Ted Sheckler
October 15, 2013
Photos By: BBK Performance

Horse Sense: Soon you'll be able to round out the exhaust system featured here with BBK's new VariTune mufflers. These mufflers feature a mechanical adjuster that allows you to tweak the mufflers' sound, moving it up or down by 10 decibels.

Bolting on parts is one of the most satisfying parts of owning a Mustang, but sometimes those parts don't always get along. That's why it's often a safe bet to select a package from one outfit. Sometimes these packages consist of gear from a variety of manufacturers; other times they feature hard parts from the same manufacturer—but they all share the common thread of tuning to ensure they all play nice with one another.

One of the leading manufacturers of bolt-on gear for Mustangs is BBK Performance, a company that got its start selling parts for pushrod 5.0s and quickly moved to manufacturing its own. Today BBK offers a full complement of the popular bolt-on parts for modern Coyote Mustangs,and recently decided to put these parts together in packages, complete with tuning from SCT Performance.

"We want to offer a complete package that optimizes the full performance potential of our products," explained BBK Eastern Sales Manager Wayne Howard. "By combining the efforts of our engineers and SCT tuner James Gordon, we were able to develop tune files that increase horsepower and torque, all while maintaining stock driveability. The included BBK/SCT tuners will be pre-loaded with tune files calibrated specifically for BBK products, and this will eliminate the need and expense of a custom tune."

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We've touched on some of these parts in previous issues, most notably the throttle body and cold-air intake ("Fly by Wire," July '12, p. 98), but we were intrigued to see how the full package, replete with long-tube headers, would improve Coyote performance. It's worth noting that BBK will develop similar packages for other applications in the future, but the setups we are covering in this story are the Blackout CAI and tuner (PN 77685, $699.99); Blackout CAI, tuner, and throttle body (PN 71305, $1099.99); and Blackout CAI, tuner, throttle body, and long-tubes (PN 71345, $2099.99).

Fortunately, Wayne is a rabid enthusiast and the owner of a '11 Mustang GT. He happily volunteered his ride as the rolling laboratory for the development of these packages. Wayne bolted the parts on his car while snapping photos for us, and worked with James Gordon of Tuning by James (www.tuningbyjames.com) to develop BBK specific calibrations that are geared toward driveability and safety rather than all-out performance. That said, the gains are pretty impressive.

"The additional power is addictive!," Wayne said. "The car was impressive in stock form, but with the increased horsepower, torque, and sound, it's hard to keep your foot off the throttle. Driving around town is also more enjoyable due to the low-end gains."

After you skip to the dyno sidebar, be sure to backtrack to the captions to see the steps responsible for those impressive naturally aspirated gains.