Installation Time: Weekend
April 21, 2017
Whipple W175AX 2.9L Review
The Whipple W175AX 2.9L kit for the 2015-2016 Mustang GT is a very comprehensive supercharger system, and has everything except the coolant needed for the SC/intercooler system itself. I installed the 2.9L in January 2017 into a 2016 GT PP with manual transmission, and opted for the Stage 1 kit that utilizes the factory 85mm throttle body.
I am very particular about installation quality and precision, and took over a week to install, spending a couple hours during the weekday evenings and 6-8 hours each day on the weekend, so maybe 24 hours or so. The process was delayed a few days after I started because a couple heater hoses supplied by Whipple were incorrect. Whipple was extremely responsive in supplying the correct part(s).
I’ve been wrenching for a long time, so there was nothing in the install that was very difficult, but if you’re a novice make sure and read the install guide front to back before starting.
The 2.9L gives the 5.0L Coyote phenomenal power, even with the stock throttle body. I live at 7200’ elevation, so my power output is probably down 20 from those at sea level. The car is scary fast and I worry about eventual driveline issues with this much power (clutch, UJs, half-shafts), as well as possible problems with engine internals. I haven’t read any contemporary literature about reduced lifespan of any of those components, maybe since this is a fairly new SC for the Coyote platform.
As for the installation itself, initial disassembly was fairly time consuming (removing the front bumper cover and belly pan, engine intake and cooling hose disassembly). Install instructions were very accurate except for a few minor errors. Whipple is very good at updating/correcting the install guide and supplying the most recently updated version.
During the install I noticed several things of interest: (1) The heat exchanger supply line from the reservoir was too short, and had to splice a 3” piece to complete. (2) I had to add a 90-degree elbow into the SC intercooler supply line (from the heat exchanger) to accommodate the swing needed by the tensioner to avoid interference with the supply line (I actually noticed nicks in the supply line caused by tensioner interference). (3) The fuel rails (once torqued to specs) interfere too greatly with the remaining center SC bolts making it very difficult to get an accurate torque on those. I ended up changing the torque sequence slightly to accommodate, torqueing the fuel rails last. (4) Check the orientation of the thermostat carefully upon reinstallation, the install guide shows it in the correct position, but your perspective is different when installing it in an inverted position. (5) Be very cognizant of wiring harnesses/connectors and heater hoses near the idler plate. If not zip-tied correctly they can come in contact with the SC drive belt. (6) Very small amounts of lithium grease help immensely in the install of injectors, intake components, and hoses.
After install and initial shakedown runs, I had a belt misalignment problem which actually caused a belt breakage. Whipple was very responsive and sent out new idler plate offsets (stands) that were originally manufactured incorrectly, causing a misaligned idler plate (hence misaligned pulleys), resulting in belt slippage, throws, and breakage. Correctly-sized offsets are most certainly supplied with current releases of the 2.9L SC. I also notice a slight hesitation upon acceleration in the 2000-3000 RPM range. I attribute this to the 7200’ elevation and will take the car to a lower elevation to confirm. If the problem persists I will either get another tune (non-Whipple) or add the Stage 2 intake (132mm oval) with a new tune from Whipple.
Overall, although there were a few minor challenges, the install went well and the SC seems bulletproof now. It whines noticeably under heavy acceleration (although still too quietly), mainly because of the twin screw design. Good job, Whipple!