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Installing a Procharger supercharger on a 2011 5.0 Mustang

Transforming a 5-liter powered pony into a stallion

Ricardo Topete - August 01, 2011 09:00 AM

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GTR begins by removing the front bumper cover, which is typical of most intercooled supercharger systems. A few bolts, clips and lights to unplug and the bumper comes off. Eddie “Shoes” Zapata does the honors for team GTR.

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Nothing tricky about removing the factory induction tract. The mass air flow sensor is reused from the stock intake system stored for later use.

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Procharger includes high-capacity 50 lb-hr fuel injectors (shown on left) to feed the hungry horse. Due to their shorter overall length, spacers for the fuel rail are included. The new injectors are installed onto the factory fuel rails and secured with the stock retaining clips. It goes without saying that safety precautions must be taken when working with fuel.

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A key feature of Procharger’s system is the dedicated 8-rib drive belt that operates the supercharger. Because it is independent of the main accessory belt, high boost levels can be achieved with no worries of belt slippage. Shown is Procharger’s crank pulley that bolts to the front of the harmonic balancer. The supplied crank pulley is secured and torqued to specification. Don’t get lazy and rely solely on an impact gun; do it right or don’t do it at all.

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Procharger’s beefy mounting brackets and belt tensioner are a work of art. All necessary hardware is included and attach to existing holes on the front of the motor, which simplifies the process.

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GTR’s Eli Patronas carefully lowers the P-1SC head-unit onto the mounting bracket. Out of the box, the blower is outfitted with a 4.3-inch diameter pulley which churns out a street-friendly 7 psi of boost. Daredevils may want to swap to a smaller pulley, pour in some race fuel and go for 600-plus rear wheel horsepower.

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The intercooler attaches to the car just behind the hood latch mechanism. Notice the mass air sensor is relocated to the top, right corner of the intercooler to ensure an accurate reading of the air being fed to the engine.

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With the intercooler secured, Eli begins routing the discharge pipes leading to and from the intercooler. Some of the pipes are very easy to access, while others will try your patience. Expect some cursing in these steps. If necessary, take a 10-minute break to regain your composure. Eli finished by routing the discharge pipe to the throttle body. Clearance is tight in some spots, so more cursing may help. A time-saver is to spray the pipes and rubber couplers with lubricant to ease installation.

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Procharger’s ProFlow bypass valve vents into the atmosphere when the motor is not in boost, which provides a wicked “woooosh!” sound that is music to any horsepower-junkie’s ear. Once mounted, a vacuum line is connected to it.

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The previously installed vacuum line is routed to this Procharger supplied vacuum block, which is spliced into a stock vacuum hose. Notice that a couple of ports on this block are capped off, but should you add something requiring vacuum or boost reference (like a boost gauge), this provides an easy source.

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Eli stresses the importance of double-checking everything. Once the front bumper cover goes back on, there will be no access to any of the pipes and connectors. Look at how the pipes snake their way between the radiator and the frame. Lastly, the front bumper cover can be re-installed. In our case, we had to do some minor trimming on the backside of the bumper cover to clear the intercooler pipes. A sturdy pair of dikes or cut-off wheel gets ’er done.

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The moment of truth. GTR’s dyno put the Mustang through its paces and recorded 553 rwhp and 450 rwtq! We were expecting to see over 500 rwhp, but the results absolutely shocked us! Now, it is a genuine street terror to be reckoned with.

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The dyno graph tells it how it is. We’re impressed that so much power was generated with such a moderate level of boost (just below 6 psi). Also check out the pump-gas friendly air/fuel ratio. Naturally, once the motor gets a bit heat soaked, the power output comes down a bit to 537 rwhp and 436 rwtq. OK, you can wipe the drool off your chin now. �

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Back in the day, 5.0 Mustangs ruled the streets. Eventually, Ford ditched the 5.0L pushrod motor in favor of the 4.6L motor, which carried on Mustang’s proud heritage admirably. Ford tweaked the 4.6L to near perfection over 14 years of faithful service in the Mustang, but ultimately came to the conclusion that bigger was better.

2011 marks the return of the 5.0L engine for the Mustang. Instead of old-school power, the new 5.0 relies on modern technology to produce an outstanding 412 horsepower at the crankshaft. (For comparison, the storied 5.0 of yesteryear only pushed out 225 horsepower at the crank.) So with such a gem of a motor, how can we improve it? Simple: add more power … lots of power!

We have learned that Mustangs and superchargers go together like peanut butter and jelly; a perfect match. The new 2011 Mustang would be no different. We gathered key players in the Mustang world to join forces to see how the 2011 5.0 Mustang would react when outfitted with a supercharger. The results absolutely amazed us. By now, most of you have already jumped ahead to the dyno graph. Those readers that haven’t, thanks for reading!

We got word that OutPerformance Shop (Grand Prairie, Texas) had shipped their 2011 Mustang to GTR High Performance (Rancho Cucamonga, California) to install a Procharger intercooled supercharger system. GTR, being an authorized Procharger distributor and installation center, was the clear choice as they are well-versed in Mustangs. Step one was to baseline the ’Stang on GTR’s Dynojet, which revealed 375 rear wheel horsepower and 363 lbs-ft of rear wheel torque. Impressive, considering that the ’90’s iconic 5.0 Mustangs would put down a paltry (in comparison) 185 rwhp. That’s more than twice the output from the same displacement!

For the uninitiated, a supercharger is essentially an air compressor. The supercharger draws in air, compresses it and forces it into the motor to artificially increase atmospheric conditions. Put simply, it crams air down the engine’s throat. Adding more air means you can add more fuel as well. The additional amounts of air and fuel consumed by the engine will produce gains in power and torque. Unfortunately there is a side effect of compressing air – heat. Basic physics tells us that when air is compressed, heat is created, which reduces power output in an engine, hence, the need for an intercooler. Procharger has addressed these concerns by creating a well-engineered and highly-effective intercooled supercharger system for the 2011 Mustang.

Procharger’s system (part number 1FR214-SCI) centers on the proven P-1SC supercharger. Delivering a moderate 7 psi boost while coupled to a massive three-core intercooler ensures the lowest air temperatures to provide maximum power and safety. Procharger includes everything necessary for installation: larger capacity fuel injectors, SCT computer tuner, brackets, pulleys, belt, bypass valve, air filter, etc. The price of admission for this system is around $5,600, not chump-change by any means, but as the saying goes, “you have to pay to play”.

Procharger’s system is intended for the advanced do-it-yourselfer and requires an assortment of tools and some patience. The skilled crew at GTR handled the wrench-turning, but warns to be realistic about your mechanical abilities before attempting this job. An experienced professional can cover this in a day and a half, while the backyard mechanic should allow several days. When the wrenches stopped spinning, GTR strapped the Mustang back onto the dyno.

Procharger advertises a 165hp gain, which seemed a bit optimistic. To our astonishment, our tester gained more horsepower than expected! Our new max output was a staggering 553 rwhp and 450 rwtq with a follow-up run yielding 537 rwhp and 436 rwtq (down a bit due to some heat soak). Peak gains of 178 rwhp and 87 rwtq were achieved. A closer inspection of the dyno data reveals that the overall largest gain was 186 rwhp and 144 rwtq respectively at 6,800 rpm. In stock form, the peak horsepower came in at 6,400 rpm and peak torque was achieved at 4,300 rpm. Our Procharger-equipped, peak horsepower was now at 6,800 rpm, while peak torque was a lofty 5,200 rpm. Further scrutiny shows no loss of power or torque anywhere in the entire rpm range with the Procharger system. From the instant the hammer is dropped, to the moment mercy is shown at the SCT-tuner dictated 6,800 rpm rev limiter, more power and torque is available.

How does it drive? As expected, the Mustang pulled like a freight train with no perceptible drop-off in power due to heat-soak even after repeated runs on the street. Perhaps more impressive than the ’Stang’s grunt was its civilized street manners; silky-smooth idle under normal driving conditions, but an angry beast when called upon. The 5.0 Mustang is back and badder than ever! Kudos to Procharger, GTR and OutPerformance for building one of the meanest, yet friendliest Mustangs we have driven in a long time.

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