When Ford Motor Company released the redesigned 2010 Mustang, the aesthetics were not the only thing reengineered. Horsepower numbers were raised to give owners a little extra power and the handling and comfort was also tweaked. Power was increased from 300 hp to 315 hp, thanks to a factory cold-air intake and a recalibrated ECM.
The factory cold-air kit is a great improvement over the intake system from the previous year. So much so that when the aftermarket first got its hands on the 2010, companies had trouble improving on the factory design. But after months of research and development, Steeda has not only designed a kit that makes more power, but it looks great too.
Steeda's cold-air intake system...
Steeda's cold-air intake system for the 2010 Mustang is the latest release from the Pompano Beach, Florida-based company. Steeda uses 3-D models and drawings from Ford Motor Company to design and manufacture products that make horsepower.
For over 20 years, Steeda Autosports has been one of the top manufacturers of Mustang performance parts. Intense R&D, along with hours of track testing and actual racing in competition, go into every part Steeda manufactures, and its cold-air intake system for the 2010 Mustang GT is no exception. In fact, Steeda works with Ford Motor Company on many parts it manufactures. "Steeda uses Ford-supplied models for much of the design process," explains Aric Pogel, engineer for Steeda Autosports. "We start with Ford's drawings and 3-D models, and make our improvements from there. Once our designs are complete, the 3-D models are loaded into our rapid prototyping machine where the first physical parts are made."
Steeda uses a rapid prototyping...
Steeda uses a rapid prototyping machine to test parts during the design process. Parts are designed virtually as 3-D models before the rapid prototype machine produces parts useable for testing.
Rapid prototyping is a process that allows Steeda (and many other manufacturers) to quickly produce a part for visual inspection, fitment, and in some cases, testing purposes, prior to building a finished version. The rapid prototype machine builds parts one paper-thin layer at a time in an 8x8x8-inch tank. The tank is filled with a blend of sand and gypsum, and has an elevator-style floor, which lowers as each layer of the part is laid out by the machine. A print head from an ink-jet printer applies a thin layer of glue onto the sand-blend in the shape of the 3-D model. Once a layer of glue is applied, the floor of the tank lowers and an arm spreads a new layer of sand and gypsum over the previous layer. This is repeated at a rate of one inch per hour until the part is complete.
A mixture of sand, gypsum,...
A mixture of sand, gypsum, and glue is used to make the prototype parts. These fragile parts are sprayed with an epoxy to strengthen them before testing. Testing can include test fitting for clearance, flow testing, or dyno testing.
Fresh out of the rapid prototype machine, the new part is very fragile. A layer of epoxy is sprayed on to give it strength so the engineers can test it. Larger parts, like the intake elbow on the 2010 cold-air kit, are made in two sections due to size restraints. Once both pieces are fabricated, fiberglass is used to join the sections, making one complete part.
From here, the Steeda engineers can test for fit, flow, clearances, and even dyno tests are done with some parts made this way. "Due to the fact that rapid prototype parts are primarily made of sand, road testing is too risky," Pogel adds. "If you hit a large bump on the road, a part like a prototype cold-air intake could break apart and damage the engine."
Rapid prototyping also affords the ability to alter the design, and to make minute changes quickly and efficiently, during the testing or developmental stages. Parts can be manufactured and ready for action in a few hours as opposed to a few weeks.
Prior to installing Steeda's 2010 cold-air system, we strapped its 2010 Mustang GT to the in-house Dynojet. With the engine temperature up, and the hood closed to simulate normal driving conditions, we let the Pony gallop. In stock trim, the 2010 laid down a respectable 274 rwhp with 299 lb-ft of torque.
After a few minutes of cool-down time, it was time to swap cold-air systems. Matt Bouyea made quick work of the factory cold-air kit. Steeda's cold-air kit was then installed quickly and easily.
The 85mm factory MAF sensor was replaced with a 94mm unit, which allows more airflow into the engine. The stock airbox was replaced with an open-element filter in a sheet metal enclosure to keep engine heat away from the intake stream.
The factory cold-air intake...
The factory cold-air intake helps the 2010 Mustang GT pump out 315 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque in stock trim.
Matt Bouyea of Steeda starts...
Matt Bouyea of Steeda starts by disconnecting the MAF sensor. On the stock 2010 intake system, the MAF sensor is part of the airbox. The MAF harness is attached to the airbox, and a second connector is between the airbox and the strut tower.
Next, Bouyea unbolts the airbox...
Next, Bouyea unbolts the airbox and disconnects the noise tube before removing the factory pieces.