Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
February 1, 2004
Photos By: Courtesy of Anderson Ford Motorsport

Horse Sense:
Modular GTs have come a long way since 1996, but considering the 4.6 debuted in the Crown Vic in 1991, it's taken the aftermarket quite a long time to get excited about modular performance. Of course, most of that blame should be shouldered by the asthmatic, 215hp Two-Valves found in the '96-'98 GTs. Those certainly slowed down the excitement. Since 1999, however, these babies have been cranking out 260 horses, and it's time to get with it.

It's about time. Yeah, we know, we've had it too good for too long with the 5.0, so that meant there was less pressure to become aggressive with 4.6 performance. But there's more to life than power adders (and, believe us, we love power adders). Naturally aspirated performance is the cornerstone of making power. Once you can make power without boost or juice, you can make even more when you add either to the mix.

So why has it taken us a while to really explore naturally aspirated performance? Well, there's the aforementioned success of the 5.0, but there have also been a few parts missing from the mix-noticeably, intakes and camshafts. In 2003 that all changed, as cams began coming out of the woodwork, and the intakes were starting development outside the confines of the Blue Oval. Meanwhile, people were still busy pushing the 5.0 envelope, where the edge seems to get farther away every day. So it was just easier to add a blower, some bolt-ons, and a chip and go have some modular fun.

Additionally, modular engines are perceived as newer and more complex, just as EFI was back in 1986. The new voodoo always keeps the skittish away for a while, until they figure out the black cat can actually be friendly if you treat it right. So more and more every day, the Ford aftermarket is getting the modular cat to purr. And when Rick Anderson of Anderson Ford Motorsport called us, we knew the timing was perfect. Rick was about to embark on one of his dyno learning missions, but this time it wasn't a blower 5.0 or high-rpm 347. This time Rick wanted to finally see what kind of potential was locked up in these modular engines. He bought an '00 GT to thrash on, and we were excited to go along for the ride.

Longtime readers know we often peer over Rick's shoulder while he spins the dyno rollers. Rick is the kind of guy who's happy to spend his off-hours and weekends trying parts, tuning, and just plain experimenting to find more power from our beloved Fords. Back in the day, I got this wild idea to do a blower test and flew out to the cornfields of Illinois to see the whole process. Eventually, Rick got smart, bought a camera, and now he doesn't have to see me every day for a week.

Obviously, we have great confidence in Rick's consistency and numbers, but if you're skeptical of his tests-particularly on his AFM parts-we wouldn't blame you. Just keep in mind Rick is keenly aware there's a dyno on every street corner these days, and if parts don't work as advertised, he's just one message-board post away from a black eye. That's why he does all this testing-to make sure the parts he sells works the way he says they do.

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