Over time, of course, the power bug kept chewing on him and a faint nine months after installing the Kenne Bell blower, Ryan decided that he wanted much more and that a turbocharger was the way to get it. He had the idea in mind of doing a big, single turbo and began checking around with a number of shops and suppliers. In the end, Ryan decided to go with the team at Hellion Power Systems of Albuquerque, NM. A Turbonetics T76 turbo unit was called up front to lead this power parade. The DOHC engine's intake was changed out for a normally aspirated 2001 Cobra setup, port matched to the more modern cylinder heads. Fuel delivery was ramped up using a Ford GT fuel pump. Hellion provided the intercooler, while stainless steel piping and a 38mm Turbonetics Evolution wastegate were integrated into the system. The 3-inch stainless Hellion exhaust from the turbo leads out to 2.5-inch Magnaflow mufflers.
Along with the turbo setup, Ryan also added a Nitrous Express single stage, wet NOS kit with a 75-shot setting on the scale - just for good measure. Ongoing dialog with Nitrous Express helped settle out any tuning issues, which were managed with an SCT X-calibrator 2 unit. So far, the updated power package has served Ryan well. On the dyno, with the boost set at 19.5 psi and a trunk full of 104-octane go juice, this snake delivered 718 RWHP and 731 RWTQ. Ryan's best quarter mile run, with the current setup, was at KC International Raceway, where he logged in a 10.87 second run with a terminal speed of 138 mph.
You can certainly tell that Ryan is highly involved with his Cobra and, as it turns out, that involvement is infectious. Along the way, his Dad got into with the Mustang hobby and is now running around in a 1995 GT, suitably decked out with a 331-cid, Vortech-enhanced 5-liter mill.
Since we first visited Ryan to get these photos, there have been other developments. While the bottom end of the Cobra's engine was sturdily constructed on the Romeo Engine Plant specialty line, using a forged steel crankshaft, Manley forged connecting rods and forged pistons, it was also designed for fully reliable operations at 7 psi. Continued running at just under twenty pounds, perhaps compounded by a couple of 'extraordinary encounters', led to some excess heat and related piston damage. Ryan currently has a new, all aluminum, big bore bottom end being put together by John at Modular Performance. Once he gets that combo together, there's little doubt that competitors in both NMRA's Wild Street and Fun Ford Weekend's True Street classes are going to feel the bite of this snake. Watch out, it could be terminal!
Ryan Vitiritto's 2003 Mustang Cobra
Ford 4.6-liter supercharged DOHC V-8
2001 SVT Cobra intake manifold, throttle body; Ford GT fuel pump, coil covers; Turbonetics T76 turbocharger, Evolution wastegate; Hellion intercooler, 3" stainless steel exhaust; Magnaflow 2.5" mufflers; Nitrous Express single stage, 75-shot wet nitrous system, 12 lb. bottle; SCT X-calibrator 2 flash tuner; Dynojet wideband oxygen monitor
Tremec T-56 6-speed transmission; Centerforce DFX clutch; Ford Motorsports' 31-spline axle shafts; Steeda Tri-Ax short throw shifter
718RWHP, 731 RWTQ @ 19.5 psi boost
Best ET To Date: 10.87 @ 138 mph
Drilled and slotted brake rotors
H.O. Fibertrends Cobra R style hood
Auto Meter boost gauge, fuel pressure gauge; Dynojet wide band air/fuel ratio; Alpine subwoofer in custom box; JL Audio monoblock amplfier
Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates
Wheels And Tires
18 x 9" Speed Star D5R wheels; 285/35R18 Nitto NT555 Extreme tires
Libby Vitiritto, Josh Martz, Pete Vitiritto, Nick Smith, Nick Dressen, Chad Cox, Jason Roth, Kyle Loftis, also Dynosport of Lincoln, NE and Hellion Power Systems