Rob Kinnan
November 1, 2000

Step By Step

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138_30z Ford_mustang_v6 Right_front_view138_31z Ford_mustang_v6 Engine_view
Man, there’s a lot of room under the hood of a V-6 car! Vortech’s 3.8 kit has plenty of room to breathe, and makes six pounds of boost with the supplied pulleys.
138_32z Ford_mustang_v6 Engine_view
The brackets are specific to the V-6 kit, but install in much the same manner as the 5.0 kits.
138_33z Ford_mustang_v6 Air_conditioning_compressor
The air conditioning compressor is relocated, which requires a shorter A/C hose, included with the kit. Of course, that means you’ve gotta have the air conditioner recharged.
138_34z Ford_mustang_v6 Intake
The intake side of the supercharger uses a formed-plastic elbow, and relocates the mass air meter and K&N filter to the outside of the fenderwell.
138_35z Ford_mustang_v6 Oil_filter
The supercharger’s oiling system is just like a 5.0’s. The feed line (arrow) comes from the oil filter adapter.
138_50z Ford_mustang_v6 Oil_return_line
The return (arrow) requires drilling a hole in the oil pan.
138_51z Ford_mustang_v6 Fuel_pump
The stock fuel pump is augmented with a 155-lph in-line pump.
138_52z Ford_mustang_v6 Fuel_management_unit
A standard 12:1 FMU bumps up fuel pressure as boost comes on.
138_53z Ford_mustang_v6 Rear_view
The radar gun showed that our tire-spinning V-6 Mustang runs 15.30 in the quarter at 93 mph, and spurts to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The radar gun doesn’t take into account rollout; so, to compare it to an actual pass at a dragstrip, take off about a half-tenth (.05) second from the e.t.

What could possibly be more humiliating than having your 5.0's doors blown off by a V-6 car? Short of a wheezing Honda, not much. In fact, there's not much danger in losing to a V-6 Mustang unless you're a terrible driver, or your 5.0 is terminally wounded from a previous "altercation." There is, however, an exception to this rule and it comes courtesy of Vortech.

A couple of years ago, Vortech prototyped a supercharger kit for the V-6 Mustang for an aftermarket manufacturer (Saleen, if you must know); but nothing was ever done with it, so the patterns sat on a shelf collecting dust. Someone within Vortech must have realized that the bulk of Mustangs sold are V-6 cars, and that maybe, just maybe, there was actually a market out there for blower kits. They blew the dust off the brackets, installed them on a donor car, fine-tuned it all, and then called 5.0 Mustang to see if we were interested.

The name of this magazine is 5.0 Mustang. In reality, we are about all things relating to the '79-and-later Mustang; the subject matter applies more to the car itself than the engine. So, although we don't have much information on four-cylinder and V-6 Mustangs, that doesn't mean we can't do it. Based on some of the letters we've gotten in the past year or so, it seems that some V-6 technology may be in order. So we told Vortech, "Sure, we'll check it out."

The kit uses a standard S-trim V1 supercharger with V-6-specific brackets, and it fits nicely, a by-product of having an engine with two fewer cylinders. Installation is similar to a 5.0 S-trim kit, although it's a bit easier because of the extra room afforded by the smaller engine. The boost level is eight pounds, which makes it pretty idiot-proof from a tuning perspective. Bolt it on, pour in some 92, and go hammer away.

We visited Vortech to check out some of the kit's details and test the car to see how fast it was. The car is a brand-new machine with a T5, 2.86:1 gears on an open differential, and less than 300 miles on the odometer. At Motor Trend's nearby secret site, we set up the Stalker radar gun and made a few runs. The best pass was a 15.30 at 93 mph, with a 0-to-60 time of 6.8 seconds. Not spectacular, but pretty close to a stock 4.6 GT. The open differential really hurt the times as it spun the right rear wheel all the way through first gear and part of second. A set of 3.73 gears and a Traction-Lok, and the car would easily be in the 14s. That's quick enough to beat the pants off an unsuspecting GT.

So next time you get baited by a Mustang with the little Horse & Tri-bar emblem, roll down the window and give a listen for the telltale blower gear noise. You don't want to get dusted by a V-6--now do you?