At first glance, when you see Scott Bowers’ 1984 Ford Mustang, you will immediately notice the hood scoop indicating it is an SVO. The limited-production Ford Mustang SVO, built between 1984 and 1986, was powered by 2.3-liter inline four-cylinder Pinto engines with a turbo attached. Less than 10,000 of these cars were created and the VIN on Scott’s Mustang proves this chassis was an actual SVO.
Back in the day, the turbo engine put out between 175 and 200 horsepower, which was solid in 1984, but doesn’t hold a candle to horsepower numbers in 2021. Scott, who owns Ron Francis Wiring, decided he wanted a project car that could display some of the products Ron Francis Wiring creates. One of the kits they make is a Coyote swap fuel injection harness. That meant out with the turbo engine and in with a 5.0 Coyote.
I just made your SVO that much more valuable! – Scott Bowers
How Dare You?
Scott has owned many Fox-body Mustangs over the years. He scored this roller SVO chassis, which was missing a bunch of parts, for just $600. When he decided to use this chassis as his new project car, an SVO fanatic began to give him grief for heavily modifying an original SVO chassis. “How dare you?” the guy said. Scott told this gentleman, “I get it, but look at it this way, I just made your SVO that much more valuable!” Once peace was made with the fact that this car would no longer have its original inline four-cylinder turbo power plant it was time to make room for a Coyote engine.
Scott says he wasn’t the first person to ever drop a Coyote into a Fox-body, “I certainly wasn’t the first to crack the endeavor, so some of the bits and pieces I used, I learned from others, but the wiring is all Ron Francis Wiring products.” Scott uses the Maximum Motorsports K-member to help fit the Coyote engine in the engine bay. He chose BBK headers built specifically for a Coyote swap.
He is running a T-56 transmission out of an ‘03-’04 Cobra, with a Centerforce clutch, and an ACT lightened steel flywheel mated with a Quicktime bellhousing as it is “a little beefier.” Scott admits it is a little tricky fitting it all together, “if the engine is in with the tranny on, then I bolt up the headers, but it is all very tight.”
Even with a roll cage, the car weighs just 2,900 pounds, which means with a Coyote engine, the power-to-weight ratio is phenomenal. But Scott wanted more. More came in the shape of a TorqStorm billet supercharger. This put power output in the ludicrous range, especially in a short-wheelbase chassis. “Before we added the supercharger, we found 460 horsepower after some tuning,” said Scott. “With the TorqStorm supercharger, we have found 657 horsepower with 10 pounds of boost. We know we can change the pulley by a 1/4-inch and get more boost and more power, but we want reliability with the car.”
Built For Reliability
The build has proven to be very reliable. The car completed the Power Tour in 2018 without any hiccups on the long trek which included three drag races and three autocrosses. “The engine temp never went over 205 degrees, even on super hot days when a lot of cars on the tour vapor-locked and were being pushed down the street,” said Scott. A lot of that reliability can be attributed to the Ron Francis Wiring products that make the Coyote power plant work in the chassis. “We use the stock ECU and our Ron Francis fuel injection harness,” said Scott. All of it is visible in the back of the Mustang so future customers can see how the wiring is easily connected. To make things simple, each wire is labeled every few inches, noting what it connects to.
John Machaqueiro works at Ron Francis Wiring and provided insight into the company and what they offer to the aftermarket automotive world. Based in Chester, PA, just outside of Philadelphia, Ron Francis Wiring has been around since 1974. “Our wiring kits are designed for the hot rod community,” said John. “We sell lots of universal wiring kits, across the board kits for anybody putting together a hot rod.” Ron Francis Wiring builds the entire wiring kits for the Factory Five Cobra Mark 4 roadster. “We have a lot of people doing 4.6 or 5.0 swaps into a lot of things. Like there are a lot of Crown Vic drivetrains going into old Ford pickup trucks,” said John. “Our wiring kits make this stuff happen.”
Our wiring kits make this stuff happen. – John Machaqueiro
Ron Francis Wiring builds standalone harnesses that run off the factory ECM. They offer reprogramming of the ECM to get rid of anti-theft and emissions which isn’t needed on a 1955 pickup running a Crown Vic engine and transmission. “A lot of people are doing Crown Vics in old pickups,” said John. “We help rewire that entire vehicle. Our wiring harnesses are set up so that anybody can install it in most vehicles and they can do it themselves.”
Streetable But Raceworthy
The Coyote-swapped SVO has become a display vehicle and proving ground for Ron Francis Wiring. “This car is totally streetable and it spends time at Goodguys autocrosses and UMI events,” said Scott. The wiring display plate in the hatch area of the vehicle serves two purposes: ease of access and it’s a great promotional tool. “Folks want to see what a fuel injection harness looks like,” said Scott. “So we show it all to them. They ECU everything.” When it comes to the big Coyote in the small Fox-body Scott says thermally, there are no issues with the car. “I drive this car all over, I don’t feel any heat coming through the firewall and I don’t even have any Dynamat in the car.”
Scott wants to show people that Ron Francis Wiring products are not only easy to install, but also work great. He takes the Mustang to multiple drag racing and autocrossing events every year, then parks it under the Ron Francis Wiring canopy so people can see the wiring products on display. Scott admits the car is a handful to drive and he is still working on fine-tuning the handling to jive with the massive power the blown Coyote is producing under the hood.
The project was about four years in the making. Scott knows he could probably use more tire under the car but doesn’t want to flare the fenders as he likes the aesthetic of the car like it is now. “The chassis sat in my shop for a number of years while I played with other projects,” said Scott. “In the early teens, I started to develop a wiring kit for the Coyote engine, because it is such a strong engine. Then one day I thought, it would be cool to build a race car that was street legal but also stupid fast. This is what we ended up with.” What they ended up with is one serious flat black Fox-body Mustang. Don’t let that SVO hood scoop fool you. This car has much more than its original 175 horsepower, like nearly four times more.