Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
December 1, 2007
Photos By: Courtesy of Anderson Ford Motorsport
As with most of the horsepower experiments in the Anderson Ford Motorsport laboratory, we needed a volunteer. This time our victim-I mean, volunteer-was Josh Kilday and his '01 Roush Mustang. Josh had run a basically stock engine with a ProCharger supercharger, but Rick really wanted to push the limits of E85, so he set about creating a robust Two-Valve 4.6 combination set to take big boost.

Horse Sense: Before you get excited about converting your 'Stang to run on high-octane E85, make sure it's available in your area. To do so, check out the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition's handy Web site at www.e85refueling.com. Once there, enter your zip code and find all the E85 stations in a 100-mile radius. Speaking of Web sites, there's even one dedicated to Mustangs running on E85. Check it out at the aptly named www.e85mustangs.com.

If you keep up on current events, you've probably heard about the virtues of E85, a fuel created by combining 15 percent gasoline and 85 percent ethanol-that's where the 85 comes from. Ethanol is produced by fermenting bio materials such as grain, corn, wood waste, cheese whey, waste sucrose, potato waste, brewery waste, and food and beverage wastes. As such, it's a renewable resource made in the U.S., so it reduces our dependency on foreign petroleum. E85 burns clean, so it's good for the environment.

That's all cool, but why is it being mentioned in the power-mad pages of 5.0&SF? Well, besides all that goodness, E85 is 105-octane and it's cheaper than gasoline, so it's like getting race gas for pump-gas prices. Of course, anything that sounds that good has to have a downside. There are two main troubles with E85. First, it packs less energy per gallon than gasoline, so you have to burn more E85 to create the same amount of energy. Second, its chemical properties can detoriorate fuel pumps and fuel lines if they don't have the proper construction.

Given the fact that we readily add bigger injectors, fuel pumps, and fuel lines in the name of more horsepower, those don't seem to be huge hurdles to overcome. We brought up the subject to Rick Anderson of Anderson Ford Motorsprort in Clinton, Illinois, and he got excited about the possibilities of E85. Since it's most often associated with being made from corn-which Clinton is surrounded by-it seemed only natural to try building an E85 project there. Of course, Rick didn't want to only convert a car; he wanted to build one up to see how much power E85 would support.

To do so, he recruited Josh Kilday and his '01 Roush Mustang. The car was configured with a stock engine and a ProCharger D1SC. Rick and Josh really wanted to dial up the boost and see what E85 was all about, so Rick set about constructing a robust 4.6 Two-Valve combination and ran it in naturally aspirated and supercharged configurations. The results of this clean-power mixture were impressive enough that we expect E85 combinations will become commonplace. Check it out to see how the AFM made 668 hp, and we think you'll agree.

Looks like your average ProCharged Two-Valve combination, but Josh's '01 Roush 'Stang now cranks out more than 660 hp courtesy of a stout, clean-burning combo built to make the most of E85's octane.

We all know the stock Two-Valve 4.6 isn't the most robust engine ever produced, but fortunately there are shops such as D.S.S. Racing Engines that specialize in building Ford engines for big power. D.S.S. offers a number of 4.6 short- and long-blocks with such features as Level 10 CNC Block prep, D.S.S. Main Support Systems, D.S.S. Pro-X Forged Pistons, 4340 Forged H-Beam Rods, KPC Forged eight-bolt crankshafts, improved crank oiling, ARP fasteners, race balancing, and CNC blueprinting. Josh opted for the 900hp-capable Super Mod long-block (PN 4.6SB3000; $7,399.95) option with D.S.S.' CNC-ported PI cylinder heads ($2,299.95). Beginning with a new Ford casting, D.S.S. uses a five-axis CNC porting program that reworks the intake runner, combustion chamber, and exhaust port, resulting in 186cc intake runners and 93.2cc exhaust runners. They work well with forced induction.

Josh topped off the stout D.S.S. Two-Valve long-block with a Professional Products intake (PP-54060; $650) and a pair of his own AFM Hi-Rev cams (PN AF-F82; $629). He rounded out the intake with a Professional Products upper elbow (PN PP-54154; $110) and 75mm throttle body (PN PP-69221; $149). Additionally, the intake was treated to AFM Stage 2-porting (AF-0901; $375) to make the most of those CNC-ported heads and big cams. On the exhaust side, the standard Roush side-exit after-cat is now fed by Bassani Mid-Length headers (PN BA-4602-vc; $675) and X-shape crossover (PN BA-4699-2; $335).

Josh began installing the ProCharger hardware, including a slick eight-rib pulley conversion, but before they got too carried away, Rick tested the naturally aspirated combination on gasoline and E85. At this point, the car was being fueled by 30-lb/hr injectors fed by a Mallory regulator, a fuel pump, and fuel rails, as well as Russell fuel lines. Rick says a standard conversion to E85 isn't a big deal if you aren't close to maxing out your injectors. "We've found out on naturally aspirated cars that are running 93-octane fuel and the injectors are running 75 percent or less at W.O.T., running E85 fuel is simple," Rick says. "Go into PMS to the Global menu and add 22 percent. That's all it takes for the fuel side of things. We've found on ignition timing that the E85 likes around four more degrees on a naturally aspirated, standard-compression 4.6 engine. We thought we would see no power gains, but we picked up around 8 hp compared to 93-octane gas."

As we mentioned, Rick selected a Mallory fuel pump (PN MAL-5160FI; $699) not only because the company says the pump is fit to run ethanol without issues, but also because Rick tested it through a length of fuel line suitable for the car; the pump delivered its promised 160 gph. Fuel pumps are often rated based on free flow, not flow through line. The only way to see what you're really getting is to attach the same length and diameter of line your car would use and time how long the pump takes to fill a 1-gallon jug. You can do some math to figure out how much flow you're really getting. Rick knew this combo would be thirsty, but he wasn't quite sure how thirsty it would be at full tilt; he ended up using two of these pumps. Remember, we said you'd have to burn more E85 for the same result. Having seen the results, Rick says, "I believe the power range and rpm Josh's car made would've worked fine with one 200-gph-at-60-psi fuel pump."

If you've never heard the adage "measure twice and cut once," we're happy to remind you that you don't want to cut your fuel lines too short.

For E85 compatibility and easy installation, Rick chose Russell's ProClassic hose that's good for up to 350 psi and is compatible with fuel, oil, or antifreeze. It's easy to install because you can cut it with a pair of scissors instead of using a saw, as what's needed for the steel-braided stuff.

You don't need any special tools to install the hose ends. Of course, Rick has put together a kit just for Fox Mustangs (PN PK-RUSS50; $710). It includes all the hose and fittings you need.

Whether you're running one or two aftermarket fuel pumps, the easy way to activate them is to tap into the factory fuel pump relay with a secondary relay. This way your pumps will cycle with the key just like the stock pumps.

The new rails Rick used were prototype pieces from Mallory, so we don't have pricing or part number info, but they fit well and accept the factory fuel-pressure sensor. When you're ready to move a lot of fuel, larger-diameter aftermarket rails are an easy way to eliminate the restrictions of the narrow stock rails. When a big injector opens wide, it can vacate the stock rails and cause a lean condition. That's bad.

Speaking of big injectors, in preparation for the ProCharger portion of the testing, the Anderson Ford Motorsport crew stepped up to 150-lb/hr FRPP fuel injectors (PN M-9593-E303; $460).

They also added the optional PMS Injector Power Driver that allows the use of low-impedance injectors without installing new drivers in a stock processor.

With the move to supercharging, Rick called for NGK R spark plugs (PN BP7EFS), three ranges cooler than stock and gapped at 0.032 inch.

With all the support hardware installed, it was time to bolt on a ProCharger D-1SC tuner kit ($4,890) for the first round of supercharged testing. Naturally, Rick outfits any blown car he gets his hands on with one of AFM's Power Pipes (PN AF-0114C; $249), which are high-flow inlet tubes shown to increase boost by reducing inlet restriction.

After testing with the D-1SC street blower (right), Rick had to see what the racy F-1A blower ($3,400) would do for the combination. According to ProCharger, the D-1SC is good for 1,400 cfm, 32 psi, and 925 hp. The F-1A ups the ante with 1,625-cfm, 38-psi, and 1,100hp capabilities. Besides pumping up another 3 pounds of boost to 23 psi, the F-1A was good for another 26.92 hp and 19.61 lb-ft of torque. Rick is confident that by tweaking and tuning more, he could get the F-1A combo near or past 700 hp.

With the blower installed, the final piece of the puzzle was a mass air meter calibrated for the 150-lb/hr injectors. For best results, the PMS needs an accurate mass air meter to rely on, so Rick chose a PMAS Cyclone mass air meter (PN PMA-35C/150bt/GT99-1; $468). As you can see, this meter picks up air to measure from points all around the circumference of the housing, which is said to eliminate signal noise that can cause fluctuations in the mass air voltage. Such fluctuations ultimately lead to inconsistent power production.

If you aren't familiar with the PMS we've been rambling on about, it's AFM's Programmable Management System (PN EF-PMS99-3; $1,077), a piggyback processor that plugs in between your factory processor and harness and allows you to modify the signals traveling from the computer to the engine. For supercharged applications, the PMS needs a three-bar MAP sensor (AF-12223861; $85) so it can read and react to boost.

The PMS allows easy tuning in percentages and degrees of timing, and you can save three programs, which are easy to toggle between. This makes it ideal for tuning your car for E85-if you run into an area that doesn't have E85, you can revert to a gasoline tune and keep going. If you go with chip or flash tuning for your combo, we suggest having a gas tune at the ready to upload in case you can't find E85.

ON THE DYNO

  NA BASELINE NA E85 D-1SC E85 F-1A E85 DIFFERENCE
RPM Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque Power Torque
3,{{{300}}} 148.74 236.73 154.51 245.91 219.00 348.56 211.54 336.68 {{{62}}}.{{{80}}} 99.95
3,400 160.78 248.36 165.41 255.52 235.28 363.45 230.10 355.45 69.32 107.09
3,500 171.96 258.04 176.56 264.95 251.23 376.99 242.56 363.98 70.60 105.94
3,{{{600}}} 182.38 266.07 186.15 271.58 269.29 392.87 265.34 387.11 82.96 121.04
3,700 191.41 271.71 194.44 276.01 282.63 401.19 278.52 395.36 87.11 123.65
3,800 199.62 275.91 202.12 279.36 297.63 411.36 294.33 406.80 94.71 130.89
3,{{{900}}} 207.66 279.65 210.79 283.87 307.47 414.07 311.14 419.00 103.48 139.35
4,000 216.98 284.91 220.94 290.10 325.16 426.94 331.97 435.89 114.99 150.98
4,{{{100}}} 226.34 289.95 229.28 293.71 343.42 439.93 346.43 443.77 120.09 153.82
4,{{{200}}} 235.17 294.08 236.51 295.75 359.41 449.44 366.22 457.96 131.05 163.88
4,300 243.37 297.25 243.65 297.60 377.64 461.26 385.{{{90}}} 471.35 142.53 174.10
4,400 250.12 298.55 250.71 299.26 400.66 478.26 406.65 485.40 156.53 186.85
4,500 256.04 298.84 256.33 299.17 411.62 480.41 422.14 492.69 166.10 193.85
4,600 260.58 297.52 261.89 299.01 429.90 490.84 442.45 {{{505}}}.18 181.87 207.66
4,700 264.21 295.25 267.73 299.18 441.39 493.24 461.17 515.34 196.96 220.09
4,800 269.88 295.30 272.25 297.90 456.67 499.68 480.49 525.75 210.61 230.45
4,900 273.32 292.96 276.14 295.99 476.67 510.93 493.79 529.27 220.47 236.31
5,000 277.49 291.48 279.70 293.80 485.23 509.70 506.32 531.85 228.83 {{{240}}}.37
5,100 282.53 290.95 284.75 293.24 501.67 516.63 526.27 541.97 243.74 251.02
5,200 285.56 288.42 290.06 292.97 515.31 520.47 541.80 547.24 256.24 258.82
5,300 290.42 287.80 295.34 292.67 531.45 526.65 553.98 548.98 263.56 261.18
5,400 293.44 285.40 296.37 288.25 543.55 528.67 571.45 555.81 278.01 270.41
5,500 296.53 283.17 300.16 286.63 554.74 529.74 580.58 554.42 284.05 271.25
5,600 298.46 279.92 303.10 284.27 570.17 534.75 589.98 553.33 291.52 273.41
5,700 301.26 277.59 305.74 281.71 583.68 537.82 597.80 550.83 296.54 273.24
5,800 302.02 273.49 306.37 277.43 583.47 528.36 600.02 543.34 298.00 269.85
5,900 302.85 269.59 306.69 273.01 596.78 531.25 {{{626}}}.19 557.43 {{{323}}}.34 287.84
6,000 304.68 266.71 308.49 270.03 603.00 527.83 625.88 547.87 321.20 281.16
6,100 303.80 261.{{{57}}} 307.23 264.52 616.64 530.93 638.10 549.41 334.30 287.84
6,200 304.48 257.93 308.62 261.44 625.96 530.26 643.18 544.84 338.70 286.91
6,300 302.39 252.10 305.76 254.91 627.79 523.37 638.03 531.91 335.64 279.81
6,400 298.64 245.08 303.48 249.05 641.21 526.21 654.20 536.87 355.56 291.79
6,500 294.60 238.04 300.41 242.73 639.14 516.43 657.12 530.97 362.52 292.93
6,600 290.49 231.16 296.71 236.11 634.13 504.62 659.84 525.08 369.35 293.92
6,700 283.46 222.20 n/a n/a 634.45 497.35 668.13 523.74 384.67 301.54
6,800 n/a n/a n/a n/a 627.55 484.70 664.53 513.26 n/a n/a

As you can see, just switching to E85 is worth some power because you can run more timing. When combined with forced induction, it really shines. It's typically cheaper than 87-octane pump gas, and it can support power heretofore only seen with race gas. "Though it takes more E85 to make the same horsepower as gasoline, the higher flash point of E85 and the cooler intake charge allow you to make way more power," Rick says. The high level of ethanol provides a cooler intake charge like a methanol injection system offers a cooler intake charge. E85 is cheaper, cleaner, and more powerful. Maybe we won't have to sell our fast cars and buy hybrids, after all.