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2003-2004 Ford Cobra Lysholm Twin-Screw Supercharger Install - Trade Winds
Lysholm puts over-the-top power into a stealth package for ’03-’04 Cobras
Horse Sense: “You guys never show the ’03-’04 Cobras any love in the magazine.” If we had a nickel for every time we’ve heard or read that comment—or a similar comment about another generation of ’Stangs—we all would be well on our way to having enough money to put down on ’11 GTs!
For whatever reason, there definitely has been a lengthy dry spell of sorts when it comes to talking about the factory-supercharged New Edge ’Stangs. Now before you start thinking that we simply don’t have love for the ’03-’04s, please believe us when we stress that is not the case. We certainly do dig SVT’s Terminator Mustangs—a lot. However, the bolt-on tech side of our coverage on these cars has been limited over the years, mainly because there hasn’t been much fresh gear for these ’Stangs.
As you know, we’re all about getting after it, and being your go-to magazine for details on hot, new products that the aftermarket produces for all post-’79 Mustangs. Of course, Terminators are VIP members of that collection of Ponies, and we’re happy to report that we were the first publication to work with Lysholm’s new 3.3-liter twin-screw supercharger (PN 3320020; $4,695.95) for ’03-’04 Cobras.
For this exercise, we chose to forego doing the routine evaluation that starts with a stock car as a baseline. Instead, we are evaluating the effects of Lysholm’s twin-screw unit and a set of hotter camshafts on a Cobra already modified with only the typical bolt-on pieces. On these cars, a small blower pulley, long-tube headers, and a CAI system are standard issue, but our test car also features a ported factory Eaton supercharger.
Miguel Gonzalez of Phoenix, Arizona, owns this ride. His ’03 Snake, so modified, makes 500 horses at the rear wheels. According to a few noted Mustang tuners we conferred with about the overall performance potential of factory-blown Four-Valve combinations like Miguel’s, horsepower in the low-to-mid 500s appears status quo for a hot Terminator.
Of course, sometimes we like to go beyond the status quo in these tech efforts, especially when the reward for exploring new performance territory is the proverbial big steam. Read on and follow closely. The accompanying photos and captions detail our quest to bring 700 horses to the feet of Miguel’s Cobra, through a Four-Valve camshaft upgrade and installation of Lysholm’s new 3.3-liter twin-screw supercharger performed by the skilled snake charmers at AMP Performance in Phoenix, Arizona.
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On The Dyno
|Eaton||4.25 Pulley||4.00 Pulley|
|3.75 Pulley||Eaton vs. 3.75|
Dyno testing after changes is always the most-anticipated phase of projects like this ’03-’04 Cobra cam/big-blower upgrade, and we certainly didn’t waste any time getting Miguel’s freshly modified ’03 Terminator loaded onto the Dynojet chassis dyno at AMP Performance. With our goal being to see how far a switch to hotter camshafts and a much-larger supercharger takes horsepower and torque, we evaluated the new setup using blower pulleys measuring 4.25, 4.00, and 3.75 inches. Our sights were on seeing 700-or-better horse-power from the new combination.
For this experiment, the numbers tell it all. With PCM calibration accomplished using DiabloSport’s Chipmaster Revolution tuning software and through a Predator handheld flash device, our cams/twin-screw combination (with the big 4.25-inch pulley) immediately came within 40 hp of our ultimate goal of 700. Belt slippage limited this and the two other configurations (4.00- and 3.75-inch) from showing the setup’s true hand, which we believe ultimately could approach 800 horses at the feet. (An unofficial pull with the 4.00-inch pulley netted 735 hp.) For the money you’ll invest in parts and labor, the package is a beast!
We’re firmly entrenched in a time when 600 horses is the expected norm for street-driven Mustangs, as bolt-on power adders have made reaching the once-unfathomable mark quite doable. To have a completely driveable ’Stang that puts nearly 800 horses on the ground is truly above-board, especially for Terminators with stock–bottom-end 4.6s as opposed to Shelby GT500s with fully built supercharged 5.4s.
It indeed is refreshing that despite all the forward progress the aftermarket is making for the latest Mustangs, new technology for ’03-’04 Cobras is still being developed, and in some ways, performs even better than similar hardware for later models.