K.J. Jones
April 27, 2007
Superman: ATI ProCharger's all-world tech specialist, Dorian Comeau, bolts down the company's race-proven F-1A supercharger on our daily-driven street Mustang. Dorian is also one of the main players at House of Boost, the outfit that opened our eyes to the benefits of using an eight-rib belt with our new blower. The company is Internet-based and specializes in taking forced-induction to higher levels.

Horse Sense: Centrifugal superchargers, '99-'04 Mustang GTs, and horsepower go together like a hand in a glove these days. Throughout the country, and in many parts of the world, New Edge 'Stangs prowl the streets with the distinctive whistle of blowers chirping underhood. While we don't want to slight other power adders, we have to hand it to the blower for moving to the forefront as the Two-Valve 4.6 crowd's adder of choice.

We hope you've been following our series on '99-'04 Mustang GT performance upgrades this past year and have learned a thing or two about stepping up a New Edge's program when it comes to making horsepower.

With your tech editor using his wife's daily driven '02 GT as the sacrificial lamb-for the sake of science, of course-our tests have ranged from mild to wild. Along the way, they have shown the power-gain potential and threshold of a bone-stock 4.6 engine.

While our game plan from the outset has been to perform various upgrades to enhance all aspects of the test car's performance (front/rear suspension, 8.8 rear upgrades, and so on), the need for speed always steers our thoughts back to changes that we hope will gain the most performance from the engine. Apparently, this tunnel vision is a gearhead's natural way of thinking.

Our first foray into the land of supercharging the Two-Valve 'Stang was the installation of ATI-ProCharger's P-1SC Stage II supercharger system ("Beyond Bolt-On," Jun. '06, p. 78). For this effort, we called on our good friend, Dorian Comeau of ProCharger. He came to the West Coast to install the blower and intercooler. He also conducted an interesting study on thermal dynamics with us; we found that oil in a self-contained blower such as the P-1SC is generally cooler than engine oil at idle, and especially under load. We also looked at the entry-level street supercharger's ability to generate more horsepower and torque from our stocker and all that's involved when it comes to properly tuning a boost-induced Two-Valve.

Since our '02 is a daily driver, the one thing we've been earnest about preserving the integrity of is the 'Stang's streetability. Having a mega-horsepower, towed-everywhere, NMRA race Mustang is one thing, but these days, true Zen for most 'Stangbangers is to have the best of both worlds: the performance of a race car with street manners to make the car fun to drive on a regular basis.

Spare Ribs Here are the parts that make up an eight-rib beltdrive system. Believe it or not, the pulleys are late-model OEM truck parts that House of Boost realized are compatible with the Mustang's Two-Valve engine and ProCharger's F-Series blower. They started Dorian on the road to refining this eight-rib conver-sion with the correct-size idler wheels and belts. ProCharger will soon offer its own line of bolt-on pulleys for the water pump, alternator, and power-steering pump.

We realize that last sentiment can be considered a Catch-22, as sometimes sacrifices must be made when a street car moves deeper into the modified zone. We're doing our best to maintain our '02's street persona, in spite of the supercharger upgrade featured in this report.

That's right, kids. Hopefully you've followed along and noted the right moves we've made by setting up our 'Stang for handling the fury of a monster blower ("Big-Boost Bullet," Nov. '06, p.100; "Stock Exchange," Jan. '07, p.146). We let on a long time ago that our plan is to bring you the "how to" info on making pump gas/street driveable horsepower with ProCharger's F-1A supercharger. It's an idea that has made many a 'Stangbanger shake his head with disbelief and express sincere and sometimes sarcastic, "there's no way you can use it on the street" opinions.

From a legal standpoint, the naysayers are correct. The F-1A is ProCharger's first-level race supercharger, and other units in the F-Series (F-1C, F-1, F-2, F-3, and so on), don't carry the California Air Resources Board Executive Order numbers that the company's P-Series blowers (50-state-legal, smog-law-compliant) are badged with. From a practicality standpoint, we agree: The F-1A isn't the most practical supercharger to choose for a daily driver application, but it's the coolest, and we know it can be done.

Making horsepower is one thing, and we've been steadily accumulating the right pieces to do so. But sustaining high power levels without suffering catastrophic parts damage-commonly referred to as supporting X-amount of horsepower-is much more important.

ProCharger's '96-'04 Mustang GT/Cobra F-1A supercharger is designed to work well with small-displacement engines such as our 281ci D.S.S. Super MODular 4.6. Boost comes in early and yields greater torque, leveling the playing field between Two-Valves and '03-'04 Terminators. We're taking our blown Two-Valve project a step beyond the norm by installing and modifying the F-1A with a system of eight-rib, serpentine-beltdrive pulleys for the blower, crankshaft, alternator, A/C compressor, power-steering pump, and water pump.