Mustang MonthlyHow To Engine
How To Upgrade Your 2003-2004 SVT Cobra
Gain 60 hp and nearly 100 lb-ft of torque from your Terminator
The ’03-’04 Mustang SVT Cobra’s nickname, the Terminator, dates back to 2002 when Ford’s SVT division came up with the idea for the baddest 32-valve Mustang Cobra at the time. Although it is widely reported Ford never built an ’02 SVT Cobra, it apparently produced approximately 100 of them—all exported to Australia. The Terminator Cobra had Arnold Schwarzenegger written all over it with screaming pulse-quickening supercharged horsepower and torque married to the still fresh “New Edge” Mustang design that debuted in 1999. What we’re about to show you is an easy bolt-on upgrade you can accomplish in a weekend and be ready for brute open freeway acceleration for the Monday morning commute.
Ray McClelland of Full Throttle Kustomz (FTK) in Southern California is going to show us how to get at least an additional 60 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque from your Terminator Cobra. He’s going with the BilletFlow 2.76-inch four-pulley kit and the snubber idler kit for improved supercharger belt tension at higher boost levels. Complementing the BilletFlow pulley kit is an Afco heat exchanger with double pass design and optional dual-fan package, 80 lb/hr injectors from Ford Racing, a DiabloSport Mafia mass air sensor, an SCT X3 Power Flash tuner, a Vortech MaxFlow fuel pump booster, and a JLT cold air intake will round out the upgrade path McClelland will be taking. These are all easy modifications you can accomplish in your home garage with basic hand tools and a few hours on a Saturday afternoon.
01. Ray gathered up all of our Terminator parts and carefully placed them on this cart for easy access during installation. Before you are the BilletFlow pulley kit, 80 lb/hr injectors, Vortech pump booster, Gates high-performance serpentine belt, and the Afco heat exchanger coolant hoses. Not shown here is the Afco heat exchanger. The BilletFlow pulleys are available to match the most popular Cobra colors, including Redfire, Sonic Blue, black, and clear.
02. This is the ’03-’04 Terminator Cobra 4.6L DOHC V-8 with stock Eaton M112 Roots supercharger, cast-iron block, Zollner forged pistons, and Manley H-beam connecting rods engineered to take a lot of punishment. The Eaton huffer makes 8 psi of boost enabling the DOHC to make 390 hp right off the assembly line. Ray McClelland is going to show you how to equip and tune this engine to make even more power.
03. First things we do are a spark plug reading and gapping. Insulator color of these NGK TR-6 platinum tips is tan, which is ideal. White would indicate lean and potentially dangerous to engine longevity. The gap should be 0.032-0.035 inch when you are running a lot of boost to keep the fire lit. Some prefer the NGK TR7-IX or the Motorcraft SP-471 factory replacement spark plugs. Main thing you want to be concerned with is heat range. If you experience any detonation (spark knock), you will need to investigate using a colder plug.
04. The fuel rail is unbolted and lifted up to swap the injectors. Disconnecting the throttle cable on the passenger side will offer some working room. We are going with 80 lb/hr injectors in anticipation of growing into a twin-screw supercharger when time and budget permit. If you stay with the Eaton M112 and the BilletFlow pulley kit, you’ll want 60 lb/hr injectors.
05. The snub idler pulley bracket is installed, which will create additional belt wrap around the supercharger pulley. It bolts to stock mounting points on the engine.
06. The secondary 100mm idler pulleys are installed next. There are two idler pulleys designed to maintain tight belt tension under extreme supercharger loads at the top of the engine and one at the bottom of the engine just off the crank pulley. These BilletFlow idlers are direct replacements for the stock units.
07. Remove the beauty cap or retaining bolt (early built Cobras) over the supercharger input shaft to expose the threaded hole for later pulley installation.
08. You will have to rent or borrow a puller to remove the stock pulley from your Eaton M112 supercharger. We will warn you ahead of time—this pulley is a tight interference fit and very hard to remove using a puller. You may have to heat the pulley hub to achieve enough expansion to remove the pulley. BilletFlow has great puller available for purchase or rent for your installation.
09. Installation of the new BilletFlow supercharger pulley hub requires an installation tool similar to ones used for power steering pulley installation. BilletFlow offers one, or you can source locally. Once installed the 92mm snub idler pulley can then be installed next.
10.You’ll notice in the previous photo the supercharger pulley was loosely placed over the hub for a fitment check. The pulley is retained to the hub with Allen screws. It is suggested you use a thread locker on screw threads. The press-on hub is designed to make it easy for you to swap pulleys as the need warrants.
11. The Gates high-performance belt is routed around the Eaton supercharger and BilletFlow pulleys to finish up the pulley swap.
12. This is the DiabloSport MAFia Mass Air Flow calibrator (PN F7373), which provides real world plug-and-play control of your Terminator’s mass airflow meter (MAF). The MAFia calibrator allows you to precisely control and regulate MAF sensor voltage.
13. The JLT cold air intake, which is easy to install, pulls cooler outside air in from the inner fender area. The intake includes an S&B high-flow filter, which is cleanable and reusable.
14. Vortech’s Fuel Pump Booster, PN 5A102-030, is a non-programmable fuel pump booster and can increase fuel output by 50 percent by increasing voltage output to the fuel pump to 18 V, regardless of battery input voltage. Follow the easy instructions and wire it in to the OE fuel pump driver module in the trunk.
15. This Afco Racing heat exchanger is designed to replace your factory SVT Cobra heat exchanger and provide more efficient intake cooling. The larger Afco, PN 80275NDP, is made from aluminum, is TIG-welded for strength, comes in a natural finish, and features enhanced fin technology for greater airflow. Especially cool is the direct bolt-in application, which requires no modifications.
16. The Afco heat exchanger mounts to the factory brackets and bolts right in. It is suggested you go with new hoses and clamps while you’re at it due to the age of the hoses being disconnected.
17. This is SCT Performance’s SCT X3 Power Flash Ford Programmer. It stores as many as 10 custom tunes (or you can order from many dealers pre-loaded with tunes as well), is easy to read and understand, reads and clears fault codes, and will back up the factory tune. We are storing Ray’s FTK custom tune in the SCT Power Flash along with the factory tune.
18. Ray performs the custom tuning on Glenn Eldridge’s ’03 Terminator SVT Cobra after completing this installation at FTK. The custom tune will be loaded onto the SCT X3 and then flashed to the Cobra’s PCM. The gains in horsepower and torque are significant, thanks to easy bolt-on modifications performed in a single day in McClelland’s shop. And remember, you can do this yourself.
|Chassis Dyno Testing Results|
|Before:||355.1 hp @ 5,994 rpm||353.9 TQ @ 3,589 rpm|
|After:||422.6 hp @ 5,887 rpm||448.7 TQ @ 3,212 rpm|
|Gain:||67.5 hp and 94.8 TQ|