These Stage 1 cams from Comp...
These Stage 1 cams from Comp (PN 127050) were already a step up from the stock profiles. These Stage 1 NSR cams offer 0.450 lift, a 214/227 duration split, and a 114-degree lobe separation angle.
After backup runs demonstrated that these numbers were perfectly repeatable, the Mustang was pulled from the rollers and out came the Stage 1 cams. Having run the majority of my testing on the engine dyno, I don't envy having to perform cam swaps in the car, but the performance enthusiasts at ST Motorsports made short work of the cams, and we were up and running in no time. The Stage 1 cams were replaced with XE280PH-13 cams. The Stage 3 blower grinds (PN 127650) offer more lift and duration, not to mention a slight change in the lobe separation angle.
The Stage 3 cams feature a 0.559/0.560 lift split, a 245/256-degree duration split (measured at 0.050), and a 113-degree lobe separation angle. Unlike the NSR Stage 1 cams, these ballistic bumpsticks required increased valvespring pressure and cam phaser limiters. Lucky for us, the Livernois Stage III heads already feature sufficient spring pressure (and coil bind clearance) to work with both cams, while Comp Cams supplied the necessary Phaser limiters. The limiters are used to reduce the amount of cam phasing available, from near 50 degrees down to just 20 degrees, to maintain proper piston-to-valve clearance. Since major adjustments are made only at part throttle, little or no power is lost with the installation of the limiters at wide-open throttle.
The Stage 3 Blower cams were...
The Stage 3 Blower cams were a significant step up the performance ladder, offering a 0.559/0.560 lift split, a 245/256 duration split, and a slightly tighter 113-degree lobe separation angle.
Once the Stage 3 blower cams were installed, the GT was positioned back on the DynoJet. It was evident that these cams are more aggressive than the Stage 1 grinds. Adjustments were made to tame the idle quality, but it was obvious this car was running something other than stock sticks.
Keeping the air/fuel mixture at 11.8:1 and the total timing locked at 23 degrees, output jumped to an amazing 836 hp and 713 lb-ft of torque. The Stage 3 blower cams were worth 85 hp over the already impressive Stage 1 cams. Since this is an automatic, the start rpm was roughly 3,500 rpm, but no power loss was experienced with the cam swap in the tested rpm range.
Unlike the NSR Stage 1 cams,...
Unlike the NSR Stage 1 cams, which required not even a valvespring upgrade, the XE280PH-13 Stage 3 Blower cams (PN 127650) required both valvesprings and phaser limiters (PN 5449) for use on the Three-Valve motor. The Stage III heads from Livernois were already equipped with sufficient spring pressure for use with the new cam profiles.
Where the Stage 1 cams failed to reach 700 lb-ft of torque, the Stage 3 cams bettered the 700-lb-ft mark from 4,600 rpm to 6,100 rpm. Instead of falling off after 6,500 rpm, the motor pulled hard all the way to 7,000 rpm. Remember, this was a car that already ran 9.79 at 140 mph when the motor was making just 750 rwhp. The extra 85 hp should easily knock 0.30-0.40 off the e.t.'s, maybe more.
Impressed as we were with the gains offered by the Comp Cams Stage 3 blower cams, the boys at ST Motorsports weren't done yet. Installation of the Stage 3 cams actually dropped the boost pressure by as much as 2 psi, which is something we've come to expect from improving the efficiency or displacement of the motor.
Comp Stage 1 NSR vs. Comp...
Comp Stage 1 NSR vs. Comp Stage 3 Blower Grind
Replacing the already effective Stage 1 cams with the larger Stage 3 blower grinds increased the peak power output from 751 rwhp to 836 rwhp. The gains came with no loss lower in the rev range, though the idle quality offered by the larger blower cams was more radical. All testing was performed with the same blower pulley, 23 degrees of total timing, and an 11.8:1 air/fuel mixture.
Knowing they had smaller blower pulleys in hand for the 2.8L Kenne Bell, they installed a 2.5-inch blower pulley and let 'er rip. Keeping the air/fuel and timing the same as the previous runs, the motor just touched 900 rwhp and over 880 lb-ft of torque. Torque production exceeded 800 lb-ft from 3,200 rpm to 6,200 rpm, making for one serious torque curve.
From the looks of the curve, there seems to be an airflow restriction somewhere in the system. The guys at ST Motorpsorts are looking to install an even larger throttle body and follow that up with an exhaust upgrade, and then the larger 3.6L supercharger in their quest for even more Three-Valve power. For now, we are plenty impressed with any supercharged Three-Valve pumping out 900 rwhp through an automatic.
Big Boost Three-Valve
Big Boost Three-Valve
Increasing the boost pressure supplied by the Kenne Bell 2.8L supercharger (to a tad over 24 psi) resulted in serious Three-Valve power. How many other supercharged Three-Valve motors out there make over 900 rwhp through an automatic? Judging by the vacuum present in front of the supercharger, there is still more power to be had with an even larger throttle body.
After swapping in the new...
After swapping in the new Stage 3 Blower cams, the final step was to hook up the blower belt.
With the new cam profiles,...
With the new cam profiles, output increased to 836 hp and 713 ft-lb of torque. Equipped with the new cams, the boost pressure also dropped by 2 psi. Anytime you increase the power and drop the boost pressure, you know you've done something right. ST Motorsports then installed a 2.5-inch blower pulley in search of the elusive 900hp mark. Running a peak boost pressure of just over 24 psi produced (almost) 900 hp and 810 lb-ft of torque.