Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
S197 V6 Bolt-On Upgrades - Changing The Game
Part 1: We give a new 3.7L Mustang a chance with a cold-air kit and tuner
"Due to the size and flow capacity of the factory throttle body, and the inlet tube diameter at the throttle body, this system will be sold as a no-tune-required assembly," said Bender. "Creating a tune-required version would not increase the airflow capacity of this system. Even if the engine were to be outfitted with an aftermarket upgrade throttle body, the flow capacity of this air intake assembly would still be greater than the throttle body."
At its smallest point, where it meets the throttle body, the diameter of the inlet tube is 3 inches. So, even if you upgrade your throttle body later as parts become available, the C&L intake will still be able to provide plenty of airflow for your application.
While still on the dyno, Jake Lamotta installed the cold-air kit in about five minutes using simple handtools. The results were surprising--247 rwhp and 236 lb-ft of torque. That's without changing the tune, or anything else on the car for that matter. A 10hp increase is about what Bender expected. "A no-tune-required intake should see roughly a 10-11hp increase," said Bender. Not bad for under $300 and a few minutes of work.
But we wanted more. Another fine example of a simple mod most people find themselves doing when a car is fairly new is a handheld tuner. SCT Performance provided us with a new Xcal3 for our V-6, which retails for about $379. Chris Johnson of SCT, our company insider, shed some light on cracking the code on this new engine and what it means for you, the consumer.
"Tuning the V-6 is very similar to the 2011 Mustang GT," said Johnson. "The two control systems share the same logic, but use a slightly different computer." With TiVCT, we expected the 3.7-liter to respond well to the tuner, like the new 5.0-liter. After a re-flash, Lamotta spun the rollers yet again. This time, it produced 260 rwhp and 245 lb-ft of torque. With the speed limiter deactivated, the V-6 was able to wind up to its new 6,500-rpm limit.
The numbers are impressive on their own, but what would that translate to on the track? To find out, we headed to Gainesville Raceway in Gainesville, Florida. To make the comparison fair, we established a baseline in stock trim. After bogging a couple of launches, then spinning, Navarro finally got the launch just right. When the board lit up on the big end, it read 14.25 at 99.99 mph. Though inconsistent winds tried to impair us, Navarro backed up the run with a 14.22 at 99.52 mph. Both 60-foot times were in the 2.2-second range
Once he had installed the C&L intake and flashed the computer, Navarro headed back to the staging lanes. After cleaning off the stock Michelin street tires, he launched to a 2.15-second 60-foot, resulting in a 13.72 at 103.14 mph. "It felt really good and smooth," said Navarro. He backed up the best run with a 13.73 at 102.59 and a 13.83 at 102.46 mph.
So far, his basically stock V-6 has under $700 worth of do-it-yourself parts on it, and already runs 13s at over 100 mph. So where are we going with this? Check back next month as we install BBK headers and midpipe, a Magnaflow after-cat exhaust system, and a set of gears--complete with a track test, of course.