The level of performance attainable with mostly stock hardware on the 2015+ Mustangs is pretty astounding. In particular, the 6R80 automatic seems to handle all the aftermarket bolt-on power you can throw at it, and the same is proving to be true when you add forced induction into the mix as well. These current-generation ponies are built to run!
Recently, a video surfaced on YouTube that confirmed much of what we have been appreciating. The footage above is from Team Beefcake Racing, and it showcases the strength and durability of the S550’s six-speed automatic transmission at the drag strip.
We had the chance to contact Terry “Beefcake” Reeves of Team Beefcake Racing to ask him a few questions about this record-breaking run.
FordNXT: An 8.70 at 160 mph is one quick pass on a stock transmission! What are the details on this run?
Beefcake: The time was run at the NMRA Race in Columbus, Ohio, two weekends ago. The previous best by an S550 with a 6r80 was Melissa Urist with an 8.711. She also sported the factory IRS as well. These transmissions are pretty amazing. We do the standard upgrade, the Stage 2 clutches from Exedy and the TCS Billet intermediate shaft. In most applications, it makes these transmissions bullet-proof.
With our crew at Finish Line Performance doing the wrenching, and Lund Racing doing the tuning, we know how to make these cars work. — Terry Reeves, Team Beefcake Racing
Beefcake: Our previous best was an 8.86 and was ran in 1,000-foot-corrected density altitude and about 65 degrees. This e.t. was run at 2,500 corrected DA and 86 degrees, so we expect good things come fall.
FordNXT: What changes did you make to get these results?
Beefcake: Since our last outing. We added the Baer brake conversion to allow 15-inch wheels which we put on Weld Wheels with the Mickey Thompson 275/60-15 Pro radials. We added the American Racing Solutions upgraded belt tensioner. And then finally Lund Racing sent us a revised tune to fine-tune the transmission.
FordNXT: How difficult was it to run in the eights with a factory-based auto and IRS?
Team Beefcake Mustang GT Mods
• Factory Coyote block built by BES Racing Engines
• MMR GT350 cylinder heads
• Comp Cams Stage 2 blower cams
• Fore Innovations fuel system
• Vortech supercharger
• Stainless Works Retro-Chambered exhaust
• American Racing 2-inch long-tube headers
• Factory 6r80 automatic w/ Exedy Stage 2 Clutches and a TCS billet shaft
• D.S.S. halfshafts and driveshaft
• Watson Racing K-member
• Custom Rogue Race Cars center console
• Barton 6R80 Coyote shifter handle
• Strange front coilovers w/double-adjustable struts
• Viking double-adjustable Crusader rear shocks
• Weld Racing Wheels
• Mickey Thompson tires
• Watson Racing 8.50 roll cage w/custom swing-outs
The combo isn’t anything ‘extreme’ I like to think; we just have the combo down. With our crew at Finish Line Performance doing the wrenching, and Lund Racing doing the tuning, we know how to make these cars work.
We sold our 2011 car at the end of last year which was tons of fun to run at the track, and we began focusing on 2015+ models for our late- model Mustang customers.
The neatest thing about the car was that it weighed in at over 3,900 pounds, and was running with pump E85. Same way the car is driven every day.
FordNXT: What is next for this car?
Beefcake: Next on the drawing board is a Watson Racing tubular IRS. We have plans to run in NMRA’s new Limited Street class next year, so we need to get some weight out of the car, as the base weight for us will be 3,775 pounds.
The IRS should get us pretty close to where we need to be weight-wise. For the rest of the year, we plan on working on suspension tuning, and fine-tuning with Lund to get our e.t.’s to the low-8-second range. We’re really hoping to be able to drop the car into the 8.3 range by fall.
Beefcake’s setup is definitely impressive, so we can wait to see what those upgrades can do for it. If nothing else, the video above is proof of the kind of abuse the stock S550 transmission can handle!