KJ Jones
September 2, 2013
Photos By: KJ Jones, Ricardo Topete

One of the things that really makes us feel good and secure about our purpose in this Mustang world is the fact that for every great/ awesome/tremendous innovation that comes about for late-model Ponies, another variation of that technology is bound to be developed at some point.

Seriously, when you think about it, it happens all the time. A company introduces its latest, greatest part, and as time passes by, the company is eager to tell us about its updated version of said part.

While there are certainly circumstances that make the adage "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" ring true, we like to think that upgrading is just the way things are supposed to happen on the high-performance side of 'Stangbanging. However, it's our genuine passion for all things Mustang that actually is more important. Plain and simple, we just dig being at the center of this stuff. We really get excited whenever we're given an early look at the next generation of a part that has already received the 5.0&SF nod of approval.

Trick Flow's newest Street Burner 4.6-liter/Two-Valve intake manifold (PN TFS-518L0001; $699.95) is the second coming of the Track Heat manifold. We tested the first-gen version of Trick Flow's affordable direct-replacement, mod-motor aluminum intake back in 2010.

While the two look nearly identical to the untrained eye, the new casting boasts 13.3-inch runners, which are longer and cover a little more than half the overall square area (2.3 inches) of those on the Track Heat manifold. The changes increase both the speed and volume of intake air, which helps bring much-needed torque to high-revving modular engines. As we're sure our Two-Valve mavens will agree, the idea of improving a Two-Valve's low-end performance definitely is worth investigating.

The original Trick Flow Two-Valve intake is designed for improving most street/strip SOHC combos operating between 1,500 to 7,500 rpm. Depending on how they're configured, Trick Flow's cylinder-head and intake-port guru Cory Roth says the Street Burner is best suited for modified naturally aspirated Two-Valves, or bullets that are equipped with centrifugal superchargers or generous shots of nitrous oxide.

"The Street Burner really gets active between 2,500-7,000 rpm," Cory explained. "Street Burner's downsized runners create a smaller cross section, which promotes a shift—not a ‘loss,' per se—in a mod-motor's peak torque range. Overall, the changes we've made on this new manifold promote power and torque gains that are far superior to a stock Two-Valve manifold's performance, or even that of our Track Heat 4.6 intake (which shines in the 3,500- to 8,000-rpm range)."

Taking this information into consideration, we wanted to test Street Burner on a qualified 'Stang, and asked Ricardo Topete of GTR High Performance for help with landing a Pony for the effort. As you see in the opening photo, our selection, Jorge Espinoza's '03 GT, is a more-than-worthy candidate. The anniversary-edition GT is powered by a Kurgan Motorsports-tuned Two-Valve and makes 390 horses at the feet using the OEM PI intake, a 75mm throttle body, a high-flow plenum, and 11 psi of boosted air from a Vortech V-3 Trim supercharger.

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As we've detailed in our past reports featuring the Track Heat intake, installing a Trick Flow 4.6-liter Two-Valve manifold is a straightforward process. There are no radical install differences for the Street Burner other than a few additional steps for the alternator's placement.

So if you haven't skipped to the numbers already, tune in to the install details and results detailed in the accompanying photos..

Horse Sense: At the outset of this effort, Jorge Espinoza excitedly let us know that our own '02 project 'Stang has been an inspiration for the upgrades he has made on his also-black '03 GT. While we're always glad to see Mustangs that are modified in similar fashion to our in-house Ponies, imagine how surprised your author was to learn that the Bullitt brake setup on Jorge's 'Stang is the system that was one of our Two-Valve Mustang's first bolt-on upgrades.

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On The Dyno

Torque! It's that force that's felt in the seat of your pants when the clutch is popped and a boosted ‘Stang starts chugging forward, desperately trying to achieve traction. Historically, Two-Valve-powered Mustangs aren't known for having much torque. Yes, they're definitely screamers on the higher end of the rpm scale, but it isn't often that street-driven Ponies are able to traverse local boulevards at high revs.

Using Jorge Espinoza's Vortech-blown '03 GT, we conducted baseline Dynojet chassis-dyno tests and then performed an intake swap with Trick Flow's Street Burner manifold, at GTR High Performance in Rancho Cucamonga, California. As per usual with modular-engine performance upgrades that we do with GTR, necessary SCT tuning is handled remotely, with Ricardo Topete and Bob Kurgan of Kurgan Motorsports www.kurganmotorsports.com teaming up via Cyberspace to recalibrate the PCM in Jorge's beast.

As you can see in the dyno results, installing the Street Burner proved a winner for rear-wheel horsepower, but it also made a significant difference in the 'Stang's rear-wheel torque output, with the blown Two-Valve immediately building more torque at the beginning of the run. Per the data, while making peak torque nearly 400 rpm before the engine was able to with the stock manifold, the torque curve remains nearly 13 lb-ft greater (12.71 average) from 4,400 rpm throughout the entire 6,500-rpm band. In an otherwise-stock, daily driven Mustang on boost, having that kind of low-end muscle makes for really good times on the street or at the track.

Baseline Trick Flow Difference
RPM Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque
2,400 125.04 273.74 127.35 279.03 2.31 5.29
2,500 133.05 279.57 134.87 283.35 1.82 3.78
2,600 141.43 285.65 142.85 288.57 1.42 2.92
2,700 149.74 291.25 151.36 294.41 1.62 3.16
2,800 158.35 297.00 160.70 301.41 2.35 4.41
2,900 167.51 303.37 168.97 306.00 1.46 2.63
3,000 175.85 307.84 177.06 309.97 1.21 2.13
3,100 185.29 313.91 185.56 314.37 0.27 0.46
3,200 193.99 318.38 194.35 318.97 0.36 0.59
3,300 203.75 324.27 204.78 325.91 1.03 1.64
3,400 213.79 330.23 216.38 334.24 2.59 4.01
3,500 222.91 334.51 227.61 341.55 4.70 7.04
3,600 229.16 334.27 235.30 343.28 6.14 9.01
3,700 244.02 346.40 249.33 353.90 5.31 7.50
3,800 255.07 352.52 260.05 359.40 4.98 6.88
3,900 264.94 356.79 271.81 366.04 6.87 9.25
4,000 276.86 363.52 281.33 369.39 4.47 5.87
4,100 286.61 367.12 292.87 375.15 6.26 8.03
4,200 296.57 370.87 304.96 381.34 8.39 10.47
4,300 304.10 371.43 316.09 386.08 11.99 14.65
4,400 311.25 371.54 324.45 387.28 13.20 15.74
4,500 319.19 372.54 330.21 385.40 11.02 12.86
4,600 326.49 372.76 336.01 383.65 9.52 10.89
4,700 333.77 372.97 342.46 382.68 8.69 9.71
4,800 338.45 370.34 351.21 384.29 12.76 13.95
4,900 344.69 369.46 357.60 383.30 12.91 13.84
5,000 351.75 369.49 363.72 382.05 11.97 12.56
5,100 355.17 365.77 370.98 382.05 15.81 16.28
5,200 360.75 364.37 376.75 380.53 16.00 16.16
5,300 367.09 363.77 380.94 377.51 13.85 13.74
5,400 369.62 359.51 384.58 374.05 14.96 14.54
5,500 373.66 356.83 387.79 370.32 14.13 13.49
5,600 374.69 351.42 388.21 364.09 13.52 12.67
5,700 379.12 349.33 392.79 361.93 13.67 12.60
5,800 381.93 345.86 394.94 357.63 13.01 11.77
5,900 384.20 342.02 393.42 350.23 9.22 8.21
6,000 386.57 338.39 398.74 349.05 12.17 10.66
6,100 385.61 332.01 399.56 344.02 13.95 12.01
6,200 387.21 328.01 401.28 339.94 14.07 11.93
6,300 389.41 324.64 401.98 335.12 12.57 10.48
6,400 388.42 318.75 401.60 329.57 13.18 10.82
6,500 385.14 311.18 403.40 325.95 18.26 14.77