Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
C&L Performance Three-Valve Intake Manifold Upgrade
We Get Our Hands On One Of The First C&L Performance Three-Valve Intake Manifolds--It Added 27 RWHP.
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.
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.