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Beautiful 1986 Ford Mustang SVO Hits The Dyno: Video

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The gang over at Late Model Restoration (LMR) is back with another dyno test of a classic Fox-body Mustang. This time the car is a 1986 Ford Mustang SVO that looks fantastic. LMR says that the car is bone stock save an upgraded 190 liter per hour fuel pump and a manual boost controller.

LMR says that the boost controller is set at the factory 15 psi of boost. The 1986 Ford Mustang SVO had a switch from the factory for premium fuel, and the pull is made with that premium switch on. The dyno pull was made with the transmission in fourth gear, the 1:1 ratio for that car.

Ford used a turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder in the iconic SVO Mustang. It was rated for 200 horsepower, and 240 pound-feet of torque says LMR. The result of the dyno pull showed 170.39 horsepower at the wheels with torque of 250 pound-feet at the wheels. The torque rating is interesting since the car was rated at 240 pound-feet of torque from the factory.

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The dyno number showing 10 pound-feet higher than the car was rated from the factory at the crank, at the wheels it appears Ford was sandbagging a bit. It’s not mentioned how many miles are on the 1986 Ford Mustang SVO they dynoed, but we assume the car gave up some power over the years. We wonder what the car would have put down when new. In its day, the SVO was the Mustang to have with better performance than the V8 GT cars. Any way you cut it, the legendary SVO has less power than many four-cylinder cars today.

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Written by Shane McGlaun

Shane is a car guy with a fondness for Mustangs and off-roading.

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3 Comments

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  1. I sold those SVO four bangers brand new and they were a fun car to drive as they really handled well. BUT they didn’t have enough power to pull the skin off a rice pudding!! Sad but true.
    The T-Bird turbo coupes, for some reason, could kick the SVO’s butt. Strange but true.

  2. I have driven several SVOs and own an ’86 built on the very last day of production. I didn’t want to drive a GT at the time – because everyone had one. But mine was the only SVO in my neighbor-hood or my club. The off center hood scoop, single flush headlights, bi-plane rear spoiler, spats, and unique tail lights just gave the car a fresh look that was different but definitely Mustang. The lighter weight perfectly balanced (vs a GT) hatchback featured an upscale interior with great seats, 16″ wheels with 4-wheel disc brakes, stainless dual exhaust tips, 6 Koni shocks (quad shock rear) where the front struts are adjustable and of course the Hurst shifted 5-speed. Solid launches without spinning the rear wheels, enabled me to beat most stock GTs, Z28s, Trans Ams & 280Zs off the line. For the time, they were fast. And that turbo sounded awesome!

    Collectors seemed to have forgotten about the SVO. They don’t bring big money, despite all the engineering, low production (9,844 made over 3 model years) or availability of a competition prep car (read: R Model). Interesting SVO facts don’t seem to make it into the conversation or the folklore: the 2.3l I-4 engine was the basis for Ford’s Indy program in the early 80s, the intake valves on an SVO are the same size as a 351C, the spindles come from a Lincoln continental, it feature variable timing controlled from inside the car, or it was the first Mustang to offer 4-wheel disc brakes.

    I didn’t like the 7.5″ rear (weak), vane air meter, standard T5 transmission or headlight buckets that filled up water. But everything else was awfully cool. The SVO could have benefited from a larger turbo and intercooler from the Turbo Coupe T-Bird or Mekur XR4-Ti. There was a 1987 version of the 2.3l Turbocharged Intercooled I4. Mine is on the “to be restored list”.

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