Michael Galimi
April 27, 2011

Let's take a journey back to 2003, a time when Ford was just releasing the SVT Cobra that was dubbed as the Terminator. This new SVT ride trumped anything the manufacturer had ever put on the streets. At the time, it was the most powerful production late-model Mustang with an advertised 390 hp from its supercharged engine. Little did Ford know, but it was a car that changed the market and how we perceive OEM powerplants.

Its rotating assembly was a significant departure from the norm. Ford created an engine that was essentially bulletproof, within reason, and stood up to torture tests of insane boost from twin-screw blower upgrades. As if that wasn't enough, enthusiasts eventually tossed nitrous on top of the blower and even combined twin-turbo systems with the supercharger. The Terminator 4.6L was one tough S.O.B. thanks to durable block, steel crankshaft, Manley steel rods, and forged pistons. Add in cylinder heads and camshafts designed for a supercharger application, and it was like Ford delivered a Mustang with an aftermarket engine.

The Terminator enjoyed a short two-year life on the streets, but it forever changed the landscape-and the expectation of buyers. The positive-displacement blower market (Roots and twin-screw styles) boomed, and it became commonplace to add exhaust, a pulley, and tune almost immediately. The massive company has its finger on the pulse of our industry. The Terminator line went silent after the '04 model year, but it paved the way for Ford's next stunt-the Shelby GT500 that was released as an '07 model. It also benefits from a factory-supplied supercharged engine that is tougher than just about anything else a manufacturer has produced. Enthusiasts took the Terminator's tried-and-true mods of a smaller blower pulley, better ECU tune, and larger exhaust system to the Shelby line-up, and the results were just as exciting. It wasn't abnormal to see mid-500 rwhp with these minimal modifications.

Fast-forward to the modern day and those modifications are carried-over to anything that is supercharged-including the Ford GT and specialty Mustangs from the likes of Roush and Saleen. We visited Sansone Ford (Ocean, New Jersey) after shop manager Travis Walker sent us info on the company's '10 Roush Hammer. The dealership has its own speed shop, and it's run by Kevin Hand.

The Roush lineup is more extensive than most realize-there were six different models in 2010 alone. The top three versions-Barrett-Jackson, Stage 3, and The Hammer-all featured a 540hp Three-Valve engine. Essentially, Roush took a page from the Terminator playbook by building a stout short-block to withstand the abuse of a super-charger system.

Roush engineers added a forged crankshaft, forged H-beam rods, and a set of forged pistons that lowered compression from 9.8:1 to a blower-friendly 8.6:1. The engine first appeared in the '09 Roush P-51B and carried over to the '10 model year. Topping the Three-Valve modular is a Roushcharger with Eaton TVS 2300 internals. It all adds up to the aforementioned 540 hp. The guys at Sansone Ford were telling us that the Hammer is basically a stripped-down version of the Stage 3 car. It has minimal body modifications, but the performance parts are identical between models. Sansone then took the Roush platform one step further and pulled a page from the Terminator and Shelby GT500 playbook.

The gang at Sansone Ford does a lot of work with Terminator and Shelby GT500 customers, so it was easy to turn to its parts bin for modifications to the Hammer. "A lot of the parts we used on the Hammer are GT500 specific parts, but we adapted them to the Roush," stated Kevin Hand, the main shop technician and ECU tuner.

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Hand concentrated on just the basics like opening up the inlet into the Roushcharger, installing better exhaust, adding more boost, and of course custom tuning. Supplying more air to the TVS 2300 rotors was accomplished using a JLT cold-air kit, L&M twin-bore 72mm throttle body, and a Sansone Ford D-shape inlet elbow. The first two mods are pretty normal, but it was the D-shape elbow that captured our curiosity. "We use the D-shape elbow on the Ford Racing TVS blower upgrade for GT500 vehicles. It had to be modified a bit for the Roush application but the results are the same," inserted Hand. Anytime you can increase flow in front of a positive displacement supercharger, the power goes up. It's mostly due to tight engine compartment that forces the obscure bend in order to work and fit on a Mustang.

Naturally, turning the supercharger harder nets more power, and Hand increased the boost from a Roush-supplied 15 psi up to a Shelby GT500-slaying 19 psi. The peak boost of 19 psi is a combination of the 2.75-inch blower pulley and the induction modifications. Cramming an engine full of supercharged boost requires a more efficient exhaust system, and so in went a set of American Racing Headers full-length headers, crossover pipes, and MagnaFlow three-inch Race cat-back exhaust. It makes for a serious rumble, but it's not obnoxious.

Getting it all to work together is a custom ECU tune. Hand relied on SCT software to make those changes. He comments, "The timing is 18 degrees at peak torque and 21 degrees at peak rwhp. As a comparison, the Roush factory tune was run at 16 degrees at peak torque while peak rwhp had 23 degrees of timing." Not only did Hand adjust the timing but also the air/fuel ratio, driving parameters for part-throttle driveability, and most importantly the electric fan controls. On the company's Dynocom chassis dyno, the Roush Hammer cranked out an impressive 579 rwhp and 572 lb-ft torque. That is an improvement from the car's original test of 491 rwhp and 469 lb-ft of torque. It equates to a gain of 88 rwhp and torque gains of 103 lb-ft. Those results were recorded using the SAE correction factor on the dyno.

"We are nearing the limits of the fuel system, which includes twin GT500 pumps and injectors," comments Hand. The GT500 injectors are rated at 47 lb/hr at 39 psi, but they are run at a higher psi setting in GT500 applications, so in effect the injectors are 52-lb/hr units. In this application, Hand increased the fuel pressure to 48 psi, effectively making the GT500 injectors flow 60 lb/hr. According to Hand, the GT500 injectors combined with the twin GT500 pumps will supply enough fuel up to 640 rwhp. A few more modifications and this Roush 540H will need changes in the fuel system department.

Hand and Walker finished the car at the end of the racing season in New Jersey so on-track testing was limited. Hand did manage to coax a 11.74 at a stellar 123 mph run at Atco Raceway during one of Sansone Ford's private track rentals. The result came by way of a traction-limited 60-foot time of 2.70 seconds with the stock Cooper tires. Hand feels they can push the car well into the 10s with sticky rear tires once the warm weather hits. It's a result that we don't doubt given the proven performance with the Terminator and Shelby GT500 cars that have come out of the Sansone Ford shop.

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