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Bryan Crane Leads The Terminator Mustang Stick Shift Blower Pack With Holley EFI

By: Wes Duenkel | 04/12/2021 < Back to Motor Life Home
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Crane Cobra timeslip

Team YERVIEW Racing's Bryan Crane got our attention after he made an 8.757-second pass at 161 MPH with his 2003 Cobra's stick shift/blower combination. It's a "record" for a group of 2003-04 Mustang Cobra racers chasing the 8s with these cars.

There's a group of diehard 2003-04 Mustang Cobra drag racers that choose to go down the strip the old fashioned way: with three pedals and brute force. Driving over a thousand wheel horsepower with a supercharged stick shift combination takes commitment, skill, and consistency. Sure, relying on a boring slushbox and a soft-leaving turbo would be easier…but for Macomb Michigan's Bryan Crane, that's the easy way out. There's nothing like hearing the whine of a three-liter Whipple Gen 5 blower screaming while ripping through the gears on a solid eight-second pass.


The 2003 and 2004 Mustang Cobras have cult following. Their factory supercharged 4.6-liter engines were built for abuse…both taking it and dishing it out on the competition. Even though the factory engine management supports some pretty heady power levels, the factory EEC-V PCM has its limits. We asked Team YERVIEW Racing 's Crane why he switched to Holley EFI.


"I and multiple friends of mine running similar combos experience the same type of issues while trying to push these cars with the stock ECU. The biggest issue is the car simply shutting off at high RPMs without any rhyme or reason. This seems to mostly happen on gear changes, but has happened also at high RPMs well before the gear change. The most frustrating thing is it seemed to always happen when you’re in the middle of a really good hit and you’re left scratching your head."


Surely, nothing is more frustrating than laying down a perfect 60-foot only to have something out of your control abort the pass. But hey: Crane's Terminator is putting out triple the factory output, so one can't blame the Ford system for getting flustered.


Rather than continue to struggle with the factory EFI, Crane opted for Holley's HP EFI system with NTK wideband and a Holley 6.86” Pro Dash. How did that work out?


Crane answers, "All these issues disappeared upon install of the Holley system. The amount of parameters the system can data log at any given time is tenfold over anything the stock computer tuning systems can provide."


Besides the data logging capabilities, Crane is thrilled with the simplicity of the Holley EFI.


Crane Cobra engine

The bullet under the hood of Crane's 2003 Cobra packs a punch. Jordan Martin of Modular Head Shop built the aluminum-block 4.6-liter engine with 10:1 compression and Martin's Stage 4 blower cams. A Gen 5 3.0L Whipple Supercharger crams 26 PSI of boost down the little mod-motor's ported cylinder heads. While some of his "competitors" augment the blower with nitrous, Crane prefers a boost-only combination. The mill hits the ground with over 1,030 horsepower on a steady diet of Ignite Red E90 fuel. For the track, Crane runs an open air horn (note the lack of a Mass Air Flow sensor, which the Holley EFI doesn't use).


"What I love most about the Holley system is how easy it was to install and use. I installed the unit by myself with the help of some of my good buddies. Before I installed the Holley system, I knew enough about tuning to get by in conversation, but did not know how to execute proper tuning methods or adjust certain parameters on the fly. With the “Help” feature and just spending time working with the software on my own, even a tuning novice like myself was able to figure most of the things out on my own."


And even if Crane gets stumped, there's a community of users ready to help.


"The amount of support available in the community for those with Holley systems seems to be tenfold over that of the competing ECU companies. If I can’t figure something out, it’s very easy to reach out to the community and get an answer."


As of this post, Crane is the unofficial "03-04 Cobra Stick Shift Blower Recordholder" with his 8.757-second pass at 161 MPH down Maryland International Raceway on March 29, 2021.


"We came out to this rental [put on by 1320 Junkie Performance] with the main focus to dial in the new clutch and suspension to work with a drag radial, and we were pleasantly surprised by the results so early on!"


Crane Cobra launch

Getting 1,030 horsepower to the ground is no easy task. Crane relies on a Black Magic long-style clutch provided by Cale and Tinzy Aronson and a faceplated T-56 Magnum built by Don Walsh, Jr. of D&D Performance. The latter is a no-compromise gearbox that Crane is still trying to master.


Crane's pass that day was already a couple tenths faster than his colleagues had run. Crane already plans to squeeze more power out of the 10:1 compression aluminum 4.6L built by Jordan Martin of Modular Head Shop under the hood of his 3500-pound racer.


"At the last dyno session with Lidio Iacobelli of Alternative Auto Performance, we saw 1,030 RWHP before we ran out of fuel pump. We have since fixed the issue and have more pulley to throw at it in the future, so down the road 1,050-1,100 RWHP we feel is within reach."


That power is bound to give the faceplated T-56 Magnum by Don Walsh, Jr. of D&D Performance and the Black Magic long-style adjustable clutch provided by Cale and Tinzy Aronson a workout. We're really excited to follow Crane's progress as he is surely to dive deeper in the 8s with this mind-bending combination.

"What I love most about the Holley system is how easy it was to install and use. I installed the unit with the help of some of my good buddies. Before I installed the Holley system, I knew enough about tuning to get by in conversation, but did not know how to execute proper tuning methods or adjust certain parameters on the fly. With the “Help” feature and just spending time working with the software on my own, even a tuning novice like myself was able to figure most of the things out on my own."


And even if Crane gets stumped, there's a community of users ready to help.


"The amount of support available in the community for those with Holley systems seems to be tenfold over that of the competing ECU companies. If I can’t figure something out, it’s very easy to reach out to the community and get an answer."


Crane Cobra rear launch

Crane swapped the factory-installed independent rear suspension for a solid rear axle stuffed with Strange Engineering 35-spline components.


As of this post, Crane is the unofficial "03-04 Cobra Stick Shift Blower Recordholder" with his 8.757-second pass at 161 MPH down Maryland International Raceway on March 29, 2021.


"We came out to this rental [put on by 1320 Junkie Performance] with the main focus to dial in the new clutch and suspension to work with a drag radial, and we were pleasantly surprised by the results so early on!"


Crane's pass that day was already a couple tenths faster than his colleagues had run. Crane already plans to squeeze more power out of the 10:1 compression aluminum 4.6L built by Jordan Martin of Modular Head Shop under the hood of his 3500-pound racer.


"At the last dyno session with Lidio Iacobelli of Alternative Auto Performance, we saw 1,030 RWHP before we ran out of fuel pump. We have since fixed the issue and have more pulley to throw at it in the future, so down the road 1,050-1,100 RWHP we feel is within reach."


That power is bound to give the faceplated T-56 Magnum by Don Walsh, Jr. of D&D Performance and the Black Magic long-style adjustable clutch provided by Cale and Tinzy Aronson a workout. We're really excited to follow Crane's progress as he is surely to dive deeper in the 8s with this mind-bending combination.


Crane Cobra side profile

Traction and weight savings are provided by a full Team Z Motorsports suspension. Crane wrapped Weld Racing wheels with 26" M&H Racemaster front tires and 28" M/T Pro Bracket Radials out back.


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