For those of you following along with the build of our in-house 2011 Mustang GT, Project Grabbr, the time has come for the next step in the car’s evolution. The 2011 edition of the Mustang ushered in what has become the next level in Ford performance, as the 5.0-liter Coyote engine has proven itself over the last several years as a robust, high-performance engine, especially when pumped up with forced induction. To that end, we made the decision in 2015 to outfit the car with one of ProCharger‘s P-1SC-1 supercharger systems to take the car to the next level.
As the manual transmission car is a daily-driven vehicle that lives in the country’s mid-Atlantic area, there were a couple of factors that weighed heavily in the decision to use the centrifugal supercharger system over other forms of unnatural aspiration. Chief among those reasons are the P-1SC supercharger’s reliability, proven over hundreds of thousands of miles on thousands of vehicles over the last two-plus decades. We needed to be sure that the car would not only survive the extra horsepower, but remain rock-solid-dependable in all conditions the car sees on a regular basis, from the heat and humidity of summertime to the occasional snowstorm, and the ProCharger’s capabilities fit the bill perfectly.
Along with the supercharger installation, we also selected a solid complement of running gear designed to enhance that reliability, and ensure that not only would the extra horsepower provide miles of smiles, but do so with a minimum of muss and fuss. Follow along with the details of our installation at All Out Automotive in Glassboro, New Jersey, our subsequent tuning session with Lund Racing – and test results at the track – with the new horsepower maker.
The unsuspecting engine bay, prior to the mayhem of boost application.
Pumping Up The Pressure
ProCharger’s P-1SC-1 supercharger forms the basis for many of ProCharger’s street-car automotive offerings, and is used in applications across the board to provide a solid power increase without altering drivability – except when the loud pedal is pressed to the floor. The supercharger’s 9-inch volute and 1,200 cfm rating mean that it is capable of producing 825 horsepower with the right pulley combination – and an engine that can support the power level, although we didn’t take it that high in this application.
Just part of the ProCharger Stage II Tuner kit we ordered; not shown are the bulk of the inlet tubes, bracket, and a number of other small components. The P-1SC-1 is set up with a 4-inch pulley and maxes out slightly over 9 psi on our car at 7,300 rpm.
The self-contained supercharger system uses a dedicated 8-rib drive belt assembly. The supercharger uses ProCharger’s proprietary oil and oil slinger inside to keep the drive gears lubricated and the supercharger happy.
We also chose to use a helical gearset in the supercharger rather than the straight-cut gearset, to keep the noise to a minimum – and the wife’s satisfaction to a maximum – especially on those long summer drives. While the awesome sound of the straight-cut gearset informs everyone there’s evil lurking under the hood, we wanted a bit more of a stealth approach for this particular vehicle.
Although the supercharger is capable of pumping out 825 horsepower at max boost levels, our stock engine prohibits that level of insanity. We think you’ll discover that the final result is plenty hairy for the majority of owners, especially on a daily-driven street car.
For this installation, we chose to upgrade to the Stage II Intercooled tuner kit, which offers a number of upgrades over the standard high output system. These upgrades include a larger front-mounted air-to-air intercooler and ProCharger’s competition air inlet to help boost the power levels by permitting more air to enter the supercharger unit.
The system also includes one of ProCharger’s ProFlow bypass valves to keep the boost levels under control when your foot isn’t buried – it allows the supercharger to bleed off boost pressure through the valve rather than slamming back into the impeller when the throttle is modulated.
In our particular case, we chose to have ProCharger finish off the supercharger in its black painted finish rather than the standard satin or optional polished finish. As the rest of the car follows a theme with black (black wheels, emblems, and grille) the black finish provides a stealthy underhood appearance. To set off the black finish, we also had the bracket delivered in a fully-polished finish to provide contrast and a look you don’t often see with this setup.
Auxiliary Running Gear
Since we decided to select the tuner system, we were free to pick out our own components for fueling enhancement and computer programming. We also made a few worthy upgrades to ensure some room for power growth later, should we decide to do engine upgrades and push the envelope even more.
The JMS PowerMAX FuelMAX voltage booster allowed us to retain the stock fuel system, as it amps up the voltage to the stock pump, delivering the required volume with the proper injectors.
One item of special importance to us is JMS Chip‘s plug-and-play PowerMAX FuelMAX V2 fuel pump voltage boosters (PN PM2000-BOOST-PPM11). This booster helps to increase the output of the stock fuel pump by up to 85 percent and is a true plug-and-play solution – just make the appropriate harness connections, verify that the unit is operating properly, and move on to the next step of your installation.
“Our goal with FuelMAX V2 was to create the most powerful voltage booster and combine it with a high range of adjustments and features. The end result is a true 40 amp device with both adjustable ramp-in and ramp-out rates, varied voltage operating ranges, combines with a simple plug and play design that works seamlessly with the factory control system,” says Brad Grissom of JMS Chip.
There are a number of ways to connect the FuelMAX, including the internal boost port affixed to the side of the unit, but in the interest of easy installation, our unit used the included harness that connects to the accelerator pedal and monitors its position to seamlessly activate the unit. The other portion of the harness connects to the factory fuel pump driver module in between the module and the existing vehicle wiring to boost the voltage. Simply lay on the pedal and the unit activates – get out of the boost, and it deactivates through the throttle position, providing the necessary voltage only when required by the car.
The PowerMAX FuelMAX offers plug-and-play operation; it links into the fuel system wiring at the driver module and is triggered by a piggyback harness that sees the throttle position signal at the pedal. Here All Out Automotive's Kris Mustacchio is verifying its operation.
This helps to keep the fuel cool, rather than constantly cycling unnecessary volume through the lines, and reduces the chance of vapor lock. The fuse under the hood needs to be upgraded to handle the increased voltage, then attach the pre-terminated ground to an existing chassis point in the trunk, and away you go.
There are a couple of dip switches that allow the unit to operate at 18 or 22 volts depending upon application. You also need to verify that the unit is boosting voltage properly via the green LED on its face – press the pedal halfway and it starts to pump up the voltage, which is in fully by three-quarters pedal application to ensure adequate fueling under boost.
RC Engineering’s 650cc injectors provide plenty of fuel for this application, and give us some room for growth in the future should we decide to add more boost.
In the full supercharger kit, ProCharger supplies 50 lb-hr fuel injectors to ensure adequate fueling. To allow for the extra headroom we were after, we instead selected a set of eight 650cc/min (62 lb-hr) injectors (PN SL4-0650) from RC Engineering to finish off the fuel injection portion of the installation.
The SL4-650 injectors from RC Engineering are capable of supplying 650 cc/min at 43.5 psi fuel pressure.
The SL4-650 injectors, like most late-model fuel injectors, are high-impedance (saturated) fuel injectors. These operate between 12-16 Ohms of resistance, unlike low-impedance injectors, which operate between .6-6 Ohms. Saturated injectors require roughly 1 to 1.5 Amps of current to open the injector, where low-impedance injectors require 4-6 Amps of current. This specification is controlled by ECU design.
RC Engineering has a great set of calculators on their website, where you can figure out the proper injector size required to support the level of horsepower you seek, which we utilized to get an idea of our injector requirements. For example, if 700 crankshaft horsepower is desired in a V8 engine, they suggest to select a Brake Specific Fuel Consumption number between .55 and .60 for a supercharged engine such at this. With a duty cycle of 80 percent and 43.5 psi fuel pressure at the rail, the calculator suggests an injector capable of 60.5 lb-hr, or 636 cc/min. As pressure goes up, the injector can provide more flow; these injectors fit the bill perfectly given the calculator’s suggestions.
We updated the lubrication for the engine with Driven’s FR50 Coyote-spec oil, which is designed to ensure the Coyote’s cam phaser system and timing chain tensioners work properly.
We also installed a new set of NGK Iridium plugs PN 6510, or PN LTR7IX-11 from Jegs.com, gapped to .032-inch, and topped off the engine with a fresh oil change using Driven Racing Oil‘s FR50 5W50 synthetic oil, Jegs.com PN 499-04106. Although the factory spec for this engine calls for 5W20, we upgraded to the thicker juice to help keep potential breakdown from heat at bay. This oil works properly with the Coyote’s oiling system and variable valve timing system and is designed for high temperature, high shear environments.
In order to complete our dyno and tuning sessions, we also selected one of SCT’s X4 Performance Programmers. The X4 device comes with a number of pre-installed programs and numerous great features, most of those are not applicable in our case – we dealt with Ken Bjonnes at Lund Racing and worked with him to create true custom email tunes (more on this later). Most importantly for this application, the X4 permits the ability for us to datalog the engine’s parameters and allowed Bjonnes to review the logs while he created the tune files. It also provides us the ability to log two analog channels should the need arise.
Keeping The Air Clean
The Coyote engine is well-known for sucking a healthy amount of oil vapors into the engine in stock form, and once artificial aspiration is added, this concern becomes more prevalent in a big way. To that end, we decided to take advantage of a solution from UPR Products in the form of one of its all-new, dual-valve catch can assemblies. The four-chamber can has an eight-ounce capacity and prevents oil from entering the intake and subsequently spoiling the incoming air charge.
The CNC-machined billet aluminum can uses a unique four-chamber design to trap the oil and features plug-and-play connections at the can and the separator to ease installation. A check-valve is placed inline with the 5/8-inch Goodyear fabric-braided hose going to the manifold connection to close under boost and assure the oil stays out of the engine. Not only does it look good, it performs well, too, by removing any potential for surging under boost. It does need to be accounted for in the tune, as the line to the manifold connects behind the throttle body, but your tuner should be able to correct that with no issue.
The installation of the supercharger system is relatively straightforward; ProCharger provides an excellent installation manual with the system. Rather than run it down step by step, we’ll touch on a few of the highlights that are important to note with our particular installation.
In terms of installing the supercharger and bracket assembly, there is no cutting or grinding required on the front cover. Care must be taken when installing the crankshaft drive pulley to ensure that the cam-lock system lines up properly and the pulley is seated on the balancer.
It’s necessary to install the bracket and supercharger as one piece; it helps to have an extra set of hands during this part of the process. Four long bolts attach the supercharger to the front of the engine. Make sure to install the provided drain line and snug it up before you drop the blower and bracket assembly into place. Same goes for the exit coupler from the supercharger to the discharge piping; you can’t get to this location once it’s all installed, so put it in place and lock the coupler in the proper position to exit under the groove in the bottom of the bracket.
Another thing we discovered is that even though ProCharger says that the large Stage II air inlet may not work with the factory strut tower brace, it can be made to work with careful positioning of the inlet and filter assembly. We ended up shortening the coupler between the inlet and the blower, then pushing the air filter out towards the end of the tube to get the fitment just right. Other couplers throughout the system may also require some trimming to get the charge pipes to fit properly; this is specific to each car.
We also changed out the factory overflow tank and fan/shroud assembly with the supplied units from ProCharger; while the new fan is a bit louder than stock at full song, the extra cooling capability is well worth it.
In the case of the Stage II system, the car’s front bumper cover may need modification in order to fit the large air-to-air intercooler behind it; ours required a fair amount of trimming to get things just right. While it took us a couple hours of on-and-off fitment checking, the extra time spent was well worth it in terms of the finished appearance.
The installation of the supercharger itself is relatively straightforward; ProCharger provides an excellent install guide that walks you through the process step by step. The unique cam-lock crankshaft drive pulley locks into the factory unit to provide a dedicated drive system. A bit of threadlocker on the bolts, slip it into place, then it's time to hang the blower and bracket assembly. Prior to bolting the blower to the bracket, make sure to install the drain hose and crank it down tight, as you'll thank yourself for this when it's time to change the supercharger oil. Hanging the assembly is best done with a second set of hands -- the extra hands here belong to the other half of All Out Automotive, Nick Edelman.
Grabbr also has a California Special lower valance installed, which meant that we had to remove our foglights for good in order to clear all of the charge piping. While this altered the appearance of the vehicle slightly, the CS fogs don’t provide much light output, so the effect on night-time driving was negligible.
These foglight hole blanks were a necessity to satisfy our OCD; without them, you could see the body color on the radiator support through the holes where the foglights used to be.
We also managed to find a great solution to close off the foglight holes in the valance; it seems at one point Ford made the light inserts with blocked-off holes (side-specific Ford PN CR3Z-17E810-AA/CR3Z-17E811-AA), so we dialed up Rick Riccardi at Downs Ford and procured a set. If you’re still rocking the factory valance, these won’t matter to you. In the interest of satisfying our OCD about the frontal appearance of the vehicle, these provided the saving grace. We believe the part numbers may also be discontinued; it took Rick a bit of searching to find them for us.
Follow through the rest of the installation instructions and lock everything down, then it’s time to hit the dyno.
On The Dyno
Prior to the supercharger’s installation, All Out Automotive’s Kris Mustacchio hooked Grabbr up to the shop’s Dynocom dynamometer so that we could establish a performance baseline. In line with our last dyno session, Grabbr pounded out 412.9 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 397.2 lb-ft of torque at 4,450 rpm.
We were about to have our world rocked. Once the blower was installed, Bjonnes took the wheel, so to speak, and walked us through the company’s remote tuning process.
We went onto the Lund Racing support website and selected our tune parameters, entering as much information about the modifications to the vehicle as possible; supercharger style and expected boost, fuel injector size, rear-gear ratio, the type of transmission, exhaust modifications, and more.
Here’s a sampling of the information we provided to Lund Racing before they could begin the tune process.
We spend a lot of time on the dyno creating all of these files, and then when we tune cars remotely, we’re able to rely on the files we’ve created locally and already refined. - Ken Bjonnes, Lund Racing
One of the interesting things about the way Lund Racing does business is that its volume allows them to see things other tuners may not ever experience; if you’ve got a Coyote combination of some sort, chances are they’ve seen that exact setup already and are able to get you a solid base file to start with before you begin the back-and-forth process of email tuning. Not only do they offer email-only tuning based on these parameters that are then tied in and refined through analysis of the customer’s datalogs, they also offer the ability to dyno-tune remotely with your local shop, as in our case.
“The volume is what makes us so strong – this is the magic of what makes Lund Racing what it is. We’ve got five full-time tuners; my main role is research and development, adding to our library of files. In the last five years we’ve tuned maybe 100 cars just like this one,” says Bjonnes.
“We spend a lot of time on the dyno creating all of these files, and then when we tune cars remotely, we’re able to rely on the files we’ve created locally and already refined. We have very refined base tunes for any combinations that we cover, and on top of that we’re very specialized with the 2011-up cars.”
From there, it was as simple as 1-2-3. Really. Mustacchio worked in conjunction with Bjonnes to datalog the vehicle using the X4’s capabilities, uploading our part-throttle drivability datalogs to the Lund Racing site. Each time we submitted a datalog, a few minutes later we had a tune revision from Bjonnes to load into the vehicle and lock down the next step of the tune. It took six part-throttle pulls for Bjonnes to be satisfied with the air/fuel ratios and timing settings through the RPM ranges, then it was time to lay the hammer down.
Mustacchio worked the laptop onsite to record the datalogs; Bjonnes was remote, providing the tune updates through the Lund Racing support website. We have a hunch he had his feet up and was poolside with a Mai Tai, but who are we to criticize? The tune works.
And lay it down we did. We made a few full-throttle pulls, going higher in the RPM band each time, and when the smoke settled, the final horsepower number fell in right where we hoped it would. How does 618.7 rear wheel horsepower at 7,350 rpm and 473.8 lb-ft of torque at 5,650rpm sound?
Although the torque figure appears low for this particular combination, we realized after the day was done that we had pulled the car in fourth gear instead of the 1:1 ratio of fifth gear. Bjonnes says this won’t affect the overall horsepower number, but it will make the torque value read lower than it truly is. Based on other similar combinations we’ve seen, we believe the car is producing approximately 500 lb-ft of torque – or maybe more – but we haven’t been able to make it back to the dyno yet to confirm that. Regardless, a measured improvement of 205.8 rear wheel horsepower and 76.6 lb-ft of torque at the tire is an impressive gain for a day’s worth of work.
Bjonnes snuck up on the tune, having us pull the car higher and higher in the RPM band while recording the data. He kept adjusting timing and fueling based on the datalogs we sent in through the Lund Racing support site, ultimately finishing the tuning session at 7,350 rpm and maxing out the dyno graph at 618.7 rear wheel horsepower. He didn’t tell us where he set the timing and air/fuel ratio, and we didn’t ask. His track record with some of the highest-horsepower Coyotes in the land speaks for itself. Is there more locked up in the engine? Possibly, but we’re not willing push any harder to find it until we get a set of billet oil pump gears installed.
Our best elapsed time of the single test session we got with the car before the winter set in. Not bad, but there’s still a ton left in terms of elapsed time improvement. We’ve already fixed one issue by installing MGW’s Compact Race Spec shifter; it’s time for a clutch and a shift light, and then the 10s will be staring us right in the face. From a real, street-driven, every day car.
In order to quantify our gains, we headed to a track rental at our home track, Cecil County Dragway in Rising Sun, Maryland, in November. If you remember, our previous best pass prior to the supercharger was 11.96 at 118.83 mph – not the quickest NA Coyote Mustang the world has ever seen, but typical of a daily-driven car that’s not raced at the limit.
And after the supercharger’s additional 200-plus horsepower to the tire? We made the trip down to Cecil with the ET Street Rs on the car, dropped the tire pressure to 15 psi, then cranked off a stout 11.19 at 126.36 mph right off the street with hardly any time for the car to cool down.
We made an additional four passes throughout the course of the freezing-cold day, doing everything we could to bring home that 10-second timeslip from the daily-driver. Unfortunately, the racing gods were not kind to us. We struggled quite a bit with getting the car to take the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts on the stock clutch, then putting all of the phases of a clean pass together. At the end of the day, our best elapsed time was an 11.15 at 123.97 mph – not bad, and only just the beginning. With more seat time next season (and a shift light), and different gearing, we fully expect to see the 10.70 range or better, especially now that we’ve installed one of MGW‘s Compact Race Spec shifters.
We determined that the 3.73 rear gears currently installed in the car are just too much gear to work with the MT-82, as we were forced to shift into fifth gear around the 1,100-foot mark, losing valuable time and MPH in the process. Live and learn … 2016 will be the season of 10-second e.t.’s for Project Grabbr.