Marc Christ
Brand Manager, Modified Mustangs & Fords
January 19, 2011

Three-Valve technology is just now coming into its prime. Ford Racing is releasing a Three-Valve Aluminator, and C&L and Ford Racing have both released performance intake manifolds. Likewise, camshaft technology has been improving as well.

One major supplier of performance camshafts is Anderson Ford Motorsport (AFM). Rick Anderson is always on the leading edge of camshaft technology, and has been concentrating his efforts on a new Three-Valve cam profile-the N-93 (PN AF-N93; $749 per pair). It offers 0.492-inch lift on the intake with 240 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch, and 0.492-inch lift on the exhaust and 252 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch. Its predecessor, the N-73, features 0.492-inch lift on the intake with 232 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch, and 0.492-inch lift on the exhaust with 244 degrees of duration at 0.050-inch.

"We tightened them up a bit," said Rick Anderson when asked about the difference. Anderson is known for his cam profiles, and for good reason. AFM cams are highly sought after in the Mustang world, and Anderson puts in long hours, painstakingly varying cam profiles until he gets the desired results. The real difference is in the lobe separation-110 degrees over 108 degrees on the N-73s.

Nevertheless, what really matters is how the camshafts perform. So when the first set was available, we called dibs. And since we wanted to see how they performed on a naturally aspirated combination (what they are designed for), we called Jason Combs at Hurricane Performance in Orange Park, Florida.

Hurricane's Three-Valve project car, an '06 GT owned by Hurricane Performance co-owner Josh Klugger, was the subject of previous MM&FF tech stories, including the aforementioned C&L intake and N-73 cams. With the current combination, the GT has been consistently laying down 11.50s in the quarter-mile at 118 mph. In the eighth-mile, which is how it usually competes, the coupe has been as quick as 7.40s at 93 mph.

Camshafts in hand, we headed to Hurricane for some thrashing. Since the car had just returned from a race, we had some good baseline track numbers. And since we were just a day away from our track day at Gainesville Raceway, we had to rush. For a fair baseline, Tony Gonyon of TunersInc (Orange Park, Florida) strapped the coupe to the Dynojet, making small adjustments to the tune to maximize output of the N-73s. The results were 412 rwhp and 357 lb-ft of torque.

The next morning, Combs removed the cam covers on the Three-Valve and began the swap. A couple of hours later, he was putting on the finishing touches. When Gonyon hit the key, the Three-Valve came to life. I couldn't believe how aggressive it sounded.

So before we made the first pull on the Dynojet, I gave Rick Anderson a call. When I told him how nasty the cams sounded, he replied with a chuckle. "Yeah, we tried a few different profiles before we chose this one," Anderson said. "That's what we were going for."

Gonyon made a few partial pulls, monitoring the air/fuel ratio. Everything looked good, so he made a full pull. The results were 422 rwhp and 360 lb-ft of torque-a 12hp and 3-lb-ft increase at peak. More importantly, though, was the 10-lb-ft increase in torque from 5,900 rpm to redline.

Gonyon then made some adjustments to the tune, to see if an increase or decrease in either fuel or spark would work better with the new cam profile. After a few pulls, it was clear that the previous tune was ideal, with one exception. "It likes a little more timing on the low end," said Gonyon-two degrees, to be exact. After a long cool-down period, Gonyon made one last pull on the dyno. The results were 428 rwhp and 362 lb-ft of torque-a 16hp and 5-lb-ft difference.