Power Brokers: Wegner LS Crate Engine
Ever since the first LS engines hit the open market over a decade ago, hot rodders have been grabbing them up, and Wegner has been there to provide the aftermarket support to make those hot rod dreams come true. When it comes to LS hardware, Wegner is an experienced hand, and is now offering 415ci engine assemblies based on a new L92 block, a 4-inch stroke Compstar forged crankshaft, 6.125-inch forged con rods, and custom forged pistons. In complete form, the Wegner 415 LS crate motor makes a dyno-verified 610 hp at 6,300 rpm, and 550 lb-ft of torque at 5,400 rpm.
Wegner offers the 415 LS in four forms at various stages of completion. The assembled short-block (SP415S) includes rotating assembly, windage tray, rear seal cover, and custom valley tray for $5,595. The 415 LS long-block (SP415T)-which is actually a partial long-block-adds to that the CNC-ported cylinder heads, camshaft, rocker arms, pushrods, oil pan, and oil pump for $9,495. The complete long-block (SP415C) finishes it out by adding an ATI damper, distributor front drive, Wegner front accessory drive assembly (non A/C), Stewart water pump, Carter fuel pump, single-plane intake, HEI distributor, plug wires, spark plugs, lift plate, 750-cfm vacuum-secondary carb, and is dyno tested for $13,895. The Premium Engine (SP415P) swaps out the non-A/C accessory drive for A/C, and swaps the HEI distributor for an MSD ready-to-run unit and stand-alone coil ($14,195).
The way we see it, the Wegner 415 LS advantage over a traditional big-block of similar power is its much lighter weight and better vehicle balance. We also like the simplicity of the carb and standard ignition that has always worked in the favor of more traditional engines.
Wideband oxygen sensors have been around a long time; their role in calibrating air/fuel ratios was established way back in the '60s when vehicle manufacturers used them for production car development. It was bulky, complicated equipment that required patience and engineering know-how to use. Today we take wideband oxygen sensors for granted, but they still have a lot in common with their ancestors: complexity. These important tuning devices still live decidedly on the "geek" side of the railroad tracks, but FAST has fixed that situation with their new wideband air/fuel gauge kit (part No. 170634, $209.95)
This new inexpensive air/fuel ratio kit contains everything you need, and requires no special calibration, no computers, and no special training or procedures. You get a super fast and accurate 21/16-inch gauge (backlit), a Bosch wideband oxygen sensor, and a stand-alone sensor control unit. It can even be wired to power up whenever the engine is running.
Classic Louver Look
If you're looking to give your new Mustang that classic louver look for the rear window, you'll be happy to know that one company-Willpak-still makes them under the Astra-Hammond brand. Louvers have always been an effective mod, both from an aesthetic standpoint, and from a functional standpoint. Louvers provide a cooler interior, less glare, and improved privacy without running afoul of prevailing window-tint laws. The Astra-Hammond louver for new Mustangs is made out of UV resistant ABS, and mounts via a stainless mounting plate for a flush fit. It can also be easily removed for cleaning as needed.
90-10 Drag Shock
Calvert Racing makes no bones about their purpose in life: to get down the quarter-mile as quickly and drama-free as possible. When you're as single-minded about your goals as Calvert, you're going to be darned good at getting the job done, especially when you don't have to compromise. As with their Caltracs bars and Split-Mono Leaf springs, Calvert is also attacking the track in mind-bending fury with their new line of 90-10 shocks. These are designed for maximum weight transfer on launch, and feature a unique dual-stage valving that allows for quick extension on launch, and a more settled stance at the top end for better high-speed stability. Most applications are just $59 each, making it well worth the investment in a lower e.t.