-end Barra is capable of in one of these cars, FOXSAKE has undergone a complete restoration inside and out.

Another big part of the project was enlisting Adam Rogash and his team at MPW Performance & Race Fab to get the Mustang race-fit.

We documented the process of Adam installing the full weld-in rollcage in the Fox-body (which you can watch here), and MPW also took care of the bulk of the chassis upgrades.

After MPW had completed the fab work, the car went back to Tuff Mounts/Muscle Garage HQ in Adelaide before debuting at the Adelaide Auto Expo last year.

It’s now made the trek back over to MPW in Keysborough, Victoria, where Adam could put the Fox-body through its paces on the dyno.

The Barra in FOXSAKE is an FG Turbo mill, with valve springs, head studs, an MLS head gasket, oil pump gears and a timing chain upgrade. The rest of the engine is completely standard, with the current goal being to run a nine-second pass on the SBE.

The BorgWarner SXE369 turbo breathes through a Plazmaman ’cooler and intake manifold, with engine management from a Haltech Elite 2500.

With everything on song, Adam got the Barra to a comfortable 450rwkW (604rwhp) on 23psi, with enough still left on the table to play with.

While the peak power is nothing to snort at, Adam’s real tuning magic came to life when he demonstrated what’s possible with Haltech’s boost and launch control functions.

Using the Haltech rotary-dial switches, Adam set up a bunch of different boost and track map settings that can be chosen instantly from the yellow switch. That means Jason can choose whichever setting he feels is most suited to the track conditions on any given day.

“Where this really matters is if we’ve got a track that’s nice and sticky in the 60-foot but you get to 330 feet and it’s greasy; then we can pull boost out at that point once the car’s already moving,” Adam said. “And vice versa: if it’s a little bit greasy in the 60-foot, we can take it out of the hole easy and then ramp everything into it to get it down the track and try to get the best times we can.”

With the yellow dial controlling that function, Adam then used the second black Haltech dial to allow adjustability of the launch revs. Starting at 3000rpm, Adam set 12 increments on the switch all the way up to 4200rpm, so Jason can choose the launch rpm he wants when using the transbrake on the Turbo 400.

“We don’t usually leave any harder than 4200rpm, but we can just pull it down for each track that we’re at depending on what the startline’s like, without Jason having to access the ECU all the time to change those settings,” said Adam.

With all the dyno tuning done, it’s now time for FOXSAKE to have its first shakedowns at the track. “I’m nervous, because the Commodore ute is the quickest drag car we’ve built before this,” said Jason. “But I’m stoked to finally have it finished and go racing with it.”

Adam has volunteered the Fox-body to run in the imposter class at the Tuff Mounts Holden Nationals at Heathcote Park Raceway on 26-27 February, before it takes on our Victorian Street Machine Drag Challenge Weekend, 25-27 March.