Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
2001 Ford Mustang GT Icebox Project Part 3
Project Icebox Makes 635 RWHP And 618 Lb-Ft Of Torque With A Blown All-Aluminum Two-Valve.
Two-Valve technology has come a long way since Ford introduced the modular engine to the Mustang in the '96 GT. Though the aftermarket didn't explode with Two-Valve options at first, many new parts have become available in recent years. Three- and Four-Valve projects tend to be more expensive, steering a whole pack of enthusiasts and a slew of manufacturers to the Two-Valve.
In the June issue, we reintroduced Project Icebox, our resident '01 GT. Veteran readers got a refresher, while newer readers received a crash course on the 8-year-old Two-Valve project car. We also followed along with Blow-By Racing as it assembled an all-aluminum short-block using a Ford Racing Three-Valve block and forged internal components.
Last month, we selected our top-end components, which include a pair of TFS heads, cams, and timing chains; a Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) head changing kit; and Tork Tech's 1900 TVS supercharger kit. With the core components introduced, we headed to Blow-By Racing in Boca Raton, Florida to assemble and install the new powerplant.
Since this combination has never been done before, we knew that we were in for some surprises. We just weren't sure how many, so we tried to be prepared for the worst. Since the underside was quite rusty, we gathered some chassis and suspension components from UPR Products. UPR sent us its chromoly K-member kit (PN 2005-96K-100), which includes the K-member, A-arms, and a coilover kit with Eibach springs, and retails for $699.99. UPR also sent us a pair of its Billet Shark caster/camber plates (PN 2014-94), which retail for $149.99, and its Extreme bumpsteer kit (2009-94-EXT), which sells for $129.99.
We also decided to upgrade the fuel system to handle the targeted 700 rwhp. Since the twin Cobra pumps had trouble keeping up last time around, we called on Fore Precision Works for one of its triple-pump fuel hats (PN 0037-500). It accepts any standard Walbro fuel pump as well as the stock sending unit, and retails for $455. Since we were still using the stock fuel rails, Fore also sent us its billet fuel rails (PN 0053-101; $195) and its new fuel pressure regulator(PN 0085-100; $210). Also required to use the triple-pump hat on an SN-95 or New Edge is the SN-95 upgrade kit (PN 0037-102), which retails for $69.
To supply the new Fore components with fuel, we called Summit Racing Equipment for a set of new FRPP 60-lb/hr injectors and three Walbro GSS342 255-lph fuel pumps. The injectors (PN FMS-M9593LU60) come as a set of eight and retail for $482.39, and the pumps (PN VPN-GSS342) are sold individually and retail for $89.95 each.
With everything needed on hand, we began assembling the engine. Everything went together pretty smoothly until we realized that we were missing a few key components. For starters, it wouldn't be smart to put an old oil pump on a fresh engine, especially when we don't even know what's wrong with the old engine yet. Thankfully for us, the number one Ford parts department in the nation, Delray Motors, is a short 10-minute drive from Blow-By Racing's shop. The staff hooked us up with a new stock oil pump (PN 5L3Z6600AA), which retails for $74.89, and threw in a new stock water pump (PN 5W7Z8501AA), which retails for $132.28. We were also short spark plugs, a rear main seal, oil, an oil filter, and coolant; Chris Jones of Blow-By Racing stepped up and provided the said parts.
Jones and Matt Frith, also of Blow-By Racing, assembled the long-block without any more setbacks. Our next move was to remove the old engine and begin installing the new assembly.
Chopping and Swapping
After disconnecting all of the linkages and wiring up top, we raised the car to disconnect the rest. Not surprisingly, the bolts holding the mid-pipe to the headers were rusted and seized. Frith used a cordless reciprocating saw to remove the old rusty pieces, but that left us short on components yet again. So we called our friends at Kook's Custom Headers. Kook's sent us a set of its stainless steel Two-Valve long-tube headers (PN 5998S), which retails for $1,046.80, and an X mid-pipe with catalytic converters (PN 6012), which retails for $507.32.
Since we would be replacing the K-member anyway, Jones and Frith decided to simply lower the engine and transmission from the bottom, still attached to the stock K-member. Though it comes out easy this way, it's much more difficult going back in. So Jones and Frith bolted the new UPR K-member in place and lowered the GT back down.
The next discovery we made was the trashed throw-out bearing. When Jones and Frith separated the stock TR-3650 from the back of the old iron-block, the bearing fell out in four pieces. At this point, Jones suggested that we go ahead and replace the clutch and flywheel. "If we even have a chance of seeing 700 rwhp, we need to go ahead and upgrade the clutch now," Jones insisted.
So with a last minute call to Centerforce, we had a DFX clutch assembly (PN 01800075) on the overnight flight. Built to handle more power and torque than we'll ever make, the kit retails for about $420. Centerforce also sent us its aluminum flywheel (PN 900200), a clutch pilot tool (PN 52010), a new throw-out bearing (PN N1714), and a set of clutch cover bolts.
Unfortunately, however, we failed to mention to our contact at Centerforce that we were going to run a forged crankshaft with an eight-bolt pattern flywheel. So when we opened the box, we realized the aluminum flywheel from Centerforce only had six holes. With the clock ticking, we grabbed an Exedy ultra-light steel flywheel off the shelf, since BBR is an Exedy dealer. Though it's 4 pounds heavier than the aluminum Centerforce piece (12 pounds), the Exedy flywheel (16 pounds) is still 10 pounds lighter than the stock part (26 pounds).
With the clutch situation resolved and the gearbox mated to the new engine, Jones and Frith dropped our modern Two-Valve in place. The headers fit nicely, as did the new X mid-pipe. Between switching to an aluminum block, swapping the stock K-member and A-arms for chromoly, and lightening the flywheel, we dropped well over 100 pounds off the nose of our coupe.
Under the hood, Frith assembled the front-end accessory drive. One significant component of the Tork Tech kit is its dedicated belt-drive system. Accessories run on a stock belt, while the TVS supercharger utilizes its own 8- or 10-rib system, specified at the time of purchase. The tensioner is even adjustable, depending on pulley size and boost levels, to eliminate belt slippage.
Frith then moved to the rear to upgrade the fuel system. Since the battery had been in the trunk and we were moving it back to the engine compartment, Frith removed the battery and utilized the old battery cable to feed power to the triple pumps.
Testing and Tuning
Since we had entered uncharted territory, much testing was needed. Tork Tech supplied us with three blower pulleys and three crank pulleys, allowing us a total of nine pulley combinations. It also sent us a larger inlet tube-just in case the stock piece was holding us back.
With the largest pulley on the nose of the blower, the 9-inch (smallest) pulley on the crankshaft, and the stock rubber inlet, Jones spun the rollers on the Dynojet, yielding 616 rwhp and 570 lb-ft of torque at 18 pounds of boost. Though the mildest combination of pulleys, the air/fuel ratio was dangerously lean, so Jones swapped the old SCT BA2400 mass air meter for a larger BA3000.
After trying almost every combination, Jones bolted on the small (2.65-inch) blower pulley and 10-inch crankshaft pulley. "The largest crank pulley with the smallest supercharger pulley is capable of spinning the supercharger to 27,000 rpm, but no one has ever spun one faster than 25,000 rpm," said Charles Warner of Tork Tech. Since a safe maximum speed for the blower is 24,000 rpm, we heed Warner's warning.
With the fuel pressure kicked way up, timing retarded, and C16 race gas in the tank, Jones spun the rollers yet again for what we had been waiting for-the glory run. To our pleasure, when the rollers came to a stop and the graph popped up on the screen, our Two-Valve had made 635 rwhp, 618 lb-ft of torque, and 23 pounds of boost. Even better, it made over 500 lb-ft of torque from 2,600 rpm on. "I wouldn't leave this combination on here for street use," Jones said with a cringe. So Jones swapped back to the 3-inch blower pulley and 10-inch crank pulley, which yielded a streetable 615 rwhp, 571 lb-ft of torque, and 20 pounds of boost.
Though it's taken a long time for Two-Valve technology to reach this point, it's exciting to see it blossom. Even in the shadow of Three- and Four-Valve advancements and the introduction of the new 5-liter, Two-Valves are not dead yet. In fact, as new and more advanced parts hit the aftermarket, SN-95 and New Edge owners have even more reasons to hold onto their Ponies.