It really is amazing how fast '11-'12 Mustangs such as GTs, Boss 302s, Cobra Jets, and the recently unveiled '13 Shelby GT500 (yeah, the 'Stang with 650 factory horsepower) are moving our hobby forward at what seems like warp speed. However, while we've blathered about how bitchin' the newest 'Stangs are, the truth is, we'll remain dedicated to the Ponies that got this party started. The '79-'93 "Fox" Mustangs and the original 5.0-liter engines got us in this game, and we won't forget 'em.
Our continued commitment to pre-Coyote 'Stangs is one of main reasons why we occasionally embark on projects that harken us back to the early glory days of 'Stangbanging. The days when '86-'93 5.0 Mustangs were the talk of the town—and the catalysts for enthusiasts' magazines like this one to hit the presses.
Building on and improving a Fox 'Stang's OEM engine performance did not require much during this period. Naturally aspirated options ranged from basic (adding a CAI, deleting air conditioning and/or power steering, advancing timing) to a bit more involved (swapping cylinder heads, camshafts, and exhaust upgrades), and power-adder choices were really simple; you either bolted a supercharger on your Pony or shot it with nitrous oxide.
"Speed ain't cheap…How fast can you afford to go?" The phrase certainly rings true for most of us who enjoy the Mustang hobby. And for EFI Foxes, fortified aftermarket engine pieces and various custom treatments (brought forth by the really aggressive, elaborate 'adder setups that eventually came into play), ushered in a completely new performance price range for mods. However, while ultra-sophisticated supercharger and turbo systems have become today's hardware of choice for achieving 600-, 700-, and 800-plus horsepower in pushrod-5.0–based Mustangs, we still have a soft spot for the basic setups that preceded them.
Kenne Bell's 2.1-liter, twin-screw Blowzilla is one such system. In its heyday (the middle-to-late '90s), the stealth KB Blowzilla was the key to boosting many a stock or lightly modded street Mustang, as the blower and just a few additional components were the only pieces necessary for adding a gang of horsepower to a bone-stock Fox.
This is not our first test of Kenne Bell's entry-level Blowzilla; the '86-'93 kit (PN TS1000-GT; $3,099) was the subject of Chris Hemer's article in our April '99 issue. However, based on the number of '86-'93 cars we see on the road, at shows andat NMRA events, and on the Internet, it seems a subject worth revisiting.
At this point, solid, unmolested Fox-body 'Stangs are the absolute best candidates for our projects. While longtime enthusiasts may have run through several Ponies and many mods at this point, there are Mustangs out there that actually meet our stringent criteria.
Our friend Ricardo Topete of GTR High Performance was able to find one that's picture-perfect for this effort—Geoff Connors's virgin-stock '88 GT. The following photos, captions and dyno information detail the success of this reincarnated install/test project, performed by GTR's Ricardo, and Ken Christley, Technical Director at Kenne Bell.
We won't say Blowzilla is back, because it has always been available through Kenne Bell and its dealers. However, we will say the bolt-on supercharger system is still a great option for old-school, stock-Fox (and pushrod SN-95) owners or those who are just coming into the hobby by way of previously owned '86-'95 LXs and GTs.
When it comes to Fox-5.0 tech projects, we couldn't ask for a better candidate than Geoff
A fuel-system upgrade is required whenever power adders are infused on otherwise-stock 5.0
The Kenne Bell Blowzilla 2.1L system we're using (PN TS1000-GT; $3,099) comes pre-assemble
GTR technicians Eddie Zapata (right) and Pedro Tazsoldan remove the fuel tank in Geoff's '
While this procedure, and all of the other install tasks associated with this project, can
We weren't kidding when we told you Geoff's Pony is stock as a rock. For those who have no
We're following the old-school script-writing ("burning") custom SCT calibrations onto a c
Kenne Bell's tech director, Ken "I'm NOT the Ken in Kenne Bell Christley, performed all of
The smallest pulley would undoubtedly yield ridiculous power, but we held off bolting that
One thing the folks at Kenne Bell are not scared of doing when we work with them on dyno p
Since our blower is set up with the freer-flowing Flowzilla inlet, we called on Anderson F
After disassembling such pieces as the throttle linkage, intake-air tubing and distributor
Fel-Pro's 1250 intake gaskets are used to keep the intake sealed to the bone-stock heads.
A larger mass air housing is another component that we need for the bigger-air/bigger-fuel
There are some pieces from the stock lower intake that must be transferred onto the GT40.
Kenne Bell provides all of the fasteners required for bolting the intake down and securing
Since we're going big with induction pieces for this installation (AFM Power Pipe, Accufab
This is the factory fuel-pressure regulator, which Ricardo modified for fitment after disc
The "big" modification in a Blowzilla installation involves cutting a section of the front
Ricardo and Pedro install the Kenne Bell Blowzilla 2.1L on Geoff Connors's stock 'Stang. O
Here's a look at Blowzilla as it sits, fully installed on our test Pony. One of the beauti
Horse Sense: In this age of modular V-8 and new 5.0 engines, you're probably wondering why our spotlight for this report shines on a pushrod-5.0 power adder. The reason is simple: Despite their near-classic status at this point, '86-'95 Mustang LXs and GTs are still relevant. And the Ponies that are still fairly stock are perfect for adding bolt-ons like Blowzilla, which provide instant zoom for relatively modest coin.
On the Dyno
With Kenne Bell's 2.1-liter Blowzilla supercharger bolted to the stock 5.0 engine in Geoff Connors' super-clean '88 GT, we proceeded to the Dynojet chassis dyno at GTR High Performance to create general and "max-effort" calibrations.
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Ken Christley (technical director at Kenne Bell) handled manipulation of the 'Stang's EEC-IV processor, using SCT's tuning software to create a custom chip that contains calibrations for VP's MS109 race fuel, as well as California-standard 91-octane gas.
As the data shows, the 5.0 in Geoff's 100,000-mile GT responded favorably to forced induction, and we're impressed with the performance gains. However, we have to note that the 9 psi of boost achieved during the initial post-install dyno hit is a bit of an anomaly. Technically, with the 3-7/8-inch pulley we used, boost should be barely above 6 psi.
While the combination produced 312 hp, we believe that a restriction caused by the stock 5.0's camshaft is the reason for the abnormality in boost. Basically, the supercharged air is being restricted in the intake manifold, and essentially not getting into the cylinders.
This graph details the anemic rear-wheel performance of our project GT, before installing
With nothing added beyond the Blowzilla and its supporting components (Aeromotive Stealth
While we were pleased with the numbers produced immediately after installing the blower (w
As we learned in a recent experiment (cylinder-head change) with Project T-top Coupe, while intake-air restrictions cause such boost increases, the engine isn't necessarily making more power. Thus the results of this experiment are great, considering the 5,500 rpm limit that the camshaft held us to.
Geoff's Mustang now has a considerable amount of power and especially rear-wheel torque, thanks to Blowzilla, and the cool thing is there's a ton of additional performance that can come from this blower package (it can be pullied for as much as 18 psi of boost), should Geoff decide to step up to a bigger, better engine in the future.
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