Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
August 2, 2010

My how times have changed. It used to be that 400 rwhp was a minimum standard for street cred. Then the standard stepped up to 500. Now that power is flowing fast and furious from the factory, the standard for turning heads with your dyno sheets is constantly on the move. To borrow from pop culture, 700 is the new 500 ...

In the case of Project Vapor Trail, my '08 Shelby GT500 project car, we started in the high-400-rwhp range stock, and moved past 500 before the car left the dealer's lot. This was thanks to Ford Racing Performance Parts' TVS supercharger, which Anderson Ford Motorsport installed before we took delivery. Then just a tune and pulley from VMP Tuning had us over 600 rwhp in a hurry. However, I knew there was more power available with huge blowers and full exhaust upgrades.

I just had one goal-to make big power without significantly degrading the car's driveability. Along the way, I decided to retain the stock manifolds, stock fuel pumps, and 93-octane fuel as the gateway to keeping PVT a well-mannered muscle car. I also decided that making 700 rwhp within those limits was an admirable goal.

So, after moving up to an Innovators West 10-percent-overdriven lower pulley, a full Bassani 3-inch exhaust, and a CJ throttle body, the car was sitting in the mid-600-rwhp range. Besides retaining the aforementioned limits, no aggressive internal engine mods were part of the plan. So there weren't many easy bolt-ons left to reach the goal. Fortunately, GT500-guru Justin Starkey of VMP Tuning has developed a new high-flow inlet elbow and twin 72mm throttle body for stock and TVS blowers that promises to reduce inlet restriction, lower blower discharge temps, and increase power.

Could the combination of the VMP twin 72mm throttle body and high-flow inlet give PVT the big push into the 700-rwhp zone? Well, it turns out it can. Check out our install photos and dyno sidebar for all the details. Suffice it to say that PVT reached its goal on all fronts. It makes big power and it still drives great. Mission accomplished.

On the Dyno
The democratization of the chassis dyno was a boon to magazines everywhere, and I have personally enjoyed the ability to test parts. Learning is always fun, and when you are learning about increasing power, it's all the more fun. I headed over to the VMP Dynojet with high hopes of attaining my 700-rwhp goal. It was a cool mid-January day in Florida. The temps in the dyno room ranged from 60 to 65 degrees, and the humidity was a non-existent-for-Florida 25 percent. So the conditions were ideal. It's unlikely the car would do this well in the heat, but it's fun to see what it can do in ideal conditions. Even our baseline number was way up.

Before we opened up the inlet, Justin wanted to ensure that our catalytic converters were not holding us back. Swapping them out for off-road tubes proved that Bassani's high-flow units really do flow well. The slight losses from losing the cats were negligible. Keep in mind we are already running a full Bassani 3-inch system aft of the stock manifolds, so the system was pretty optimized with the cats.

Moving to the free-flowing elbow and twin 72mm throttle body, there was a lot of pressure on this one modification. We also lost the stock rubber inlet tube in favor of the larger Ford GT inlet, which has shown a 5hp gain in some of our prior testing, so totally opening up the inlet with the VMP gear really delivered. The power soared past 700-and even the torque hit 700! That was an impressive gain. The only tuning changes were designed to make the larger throttle body function properly, and the resulting driveability is great. Better yet, the car made this power on Sam's Club 93-octane fuel with the stock fuel pumps!

CJ Throttle Body/CatsOff-Road Exhaust
RPMPowerTQBoostHPTQBoost
2,000217.25570.7313.88214.57563.6413.32
2,500293.05615.9216.56292.99615.7515.83
3,000374.89656.6517.21372.40652.2317.09
3,500445.16668.3918.32453.65681.0717.36
4,000509.86669.9218.08509.85669.8317.74
4,500574.95671.5818.05573.55669.8517.19
5,000607.52638.7717.49613.04644.4717.31
5,500658.96629.9718.03651.48622.7117.31
6,000663.39581.5218.30662.41580.5217.71
6,200669.15567.7118.37668.46566.9818.38

VMP Throttle Body/ElbowCJ/Cats VS. VMP/No Cats
RPMHPTQBoostHPTQBoost
2,000214.86564.4113.41-2.39-6.32-0.47
2,500297.10624.3816.294.058.46-0.27
3,000382.57670.0317.387.6813.380.17
3,500459.68690.1217.9114.5221.73-0.41
4,000524.72689.3617.9114.8619.44-0.17
4,500592.05691.4617.9317.1019.88-0.12
5,000628.75660.9817.5621.2322.210.07
5,500676.37646.4918.0317.4116.520.00
6,000699.82613.2818.6136.4331.760.31
6,200693.80588.4518.7424.6520.740.37

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