Kristian Grimsland
Associate Editor, Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
December 17, 2013
Photos By: Steve Gelles

In today's Ford world, dominated by high-powered Shelby GT500s and force-fed 5.0L Mustang GTs, 400 horsepower seems to be just a moderate horsepower level. Without being left in the dust, oftentimes, keeping up means adding more power—and by power, we mean boosted power.

Despite our title, this little Three-Valve offers more than a snail-trail of slow performance. In fact, it's quite the contrary.

With Three-Valve Mustang ('05-'10) owners now reaching the end of their car payments, and being left on the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to horsepower (300 hp), many are looking for a way to keep up with the "big dawgs." With that in mind, the MM&FF team made our way over to Boca Raton, Florida, where we paid a visit to Blow-by Racing, which just happens to have a solution for you Three-Valve peeps.

Both supercharging and turbocharging offer great performance gains, and each has its pros and cons. For this issue, we opted for Hellion Power Systems Single Turbo System for '05-'10 Mustang GTs.

"As far as turbo companies, Hellion has been in business for over 10 years, and our kits and experience speak for themselves," said John Urist, president of Hellion Power Systems. "Over a year's worth of research and design and testing went into our Single-Turbo Three-Valve kit. The base kit is rated to make between 420 and 450 rwhp on 7 pounds of boost, and comes equipped with a 62mm turbo, but can be upgraded to a 76mm and make upwards of 850 rwhp."

Hellion's single-turbo kit comes standard with a 62mm turbo and retails for $4,995, whereas the complete system kit, which includes injectors and a programmer with a base tune, sells for $5,795. Other major components included in both kits are a 24x6x3-inch intercooler, Turbosmart UltraGate wastegate, 39-lb/hr injectors, a bypass valve, a turbo support bracket, sway-bar relocation brackets, the oil feed and return lines, silicon couplers, clamps, and a rearward exhaust pipe. For the 62mm turbo option, a billet wheel upgrade is available for $150; the 76mm turbo, which includes an upgraded bypass valve, can be had for $495.

Perhaps one of the greatest features of this turbo kit is that no fabrication is needed. For those who may want to return to stock, this is a great bonus.

Urist noted another benefit—unlike other turbo and supercharger kits, Hellion's kit also includes a full exhaust system, meaning more savings for you. Also, all of its 16-gauge, polished stainless pieces, made specifically from Bassani manufacturing, include a lifetime warranty.

James Aikens, owner of this Windveil Blue Mustang GT, wanted more power. Aiken's GT already featured tasteful modifications, including BBR Stage 1 camshafts, a JLT cold-air intake, an off-road X-style mid-pipe, and a custom tune. After tossing the decision on whether to stick to a naturally aspirated powerplant or boosted one, Aikens turned to Blow-by Racing, where the quest for boosted power began.

According to Chris Jones, owner and tuner at BBR, "We are constantly installing Hellion turbo kits onto Three-Valve Mustangs. We've been really involved with the Three-Valve Mustang market since the beginning. For anyone looking for more power for the street, we highly recommend Hellion's single-turbo kit. It's a direct fit, and we never run into any snags or guess work. It's a flawless piece."

Urist's and Jones' words hold true to their testaments, as the installation process was a breeze. No fabrication work was needed, and after only 10 hours, the little Three-Valve Mustang had a new snail residing underneath its hood.

1. Our test mule was already equipped with a JLT CAI, an off-road X-style mid-pipe, and Blow-by Racing Stage 1 camshafts.
2. To begin, BBR technician Rob Vargo removed the front fascia, CAI, coolant tank, and radiator fan.
3. Next, Vargo removed the exhaust, leaving just the exhaust manifolds.
4. Included in the kit are oil feed and return lines. This is necessary as the turbo is lubricated using the engine’s oiling system. Once the oil has made its way up to the turbo, it’s then gravity-fed back into the oil pan. Here, Vargo tapped the oil pan (note: use grease on the tap to catch any metal shavings) and installed the oil return fitting.
5. For our install, the customer opted to purchase a BBR lightweight sway bar.
6. Vargo then installed the exhaust piping, connecting the stainless piping to the stock exhaust manifolds. Due to space restrictions, the driver-side exhaust must run through the A-arm.
7. Included in Hellion’s base turbo kit for Three-Valve Mustangs is a 62mm unit. The base kit is rated to make between 420 to 450 rwhp on 7 pounds of boost. We increased boost to 10 psi, but this is pushing the stock engines internals.
8. Here, Vargo test-fitted the turbo and associated piping.
9. Using the supplied hardware and mounting bracket, he then permanently installed the turbo into place.
10. Hellion’s turbo kit features a 24x6x3-inch intercooler.
11. This Turbosmart Ultra-Gate wastegate is used to regulate maximum boost pressure. The wastegate not only protects the turbo from to much boost, but the engine as well.
12. With the turbo mounted, Vargo then test-fitted and installed the cold-side piping. With fitment being tight, the kit requires you run the piping through the A-arm. Included in the kit, unlike other turbo and supercharged kits, is a full exhaust. This gives you an all-in-one package deal.
13. With the bottom half of the turbo system finished, he then installed the inlet tubes and remaining pieces.
14. As with any big horsepower upgrade, we needed to improve the fuel system. Included in the kit is a MaxFlow Fuel-Pump Booster and 39-lb/hr injectors. Vargo installed the injectors, and spliced and soldiered the fuel-pump booster into place.
15. BBR owner and tuner Chris Jones worked his magic on the dyno. Each of Hellion’s turbo kits come equipped with a mail-order tune from BBR. Custom tunes are available.
16. On our baseline run, power output came in at 335 rwhp and 319 ft-lb of torque.
On 7 psi, the GT made 449 rwhp and 467 ft-lb of torque. At 8 psi, it rolled out 458 rwhp and 476 ft-lb. At the limits of the stock internals, on 10 psi it made 515 rwhp and 497 ft-lb. That’s an increase of 180 rwhp and 178 ft-lb.