SVTPerformance.com

Fresher Than Fresh | This 1990 35th Ann. Thunderbird Super Coupe Skipped All the Dealer Prep
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This one is near and dear to my heart. Every time I’ve ordered a new Ford I’ve requested the dealership not PDI (dealer-prep) my new ride. What can I say? I prefer to unwrap my presents myself. So when I spotted this 35th Anniversary 1990 Ford Thunderbird Super Coupe in the National Parts Depot collection I knew I had to learn its story.

From afar the black T-bird appears to have some major paint/clearcoat issues. However, looks are deceiving in this case. What seems to be Florida sun burnt paint is actually a coating applied by Ford during assembly. It was designed to protect the car’s finish during delivery, and was intended to be removed by the dealer during PDI.


That’s where things really start to make sense. In the days before peeling off shrink wrap, your local dealer had the lowest guy on the totem pole doing his best to remove this spray on coating with whatever tools and skills he had at hand. You can imagine how many black cars left...
COMING TO AMERICA: THE ALL-NEW 2024 FORD RANGER RAPTOR IS READY TO DOMINATE IN THE DIRT 
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The wait is over; the all-new 2024 Ford Ranger Raptor is coming to North America. Raptor is based on a proven legacy of performance and built with uncompromised suspension design, power, purposeful technology, and rugged styling. Ranger Raptor is fully prepared to take on the most demanding terrain its extreme adventure-seeking customers can find. 

The heart of every Raptor is its suspension. Ranger Raptor starts with a purpose-built suspension that includes lightweight aluminum upper and lower control arms and a long-travel rear suspension with a Watts linkage and trailing arms for control and confidence in off-road conditions.

Ranger Raptor’s next-generation FOX™ 2.5-inch Live Valve Internal Bypass shocks are coil-overs at the front and piggyback reservoirs at the rear to reduce heat build-up for uninterrupted performance all day long. ...
FoMoCo Built a Turbo Diesel Fox Body??? | NPD's Mark VII Lincoln Continental | BMW Hybrid???
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Unicorns do exist. That’s the first thing that came to mind when I spotted the oh-so-subtle Diesel badge on the rear of an otherwise unassuming 1984 Lincoln Continental in National Parts Depots world renowned car collection. Did you know Lincoln made a diesel car in the mid-80s? Did you know that Ford actually build a diesel powered Fox-Body? I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t, because this is actually the first one I have ever seen in person.

This particular car is one of many Lincolns in the NPD collection. Rick, the owner of NPD, seems to favor the brand. This is one of several examples of Mark VII Continental on display, and beyond the 2.4L diesel under the hood it’s pretty inconspicuous. It has a little mileage on the clock, and presents as a very clean used luxury car. Unlike many cars in the collection, this one does get driven from time to time.


The real story about this car is the engine. For only 2 years Ford...
Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Stock! | 5 Star Tuned Maverick Road Test
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It’s about time for use to circle back to this one. Back in the Spring we took a look at a fairly loaded Ford Maverick that was on the dyno being tuned by the guys over at 5 Star Tuning in Florence, SC. We covered what we could at the time, but that didn’t include getting it out on the street for a drive. What a difference a few months will make. This time around they just threw me the keys, #winning.

Your guys have probably seen some of my past Maverick coverage. It started off cold, but the more time I’ve spent with Ford’s latest little truck the more I’ve warmed to it. It definitely has its place in the line-up, and it’s hard to argue with its value. Still; as with any stock vehicle, there’s room for improvement. That’s where aftermarket tuners like 5 Star Tuning come in to the picture.


In stock form the Maverick is a little low on power and responsiveness compared to what we know the 2.0L Ecoboost is capable of in other...
NMRA/NMCA Rockingham 2023 | Drag Racing in the Carolinas
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A little rain had no chance of dampening the weekend of fun that was the NMRA/NMCA All-Star Nationals in Rockingham, NC. After a moist start to the weekend the racing action kicked off in perfect Southern Spring weather on Sat. We made the short drive north to meet up with long-time friends and take in the festivities. This is the 2nd year of this event, and I'm pleased to report that it appears to be growing in popularity. The track owners have made significant investments in the facilities (including an 1/8 mile of new concrete racing surface) and the local community is significantly coming out to support the race.

We took a walk through the relocated car show field, and found quite a few nice rides. For 2023, the organizers moved the show to the top of the hill which makes up the left lane grandstands. This was a great move because that area has plenty of seating, restrooms, and several food vendors available to keep everyone happy. Check out the video walk-through we...
SVTP Tool-Tech | Solder Seal Butt Connectors | The Best Way to Splice
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Few things in auto repair can be more frustrating than trying to track down an electrical problem. If you’re dealing with some previously modified wiring it can be even more fun. If this is an issue you’re facing, chances are you’ll be making some splices. Wiring work is simply a fact of life if you spend enough time in the car modding game, and there’s one cardinal rule that must be followed : “Do it once, and do it right.” The last thing you want to have to do is tear back into some custom wiring later on down the road.

To that end, we’ve started using a newer style of butt connector in all of our wire splices. Gone are the days of the broke ass standard crimp style connector, and we’ve even retired the marine style connector with integrated heat-shrink sheathing and waterproof sealant. The best product out there now combines the features of the marine style connector with a little ring of heat activated solder in the center of the connector. The idea being that once the wires...
Lisle In-Line Spark Plug Tester (P/N 20610) Review | SVTP Tool-Tech
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Anyone who works in industry or passed a 4th grade science class should be familiar with the Fire Triangle. In order to produce fire you need heat, fuel, and a source of oxygen. In a gasoline engine those roles are filled by your ignition spark, atomized gasoline, and intake air respectively. Testing for the presence of air and fuel in your engine is pretty simple, though making sure your spark plugs are firing can be a bit more challenging. Today I’m going to show you two simple ways determine whether or not you’re getting spark.

First, I recently picked up this Lisle Spark Plug Tester (P/N 20610) from Amazon for about $10. It’s a pretty simple in-line device that slips between the spark plug and coil or wire. If your coil is sending current to the plug the little bulb inside the tester will light up. It’s pretty simple. It does have a few limitations though. First, it’s not able to diagnose an issue with the spark plug itself. So if your plug is heavily fouled or damaged it may...
Whipple Tuned and Shattering Records | Bronco Raptor Hits the Dyno and the Track
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They say good things come to those who wait. Well in my experience patience and performance are two difficult concepts to mix, but when done properly the results can be quite rewarding. As most of the SVTP faithful know, aftermarket tuning on many late model Fords can be a bit tricky. Gone are the days of bringing a pulley and Diablo Predator to the dealership and modding your Terminator before you leave the lot. We now live in a world of encrypted ECUs and waiting for the aftermarket to crack the code. Luckily for us, Whipple Superchargers has just released their performance calibration for the Bronco Raptor and we happened to get our hands on one of the first units for our in-house BRaptor.

We’ve been steadily modding our Bronco Raptor over the past few months, and even threw more boost at it with a piggy-back device. However, a full tune is always preferable because it allows you to adjust aspects that effect the driving dynamics in a way that is beyond the capabilities of a...
1-of-1 Prototype | 6.7L Powerstroke Ford Racing Turbo Upgrade Kit | Rare Find
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Sometimes you just miss on the follow-through. That’s the story on a lot of ideas and projects. The best laid plans of mice and men, and such. That’s basically what we have laying before us here. What you’re looking at is a 1-of-1 prototype Ford Racing 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel V8 Turbo Upgrade kit. I know, weird right? Ford Racing Performance Parts (now rebranded Ford Performance Racing Parts) has never really dipped their toes into the performance diesel market, yet here’s this kit. Not surprisingly, there’s a bit of a story to go along with it.

Think way back late 2014-early 2015. The updated 2015 Powerstroke equipped Super Duty is just hitting the dealership lots. It was cranking out 440 HP and 860 lb-ft (up from 390/400 HP and 735/800 lb-ft for the 2011-14 models), due in large part to a shiny new single 88mm GT37 turbo. It replaced the earlier somewhat unique single-sequential turbo that was prone to failure at about 100,000 miles. It featured ceramic ball bearings that just...
Inside National Parts Depot's Massive Private Car Collection | 200+ Cars Under One 9 Acre Roof
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There’re a few places on Earth that simply must be seen to be believed. The Grand Canyon, The Hoover Dam, and The Great Pyramids come to mind. But for car guys, the personal car collection of the owners of National Parts Depot may just top that list. On a recent trip to FL we swung by their Ocala location (NPD’s main HQ), and they gave us free reign to check out the collection. So over the course of a full day we shot six videos chronicling the entire collection that was currently present.

I mention the current residents of the Ocala collection because what you’re about to see is not the total collection. The NPD crew move certain members of the collection around the US to NPD’s three other warehouse locations. So you can stop by your local NPD warehouse and see a rotating percentage of this collection for yourself. However, the main collection is private and therefore not open to the...
Motorcraft FL-2062-A Oil Filter Options Reviewed | 3.0L & 2.7L Nano EcoBoost Engines
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If you want to start a guaranteed 3-page flame war on most car forums, there’s no better question to ask than “What’s the best oil/oil filter?” Well this time around we’re going to take a look at every filter I could lay my hands on for the Bronco Raptor. This review is going to pull double duty because the FL-2062-A sized filters being inspected also fit other Ford engines, including the 2.7L EcoBoost V6. A derivative of this line of filters is even specified for some GT350 and GT500 Mustangs. So we have a lot to cover.

Below you’ll find a video and several detailed photos covering every filter we’ve managed to get our hands on. We also took very detailed measurements and observations of the materials and construction methods used for each filter. This is not the be-all-end-all of this story. As new filters become available we’ll add them to the list. If you find one you would like to send us, you can send it here:

SVTPerformance
4009 Highway 17 S - 1010
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Yes - You Need an Oil Separator | Your Valves Will Thank You
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For years, you’ve seen us extolling the virtues of running an oil separator your boosted Ford. While most started to really pay attention to their benefits around the time of the supercharged 1999 SVT F-150 Lightning introduction, the addition of direct injection to modern Ford engines has increased the importance to adding one to a your engine to a heretofore unseen level. That’s because the old engines mostly just had issues with soaking the intercooler core with engine oil from the PVC system. However, EcoBoost engines suffer that issue, along with oil baking on the back of the intake valves. An issue known as coking. Plus burning engine oil effectively lowers the octane rating of the fuel you're burning, which can increase the likelihood of detonation. That’s why one of the first mods we made to our Bronco Raptor was to cobble together a homemade oil...
National Parts Depot - Ocala, FL | 9 Acres of Awesome Ford Parts | Car Guy Heaven
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We’ve all been there at some point. You’re at Disney World with the family, or SEMA with the crew, and you come to the realization that there’s no way in this world that you’re going to manage to see everything there in a single day. That’s the experience I had recently when the guys at National Parts Depot turned me loose in their Ocala, FL warehouse. This place covers something like 9 acres under roof and contains more parts for your Ford than you can possibly imagine.

I guess the best place to start this story is at the beginning, which would be meeting NPD’s Ford Product Manager Matt Laszaic at a random Mustang show about a decade ago. While discussing seemingly everything Ford related, Matt threw out an invitation to come check out the NPD HQ. Since that time they’ve become one of SVTP’s biggest supporters, and I’ve visited their FL facilities several times. However, I’ve never given you guys a behind the scenes look at just what makes this place so special.

National Parts...
SVTP Tool-Tech | Lisle 20750 Remote Starter Switch | Reviewed
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Sometimes you need an extra set of hands when none are available. That’s when a tool like we’re reviewing today comes in handy. It’s a remote starter trigger. If you’ve spent any time at all on YouTube, you’ve likely seen a particular ‘Tuber use his (which he refers to as his “Lone Wolf 2000”. His continued use of a starter trigger, while reviving long forgotten rides, shows just how handy one of these things can be.

A remote start trigger isn’t a particularly sophisticated device. It’s essentially just a finger activated 12V switch. It works by connecting the circuit across your starter control solenoid, which is usually easily accessible under the hood on older Fords. This allows you to skip running around to the driver’s seat in order to turn the key. Yes; you could just jump the solenoid with a screw driver, but that may force you to stand in a particular position to crank the engine over. The remote trigger will allow you to move freely around the front of the vehicle in...
Full Review | Work Truck Electric F-150 'Lightning' Pro | Different Kind of Supercharger
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Ford’s first two forays into modern electric vehicles have been somewhat polarizing among the performance enthusiast community here on SVTP. We’ve all seen the consternation about the name ‘Mustang’ being used on a 4-Door SUV, not to mention the prestigious ‘Lightning’ nameplate applied to a Non-V8 Non-Performance truck. However, those who would complain about such nomenclatural activities are likely not the core audience for these new Fords. My question is; for those who are looking for battery powered transportation, how does Ford’s new All-Electric F-150 “Lightning” stack up?

First, let me tell you that this review is now being written with the benefit of several months of hindsight. In that time prices have increased twice, towing range limitations have been uncovered, and cold weather has revealed further range weakness. The press truck we got to experience several months back, IMO, was basically the best configuration you could get; a Pro model with the extended range...
VMP Performance Apex Predator Lid & Race/Street Intercooler Cores | A Detailed Look
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I know you’ve heard the saying; “work smarter, not harder.” That’s exactly the mantra VMP Performance has been pursuing with their latest round of mods for 2020+ Shelby GT500 Mustangs. The 5.2L Predator V8 mills those cars are blessed with from the factory are potent, but there’s always room for improvement. Throwing more boost at it may be the simple solution, but what if I told you that you could get more power without increasing stress on the engine? What if it works even better when pulley down and add some boost? Do I have your attention now?

Justin Starkey and the crew at VMP have spent the better part of a year working on intercooler modifications for the Predator engine; and it looks like they have struck pay-dirt. VMP has finally released their long awaited Apex Predator intercooler lid, which features a host of benefits over the stock unit. To take advantage of the gains found in the lid they also have a couple intercooler core options to help keep the air charge at the...
Full Bronco Raptor Towing Review | Maxxed Out
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Since Ford released the specs for its insanely popular Bronco, one of the biggest sticking points for many has been the (to put it kindly) modest towing rating. 3,500 pounds for both the 2-Door and the 4-Door models (which is a bit odd considering the wheelbase differences) definitely left a bit to be desired for those who want to tow larger loads. Ford heard those concerns, and bestowed a 4,500 pound tow rating on the recently released Bronco Raptor. That higher rating is one of the main reasons we purchased one as a test vehicle for SVTP.

As soon as our order was confirmed we started shopping for an off-road capable camper that would fit with our goal of off-grid camping in relative comfort. We settled on a No-Boundaries 19.6. It had nearly all the features we were looking for (dual axles, decent shower, solar power, large bed, remote working stations, etc) and still came in under the BRaptors maximum tow rating. However, it would definitely be pushing the limits when loaded up...
Reviewed | 2022 Bronco Wildtrack Heads into the Wilderness
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Want to turn some heads? Try showing up to “The Final” Mustang Week in Wildtrack Bronco. Ford fans around the nation love their horse cars (even Pintos???) and the Bronco is definitely welcome in the club. We’ve been holding back on sharing this story for a few months, but the time seems right now. The Wildtrack trim level brings the equipment to the Bronco that will satisfy 98% of buyers. Style and performance, this truck has it all.

On the road, the Bronco is more comfortable and sure footed than most would give it credit. You can tell the chassis dynamics engineers put in overtime to make this platform perform well above expectations. The dash is logically laid out, and the interior is ruggedly built. You get the sense that this SUV was designed by enthusiasts, by those who get “it”. This video may explain what I mean a little more clearly:


No matter the trim level, or number of doors, I have thoroughly enjoyed very single...
Full Size Fun | 2022 Expedition XLT Review
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The 2022 Ford is all about maximization. You can maximize your capability, comfort, capacity, etc. Few new vehicles allow owners to haul more people and stuff, in more comfort, to more places than the Expedition. Ford recently loaned us fairly rare XLT model to test out. Though our time with it was short, we did manage to get a solid impression on this newly refreshed model.

As I mentioned, the first thing that stood out to me about this particular truck was the fact that it was an XLT. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen this once fairly ubiquitous working-man’s trim level applied to an Expy in the wild. However, this version of the XLT trim gives you much more than cloth seat and power windows & locks. This SUV had a very nicely appointed interior, that would have made an Eddie Bower interior of a decade earlier look downright pedestrian.

Power from the 3.5L Ecoboost (380HP & 470 lb-ft) is more than adequate to move this full-size full-frame SUV around. You...
2018 Focus ST Mods | MBRP Exhaust - Intercooler - Downpipe - Tune
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I’ve made my fair share of trips to the SVT/Ford Performance engineering offices over the years, and one thing I always pay attention is the employee parking lot (which used to be covered in burnout/drifting marks that were visible from space). The cars parked there will tell you a lot about guys who work there, and there is certainly a trend that’s easily spotted. Back in the early SVT days you were likely to see an inordinate number of Contour SVTs. That eventually gave way to the SVT Focus, and then the focus ST. At any point in time it seemed like a 3rd of the cars in that lot would fall into one of the model ranges.

There’s a good reason for that. Those engineers designed those cars to be extremely fun, capable, and sporty; while still being comfortable for daily driver duty. SVT/FP’s small cars have always been the automotive equivalent of a Swiss Army Knife for the performance enthusiast. I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve known with a Cobra or GT500 home in the...


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