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Old 05-16-2017, 03:19 PM   #1
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NASA Spec Focus Upgrade

I decided it was time to start a thread on a major upgrade of my 2000 NASA Spec Focus. I bought the well built but little used car two years ago and tracked it for two seasons in Arizona. I finally broke an idler pulley bolt and pitched the timing belt, which bent the exhaust valves. With the motor out, I decided it was time for some much need upgrades.

As tracked, the spec motor with Ford racing head, intake, 70mm throttle body, and adjustable cam gears made 148 whp. The spec Eibach springs were too soft, so I switched to HR race springs - other than that, it was NASA spec. The things that needed improvement included a too-low roll center which caused me to lift the inside tires often, especially on high-speed sweepers, which inloaded the Torsen and spun the inside tire - no drive off corners. I went through a set of front wheel bearings every 5-6 track days and a set of Hoozier 225/45/17 R7s every two track days (rolling the car up on the outside edge of the outside tires in turns).

The motor is in rebuild - still N/A with 12:1 JE pistons, forged rods, Massive Ultimate SVT head, Cat Cams, SVT intake, and billet oil pump gears. That gave me time to redesign/rebuild the suspension. The first priority was raising the roll center which required moving the inner control arm pick-up points up. I installed "slugs" so the points would be vertically adjustable and added Howe mono-ball bearings to the front of the control arms. The control arms themselves are Mk III ST parts, lengthened 1 inch. I went to Mk III ST hubs and bearings which should solve the weak bearing issues. I will start documentation of the progress with some photos of the front suspension modifications.

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Old 05-16-2017, 03:27 PM   #2
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Here are a couple of photos of the car as tracked before the mods.

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Old 05-16-2017, 04:34 PM   #3
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This thing is freaking awesome. looking forward to following your progress. Did you say the engine build was already done or were those your plans for it? more pics of the engine too?
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Old 05-16-2017, 06:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jburks View Post
This thing is freaking awesome. looking forward to following your progress. Did you say the engine build was already done or were those your plans for it? more pics of the engine too?
The engine is at the machine shop. Block bored with deck plate, pistons fitted. I ordered Williams rods (from England), but that didn't work out (.060 too long), so we are waiting on Eagle rods that were finally shipped Friday. Short block should be done next week. Karl (at Massive) has the head almost done and the cams lashed, so that should also be done next week as well. I got the oil pump gears from IKE last week. I also got a Kaaz Super Q LSD last week, so I am getting close to assembly. This is the only other picture of the old engine I have - before it was pulled.

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Last edited by Viper 00; 05-16-2017 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:00 PM   #5
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Nice man! so you said it was making 148whp before, what are you expecting out of this new setup?
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:16 PM   #6
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Nice man! so you said it was making 148whp before, what are you expecting out of this new setup?
I'm shooting for 200+ whp. I know that's a stretch for a N/A motor (and some say you can't get there), but I think it is possible. I think it depends on whether or not I can get it tuned for the cams.

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Old 05-20-2017, 09:42 PM   #7
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Weekend Progress

Got a few pieces finished and ready to install. Every piece in the photos has been modified in some way or another.

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Old 06-01-2017, 09:50 PM   #8
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Picked up the finished short block - decked, bored with a torque plate, balanced, JE 12:1 pistons, Eagle rods, ARP studs. I also got a "care" package today with the Massive "Ultimate" SVT head, valve cover, VCT elem. kit, and gasket sets. Making progress.

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Old 06-01-2017, 10:01 PM   #9
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Great build.......
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:09 PM   #10
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Thanks Felix. A couple of "head" shots......

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