KJ Jones
August 22, 2011

Our work was performed in the cozy confines of T&M Performance in San Fernando, California, and Tech Editor Jones' home garage in Reseda. T&M is Tim McLaughlin's-Scott's dad-cool little man cave, and we thank Tim immensely for giving us access to a twin-post hoist and full run of his place for a day. As you'll see in the following photos and captions, duplicating Project T-top Coupe's slick new intercooler plumbing only requires a good set of cutters, handtools, and a solid plan. However, while the project can be accomplished without a twin-post hoist (using a jack and jackstands to safely lift the car), we strongly recommend the hoist.

Horse Sense: The idea of intercooling any boosted application is to remove heat from intake air charge before it enters the engine. The Igloo intercooler consists of three 4.5-inch-thick cores that measure 13.5x9 inches inside a sealed, cast-aluminum box that bolts to the lower intake manifold. Using ice-cold water as the cooling agent, the hot supercharged intake air passes through the cores twice and is cooled down dramatically before entering the heads (without any significant loss of boost pressure). The Igloo has a maximum 2,000-cfm flow rating, which is well within the airflow parameters we'll need to make 1,000 horses.

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Air Command

When you look at automotive plumbing on a big-picture scale, it's important to understand that there's more to it than simply channeling fluids throughout a Mustang's engine, drivetrain, and accessories. Air is another entity that is "plumbed," primarily into the engine. However, it also can be routed toward brakes and other segments of a 'Stang, typically for cooling purposes.

Our focus in this report obviously has been on the liquid side of T-top Coupe's plumbing. However, as part of this effort to make 1,000 rwhp, we also had to make sure there is sufficient tubing in place for feeding supercharged air into the intercooler.

Special thanks go out to Mike Reagan and is team at Vortech's Engineering department for creating a smooth, one-piece discharge tube for our application (that incorporates a huge MaxFlow bv57 bypass valve). With hood clearance (cowl size) being high on the list of important concerns when designing the tube, the finished piece is perfect and will serve us well as we head for the dyno and making big steam.

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