2009 SEMA Auto Show
Competitors Stole Some Of The Spotlight, But Mustangs Remained Strong
From the May, 2010 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By Steve Turner, Tom Wilson
Photography by Steve Turner, Tom Wilson
Larger than any circus and...
Larger than any circus and boasting way more than three rings, the SEMA show fills the pink-colored Las Vegas Convention Center in the lower foreground and spills into the parking lots out front. Off-roaders were showing off on the dirt track right in front of the camera, while display cars line up in the background. The real action, however, is inside several large halls to the right. Even noticeably scaled down from two years ago, it's still a massive show.
It's amazing how tenacious the performance hobby can be. Despite an economy that should have all but shuttered the performance aftermarket, there was no lack of crowded passageways in Las Vegas during the 42nd annual SEMA show. SEMA says over 50,000 buyers strolled the aisles, ogling more than 1,500 new products, ranging from racing cylinder heads to LED license plate frames.
Just the same, the feeling was subdued at times depending on where you wandered. On the main show floor, where the SEMA Olympians such as Edelbrock and Comp cluster, traffic looked as brisk as ever. But hike to the outer reaches of the wheel-and-tire hall, and a curtained wall marked where optimism ended and economic reality took over. Two years ago SEMA struggled to house all of the exhibitors in the tire-and-wheel hall; now maybe an eighth of it was empty.
Offering an innovative...
Offering an innovative solution for regulating fuel pressure on nitrous engines was Aeromotive (www.aeromotiveinc.com). The company's Modular Nitrous regulators are stackable, so you can add a custom fuel pressure setting for every stage of your nitrous system.
From a Ford-lover's perspective, the 2009 SEMA show was moderately quiet. This year was given to the new Chevrolet Camaro, no matter if the official manufacturer was Ford (probably the only OEM able and willing to pay the freight on the official title). And with the Three-Valve V-8 and S197 Mustang completing their fourth year on the market, the parts pipeline for those Ford stalwarts was pretty well filled. That, we assure you, will change next year when new Mustang power hits the streets.
But don't think Ford was somehow on the outs. Having taken the literal high ground in the main hall years ago, Ford once again stuffed its giant booth with endless project cars and a little hardware, including the all-new and technically intriguing 6.7-liter turbo diesel, a quiet peek at a new FRPP high-rpm intake manifold for Three-Valve V-8s, plus the Wolfe-man himself debuting the most excellent 2010 Mustang Cobra Jet.
Jumping right to the...
Jumping right to the top of Editor Turner's Project Vapor Trail wish list is this new twin-fan heat exchanger from Afco (www.afabcorp.com). The dual-pass unit features two 10-inch Spal fans, and all the necessary wiring to hook it up to a GT500 or other supercharged S197. The Afco unit should reduced air-charge temps and allow blown 'Stangs to produce more power, more consistently.
Toss in an interesting mix of trick new intakes, brakes, clutches, transmissions, pistons, and other Mustang speed parts and, as always, SEMA was worth the trip.
Another new cold-air...
Another new cold-air intake for the '10 Mustang GT comes by way of Airaid (www.airaid.com). This system features a large conical filter, an OE-look composite construction, and accepts both the stock ram-air scoop and Induction Sound Tube.
The bolt-on kings at BBK (www.bbkperformance.com) expanded its line to address many of the new muscle cars on the market, but they didn't forget about the top Mustang. This unique GT500 cold-air induction system features an oval-shaped mass air housing, which mirrors the shape of the car's throttle body. BBK is promising over 50 hp from this $299 part, so it should pack some value for Shelby owners.
Centerforce (www.centerforce.com) offered three new Ford clutches, a smoother replacement for the troublesome-at-high-rpm Cobra Jet piece, another for the Focus, and this 10.5-inch dual-disc unit for hot six- and eight-bolt-crank modular and 302-powered Mustangs. The dual disc features a marcel on one disc for streetability, and if you look closely, a few of the large lightening holes in the steel pressure plate are visible. Total weight is 47 pounds; long splines mean good alignment and easy shifting says According to Centerforce, pricing is "about $1,100."
Promising better performance at high rpm, Comp Cams (www.compcams.com) showed off these short-travel race hydraulic roller lifters. They feature limited internal piston travel to achieve high-rpm goodness.
Showing the durability of its slugs with a display of a fully intact but Bob Kurgan-abused pistons, D.S.S. Racing (www.dssracing.com) offered up a new piston specifically for Trick Flow's new Twisted Wedge modular heads. A Ford specialist, D.S.S. has a full line of pistons for small-block and modular engines.
Showing off the...
Showing off the crate engines and XT intake previously documented on these pages, Edelbrock (www.edelbrock.com) served up four variants of its 347 crate engines, two with carburetors and two with EFI. The latter two come with either the Performer RPM intake or the XT intake and serve up 430 and 449 hp, respectively. The company also expanded its E-force supercharger line to include the 2010 Mustang and delivered a strut-tower brace to clear the E-force.
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company
Building a crowd anytime the hood went up, the Paul's High Performance Three-Valve was wearing a full suite of Ford Racing hardware: cams, CNC-ported heads, a throttle body, an airbox, and this prototype, high-rpm intake. All aimed at 7,000 rpm, the combination cost just a couple of ticks of power below 2,500 rpm, but screams in the midrange and top end. Still a development piece, expect to see this affordable, trick new intake from Ford Racing later this year.
2010 Cobra Jet
2010 Cobra Jet
In addition and for the second year running, outgoing Ford Racing main man Brian Wolfe unveiled a Cobra Jet Mustang at SEMA. Actually there are two Cobra Jets for 2010: the standard issue, with the familiar iron 5.4 block, and a Super Cobra Jet with an aluminum block. Both engines boast higher lift cams and increased compression, but the SCJ also gains a 4.0-liter Whipple supercharger. Performance is gauged by the standard 8.5-second-legal rollcage; the cars are legal for NHRA Super Stock A/B and A/B Automatic. Other improvements are an aluminum tank and fan-cooling for the heat exchanger. Best of all, the parts are available from Ford Racing to roll your own CJ-or if you're like Brian, "I got to do a big flaming burnout in it!" He's still crazy for it.
Full-service custom shop FRP Customs (www.ptfrpcustoms.com) has a small line of tough-to-find specialty parts for '05-'09 Mustangs. Pictured is its $399 radiator cover, which is available in a partial selection of factory colors or white for custom paint matching as seen here, continuing the stripe motif underhood. Other FRP bits are gas-shock hood supports using black ($124.95) or stainless steel shock bodies (add $106), panels for finishing off the underside of the trunk lid ($399 painted), strut tower braces for supercharged engines ($495), and front and rear brake cooling duct packages in aluminum ($429) and composite ($359).
How about full 1080p...
How about full 1080p HD recording in the palm of your hand? Well that's just what those crazy kids at GoPro (www.goprocamera.com) offered up with the company's new HD Motorsports Hero. Designed to make capturing your performance antics easy, the latest iteration of the GoPro camera packs in full HD video, 5-megapixel stills, and a robust line of accessories for mounting and charging the camera. Now you can show off on the web and on your HD flatscreen!
Dazzling us with billet jewelry, Granatelli Motorsports (www.granatellimotorsports.com) brought out the new lustworthy cam covers for Four-Valve engines. These beauties are carved from a solid block of billet aluminum and will set you back four digits!
Leading the trend...
Leading the trend of touchscreen-controlled standalone EFI systems, Holley (www.holley.com) introduced its new line of fuel-injection controls, including the Avenger, HP, and Dominator EFI systems. The names sure sound familiar, but the capabilities of these systems is far beyond those of their carbureted namesakes. From self-tuning and touchscreen control to boost control and progressive nitrous control, these systems are powerful. They even offer an optional Holley water-methanol injection system with controls integrated in the HP and Dominator systems.
Our tech editor...
Our tech editor has already put a set on a car, but it was an official coming out party at SEMA for Nitto's (www.nittotire.com) new NT05R drag radial. Unlike the 555R, which lives a long life on the street, the soft and sticky NT055R is a stickier, faster-wearing tire for maximum radial traction at the strip.
Paul's High Performance
Paul's High Performance
Always good for the latest trick stuff, Paul and Rhonda Svinicki of Paul's High Performance (www.paulshp.com) had their spanking-new 2010 drag car in the Ford booth. Augmented with a spooled 9-inch Moser rearend, Cobra Jet, and Paul's High Performance control arms, CJ shocks, BMR K-member, AC-delete, and TRZ cage, the Grabber Blue GT's real surprise was under the towering hood. Look for this car at NMRA and other events this summer.
Showing off a...
Showing off a race supercharger kit for Three-Valve Mustangs, ProCharger's (www.procharger.com) aggressive Mustang 3V Reverse Cog Kit features a cog-belt drive, a race bypass valve, an 800hp-capable intercooler, and the ability to run F-1 through F-2 superchargers. The company also showed off a more streetable version of the F-series blowers, the F-1D self-contained supercharger. It is said to "provide better boost response in high-horsepower street applications than the more competition-oriented F-1C and F-1R models." Quiet, helical P-1SC and D-1SC offerings are also part of the new ProCharger arsenal.
Shelby American (www.shelbyamerican.com) announced two retrofit kits at SEMA, one for '03-'08 F-150 pickups and one for '05-'09 Mustang GTs. The $22,599 Mustang kit features a Turbonetics 50-state-legal turbocharger kit set at 8.5 pounds of boost and 468 rwhp. Known simply as the Shelby Turbo, the kit includes big Shelby brakes, a Borla exhaust, wheels, Goodyear F1 275/35ZR-18 tires, gauges, a grille bar, instruments, and more. Just supply your own Mustang. The F-150 conversion features a Whipple supercharger, 475 hp, and aggressive restyling.
Silver Horse Racing (www.silverhorseracing.com) introduced its flush-mount louvers for 2010s. Offered at $169, the polycarbonate, paintable louvers are standard equipment on 2008 and 2010 Cobra Jets.
If the clamping force...
If the clamping force of SPEC's (www.specclutch.com) Super Twin just isn't enough for your monster street 'Stang, the company now has bolt-in, carbon-fiber clutches for street and race applications. The are available as new assemblies or upgrades to existing multi-disc SPEC clutches.
Trick Flow (www.trickflow.com)...
Trick Flow (www.trickflow.com) made a splash last year with its Twisted Wedge heads for the Two-Valve 4.6. It followed up this year with a CNC-ported version featuring a monster 195cc intake port. The unported Twisted Wedges were quite impressive, so these heads should take the Two-Valve to a new level.