Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2009
Contributers: Wayne Cook Photos By: Wayne Cook
We always look forward to our visits with JR Granatelli out at Granatelli Motor Sports in Oxnard, California. Every time we venture out to JR's shop we're never disappointed either by the hardware, the test vehicles, or the results. To give you an idea of what goes on during a typical day out at GMS we started out trying very hard not to be distracted by a black with silver Ford GT owned by famous Ford fanatic George Boskovich.

Tech Ignition Coil Replacement
It's easy to forget about maintenance intervals, even for car people like us. Believe it or not, non-moving parts do wear. Maybe not as fast as moving parts (serpentine belts, brake rotors, and so on), but they do wear down nonetheless due to heat, age, vibration, and more. Of course, with stock spec'd parts, they're usually built to handle stock applications. So when your Mustang gets some age and mileage on it, or you start beefing up the performance levels, what happens to those stock parts? They just can't cut it anymore.

When was the last time you thought about an ignition coil or coil pack? Maybe when your buddy's Mustang died on the side of the road or started missing badly at the track and a new coil or coil pack fixed the issue, right? Don't feel bad, we're pretty much the same way when it comes to things like that. So will replacing a stock ignition coil pack on your modular Ford really help? We've been told that the hotter spark of aftermarket coils not only makes more power (depending upon the engine's performance level), but also allows for easier and faster starts, better idle quality, better fuel economy, and even better emissions. A tall order? That may be so, but we're sure that hotter spark and cleaner, more complete burning of the air/fuel mixture has to help these areas in some respect.

We headed out to Granatelli Motor Sports (GMS) to check out its complete line of coil replacements for modular Fords and dyno test its most potent setup to see if these little dynamos really do make a difference. Read on to see what we discovered.

Tearing our attention away from the GT supercar, we finally focused on an '08 Mustang GT/CS. Also trimmed out in black, the California Special was already strapped to the GMS Mustang chassis dyno. It was to be the subject vehicle for today's test of the Granatelli Motor Sports Pro Series Xtreme coil-pack kit for 4.6L Three-Valve engines. The only existing modification on the GT/CS was a Granatelli cold air kit.

To cover a wide range of both passenger car and high performance applications, the company also offers its OEM Series replacement, the MPG Plus, the Hot Street, and the Pro Series coils, in addition to the Pro Series Xtreme kit that we would be testing. The GMS MPG set offers up to a 15 percent improvement in highway mileage as well as improved starting. The Hot Street coils are rated at 40,000 volts, while the Pro Series coils are good for 60,000 volts. Our Pro Series Xtreme kit was part number 28-181SC, and it has a MSRP of $599.

We weren't sure how much gain to expect with the ignition kit, and JR speculated that maybe 8 to 10 extra horsepower might be gained on a naturally aspirated engine like the GT/CS. After baselining the practically new car (1,180 miles), the factory coil-on-plug ignition will be replaced with the Granatelli kit. Remember that these figures were taken on a Mustang chassis dyno and not a DynoJet. The figures on the Mustang dyno come out lower and the new car we were using wasn't really broken in yet. Here are the results of the '08 GT/CS baseline pull.

RPMHPTQ
2,400115245
2,800142257
3,200161267
3,600190272
4,000228295
4,250235298
4,400244294
4,800259288
5,200261267
5,600262248
5,750265241
6,000254223

Back on the Mustang dyno, the car recorded the following numbers. They were far better than any of us expected. The higher and flatter torque curve was especially impressive.

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