Tech: Terminator TVS Supercharger Dyno

0 VMP TVS Terminator Dyno Featured

Terminator Evolution

Bolting on big 2003 Cobra power with a VMP TVS supercharger

By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Sean Ross

With all the hype about the performance put down by modern Mustangs with Coyote—and cousins the RoadRunner and Voodoo—powerplants, it might be easy to forget just how easy it is to make power on the storied 2003-2004 Mustang Cobras. Carrying the codename Terminator, this factory-supercharged Mustang kicked off the era of easily attainable bolt-on gains. That is still true today as evidenced by the results of SVTP member Sean Ross’ VMP Performance TVS supercharger upgrade.

It’s hard to think of a Terminator as a sleeper, but with its factory pure looks on the outside and 660-horsepower credentials under the hood, Sean Ross’ 2003 Cobra fits the bill.
It’s hard to think of a Terminator as a sleeper, but with its factory pure looks on the outside and 660-horsepower credentials under the hood, Sean Ross’ 2003 Cobra fits the bill.

While browsing our forums we were impressed by the power that Sean, who goes by Woody6799 on the site, found by adding the TVS with a GT500 throttle body to his bolt-on Four-Valve. It put down 660 horsepower and 585 lb-ft of torque on the Mustang Dyno at PSI Speed Solutions in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. That was with only 17 pounds of boost at 17.5 degrees of timing on 93-octane fuel. Granted it was a chilly, 37-degree day, but the numbers are impressive nonetheless.

You can watch Sean’s Dark Shadow Gray Terminator run on the dyno right here…

While adding power to a Terminator is usually as simple as a supercharger upgrade, Sean’s journey to these results wasn’t quite that direct. He sought to purchase a lightly modified, but tired Terminator that he could resuscitate the way he envisioned it. However, it was the friends that he made on SVTP shaped that vision.

A paint-matched JLT cold-air intake feeds the GT500 throttle body and VMP TVS supercharger that. With a 3-inch pulley on the blower, 93-octane in the tank and 17.5 degrees of timing, this combination delivered the power that Sean envisioned for his project.
A paint-matched JLT cold-air intake feeds the GT500 throttle body and VMP TVS supercharger that. With a 3-inch pulley on the blower, 93-octane in the tank and 17.5 degrees of timing, this combination delivered the power that Sean envisioned for his project.

“When I found my car it had the miles and some mods. It was rough around the edges and cheap. It was perfect. I swore I was going to revert it back to ‘stockish’ and just enjoy the hell out of it, but then I met Blueline,” Sean explained.

After some flirtations with going for the twin-screw supercharger he had originally planned on, Sean succumbed to the peer pressure from Blueline and cautiously made a move on a used TVS supercharger.

“Having recently picked up his TVS/Dragon set up he was high on them and I was impressed with the demo ride he took me on. ‘There is a TVS/GT500 set up that just popped up in the market,” he snickered. ‘I can’t,’ I said feebly like a young girl on prom night. ‘C’mon,’ he negotiated. His skills were flawless and I was weak…”

With the addition of a VMP 2.3-liter TVS supercharger, a GT500 throttle body, and a fresh tune, Sean’s 98,000-mile Terminator picked up a whopping 175 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque.
With the addition of a VMP 2.3-liter TVS supercharger, a GT500 throttle body, and a fresh tune, Sean’s 98,000-mile Terminator picked up a whopping 175 horsepower and 131 lb-ft of torque.

Before he could close the deal, Sean wanted someone to inspect the used blower to ensure it was in good shape. Again, he turned to a trusted friend from SVTP.

“I looked for a reputable member in the Atlanta area and found Zemedici. Being familiar with him from the forums, I reached out and asked him to check in the TVS for me and I would compensate him for his time,” Sean said. “He agreed kindly. Upon inspection, the rotors were mint, the case was in good shape, and the pulley was, well, hand-painted red. ‘I would jump on it,’ Zemedici said.”

Soon after the supercharger arrived, Sean had an appointment at PSI for tuning. However, the cold weather and hard tires led to some spinning on the rollers, which you can see here…

“On the day of reckoning I was apprehensive. My car has 98,000 miles on her and was making 485 horsepower and 454 lb-ft on the old Stegi ported setup, was I really going to try to pump out 600 horsepower without my car exploding? Was I delusional?” Sean confessed. “My tuner hops in and gets his things set up, does a test cruise to set the computer, and then makes a short run. The computer blips on 347 (horsepower). ‘Great, I broke it,’ I think to myself. A minute later he makes another run, the computer reads 452.”

It turns out more traction was in order, so Sean climbed in the trunk to add some ballast and the dyno responded the way he had hope. His bolt-on Terminator cranked out 656 rear-wheel horsepower. After making a change to an H-pipe at the suggestion of PSI’s Frank Soldridge, the car delivered the final 660-horse results, which Sean attributes to the lessons he learned right here in the SVTP forums.

“Thanks rightfully belongs to everyone on SVTP. The many tech articles I have read and discussions I have taken part in have made it possible for this car to be what it is currently,” he said. “Special thanks goes out to Blueline, Franco, and Torch3d for fielding countless phone calls or text messages helping me decide on things and lending a hand when need be. Without you guys this car would still be falling apart like it was when I bought it.”

His Dark Shadow Gray beauty is far from falling apart now, but that doesn’t mean his project is finished. As we know, these cars are never really finished until you move on to a new one.

“…I plan on doing a new fuel system, continue powder coating, cleaning, and rebuilding or replacing parts, and hopefully move to the interior. My goal is to bring this Terminator back to all its fierce glory, while keeping it ‘partially pure’ in looks,” Sean concluded. “I want people to look at my car and be struck by its presence, but the uneducated to think it really could have come that way from Ford. Oh, and be more badass than Blueline of course.”

For more on the evolution of this Terminator, check out Woody6799’s build thread on our forum.

The Mod List

Engine and Drivetrain
  • Moroso Supercharger Expansion Tank (Powder Coated Texture Black)
  • Canton Overflow Tank (Powdercoated Texture Black)
  • JLT Performance Next Gen Cold Air Intake, painted DSG
  • NGK TR-6 Plugs, gapped to .034
  • Tremec T56 Magnum
  • Ford Racing Diff Cover with ARP Studs (PN 612-1250) sealed with Motorcraft TA-31
  • Powder Coated Pulley Bridge (Texture Black)
  • Powder Coated Inner Pulley Bridge (Texture Black)
  • Powder Coated Coolant Cross over with custom welded coolant mod bung
  • Terminator Radiator Cover
  • MRT Hood Struts
  • Billet Pro Shop Double Bearing Idlers (three 90mm, one 100mm)
  • Custom Mounted Power Steering Cooler
  • Powdercoated Canton Power Steering Tank (Texture Black)
  • Lethal Performance Head Cooling Mod
  • Powdercoated Cam Covers (Texture Black)
  • Powdercoated Lower Intake (Texture Black)
  • VMP Tuning TVS with GT500 Throttle Body (98k)
  • Pro M Racing 2600 mass air meter
  • MMR Stainless Steel Billet Cam Cover Hold Downs
  • Moroso Breather catch can with PCV Delete
  • Prothane Poly Motor Mounts
  • Stifflers Poly Trans Mount
Fuel System
  • Kenne Bell Boost-a-Pump
  • Siemens Deka EV-1 60-lb/hr injectors
Exhaust
  • Kooks 1 5/8-inch Long-Tube Headers with Ford Performance Parts gaskets and Stainless Steel hardware
  • Custom Welded H-pipe
  • MagnaFlow piping with MAC TruFlow Mufflers
Suspension and Chassis
  • Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates
  • Eibach Sportline Rear lowering springs with Poly Isolators
  • Full Length Subframe Connecters
  • Maximum Motorsports low profile IRS bolts
  • Maximum Motorsports Aluminum Steering Rack Bushings
  • Maximum Motorsports Coil-Over Kit with 275-pound springs
  • Prothane Full Poly IRS Kit with Maximum Motorsport solid rear mount
  • FTBR 1800 Toe links (Powdercoated Silver Artery)
  • Fully powdercoated IRS (Wrinkle Black and Silver Artery)
  • FTBR subframe Bolts
Wheels
  • 18×9/18×10 BBS RKs with 255 Nitto Invo front and 295 Nitto Invo rear
  • True Forged Lug Nuts
  • 3/8-inch Rear spacers
  • RotoPros Slotted Rotors
  • Powdercoated Calipers (Prismatic Illusions Root Beer)
  • SS Front Brake Lines
Exterior
  • True Forged Hood Vents
  • American Muscle Tinted Headlights
  • 99/01 Cobra tails (full conversion)
Other
  • Dual Aeroforce Gauges
  • Reische 170-degree Thermostat
  • CobraBob Heavy-Duty Shifter Gasket
  • Afco Dual Pass Heat Exchanger
  • ARP Drivetrain Bolts (PN 775-1002)
  • Moroso Breather catch can with PCV Delete

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