Pete Epple Technical Editor
October 1, 2009
Chris Jones makes a pull on the Dynojet with Matt Frith's '10 Mustang GT.

Since the invention of the automobile, people have been finding ways to improve performance. As the car has evolved, so have the parts and the engineering that goes into them. When it comes to building a powerful street-car, the Mustang stands out as a solid foundation for enthusiasts and racers to build monster hot rods.

The Mustang has always been a fan favorite when it came time for performance modifications. The 5.0Ls of the late '80s and early '90s responded so well to basic bolt-ons, there wasn't much reason for the normal enthusiast to take things further.

Fastforward 20 years or so and the Mustang still serves as a great foundation for a new generation of performance enthusiasts. Although the ideals of the Mustang faithful haven't changed much over the years, Ford has stepped up its game considerably, improving the Mustang's power and handling, as well as its efficiency, giving us an incredibly fun-to-drive, reliable Pony. Being that we are now faced with a Mustang designed around power and efficiency, it's getting quite difficult to improve upon what we get off the showroom floor without spending buckets of cash.

With the 2010 model year rolling in, a new Mustang has hit dealerships. The all-new version of the Pony comes with a massive push from the Mustang aftermarket, and MM&FF jumped at the chance to play with Ford's latest ponycar. We headed down to Blow-By Racing (BBR) in Boca Raton, Florida, to follow along as Chris Jones and Matt Frith threw some basic bolt-ons at BBR's newest shop car.

Matt Frith of Lake Worth, Florida, bought this silver '10 Mustang with the intention of using it as an R&D tool at BBR, where he works as a mechanic. With a mere 2,500 miles on the clock, Jones and Frith tore into the Three-Valve to see what kind of power was available with the newest versions of the tried and true bolt-on performance parts. The day started with a baseline on BBR's Dynojet chassis dyno. Although the air conditions were less than favorable for making power, Frith's '10 spun the rollers to a respectable baseline of 269 rwhp with 296 lb-ft of torque.

Chris Jones sets the tune in Matt Frith's '10 Stang. Jones used an SCT XCal3 to handle the programming.

Jones' first order of business was setting the tune. Using an SCT XCal3, he adjusted timing and fuel curves, and made a few other slight changes to improve driveability. The end result was a gain of just under 9 rwhp at peak with a consistent gain of no less than 7 rwhp across the entire rpm range.

Next on the list was a set of underdrive pulleys from Steeda. The kit comes with a new crank and water pump pulleys, and reduces accessory drive speed by about 25 percent. The pulleys have a great OE fit and finish, and install in no time. After reinstalling the serpentine belt, our '10 spun the rollers to just under 287 rwhp and 304 lb-ft of torque, netting us a gain just shy of 10 rwhp and 8 lb-ft of torque.

Being that Frith's Mustang is going to see plenty of track time, the guys at BBR chose an electric water pump as the next step in our bolt-on buildup. Meziere Enterprises supplied one of its modular Ford electric water pumps and a wiring kit. This installation is definitely something the average backyard mechanic could tackle with simple hand tools. The pump itself is a direct replacement for the stock piece and the wiring is quite simple with Meziere's wiring installation kit. It also has an idler pulley in the design so there is no need for different length belts.