GTR High Performance's co-owner and master 'Stang-tech Ricardo Topete prepares our '02 GT'
When it comes to '79-present Mustang technology, bucking tradition or going against the grain with non-conventional (and sometimes non-recommended) modification ideas really is one of the things that helps keep our hobby fresh. Being told "that's not a good idea" or "that will never work" is one of the biggest challenges that can ever be laid down, especially when a particular upgrade is within the realm of doable.
Your tech editor heard plenty of those discouraging remarks when I came up with a plan to outfit my wife's daily driven '02 Mustang GT with an engine and supercharger combination that is better-suited for the dragstrip than street use. But despite the naysaying, a hot Two-Valve 4.6 and ProCharger's F-1A supercharger were installed between the 'Stang's front fenders in 2006.
"Operation Lighten Up" starts with this Aluminator short-block from Ford Racing Performanc
We installed what was then state-of-the-art hardware in our project Pony with hopes that the combination would produce major power without dramatically affecting the 'Stang's street manners. In addition to a fortified iron-block/ported-PI-heads 4.6 long-block, Anderson Ford Motorsport F-62 cams, Professional Products' intake pieces, and House of Boost's eight-rib blower/accessory-drive conversion were put in place, along with the big ProCharger.
Through a lot of trial and plenty of error, a happy medium between race and street Mustang eventually was achieved. However, that included constant tuning, plus belt-alignment and valvetrain challenges, which limited our project from reaching its full potential. This situation left us understandably dissatisfied and determined to stay at it until we got it right.
Fast-forward to 2010 and things are now much, much better! We're happy to report that the same project concept has become a lot more doable, thanks to a host of new products that we wish had been around when we first set out to improve our GT in this manner.
The all-important bottom end of this blower-ready block contains Kellog's forged '03-'04 C
This redux of our upgrade is highlighted by an A.R.E. Performance & Machine-prepared 4.6 that is founded on Ford Racing Performance Parts' ultra-light Aluminator short-block (PN M-6009-A46SCB; $3,599), and topped with the same 44cc Trick Flow Track Heat aluminum cylinder heads (PN 5191002-M44; $1,995.95) and Track Heat intake manifold (PN 518B0002; $799.95) that have been detailed in past issues of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords. The idea to go with a lightweight engine package was spawned when your tech editor decided to run our project Pony in the inaugural Mojave Mile event, a standing-mile, top-speed evaluation that was held in March 2010.
Some of the big differences between the previous setup and changes for this project fall in the supercharger and airflow categories. Replacing the F-1A is a slightly larger F-1C unit and three-core race intercooler. While we're throwing a bit more air at the new engine, that's not the big deal with this effort. The thing we're really excited about is finally getting a chance to end the many frustrating situations we experienced with serpentine belts (misalignment and tensioner issues), as well as tuning the engine so that it met the performance and efficiency standards that we expect to see from such a radical Two-Valve setup.
We were curious about the mysterious markings that we found on the pistons and in the vall
To handle this critical leg of the effort, we're returning to our roots and plumbing the new supercharger's ductworks in a "blow-through" configuration (the original F-1A was initially bolted on as blow through, then changed to draw-through in an attempt to get a handle on tuning), and counting on Abaco's DBX 85mm mass air (PN DBX85; $379) to properly measure airflow into the throttle body.
On the belt side of things, just looking at House of Boost's super-slick Two-Valve Renegade bracket system (PN 2VR; $1,675) gives us confidence that our blower-belt-retention problem will be a thing of the past. The stout aluminum "2VR" bracket setup is specifically made for New Edge Mustangs with 4.6-liter, Two-Valve engines. It literally puts ProCharger F-Series blowers on its own eight-rib drive circuit, and keeps a 4.6-powered street-Mustang's accessories on a single, six-rib belt.
After wiping down the deck surface and installing the Fel-Pro head gaskets (PN 5180901; $4
These highlight pieces and many other support components are being swapped in an effort to lighten up our project Pony. We want to see what type of impact a stronger powerplant and less weight will have on its rear-wheel horsepower and torque, overall street performance and agility, and its top-end speed when we let it all hang out on the Mojave Mile.
For years, the amount of horsepower produced with "pump gas" has been a measuring stick fo
Greg Monroe of Racers Edge Tuning is a specialist with SCT's tuning software, and created
Another thing we learned during this project is that OEM alternators have "rev limits." Ou
Anderson Ford Motorsport offers a wide selection of camshafts for modular-Ford engines of
Here's a look at the assembled long-block prior to its final dressing with a Moroso 7-quar
During the build we experienced a prime example of the conflict that sometime occurs when
Here is our completed, all-aluminum long-lock assembly, ready for transport to GTR High Pe
Back in 2008, your tech editor asked the guys at Centerforce for their thoughts about twin
Ya gotta love it when parts are installed by the folks who make them. Since we were the re
We're trying Percy's High Performance's new Seal-4-Good reusable header gaskets (PN 66033;
Percy's also offers trick Split-Lock header bolts (PN 20010; $62.99) for 4.6- and 5.4-lite
Will hung out and helped GTR lead tech Chris Balster drop the new bullet between the GT's
We'll talk more about our experience on the Mojave Mile in our upcoming special issue, focusing on '94-'04 Mustangs, which should be appearing at your local newsstand in August 2010. For now, the following photos, captions, and dyno information will give you a better understanding of the new powerplant that came together over an intense, 28-day thrash.
Of course, KJ would pick the shortest month of the year for this type of project, which would not have been possible without the wonderful assistance and cooperative efforts of Crystal Jones, A.R.E. Performance & Machine, the staff at GTR High Performance, and Greg Monroe of Racers Edge Tuning.
Rocco recommends using Royal Purple's XPR 5W30 engine oil for high-rev/big-boost, supercha
On The Dyno
Because of our project 'Stang's all-purpose persona, we decided to create three separate SCT calibrations using a blower pulley that would work well under daily driving conditions and on the dragstrip, and ultimately the Mojave Mile. "Street" is the first program that our friend Greg Monroe of Racers Edge Tuning developed. The tune is based on our intentions of staying below a 7,000-rpm shift point and primarily using 91-octane fuel.
If you look closely at the data, you'll see that boost (PSI) seems to hit a wall at 11.90-and late in the run-which is something that we didn't understand because our calculations (based on pulley sizes and engine speed) showed it should be higher with the 4.75-inch pulley we initially installed. Yes, 4.75-inch does seem like an incredibly big blower pulley. However, when you do the math, the size is theoretically excellent for achieving superior street power for a Two-Valve, 4.6-liter engine, and we figured it would work great on the Mojave Mile, too.
However, for our project, it was clear that more boost was necessary, so the 4.75-inch pulley was swapped for a 4.50-inch wheel. Once again, we hit the Dynojet chassis dyno with confidence that we'd see a significant improvement, but we were greeted with pretty much no improvement at all. Horsepower peaked at 518 (454 lb-ft of torque) and the boost gain was minimal at best.
The blower's new independent-drive setup requires using this ATI Performance Torsional Sup
A call to Dorian Comeau at House of Boost brought about a suggestion to remove the stainless-steel mesh filter that he placed in front of the F-1C's inlet. With only that one change made, the ProCharger literally came to life and brought power up to 604 at the feet with 511 lb-ft of torque.
With everyone breathing easier now (KJ included), Greg then built a second program, Street/Strip, that will be used for our dragstrip outings. Street/Strip has a higher shift point/redline and 17 degrees of timing.
Our final tune is Mohave Mile. It's the calibration that Greg put together for the GT to sustain WOT through the course of a measured mile, or the amount of time it should take our Pony to cover that distance. With the race tune (using VP's VP100 fuel), 5 percent more fuel was added across the top portion of the run, and timing was dropped back to 13 degrees. "The Mojave Mile tune should richen air/fuel to about 11.0," says Greg. "That will be plenty rich enough to keep everything together."
With the engine lowered into the 'Stang and ready for installation of the supercharger, Ch
"The Abaco DBX 85mm MAF is excellent. It's great," says Greg. "This engine will easily zing beyond 7,500 rpm, with a clean and smooth power curve. With the DBX, I saw only saw 730 total MAF counts for my Street tune and 820 on Street/Strip. With SCT's tuning software, 1,023 counts are available before a MAF is considered 'pegged' at 5 volts, so there's absolutely no need to use a MAFia to expand the voltage range, or a bigger meter."
"Having the ability to calibrate the meter to support almost any injector flow rate is awesome. Once KJ set the DBX up with a base calibration (for 80-lb/hr injectors), all I needed to do was make slight fueling adjustments in each stage of our tuning session, and we only played with timing to see where the window is for pump gas."
House of Boost's chief engineer, Dorian Comeau, made the trip from frosty Kansas to person
"It's cool that you can now buy 100-octane fuel at the pump. Here in California we really need it, especially for maximizing higher-end street Mustangs. With the VP100 fuel, and since there's plenty of counts left on the table for making a lot more power when more boost and timing are added to this Mustang's engine, it will be cool to see where we finally max out at powerwise and still keep the car driveable-with a good idle and good in-traffic/slow-speed manners. It will be really easy to do this with the DBX, boost, and octane."
Unfortunately, we were not able to dyno tune and test the combination with an even-smaller (4.25-inch) blower pulley before hitting the Mojave Mile. We plan to revisit the dyno with the smaller wheel installed, and hopefully with a correction made to our radiator-restricted inlet airflow situation, and then have Greg go about making a series of new PCM calibrations that are based on boost coming in a lot sooner and in much-greater volume.
The crew at GTR High Performance (left to right: technician Elisseos Patronas, co-owner Go
Above and Beyond
All of the editors at 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords, past and present, have been involved with building or upgrading "project cars" at some time or another. The special projects basically come with the territory of working at one of the leading Mustang enthusiasts' magazines in the world.
In most cases, our project 'Stangs are usually built with the help of several aftermarket manufacturers, who provide products for a build, and the staffs of Mustang shops that we're associated with, such as Extreme Automotive, B&D Racing, Paul's High Performance, A.R.E. Performance & Machine, AMP Performance, Lethal Performance, and MV Performance.
GTR High Peformance in Rancho Cucamonga, California, is the facility we called on for help with getting our '02 Mustang GT ready for the Mojave Mile endurance event in early March of 2010. As usual, co-owners Ricardo and Gonzalo Topete and their staff were gracious in accommodating us for the makeover -- in some instances, making major changes in their shop's scheduling to ensure our ride would be ready to rock in the short 10-day deadline that we had for completing all of the upgrades on the car. GTR kept the lights on late for us, and we want everyone to know that we appreciate all of their dedication to the project.
(Other aspects of the revamp will be discussed in the upcoming report on our Mojave Mile experience, which will appear in 1994-2004 Mustang Performance, available at newsstands in August 2010.)
Dorian says he designed the 2VR to be an easy bolt-on upgrade for any existing supercharge
ProCharger's Jeff Lacina posed the question: "Will that engine move some air or what?!" Ou
This is the 2VR in fully installed fashion, with the driver and passenger-side base bracke
Here's a close look at the primary belt tensioners in the 2VR setup. Tension for the six-r
Dorian sets a new 3-inch race intercooler in position in behind the front fascia of our '0
After seeing Abaco's DBX digital mass-air meters in action back in 2009, we honestly could
Since the new valve covers are not made with any provision for PCV, we're using this Moros
Take away the shininess and our Mustang's engine almost looks like a stocker with a blower
How's that for weight saving? When it's all said and done, our conversion to an all-alumin