The Modular engine platform is over a quarter-of-a-century old and it continues to impress the street and strip market with its versatility. From 5-second Pro Modifieds to class racing and street cars, the durability and performance of the stock engine block and cylinder heads are impressive. Keith Rhea of Wonder Racing has been on the forefront of the small-tire wars with his 2004 SVT Cobra and this past weekend he made a huge statement. The twin turbocharged 5.4L combination unleashed an impressive 4.34 at 165 mph during the Shakedown Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Rhea has been fine-tuning his latest twin turbo combination all season long. We first saw him during the NMRA Nitto Tire Spring Break Shootout earlier this year in the Hellion Turbo Battle category. Rhea hung out with us during the NMRA Ford Motorsport Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway back in June and he tried to crack into the 6s. He fell short with a best of 7.09 at only 147 mph in the quarter-mile. The low speed was due to Rhea lifting early because the rear-gear was too steep to finish the long distance.
The combination was built at Wonder Racing and it all starts with a 5.4L engine block that was sourced from a 2012 Shelby GT500. Rhea added a Winberg billet crankshaft with a stock stroke and a set of CP Carillo custom rods and pistons swing off it. Topside, a set of factory Four-Valve cylinder heads were ported by Fox Lake Racing Power Products and feature a set of custom cams by Todd Warren. A pair of 80mm GT42R turbochargers by Forced Inductions pressurizes the custom intake manifold. A set of Atomizer Injectors ensures there is plenty of VP Racing Fuels M1 methanol being pumped into Mod Motor. Rhea relies on a Holley EFI Dominator to handle the tuning chores of the 2,000+ horsepower combination.
A three-speed TH400 was built by Coan Racing and features a close ratio gear-set that favors the small engine, twin turbo combination. A Pro Torque EV1 torque converter was slipped into the SFI bell housing for quick spool times and minimal slippage. The cage is an SFI 25.2 certified setup to keep Rhea safe and legal for his 6-second goals and Cage Rage Fabrications handled the custom work. Stopping the 3,200-pound Terminator is the job of two parachutes and a set of Aerospace Components brakes with titanium rotors.
This weekend, during the NMRA World Finals + Holley Ford Festival, Rhea is looking to grab his first 6-second, 200 mph time slip with 6.70s as the target—and it will be done on Mickey Thompson ET Radial Pro 275 tires, not Pro Mod slicks or the significantly larger ET Radial Pro 315s.
For more information and ticket sales for this weekend’s event at Beech Bend Raceway, visit www.NMRAdigital.com/KY