When Ford’s Special Vehicle Team unleashed the 2003 Mustang Cobra on the world, a new standard in bolt-on friendly performance was born. Adding simple mods like a high-flow intake, a smaller blower pulley, a cat-back exhaust and custom tuning, resulted in impressive gains. However, enthusiasts soon wanted more; and you can only make the blower pulleys so small before efficiency is out the window.
When you reach the point that the stock M112 roots blower is producing super-heated air from operating outside its comfort zone, it’s time to look at a supercharger upgrade, which is why VMP Performance created the Gen2R TVS supercharger built specifically for the 2003-2004 snakes.
Built just for the Terminator, the VMP Gen2R supercharger features a one-piece housing with a high-flow inlet. It is a direct-replacement for the stock Eaton M112 blower and it will clear the factory hood. (Photo Credit: VMP Performance)
The TVS handles heat much better than the factory unit, while pushing more horsepower. — Andrew Sheridan,Terminator Owner
“The VMP TVS for the Terminator is a bolt-on unit that fits like stock,” car owner Andrew Sheridan explained. “It is a much more efficient unit than the factory supercharger. While it is very common for Terminator owners to port the stock blower, heat is still a big issue — even with a stock ported supercharger. The TVS handles heat much better than the factory unit, while pushing more horsepower.”
As an employee of VMP Performance with a stock-blower Terminator, you can imagine that Andrew Sheridan has been chomping at the bit to install one of these units on his own car — and that time had finally arrived. He upgraded to the Gen2R TVS optioned with the GT500 throttle body package.
When the 2003 Cobra was revealed, its supercharged Four-Valve 4.6-liter engine was a revelation. It was backed by a Tremec six-speed manual transmission and an independent rear suspension, which foreshadowed the Blue Oval performance offerings that were to come. That said, the factory supercharger quickly ran out of efficiency and flow when fitted with small pulleys and spun to the moon. For more power, a blower upgrade is the answer.
2003 Cobra Mods
• 56 lb/hr fuel injectors
• BBK high-flow X-pipe
• C&L Performance cold air intake
• Continental 265/35-18 tires (front)
• Diode Dynamics 6K HID headlights and 6K LED foglights
• SVE Series 2 wheels, 18×9 (front) and 18×10 (rear)
• Toyo Proxes R888 315/30-18 tires (rear)
• VMP 3000 mass airflow meter
• VMP fuel pump booster
• VMP custom dyno dune
• VMP TVS 2.3-liter supercharger w/ GT500 throttle body package
“My car is a mostly stock 2003 Cobra. The only requirements would be upgraded injectors, mass air upgrade, and a fuel pump booster. We went with 56 lb/hr injectors in order to retain gas mileage,” he said. “These are the same injectors used in ’13-’14 GT500s. We also used a VMP 3000 mass air meter, which bolts into the stock housing. Furthermore, we added a VMP fuel pump booster to increase the output of the stock fuel pumps.”
Aside from the hardware needed to support the increased horsepower, you may also want to consider some driveline upgrades. For the moment, however, Andrew is staying with his existing combo.
“Typically a clutch and 26-spline input shaft would be a good idea on this setup,” Andrew explained. “In my case we kept the stock clutch and input shaft and so far we have not had any issues with slipping, but I will definitely be upgrading in the future. Some IRS upgrades are a good idea for quarter-mile drag duty, which may include bushing upgrades and halfshaft upgrades, as well as a proper drag setup for the car.”
Additionally, upgrading the blower and adding the necessary supporting gear made for a great comparison of the gains available to bolt-on Terminator from a TVS supercharger upgrade.
The first move on the way to a huge performance increase is removing the stock blower. Disconnect the battery, remove the induction, remove the factory connections and free the pulley from the serpentine belt. Then you can unbolt the blower and remove it and its intercooler underbelly.
Packing More Power
With the factory blower extracted you must separate the intercooler from the M112 and transfer it to the VMP Gen2R TVS. “We prefer to pull the lower intake and supercharger all in one piece and then separate the intercooler/blower assembly from the lower intake out of the car,” Andrew explained. “This makes it easy because the pulley bridge and all other pulleys can stay in place. We also used six cans of carb cleaner to clean the factory intercooler, which was loaded with oil.” Once it is clean, you can bolt the intercooler to the VMP blower. However, that oil in the intercooler is an excellent reason to add an oil separator to your new blower combo.
“The gains over stock are enormous,” Andrew enthused. “In my case my car made 601 horsepower and 560 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels on the Dynojet. The car previously made 477 horsepower and 506 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels with a 2.76 pulley, Accufab Racing throttle body, and a VMP tune. This is a very significant gain, and it’s definitely something you can feel. One of the most notable differences is the fact that the TVS does not get nearly as hot as the factory Eaton unit.”
More power and less heat is just what you want from an upgrade like this. The numbers are one thing, but the feel of driving the car after such a huge performance increase is what puts a smile on Andrew’s face.
Andrew opted to run a GT500 throttle body to really assist the blower efficiency with plenty of airflow and install the 2.8-inch pulley for big boost. As you can see, the pulleys bolt on, so changing boost levels is easy. Like all VMP TVS superchargers, the Cobra unit features a high-flow inlet and inlet elbow, but it does allow retaining the factory EGR valve with a spacer. This is crucial for enthusiasts who want to stay on the good side of the law.
“I absolutely love it,” he added. “The torque hits very hard down low and the horsepower pulls the car through the gears. It is an absolute blast on the street, and we will soon be going to the track with it as well.”
With the previous combo, Andrew’s Terminator ran an 11.48 at 121 mph, so he fully expects to dip into the 10-second zone with the Gen2R underhood.
If you want to learn more about the VMP TVS packages for the 2003-2004 Cobra, you can visit the company’s official site here.
With the intercooler swapped over, the VMP team bolted on the Gen2R TVS supercharger, which is a direct replacement for the factory Eaton. As we said, Andrew upgraded to the optional VMP Single blade throttle body and VMP TVS big elbow, which accepts its GT500 bolt pattern. With the blower mounted, they installed the 2.8 pulley, belt and the C&L cold air intake.
If it weren’t for the cold air intake, the VMP Gen2R TVS might pass for a factory supercharger. It is far more efficient and capable than the stock Eaton M112 blower.
The stock blower was pumping out 14-15 pounds of boost and stepping up to the TVS generated up to 19 pounds of boost.VMP’s Joe Goodnough dialed in a custom calibration for Andrew’s new combo, and the datalogs looked good. Burning 93-octane pump fuel, the fuel pump duty cycle was only at 88 percent, which is a safe range for the stock fuel system. Likewise, Joe locked in the timing at a safe 15 degrees of advance.
With the addition of the VMP Gen2R TVS supercharger and its supporting mods, Andrew’s car picked up a whopping 127.33 horsepower and 54.58 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels over his combo with the M112 roots blower fitted with a 2.76-inch pulley. This is just the beginning for this car, however. “I plan to upgrade the fuel system and go for 700 rwhp and a deep 10-second pass with the IRS,” Andrew concluded.