KJ Jones
Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
December 1, 2008
Photos By: KJ Jones

Horse Sense: As ProCharger's F-1 series of race superchargers goes, the F-1A unit that we're using on our '02 'Stang can be considered a mid-level player in the lineup. Up first of course is the F1, followed by the F-1A and F-1C units-with the only difference between the A and C being a bigger compressor housing for the C at 9.75-and, of course the F-1R, which creates such a tornado that it shouldn't even be considered unless you're working with an engine of 400 cubes or better.

If you're a diligent 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords reader, no doubt you're aware of the various project cars we've worked on over the years. Maybe you've even picked a favorite in the lot of them.

Looking back, there's been Project Mondo Stocker, Dr. Jamie Meyer's 8-second LX coupe; Editor Turner's recently sold Real Street '89 notch, inspired by the NMRA class that bears its name; Associate Editor Johnson's Roadkill, a still-under-construction '91 LX that's gone from four-banger to Four-Valve with a Vortech T-trim blower to boot; and more recently, your tech editor's Project T-top Coupe, a street-bound '86 T-roof notchback that runs 9s with the stereo crankin'.

While all of those project Ponies stand on the Fox platform, believe it or not (again, loyal readers already know this), we also have a New Edge stallion in our project-car stable: the '02 Mustang GT of Crystal Jones, your tech editor's more-than-understanding wife, who has given us "no-restrictions" permission to experiment with her 'Stang-Crystal's first-ever, dealer-new car-in our never-ending mission to bring you new and cool Mustang technology.

That's right; we've actually had an in-house modular of the Two-Valve variety for quite a while now. The initial plan was to use our '02 GT to test, evaluate, and showcase basic bolt-on enhancements for '99-'04 'Stangs, and we did that with projects such as a Bullitt brake-and-wheel upgrade ("Becoming Bullitt," Feb. '06, p. 84), and an exhaust/pulley/CAI/plug-in tune installation ("Volume Two," May '06, p. 80). However, as is the norm for most enthusiasts, the yearning to make a major performance change eventually overcame us.

To satisfy our curiosity about an easy way to increase a stock 4.6's horses, we added ATI ProCharger's P-1SC Stage 2 supercharger system and an Accufab throttle-body/plenum combo to our project car ("Beyond Bolt-On," June '06, p. 78). In addition, Saul "The Surgeon" Gutierrez of Extreme Automotive in Canoga Park, California, DiabloSport-tuned a safe 383.52 hp and 372.32 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels of Mrs. Jones' New Edge on 91-octane pump fuel and 9.10-psi of intercooled boost.

We realize our final power number for the project was well below the 425-or-so pump-gas horses that can be achieved with predominately stock Two-Valve modulars. Our goal was to make good, safe, low-boost horsepower for daily street use, not find the breaking point. That same stock engine, which subsequently was removed with approximately 45,000 original miles, is still strong as ever and powering another 'Stang.

You're probably asking, "Why remove a setup that's working perfectly fine, especially when it's in your wife's Mustang? Are you crazy?" Well, we won't comment on our mental state, but one of the main reasons we do some against-the-grain projects is because we firmly believe that making good 'Stangs better is a big part of this hobby of ours.

From a true gearhead's perspective, making a 'Stang better means increasing horsepower and torque. While power gains are achievable through many different processes, one thing is consistent: When your plan is to make power that's beyond the limits of a stock block's capabilities, a good engine (iron block, forged rotating assembly, and so on) is mandatory. We commissioned D.S.S. Racing to set up one of its Super Modular 4.6 long-blocks for the next leg of our Two-Valve power project; the details are in our Nov. '06 issue ("Big-Boost Bullet," p. 100).

Our D.S.S. engine's Level-10 race-prepped block is stocked with an '03-'04 Cobra forged crankshaft; 4340 H-beam rods; and D.S.S. Pro-X Max-Wedge dished pistons that make 9.5:1 compression. The short-block is topped with D.S.S. CNC-ported cylinder heads, Anderson Ford Motorsport's F-62 camshafts, and Professional Products' Typhoon intake manifold, upper plenum, and 75mm throttle body.

Note that although we stayed with an ATI-ProCharger for the blower upgrade, we chose to completely bypass the company's D-Series unit (D-1SC)-a more-powerful and still-streetable (but not smog-legal) upgrade that can easily make upwards of 600 hp with race fuel and proper tuning. We instead planted our feet on the first rung of the race-specific blower ladder, installing ProCharger's F-1A supercharger system (featuring a cool, eight-rib drive-belt conversion by House of Boost) to see if we can find a peaceful coexistence between hard-core race equipment and our daily driven 'Stang ("On the Brink of Insanity," May '07, p. 166).

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As it is with life, a radical project like this one isn't always the proverbial bed of roses that we'd like it to be. While we put in our new engine and big blower with little problem, making a tune that would get the combination to work together in streetable harmony as a blow-through system (mass air sensor is located inline, after the supercharger) proved to be quite the challenge, full of frustration and delays.

Our decision to convert the supercharged engine's airflow system to "draw through" (air is drawn into the mass air and processed before it enters the supercharger) has proven to be a wise move. With the draw-through setup, B&D Racing's Brian Schapiro was able to create a pump-gas tune that allows us to cruise our project 'Stang anywhere without apprehension, and easily spin the chassis dyno's rollers to the tune of 484.17 hp and 414.08 lb-ft of torque-for now-at just over 6,000 rpm. Combine the tuning nuances with a few mechanical issues (not any person's or product's fault) that required removing the entire works twice, and you'll have a better idea of why it's been such a long while since we brought you a report about this particular project.

But, as we've said in other project reports, quitting isn't in our profile. As time permitted (more than two years by the time you read this), we forged ahead with our F-1A street car effort, and now we have finally reached a point of major accomplishment. Props go to Brian and B&D's lead tech Mason "Mase" Rowland for their tenacity and dedication to the cause, especially when the going was the roughest (engine removal number two).

Big thanks to the folks at Anderson Ford Motorsport, ATI ProCharger, House of Boost, D.S.S. Racing, L&R Automotive, JLT Performance, and SCT for everything they've done in support of our outside-the-box project.

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M5lp 0812 14 O Two Valve Modular Motor Project 2002 Mustang GT
Although our '02 Mustang GT looks fairly sedate when cruising on city streets, the sound of its ProCharger F-1A can be heard several streets away. For those who aren't familiar with the sound of a blower, think of a sawmill (at idle) or an F-14 fighter jet (when air screams out of the bypass valve).