With the spotless interior, gnarly stance and impeccable paint, the space under hood would probably hold a stock motor with chrome bits and a hose kit. Think again! The heart of this Ford beats to the sound of a Mazda jingle. The original 2.5-liter V6 was swapped out for a J-spec Mazda KLZE V6 that displaces 2.5 liters, but features a longer intake runner setup and upgraded internals. The installation was a simple drop and swap, with the exception of a few vacuum hoses.
The J-spec powerplant was further enhanced with boost provided by a supercharger. A hard-hitting Nitrous Express nitrous system is planned once a full-throttle lean condition is addressed. While the installation of the motor was straightforward, the supercharger placement was anything but. Phil at DPG Performance was given the daunting task of locating the Vortech V-1 S-trim supercharger, and found space where the A/C motor previously resided.
After much discussion and a lot of denial from DPG, they decided to take on the project, which included fabricating the bracket for the blower, fabricating oil lines, relocating the radiator, tweaking the oil pan to accommodate oil lines and notching the frame.
DPG used an old motor as a simulation dummy to fabricate a blower mounting bracket. AFter three days of fabrication and about 20 dedicated hours, the bracket and housing was finished. Fitting the bracket to the blower and then the blower to the engine outside of the car was dramatically different than doing so inside the car.
First, the radiator had to be slightly relocated, requiring new brackets and mounting fixtures. This was needed to provide ample clearance for the blower housing. After reshaping some of the bracket and some trim work to the supercharger, it was fitted to the block in place of the A/C unit. Good alignment and precision fabrication made the pulleys line up perfectly with the stock pulleys.
Once fitment and installation were complete, custom steel braided lines for the oil feed and drain back were made and installed. Final fabrication included removing the stock oil pan and fitting a modified unit that included accommodations for the oil drain back and a slightly shortened height.
The system features a front-mount Power Enterprises intercooler fitted with a Nitrous Express N-tercooler spray bar kit. Tuning is achieved with a Vortech 10:1 FMU and A'PEXi S-AFC.
With an install as time-consuming as this, there's no doubt that Chris' Probe is poking into territories few have explored either aesthetically and mechanically. And, even though Chris is estimating 250 whp without the NOS hooked up, one can't help but wonder what his dear old Dad would think of the "rice burner lump" at the heart of this American hot rod.