5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
Installing Cold-Air Intake System - Size Matters - S197 Bolt-Ons
Realspeed Opens Up A Stock 'Stang's Airflow With Parts From R2C, Metco, Ford Racing, And Kooks
Yes, the subject matter is territory that we've visited many times before with 5.0 Mustangs and their younger, modular-powered siblings. This exercise in installing and testing S197 bolt-ons covers the simple air-efficiency upgrades (cold-air intake, larger throttle-body, free-flow mufflers, and tuning) that we believe are excellent first-step performance modifications for '05-'10 'Stangs. However, in each instance we like to experiment with components that are made by different manufacturers, to see exactly how well certain parts work on a stock Pony, both individually and when combined with each other for evaluation as affordable, bolt-on performance packages for Three-Valve-powered, '05-present Mustang GTs.
We've doled out plenty of criticism about the poorly designed, super-restrictive, OEM air-intake systems that are trademarks on the modern-era (from 1986 to present) stock Mustangs that we've worked with, and explained how fresh outside airflow into a 'Stang's engine, or, more specifically, the lack thereof, hinders performance.
Inefficiency doesn't stop at the engine. Exhaust gases that exit through factory mufflers are equally as detrimental to a Mustang's chassis-dyno (and more importantly, seat-of-the-pants) performance, as the aforementioned air-inlet passages are. Time has shown that installing bigger (larger diameter), non-restrictive pieces in both of these areas, is the best way to bring out more of a 'Stang's inherent rear-wheel horsepower. Also, through years of testing Mustangs, we've learned performance gains that result from bolting on the basics, can further be improved by using the chassis dyno and tuning software to recalibrate the PCM for an optimum air/fuel ratio.
The super-sized S197 parts for this test come to us courtesy of R2C Performance (cold-air system), Metco Performance (Shelby GT500 throttle body and spacer), Ford Racing Performance Parts (FR500CJ throttle body) and Kooks Custom Headers (axle-back exhaust). Realspeed Automotive's owner, Dan Carlson, and technicians Rob DeMartinis and Rodney Yu (the irony in the sight of Rodney, a Mustang tech, arriving at the shop in a full-on, tuner-style import ride was hilarious) spent a day installing and dyno-testing our upgrade package on a brand-new, '09 Mustang GT that was graciously provided by Jack Frost of Sayville Ford.
As we unpacked the products, Dan expressed skepticism about its overall power-making potential. We've all done it. Dan may have been passing his uncertain judgment because of the unconventional, square-shaped inlet tube that highlights R2C's CAI. Of course, you've probably been told more than a few times that it's not good to base opinions on appearance-no matter how abnormal something looks-especially when it comes to high performance. In the wild world of bolt-ons for late-model Mustangs, many times it's the out-of-the-ordinary products that prove to be far-more superior than their more-mainstream counterparts.
Read on through the photos, captions and the critical data recorded by Realspeed's Mustang dyno (once baseline dyno pulls were made, all subsequent dyno runs were done immediately after each part was installed) and see what we learned about this latest collection of intake- and exhaust-air hop-up pieces for '05-'10 Mustangs. We're pretty sure that you will be surprised by our findings, just as Dan was, when the dyno's roller stopped spinning after the final test.
On The Dyno
Our hopped-up stock S197 with its new big-air components from R2C, Metco, and Kooks, performed admirably on Real-speed's Mustang chassis dyno, as individual additions and definitely as a collective package.
Increased torque appears to be the big benefit in adding this collection to a stock 'Stang. For the money, we think the gains are excellent, when you consider the fact that rear-wheel torque, not horsepower, is the sensation that a driver or passenger experiences when the throttle is nailed. This package definitely will take you for a fun ride.
And, speaking of throttle, we have to say, there was no problem, glitch or issue with Shelby GT500 throttle body that we installed on our test Pony. Some throttle bodies can result in grumpy driveability without tuning compensation, but the Metco unit (a factory Ford part) performed without a hitch.
Increased torque appears to be the big benefit in adding this collection to a stock 'Stang
|Metco||Tuning||Baseline vs. Tuning|