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Featured: Troy Coughlin’s Granatelli Turbocharged Saleen Mustang

By - April 16, 2008 – 9:05 amOne Comment | 1,967 views

You would think that after strapping yourself in a 2,700 hp, turbocharged Pro-Mod Pontiac GTO, that you’d get the speed bug out of you. But that’s not the case for Troy Coughlin of Jegs, who along with the rest of his family, own and operate the large automotive aftermarket mail-order company. Coughlin is a racer at heart and decided he wanted a unique Mustang that could be used as a daily driven vehicle which at the same time satisfies his hunger for extreme performance.

Coughlin started out with a brand new 2008 Saleen Mustang and immediately shipped it off to Granatelli Motorsports in Oxnard, California. According to JR Granatelli, Couglin wanted the Saleen Mustang “tweaked” to make it to his liking. This meant building upon the vehicle’s capabilities to further bring it up to the horsepower level and handling capabilities that Coughlin has grown accustomed to.

Coughlin wanted Granatelli Motorsports to upgrade the Mustang with a fully adjustable suspension, and to transform the 4.6-liter V-8 engine to a 330 cubic inch stroker motor, outfitted with a Granatelli single turbo system. This combination would give Coughlin’s Mustang a big boost in horsepower, about 571 to be exact, as well as capability of handling that amount of power with a beefed up suspension that can be tuned for the drag strip or road course.

Coughlin’s ’08 Saleen already had an impressive suspension system featuring Racecraft shocks and springs. But that wouldn’t be enough to handle what was in store for this vehicle. Granatelli Motosports began by updating the car with its 1G, fully adjustable suspension components. This would compliment the Mustang by adding some real tuning capabilities to maximize traction, set proper alignment and to get the power to the tires in stead of spinning the rubber off of them.

This upgrade meant swapping out the weak links in the factory suspension system. At the rear, a set of adjustable control arms, a new upper third link, and adjustable pan-hard rod assembly were added to the factory differential. These components are much stronger than the factory units and allow full tuning of the differential from side to side. It also allows Coughlin to set the correct pinion angles and to set up the rear suspension for drag racing or road courses by simply adjusting the rear control arms. To stiffen the chassis, Granatelli Motorsports added its weld-in subframe connectors to minimize flex and distortion of the Mustang’s unibody. In addition, a dual driveshaft safety loop was added to improve the safety of the vehicle, which will surely see a few drag strip passes.

The front suspension was left alone, with the exception of adding Grantelli’s performance anti-sway bar to improve the roll stiffness of the vehicle, as well as a set of polyurethane engine mounts, that lower the engine’s center of gravity and prevent any engine movement from a high horsepower engine.

With the suspension upgraded to be fully adjustable, it was time to add some serious horsepower to the vehicle. Granatelli did this by swapping out the factory power plant with a 330 cubic inch stroker engine that utilizes forged pistons, stronger connecting rods and a stout crankshaft. This combination can handle the boost levels and power that will be generated by the company’s intercooled, single turbo system.

At 8psi of boost on a stock 4.6-liter V-8, the Granatelli turbo system can generate 480 rear wheel horsepower on 91 octane. But Coughlin’s Mustang makes 575 engine horsepower, thanks to the larger displacement and stronger internal components that can handle larger amounts of boost. The turbo system uses a 76mm Turbonetics turbo and stainless steel exhaust components from the turbo down pipe to the high-flow twin catalytic converter system. According to Granatelli, this set up is also capable of up to 800 rear wheel horsepower by simply turning up the boost level and using higher octane fuel; a combination that Coughlin is used to doing by now.

Although from the outside, Coughlin’s Saleen Mustang doesn’t look out of the ordinary. In fact, you can’t tell that anything has been done to it, until he steps on the throttle and launches hard to accelerate as if the car was shout out of a cannon. With an automatic transmission and large, wide 20-inch Saleen wheels and tires, Coughlin’s Mustang is a street sleeper that shouldn’t be messed with. If Coughin isn’t busy enough already running his Pro Mod car for a full season, we’re willing to bet that between races, or even between rounds, he’s going to take his Saleen Mustang and win some brackets.

For more information on Granatelli Motorsports and their products for the S197 Mustang, visit www.GranatelliMotorsports.com.

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