Michael Johnson Associate Editor
January 1, 2008
The exuberant Darrell Pitts is the owner of our subject '05 Roush Mustang convertible. He outfit his Roush with several bolt-ons prior to Zamboni Speed and Custom adding the Turbonetics single-turbo kit. When he received the Roush after the installation, he was pleased with the newfound power of his droptop. With more than 400 hp to the wheels and bright red paint, we're sure Darrell will become a favorite among the local police. (His buddy Teddy Witherington is at the wheel in this shot.)

Horse Sense: Unlike a supercharger which typically uses a belt from the crankshaft pulley to drive its boost-making ways, a turbocharger uses exhaust air to make power. Since it doesn't use horsepower to make horsepower, it is thought to be a more efficient way of making power when compared to a supercharged application, although it introduces backpressure into the exhaust system.

Forget everything you know about turbocharger kits. We all know the nightmare that came with installing one in the Fox Mustang days. Fitment issues abounded, and the lack of customer service further kept turbochargers at the underground level. Only the most dedicated power fiends made the commitment, because installation, tuning, and troubleshooting took on a whole new personality compared to other power adders. Turbocharger kits were reserved for race cars, such as those of Racin' Jason Betwarda, Gene Deputy, and Wild Bill Devine, to name a few. Those guys had the resources to take a unit and build the necessary tubing and brackets to install it on the car.

These days, the turbocharger climate has changed. Sure, there are still fitment shortcomings on Fox cars, but most high-mileage Foxes are so twisted up, even stock parts have a problem fitting at times. On the whole, the turbocharger aftermarket has heard the requests from consumers wanting complete kits that anyone can install and has answered with several systems for late-model Mustang applications, including Fox bodies. When the '05 Mustangs hit the market, everyone and their brother came out with a turbocharger setup for them. That fact may be having a trickle-down effect on the rest of the Mustang market, even though kits really gained a head of steam shortly before the S197 Mustangs turbos hit the streets. With the '05 Mustangs, it seemed turbocharger systems became like injured NFL players-a new one was out every week.

The focus of this report is Turbonetics' new single turbocharger kit ($5,745). Everything needed to install the system is included, something lacking in kits of the past. It features one of Turbonetics' own T4 60-1 turbochargers-perfect for mostly stock '05-and-up Mustang GT applications. Anything bigger would expedite the need for a built short-block. Important support equipment includes a Spearco intercooler, a Raptor blow-off valve, an Evolution wastegate, Denso 39-lb/hr fuel injectors, and an SCT handheld reflash tool. All the tubing in the kit is either polished or black chrome and uses T-bolt or V-band-style clamps. Follow along as we dry our hair to the tune of 400-plus rwhp.

Here are the larger parts contained in the Turbonetics kit, including the T4 60-1 turbocharger, Spearco intercooler, exhaust and intercooler tubing, Evolution wastegate, and Raptor blow-off valve. One of the things we like about the Turbonetics kit is the detailed instructions it features. Each item in the kit has a part number-even the small hardware pieces. Whenever a step calls for adding a part, the part number is present so there's no confusion as to what goes where.

Anytime you have to install an intercooler on a car, you're better off removing the front bumper cover. Thankfully, it's not difficult or time consuming to do on '05-to-current Mustangs. Zamboni Speed and Custom owner Mike Zamboni and lead tech Shawn Finley (left) make it look easy.

It's a good idea to drain the car's cooling system because the upper radiator hose gets replaced, the reservoir is relocated, and the radiator is moved forward ever-so-slightly.

Space is at a premium under the hood of a stock '05-to-current Mustang GT, so a lot of time is spent prepping the engine compartment for a new tenant. Since the turbo is mounted at the front of the engine, computer wires must be moved, fluid lines are adjusted, and other measures are laid out by Turbonetics' instructions to make room for the single-turbo kit. There's considerable room once everything is moved, but you're still left wondering how the turbo and all the requisite plumbing are going to mount.

Per the instructions, Shawn changes the stock fuel injectors for the included Denso 39-lb/hr squirters. If the fuel system is still pressurized, it's a good idea to have a rag to soak up excess fuel when disconnecting the rails and fuel injectors.

Before installing the driver-side injectors, Turbonetics recommends installing the T-fitting into the vacuum line running along the fuel rail. The line has to be cut 911/42 inches from the fuel pressure/MAP sensor, and the T-fitting installs between the two hose sections.

To mount the intercooler, the four inner front bumper support bolts need to be removed. Turbonetics supplies four new bolts, spacers, washers, and nuts to mount the intercooler using the supplied brackets.

One of the first things to do as part of this install is remove the battery and gain access to the heater hoses, which have to be disconnected at the hard lines. Turbonetics includes a section of 5⁄8- and 3⁄4-inch hose. Cut a 2 1⁄2-inch length of each and put them onto its respective heater-hose hard line. The factory hoses are a staggered size, so each cut section must be installed into its corresponding line. Place the corresponding fitting onto each hose, and reinstall the factory heater hoses onto the fittings.