Tech: 2015 Mustang Whipple 10-Rib

0 2015 Mustang Whipple 10-Rib Featured

Grip It & Rip It

Watson Racing upgrades its 928hp S550 with a wider blower belt

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Watson Racing

If you are new to the world of performance Mustangs, you might not have a true perspective on just how magical modern Mustangs are. Right off the dealer lot today’s Mustangs bring the kind of performance, handling, and braking that we could only have dreamed of back in the day. For example, the fact that Watson Racing’s 2015 Mustang cranks out well over 900 horsepower with a streetable Whipple Supercharger is amazing.

The Whipple Superchargers 10-Rib Belt Upgrade Kit (PN WHP-WB-COY10-15; $1,500) for the 2015 Mustang 2.9-liter supercharger system features all the necessary hardware to upgrade the entire belt drive to a wider 10-rib belt. Included is a vaunted green belt along with the idlers, spring-loaded tensioner, an ATI Performance 20-percent-overdrive damper, and wider pulleys for the factory water pump and alternator.
The Whipple Superchargers 10-Rib Belt Upgrade Kit (PN WHP-WB-COY10-15; $1,500) for the 2015 Mustang 2.9-liter supercharger system features all the necessary hardware to upgrade the entire belt drive to a wider 10-rib belt. Included is a vaunted green belt along with the idlers, spring-loaded tensioner, an ATI Performance 20-percent-overdrive damper, and wider pulleys for the factory water pump and alternator.

These days we take this sort of thing for granted, but if you step back for a minute and soak in this sort of performance is cause for celebration. When you further consider that the car rocked the dyno rollers like this when the supercharger was driven by a factory-width six-rib serpentine belt, the numbers are all the more impressive.

However, when you are pushing the envelope as hard as Watson Racing does, you will eventually find the limits of the gear that was meant for the street.

The Whipple six-rib belt drive was actually quite consistent and repeatable at delivering plenty of slip-free boost on the dyno. However, when the Watson teams started launching off a two-step and banging gears at 7,500 rpm the six-rib started to become a liability. Fortunately, Whipple is ready for racers that are ready to rip at the drag strip with its 10-rib upgrade kit.
The Whipple six-rib belt drive was actually quite consistent and repeatable at delivering plenty of slip-free boost on the dyno. However, when the Watson teams started launching off a two-step and banging gears at 7,500 rpm the six-rib started to become a liability. Fortunately, Whipple is ready for racers that are ready to rip at the drag strip with its 10-rib upgrade kit.

“The stock Whipple six-rib drive system is actually excellent, and perfect for street cars or mild drag racing, not using a two-step. Because we are using manual transmission and launch the car with a two-step, the belt and tensioner are under huge amounts of stress and a 10-rib belt system is the best solution,” Patrick Lee, Retail/Dealer Development, Sales, Support at Watson Racing, explained. “This is compounded by the fact that we are spinning this motor beyond 7,500 rpm, and pushing ‘around’ 18 pounds of boost.”

To prep the Watson machine for its next assault on the quarter mile, the team at Watson Racing opted to step up the car’s Whipple Supercharger system with a new 10-rib drive system from Whipple. The 10-Rib Belt Upgrade Kit (PN WHP-WB-COY10-15; $1,500) includes all the hardware—belts, idlers, tensioners, pulleys and more—needed to step up the blower drive to the wider 10-rib serpentine belt. It also includes a 20-percent overdriven damper from ATI Performance Parts.

Since the Whipple supercharger pulley is on the same plane as the factory front-end accessory drive, it is necessary to widen all the accessories to accommodate the 10-rib serpentine belt. First up, the Watson Racing technicians installed the 10-rib alternator pulley.
Since the Whipple supercharger pulley is on the same plane as the factory front-end accessory drive, it is necessary to widen all the accessories to accommodate the 10-rib serpentine belt. First up, the Watson Racing technicians installed the 10-rib alternator pulley.

With the new 10-rib setup and a few other tweaks to the combination, the Watson Racing 2015 Mustang is ready to hit the race track to put that power to the ground.

“We plan on racing the car more to further test our suspension components, and hopefully break a few records in the process. The car may eventually get an automatic transmission… but that is to be determined,” Patrick added. “The car is still completely streetable, but if we keep going with it, it’ll need an 8.50-cert cage, which we are not anxious to jump into just yet.”

After removing the existing damper, Watson Racing technicians moved on to the heart of the 10-rib upgrade—the ATI Performance Products Super Damper. First they installed the mounting up on the crankshaft.
After removing the existing damper, Watson Racing technicians moved on to the heart of the 10-rib upgrade—the ATI Performance Products Super Damper. First they installed the mounting hub on the crankshaft.

“…Now that the weather is getting to be consistently above 70 degrees, hopefully you’ll see us at the track much more with this car,” he added.

For now, let’s see how this powerful Mustang got more belt grip so it could rip at the drag strip.

The 10-rib spring-loaded tensioner bolts right on to the Whipple idler bracket in place of the six-rib version, as do the new 10-rib idler pulleys.
The 10-rib spring-loaded tensioner bolts right on to the Whipple idler bracket in place of the six-rib version, as do the new 10-rib idler pulleys.
After bolting on the ATI damper and torquing it in place, the Watson techs installed and routed the rugged green belt. Not only does the ATI unit offer a 20-percent overdrive, but it is SFI approved so it is race legal for those that want to hit the drag strip.
After bolting on the ATI damper and torquing it in place, the Watson techs installed and routed the rugged green belt. Not only does the ATI unit offer a 20-percent overdrive, but it is SFI approved so it is race legal for those that want to hit the drag strip.
Here’s a look at the completed 10-rib upgrade. Not only does this setup deliver more grip and consistent boost because of the wider belt, but the 20-percent-overdriven damper allows your to run a larger supercharger pulley, which offers more belt wrap, but still have the same boost level you had with a smaller blower pulley.
Here’s a look at the completed 10-rib upgrade. Not only does this setup deliver more grip and consistent boost because of the wider belt, but the 20-percent-overdriven damper allows your to run a larger supercharger pulley, which offers more belt wrap, but still have the same boost level you had with a smaller blower pulley.
To deliver “around” 18 pounds of boost on its combo, Watson Racing chose a 3.5-inch supercharger pulley, but Whipple offers a wide range of pulleys—2.75- to 4-inch pulleys—to deliver as much boost as your engine can handle.
To deliver “around” 18 pounds of boost on its combo, Watson Racing chose a 3.5-inch supercharger pulley, but Whipple offers a wide range of pulleys—2.75- to 4-inch pulleys—to deliver as much boost as your engine can handle.

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