There is a quote that reads, “You are the average of the five people you hang out with.” This quote was meant to steer someone towards the righteous path via befriending people who avoid trouble. However, in a car guy’s mind, hanging out with the five fastest people could potentially average out to some killer time slips for yourself as well, right? Testing out my theory is San Antonio, Texas based racer Jeremy Duffek with his Ford Courier.
Duffek is no stranger to extremely fast cars. After graduating high school he took a job at Murillo Motorsports. In case that shop name doesn’t ring a bell, Mike Murillo has been one of the fastest Fox Body guys for a number of years. During this tenure with Murillo, Duffek found himself surrounded by extremely fast people, even participating on a national level.
When it came time for Duffek to build his own chassis, he wanted something competitive, but different. This led to the discovery of the Ford Courier. The Ford Courier is rather rare in America, as the truck was built by Ford overseas. Although slightly hard to find, it shares the same wheelbase as the Fox Body Mustang, except it is 6-inches narrower from left to right. Once he secured the truck from a small town of Itasca, Texas, he immediately went to work on getting a resized Ford Explorer 8.8 rearend installed on the now narrowed rear frame rails, all to accomplish the goal of fitting a 10-inch wide wheel. Once that was done, the rearend would go on to receive a four-link with coilovers and a wishbone to keep it all centered.
I took a job at Murillo Motorsports in San Antonio and was building street cars and touring with Mike Murillo through seven World Championships in NMRA & NMCA. We even took a few Street Car Super Nationals wins. We recently won season 2 of Street Outlaws NPK too. -Jeremy Duffek
Duffek was well known for building Coyote engines making serious power, his previous Coyote build hovered around the 1400 horsepower mark. Naturally, he wanted to rely on his skills and decided to produce the world’s first Coyote-swapped Courier. Unfortunately, the goals for this car would evolve around 1/8-mile racing and the Coyote engine couldn’t handle the extreme shot of nitrous that would take to stay competitive in small tire racing. Duffek was able to trade off his Coyote setup for a small-block Ford R4 engine with Yates C3 Heads. The engine would be cemented for maximum cylinder wall rigidity.
The new engine would prove to provide solid results, but unfortunately required more front end fabrication. The Yates C3 head’s massive physical size would require Duffek to chop off the frame ahead of the firewall to make room. The frame rails were replaced with a complete tube front end. He then swapped in a new K-member, A-arms, and spindle mount front struts from fellow racer, James “Birdman” Finney’s street car.
Now that the chassis was fully addressed and the engine was entering its final form, Duffek could put attention to the rest of the build. Through Alkydiggers, a TBS 6-71 XR1 blower and Enderle three-hole Big and Ugly intake were purchased. Since pump gas was out of the question, a Waterman lil Bertha fuel pump was used to supply the mechanical injection with VP Racing M1 fuel. The R4 Block was stroked to 408 cubic-inch and stuffed with a Sonny Bryant billet crank, gas ported JE Pistons, and billet mains. The concreted engine bypasses any cooling capacities and the truck is void of any radiator, relying on the alcohol racing fuel to keep temperatures down. To alleviate the engine from swimming in oil, a Johnson Oil Pumps five-stage dry-sump system was installed.
The new engine combination would result in 35 psi entering the engine that results in it producing an estimated 2000 horsepower. While the timing is still pretty soft, the truck has already seen bottom 5-second pass on a non-prepped surface. The entire time the Hoosier D06 tires could be heard screaming trying to keep the truck’s power planted to the ground.
A fully concreted engine with no coolant would have even the most professional tuners worried at times, but Brandon Sult of AfterWorks Tuning still thinks the truck has room to grow. “Brandon Sult and I are highly confident the truck will make a high 4-second pass on decent concrete,” says Duffek. While Duffek continues to iron out the kinks in the new setup, we look forward to seeing what the average times he can produce with such a monster engine combination in a small truck chassis.