S197 Mustang GT Drag Pack - Throwback Pack
Anderson Ford Motorsport Checks Out Ford Racing Performance Parts' All-Inclusive Drag Pack For S197 Mustang GTS
From the July, 2006 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
By K.J. Jones
Photography by Courtesy of Anderson Ford Motorsport
Ford Racing Performance Parts...
Ford Racing Performance Parts brings us its new Drag Pack for '05 Mustangs. The system includes everything you see here, and it offers excellent performance while maintaining street driveability. It's a direct-fit package that doesn't require anything other than installation.
Horse Sense: Stop the presses-temperatures in Hell must be freezing now! With this new Drag Pack, has Ford Racing Performance Parts given a green light for flogging '05-'06 'Stangs at the dragstrip? You can bet the performance gurus for the other guys haven't done anything this cool.
Many of you are probably too young to know this, but there once was a time when buying a dragstrip-capable-and competitive-Mustang or Ford was as simple as selecting an option on a dealership order. No way? You don't believe us? Seriously, folks, back in the '60s, Ford offered high-performance engines and lightweight body packages in several small- and intermediate-size cars that many an enthusiast purchased and took straight to the track and raced.
In 1969 [yes, KJ is old enough to remember-Ed.], a gear-ratio option package (3.91s or 4.30s) for 428 Cobra Jet Mustangs was offered, and it mysteriously included more high-performance goodies than just the gears. For the ridiculously low price of a little more than $6 (you read that correctly), the selected gearset was complemented by fortified internal engine pieces-super-stout cranks and tricked-out rods, forged pistons, and an external oil cooler-that screamed "take it to the track and flog it" to those who were wise enough to check the right boxes on the order form. While it wasn't an official Ford name back then, the hot upgrade became commonly referred to as the Drag Pack and was widely popular during the big-block 'Stang's heyday.
Anderson's TJ "Doogie Howser"...
Anderson's TJ "Doogie Howser" Clark starts by attacking the header swap. After safely lifting the car and supporting the transmission with a pole jack, TJ dislodges the transmission crossmember and slides it back.
Unless you've spent the last two years in hibernation, you're aware the new 'Stangs have been talked about, hyped, and lauded ad nauseam. Yes, the '05 and now '06 Mustangs are wonderful cars, and we're certain they're only going to get better as time goes on. But the latest major '05-'06 news is that Ford Racing Performance Parts has relighted the same Mustang-performance torch that once burned brightly for the Cobra Jet with the introduction of four new performance-theme packages-the Power Pack, Drag Pack, Handling Pack and Super Pack-designed for improving S197's power and handling.
Our focus is on the Drag Pack (PN M-2005-FR2; $1,399). Yes, the name is back and, once again, a stepped-up ring-and-pinion with a 4.10 ratio is its heart and soul. While hard-knocks internals were the supporting cast in the OG Drag Pack, today's kit features a super-short-throw shifter for five-speed cars, a 90mm cold-air kit, short-tube headers, and a Pro-Cal handheld flash tuner that uses a custom program for the Spanish Oak processor. The 4.10s, along with the air filter, programmer, and tune, are the icing on the performance cake, as Rick Anderson learned after installing a Drag Pack on an '05 GT that was sitting on the Anderson Ford used-car lot, and dyno- and drag-testing the new package.
This facilitates easier removal...
This facilitates easier removal of the catalytic converters and exhaust system and the stock manifolds on both sides.
TJ "Doogie Howser" Clark once again handled installation duties for this latest test by Anderson. While installation was fairly basic for most of the parts, including the headers, Rick found that the programmer takes a little more than 10 minutes to reflash the PCM, which he believes is a bit slow. See what happens when you're spoiled by the PMS? While this isn't too critical, we asked the guys at Ford Racing why the download is slower.
There are three modules the FRPP flash tool interfaces with: the powertrain control module, the throttle-plate position controller, and a redundant computer check called the E-Quizzer. The difference between the Drag Pack's flash tool and others on the market is it updates the software calibration on all three modules, as opposed to only the PCM. "Ours is uploading more information and thus takes longer, but it really sets us apart from other plug-in tuning tools for the best driveability and the safest calibrations for new Mustangs," FRPP's Jesse Kershaw said.
The oil-dipstick tube and...
The oil-dipstick tube and steering joint are also removed, and the driver-side engine mount is loosened and moved slightly for more clearance.
It makes sense that something called a Drag Pack is drag tested, but that isn't easy when winter's cold still has a tight grip on the area. Undaunted, Rick Anderson and his crew took the test '05 to a clandestine stretch of asphalt that serves as his personal test track and used a Vericom onboard vehicle dyno unit to record before-and-after quarter-mile performance. A Vericom is similar to today's popular G-Tech Pro and can calculate approximate e.t and mph over any measured distance.
In bone-stock trim, the 'Stang baselined at 13.54 at 106 mph on BFGoodrich Drag Radials. After bolting on the Drag Pack, e.t. dropped to 13.08 (0.46 second) and the Mustang gained 4.5 mph, with a top-speed of 110.8 mph at the end of the run.
"This is just a really good, all-around package for new Mustang GTs," Rick said. "Just bolt everything on and it's done. Nothing additional is necessary-no dyno, no nothing-and it feels really good on the street and on the track."
The following photos and captions take you through the installation, along with dyno and quarter-mile numbers that prove the Drag Pack lives up to the reputation of its namesake.
Headers are the answer. This...
Headers are the answer. This photo details the major difference between the restricted stock manifolds on the bottom and freer-flowing short-tube headers that are included in the Drag Pack. Headers provide a balanced, more efficient exit for exhaust gasses and are a key to the power gains the kit produces.
It's a tight fit, but the...
It's a tight fit, but the Ford Racing Performance Parts headers install with little drama on both sides. Instead of gaskets, TJ uses Permatex high-temperature orange silicone to seal the headers to the block.
Once the headers are torqued...
Once the headers are torqued to spec, the stock exhaust pieces are returned to their places.
The oil-dipstick tube and...
The oil-dipstick tube and steering shaft are reinstalled. These critical steps should be checked and double-checked before lowering the car. Slipping up on either of these tasks can lead to a bad situation for your engine if the tube unseats and leaks oil or your car loses steering.
After dumping the old oil...
After dumping the old oil and replacing it with Royal Purple 5W-30 synthetic, TJ pops the FRPP high-performance filter onto its housing.
Rick Anderson swaps the stock...
Rick Anderson swaps the stock mass air meter with the new 90mm tube supplied in the Drag Pack. The induction side of this kit includes the tube, an aluminum shield assembly with a rubber seal, and a conical air filter.
As we've noted in other reports,...
As we've noted in other reports, improving airflow on the new Mustangs has enhanced the Three-Valve modular's performance on the dyno.
Rick tells us he's working...
Rick tells us he's working on a Drag Pack Plus system, which of course will include Anderson's Power Pipe for '05-'06 Mustang GTs and should be available by the time you read this.
As it has been for years,...
As it has been for years, the 4.10 ring-and-pinion combination is the key to quicker acceleration for a 'Stang. After swapping the gearset, TJ cleans and replaces the stock rearend housing cover, then lowers the car. Changing gears will alter dyno numbers. That's why Rick tested the gears first.
Rick plugs the FRPP flash...
Rick plugs the FRPP flash tuner into the OBD II port and lets the programmer do its thing. Updating the processor takes about 10 minutes. While working inside the car, the OEM shifter is also removed in favor of the short-throw unit. Once this part of the installation is complete, there is nothing else to do other than taking the 'Stang to the track and letting it rip!
Ford Racing Performance Parts now offers Power Packs for automatic-equipped '05-'06 'Stangs in addition to the kits for the '05 Mustang GTs with manual transmissions. It's important to note that Power Packs are year-specific. An '05 system must be used on an '05 Mustang GT. Pricing for each is as follows, regardless of transmission type:
|M-2005-FR1||($889 MSRP) Power Pack for '05 Mustang GT w/|
|M-2005-FR2||($1,399 MSRP) Drag Pack for '05 Mustang GT w/|
|M-2005-FR3||($1,149) Handling Pack (fits '05-'06Mustang GT w/|
manual and automatictrans)
|FUTURE POWER PACKS INCLUDE:|
|M-2005-FR1A||Power Pack for '05 Mustang GT w/ automatic trans|
|M-2005-FR2A||Power Pack for '05 Mustang GT w/ automatic trans,|
including 3.73 gears
|M-2006-FR1||Power Pack for '06 Mustang GT w/ manual and|
automatic trans ('06 owners will register online
and the flash tuners will be sent to them)
|M-2006-FR2||Drag Pack for '06 Mustang GT w/ manual trans,|
including 4.10 gear
|M-2006-FR2A||Power Pack for '06 Mustang GT w/ automatic trans,|
including 3.73 gears
|Superpack||400-plus horsepower Supercharger kit|
|Superpack+||500hp Supercharger kit, including intercooler,|
injectors and injector-driver module, wiring harness,
and twin fuel pumps
|RPM||CAI and Tune||Difference|