Tech: 2015 Mustang Supercharger Install

0 2015 Mustang Vortech Install Featured

Bolt-On ’Tech

Adding over 150 horsepower to an S550 with bolt-on boost from Vortech

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Vortech Superchargers

For those of you that weren’t around during the first wave of 5.0 fever back in the mid-’80s, things have changed quote a bit. Gone are pushrods and cams in blocks and in their place is overhead cams and TiVCT. Back then of you had a 400hp Mustang you had the baddest ride in town, and if you had a Vortech whistling away under your hood people knew better than to rev up on you.

If there’s one word to describe the Vortech kit for the 2015 and newer Mustang GT (PN 640-4FQ218-064L), it’s comprehensive. Obviously the kit includes the V-3 supercharger, and a massive air-to-air heat exchanger plus all the necessary gear to install the system. You can either order this system as a complete kit as we are documenting here or as a tuner system, where or your favorite shop provide the necessary fuel and tuning upgrades.
If there’s one word to describe the Vortech kit for the 2015 and newer Mustang GT (PN 640-4FQ218-064L), it’s comprehensive. Obviously the kit includes the V-3 supercharger, and a massive air-to-air heat exchanger plus all the necessary gear to install the system. You can either order this system as a complete kit as we are documenting here or as a tuner system, where or your favorite shop provide the necessary fuel and tuning upgrades.

These days 400 horsepower is stock and supercharging has become mainstream, but one thing that remains constant is that you can still bolt a Vortech supercharger onto your new Mustang and get a significant step up in power. Depending on which blower you have, they might not be able to hear it. However, when you put your foot in it, they will know it’s there.

With the arrival of the 2015 Mustang GT, the 5.0-liter engine is new and improved, but it’s packaging is different enough that Vortech had to engineer a new kit. As such, its S550 supercharger system is similar to its predecessor, but it is also improved to better mesh with the latest Coyote engine.

Like many upgrades we have covered for the latest Mustangs, the installation of the Vortech kit requires removing the front fascia. If you aren’t as familiar with this operation as we are, don’t fret. The instructions cover the process in detail. After you remove all the clips and fasteners, don’t forget to unplug the foglights before you pull the fascia free.
Like many upgrades we have covered for the latest Mustangs, the installation of the Vortech kit requires removing the front fascia. If you aren’t as familiar with this operation as we are, don’t fret. The instructions cover the process in detail. After you remove all the clips and fasteners, don’t forget to unplug the foglights before you pull the fascia free.

“The major difference is related to the charge-air plumbing. These are due to the changes in the 2015 chassis,” Jimmy Martz, Director Global Sales of Vortech, explained. “We were able to shorten and simplify the air path as compared to the previous generation Mustang kit. The cooling system expansion tank is also fabricated aluminum and all new inlet ducting has been created.”

With the hardware solution designed, a bolt-on centrifugal becomes a great match for the high-winding Coyote engine. As you know, centrifugal superchargers build boost in step with rpm, which makes for tractable power that scales in lockstep with the rev-happy 5.0-liter engine.

The Vortech kit requires removing the factory coolant tank and replacing it with a new tank, which mounts on the passenger side of the engine compartment to make room for the new supercharger and its induction tubing. After the coolant has drained into a pan, you can remove the car’s induction hose, coolant tank, and disconnect the upper radiator hose.
The Vortech kit requires removing the factory coolant tank and replacing it with a new tank, which mounts on the passenger side of the engine compartment to make room for the new supercharger and its induction tubing. After the coolant has drained into a pan, you can remove the car’s induction hose, coolant tank, and disconnect the upper radiator hose.

“Vortech centrifugal superchargers are the most efficient supercharger compressors on the market. This means cooler denser air for more horsepower per pound of boost,” Jimmy said. “With the Vortech kit, the Ford factory-tuned intake manifold is retained and you get the benefits of OEM driveability with the additional power when its wanted the most. The additional power created is useable horsepower, it just doesn’t go up in smoke at the starting line.”

Clearly the marriage of Vortech’s centrifugal supercharger an the latest Mustang is a happy one. And, it seems that the coupling is even more blissful than the previous nuptials of the belt-driven blower with the last-generation 5.0 engine. And, we already know a Vortech boosted the quickest 2015 Mustang GT to date.

Use a long ratchet to disengage the factory spring-loaded belt tensioner so that you may remove the drive belt. The standard Vortech system places the supercharger into the factory six-rib belt path and employs a longer belt and additional idlers and tensioners to make the blower just another part of the front-end accessory drive.
Use a long ratchet to disengage the factory spring-loaded belt tensioner so that you may remove the drive belt. The standard Vortech system places the supercharger into the factory six-rib belt path and employs a longer belt and additional idlers and tensioners to make the blower just another part of the front-end accessory drive.

“The 2015 Vortech Kit is advertised to make 640 horsepower. This is above the previous generation kit,” Jimmy said. “Owners of the 2015 Mustang will benefit from all the same proven modifications as the previous generation Coyotes.”

Of course, these numbers were generated with the as-delivered kit with the standard supercharger and Vortech’s calibration. This setup features the self-lubricated V-3 Si supercharger pullied for 7 ½ to 8 ½ pounds of boost and about 640 flywheel horsepower. For those that want more, scalability has always been a pulley or blower head-unit swap away, the latter of which can push the car to over 1,200 horsepower provided it has the supporting hardware.

Next you will want to trim one of the mounting tabs for the coolant tank off to make way for the supercharger inlet tube.
Next you will want to trim one of the mounting tabs for the coolant tank off to make way for the supercharger inlet tube.

“Vortech systems are completely upgradeable. They are six-rib pulley options to allow for more boost when desired,” Jimmy added. “For the enthusiast that wants the ultimate street machine, we offer an eight-rib upgrade drive assembly and the YSi-B supercharger, which has proven to make 1200-plus horsepower, all while being a bolt-on upgrade to the existing kit.”

So if you’ve been considering a supercharger upgrade for your shiny, new 2015 Mustang, follow along as we hit the highlights of the standard system’s installation.

After trimming the upper coolant hose around, flipping it around, and installing it with the clamps supplied in the kit, you can remove three fasteners from the front engine cover. Then you can install the two threaded studs in the kit and install these spacers.
After trimming the upper coolant hose around, flipping it around, and installing it with the clamps supplied in the kit, you can remove three fasteners from the front engine cover. Then you can install the two threaded studs in the kit and install these spacers.
From there, you can set up the bracket and belt as show in the instruction diagram. Orient the belt following the instructions and bolt the bracket on.
From there, you can set up the bracket and belt as show in the instruction diagram. Orient the belt following the instructions and bolt the bracket on.
Be sure to route the throttle body wiring harness away from the blower pulley and belts so everything plays nicely together.
Be sure to route the throttle body wiring harness away from the blower pulley and belts so everything plays nicely together.
It is necessary to re-engineer the routing of the positive-crankcase ventilation hoses and augment them with check valves. This is covered in great detail by the Vortech instructions, but the kit includes all the fittings, hoses, clamps, and heat-shrink tubing to get the job done.
It is necessary to re-engineer the routing of the positive-crankcase ventilation hoses and augment them with check valves. This is covered in great detail by the Vortech instructions, but the kit includes all the fittings, hoses, clamps, and heat-shrink tubing to get the job done.
To make room for the Vortech intercooler, you will need to first modify the air management shrouds on either side of the radiator to clear the ’cooler. Unlike some air-to-air units we’ve seen installed, the Vortech unit doesn’t require removing the Performance Pack front braces, if your car is so equipped. You, however, need to remove the bolts that attached to the back of the bumper, as the Vortech unit mounts using these attachment points. You will also need to reroute wiring for the ambient air temp sensor to place the sensor in the airstream in front of the ’cooler.
To make room for the Vortech intercooler, you will need to first modify the air management shrouds on either side of the radiator to clear the ’cooler. Unlike some air-to-air units we’ve seen installed, the Vortech unit doesn’t require removing the Performance Pack front braces, if your car is so equipped. You, however, need to remove the bolts that attach it to the back of the bumper, as the Vortech unit mounts using these attachment points. You will also need to reroute wiring for the ambient air temp sensor to place the sensor in the airstream in front of the ’cooler.
Once the intercooler is mounted, you can install the charge-air piping with using the supplied couplers and clamps. Then the Vortech blow-off valve bolts to the flange on the cooler-to-throttle body tubing. A small filter on its outlet minimizes contamination of the air stream as the valve closes.
Once the intercooler is mounted, you can install the charge-air piping with using the supplied couplers and clamps. Then the Vortech blow-off valve bolts to the flange on the cooler-to-throttle body tubing. A small filter on its outlet minimizes contamination of the air stream as the valve closes.
Because the blower is forcing more air into the engine, the kit includes a set of new high-flow fuel injectors. Both the blower and the bigger injectors will require tuning, which is included in the standard system preloaded onto an SCT handheld tuner.
Because the blower is forcing more air into the engine, the kit includes a set of new high-flow fuel injectors. Both the blower and the bigger injectors will require tuning, which is included in the standard system preloaded onto an SCT handheld tuner.
Because the blower is forcing more air into the engine, the kit includes a set of new high-flow fuel injectors. Both the blower and the bigger injectors will require tuning, which is included in the standard system preloaded onto an SCT handheld tuner.
Because the blower is forcing more air into the engine, the kit includes a set of new high-flow fuel injectors. Both the blower and the bigger injectors will require tuning, which is included in the standard system preloaded onto an SCT handheld tuner.
With the finish line in sight, it’s time to install the new coolant reservoir and extend the cool hoses to connect it using the supplied adapters. It will also be necessary to tap into the factory vacuum lines to supply the bypass valve with a boost/vacuum source.
With the finish line in sight, it’s time to install the new coolant reservoir and extend the cool hoses to connect it using the supplied adapters. It will also be necessary to tap into the factory vacuum lines to supply the bypass valve with a boost/vacuum source.
With all the hardware in place, you can trim the passenger side of the factory engine cover to clear the supercharger.
With all the hardware in place, you can trim the passenger side of the factory engine cover to clear the supercharger.
Here’s the completed installation. All that’s left to do is flash the PCM with the preloaded tune in the SCT device and you are ready to enjoy the wonderful beast that is a supercharged Coyote.
Here’s the completed installation. All that’s left to do is flash the PCM with the preloaded tune in the SCT device and you are ready to enjoy the wonderful beast that is a supercharged Coyote.
With California’s weak-sauce 91-octane fuel in the tank, Vortech’s in-house 2015 Mustang tester put down 528.74 horsepower and 428.85 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Those outside of Cali should do even better with 93 in the tank, but these numbers account for peak-to-peak gains of 157.14 horsepower and 98.11 lb-ft of torque from just 8 pounds of boost. As evidenced by the kits in the hands of tuners, there is much more on the table if you want to upgrade the support systems and employ custom tuning. However, for a nice street combo, this kind of power is a lot of fun.
With California’s weak-sauce 91-octane fuel in the tank, Vortech’s in-house 2015 Mustang tester put down 528.74 horsepower and 428.85 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Those outside of Cali should do even better with 93 in the tank, but these numbers account for peak-to-peak gains of 157.14 horsepower and 98.11 lb-ft of torque from just 8 pounds of boost. As evidenced by the kits in the hands of tuners, there is much more on the table if you want to upgrade the support systems and employ custom tuning. However, for a nice street combo, this kind of power is a lot of fun.

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