April 26, 2011

Horse Sense: Next on the menu for Team Lethal is a suspension upgrade to try and get all this power to the ground. Once the current combo’s performance is maximized, then a built engine is in the cards.

Last we left Lethal Performance’s Grabber Blue beast, it was knocking down just north of 600 rwhp with just an exhaust, a tune, and a 2.9-liter Whipple supercharger. It’s not that a supercharger is an insignificant addition, but those kind of results are pretty staggering even for a bunch of jaded power junkies. This car still had the factory exhaust manifolds and it was twirling the dyno rollers past the likes of a GT500 with a pulley and a tune.

We were definitely surprised at how well the 2011 5.0-liter reacted to the modifications we did. Considering that the GT doesn’t come from the factory with a blower and has smaller displacement than the GT500, it’s impressive, Lethal Performance’s Jared Rosen explained. Once we added the FRPP/Whipple supercharger to the 5.0-liter, it was game on. I remember it taking us a large blower and more boost to get the GT500 into the 10s. With the 2011 GT, we were able to do it with a smaller blower and a lot less boost. The high compression of the 5.0-liter engine plays a big role in that, but it just goes to show how well that 5.0 engine performs.

These are indeed heady times for Mustang power fiends. The latest 5.0-liter engines have exceeded our expectations in both power and durability. After our 19-page expos on this new engine, we felt hopeful but cautious about just how much easy power would be on the table. A year later we’re ready to throw that caution right into the blower discharge. As we know now, Coyote engines likemake that lovebolt-ons too.

We’ve been having a blast following Team Lethal’s exploits with its ’11 Mustang GT project car. It went from stock, to bolt-ons, to a blower quicker than you can send a text message. Well, not really, but it sure seemed that way. After all that hurried excitement getting the car revved up, even Lethal’s chief energy-drink tester, Jared, was ready to take a more practical approach and move to a built short-block. Of course, that really did last as long as a text. He quickly decided that it’d be fun to push the stock engine toward the 9s.

After going 10.39 that one night at the track, I suddenly got this idea to run 9s before the engine build. We weren’t too far off, so let’s just add some fuel and a few more pounds of boost and see if we can do it, Jared added. Not only was it a 9 we were looking for, but with the stock engine, stock suspension, and stock trans. Why not? Let’s just call it a quick little detour and then we’ll get right back on track to building the new engine.

That brings us to our latest installment in this build. After delaying the move to a more rugged engine, it was time for more boost. More boost begat an upgrade in fuel system capacity and exhaust system flow. Along the way, Lethal tested, drag-raced, and datalogged the combo so tuning-guru Jon Lund www.lundracing.com) could safely maximize its output. In the end, the car spun the rollers beyond what even GT500s with blower upgrades usually produce. As of this writing, it had not eclipsed the 9-second barrier, but it was getting really close. Stay tuned.

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M5lp 1106 09 O Lethal Performance 2011 Ford Mustang GT Main Feed Line Fuel Filter
From the Y-block, the main feed line travels through a Fore Precision Works 10-micron fuel filter (PN 0100-100; $79) up to a Fore F4 Fuel Pressure Regulator (PN FPW-F4REG; $269). The regulator is boost referenced to step up pressure for one pound per pound of boost. To set the base pressure, the key was turned on to run the pumps but the engine wasn’t started so the diaphragm wasn’t under the influence of vacuum. Under the advice of tuner Jon Lund, Jesse set the base pressure at 55 psi.