Elisa Coon
January 24, 2014

All aboard the Pony express to boost town! Over the course of the last four stories, Team C&C has eclipsed all of the previous goals set for our Coyote build-up—12s, 11s, and even 10s came relatively easily—and now the hunt to make this a 9-second TVS-powered Coyote is imminent.

After recovering from the blow of replacing the factory engine due to an oil-pump failure in our brand-new ’13 5.0 Roush Phase Two (PN 421390) blown Stang, we were hungry for a 9-second timeslip. For those who might want to push the limits on your 5.0 and don’t want to potentially experience the total carnage we did, learn from us and invest in billet oil pump gears. That stated, our GT now has a 5.0 FRPP Aluminator engine, and it’s time to shoot for maximum power and 9-second e.t.’s, which would be pretty amazing from our nearly 4,000-pound, stock suspension, street-driven boost machine.

To recap, there was a small loss of horsepower and boost when we swapped from the factory engine to the lower (9.5:1 versus 11.0:1) compression FRPP Aluminator (PN M6007-A50SC), but we did gain in the torque department over the stocker. The final dyno numbers were a respectable 579 rwhp and 515 lb-ft of torque with a 72mm pulley (approximately 11 psi).

We brought our Steed to BTS Transmissions in Lead Hill, Arkansas, for a Precision Industries custom torque converter install, and with a fresh retune by Jon Lund of Lund Racing, we headed to the track. After the new 5.0 and converter swap, we were still sitting in the 10s with a best of 10.79 at 128.5 mph (with a 1.49 60-foot on stock suspension in 2,300 density altitude conditions) in far from ideal air temps.

Boost-Friendly Bolt-On Mods

We wanted to be as quick as possible while maintaining the factory suspension and exhaust, but we realized the stock exhaust was holding us back. The quiet deception of our Stallion was such an awesome way to sneak attack unsuspecting ricers, plus installing headers is a huge undertaking, especially when trying to install them without a lift. Don’t get me wrong—we would love to have a set of long-tube headers to open the lungs of our purebred, but at this point, we want to see what gains can be seen without the cost and effort of headers.

After some research, we decided to remove the factory cats and install MBRP Performance Exhaust’s stainless steel, off-road/catless, H-style mid-pipe (PN C7262409) with a 3-inch, stainless, after-cat exhaust (PN S7258409). We tore the box open like a couple of kids on Christmas day to find a high-quality stainless system that was sure to help our Coyote breathe better, while also sounding so rowdy that any GM within a mile would run and hide. We jumped right into the DIY installation of the shiny set of pipes.

The exhaust upgrade was done with my husband, JD, on his back in our home garage, while I supervised and made memes on my iPhone of mullet-wearing Camaro owners—just kidding. The installation procedure is mostly self-explanatory, but it’s nicely outlined in the supplied instruction manual. However, we did take some notes in order to help our fellow enthusiasts save a few steps.

After the car is on jackstands, it’s best to remove the rear wheels, unbolt some of the rear suspension, and drop the rear end down to remove the factory over the axle pipes and mufflers. Trust us on this—we learned the hard way. You’ll want to unbolt the rear shocks and rear sway bar, allowing you to remove the rear springs, thus, making removal of the over-the-axle pipes easier. At this point, we decided to remove the factory driveshaft and replace it with an aftermarket aluminum, one-piece unit we bought used on an automotive Internet forum.

We weighed the stock exhaust and the MBRP system to see just how much of a difference there was between them. I could hardly believe how much weight we dropped—over 35 pounds. Overall, the fit and quality of the system is top notch and shedding poundage is a win in our book. We also shed an impressive 17.5 pounds by swapping to the lightweight driveshaft. Every little bit counts!

Upon initial start-up, it cackled in bold racer fashion and I didn’t immediately love the sound. My covert Corvette-eater was no longer covert. Point blank, it was loud, but the aggressive rumble would be welcome at the track. That being said, it only took a trip around the block before I realized just how sick our five-oh sounded. At idle, it isn’t too wild, but once the rpm is ramped up, it has a wicked growl and I was getting mean-mugged by every Mopar in town. Mission of awesomeness accomplished.

1. Here is the factory exhaust, which has taken us into the 10s.
2. We began by removing factory mufflers.
3. Then we removed the exhaust clamps from the stock H-style mid-pipe.
4. Removing rear springs allows removal of the stock over-the-axle pipes.
5. Here is the heavy, two-piece factory driveshaft.
6. Here’s a look at the stock pinion flange next to the supplied Axle Exchange pinion flange.
7. Using a 22mm wrench, we removed the oxygen sensors.
8 These pipes make up the factory exhaust.
9. We slipped in the 4-inch, aluminum Axle Exchange driveshaft. We purchased this on a local forum slightly used for a good price.
10. In went the MBRP off-road H-pipe …
11. … and then the over-the-axle pipes.

Heading Back to the Dyno

We had a few more goodies to test out along with the new exhaust. With the factory wheels and tires at 38 psi, a Third gear pull was made (all previous runs have been done in this manner). The Pony came alive with the newfound power.

The exhaust-only horsepower gains were very impressive at a total of 38 rwhp and 16 lb-ft of torque without needing any adjustments to the tune. That equated to a stout 617 rwhp and 528 lb-ft of torque at the tires, simply by upgrading the exhaust and losing the cats.

We are still running the Shell URT Advanced race fuel, but soon will be forced to switch when our stash runs out since it’s no longer being made. There are some interesting fuel options hitting the market, so we will be testing to find the best fit for our application.

We did a quick on-dyno swap of the stock blower inlet elbow to a VMP Tuning ported elbow, and exchanged the Roush-supplied, twin-60mm throttle body to a single-blade FRPP Cobra Jet unit (PN M-9926-SCJ) in hopes that we would see an increase in overall boost. Jon Lund was working his remote tuning magic from New Jersey, while we were on the dyno in Baton Rouge. Technology is wonderful. At Lund’s suggestion, we also traded the Roush cold-air for a JLT cold-air intake (PN CAIBA-FMG-11).

After a couple of pulls, we were deflated, as the results did not meet our expectations. We expected to see much better gains from the ported elbow and massive throttle body. Perhaps it was the low boost level, but it only showed an increase of 1 measly horsepower.

We are hoping to see these parts work in conjunction with higher boost levels as we turn up the wick on our boosted build over the winter. We also saw no horsepower gain from the JLT cold-air. Don’t let this detour you from choosing this kit—the quality is excellent and it’s likely to show gains as we crank up our Coyote. Furthermore, Lund is confident the JLT cold-air’s gains will be better seen in a track environment and we were planning a track outing to put these parts to the test where it counts—on the track.

At this point, we were as desperate as the Kardashians. Since we had not seen the gains we expected, we needed more power before we called it a day. The only way to achieve that was to go to the smallest pulley available for our Roush TVS blower—a 69mm piece. After an easy swap, we were in business. The alabaster Steed turned the rollers once more and laid down a potent 661 rwhp and 573 lb-ft of torque with a peak boost level of 13.3 psi. In short, we gained a total of 80 rwhp at the tires with a simple exhaust and pulley swap with a custom tune. Always remember, it’s the sum of a good combination that will make your Pony run. And the more finely tuned a cars is in stock form, the more careful you must be when choosing your mods.

12. Amazingly, we realized a 34-pound weight savings over stock. The driveshaft offered a 17.5-pound weight savings.
13. We installed the supplied MBRP spacers for the Panhard-bar support brace. This helps the exhaust clearance.
14. We used a floorjack to level the exhaust and then tightened everything.
15. Moving along, we installed the MBRP mufflers on both sides.
16. Finally, our GT was strapped down and ready to spin the rollers.
17. After removing the air intake tube, we disconnected the sensors and unbolted the stock throttle body.
18. Here is the twin-60mm throttle body that came with the Roush blower kit, versus Ford Racing Cobra Jet single-blade throttle body.

Back To the 1,320

There is nothing worse than a story that boasts big power numbers with no track numbers. It’s like watching a movie part-way and never knowing the ending—we just can’t leave you hanging like that. Of course we can’t get every car we do an install on to the track, but we sure try. While the Internet jockeys boast about dyno numbers, real enthusiasts ask: What did it run? And MM&FF does our best to give you those answers.

More importantly, we try to maximize our e.t. for the given power level. Not just make an abundance of power and hope it runs. On that note, this beast may not make massive numbers on the dyno, but it uses every last ounce of power extremely efficiently. Even being 3,900 pounds and with stock suspension, sway bars still intact, it launches with a vengeance. In fact, we love out-running high-rwhp dyno kings on the strip.

We also switched from the 325/50 Mickey Thompson drag radials to the smaller X275 Pro Radials, and it made a significant difference traction-wise. On a good track, the smaller, lighter tires will make the GT quicker (less rotating mass), but we run the risk of losing consistency on so-so track or on the street.

Now, with the new MBRP exhaust sounding wicked, we hit the local track for a quick test session. In similar weather conditions as previous test sessions (2,500-plus DA in serious Louisiana humidity), we ran a personal best of 10.22 at 136 with an insane, wheels-up 1.38 60-foot! Yes, you read it correctly—100-percent factory suspension.

We credit the custom BTS/Precision Industries for the hard launch improvement, especially since results like this are mostly only seen from high-horsepower setups that have aftermarket suspensions. We are just floored by how much engineering has gone into these new Mustangs. It truly is a new era of modern muscle. But wait, there’s more.

For us, the NMRA World Finals in Bowling Green, Kentucky, is the best all-Ford race of the year, and we were banking on the typical cool weather and low DA conditions to put our GT in the 9s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the cards.

Instead of a nice chill, we were racing in humid 90-degree air. Nothing like Mother nature to spoil the fun. But even so, our super-fresh five-oh still set a personal best of 10.19 at 135 (with a 1.42 60-foot) and that made us happy.

A couple of weeks later, we finally had the mine-shaft air at a track local to our home. We headed to Twin Cities Motorsports Park (Monroe, Louisiana). With a density altitude of minus 400 feet, the 9s were so close we could taste them. I staged shallow and stalled the howling Coyote to 2,000 rpm and it launched with a vengeance. The GT powered out of the hole and ripped to a 10.02 at 141 mph. Close, but not there.

After a short cooldown, I headed back and repeated, this time it recored a sick 1.31 60-foot time and blasted into the 9s with a 9.86/138 mph pass! What’s most amazing is that the suspension is 100-percent stock, right down to the factory anti-roll bars.

Now that we’ve gone 9s, it’s time to find a new goal for the GT. So chime in on the MM&FF Facebook fan page and drop your comments and suggestions on what we should do next.

19. We removed the stock supercharger inlet.
20. Factory Roush supercharger inlet versus the VMP-ported supercharger inlet.
21. Here’s a look at the installed VMP supercharger inlet (PN 72ELBOW).
22. Finally, our shiny new Cobra Jet throttle body is ready to rock.
23. Compare the 69mm (left) and 72mm (right).
24. The 5.0 Aluminator looked impressive with the completed throttle body, inlet, 69mm pulley and JLT cold-air intake. Note the stock belt will work with the 72mm pulley and 100mm idler, but you must use a shorter belt from Carquest (PN K060815) or equivalent to go with the 69mm pulley. You can use this belt for the 72mm pulley as well.
Comparison dyno graph showing before and after gains.