Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
March 9, 2007
Photos By: Anderson Ford Motorsport
It's amazing how innocuous 500 hp can look these days. Way back when, you'd think this was worth 400 hp or so. But when you add the bolt-ons, along with the knowledge gained through the years, the basic bolt-on 5.0 can make big power-even with a stock short-block.

As a loyal 5.0&SF reader, you've been following the saga of Anderson Ford employee Chad Kolakowski's '93 LX. Chad bravely offered his car so we could go back to the early days of 5.0 Mustang bolt-ons. He returned his car to bone-stock condition, going so far as installing a low-mileage stock engine so we'd get a representative baseline. Chad is obviously a dedicated Fox rodder and we appreciate his enthusiasm. This time around, however, we're really testing Chad's mettle. The final phase of our Fox bolt-on progression means making the move to a bolt-on supercharger. In this case, that means the tried-and-true Vortech centrifugal with a modern twist.

As you know, we previously designed this combination for high revving, despite the factory short-block. High-rev cam technology and the tuning capabilities of the Programmable Management System are pushing this combo to the next level. Big boost and high-rpm go hand-in-hand, but we know Chad's short-block is living on borrowed time should we keep pushing things. We crossed our fingers and hoped to get dyno testing done. To paraphrase Anderson Ford Motorsport main man Rick Anderson: If you don't detonate it, there shouldn't be a problem. That was our goal.

What's even more impressive to us than making it through without blowing up Chad's stuff is our expectations of applying old-school bolt-ons with new-school knowledge produced great results. Imagine what we'll be able to do with these cars in another 13 years.

Horse Sense: You might be asking what the difference is between the familiar Vortech S-Trim and the SQ S-Trim superchargers. Well, the main difference is the S-Trim features straight-cut gears, letting everyone know you have a blower underhood. The SQ, which stands for Super Quiet, features quieter helical gears. The difference doesn't end there, however. The SQ also offers a quicker-spooling 3.61:1 gear ratio versus the standard S-Trim's 3.45:1 ratio.

To close out our Fox buildup project, we made the move to a Vortech SQ S-Trim supercharger. Anderson Ford Motorsport offers supercharger kits that leave out some parts you may eventually upgrade, and includes the upgrades you need to push for more power, including the company's preferred tuning tool, the Programmable Management System. The Stage II kit ($3,650) includes the supercharger, a 2.95-inch blower pulley, a 7-inch crank pulley, a Fuel Management Unit for 38-lb/hr injectors, a 255-lph fuel pump, a T-Rex fuel pump, and an AFM Power Pipe and PMS. We used the kit sans the PMS, fuel pumps, and FMU, as we already installed the PMS and upgraded the fuel pumps.

Normally a supercharger installation wouldn't include removing the intake and valve covers, but in this case, Rick suggested we move from his naturally aspirated N-51HR camshaft to the blower-friendly B-31HR ($299) grind. The latter cam is designed for as much as 331ci engines with 10-20 pounds of boost and delivers a wide powerband from 2,500 to 6,500 rpm.

Swapping the cam means pulling the crank pulley, harmonic dampener, water pump, timing cover, rocker arms, and more. Here, Chad yanks the Professional Products SFI-spec damper. It and the other parts will be reinstalled after the cam swap.

While there are some parts you have to remove, you can skip detaching the lower intake and lifters by using AFM's trick Tappet Tools ($49.95). These threaded rods feature powerful magnets on one end and a wing nut on the other. Remove the pushrods, slide the Tappet Tools in place until they latch onto the lifters, then tighten the wing nut until the lifters are pulled clear of the cam lobes on all 16 lifters, and the old cam can be slid out with ease.