In the modern-performance era, horsepower comes easier than it used to. A big breakthrough for Mustang fans came in 2003 with the 390-horse Cobra, which introduced factory supercharging to the Mustang. More importantly, in doing so, Ford provided the foundation for owners to push for over 600 proud ponies at the wheels, all with a stock long-block.
Whipple Superchargers' new...
Whipple Superchargers' new twin-screw 3.4L blower is one bad mofo, capable of supporting 30 pounds of boost and about 1,000 hp.
We now have the '07 Shelby GT500, which reaches a once-never-dreamed-of level of factory performance with a Four-Valve supercharged 5.4 powerplant, which makes 110 additional horsepower over the Terminator and more than double the power of the 225hp 5.0L workhorse. While impressive, those 500 ponies just aren't enough for some owners.
Enter the vast array of aftermarket companies dedicated to Ford performance, one being Whipple Superchargers, which recently introduced its huge 3.4L bad-boy blower for the GT500. Thankfully, kicking up the power of a Shelby or other late-model Ford is a simple matter of adding boost, a shot of go-juice, or both. As we see it, the question is not, "Do you add power," but "How much?"
The Shelby is a clean slate because there's so much potential left in the stock combination. One could simply add a free-flowing exhaust, a flash-tuner, and a smaller blower drive pulley (the very mods our tester had) to add about 100 hp. To unlock the full potential of those 5.4 liters, though, what you really need is a bigger blower.
There are already a few aftermarket blowers out there, but the newest is the big 3.4L Whipple, officially dubbed the W210ax. The catch, for those who have tried to install one, is that this particular unit is so big, it won't fit under the stock hood-until now.
"For this kit, we utilized our W210ax twin-screw blower, which has 210 ci as compared to the stock hybrid Eaton that is sized at 122 ci," says Dustin Whipple. "We use a Teflon coating on the rotors, which creates less drag and less parasitic loss. It also helps improve airflow through the blower and keeps the rotors cooler. If you use our Whipple throttle body, mass air meter, and air kit, the blower is a 50-state-legal item.
Before slapping the Whipple...
Before slapping the Whipple into place, we ran a dyno test to see how much power the Shelby GT500 was making. It produced 530 rwhp with the addition of a JDM flash tune, a JDM cold-air kit, and a MagnaFlow after-cat exhaust.
"It's currently the biggest supercharger available on the market [for the GT500]. This means it's turning 4,000 rpm slower than its closest competition, and the lower compressor rpm equals lower discharge temperature and reduced parasitic losses. It works with factory or aftermarket air-inlet systems and has optional pulleys from 4.0 to 2.75 inches."
In the months to come, Whipple will offer a 2.9L kit for the GT500, and it will fit under a stock hood with no modifications. We wanted to go for the big one, however. Fortunately, JDM Engineering in Freehold, New Jersey, has the solution to make it work, and soon Whipple is likely to be offering the JDM kit as part of its package.
Shortly after, we got to the...
Shortly after, we got to the task of removing the stock blower. First, we disconnected the battery; then we removed the air inlet and the throttle body.
As we learned, finding 650 hp is not hard to do with this blower. In fact, the W210ax is capable of supporting about 1,000 whopping ponies. All the action takes place around the Whipple W210ax twin-screw compressor, which has the ability to run nearly 30 pounds of boost.
"First of all, we believe in the durability of Whipple-style superchargers," says Jim D'Amore of JDM Engineering. "Our customers wanted this particular unit to fit under the factory hood. These cars are special, and people want to keep the stock look, and that means retaining the stock hood. Our first customer, former Pro Stock racer Don Beverly, had Purvis Ford drop off the car and said give him as much power as we could. We started with 575 rwhp on pump gas and 605 on 100 octane, but that wasn't enough. He also wanted the stock hood, so we started doing the fabrication and engineering. I got the idea [to lower the engine and raise the body] from Ford.
Next, the fuel rails and injectors...
Next, the fuel rails and injectors came off. We'll be reusing the rails but installing new injectors.
With the injectors out of...
With the injectors out of the way and the wiring harness unplugged, Craig Silverman unbolted the GT500 blower and lifted it out of the way.