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S197 4.6 3V GT Bolt-Ons HP/TQ Gains

 

 

     (manual transmission)

 

Mods

WHP

WTQ

 

 

 

 

 

Stock 2005 GT

264

285

 

 

Stock 2006-2009 GT

271

289

 

 

Stock 2010 GT

279

296

 

 

CAI & Tune

289

303

 

 

UDPs

298

311

 

 

CMDPs

304

320

 

 

Off-road X-pipe

312

327

 

 

3/4 Length LT Headers

320

333

 

 

Full Length LT Headers

321

338

 

 

Mutha Thumpr NSR Cams

352

334

 

 

Stage 1 Heads

366

345

 

 

Stage 3 Heads/62mm TB

381

348

 

 

SPR 127400 Cams

384

359

 

 

Intake manifold (HCI)

394

348

 

 

302ci Stroker & HCI

413

359

 

 

323ci Stroker & HCI

426

387

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAI & Tune

+25

+18

 

 

UD Pulleys

+9

+8

 

 

CMDPs

+6

+9

 

 

62mm Throttle Body

+3

+1

 

 

Electric Water Pump

+7

+3

 

 

EWP & underdrive crank pulley

+12

+9

 

 

3/4 Length Headers/Off-road X-pipe

+16

+13

 

 

Full Length Headers/Off-road X-pipe

+17

+18

 

 

Mid Length Shorty Headers

+6

+3

 

 

Shorty Headers

+3

+2

 

 

Catted X-pipe

+3

+5

 

 

Off-road X-pipe

+8

+7

 

 

Axleback Mufflers

+1

0

 

 

Fox Lake Stage 3 Heads

+28

 

 

 

FRPP Hot Rod NSR Cams

+20

 

 

 

Detroit Rocker NSR Cams

+23

 

 

 

Mutha Thumpr NSR Cams

+30

 

 

 

NSR 127050 Cams

+16

 

 

 

VSR 127100 Cams

+18

 

 

 

NSR 127200 Cams

+22

 

 

 

VSR 127300 Cams

+27

 

 

 

SPR 127400 Cams

+31

 

 

 

SPR 127500 Cams

+37

 

 

 

FRPP Intake Manifold

+12

 

 

 

 

What's Hot: Tune, CAI, CMDPs, UDPs, Off-Road Midpipe, Ported Stock Throttle Body

Debatable: LT Headers, Mid-Length Shorty Headers, EWP, NSR Cams, 302ci Stroker Kit

What's Not: 62mm Throttle Body, Shorty Headers, Catted Midpipe, Axleback Mufflers, CNC Ported Heads, VSR & SPR Cams, FRPP Intake Manifold

Bolt-On Performance Upgrades For A N/A 4.6L Modular 3V Engine.

CAI & tuner combo: Cost $580-700. Gain ~18-25rwhp or ~$23-39 per HP.

Installation time 30 minutes (DIY).

The JLT series 3, C&L Racer, and Airaid Race cold air intakes with an SCT tuner are the best of the bunch. Don't bother with any of the "no tune required" intakes. The 2005-2009 GT's factory ECU is conservatively tuned to allow the engine to run on 87 octane gasoline, and a performance tune for 91 or 93 octane fuel produces significant HP & TQ gains across the whole rpm range. A larger diameter CAI doesn't produce much of a HP/TQ gain on its own but the increased airflow will support higher HP levels as you add further upgrades.

Steeda CMDPs: Cost $280. Gain ~6rwhp or ~$47 per HP.

Installation time 1.5 hours (~$150 labor or additional ~$15-25 per HP). DIY installation possible.

The bang per buck ratio is much better if you convert your stock CMCVs into CMDPs.

UDPs: Cost $250. Gain ~9rwhp or ~$28 per HP.

Installation time 1.5 hours (~$150 labor or additional ~$17 per HP). DIY installation possible.

Best done at the same time as CAI & CMDPs as an entry-level stage 1 performance package.

Meziere electric water pump: Cost $420. Gain ~7rwhp or ~$60 per HP.

Installation time 2 hours (~$200 labor or additional ~$28 per HP). DIY installation possible.

Replacing the belt-driven mechanical water pump with an electric unit reduces parasitic engine HP loss. If installed together with an underdrive crank pulley, a shorter drivebelt is required and the combined gain is ~12rwhp.

Full-length headers/offroad X-pipe: Cost $1320. Gain ~17rwhp or ~$78 per HP.

Installation time 6 hours (~$600 labor or additional ~$35 per HP). DIY installation possible but shop installation recommended.

Note: Pypes 3/4 length headers cost a total of just $750 so assuming a 16rwhp gain, that's a much better ~$47 per HP (plus ~$600 labor or additional ~$38 per HP).

Shorty headers: Cost $220-760. Gain ~3rwhp or ~$70-250 per HP.

Installation time 6 hours (~$600 labor or additional ~$200 per HP). DIY installation possible but shop installation recommended.

Not worth the effort nor expense so donít bother. Some shorty headers e.g. Ford Racing, Pypes, MAC, and Bassani are little more than tubular versions of stock streamlined exhaust manifolds that are already fairly efficient.

Mid-length shorty headers: Cost $350-450. Gain ~6rwhp or ~$58-75 per HP.

Installation time 6 hours (~$600 labor or additional ~$100 per HP). DIY installation possible but shop installation recommended.

Described as shorties because they can be used with the stock midpipe, but are functionally mid-length headers with unequal primaries (JBA 10.0-21.0", BBK 8.5-26.5").
Peak 5-7rwhp gain with a useful gain of 6rwtq from 1300-2900rpm. Worth a look if long tube headers aren't street legal in your state, but only if you're going to install them yourself to save the labor cost.

Standard length catted X-pipe: Cost $380-660. Gain ~3rwhp or ~$127-220 per HP.

Installation time 2 hours (~$200 labor or additional ~$67 per HP). DIY installation possible but shop installation recommended.

Donít bother unless the stock cats need to be replaced. Even then, the cats on some aftermarket midpipes may not have sufficient substrate to prevent fault codes from the downstream O2 sensors and the appearance of a check engine light.

Standard length offroad X-pipe: Cost $230-350. Gain ~8rwhp or ~$29-44 per HP.

Installation time 2 hours (~$200 labor or additional ~$25 per HP). DIY installation possible but shop installation recommended.

Good bang for the buck but at the expense of more noise and higher emissions. In states where deleting the cats is illegal, the Ford Performance cut/clamp X-pipe (standard fitting on 2007 Shelby GT) is a low cost alternative that preserves the stock cats and still yields a useful 3rwhp and 5rwtq gain.

Axleback mufflers: Cost $250-720. Gain ~1rwhp or ~$250-720 per HP.

A mod only for the sound.

Dual 62mm throttle body: Cost $280-600. Gain ~3rwhp or ~$93-200 per HP.

Installation time 30 minutes (DIY).

Donít bother unless upgrading the heads/cams/intake manifold (HCI) at the same time. The stock dual 55mm throttle body already flows a generous 953cfm @ 28" H20 depression, and a dual 62mm throttle body flowing 1306cfm @ 28" H20 depression is overkill on an engine that's either stock or only has mild bolt-on upgrades. Instead you could port the stock throttle body to streamline the airflow path. This increases airflow velocity and sharpens throttle response.

CNC ported cylinder heads: Cost $1800-3400 (including $100 head changing kit). Gain ~14rwhp (stage 1) and ~26rwhp (stage 3) or ~$130 per HP.

Installation time 8 hours (~$800 labor or additional ~$30-57 per HP). DIY installation possible but shop installation recommended.

Stage 1: No loss of torque at lower rpm, HP gains from 3200rpm to redline, suitable for street use.

Stage 2: Same as stage 1 but with upgraded valve springs.

Stage 3: Slight loss of torque below 4700rpm, HP gains from 4800rpm to redline, most suitable for racing applications.

The stock heads flow 225-235cfm (intake) & 150-160cfm (exhaust) @ 0.500" valve lift and are excellent for street use, with performance only dropping off at 6500+rpm. If you need to remove your stock heads for any reason, you could use the opportunity to port them yourself and achieve a good result but it could also become an expensive mistake if you don't know what you're doing.

Performance camshafts: Cost $1040 (including valve spring compressor, timing chain wedge, phaser bolts & cam lube). Gain ~16-31rwhp or $34-65 per HP.

Installation time 4 hours NSR cams (~$400 labor or additional ~$13-20 per HP). DIY installation possible with recommended tools.

Installation time 8 hours VSR & SPR cams (~$800 labor or additional ~$25 per HP). DIY installation possible with recommended tools.

The stock cams and VCT programming are already optimized to produce maximum TQ from idle to 4400rpm. Any aftermarket performance cam is going to shift the HP & TQ peaks higher up the rpm scale, resulting in a loss of TQ below ~4400rpm with HP gains thereafter to the rev limiter; varies depending on cam specs & tune. The CompCams stage 1 produce the smallest lower rpm torque loss of all the popular NSR cams.

NSR cams best value for money but restricted to 6800rpm redline with stock valve springs. VSR cams much more costly due to need to upgrade valve springs ($300), and SPR cams also require cam phaser limiters ($200) further adding to the cost. Phaser limiters reduce the functionality of the VCT system, resulting in a loss of TQ at lower rpm and a peakier torque curve.

Any cams other than CompCams stage 1 are going to require 3.73 or higher ratio axle gears for best performance, so add the purchase cost of a ring & pinion gear set with install kit (~$270) plus installation time (4 hours labor or ~$400) when considering a cam swap. The combined cost of a cam swap plus an axle gear swap thus becomes $2100+ (parts & installation) or $68-105 per HP.

The stock cams are excellent for street use, with performance only dropping off at 6200+rpm. 

Ford Performance intake manifold: Cost $610. Gain ~12whp over stock manifold with CMDPs or ~$51 per HP.

Installation time 2 hours (~$200 labor or additional ~$15 per HP). DIY installation possible.

Loss of up to 13rwtq between 3400-4800rpm, flattening the first 4300rpm torque peak of the stock intake manifold but preserving the second peak at 5100rpm.

HP gains from 4900rpm to redline so most appropriate for racing applications.

Best done at the same time as CNC ported heads, performance cams, and twin 62mm throttle body as a complete package so that the redline can be extended to 7200rpm.

The stock intake manifold with CMDPs flows 250-260cfm per runner @ 28" H20 depression and is excellent for street use, with performance only dropping off at 6200+rpm. 

302ci Stroker Kit: Cost $2300.

Includes a forged crankshaft, connecting rods, and pistons for a bulletproof short block engine. A high volume oil pump with billet gears and a higher capacity road/race oil pan (further $800) are recommended for high rpm reliability.

Flat top pistons with 6.25cc valve reliefs used for a N/A stroker set-up.

Dished pistons rated for a lower compression ratio required for forced induction. 


Reduction of Parasitic Drivetrain HP/TQ losses

The drivetrain HP/TQ loss through the S197 rear wheel drive platform and TR3650 5-speed manual transmission is ~12% (stock 49lb wheel/tire combination), which means that ~88% of the engine's crankshaft HP/TQ output reaches the rear wheels. Lighter weight drivetrain components will reduce rotational inertia and increase rear wheel HP/TQ outputs:

Aluminum Flywheel:

The stock nodular iron flywheel that's bolted to the rear of the crankshaft weighs a hefty 22lb and, with a moment of inertia that's 5.1" from the center, requires 9.3lbft of the engine's torque output to rotate it. A 12lb aluminum racing flywheel is 10lb lighter and only requires 5.1lbft of the engine's torque output to rotate it, thus allowing an extra 4.2lbft to reach the rear wheels. The lighter flywheel also quickens throttle response and allows the engine to accelerate/decelerate faster, making it easier to upshift and downshift when racing on a circuit. Since it requires more torque to break traction with a clutch dump, initial acceleration may be slightly reduced with the same throttle opening until the engine gains momentum. Therefore the clutch is often dumped at higher rpm to prevent the engine from bogging at launch, making a lightweight flywheel unsuitable on a heavier vehicle.

Aluminum Driveshaft:

The stock two-piece steel driveshaft weighs a hefty 37lb and, with a moment of inertia that's 2.0" from the center, requires 6.2lbft of the engine's torque output to rotate it. The 3.5" Driveshaft Shop aluminum driveshaft is a whopping 19lb lighter and, with a moment of inertia that's 1.75" from the center, only requires 2.6lbft of the engine's torque output to rotate it, thus allowing an extra 3.6lbft to reach the rear wheels.

Lightweight Wheels:

Reducing wheel weight by 10lb on each axleshaft increases rear wheel torque output by 8.8lbft.

Lightweight Rear Brake Rotors:

Reducing rear brake rotor weight increases rear wheel torque output by 0.35lbft per lb saved on each axleshaft.

Performance Stages

Stage 1: CAI/tuner combination, CMDPs, UDPs, ~305rwhp. Parts cost ~$1100, installation ~$300, total ~$1400 for ~35rwhp gain (~$40 per HP).
Stage 2a: LT headers/midpipe, 320+rwhp. Parts cost ~$800, installation ~$600, total ~$1400 for ~15rwhp gain (~$93 per HP).
Stage 2b: Camshafts, higher ratio rear axle gears, cam phaser limiters, 350+rwhp. Parts cost ~$1500, installation ~$800, total ~$2300 for ~30rwhp gain (~$77 per HP).
Stage 3: CNC ported heads, intake manifold, 62mm TB, 39lb injectors, 390+rwhp. Parts cost ~$4600, installation ~$1000, total ~$5600 for ~40rwhp gain (~$140 per HP).
Stage 4: 302ci stroker kit, high volume oil pump with billet oil pump gears, road/race oil pan, 410+rwhp. Parts cost ~$3100, installation ~$2000, total ~$5100 for ~20rwhp gain (~$255 per HP).

The approximate cost is for the aforementioned parts and labor only. Any ancillary parts required to complete their installation (e.g. gaskets, seals, fasteners, fluids) will add to the cost, while installing two or more stages at the same time (especially stages 2b, 3, & 4 that involve internal engine modifications) or doing the work yourself will substantially reduce the cost. Therefore it pays to plan ahead!

Summary

The best bang per buck bolt-on upgrades with the lowest installation costs are stage 1 plus a standard length offroad midpipe for an easy 310+rwhp.

If you're going to add headers, go for long tubes but even the cheaper stainless steel ones e.g. Pypes become costly when you factor in the 6-hour labor cost (~$600) for installation. LT headers plus the stage 1 upgrades will raise the HP output to 320+rwhp (stage 2a).

Adding a 62mm TB, Meziere EWP, 12lb aluminum flywheel, and a 3.5" aluminum driveshaft will have an '05-'10 Mustang GT with stock HCI maxed out at 335rwhp 348rwtq (371hp 383lbft at crank).

A top end package of CNC ported heads/SPR cams/cam phaser limiters/FRPP intake manifold/62mm TB, plus a set of rear axle gears with install kit, costs a total of ~$6100 (stages 2b & 3). Adding the cost of the previously-installed stage 1 & 2a upgrades brings the total parts cost required to get 390+rwhp from a N/A 4.6 3V engine running on pump gasoline up to ~$8000. A 390+rwhp stage 3 set-up is less street-friendly than a 320+rwhp stage 2a set-up, producing less torque up to 4500rpm, but the rev-limiter can be raised from 6500rpm to 7200rpm to extend the rpm range for racing applications.

An '05-'10 Mustang GT with stage 3 upgrades could break through the 400rwhp barrier if it's either fitted with an EWP/aluminum flywheel/aluminum driveshaft or converted to run on E85 fuel. Alternatively, N/A diehards aiming at 400+rwhp could increase the engine displacement to 302ci with a stroker kit, but that (plus the recommended oiling system upgrades) would escalate the total parts cost past $11000. All for "only" 413rwhp & 359rwtq. For much less effort and expense, forced induction on a basically stock 4.6 engine could easily yield 480rwhp & 460rwtq (limit of stock connecting rods), with a whopping 140lbft more tire-shredding torque at 2500rpm than a N/A 302ci HCI stroker and more civilized street manners to boot.
 

If you want the engine to remain N/A for street performance, retain the stock heads plus the stock intake manifold with delete plates, and either retain the stock cams or upgrade to NSR cams (no valve spring upgrade required). A combination of CAI/CMDPs/UDPs/LT headers/midpipe/Thumpr NSR cams/cam phaser limiters/tune will yield ~350rwhp (~400hp crank) and the rev limiter can be set at 6800rpm (limit of stock valve springs). You can install higher ratio rear axle gears (4.10 optimal) to exploit the higher rpm potential. Anything beyond tuning stage 2b just isn't cost effective unless you're a wizard at DIY porting your own cylinder heads. Maximum HP & TQ would be close to the outputs of a stock '11-'12 Mustang 5.0L Coyote engine at a parts cost of just ~$3400 compared to the $10000+ parts cost of a Coyote swap.

The other option is forced induction in which case the only basic bolt-ons youíd need to enhance performance are CMDPs/LT headers/midpipe for a centrifugal supercharger, LT headers/midpipe alone for a positive displacement supercharger with integral intake manifold, and CMDPs/UDPs/tuned-length shorty headers for a turbo.

These articles provide interesting reading:

Induction

Cold Air Intake Comparisons: Cold Score - An in-depth comparison of 11 cold-air intakes for the '05 Mustang GT

Installing Cold-Air Intake System - Size Matters - S197 Bolt-Ons

How to Install the Granatelli Cold Air Induction System - í05-í10 Induction Upgrades

2010 Ford Mustang GT Cold Air Intake - '10 Mustang GT CAI

2010 Ford Mustang GT Cold-Air-Induction - 2010 GT CAI

S197 Mustang Intake Bolt-Ons - Fast And Easy

Installing CMRC Delete Kit - Clearing The Air - PHP's CMRC Delete Kit

Exhaust

'05 Mustang Exhaust Shootout, Part 1, Axlebacks

'05 Mustang Exhaust Shootout, Part 2, Catted Midpipes

'05 Mustang Exhaust Shootout, Part 3, Shorty Headers

Installing Bolt-On Exhaust System - Pocketful Of Bolt-Ons

'05-'10 Mustang BBK Tuned Length Shorty Headers - Install & Dyno Test

Installing JBA Long-Tube Headers - Long In The Tube

Bolt-On Packages

DiabloSports Predator Ė Handheld Horsepower

Mustang Bolt-Ons

S197 Mustang Bolt-Ons - The Power Of Three

S197 Bolt-On Enhancements - Three Squeeze - S197 Bolt-Ons

S197 Mustang GT Bolt-Ons - Key Changes

Granatelli Motor Sports Intake and Exhaust Upgrades

2006 Ford Mustang GT - Bolt-On Parts Installation

Stainless Works Exhaust Bolt-Ons

2010 Ford Mustang GT Bolt-Ons - Three On Three

2010 Mustang GT Bolt-On Buildup - Turning Wrenches

Factory Firepower - Ford Racing's new Drag Pac is put to the test

S197 Mustang GT Drag Pack - Throwback Pack

12s Or Bust - Bolt Ons Help Your S197 Go Deep 12s

2005 Ford Mustang GT - First in the 12's

Brenspeed High Mile Mustang Episode 1

Brenspeed High Mile Mustang Episode 2

Brenspeed High Mile Mustang Episode 3

Beyond Basic Bolt-Ons

Porting Stock Cylinder Heads

Cylinder Head Porting - Triple Threat - Ported Three Valve Heads

Ported Three-Valve 4.6 Cylinder Heads - Three's Company

Ford Racing Performance Parts Three Valve Cylinder Heads - Tri-Power

2010 Ford Mustang GT Billet Camshaft Swap

Ford Mustang Comp Cams - Three-Valve Thump - Tech

C&L Performance Three-Valve Intake Manifold Upgrade

Ford Racing Three Valve Intake Manifold Testing

Three-Valve Intake Manifold Dyno Test - Three's A Crowd

Heads, Cams

Stage 2 Three-Valve Heads & Camshafts

Blow By Racing Ford Mustang Ported Heads and Camshaft - Three-Valve Velocity

S197 Mustang Heads And Cams - CNC For Three

Heads, Cams, Intake Manifold

2005 Ford Mustang Head Cams Intake Install - Triple Play

3V Modular Head, Cam, Intake Install - New Life

Three Valve Head Cam Intake Package - Trey Cool

Stroker

Comp Cams Xtreme Energy XE253H Three-Valve Cam Test

C&L Performance Three Valve Intake Manifold Engine

C&L Performance's New Three-Valve Intake Manifold - Expand The Limits

Anderson Ford Motorsport Three-Valve Cam Install - Three-Valve Thrills