Michael Galimi
June 1, 2009
We reused the gaskets from the OEM IMRC plates. Be sure to clean the gaskets before inserting them at the bottom of the C&L manifold.

Is the throttle body worth the extra tuning and component costs? Adding the larger one still picked up power, just not enough for the $650 price tag that comes with it, sans tuning bill. The throttle body might be worth it for those who have money to burn or for force-fed applications, but it wouldn't be a good investment in a combination like this one. While the larger throttle body smoothed the dyno graph rather nicely, the engine simply didn't need the extra air from the massive single-blade unit. It is a proven fact that the larger throttle body picks up a good amount of horsepower on a twin-screw and Roots-style supercharger combination. We did, however, fall in love with the Whipple's black finish as it matches the intake and blends in nicely. The factory throttle body looks a little out of place with a nice manifold behind it and a C&L racer cold-air kit in front.

Bender explains why the larger throttle body didn't do much better over the stock one. "The factory throttle body on these vehicles [Editor's note: '05-newer] is exactly the same size as two of the throttle bodies that came on the '86 Mustang GT, which was the first fuel-injected Mustang 5.0 with a factory rating of 200 hp. I have tried to stay away from aftermarket throttle bodies due to all of the issues that people seem to have with them. Even properly installed, the Whipple throttle body requires a good bit of tuning adjustments. If you don't retune the computer, the rpm will hang up when you come off the throttle." Nevertheless, we still dig the black-on-black look when compared to the stock throttle body.

The intake drops into place cleanly and easily. There is no need for IMRC plates due to the extended runners on the intake manifold.

Our mild Three-Valve engine loved the extra airflow, and the graphs show the difference in the upper rpm range between the stock and the C&L intake. Lund says it best: "The C&L intake allows these aggressive cam profiles to come alive above 4,500 rpm. The larger, open-plenum design allows the torque to remain nearly the same, but still pick up over 30 rwhp up top [Editor's note: intake and throttle-body upgrade]. Extending the rpm range on the Three-Valve has a whole new meaning with this setup." We didn't test a set of ported heads with the intake, but given the generous gains over the stock manifold, we're sure this combination can run deep into the 11s with the stock short-block.

The C&L intake is the first step in the company's new products for 2009. The group is feverishly at work on finishing a new cast set of Three-Valve heads to complement the new manifold. Bender tells us that the heads are completely new castings, and the goal is to have the heads flow better out-of-the-box than ported factory castings. In the meantime, producing 372 rwhp makes for an awfully fun street ride.