Lethal Performance 2011 Ford Mustang GT - Unleash The Beast
Lethal Performance turns its ’11 Mustang GT project car into a 700hp monster
From the June, 2011 issue of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
Continuing on a rigorous modification...
Continuing on a rigorous modification and testing regimen since it was picked up from Weikert Ford in Lake Wales, Florida, Lethal Performance’s Grabber Blue ’11 GT gets modded, dyno-tested, and drag-raced. All this work is done in an effort to show that the parts Lethal sells really do the job. So far, the quest for 9s remains, as the car’s quickest e.t. to date is a 10.33 at 133.68 mph. Driver Jeremy Martorella of UPR Products fame says the car felt strong but traction was holding it back.
Next on the menu for Team Lethal is a suspension upgrade to try and get all this power to the ground. Once the current combo’s performance is maximized, then a built engine is in the cards.
Last we left Lethal Performance’s Grabber Blue beast, it was knocking down just north of 600 rwhp with just an exhaust, a tune, and a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger. It’s not that a supercharger is an insignificant addition, but those kind of results are pretty staggering even for a bunch of jaded power junkies. This car still had the factory exhaust manifolds and it was twirling the dyno rollers past the likes of a GT500 with a pulley and a tune.
We were definitely surprised at how well the 2011 5.0-liter reacted to the modifications we did. Considering that the GT doesn’t come from the factory with a blower and has smaller displacement than the GT500, it’s impressive, Lethal Performance’s Jared Rosen explained. Once we added the FRPP/Whipple supercharger to the 5.0-liter, it was game on. I remember it taking us a large blower and more boost to get the GT500 into the 10s. With the 2011 GT, we were able to do it with a smaller blower and a lot less boost. The high compression of the 5.0-liter engine plays a big role in that, but it just goes to show how well that 5.0 engine performs.
These are indeed heady times for Mustang power fiends. The latest 5.0-liter engines have exceeded our expectations in both power and durability. After our 19-page expos on this new engine, we felt hopeful but cautious about just how much easy power would be on the table. A year later we’re ready to throw that caution right into the blower discharge. As we know now, Coyote engines likemake that lovebolt-ons too.
Striving for more power and...
Striving for more power and performance with a blower car usually leads to a pulley swap. Here Jesse Guajardo of Power by the Hour makes the move from the standard 4-inch pulley down to the 3.75-inch pulley. This change resulted in 12 to 13 pounds of boost and pushed the stock fuel system to the edge, so Lethal switched to C16 fuel and ran a 10.39 at 133.25. The next pulley change along with the other upgrades was a move down to the 3.5-incher for about 15 psi.
We’ve been having a blast following Team Lethal’s exploits with its ’11 Mustang GT project car. It went from stock, to bolt-ons, to a blower quicker than you can send a text message. Well, not really, but it sure seemed that way. After all that hurried excitement getting the car revved up, even Lethal’s chief energy-drink tester, Jared, was ready to take a more practical approach and move to a built short-block. Of course, that really did last as long as a text. He quickly decided that it’d be fun to push the stock engine toward the 9s.
After going 10.39 that one night at the track, I suddenly got this idea to run 9s before the engine build. We weren’t too far off, so let’s just add some fuel and a few more pounds of boost and see if we can do it, Jared added. Not only was it a 9 we were looking for, but with the stock engine, stock suspension, and stock trans. Why not? Let’s just call it a quick little detour and then we’ll get right back on track to building the new engine.
That brings us to our latest installment in this build. After delaying the move to a more rugged engine, it was time for more boost. More boost begat an upgrade in fuel system capacity and exhaust system flow. Along the way, Lethal tested, drag-raced, and datalogged the combo so tuning-guru Jon Lund www.lundracing.com) could safely maximize its output. In the end, the car spun the rollers beyond what even GT500s with blower upgrades usually produce. As of this writing, it had not eclipsed the 9-second barrier, but it was getting really close. Stay tuned.
Providing more fuel capacity...
Providing more fuel capacity to feed the boosted 5.0 was the Triple Pump Returnless Fuel Hat (PN 0036-020; $420) from Fore Precision Works. This billet-aluminum beauty allows you to replace your factory fuel pumps with two or three Ford GT pumps, and streamlines the in-tank hose routing for more efficient fuel flow. In the case of the Lethal car, Jared expected to keep the numbers below 800 (for now), so they opted for just two Ford GT pumps (PN 4G7Z-9A407-CA; $206.99).
After another burst of modifications,...
After another burst of modifications, it was time to take the Lethal ride back to STP Motorsports in Plantation, Florida, to spin the rollers.
When you stack the two graphs,...
When you stack the two graphs, you see that Team Lethal's latest additions made a huge difference in the car's output. It is worth noting that our computer must be on the conservative side, as on STP's computer screen the peaks were in the 700 range. When we brought the Dynojet Run Files back to the office to make our charts and graphs we lost a little in the transition. We still feel comfortable saying this is a 700-rwhp car! Of course, it's clearly making over 700 at the crank. Any way you slice it, this new 5.0 engine is amazing.
In this instance, it wasn't...
In this instance, it wasn't just as simple as installing the hat in the stock fuel tank, as Fore Precision hasn't yet released its hat for the '11 GTs. As such, Lethal acquired a '10 fuel tank from Justin's Performance Center, and Power By The Hour installed the appropriate fuel hat in that tank to make everything happy in the '11.
With the Fore hat installed...
With the Fore hat installed in the JPC '10 fuel tank it was time to wire up the new pumps. Lethal offers this FPDM Wiring Upgrade Kit (PN LP-BAPREWIRE; $45). Not only does the kit ease the installation, but the quality wiring is said to maximize the efficiency of the fuel pump driver module and the fuel pumps. The Lethal harness uses the factory FPDM to trigger two relays and run the dual pumps.
While you can adapt the Fore...
While you can adapt the Fore fuel hat to the stock fuel lines if you wish, you can also use it as a jumping off point to upgrade your factory fuel lines to larger diameter line. In the instance of Lethal’s car, they obviously took the opportunity to upgrade to Fragola’s lines and fittings. Here Jesse joins the two fuel pump output lines into the one feed line using Fore’s two into one Y-block (PN FPW-221Y; $63).
From the Y-block, the main...
From the Y-block, the main feed line travels through a Fore Precision Works 10-micron fuel filter (PN 0100-100; $79) up to a Fore F4 Fuel Pressure Regulator (PN FPW-F4REG; $269). The regulator is boost referenced to step up pressure for one pound per pound of boost. To set the base pressure, the key was turned on to run the pumps but the engine wasn’t started so the diaphragm wasn’t under the influence of vacuum. Under the advice of tuner Jon Lund, Jesse set the base pressure at 55 psi.
It seems almost criminal to...
It seems almost criminal to remove the works of art that are the factory Tri-Y manifolds after the Coyote engineers battled the accountants to spare our 5.0-liter from cast-iron manifolds. However, some things must be changed in the name of maximum performance. With big boost, a built engine, and more in the cards for this car, long-tubes were the next logical step.
On The Dyno
You might just breeze through the dyno numbers and think, OK, they made some good power. That’s how jaded we’ve become, but stop back and think about it for a moment. Sure we’re used to seeing 700-rwhp from upgraded GT500s, but this is a Mustang GT with a stock long-block. Sure it has a blower and some bolt-ons, but the engine is just the way the Coyote Team designed it.
The potential of these engines is simply staggering. For now we can only imagine what wonders a built engine, larger cams, and more boost will bring. At this rate, we won’t have to imagine long, however.
|Whipple 2.9||Pulley, Exhaust, & Fuel Upgrades||Difference|
Looking quite modest next...
Looking quite modest next to American Racing Headers 17?8-inch headers (PN ARH-MST-CY78NC; $1,484.90) and the stock manifolds. While they are available in 13?4-inch version as well, Jared spec'd the big ones in keeping with the plans for this car.
Installing the headers is...
Installing the headers is straightforward. On the driver side you need to disconnect the steering shaft. It's also helpful to remove the motor mount and its support bracket and slightly lower the K-member. To accomplish all this, it's obviously crucial to have access to a lift, and properly support the engine and transmission. As you get them into place, ARH recommends that you re-use the factory gaskets, which are top shelf.
Behind the big-tube ARH headers,...
Behind the big-tube ARH headers, Jesse installed the matching 3-inch X-pipe, which joins with the preexisting 3-inch Magnaflow system out back. It installs with factory-style band clamps.