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ProCharged '05 Mustang!
We get our hands on one of the first ProCharger '05 Mustang kits and the results are awesome!
By now the streets are filling up with '05 Mustangs as sales continue toskyrocket for Ford's newest ponycar. Not too long ago, the '05 Mustangwas a rare sight that was reserved for large auto shows. Then, in thefall of 2004, the Stang hit the streets and the buzz started.
You readabout our exploits with an '05 GT when it ran 12.45 with nothing morethan bolt-on parts and some sticky tires ("Six Pack to Go," April '05).Hopefully, we dispelled some of the myths, half-truths, and downrightincorrect info regarding the new Stang's performance. In the comingmonths we will dive deeper into these cars and unlock more informationon what works and what doesn't.
This month we ventured north of our NewJersey home to check out an exciting new blower system fromATI-ProCharger. ATI launched an '05 Mustang-specific kit at the SEMAshow last year, and we finally got our hands on one. Mike Freedman ofXLR8 Racing offered his virgin Mustang as a testbed for theinstallation. While the installation took place at XLR8 Racing in theBoston area, we used LaRocca Performance's chassis dyno in Old Bridge,New Jersey, to record the results.
"Our biggest challenge was trying toget everything to fit and, of course, get the car tuned properly," saysDan Jones of ProCharger. He said 11 people at ProCharger undertook thedesign challenges to develop a complete and affordable superchargerpackage for the new Stang. The end product is an easy-to-installintercooled blower kit that delivers in the performance department.
Computer challenges aside, there was great concern about the durabilityand capabilities of the new Three-Valve engine. Ford brags about its300hp rating from the factory. As nice as that is, how would this newversion of the 4.6-liter engine like extra pressure in the form of 9 psiof boost from a P1SC supercharger head unit? The 9.8:1 compression ratiowas not a big concern since ProCharger has had success with GM'shigher-compression LS1 engine. The addition of an intercooler helps keepinlet tempera-tures down, and that staves off detonation under higherlevels of boost.
Through research, we found out the short-block issimilar to the one found in '03-'04 Mach 1s. The major difference is anew piston design, and that sent up a red flag with ProCharger. The topring on the piston is stainless steel. Jones turned to Jim Summers, JimLaRocca, and Don Walsh Jr. to get their opinions on whether this newpiston would survive. All three concluded that the stainless steel ringwould not be their first choice, but that it should work fine with theblower kit.
While familiarizing ourselves with this new superchargerpackage, we noticed a few common features. Of course, ProChargerincludes an air-to-air intercooler and it mounts neatly in the frontbumper. Jones joked by saying that Ford built this car with a lot ofspace so he can fit an intercooler comfortably. The intercooler getsplenty of air and sits cleanly in the front lower valance.
A strikingdifference with this system is the mounting of the P1SC-1 head unit.ProCharger departed from the reverse rotation-style supercharger andused a regular rotation setup, a la 5-liter-style mounting. One of themajor reasons for this switch is due to Ford's lower pulley andbalancer. The lower pulley and balancer are one piece and ProChargerdesigned a unique answer to the equation. The blower pulley slides ontothe factory pulley/balancer and is locked in place by a few dowels. Alonger bolt is used to secure both pulley setups to the engine. Thepulley system is a yield inter-ference setup, so once it is bolted onand the blower pulley hub is locked in, it will not slip.
Jones alsoinformed us that using the regular rotation blower allows for a futureupgrade to D1SC- and F1-style superchargers. It is also easier to run 8-and 12-rib-style belts as well as a cogged belt system.
ProChargerintegrated the MAF sensor in the blower tubing so it acts as ablow-through setup now. "We tested a couple different ways [of runningthe MAF sensor]," says Jones, "and this was the best. Being that it is aFord meter, you get a great and consistent signal." The factory MAFsensor is removed from the stock airbox and gets installed in the blowertube.
The standard blower unit is a P1SC-1 and was introduced to themarket several years ago. It features a self-contained oiling sys-temand does not require tapping into the engine's oil system or oil pan.The P1SC-1 was selected because of the engine's 300hp naturallyaspirated rating. ProCharger uses an engine's base horsepower rating todetermine which head unit will be used for that application. The P1SC-1taps out at 825 hp and can produce upward of 32 psi of boost on properlyprepared engines. Run-ning just 9 pounds of boost is no sweat for thisblower.
By now everyone knows of the '05 Mustang's computercomplications. It leaves a lot to be desired when the driver demands themost performance from his/her Mustang. The drive-by-wire technologyeliminates the throttle cable, and an electric motor controls thethrottle blade on the throttle body. The electric motor receivescommands from the computer, which senses the gas pedal position. Fordhas restricted our fun by programming commands in the computer system topull the throttle blade back a bit when the gas pedal is slammed downtoo aggressively; it also restricts the fun when you try to powershiftby backing down the herd.
Another aspect to this new computer system isa torque load sensor. Essentially, when the power is increased, theengine senses it and pulls back the reins--effectively negating thegains from the aftermarket parts. From our understanding, just adding anexhaust system will not be a problem, but when you start increasingairflow into the engine, the computer takes over and negates the powerincrease. The computer goes into a limp mode. Thank- fully, you will nothave to deal with that due to the many aftermarket computer-tuningcompanies out there.
The DiabloSport software (which is included in theProCharger kit) has the capabilities to overcome these obstacles and getthe new car's computer tuned properly. Scott Beer, one of DiabloSport'stop tuners, was present for the test to ensure every- thing wentsmoothly. He used one of the company's Predator tuner tools to upload asupercharged-oriented program.
That ProCharger includes Predator tuningtools in the kits makes this a truly turnkey setup. DiabloSport hasadded a special ProCharger '05 Mustang section, which includes apreprogrammed tune-up. That way a customer needs to only use thePredator to reflash the computer during the blower installation. If moremodifications are made to your '05 Mustang, the Predator can modify theexisting program or upload a new one from DiabloSport.
So what is it allworth? Freedman's '05 pounded out 441.8 wheel horsepower and a maximumtorque reading of 409.8 lb-ft. The boost gauge touched 9 psi at the topof the pull when the engine was singing at 6,200 rpm. This was anincrease of 175 rear-wheel peak horsepower (this hot rod produced 266 hpin bone-stock trim). Freedman's Mustang even had a completely stockexhaust system. We're willing to bet the power levels would have shot upeven higher with aftermarket exhaust.
Horsepower numbers are only halfthe story as we hit the streets with the newly supercharged Stang. Ourtest was conducted during the winter, so we were not able to flog thething on the dragstrip. Bringing it out on the public roadways gave us aclue as to how this car will run. Despite a sand-and-salt mix coveringthe roads, we laid into the throttle rather aggressively. Immediately,the first thought was, Wow. Like a typical centrifugal blower, the powerkeeps climbing until redline. But there was gobs of torque down low,too. It planted us in the seat, and conservative estimates put the '05somewhere in the mid 11s with good tires.
As your senses overcome theacceleration feeling, the next thing to pop into your mind is, Where'sthe blower noise? The regular blower whine is noticeable from theoutside, but the interior was dead quiet--even when whaling on the loudpedal. We can't wait to start turning up the boost and adding some moregoodies.
The future of '05 Mustang performance is bright.