Justin Jordanâ€™s Hellion-boosted 2014 Mustang GT is a 7-second Nighttmare
By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Justin Jordan
If you follow fast Mustangs, you undoubtedly know the name Justin Jordan. He was once the owner of the quickest stock-motor Coyote around, but it wasnâ€™t boost or drag strip passes or even a wicked stepmother that ended that Snow Whitteâ€™s run. Nope. Instead, someoneâ€™s car crashed into the back of his Mustang on the street and totaled it. Undaunted Justin decided to swap many of thatÂ carâ€™s good bits over to a 2014 Mustang and start over again on his quest for quick e.t.â€™s.
Naturally, he didnâ€™t just swap the same combination over into the newer chassis. Instead, the Nighttmare was born. â€œThe combo is basically the same save for a few key differencesâ€¦â€ Justin said.
While you are there, you might as well upgrade a few things and Justin did just that by upgrading to an MPR Racing Engines-built long-block featuring Porting Solutions-prepped heads. The engine wears the same Hellion Power Systems Eliminator twin-turbo kit as the last car, hence the two Ts in both carâ€™s monikers. However, this time around he opted for the larger 64/66mm turbos.
Justin did all the installation, swapping, wiring and tuning work himself, but he did rely on ProFab Performance Plus to bolster the factory 8.8-inch reared by welding and bracing the axle tubes. Likewise, Tig Vision welded in a chrome-moly cage. The new combo was clearly ready to run well, but even with his stock-motor combination the idea of running an elite 7-second pass was in Justinâ€™s sights.
â€œMuch to my discovery, itâ€™s not easy going 7s. In my head, I thought that since I went 8.6 on the stock stuff, it couldn’t be that hard to knock 6 tenths off my time and get the car into the 7s. Boy was I wrong. Reality quickly set in with my factory transmission breaking not once, but four separate times,â€ he said. â€œThe â€™Glide was always in the picture but I had high hopes for the 6R80 and believe the 2.73 rear gear I put in proved to be too much load for the weaker, hollow rear-planetary shaft. I snapped it not once, but three separate times with the first breakage being up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, last year for the NMRA World Finals.â€
Along the wayÂ he committed to not shaving his beard until he ran the magic number.
â€œâ€¦At that point, I had been growing the beard for about a month or so and it was full steam ahead trying to get this car to the original goal of 7.x at 17x before it got too outrageous,â€ he confessed. â€œI still haven’t trimmed it yet but I believe I could have kept it going for a long timeâ€”as long as it took to get the car to the 7s one way or another.â€
Though he resisted it, that way was the move to a two-speed Powerglide transmission. Though he feared a loss in streetability, he just couldnâ€™t keep a factory auto alive behind his 1,200-horsepower Coyote.
â€œThe difference was really the transmission. The car always made great power but the weak link was the 6R80 and my unwillingness to give it up. It took me a few different tries to finally find the right balance on the converter for the 6R80â€”too loose and it would burn up the pumpâ€”too tight and the car wouldn’t have enough power to get up on the chip on the launch,â€ Justin explained. â€œChris (Sehorn) at Circle D was amazing to work with and let me play musical converters before finally getting it right on the third try. As soon as I got the converter right, the transmission woes showed up again and that same shaft broke for the third and final time. That was the final straw for me and I already had the Powerglide swap sitting in my garage so I went ahead and swapped them out.â€
That swap, some cooler weather in sunny Florida and a great racing surface opened the door for Justin to achieve that goal, which he did on February 7 at Orlando Speed World in Orlando, Floridaâ€¦
As incredible a feat it is to run a 7-second e.t. with such a straightforward combo, it is perhaps more incredible to drive it over 30Â miles to work the next day.
â€œâ€¦ The car is raw. There’s no denying the power it makes as you can feel it just driving around, even when just cruising it. One reservation I had about going to the Powerglide was how streetable was it really going to be. To combat this, I ordered a second transmission cooler, all new lines and fittings, and fabbed up a twin transmission cooler setup,â€ Justin explained. â€œItâ€™s a little heavier than other similar setups but it absolutely works as evidenced by the 180-degree temp going through the traps on the 7.9 pass and no higher than 150 degrees yesterday on the drive to and from work, which includes both interstate and city traffic. The rpm is a little higher than with the 6R80 when cruising at 70 but it’s a small sacrifice for the added reliability the Powerglide offers.â€
Reliably running sevens in a twin-turbo Coyote is definitely worth a small sacrifice, but Justin says this ride has just begun. We expect to see this Coyote to push deeper into the sevens as he refines the combination.