Tom Wilson
December 1, 2009

It's difficult to think of mid-600 hp at the rear tires as routine, but around Kenne Bell, it's become that. Since the introduction of the modern Three- and Four-Valve modular V-8s Kenne Bell has developed the formula for making such power on 91-octane pump gas, so when the '10 GT500 hit the showrooms there was no doubt the latest Shelby would join the mid-600 club.

As it turns out, getting there was all the fun thanks to the addition of knock sensors. So, while the '10 GT500 hardware is a carryover from '09, much of the electronic strategies have changed with the move to knock sensors by Ford. In fact, this is the first time a Ford-supercharged car has used knock sensors, so sorting out the electronics was a new headache for ace Kenne Bell engineer Ken Christley.

Because the hardware is familiar to 5.0&SF readers, instead of wading through another nut-by-bolt supercharger installation in this documentation of Kenne Bell's supercharger kit for the '10 GT500, we're going to just hit the highlights, plus cover a few interesting peripheral items KB uncovered along the way.

A quick review is probably the best place to start, so let's recall the '10 GT500 uses an Eaton roots-type supercharger and air-to-water charge cooling to make 540 hp at the flywheel. Kenne Bell's kit replaces the Ford blower with their own 2.8-liter Twin Screw supercharger for greater blower efficiency and more tunability (read that as simpler pulley changes). This requires a minimal amount of hardware replacement because the Kenne Bell supercharger perches atop the stock Ford intake manifold, uses the Ford charge cooling system, belt drive, fuel system, and ignition.

In fact, the '10 Shelby system from Kenne Bell is best described as the '07-'09 Kenne Bell Stage III blower kit for GT500s with just the software and instruction manual changes required to fit it to the '10 GT500. There are no Stage I or II kits for the 2010 Shelby because Kenne Bell has hardly sold any of these for the '07-'09 Shelbys, so there's little demand for entry-level kits when it comes to GT500s. The Stage III kit includes the 2.8H high-pressure ratio supercharger, the big-twin 75mm throttle body, a cold-air intake built from a Ford GT inlet tube, 2,000-cfm air filter, and big 133mm mass-air housing.

KB is supplying the blower with a 3.250-inch drive pulley. This yields 15 to 15.5 pounds of boost, the most possible with 91-octane pump gasoline before detonation sets in. As West Coast readers know, 91-octane is the highest octane gas available on the left coast; East Coasters can run the same electronic tune with a 3-inch blower pulley for 45 more rwhp over the West Coast guys. That should put the West Coast customers at 640 rwhp while the East Coast guys are nominally at 690 rwhp although some report seeing 700-plus rwhp (and Virgin Marys in warehouse windows, for all we know).

Other Kenne Bell hardware in its '10 kit is the Mammoth blower inlet casting, DiabloSport Mafia mass-air extender, SCT Flash Tuner, and KB's dual Boost-A-Pump voltage booster for the Shelby's dual fuel pumps. There is no Boost-A-Spark as the Ford ignition is more than adequate. Because it is mechanically identical to the '07-'09 kit, '10 kit pricing is also the same at $5,999

OK, so what did Kenne Bell do to get their GT500 kit on the '10 snake? On the hardware side nothing. Well, for the first batch of kits the oval mass air meter housing KB supplies will be powdercoated gray instead of natural cast aluminum due to a cosmetic finish foul-up by KB's foundry, so there's a bit of trivia for MCA judges 30 years hence.