Anderson Tech Garage: Power Pipe Install and Dyno on a Vorteched S197
So you’ve made the decision to give your Mustang a good extra dosage of giddy-up – plus the great under-the-hood look and sound that we all know and love – by bolting on any of the number of superchargers that are available on the aftermarket. As you probably know, a supercharger kit can provide significant increases in horsepower and torque for your ride by forcing a much larger amount of air into the engine than it could ever receive in its naturally aspirated state. But in order for it to create the boost needed to make those big power gains, it too must be able to receive the proper amount of air. This is where many of the air inlet pipes on the market fall short, as they simply aren’t large enough to flow enough air and in essence, creating a bottleneck by choking the supercharger as you apply more throttle.
Anderson Ford Motorsport, however, offers a great solution to fit your needs with their large, high volume Power Pipe intake kit. The Power Pipe, made from ceramic coated mild steel, is much larger than the standard piping that is supplied with many of the supercharger kits on the market, and is currently offered for every year model Mustang from 1989 to 2009, as well as the 2007-2009 GT500 and the SVT Lightning performance pickup truck. The pipes are also designed and manufactured for compatibility with a wide range of superchargers, including Procharger, Paxton, Powerdyne, and Vortech, as well as units specifically for naturally aspirated use.
“The Power Pipe is a larger, higher volume pipe that goes from the front of the supercharger to the air cleaner,” said Anderson Ford Motorsport owner Rick Anderson. “In other words, the blower draws through the stock piping – but our piece is larger. We’re able to do that, on this car for example, because Vortech uses the standard blade mass air meter and they are very touchy from Ford. They had to make the pipe fit the blade. We used the DBX mass air meter as a blow through meter after the supercharger, and by doing so, all we have to worry about is making the Power Pipe the highest flowing pipe that we possibly can.”
Rick and the staff at Anderson Ford Motorsport recently put a customers’ S197 Mustang through its paces on the chassis dyno, and along with applying their own custom tune, also bolted on one of their Power Pipes to determine what horsepower and torque gains could be achieved. The 2006 Mustang GT five-speed with 4.10 gears sports a PER engines-prepared crate engine stroked to a 5.0-liter, featuring a COMP camshaft, PER ported cylinder heads, a DBX mass air meter, 60-pound injectors, a GT500 fuel pump, force fed by a Vortech YSI with a 2.5-inch pulley and an air-to-air intercooler with an overdrive damper. The car was tuned by Danny Biggs utilizing Revolution software and a Diablosport Predator flash programmer, running on 105 octane pump gas with the DBX mass air meter in a blow-through configuration behind the intercooler.
The Mustang underwent 14 pulls on the dyno with the tune continually being adjusted for optimum horsepower and efficiency. The 14th run also established a baseline run to compare with once the Power Pipe was installed. On this run, the standard Vortech intake pipe created 22-pounds of boost and at 18 degrees of timing, pulled 606 horsepower and 537 ft-lbs of torque.
For the 15th and final run, the guys at AFM removed the Vortech pipe and installed their Power Pipe. Installing the pipe is actually very simple, although Rick indicated that due to the engine compartment design of the S197, the shield across the top of the radiator must be trimmed about an inch to accommodate the size of the pipe. While earlier model Mustangs have an inner fender well that the pipe can be directed through, the S197 does not. As such, a heatshield is utilized between the supercharger and the air cleaner to reduce the heat in and around the Power Pipe.
On the 15th and final crack at the dyno, the increase in numbers was rather staggering with the simple swap of the intake inlet, with a gain of 54 horsepower and 30 ft-lbs of torque, as the larger tubing allowed for an extra 5 pounds of boost via the supercharger – all from reducing the constriction of air to the supercharger inlet. Rather impressive for a quick, easy to install bolt-on product. Rick was quick to point out that the car could have easily made 700 horsepower with a bigger set of injectors and a larger fuel pump. “There’s a lot of potential there, but we didn’t want to push it. We just wanted to show how good the Power Pipe is,” said Anderson.
The Power Pipe generally will afford gains of anywhere from 15 to 50 horsepower. Of course at boost levels less than 10 pounds, the stock piping is capable of moving enough volume of air to cope with the boost levels. Once you exceed that mark, however, the stock pipe would begin to starve the supercharger of air, and that is where bolting on the Power Pipe really begins to pay dividends.