The crew at Steeda made quite a splash earlier this year by breaking a 2018 Mustang test vehicle into the 10-second zone with just bolt-ons. The first naturally aspirated, second-gen S550 in the 10s, it kept running even quicker. However, the Silver Bullet kept a low profile through the heat of the summer — until recently.
We were ecstatic to say the least. The Silver Bullet just never slows down! — Scott Boda, Steeda
On August 24, 2018 at South Georgia Motorsports Park in Valdosta, Georgia, the company’s straight-line hot shoe — and Director of Manufacturing — Scott Boda pushed this Mustang deeper into the 10-second zone thanks to some key upgrades (see sidebar).
“Back in June we put a Cobra Jet intake on it during the Steeda 30th Anniversary Celebration in Pompano Beach to try and extract more top-end horsepower out of the Gen 3 Coyote. We tried to test that Friday at PBIR but the results were not favorable due mostly to high ambient intake air temps entering the soon-to-be-released 2018 Steeda CAI. The 2018 is a closed lid, but the CJ required an open air box. That got the intake temps up. So we had to find a better way to seal the open ’15-’17 CAI with the CJ,” Scott told us. “So back in Valdosta we made the necessary updates to keep the intake air temps cool with the CJ setup. We then got a special delivery from Chris Sehorn and our friends over at Circle D — a 10R80 torque converter! So, we knew we had to get back out to the track!”
With freer-breathing induction setup and a new torque converter allowing the car to rev higher on the launch, the combo responded right away.
“We hit up SGMP for the first time in months as it seems every Friday night Test ’N Tune has been rained out. We wanted to test the Cobra Jet Manifold and new Circle D 10R80 Torque Converter,” Scott said. “First hit was a 10.92 with a 1.59 short (new best 60), but it tagged the rev limiter on the 1-2 shift. We came back around for another hit and to leave harder torque converter. We spun, 1.74 short, but the car went faster, a 10.86 at 129 MPH. This gave us a lot of optimism.”
Know there was more to be had, Scott called an audible and borrowed a set of smaller-diameter drag wheels so the larger sidewall would absorb the shock load of the launch. These tires were not as wide, however. The previous 17s were 305s, while the borrowed 15s were 275s. Despite the narrower tread, the swap seemed to work.
“Instead of messing with air pressure and rear shocks adjustment we made a tire swap from 17-inch rear tires to 15s. Due to the aggressive nature of the 4.09 rear gear and the 4.70 10R80 first gear combined with the new converter, we were really hitting the tires harder than ever,” he explained. “Our good friend Donnie Gilder was out there and let us borrow his 15-inch drag tires knowing the extra sidewall would help with the added hit the Circle D torque converter was providing us.”
That set the stage for the record-setting pass. After letting the car rest for a bit, it was back for the money pass.
“So, we cooled down the Bullet and went to make another hit,” he added. “Instantly the car responded with a 1.57 short and it felt good the whole way down the track rowing through seven gears. I knew it was a good pass, I figured a bottom .70, but was shocked to see a 10.63 at 130 MPH. We were ecstatic to say the least. The Silver Bullet just never slows down!”
Steeda Silver Bullet 2018 Mustang Mods
• American Racing Headers long-tube headers w/ bullet mufflers and dumps
• Baer drag brakes
• Circle D 10R80 torque converter
• CM Component rear-seat delete
• Custom Steeda calibration delivered with SCT Performance tuner
• VP Racing Fuels C85
• Ford Performance Parts 4.09 rearend gears
• Ford Performance Cobra Jet intake
• Ford Performance oval throttle body
• QA1 Rev Series carbon fiber driveshaft
• Race Star Recluse wheels
• Steeda drag springs,
• Steeda billet shock mounts
• Steeda Pro Action adjustable rear shocks
• Steeda drag sway bar
• Steeda rear lower control arm bearings
• Steeda black urethane differential bushings
• Steeda IRS subframe support braces
• Steeda IRS subframe bushing support system
• Steeda IRS subframe alignment kit
• Steeda S550 Mustang rear lower control arm spherical bearings
• Steeda prototype, 3D-printed cold air intake
“Per our calculations this car has a low .40 or high .30 in it all day long in good weather,” Scott added. “The race to the nines is on!”
To get there, the Steeda team plans to keep loading the Silver Bullet with better ammo and less weight.
“We plan to play with rearend ratios. If you recall the main reason for the 4.09 rear gear was because we knew it would be a while before a torque converter was available,” Scott added. “So we would like to experiment with some other ratios to help the car run out the back door and to help take advantage of the converter’s ability to allow us to leave harder. Also in development are some lightweight components…”
Sounds like big things are still to come from this car so stay tuned.