It’s a familiar story by now. Bolster a modern Ford engine with good internals, strap on boost, add supporting hardware, tune it, and revel in four-digit fun. The last time Yandro Ulloa checked, his 1998 Mustang Cobra was putting down over 1,200 horsepower, but that was months and many mods ago. His measuring stick is the drag strip and that’s where he recently ran the quickest manual-transmission Mustang pass thus far.
“To tell the truth it felt like any other pass, just fighting for my life making sure I don’t miss a gear,” Yandro deadpanned. “I never look at the speedometer, so I had no clue of the speed till I got my ticket. I granny-shifted the whole way down afraid something would go wrong with tranny, but I’ll have it refreshed and inspected to make sure its ready for the next step!”
While it first came onto our radar at the Wanna Go Fast half-mile event in Ocala, Florida, Yandro Ulloa’s turbocharged 1998 Mustang Cobra primarily does its work on the drag strip. He plans to run a full complement of drag racing events across the south this year, so you might get to see this record-setting ride in person. (Photo Credit: Wanna Go Fast)
On Saturday February 4, 2018 at Bradenton Motorsports Park he clicked off the stick-shift pass heard around the Mustang world. He ran a staggering 8.47 at 169.52 mph while banging gears in a street-friendly Tremec Magnum six-speed manual transmission.
“Truthfully, I’m blown away by Yandro’s record-setting pass. We have multiple UPR racers pulling 1.0-second 60-foot times on small tires, so I know our suspension can hook hard. But the biggest challenge to running deep in the eights with a stick is getting the clutch and transmission to survive,” Sharad Raldiris, of UPR Products, said. “Yandro is running a synchronized T-56, rather than a dog-ring race trans. And, he’s running an off-the-shelf, twin-disc street clutch rather than a sintered-iron slipper clutch. It’s simply unprecedented to run these e.t.’s with a street style transmission and clutch! All credit to Yandro and his tuner. Those guys are making magic happen with that little yellow Cobra, which they call the TT Minion!”
“The transmission is a T-56 Magnum from RPM Transmissions, and I swear its fully synchronized street tranny,” Yandro told us. “It is nothing special besides RPM’s Level 6 upgrade in a few parts. I’d love to run sevens with synchros, so we’ll see how that goes.”
You might think that he had been pursuing this goal all along. However, like most track-oriented projects, his Cobra’s performance benchmarks elevated quickly once he attained his initial goal.
You can’t see the turbos, so Yandro’s Four-Valve engine is a real sleeper. Fortified by Levin Motorsports with JE pistons and Manley connecting rods, this 4.6-liter puts down over 1,200 horsepower thanks to two Borg-Warner S364 turbochargers and an AEM Infinity fuel-injection system. (Photo Credit: Steve Turner)
“The manual record is not something I ever even considered,” Yandro explained. “My original goal when I built this car was to go 9.99, but we got there pretty quickly. Then I decided to make the 12-hour drive to the Bowling Green, Kentucky, NMRA event and went a 8.98. At that point, I realized that we had something special going so we just kept tweaking the tune and going faster.”
With support from High Revolution Fabrication, Pony Up Mustang Group, Levin Motorsports, and peer pressure courtesy of the local Stick Shift Mafia racing events, Yandro kept pushing his combo, which is based on a Levin-prepped Four-Valve 4.6 boosted by an On3 turbo system.
Pushing The Envelope
“One day I came across the video from Mat Brunette from Billet Pro Shop and then I set my sights on it,” he added. “We were having clutch and tranny issues for a while so it delayed us a bit but went to Street Car Takeover in Bradenton and after a few test passes went a 8.52 at 170 mph then returned to the lanes to make the 8.47 at 169 pass. The next goal is to be in the sevens before the end of the year and be the fastest stick US domestic car.”
The next goal is to be in the sevens before the end of the year. — Yandro Ulloa
Behind its RPM Magnum six-speed, Yandro’s Cobra puts the four-digit power to the track via a Strange-fortified 8.8-inch rear that is controlled by a full complement of UPR Products suspension gear.
Yandro’s SN-95 puts that four-digit power down to the track with a selection of suspension upgrades from UPR Products. (Photo Credit: Killshot, Yandro Ulloa)
“The car has had UPR suspension since day one and it’s been great,” Yandro said. “I originally chose it because it’s some of the lightest stuff in the market at the most affordable price,” he said. “I purchased all of it through my friend’s shop, Mustang Parts Fast, so UPR suspension has been a key factor to make it this far. It’s a product that simply works and it is easy to install and maintain.”
Putting down that kind of power off the line is clearly important for a drag car, especially one with a manual transmission.
• On3 turbo system w/ Borg-Warner S364 turbochargers
• Stock intake w/ intake runners hand-ported by Levin Motorsports
• Tremec T-56 six-speed manual, fully syncronized
• UPR Products suspension w/ K-member, front A-arms, rear lower control arms, and rear upper control arms
“Good suspension components are particularly critical on a car like Yandro’s Cobra because stick cars are a lot more violent than automatics,” Sharad added. “The suspension must be durable enough to survive drivetrain loads which would rival those of a much more powerful automatic racecar. Furthermore, that violent shock to the drivetrain makes it that much harder to plant the tires off the line, so the suspension has to be on point!”
Yandro plans to keep pushing the envelope of the entire combination in the near future. He plans to turn up the boost and gun for the 7-second zone with a fully synchronized six-speed. As if we didn’t already know these were amazing times, such a pass would definitely confirm it.