2005 Ford Mustang Head Cams Intake Install - Triple Play
You can thank Matt for this...
You can thank Matt for this little sign on Blow-By Racing’s CNC’d heads. The first go-round with these heads, Matt forgot one little threaded plug on the heads, which sent about 4 quarts of fresh oil on the shop floor. He quickly realized the mistake, and this time he didn’t really need this sign, but it was a funny reminder nonetheless. Also, the first installation we did with Matt on Blow-By’s heads, they were bare, but for this install the heads came with valves and springs installed. Doing so cut down the time it took to accomplish the install.
With all threaded pipe plugs...
With all threaded pipe plugs installed in the new heads, Matt installs the Blow-By Racing cam onto the new head. The cam caps carry a torque spec of 71 to 106 in-lb. Remember—inch-pounds, not foot-pounds. There’s a huge difference.
Along with the Blow-By Racing...
Along with the Blow-By Racing CNC’d heads and cams, Matt’s installing the company’s cam lockouts. These lockouts allow you to lockout the camshaft either fully advanced or fully retarded to keep the valves from coming into contact with the pistons. The higher-lift camshafts, if not locked out, would most likely cause piston-to-valve clearance issues. Factory ’05-’10 Mustang Three-Valve engines feature variable cam timing. These lockouts take the “variable” part out of the equation and lock the cam timing in one spot. Simply remove the sprocket’s front cover, insert cam lockout, and reinstall the sprocket cover.
With the lockouts installed,...
With the lockouts installed, and the headers installed on the heads, Matt sets out to put the heads on the engine. Matt cleaned the deck of the block and used new head gaskets before dropping the heads on the engine, and surprisingly, the head and header unit slid into place pretty easily, saving time in the process.
With the heads in place, Matt...
With the heads in place, Matt torques them to spec. The head bolts are torque to yield so we are using new pieces. Don’t forget to add oil between the head bolts and the heads to keep from getting a false torque reading. There’s a rather involved specific torque sequence for the heads so have a manual with you if you choose to do the swap yourself. And, by the way, a person with minimal mechanical experience can do this swap, but as with everything, sometimes it’s best to leave it to the experts.
Matt reinstalls the timing...
Matt reinstalls the timing chains on each side, aligning the timing marks on the chains to the marks on each cam gear. This is also a step during which to have your manual handy, or have an expert set up for you because you definitely don’t want to just throw the chains on and button ’er up. You’ll wipe out an engine doing that. After the chains are situated correctly, Matt can reinstall the engine’s front cover, and accessory dress.
With the front-accessory dress...
With the front-accessory dress back on the engine, it was time to set up the FRPP Three-Valve intake. The intake must be bolted together using supplied hardware. You can see Matt has also installed the throttle body, which happens to be a GT500 item previously installed; fuel injectors; and fuel rails. The vacuum ports must also be installed. The intake assembly is pretty straightforward.
As with the intake assembly,...
As with the intake assembly, installing the intake is pretty easy. Just bolt it down, connect the fuel line, throttle body wiring, and assorted vacuum hoses, and it’s a done deal. You can also see Matt and the crew powdercoated the cam covers Ford blue. It’s close to body color, but it also lends a nice contrast to the engine bay.
Matt finishes up by reinstalling...
Matt finishes up by reinstalling the serpentine belt, coolant reservoir, radiator hoses, and refilling the engine with coolant, and oil. A custom base tune must be loaded into the car for the cam lockouts, which was provided by Blow-By Racing, as well. We can run this base tune until we get the car on the dyno for further custom tuning. What we noticed right away was the engine really had a lope to it with the Blow-By Racing heads and cams. If you’ve never heard a 4.6 with cams in it, you’re missing out. 5.0
On The Dyno
To see how much power Joe's Saleen made after the heads, cams, and intake swap, we headed over to Proven Power in Tampa, Florida, so Brian Humlicek could tune the combination for maximum performance and driveability. We don't have dyno sheets for Joe's Saleen prior to the swap, but Blow-By Racing's Chris Jones says '05-'09 Mustang GTs with the additions Joe's Saleen already had are usually good for 325-330 rwhp. Of course, we hoped for a sizable gain with the Blow-By heads and cams and FRPP intake.
As you can see, the additions brought Joe's Saleen up to roughly 370 hp at the wheels. That's in the neighborhood of stock '11-'12 Mustang GTs, and the power curve keeps going up the mountain. Plus, Joe also had Pro-Fab add 4.10 gears to the mix, as well as a Hurst shifter. We'd say the playing field is much more level for him against the Coyotes of this world.
Many times we're not able to get the comments of a car's owner after we perform upgrades. However, with Joe, we wanted to get his input on how he likes his Saleen after the swap. Here's what Joe had to say:
"The difference in performance with the combination of the heads, cams, and intake are phenomenal compared to the first go-round with just the headers and FRPP Hot Rod cams. The combination seems to draw so much power through the mid- and upper-rpm range, which is something I didn't have with the prior setup. The rev limiter is set at 6,500 rpm, and probably could have been a little higher, but getting there though the gears is a blast. I'm also glad Matt talked me into 4.10 gears, because that has made a world of difference in acceleration. I'm looking forward to putting some miles on the car to really enjoy the performance upgrades, which should satisfy my need for speed for now."
Notice Joe says, "For now." We're sure he'll be good for a little bit, but the first time he sees tail lights, he'll be ready for another round of modifications. Now Joe has only one route left, and that's a power adder. However, he has many power- adder choices should he want to go in that direction. He could choose a positive- displacement supercharger, a centrifugal supercharger, a turbo kit, or even nitrous. The only limit at this point is the Saleen's bottom end ... and Joe's wallet.