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2013-2014 GT500: Bolt-On Build-Ups

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Table of Contents
  1. Stage 1 Through 3 Build Videos
  2. 2013-2014 GT500 Stage 1 Mod
  3. 2013-2014 GT500 Stage 2 Mods
  4. 2013-2014 GT500 Stage 3 Mods
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You'd think there wouldn't be much left to do with a GT500 Mustang, but there's always more. From tuners to small appearance mods, to lighting upgrades and more. There's an adage that states a project car is never done. Consider a Shelby as an unfinished project, delivered to your garage so you can add the finishing touches.

2010-2014 Parts

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GT500 Bolt-On Build-Ups Stage 1 Video

GT500 Stage 1 Video Transcript

Justin: Hey, guys. Justin with AmericanMuscle.com here with a Stage 1 Powerpack Bolt-On Build-Up for all 2013 and '14 Shelby GT500s. Now, these cars, the 2013 and '14 Shelbys, represent just how far we've come in the last 50 years in the muscle car world. Beautifully aggressive modern styling, technology, and creature comforts that would rival most luxury cars, and oh yeah, by the way, a 200 mile an hour plus top speed, courtesy of one of the craziest power plants ever to grace a production car's engine bay.

With all of that said and with the 662 crank horsepower that these cars come with from the factory, can you believe there are still people out there who are not satisfied? Well, those are my kind of people, and these power packs are for those of you who crave a little more. Now, if you want to check out more of our Bolt-On Build-Ups your Mustang, whether it's a V6, a GT or a GT500, you have to subscribe to our YouTube channel. We already grabbed a baseline number for our 2014 GT500 behind me, so let's get to work with the first stage of our powerpack.

We're gonna keep things very simple with this powerpack and go with two basic mods that are extremely easy to install, and best of all, get some very good results. The first of which is the JLT Big Air Carbon Fiber Cold Air Intake here, which is designed to fit all 2010 through 2014 GT500s. A couple of things I like about this intake. On the surface, the JLT just looks great visually. The molded carbon fiber construction looks awesome under the hood here of our Shelby, and best of all, should help resist some heat soak that might come along with other materials. But, since this is a power pack, let's talk about how the JLT will help us in that regard. Now, the JLT isn't called the big air intake for no reason. The JLT sports a massive 127-millimeter map housing, which they claim is currently the largest available on the market today. More air into the motor usually equates to more power, and that's what we're looking for here on our power pack. But, when we dive in a little deeper and actually compare the stock GT500 intake to the JLT, you'll notice a couple of big differences. The biggest of which is this goofy resonator that is included on the factory intake. Not only does this restrict some of the air flow compared to the JLT, but it also cuts down on some of that awesome supercharger whine that we all know and love. You'll also notice that the stock unit does come with this paper element non-oiled filter, which isn't necessarily a bad thing as far as performance is concerned. But, it does not have the ability to be cleaned and re-oiled like the JLT Power Stack Filter. So, we know the JLT will be a solid upgrade for our GT500. It's gonna allow more air into our Trinity motor, but because of this, we are gonna need a custom tune. That leads me to the second part of our power pack, a Custom Tune courtesy of Mike J. and the Bama Performance team.

All right, Mike. Before we even dive into that JLT I installed, we did notice a pretty nasty flat line with our baseline dyno pull. We just figured it was the factory throttle body playing games with us. What's going on there?

Mike: Yeah, it's a pretty common occurrence on the '13, '14 GT500s, for the throttle blade actually open and close slightly under full throttle pulls. And you'll see that and it'll contribute to some of the flat spots that we saw on the dynograph. Basically, our tune though, we're gonna fix that problem completely.

Justin: That's what we like to here. All right, good stuff. Now, tell us a little bit more about tuning a monster like the GT500.

Mike: Well, for starters, we just wanna do some basic pulls so we can get some numbers on it and see where we're at. Once we're there, we'll look at the spark tables, look at our fuel tables, add a little bit there, add a little bit here, and then auto-optimize our air-fuel ratio, try to get the most out of whatever mods we're gonna add to the car.

Justin: I'm guessing the JLT should help too?

Mike: Absolutely. It's gonna be a big help, especially in the future power packs.

Justin: All right. You all done uploading?

Mike: Yes, sir.

Justin: Hop on out, man, I'm gonna do another pull and see what we're looking at. Our baseline run with our 2014 GT500 gave us 600 horsepower and 544 pound-feet of torque. With our Stage 1 Powerpack installed, we put down 645 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque, giving us a peak gain of 45 horsepower over our baseline numbers, and curve gains of 101 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque. I absolutely love these types of powerpacks. I mean, only two basic mods, and absolute cake to install. We picked up a ton of power and best of all, didn't even have to get our hands dirty. We hope you guys have enjoyed the Stage 1 Powerpack Bolt-On Build-Up for all '13 and '14 GT500s. Be sure to check out the Stage 2 and 3 Powerpacks, where we really go for big power. And remember, for all things Mustang, keep it right here at AmericanMuscle.com.

GT500 Bolt-On Build-Ups Stage 2 Video

2013-2014 GT500 Stage 2 Mods

GT500 Stage 2 Video Transcript

Justin: Hey, guys. Justin with AmericanMuscle.com, here with the Stage 2 Power Pack Bolt-On Build-Up for all 2013 and '14 GT500s. Now, the theme for this power pack is a simple one, and it's one that most, if not all Shelby owners look into at some point or another, and that is more boost. In this power pack, I'm gonna show you how to add a few more pounds of boost to your blown Trinity motor, at the same time adding a couple of recommended complementary mods. But first, if you haven't already, go ahead and subscribe to our YouTube channel simply by clicking on that banner below.

We've already got our baseline numbers in the books after the first power pack, so what do you say we dive into some of our Stage 2 modifications? When it comes to adding more boost to these cars, you do have a couple of different options. The most common way is to replace the upper pulley here with a smaller unit. The other option is to add a larger lower overdrive balancer. Now, both options are available in different sizes, allowing you to raise your boost anywhere from a pound to roughly 6 pounds, depending on what you're after.

There's really nothing wrong with either method. Both do a great job of increasing the boost. But what you have to be careful of is spinning that stock 2.3 TVS blower too fast, which will put it past its efficiency window, hurting your horsepower, but you can also run the risk of damaging the blower itself. That's why we recommend going with only one or the other, the upper or the lower, but not both, especially when you're relying on pump gas like we are here today with our '14.

So with that said, we decided to go with the Innovators West 10% Overdrive Balancer, which should knock our boost up an additional 3 to 4 pounds, bringing our total boost levels up to around 17 to 19 pounds, well within the safe range on pump gas. That extra boost comes from enlarging the lower balancer by 10%, compared to your factory balancer. Now, Innovators West does offer a 15% overdriven balancer, which will increase the boost by 5 to 6 pounds. But since our car here is equipped with a track pack, unfortunately, that 15% balancer will not clear the factory oil cooler without modification. So we kept it simple and went with a 10% balancer. Innovators West claims that their lower balancer weighs slightly less than the factory Shelby balancer, freeing up some rotational mass and giving you a slight bump in power. In fact, some people even say that they've seen slightly more torque gains using the lower balancer, compared to a smaller upper pulley given the same boost levels.

All right, with more boost in place, let's talk about some of those supplementary mods I told you guys about at the beginning of this power pack. Now, even though belt slippage is a problem more commonly found with a smaller upper pulley swap, doesn't mean it's not gonna happen here with our lower balancer. And we all know there's nothing that will kill your Shelby's performance and boost quicker than a slipping belt. So to help increase belt wrap here on our GT500, we installed the Metco Double Bearing Auxiliary Idler Pulley Kit, which is available for all 2007 and newer GT500s. Again, typically one of those must-have mods for any upper pulley swap, but it's certainly not gonna hurt here with our setup. And on top of that, the double bearing construction will help with durability and help keep things a little quieter, compared to the single bearing unit. And for only a few bucks more, it really is a no-brainer. If you wanna read up on what some of our customers are saying about having the Metco installed on their own GT500, all you have to do is simply click on the link below to read up on some of the customer reviews.

Finally, there's one more part we strongly recommend here in the Stage 2 Power Pack whenever you increase the boost with any GT500. Now, with that lower balancer in place to really start spinning up that TVS blower, of course, our motor will be seeing more boost, meaning we had to address our spark plugs. So we installed the NGK TR6 plugs, which really are the go-to spark plug for any Shelby owner who is upping their boost. They're a one heat range colder plug, compared to our stock plugs, which will help avoid any possible detonation. An important note, just make sure they're gapped correctly before install to avoid any spark blowout.

All right, with all the Stage 2 modifications in place, we have a familiar face in here, Mr. Mike J. from the Bama Performance team. In Stage 1, we ended up around 640 horsepower. Any predictions here for Stage 2?

Mike: We're definitely gonna see some gains here. But we have to remember that we're on a stock mid-pipe, stock exhaust, and we also have a stock throttle body. Stock throttle bodies on these cars can be kinda restrictive. So we'll definitely see some gains, but there's plenty of room to grow.

Justin: All right. Well, I'll tell you what, man, let's make sure the straps are good, we'll fire her up, and do another hit. At the end of our Stage 1 Power Pack, our GT500 was making 645 horsepower and 659 pound-feet of torque. With our Stage 2 Power Pack complete, our 2014 GT500 is now putting down 657 horsepower and 696 pound-feet of torque. That gives us a peak horsepower gain of 12 over our Stage 1 numbers and gains of 34 horsepower and 41 pound-feet of torque throughout the curve.

Well, that's gonna do it for the Stage 2 Power Pack Bolt-On Build-Up using our 2014 GT500. We're really happy with the results. With the lower balancer in place and all the supporting mods, we're safely making a few more pounds of boost, and as a result, we're looking at more horsepower and a lot more torque. However, we do have a feeling that the factory throttle body is holding us back quite a bit, along with those factory cats and exhaust, so might give you a little indication on what to look out for in the Stage 3 Power Pack. But in the meantime, thanks again for watching the '13 and '14 GT500 Bolt-On Build-Up. And remember, for all things Mustang, keep it right here at AmericanMuscle.com.

GT500 Bolt-On Build-Ups Stage 3 Video

2013-2014 GT500 Stage 3 Mods

GT500 Stage 3 Video Transcript

Justin: Hey, guys. Justin with AmericanMuscle.com, here at the Stage 3 Power Pack Bolt-On Build-Up for all 2013 and '14 GT500s. What we've learned over the course of these first two power packs is that these cars are huge overachievers right from the factory. We also learned they respond incredibly well to mods, picking up huge amounts of power, even with the most basic bolt-ons like we saw in the Stage 1 Power Pack.

But we also learned that these cars tend to run out of breath pretty quickly, especially when those power and boost levels start increasing. So in the Stage 3 Power Pack, we installed a few mods onto our '14 GT500 that should help it breathe a lot easier in the quest for laying down 700 wheel horsepower. But before we get started, just wanna remind you guys to subscribe to our YouTube channel, if you haven't done so already, for more bolt-on build-ups, some of our product overviews, and, of course, more project cars.

One of the biggest bottlenecks on any car is the factory catalytic converters. Now, even though Ford did a great job in designing some pretty high-flowing cats here for the '13 and '14 GT500, for the purposes of our power pack, they just had to go. In its place now is the stainless steel 2 and 3/4-inch off-road x-pipe, which does, of course, eliminate those factory cats, greatly improving our exhaust flow.

Helping us achieve that more aggressive tone, we installed the Axle-Back from Kooks Performance here. This is the Kooks Performance Axle-Back Exhaust System with the quad tips in place. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm a huge fan of the factory GT500 exhaust from the looks down to the tone. But what Kooks has done is actually use their 40-plus years in the exhaust field and improved upon the factory design. We're looking at a 3-inch oval race muffler with the dual 4-inch polished tips, giving it that signature GT500 look. Now, this axle-back, paired with that off-road X-Pipe, just produces an exhaust sound that is totally evil. In fact, listen for yourself.

Now, with everything taken care of with the exhaust, let's move to the intake here, where we saved the best for last. Now, when I say the best, in this case, is the throttle body, a lot of you guys are probably gonna go, "Really?" But the truth is upgrading the throttle bodies on these '13 and '14 Shelbys usually yield massive results, and at this point in our build, it's pretty much become a necessity. The lower balancer we installed in Stage 2 has increased our boost by spinning our TVS blower much faster, while the JLT Big Air Intake here has essentially let more air into our motor.

However, the only thing standing between those two parts, the supercharger and the intake, was the factory throttle body, basically causing a massive bottleneck. In its place now we have a huge upgrade, the Ford Racing Super Cobra Jet Throttle Body. This is actually the same throttle body used on the purpose-built Cobra Jet drag car, so we know it's proven. It's designed to replace the twin 60-millimeter stocker with a massive mono-blade oval design, which actually outflows the twin 65-millimeter throttle body from Ford Racing by a couple hundred CFM. Since it is built by Ford Racing, of course the quality, electronics, and fitment are all completely dead-on, as you might expect. And best of all, it's really gonna uncork the air flow entering our Trinity motor.

With all of our Stage 3 mods in place, we're gonna get Mike J. in here from the Bama Performance team to talk a little bit more about what we did and, more importantly, get a much needed tune for our Shelby. All right, Mike, as you and I were talkin' about, man, the whole theme for this power pack was just helping our '14 breathe a lot easier.

Mike: Well, it definitely needed it. As we saw on our baseline runs, the car's making great power, but it's running out of breath in the upper RPM range. So when you add a throttle body, you add exhaust, we're really gonna see improvements there.

Justin: Awesome, man. Now, we know these big mono-blade throttle bodies are a little tough when it comes to drivability, tuning, and all that stuff. Tell these guys how the Bama team's gonna tackle that.

Mike: A lot of dyno time and a lot of logging. And then you're right. These are key factors. Idle and part throttle drivability are probably the most key things you wanna focus in on. We did a really great job on this of nailing both of them, and then we got to play with the fun stuff, which is full throttle.

Justin: All right, speaking of fun stuff, guys, I think this thing's gonna be well over 700 at least, just around there. Mike, are you with me on that? What do you think?

Mike: I think we're gonna be right there and, if not, just a tad bit over, but I wouldn't count it out.

Justin: All right, let's do it. At the end of our Stage 2 Power Pack, our 2014 GT500 was laying down 657 horsepower and 696 pound-feet of torque at the rear wheels. With everything installed here in the Stage 3 Power Pack, our GT500 is now putting down a very impressive 709 horsepower and 727 pound-feet of torque. That gives us a peak gain of 52 horsepower over our Stage 2 numbers and gains of 65 horsepower and 57 pound-feet of torque throughout the curve. So to recap, our baseline run with our stock 2014 GT500 gave us 600 horsepower and 544 pound-feet of torque. With all three power packs installed, the car was now making 709 horsepower and 727 pound-feet of torque, giving us a peak gain of 109 horsepower over those baseline numbers and curve gains of 163 horsepower and 193 pound-feet of torque.

These power packs, featuring the 2013 and '14 GT500, show why these cars are at the top of the food chain when it comes to muscle car. That's because, honestly, for the money, there's nothing that can touch the power that these things are capable of, especially when given a little help like we demonstrated here with our power packs. We hope you guys have enjoyed the Bolt-On Build-Up for the '13 and '14 GT500. and remember, for all things Mustang, keep it right here at AmericanMuscle.com.