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Snow Performance Stage 3 Boost Cooler Installation
Cool School - A lesson in keeping boost temps down and power up with Snow's water/meth
Horse Sense: If you have a Mustang and you want a water/meth system, Snow has you covered. The company also offers systems for all manner of performance Fords, from Mustang SVOs to Thunderbird Super Coupes. It also has a robust line of gear for diesel applications.
In the years since Coyote Mustangs' debut, we've kept you up to speed on almost all of the popular performance-upgrade options for 2011-2013 GTs and Boss 302s. Seriously, when you actually sit back and try to calculate the exact number of cool parts and systems we've covered—even in just the last year—“a lot” seems to be the only answer that makes sense. Our Coyote coverage runs the gamut from simple items, such as the collection of basic pieces featured in our first Bolt-On Battle (“The Main Event,” Oct. '12), to much-more-elaborate bits, like Hellion's twin-turbochargers for stock and engine-upgraded GTs (“Double Steam,” Aug. '12).
This month's research includes testing the merits of Snow Performance's Stage 3 Boost Cooler system (PN 20100) on David Pasrow's supercharged 2012 'Stang. Assisting force-induced air with a 50/50 mixture of water and methanol is an affordable, chemical way of intercooling. It's a way to save hard-earned cash for higher performance by eliminating need for using expensive, high-octane racing fuels.
As Snow Performance's owner, Matt Snow, explained to us, the water side of the blend helps increase horsepower by cooling the intake-air charge and combustion. Methanol, on the other hand, is a high-octane fuel, which ultimately supports timing increases and acts as a protectant against detonation.
In typical 5.0&SF see-for-ourselves fashion, we hooked up with Eddie Rios of Addiction Motorsports in Canoga Park, California, to install and evaluate the Snow Stage 3 water/meth system.
On The Dyno
Dyno tests for this effort were conducted with our focus on three key data points: the horsepower/torque differential achieved with water/methanol and 91-octane fuel, the total amount of ignition timing, and the changes in air-charge temperature that Snow's Boost Cooler promotes.
Eddie Rios of Addiction Motorsports in Canoga Park, California, works extensively with Coyote-powered Mustangs, and really knows how to adjust Copperhead PCM strategies for compliance with power adders, and any other performance-enhancing bolt-ons, fuels, and so on. For our project, Eddie baseline-dyno-tested David Pasrow's 2.9-liter, Whipple-blown '12 Mustang GT with its 91-octane, pump-gas tune that features 15 degrees of total timing. Eddie uses SCT tuning software for processor changes, and prior to our effort, had created a 98-octane calibration for David's Pony for when octane booster is added to the pump gas.
With the straight Cali 91 in the tank, we wanted to see whether the boost juice could, in essence, replace the more-expensive octane booster or race fuel that was necessary for taking David's Mustang into the 600-rwhp zone. For our first dyno hit with water/methanol, timing advances were the only changes Eddie made in the tune. He increased timing by 1 degree between 1,500 and 2,500 rpm, 1.5 degrees at 3,000 rpm, 2 degrees at 4,000 rpm, and then by a total of 3 degrees at 5,000 rpm through the 7,500-rpm top of the run.
This 18 degrees of total timing is actually 1-degree higher than the maximum amount of timing in the 98-octane calibration, and after a significant cool-down period (see Cool column in dyno chart) proved to be on par with the power the ‘Stang puts out with a pump-gas/octane-booster mix.
Interestingly, the injection of water/methanol did significantly cool the engine's intake-air charge. Our logged data showed air temp dropping from 115 degrees to 106 degrees between the start of a run and 4,600 rpm. A follow-up capture showed temp falling from 125 degrees down to 118 (at 5,600).
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Our final test was done in glory-pull fashion, with the blower and engine given more than an hour of cooling. For this run, Eddie removed 4 percent of fuel above 4,200 rpm to ensure the PCM would not try and overcorrect for a rich air/fuel mixture (the PCM targets 14:1).