KJ Jones
November 7, 2013
Photos By: KJ Jones

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.

Shown here are the contents of Snow’s Stage 3 system, highlighted by a Special High Output (220-psi) pump and Stage 3 controller module. The kit also includes 10 feet of ¼-inch water/meth feed tubing; a nickel-plated bulkhead fitting and nozzle holder; and all of the fastening hardware, electrical connectors and vacuum fittings that are necessary for a clean installation. The system also features a 3-quart Boost Juice reservoir, which can be upgraded with an optional trunk-mounted, 2.5-gallon container.
A 2.9-liter Whipple and Ford Racing Performance Parts’ dual-65mm throttle body are the only aftermarket upgrades on David’s 5.0. With this setup alone, the Coyote is capable of blasting 567 horses and 462 lb-ft of torque to the feet!
After completing prerequisite tasks such as disconnecting the negative battery cable, Eddie removes the ‘Stang’s bumper cover to begin the installation process.
There are three good water/methanol-container choices for an S197—the factory 3.5-quart washer- fluid reservoir; the 3-quart container that is included with most Snow Performance Boost Cooler systems; and Snow’s optional 2.5-gallon bubble, which mounts in the trunk. Due to the close confines of the ’12 engine compartment, we chose to use the OEM reservoir for this effort.
After removing the factory windshield-washer reservoir, the only mod necessary is drilling a 9⁄16-inch hole in the container (located on a side panel, near the bottom) and installing the nickel-plated bulkhead. Snow provides a tube of E6000 sealant, which is used around the bulkhead to ensure there are no leaks.
The system’s 220-psi pump should be mounted with the inlet positioned either at or below the lowest point of the reservoir. The pump can be mounted horizontally or vertically using the supplied screws and washers. It features arrows that indicate the direction of flow. The pump should always be within two feet of the Boost Juice reservoir, regardless of where the container is installed.
Eddie routes the ¼-inch plastic feed line from the pump up to (and across) the top of the Mustang’s core support. It’s important to be careful when plotting this high-pressure tubing, as sharp bends can cause stress on the pump and ultimately cause leaks.
The control unit for Snow’s Stage 3 Boost Cooler is an all-inclusive module that mounts to the ‘Stang’s dash cover with two-sided tape. The wiring harness is built in, and completing the electrical circuitry is straightforward—the red wire needing a hot-with-the-key 12-volt source, black going to ground, and white to the Boost Juice pump. A rocker switch also can be incorporated into the schematic and used for arming/disarming the water/meth system.
The clear tubing from the controller connects to a piece of black silicone line that is tapped into any manifold-generated boost reference.
We used the Pony’s boost-gauge line, as it already was tapped into the intake.
For applications making approximately 600 hp, like David’s Whipplecharged GT, both the 375-ml/mn or larger 625-ml/mn nozzles are appropriate. We went with the larger of the two, making sure to install the nozzle with the mesh screen placed inside the holder. Nozzles only have to be sufficiently snug in the holder, and Teflon sealant is not required.
Final wiring involves connecting both blue wires to any two fuel-injector leads using wire taps that are included.
Eddie unbolts the cold-air-inlet tube from the throttle body and plumbs the water/meth nozzle into the tube. We strongly recommend taking this precautionary step to eliminate any possibility of plastic shavings being sucked into the engine at the first whack of the throttle.
After drilling an 11⁄32-inch hole and then tapping it to 1⁄8-inch -27 NPT, the 625-ml/mn nozzle assembly is placed in the inlet tube. The nozzle installs at a 90-degree angle to the direction of inlet air, as close to the throttle body as possible. Once the nozzle is in position, Eddie cuts the water/meth feed line to the appropriate length and clicks it into place.
Snow Performance’s Boost Juice is a ready-made mixture of water and methanol and is available in gallon jugs. While the commonly accepted water/meth ratio is 50/50, Snow’s bottled blend actually is comprised of 49-percent meth and 51-percent water.
The ’Stang’s stock washer-fluid reservoir holds 3.5 quarts of Boost Juice, which is just about a full jug of the fluid. The remainder of the gallon usually can be added after three sizeable blasts of water/meth.


On The Dyno

Baseline
18 Degrees
Cool
Glory
Difference
RPM Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque
2,500 163.54 343.55 170.94 359.07 176.18 370.15 181.46 381.28 17.92 37.73
3,000 221.51 387.79 225.89 395.45 233.53 408.82 233.52 408.80 12.01 21.01
3,500 275.04 412.71 279.40 419.26 287.61 431.58 292.54 438.99 17.50 26.28
4,000 334.21 438.81 337.10 442.60 349.44 458.80 351.86 462.01 17.65 23.20
4,500 387.97 452.79 389.75 454.89 412.17 481.05 417.63 487.42 29.66 34.63
5,000 437.86 459.93 447.36 469.92 466.71 490.25 477.03 501.07 39.17 41.14
5,500 483.80 462.01 484.66 462.83 508.23 485.33 519.93 496.51 36.13 34.50
6,000 511.65 447.87 521.09 456.13 545.43 477.45 553.67 484.65 42.02 36.78
6,500 540.67 436.87 548.01 442.81 570.55 461.03 579.59 468.34 38.92 31.47
7,000 557.50 418.30 570.93 428.37 587.59 440.89 593.98 445.67 36.48 27.37
7,500 566.47 396.68 N/A N/A N/A N/A 609.98 427.40 43.51 30.72

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).