KJ Jones Senior Technical Editor
June 17, 2010
Photos By: KJ Jones

When it comes to '79-present Mustang technology, bucking tradition or going against the grain with non-conventional (and sometimes non-recommended) modification ideas really is one of the things that helps keep our hobby fresh. Being told "that's not a good idea" or "that will never work" is one of the biggest challenges that can ever be laid down, especially when a particular upgrade is within the realm of doable.

Your tech editor heard plenty of those discouraging remarks when I came up with a plan to outfit my wife's daily driven '02 Mustang GT with an engine and supercharger combination that is better-suited for the dragstrip than street use. But despite the naysaying, a hot Two-Valve 4.6 and ProCharger's F-1A supercharger were installed between the 'Stang's front fenders in 2006.

We installed what was then state-of-the-art hardware in our project Pony with hopes that the combination would produce major power without dramatically affecting the 'Stang's street manners. In addition to a fortified iron-block/ported-PI-heads 4.6 long-block, Anderson Ford Motorsport F-62 cams, Professional Products' intake pieces, and House of Boost's eight-rib blower/accessory-drive conversion were put in place, along with the big ProCharger.

Through a lot of trial and plenty of error, a happy medium between race and street Mustang eventually was achieved. However, that included constant tuning, plus belt-alignment and valvetrain challenges, which limited our project from reaching its full potential. This situation left us understandably dissatisfied and determined to stay at it until we got it right.

Fast-forward to 2010 and things are now much, much better! We're happy to report that the same project concept has become a lot more doable, thanks to a host of new products that we wish had been around when we first set out to improve our GT in this manner.

This redux of our upgrade is highlighted by an A.R.E. Performance & Machine-prepared 4.6 that is founded on Ford Racing Performance Parts' ultra-light Aluminator short-block (PN M-6009-A46SCB; $3,599), and topped with the same 44cc Trick Flow Track Heat aluminum cylinder heads (PN 5191002-M44; $1,995.95) and Track Heat intake manifold (PN 518B0002; $799.95) that have been detailed in past issues of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords. The idea to go with a lightweight engine package was spawned when your tech editor decided to run our project Pony in the inaugural Mojave Mile event, a standing-mile, top-speed evaluation that was held in March 2010.

Some of the big differences between the previous setup and changes for this project fall in the supercharger and airflow categories. Replacing the F-1A is a slightly larger F-1C unit and three-core race intercooler. While we're throwing a bit more air at the new engine, that's not the big deal with this effort. The thing we're really excited about is finally getting a chance to end the many frustrating situations we experienced with serpentine belts (misalignment and tensioner issues), as well as tuning the engine so that it met the performance and efficiency standards that we expect to see from such a radical Two-Valve setup.

To handle this critical leg of the effort, we're returning to our roots and plumbing the new supercharger's ductworks in a "blow-through" configuration (the original F-1A was initially bolted on as blow through, then changed to draw-through in an attempt to get a handle on tuning), and counting on Abaco's DBX 85mm mass air (PN DBX85; $379) to properly measure airflow into the throttle body.

On the belt side of things, just looking at House of Boost's super-slick Two-Valve Renegade bracket system (PN 2VR; $1,675) gives us confidence that our blower-belt-retention problem will be a thing of the past. The stout aluminum "2VR" bracket setup is specifically made for New Edge Mustangs with 4.6-liter, Two-Valve engines. It literally puts ProCharger F-Series blowers on its own eight-rib drive circuit, and keeps a 4.6-powered street-Mustang's accessories on a single, six-rib belt.

These highlight pieces and many other support components are being swapped in an effort to lighten up our project Pony. We want to see what type of impact a stronger powerplant and less weight will have on its rear-wheel horsepower and torque, overall street performance and agility, and its top-end speed when we let it all hang out on the Mojave Mile.

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery