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Buck Bangin Bolt ons

This project began when I purchased a '05 v6 Mustang convertible. I wasn't happy with the throttle response or power of the factory engine. I combed through the Mustang magazines looking for a solution that included a cost analysis of various bolt-ons. I got my first muscle car in the summer of '68 as a high school reward for not getting expelled and maintaining a B-average. It was a 300HP 4-speed posi / ac pony car that was totaled beyond repair by Christmas of that year. So when I saw the car it was love at first drive but it had one flaw—lack of power. Naturally, I wanted to increase power as inexpensively as possible without buying a GT, with its higher insurance costs and not-so-wonderful gas mileage. I wanted speed and performance comparable the GT, without sacrificing drive-ability or the street manors of a daily driver. As many ads claimed horse power gains, but few articles considered the v6. Furthermore, the horse power promised by specific bolt-ons didn't always work when combined with other bolt-ons—in other words, it wasn't just simple addition when combining various bolt ons .
The goal was 50HP-TQ (Horse Power-Torque) per cylinder, in for a total of 300 HP & TQ at the rear wheels without throwing rods or affecting the ride. All the results are laid out here with a dollar per HP-TQ ratio ( dyno-testing courtesy of Sniper Tuning). If you have a v6 or v8, this may give you a better way to predict the final outcome of specific bolt-on combinations. Whichever mods you do decide on, you'll know what to expect, and about how much bang per buck (BB) you'll get. We used the factory CATs for this, so keep that in mind. See chart.

The Bolt-ons
You'll notice we used an aluminum drive line (drive shaft) component to release existing power already available from the v6, since lighter materials take less power from the engine with reduced rotational mass there by improving throttle response and mid-RPM torque. (The complete power system dyno results are on the last row on the chart.) Our finalized and tested bolt-ons include:
1.MAC CAI system
2.Performance Helix throttle body spacer
3. Under drive pulley
4.MAC Ceramic Shorty headers
5.Borla True dual CAT-back exhaust system
6.Empire Aluminum drive shaft
7.TCI. 2400 stall torque converter
8.Ny- Trex Triple Threat NOS system
9.Nano-nitrous assist system
10.Sniper hand held tuning programming
11.Speed of Sound nos control panel
We worked with the Sniper”s hand held tuning program to extract the maximum HP/TQ gains possible and keep the air/fuel ratio correct to prevent early detonation; the Sniper unit allows up to 6 vehicles that can be programmed and stores 6 different tuning settings for each car. We chose not to change the differential ratio, but kept it factory stock for all the tests and to maximize fuel efficiency and street manors.

Dyno-testing—A Crash Course
If you're familiar with dyno testing, this section isn't for you. Dyno testing measures torque (twisting force) while horse power is the S.A.E. standard measure derived from a mathematical formula (HP = TQ x∙ RPM / 5252). HP is used universally so that dyno results can be compared across brands. Torque is less misleading, though, because torque is what engines actually produce—what moves the car down the road. That fact makes it a more consistent unit of measure for comparing dyno tests across our various upgrades—especially if upgrades are installed or tested at different dates. Other important “correction factors” is that HP can be misleading at different altitudes and humidity’s—we've all experienced sluggishness on hot and humid days. Dyno test results tend to fall off after the graph point 5252, whereas torque may continue to increase. Ultimately, dyno tests reveal the net performance gain for each upgrade and how various power-adders work together and which do not. All our dyno tests were preformed at the Sniper Tuning facility of Sanford Florida (2 hour drive each way) and supervised by Patrick Stajdel , the owner, racer and chief programming engineer. He calibrated the “Mustang” dyno-meter, (which can also calculate E.T.S.), prior to each session over the ten months required to complete this project.

Dyno Test Results and Observations The first day of testing came at the Sniper tuning facility at Sanford Fl. Patrick Stajdel' the head” technician and owner kept strict quality control over all dyno runs on the new mustang dyno system. The charted results illustrate some predictable findings—but also some surprising dyno results. Looking at the Dyno results chart you'll notice the net gain for the drop-in filter was 1.8 HP and 2.8 TQ, or about $25.00/HP AND $16.07/TQ. The helix throttle body spacer alone netted 7 .2 HP and 10.8 TQ OR $12.05/TQ. Each bolt-on is a great value on its own, but using these bolt-ons together doesn't get you the 9 HP AND 13.6 TQ gain you might expect. The fact is, the dyno test measure netted just 7.3 TQ when the two were combined. The results indicate the helix spacer yields the best results with a stock (factory) filter or a Cold Air Intake( CAI) System. Testing of the Sniper hand held tuning programmer gave a modest HP gain, but the increased TQ with the Sniper Tuner showed the most cost effective point between gain and price to be at $7.09/TQ or +25.4 TQ. Improving conductance with spark plug wires didn't net any significant gains, so keeping the factory wires is the best bang for the buck. Comparing the most popular CAI's—K&N, MAC, JLT, A. P. E—showed excellent and similar gains across the board +/- 7%. To get the most out of any C A I , a tuning program is recommended based on dyno-testing . The under drive pulley alone netted 6.0TQ for a value of $50/TQ. On preliminary testing the under drive pulley stellar results: when combined with the helix spacer, net gains were 18.0TQ—that is, $23.83/TQ. In this particular case, these two bolt-ons yield more power than anticipated, and it can really be felt in the throttle response. Our NEXT power and torque bolt-on came from the new Borla True Dual Exhaust System, netting 25.5 HP & 21.8TQ with dyno test result. The MAC Ceramic Headers (for exhaust systems)—when combined with the above bolt-ons (refer to the chart)—yielded 5 HP and 10 TQ at the rear wheels FOR HEADERS ONLY. An aluminum drive shaft was installed, giving a minimal TQ increase, although significant throttle response that could be felt in the mid-RPM’S when stepping on the gas pedal . At this point, the transmission developed a rattling noise. The diagnosis at the Ford dealership was that the flex plate (flywheel) was defective or cracked. Fortunately, the dealership allowed me to upgrade the torque converter while the transmission was open. Lowell at TCI Transmissions—the company that built the first production 2400 stall converter for the v6 car—explained that this change would make the transmission grip the power of the engine closer to the peak torque-range. Meaning, in simpler terms, more peak power is transmitted to the pavement sooner. While the purpose of a torque converter is getting power to the wheels, the manufacturer wants the car have a pleasurable drive, so they set torque parameters to —approx. 1800 RPMS stall. This means that peak engine power is delayed to the rear wheels. The TCI 2400 stall converter was a MAJOR improvement to the over-all throttle response and significantly improved the feel of the ride as well as quicker or reduced time to get to top speed. The final bolt-on is a 100HP shot of nitrous, combined with a new Nano bottle pressure equalizing unit, which piggybacks the nitrous bottles. The equalizer keeps the nitrous pressure and temperature stable through the power range, eliminating nitrous fade and the need for an electric heater pad, which is a potential fire hazard. The equalizer alone improved the ET 'S in our tests, and gained us another 25.4 hundredths of a second OR 37 HP & 21 r w HP!.
We tested with 93 octane versus 100 octane gas without using nitrous, and the 100 octane netted a 5 TQ increase at the rear wheels.
Since power has been significantly increased, the breaks and rear suspension should also be upgraded to insure all the power and torque meets the rear wheels and that you can stop safely. BBK Performance handled our traction and launch issues. With the increased torque and power of the s197 Mustang Chris at BBK recommended upper and lower control arms and a posi differential with a 373 rear ratio for better track times and good street manors but more on that subject later .
After adding the Nos bottle the dyno test results with the 100 HP jetting-shot netted 67
HP/TQ TO the rear wheels, with conservative AFR of 11.6 (AVE). The cost ratio came out to $10.45/TQ. Keep in mind, a stock suspension was used during these tests. Pat then turned on the Nano-nitrous assist with eye-opening results: combined with the NY-TREX N02 at 83°F and 85% humidity, the v6 achieved 340 HP with 333TQ rear wheel power! The simple addition of the Nano assist netted 26TQ (rear wheels) so that the v6 could now generate 399HP at the flywheel, surpassing our original goal of 300 rear wheel HP.

The most cost effective bolt-ons can be ordered as follows: A name brand, properly tuned CAI system or drop-in filter, a hand held tuning program, a helix type throttle body spacer, a NOS system and Nano assist system. Our most impressive performance bolt-ons, regardless of value, were the TCI 2400 stall converter, the Nano Nitrous Assist system, CAT back BORLA dual exhausts, an aluminum drive shaft. helps in your pursuit of the best performance irregardless of the best bang for the buck.
Jay Gallaty

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