this is a good article from Hot Rod magazine on a budget turbo mustang using John Deere turbos.
1993 Ford Mustang - The Tractor Master
Mike Bruell's 10-Second Street Mustang Was Built With John Deere Parts and Not Much Cash
We saw it happen ourselves. Mike Bruell's sleepy little Mustang ran 10.91 at123 mph down the quarter-mile strip at New England Dragway. We heard that it was a twin-turbo car and naturally thought it was a prefabbed kit from one of the turbo specialty houses. We were wrong. It's the complete opposite of that: a homebuilt, junkyard, and eBay-sourced combo made of tractor parts and local parts-store goodies dreamed up by a 22-year-old college kid.
Let's cut right to it. The motor and turbo setup on this car is worth all of two grand. "I always wanted something with twin turbos," Mike says. "I went hunting around on eBay and found an ad for two hybrid T3/T4 turbos that were listed for $250 each, brand-new in the box." That's where the fun began, because when the package arrived he took them down to the local diesel shop to try and source some flanges for them and find out what application they were intended for. "The guys from the diesel shop looked at me and told me that they could not help me. They referred me to Schmidt Equipment, the John Deere dealership down the road," Mike says with a laugh. He cruised down there and the guys at the tractor shop let him know that these were actually Garrett T04-B turbos, basically straight T4s that are supposed to be found on 3-series Deere bulldozers or 4-series Deere backhoes. The parts guy was quite amused when Mike told him what his intentions with them were.
The next steps were to find someone to weld the flanges on the turbos and get some guidance for the plumbing end of the oiling system. Victor Performance in Hartford, Connecticut, provided the info and welding skills. Not being that educated in the world of turbocharging, Mike was a bit surprised when the guy at the turbo shop asked how much power he wanted to make. "The guy was like, 'Cool, are you shooting for 1,200 horse or something?' I was like, 'How about 400?'"
The Mustang lacks the usual amount of braided line under the hood to aid in the oiling of the hairdryers. There's good reason for that. "After looking at all the fittings and line and all of that stuff, it was going to be like 400 bucks," Mike says. "So I went to the local parts store and bought a bunch of 31/48-inch brake line. I then went back to the John Deere dealer and found a distribution block that is supposed to be used for the power steering on a John Deere loader. It was perfect for what I wanted to do, so I picked that up. The whole plumbing job cost me about 10 bucks instead of 400."
The turbo-mounting approach was also low-buck. Using a set of Mac shorty headers he had sitting around as the starting point, Mike went about cutting holes in the fenderwells for the turbos to breathe through. He happened to have a buddy who was a manager at an exhaust shop, so that end of the deal was easy. "My friend bent all of the pipes and he did it for free, so that was pretty sweet," he says. It took the guys all of two weekends to get everything to fit to where they knew it would work.
Here's the part that will bring tears to the eyes of anyone who has been spending oodles of money building a turbo engine to shoot for the 10-second zone. The motor in this thing is a '97 Mercury Mountaineer mill swiped from the junkyard. It's got cast pistons, a cast crank, cast rods, stock rings and bearings, and well over 100,000 miles on it, according to Mike. "The motor has a GT-40 intake, a set of E-7 heads from a '95 Mustang that my buddy ported, stock valves, Comp Cams beehive springs, and a Comp Cams Xtreme XE274HR cam. I bought the motor for $375 out of my local junkyard and bolted the other stuff on."
The Mercury motor handles the 14 pounds of boost Mike throws at it without a hiccup so far. "I'm very surprised how well this thing has held up," he says. "I don't just beat on it at the track; I am not nice to this thing at all, but it has never given me a problem. I have made 187 dragstrip passes on that motor and not had one problem."
The fuel system is a mundane mishmash as well: 30-lb/hr Ford injectors, stock lines and rails, an Aeromotive adjustable fuel-pressure regulator, and a Walbro 255-lph pump in the tank. Mike uses a 73mm C&L mass-airflow sensor that is set up for a blow-through arrangement and has a stock element in it. "Everyone said it was not going to work, but it has always worked fine on this car. It's mounted just ahead of the throttle body and has never been a problem."
The car is completely unremarkable at the drags. It blends into the usual sea of 5.0 Mustangs without raising an eyebrow. Its launch isn't really anything to take note of, although its execution is pretty cool. "I live two hours from the dragstrip, so I can't risk just dumping the clutch. I drive the car to the track and back, so I need to be careful because I want to go home," Mike explained. "I use an MSD Digital 6 ignition that I've rigged to a pushbutton. That allows me to set my launch rpm with my foot buried to the floor. I always ride the clutch out because it is a stock rearend with little 28-spline axles. I have seen bunches of those blow up, and I don't want that to happen. I pretty much granny-shift the car. I let all the way off and shift; I just don't want to blow it up."
The car does not have a shift light or an aftermarket tachometer-the stocker works just fine, thank you. Speaking of shifting, you'll notice the Peterbilt-looking shifter in the car. That's actually a shortened shifter from a Jeep Wrangler that Mike mounted to a Pro 5.0 base with adjustable stops. "The throws are ridiculous; they have to be about a foot between gears," Mike says. "I think it looks kind of old-school and I wanted to show all the short-throw people that you don't need one of those things to be quick."
The transmission is a stock T5, which would also be considered a red flag in the drivetrain, but a unique choice of lube has proved to be a godsend for the oft-troubled unit. "I grabbed the transmission out of an '89 Mustang that I found at the junkyard," Mike says. "T5s came with ATF in them from the factory and I thought that it might be too thin. So I tried using GM Synchromesh fluid, which worked somewhat, but the first time I would put the car into Second it would grind every time. After that it would be okay, but that first grinding was not good. I was at the parts store one day and saw Mobil 10W-30 oil. I thought to myself that the thin oil might work perfectly. It has ever since."
Running 3.73 rearend gears and 26-inch tires means the motor is singing pretty well at the top end, like 6,500 rpm through the traps. Mike's getting near the limit of his fuel system now, as the engine temp is climbing rapidly by the time he stops the clocks at the end of the quarter-mile. The motor is starving for fuel. The funny thing is that he has yet to even begin to scratch the surface of his turbos. "These turbos are designed to be run at a constant 30 pounds of boost, and since I am only making 14 pounds, they aren't even working yet," Mike laughs.
Track officials have been quick to let Mike know that the next time he wants to run his car into the 10s he is going to need a rollbar and the rest of the safety stuff required by the rulebook. We're all for safety around here, but this thing is such a stealth fighter the way is, it would be a shame to start hacking it up. Mike runs the thing on 16-inch Pony rims, for cripes sake. The exhaust is just a set of 211/42-inch pipes leading to a set of Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers and out through 211/42-inch tailpipes. The turbos kill a lot of the noise, so it's quiet enough that even other Mustang guys ignore it.
"I may have used a lot of budget parts to build the car, but it's a good combination," Mike explains. "The car made a best of 461 hp at 5,300 rpm and 505 lb-ft of torque at 4,650 rpm on the chassis dyno. The torque really starts to fall off after the peak, but the horsepower curve is virtually flat. I still have 450 horses at 6,000 rpm."
Mike Bruell is a smart kid, no two ways around that. With keen intuition, very little money, and a really big sense of adventure, he drives the wheels off this car and blows the doors off most stuff that costs 10 times as much to build. That's doing it the old fashioned way, building with brains instead of a billfold
Engine: It's a stock bottom-end 302 plucked from a '97 Mountaineer found in a junkyard. A set of ported Ford E-7 heads with stock 1.64/1.54 valves from a '95 Mustang are bolted to the top of the block. The motor has a 9.0:1 compression ratio. A Ford GT-40 intake fed by a pair of Garrett T04-B turbos moving 14 pounds of boost through a Vecco air-to-air intercooler tops off the motor. The fuel system consists of 30-pound Ford injectors, stock fuel lines, rails, and a 240-lb/hr Walbro in-tank fuel pump. According to Mike, the cam is a Comp Cams Xtreme Energy piece, part number XE274HR, with 0.555/0.565 lift and 274/282 degrees' advertised duration. Roller lifters get the pushrods moving, and actuating the valves is a set of Ford Racing 1.72:1 ratio rocker arms. Exhaust is 211/42-inch duals through Flowmaster 40 Series mufflers.
Power: It made 461 hp at 5300 rpm and 505 lb-ft at 4,650 rpm.
Transmission: The trans is a stock T5 manual from an '89 Mustang, filled with Mobil 10W-30 oil. The shifter uses a Pro 5.0 base with adjustable stops and a cut-down lever from a Jeep Wrangler. The flywheel is stock, the clutch disc is a Centerforce dual-friction piece, and the pressure plate is from a '95 Mustang Cobra.
Rearend: The stock 8.8 still has 28-spline axles, but was upgraded to five-lug and 3.73 gears.
"The car doesn't get a ton of attention, but the people who understandwhat it is really like to look it over." -Mike Bruell