Coyote-powered ’Stangs and forced induction are have an inseparable bond and an inevitable outcome. Eventually, everyone bites the bullet and submits themselves to the horsepower gods, but it’s a wise idea to pick your poison carefully. In the case of Chris Tracy and his 2013 Ford Mustang GT, his drug of choice was a shot of the juice, and the cure for his addiction came in the from of a prescription from Nitrous Express.
Chris was on the path to installing a handful of bolt-ons when he decided he wanted more horsepower for his dollar, and who are we to say otherwise? When it comes to that horsepower-per-dollar equation, nitrous is one of the top-ranking in terms of inexpensive horsepower, due to its low upfront cost and larger gain when compared to alternative go-fast solutions.
From the common eye, you’re seeing a N/A vehicle; but little be known, what N/A really stands for is nitrous assisted! – Ryan Lewis, Nitrous Express
For Chris, the choice was a no-brainer. Prior to installing the nitrous system, he enlisted the help of Sweitzer Performance to install a full exhaust system from Stainless Works and an AIRAID cold air intake on the car. Rather than ditching the new intake system for another forced induction solution down the road, Chris decided to bolt-on a complete kit from NX which is designed specifically for the ’11-plus Coyote-powered Mustang GT.
Stick with us as we dive into the details of NX’s Coyote-specific kit (PN 20951-10, starting at $747.68). We’ll be covering the full installation, power gains and dragstrip testing of the kit.
Having An Addiction To Horsepower
We mentioned above that when it comes to selecting a flavor of forced induction for your ’Stang, nitrous oxide offers a handful of benefits, and lower cost of entry isn’t the only one. Ryan Lewis, Marketing Manager for Nitrous Express, explains to us how nitrous can benefit street/strip enthusiasts who are looking to enter the world of sprayed Mustangs.
“Selecting a nitrous system has its benefits for both the street and the dragstrip,” he detailed. “For example, when a nitrous system is turned off, the driving experience is akin to when the vehicle left the showroom floor. With the flip of a switch, the car morphs into a monster!”
In regards to durability, Ryan shared that nitrous can be generous, as the system is not typically activated in every driving situation, which he said makes the service intervals much longer.
“From a fun perspective, I find the greatest advantage of using nitrous is the element of surprise!” Ryan said with a grin. From the common eye, you’re seeing a naturally aspirated vehicle; but little be known, what NA really stands for is nitrous assisted!”
Nitrous systems have come a long way since the early days of drag racing, as Ryan explains below.
“The biggest change in nitrous systems can be credited to CNC machines and data-logging capabilities,” he affirmed. “What was once merely speculation on how nitrous effects an engine and makes more power as a result, can now be recorded with data loggers such as the NX Maximizer 5. With this data, improvements can be made in nitrous flow capabilities, and passages through the plate can be optimized for better flow and atomization. All of the NX nitrous plates are produced on CNC machines, which means once the changes are made to one, they will be exactly the same every time.”
For this install, Nitrous Express recommended its 2011+ 5.0L Coyote High Output Plate System (PN 20951-10).
This particular kit includes nearly everything needed to bolt-on nitrous to Chris’ Coyote in just a few hours.
“Like all of our EFI nitrous plate systems, this one is also manufactured from a solid block of billet-aluminum, allowing us to be very precise for maximum performance and the best fit possible,” Ryan assured. “All EFI plate systems have the throttlebody opening matched to the opening of the intake manifold, so even if you upgrade to a bigger throttle body, your nitrous plate will not be the restriction. Most new EFI Plate systems feature solenoids integrated directly in to the plate, which looks great and eliminates the need for custom solenoid brackets or hardline kits.”
Give Me A Shot Of That Juice…
Chris’ Coyote-powered Mustang came to Sweitzer Performance with nothing more than an AIRAID cold air intake system and a Stainless Works full exhaust, making it the perfect candidate for our Nitrous Express system installation.
When it was time to install Chris’ new NX nitrous plate system, it was a breeze for Lee Sweitzer of Sweitzer Performance. We’ll cover some of the need-to-know basics in this article if you plan on tackling the job yourself. Above all else, you’ll want to first disconnect the battery from the vehicle.
From there, you'll need to remove the intake to gain access to the throttle body so that you can install the new provided plate system.
Next was installing the solenoids and the autolearn TPS switch. The Autolearn TPS switch allows the nitrous to activate only at wide open throttle. NX also includes a direct-plug-in fuel line adapter which simplifies the installation without the need to cut the factory fuel lines.
Be prepared to modify your trunk to fit the new 10-pound nitrous bottle. Lee chose to utilize a factory frame rail located in the trunk area, where he drilled four holes to mount the new bottle and lines. A word to the wise: Watch out for fuel lines before making your marks. Measure twice, and cut once.
Left to right: You'll need to run the included stainless steel braided nitrous line to the solenoids in the engine bay. We chose to mount the line under the vehicle, up against the frame rail, for a clean installation. Middle: We mounted the TPS window switch inside the cabin of Chris' Mustang on the right side of the steering wheel for easy access. Right: For a clean and easy install, we mounted the switch panel in the center console, to keep it out of the way when Chris wasn't utilizing the nitrous.
It’s Race Day!
Husband and wife duo Chris and Amy Tracy tag-team their ’Stang on the strip with a new nitrous system equipped.
Prior to installing the new NX kit, Lee strapped Chris’ Mustang down to the rollers at Metro Performance for a baseline hit. With the aforementioned minor bolt-ons, his Mustang put down 406 horsepower and 345 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels. Post-install after a custom nitrous tune was written by Lee himself, the ’Stang put down a healthy 494 horsepower and 480 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels.
The next day, we were lucky enough to attend the first Test and Tune event of the year. We made our way up to our local quarter-mile dragstrip, Auto Club Dragway in Fontana, California, for its weekend race. Along with Chris and Amy Tracy, husband and wife and owners of the Mustang, Lee was kind enough to join us for trackside assistance when it came to activating the nitrous. Chris and Amy do not consider themselves professional drag racers either, so having a seasoned veteran like Lee on deck had its advantages.
Because of its appearance, we appropriately nicknamed the Mustang “The Grandma ’Stang.”
Lee was kind enough to coach Amy and Chris on the most effective way to launch their ’Stang, which would reward them greatly with a better e.t. off the rip. Our testing was completed on the same day, and the couple’s Mustang features its factory tires, a 6R80 six-speed automatic transmission, and factory 3.15 gears.
Between the husband and wife team, Amy was able to yield the best results. Lee advised the couple to start off with a rear tire pressure of 25psi, which resulted in a 13.14 e.t. at 107.3 mph, with a 60-ft time of 2.05 and an eighth-mile time of 8.56 at 84.5 mph.
After making a baseline run, Lee Sweitzer of Sweitzer Performance loads up the tune and adjusts the nitrous window switch for the post-nitrous-install pass.
Lee set up the NX window switch to engage just after 3,000 rpm. After making a few passes, he suggested to lower the window, as the factory 3.15 gears were too low to keep the Coyote in its powerband with the factory 6R80 transmission. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to lower the window any further, as Test and Tune was coming to an end for that day, and we had to make a call. We decided to push forward with the current window timing and give The Grandma ’Stang all she had.
With that, Chris decided to power the car for its maiden voyage. Leaving at around 1,800 rpm on the factory converter, Chris blasted off the rip to a 12.35 e.t. at 115.3 mph. Chris also managed to improve the Mustang’s 60-foot (1.97 versus 2.05) and even improved its eighth-mile time (8.15 versus 8.56).
Gaining nearly a full second in the quarter-mile is extremely impressive, and knocking more than four-tenths off of your eighth-mile time is no joke. Surely, the nitrous was doing its job, as evident by our quarter-mile testing.
Update: Since posting this article, Chris and Amy have managed a new personal-best eighth-mile on the bottle: 7.97 at 92 mph!
Adding more than 88 horsepower and 135 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels for less than a day’s work and a few thousand dollars sounds like a win to us. Chris and Amy plan on racing The Grandma ’Stang even more once they dial in their driving skills, and we can’t wait to see the results. Do you think their Mustang has high 11s in it? We think so.
If you’re interested in purchasing a nitrous system designed or your Mustang, we encourage you to give Nitrous Express a look on its website here.