Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Ford Racing Performance Parts Hot Rod Cam Swap
Lift And Separate: We install Ford Racing's Three-Valve Hot Rod cams on a boosted '08 GT.
Coyote mods have taken over the Mustang aftermarket, but many of us are still wheeling (and enjoying) our Three-Valves. Actually, many of us are just now making the last few payments on ours and can now afford some mods.
So what mods give you the most bang for your buck? Well, a simple blower install seems to do the trick. In fact, you can go 11s with just a blower and sticky tires—we have plenty of times. But say you've had a blower for a while, and now you want to take your GT to the next level without breaking the bank or parts.
How about cams? You could get a set custom-ground for your combo, or you could go with a tried-and-true formula—like Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) Hot Rod cams. Custom is fine if you're trying to achieve a certain power level and at a certain rpm, but if you just want to make more power (and sound awesome), then these out-of-the-box cams are ideal. According to FRPP, when combined with ported heads, the FRPP intake manifold, and a larger throttle body, the Hot Rod cams allow NA engines to pick up about 50 hp over stock—without a blower.
What about supercharged engines? They seem to work well on those also. “The Hot Rod cams extend the rpm band and are great for power production over 6,000 rpm, naturally aspirated or with forced induction,” says Jesse Kershaw of Ford Racing. “The beauty is that they make power and don't require any other exotic or expensive valvetrain modifications.”
In fact, we picked an '08 Ford Mustang GT as our test subject. Other than a Vortech V-2 Si supercharger, the powertrain on this car is stock. Owned by Ben Green, this Ronaele convertible is part show and part go. At 417 rwhp and 385 lb-ft of torque, it's fun, but still only makes about as much power as a pesky Coyote with bolt-ons. A cam swap was the obvious choice.
After installation and a tune adjustment, it was back to the Dynojet. Power production was up from 4,600 and above, peaking at 463 rwhp—46 hp more than our baseline testing. But the torque production was even more impressive. Peak-to-peak torque was 30 lb-ft, but at 6,000 rpm, torque was up by over 50 lb-ft. We were out of fuel at 6,000 rpm, so we ended the test there.
Check back in a few months. We're going to up the capability of the fuel system, install a budget-minded intercooler, and shoot for 500 rwhp.