• Dec 4, 2006
Kicking off our forced-induction week with a tweeeeeee is Flickr member McTaylor's low-miles 1986 Mustang SVO. At least three of us Autobloggers are in love with this car. McTaylor prefers to keep his daily driver looking fairly understated, with only the really cool 2.3 fender badges giving a little bit away. Even then, it's only those in the know that will even pay attention to such details. As it is a daily driver, the mods aren't too wild. The boost has been pumped up to 18 psi by means of a manual boost control valve tricking the wastegate a bit. Premium is a must with that much boost, but we're betting it's a real hoot in the colder weather now gripping the nation (if it's not planted in a snowbank). The rest of the drivetrain remains stock, from the clutch, through the notchy goodness of a T5 to the Traction-Lok rearend. Factory alloys made of Unobtanium have been swapped out for a set of custom-drilled Kosei K1R's wrapped in BFG rubber.

More after the jump


'86 was the last year for the SVO, and put down a healthy 205 horsepower. With the upped boost, McTaylor's car is definitely playing in the '88-94 5.0 sandbox with respect to speed. Of course, power delivery is a bit different, but the slightly soft bottom end torque of the turbo 2.3 will help you stick the launch - as every knucklehead knows, it's real easy to boil the meats off a 5.0. The SVO came equipped with a raft of excellent upgrades, some of which didn't return until the '93 SVT Cobra (nifty taillights included). Supporting this understated and unique Fox Mustang were 4-wheel disk brakes, adjustable Koni damping, and SVO 16" rims with Goodyear Gatorback rolling stock. Heavy-duty equipment for a tarted-up Fairmont in the mid-80's. Inside were special sport seats, a Hurst shifter with a shorter throw for '86, a pedal cluster that better facilitated "heel and toe" driving, leather on the steering wheel, shift knob and parking brake lever, as well as premium sound and power windows and locks. These cars were the most balanced Fox platform car ever in terms of performance, comfort and luxury. When the euro-contender SVOs were pushed aside for the brute force approach successfully employed by the later 5.0 Mustangs, we all shed a collective tear. Fast, efficient, sharp handling, and darn it, the exterior tweaks look as good today as they did back in the days you could still catch Cruel Summer on the radio dial. Next up for McTaylor's classy burgundy pony are more engine-room mods to extract more beans from the Pinto-derived engine, suspension tweaks and a little attention to the tranny and clutch to make sure all the spinny bits stay put, and the power gets to the ground.

More pics and mods list below:



1986 Mustang SVO
MODIFICATIONS

Interior
  • 35% Window Tint
  • JVC MP3 headunit w/ iPod Interface
  • Blaupunkt speakers wired to factory locations

Handling
  • Kenny Brown Extreme Matrix Subframe Connectors
  • Kenny Brown 4-pt Front Strut Tower Brace
  • Kenny Brown 3-pt Rear Strut Tower Brace
  • Kosei K1 Racing Wheels (16x7, custom center bore)
  • BFGoodrich G-Force T/A KDW (225/50ZR16)

Powertrain
  • Gillis Manual Boost Controller
  • Walbro 255 lph fuel pump
  • MSD Coil
  • Motorcraft Plug Wires
  • K&N Cone Filter
  • Optima Yellow Top Battery
  • 2.5" Dual Exhaust w/ Hi Flow Cat
  • Driveshaft Loop


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Am I the only one thinks the third-gen Mustangs have aged the worst? The SVO was a creative engineering exercise, but the styling of these cars is as stale as the expired bread and Big Lots.
      • 8 Years Ago
      rear-end comment has been addressed, thanks guys for keeping me honest!

      Dan
      • 8 Years Ago
      one of my faverate Fox body Mustangs
      • 8 Years Ago
      A GNX is an awesome straightliner but when you need to hit the brakes and actually go around a corner, the little SVO shines. There's no reason a Pinto engined Fairmont chassied mid 80's Ford should handle that well, but it does.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I recently recieved a 1996 mustang rolling chassis so i am working on building it into a sn95 svo with my thunderbird turbocoupe motor. i think it should be pretty cool when its done.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pete,
      The Mustang SVO and Merkur XR4Ti share the 2.3L Turbo engine (and similar looking bi-plane spoiler.) However the SVO's 2.3 was intercooled, the Merkur's was not.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Bill Maher is an Idiot-
      I agree with you on the styling issue. That kind of Mustang (3rd gen.) looked absolutely horrible! But so did the Mustang II before it.

      Everyone else-
      That car isn't worth wetting your pants over...just another dumb Ford product, and overrated like nobody's business.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Is this essentially a Merkur Xr4ti?
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Mazda has a 2.3 liter turbo in desperate need of a rwd body, maybe it's time for a new Mustang SVO. This is a sweet car; I think it’s one of the top things to own from the 80’s."

      You're not the only one who think about it, I taught the same thing too, maybe someone should buy a Mustang and doing an experiment, swap the 2.3L turbo under the hood and presto new SVO, but first they have to test the waters by showing it on SEMA and/or various auto shows to see how the public will react.
      • 8 Years Ago
      How do you fit the Fisher in that thing?
      • 8 Years Ago
      Used to own a highly modified '84 that ran 13.5's with the help of a little NOS fogger (75hp), ported head, 18psi boost and custom turbo and exhaust. Loved the car but traded it for an '85GT Mustang convertible, long since replaced with an F-body(Firebird), but still love the fox body cars. The SVO gave me a real appreciation for the curves and also taught me that I didn't know a thing about driving. It was a good car to learn with though!!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      The SVO's are fantastic! (I'm biased, I have a 1984.) ;)

      One correction needs to be made in the article, though: You note that the Hurst shifter is 1986-only. That is not true. All 1984-1986 SVO's have the Hurst shifter...the only difference is that the 1985 1/2 and 1986 have a shorter-throw.
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