KJ Jones
Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
April 18, 2014

We’ve been on a bit of a run with ’12-’13 Boss 302 upgrades, like the report on major naturally aspirated improvements in this issue (“Haul Natural,” p. 48), and the Boss-specific lowering springs we featured last month. This latest report is yet another modification for the baddest V-8-powered, late-model ’Stangs running on raw muscle.

Airaid Intake Systems of Phoenix, Arizona, has developed a slick carbon-fiber version of its impressive MXP Intake System for ’11-present Mustangs, this one specific to ’12-’13 Boss 302s (PN 453-174; $609.99). The Boss system is somewhat unique in that it improves Roadrunner’s power/torque performance without requiring any of the custom tuning that’s typically necessary when large CAI tubes are installed (see On the Dyno).

As the following photos and captions attest, this all-inclusive system (which is inspired by Ford racing legend Parnelli Jones) does not require any special tools or facilities to install. The ease of installation and the system’s highlights were presented to us by Jeremy Aliaga, who installed the system on his ’13 Boss DIY-style, with immediate evaluations on the Dynojet at GTR High Performance in Rancho Cucamonga, California, before and after the install.

1. In bone-stock form and without the optional TracKey upgrade, this Roadrunner engine is rated at 444 crankshaft horsepower. Of course, steam at the rear wheels is the data point we focus on. We gave Jeremy Aliaga’s Pony a baseline run on the Dynojet chassis dyno at GTR High Performance, and recorded a high of 370.17 horses—a solid, real-world figure for the hottest naturally aspirated ‘Stang to gallop from Ford’s stable.

2. This is the Airaid MXP Intake System for ’12-’13 Boss 302 Mustangs (PN 453-174; $609.99). The true carbon-fiber intake tube sitting front and center in the photo is the highlight of this setup, measuring a whopping 4.25 inches in diameter. The roto-molded airbox is a one-piece unit designed to also draw intake air through the OEM airscoop (behind the grille). Urethane hose, clamps, and a blue, non-oiled SynthaMax filter round out the contents of the kit.

3. After baseline testing Jeremy’s ’13 Boss 302 in bone-stock trim, Jeremy borrowed the simple tools that are required for CAI installation from our friends at GTR and had the kit fully installed inside of one hour.

4. Airaid’s Modular Venturi Tube is basically a smaller-diameter insert that is installed inside the CAI’s primary tube. The inner tube is unique, as it allows the Boss 302 cold-air system to increase performance without affecting the mass airflow sensor and skewing its readings. With the sleeve installed, there’s no need for custom PCM tuning. However, if higher performance is desired, the MVT is easily removed, and more-extensive air/fuel optimizing can be done with SCT tuning software and a chassis dyno. Notice the billet plate on the carbon fiber intake tube? The plate is designed to accept the factory mass-air sensor, which is secured with the two screws that are included with the system.

5. Carbon fiber is just damn sexy. That’s Parnelli Jones’s autograph in the yellow badge. The kit was named after the racing legend, who drove circles around Trans-Am competitors in 1970, behind the wheel of an original Boss 302 ‘Stang. For enthusiasts wanting the effect of this setup without the look, Airaid also offers the system with a high-density Polyethylene tube. And, for the ’11-’14 Mustang GT owners (with Boss 302 intake manifolds and on their ’Stangs’ Coyotes) who want to step up to carbon, the CF pipe (PN 450-974) is available as an individual upgrade for the plastic-tube system (PN 453-321)


On the Dyno

One thing is certain. Whenever we have an opportunity to work with a rare ’12-’13 Boss 302 Mustang, you can bet we’ll take full advangate of our time with it. Theoretically, cold-air-induction tests are straightforward, regardless of which model ‘Stang we’re testing. However, with Jeremy Aliaga’s ’13 Boss 302s being one that has the optional TracKey performance upgrade, there was no way we were going to perform this particular test with the stock key (and PCM logic) only.

We basically dyno tested the Boss in all of the stock and upgraded scenarios that were possible, to see exactly where and how Airaid’s Boss 302 CAI improved the Roadrunner 5.0’s rear-wheel power and torque. What we learned is presented in the results (charts and graph).

While gains with the stock calibration were on par with data we’ve recorded in other CAI tests, enhancing the Boss’s intake airflow with TracKey programming in effect makes a huge difference. From a presentation and performance standpoint, the Airaid Carbon Fiber cold-air setup for Boss Mustangs is impressive. Jeremy definitely seems to be happy with it, and says it probably will be the only engine mod that he makes on his Boss 302.

Tests were conducted with the Boss 302’s stock calibration, and with the hotter run file for the Roadrunner 5.0 that’s activated by the red TracKey (right). When the TracKey is used, more than 600 engine parameters are changed (most notably spark and fuel maps), transforming the street Boss into a race-ready rocket that we learned makes a gangload more power and torque with Airaid’s cold-air setup in place.
The graph depicts results of our baseline/stock airbox (Run 2 and 3), and post-install dyno runs (Run 6 and 8), which were conducted without and with the TracKey. 5.0

Stock CAI Difference TracKey CAI Difference
RPM Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque
2,500 135.70 285.1 141.77 297.80 6.07 12.73 137.21 288.2 142.75 299.69 5.54 11.46
2,600 144.16 291.2 150.09 303.18 5.93 11.97 145.30 293.5 151.03 304.96 5.73 11.45
2,700 154.67 300.9 160.50 312.20 5.83 11.34 153.43 298.4 160.86 312.83 7.43 14.39
2,800 162.48 304.8 166.79 312.87 4.31 8.09 162.06 304.0 168.35 315.75 6.29 11.76
2,900 168.18 304.6 172.75 312.86 4.57 8.28 166.96 302.4 173.50 314.22 6.54 11.85
3,000 174.76 306.0 179.07 313.50 4.31 7.54 173.19 303.2 180.58 316.15 7.39 12.94
3,100 182.39 309.0 186.13 315.34 3.74 6.33 180.61 306.0 187.46 317.60 6.85 11.62
3,200 189.45 310.9 195.72 321.23 6.27 10.29 187.45 307.7 195.51 320.91 8.06 13.25
3,300 195.67 311.4 202.32 322.01 6.65 10.59 194.19 309.1 201.58 320.84 7.39 11.79
3,400 202.59 312.9 207.53 320.58 4.94 7.64 199.45 308.1 207.99 321.31 8.54 13.22
3,500 208.49 312.9 214.76 322.27 6.27 9.41 205.72 308.7 215.00 322.63 9.28 13.93
3,600 217.64 317.5 223.17 325.59 5.53 8.07 214.02 312.2 224.20 327.10 10.18 14.87
3,700 224.87 319.2 232.21 329.61 7.34 10.42 221.73 314.7 232.85 330.54 11.12 15.80
3,800 232.96 322.0 239.77 331.39 6.81 9.40 229.71 317.5 240.65 332.62 10.94 15.13
3,900 241.44 325.2 247.59 333.42 6.15 8.27 237.59 320.0 248.55 334.72 10.96 14.76
4,000 249.18 327.2 256.32 336.55 7.14 9.36 244.67 321.3 257.49 338.10 12.82 16.85
4,100 256.81 329.0 264.41 338.69 7.60 9.72 253.16 324.3 266.62 341.54 13.46 17.24
4,200 265.83 332.4 273.33 341.80 7.50 9.38 262.36 328.1 275.12 344.03 12.76 15.96
4,300 272.43 332.7 282.08 344.54 9.65 11.80 270.47 330.4 283.95 346.82 13.48 16.46
4,400 281.22 335.7 289.89 346.04 8.67 10.35 279.30 333.4 292.89 349.62 13.59 16.23
4,500 288.17 336.3 294.69 343.95 6.52 7.61 286.50 334.4 299.45 349.50 12.95 15.12
4,600 293.02 334.6 301.75 344.53 8.73 9.97 293.74 335.4 305.98 349.37 12.24 13.99
4,700 299.20 334.3 304.04 339.76 4.84 5.42 299.55 334.7 313.00 349.76 13.45 15.02
4,800 306.32 335.2 313.10 342.60 6.78 7.42 306.07 334.9 321.17 351.43 15.10 16.53
4,900 310.43 332.7 316.37 339.11 5.94 6.37 311.86 334.3 325.41 348.80 13.55 14.52
5,000 315.99 331.9 324.23 340.58 8.24 8.66 317.34 333.3 332.37 349.13 15.03 15.79
5,100 323.10 332.7 331.57 341.47 8.47 8.74 322.52 332.1 340.06 350.20 17.54 18.06
5,200 330.64 334.0 340.68 344.10 10.04 10.15 330.72 334 348.11 351.59 17.39 17.56
5,300 338.91 335.9 346.72 343.59 7.81 7.74 338.22 335.2 357.60 354.36 19.38 19.19
5,400 343.65 334.3 352.22 342.57 8.57 8.32 345.54 336.1 363.69 353.73 18.15 17.66
5,500 348.94 333.2 357.34 341.22 8.40 8.00 350.40 334.6 367.17 350.63 16.77 16.02
5,600 351.63 329.8 358.89 336.59 7.26 6.80 354.13 332.1 370.86 347.83 16.73 15.70
5,700 354.20 326.4 361.09 332.72 6.89 6.35 356.82 328.8 373.42 344.08 16.60 15.29
5,800 356.51 322.8 362.16 327.95 5.65 5.11 358.46 324.6 374.81 339.40 16.35 14.79
5,900 355.09 316.1 365.43 325.31 10.34 9.21 360.32 320.8 376.95 335.56 16.63 14.80
6,000 358.99 314.3 368.32 322.41 9.33 8.16 362.02 316.9 380.98 333.49 18.96 16.60
6,100 360.43 310.3 370.07 318.62 9.64 8.29 363.89 313.3 383.93 330.56 20.04 17.25
6,200 362.16 306.8 373.69 316.56 11.53 9.77 365.22 309.4 387.25 328.05 22.03 18.67
6,300 365.07 304.4 375.34 312.91 10.27 8.56 369.25 307.8 389.87 325.02 20.62 17.18
6,400 365.74 300.2 378.40 310.53 12.66 10.38 369.82 303.5 392.54 322.14 22.72 18.65
6,500 369.22 298.3 381.32 308.12 12.10 9.78 372.54 301.0 391.82 316.60 19.28 15.58
6,600 368.59 293.3 377.60 300.48 9.01 7.17 370.95 295.2 389.97 310.33 19.02 15.13
6,700 367.10 287.8 378.48 296.69 11.38 8.92 371.08 290.9 390.41 306.05 19.33 15.16
6,800 367.12 283.6 376.82 291.04 9.70 7.48 367.38 283.8 389.68 300.98 22.30 17.23
6,900 368.10 280.2 379.20 288.64 11.10 8.45 367.62 279.8 389.89 296.78 22.27 16.96
7,000 366.79 275.21 380.25 285.30 13.46 10.09 365.47 274.21 388.42 291.44 22.95 17.23
7,100 367.04 271.51 378.21 279.78 11.17 8.27 365.55 270.41 389.48 288.12 23.93 17.71
7,200 369.34 269.42 380.54 277.59 11.20 8.17 367.85 268.33 390.09 284.56 22.24 16.23
7,300 370.17 266.33 380.94 274.07 10.77 7.74 365.97 263.31 392.08 282.09 26.11 18.78
7,400 370.02 262.62 382.98 271.82 12.96 9.20 367.90 261.11 391.25 277.69 23.35 16.58