We all know that boost makes power. Shoving more air into an engine lets you burn more fuel and make more steam. That's the basic idea. However, an unfortunate side effect of boosted air is heat. Of course, the benefits of boost usually outweigh the negatives associated with the heated air. Still, anything you can do to mitigate heat will help you make even more power.
In the case of the factory-supercharged Shelby GT500s, they feature air-to-water intercooling right off the dealer lot. Over the years, Ford has tweaked its system, but there's always room for even more improvement. When it comes to the positive-displacement blowers on these cars, heat soak can really put a damper on power. To keep the party going longer, I have tried numerous upgraded heat exchangers on Project Vapor Trail to allow it to produce more consistent power in the Florida heat.
The latest intercooling offering for the '07-'12 Shelby GT500 is Steeda's Triple Pass Heat Exchanger (PN555-3707; $749.95). While most heat exhangers route the coolant past the air once or twice, the Steeda unit moves it through three times. It is also equipped with two 800-cfm fans to keep the air flowing even when the vehicle is traveling at low speeds. Steeda says its unit offers 18 percent more cooling than competitive units.
Add that all up and it was time to try a new heat exchanger on PVT. Now, I had hoped to do some inlet air temperature datalogging on PVT, but I learned too late that my tuner's firmware requires an update before playing nice. And then there was that little accident on the way home from this install (Bench Racer, Sept. '13, p. 10).
So I can't say for sure how much better the unit is. What I can say is the kit is really nice, and it's leaps and bounds ahead of the stock heat exhanger. So, if you are looking for such an upgrade for your GT500, the Steeda unit is worth strong consideration.
Check out the captions for the install highlights.
1351 NW Steeda Way