Courtesy of Anderson Ford Motorsport
December 1, 2009

As you can imagine, we get constant queries about testing this, or doing a story on that. It's something we've covered many times before, but every so often we are introduced to a path not taken.

Such was the case when Rick Anderson at Anderson Ford Motorsport gave us a call about Vortech's air-to-air intercooler. He asked if we had ever tested a centrifugal blower configured with one of these charge coolers. We had not. Rick explained that the results, especially the air-charge temps from this setup were impressive. Sounded like a good story to us.

Making it even more compelling is that even as positive-displacement blowers and turbos have grown in popularity, Rick has steadfastly maintained that a properly tuned centrifugal will deliver a better performance at the dragstrip. "Centrifugals are linear," he explained. "You can put the power to the ground with a centrifugal. They are more tractable because as tire speed goes up horsepower goes up, so they don't fight the chassis."

With that in mind, we wanted to see just how this intercooled combo responded to a variety of superchargers and boost levels to truly max out its potential on 93-octane pump gas. So we asked Rick if he'd be willing to run the AFM in-house mule, an '05 Mustang GT, with all the streetable Vortech blowers, so you could see how the power builds differently with each blower. Always game for some testing, Rick gladly agreed to strapping on Vortech's Si-, T-, JT-, and YSi-Trim superchargers to his boost-ready combo

That combo has already seen innumerable dyno pulls, and is proven ready to withstand the 20-plus pounds of boost it would see in our testing. Providing a rock-solid foundation to Rick's GT is a 4.6 Three-Valve Super Modular Aluminum block (PN SM46 ALUMINUM 3V; $4,999.95) from D.S.S. Competition Engines. It features D.S.S. Extreme X Forged Pistons, plasma-moly rings, tri-metal bearings, a KPC forged crankshaft, D.S.S. 4340 H-beam forged connecting rods, a D.S.S. Main Support, and a D.S.S. Level 10 CNC-prepped block. All told, the Super Mod short-block is far better suited to big boost and big power than the fragile stock short-block.

Rick topped off the combo with a pair of AFM ported stock heads ($1,200 plus cores), stock cams locked in the fully advanced position, a stock intake, and a stock throttle body. This stout but stock-appearing combo is fed by a Vortech Si-Trim tuner kit (PN 4FU218-110SQ; $3,063), which served as foundation for a variety of different head units. This was augmented by the AFM Cool Kit (PK AAPP0506; $2,295), which includes a Vortech air-to-air intercooler, Anderson Power Pipe (PN AF-0134c), DBX85 mass air meter (PN AB-DBX85), adapter harness (PN AB-P03) as well as the optional Vortech Mondo bypass valve (PN V-8D103-001; $277).

An Innovators West 10-percent Overdriven Damper (PN IW-804; $425.00) maximizes the boost potential of the combo, while Kooks long-tube headers and X-pipe (PN KO-60210X; $1,338.86) and Ford Racing mufflers (PN M-5230-5GT; $489) release the fumes. Rick tuned it all up with a DiabloSport Predator (PN S-5795; $369.99), and Shelby GT500 fuel pumps and 60 lb/hr injectors feed the fire with 93-octane fuel from the local gas pump.

All told, this combo easily supported over 600 horsepower, which is impressive from a stock-displacement, stock-cammed Three-Valve 4.6 engine. To see how Rick got her past 600 and keep the discharge temperatures shockingly low, keep reading. We think you'll be impressed with the results.