Reviews

BRaptor Gets More BOOOOOOST!!!! | JB4 Device Install at 5 Star Tuning
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Let's face it, we all knew this day had to be coming soon. In the true SVTP fashion we had to add more boost. The BRaptor had driven from MI to SC and now had about 1,200 miles on the odo. Truth be known, we had been planning this install with the guys at 5 Star Tuning for months. However, we didn't know if this device was going to be compatible with the Bronco Raptor's 3.0L EcoBoost engine.

Like many new Fords, the Bronco's ECU is locked from the factory. That means outside of a few exceptions, custom tuning is not yet available. However, that hasn't stopped the aftermarket from finding ways to increase performance. The 5 Star Tuning Crew crew have been installing Burger Tuning JB4 Devices, with great success, for quite some time now. So naturally we had to try out the JB4 on the BRaptor, and it worked perfectly.

[ATTACH...​
Install/Review | Livernois Exhaust & Flex-Fuel Tune | 2021+ Coyote F-150
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The more things change, the more they stay the same. At its most basic an internal combustion engine is essentially an air pump, and reducing restrictions in that pump tends to increase efficiency. In our case, we’re looking for more horsepower from a 2021 5.0L Coyote Powered F-150 and we’re installing some tried and true mods to get there.

The subject vehicle of this install belongs to Andy at Livernois Motorsports, and is currently his daily driver. Being a regular-cab short-bed 4x4 makes it a pretty hot commodity these days. I know more than a handful of former S550 owners who have traded in there steeds for such a truck, typically with some boost added in for good measure. That has become a bit more difficult with the encryption of the ECU on the 2021+ F-150s, but Livernois has that covered. When it comes to locked-ECU tuning, Livernois has the keys to the castle.

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I'd say there's a noticeable difference between the stock piece...
Whipple Stage 1 Upgrade for the Gen 2 F-150 Raptor | Installed/Reviewed
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Boost makes everything better, and more boost = more better. Those are just facts. So when Ford added two turbos to the F-150 Raptor for its 2nd Generation you knew owners were inevitably start cranking up the dial. What the Raptor lost in V8 rumble with the introduction of the 3.5L HO EcoBoost it more than gained in low-end grunt and mod-ability. Easy power is just an ECU flash away.

That’s where Whipple, best known for their twin-screw superchargers kits, comes in. They recently released their Stage 1 Upgrade Kit of the Gen 2 Raptor, and we got work that our friends over at Pro-Dyno would be installing one the first kits. The stars aligned and we were on hand to cover the installation and report the results.


Check out our Install/Review video. Like/Subscribe/ect too.

The Whipple Stage 1 Kit for the Gen 2 Raptor consist of a freer flowing enclosed air-box with filter, a substantially upgraded intercooler, ILTR7N8 NGK...
2022 F-150 Lightning EV | Driving Impressions & First Look | Game Changer
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Ford is moving full steam ahead with its plans for vehicle electrification. The Blue Oval’s modern EV era kicked off last year with the launch of the Mach-E SUV. It was a ground up design that Ford poured untold millions of development dollars into. However; when it came time to pivot to Ford’s bread-and-butter market segment, full-size trucks, the crew in Dearborn took a different approach. They took the already stellar 2021+ F-150 cab, tweeked it a bit around the edges, and bolted it all to a unique EV chassis.

The result is the all-new 2022 F-150 Lightning. I know many of the SVTP faithful may not be thrilled with this latest application of the legendary Lightning nameplate, but I’m going to ask you to put those feelings aside and come at this one with an open mind. This Lightning packs a 131kWh battery pack, dual motors with a locking rear differential, 580HP & 775TQ, and 330 miles of available of range. Those specs barely scratch the surface...
2021 F-150 Raptor 37 | Full Review | Ford's Ever Improving Top-Tier Off-Roader
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Few modern trucks have had a greater impact on the market than the SVT F-150 Raptor. When Jamal and the crew were working to build the original, success was anything but guaranteed. Many inside Ford and in the enthusiast community believed it would be a flop. Yet here we are with the 3rd Generation of Full-Size Raptor and it represents the benchmark by which all others are measured. Just think to yourself, how many manufacturers have knocked-off the design of the grille? How are resale values holding? I’d say it’s been a success, and the Gen 3 adds to that lineage.

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It's a subtle difference, but the 37s make a bold statement. Their addition to the Raptor was a no-brainer.

For 2021, the F-150 Raptor gets some major underpinning modifications. The drivetrain is largely a carryover from the Gen 2 (a 3.5L EcoBoost HO making 450 hp @ 5,850 rpm and 510 lb-ft of torque @ 3,000), but the rear suspension is completely new...
2022 Ford Maverick Review | A Lot of New Truck for the Money
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In all my years covering new Ford vehicles, I’ve never seen one polarize the SVTP community quite like the new Ford Maverick pickup. At the time it debuted it seemed the membership was evenly split among those who really dug the little truck and those who thought it was a complete waste of a perfectly good Blue Oval badge. I admit, I was initially less than enthused by the photos and specs released by Ford. However, after getting to spend a week driving one my mind has been changed.

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After spending some time with the Maverick I came to appreciate the utilitarian nature of the interior. I particularly like that Ford chose to go with unique designs and textures rather than try to mimic the look of costlier materials. Honesty is a virtue.

The Ford crew dropped their compact (mid’ish-sized???) truck to me at Pro-Dyno in Fort Mill, SC. We had just finished dynoing our Bronco tester, so it seemed...
Road-Test/Review | 2021 Explorer King Ranch | Giddy Up
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Western chic gives way to urban panache. When I think of Ford’s King Ranch trim level my mind instantly goes to a Charcoal Blue Metallic Crew-Cab PN-96 F-150. That truck introduced many to the King Ranch brand, and the unique and beautiful Castano saddle leather that covered the seats. The look, feel, and smell of that era of King Ranch interior was completely unique in the automotive world. Unfortunately; far too few buyers took to time to read the literature that accompanied their new purchase, where they would have learned the unique care procedures required to maintain those fantastic saddle leather seats. You’re going to need to invest in products like these (not necessarily SVTP recommendations) ...
2021 Bronco Outer Banks Heads to the Beach | Full On/Off-Road Review
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Let me put this right out there from the start, I have been more interested in getting some time behind the wheel of the new Bronco than any new Ford of the past several years. I’m genetically predisposed to an attraction to truck-based off-road ready SUVs like Bronco, especially the two-door variety. I’ve had a number of them over the years and I’m more than ready to have another long-term one in my life. That being said, I came into this encounter with no particular expectations. These are my unbiased thoughts, and my conclusion is simply this: the Bronco is good with the potential to be great.

First, let’s take a moment to appreciate the importance the mere existence of the Bronco means to the enthusiast community. In a time of tightening mileage regulations, EV mandates, and hyper political correctness; Ford gave us a decently powerful body-on-frame SUV with a legit manual transmission option. That has to be commended. Sure, we’d all like to see V8 option (is there a business...
2021 Mustang Mach 1 | 10R80 | Road Test Review
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The car I have been waiting to drive is finally here, sort of. Anyone who has been reading our reviews here on SVTP over the past year or so knows I’ve been chomping at the bit to get behind the wheel of a 2021 Mustang Mach 1. In my humble opinion, this car is about 200CCs away from greatness, but more on that in the future. Unfortunately, this particular Mach 1 is not the one I was hoping to review for you guys. This one is what I would consider old-guy, or drag racing, spec’d.

Our test car is equipped with the 10R80 10-Speed automatic, which is an absolute beast in a straight line. Though I would have preferred a manual for a couple of reasons. First, I unapologetically just like to row my own gears. Second, the Tremec TR-3160 transmission used in the Mach 1 (and previously the Shelby GT350) is part of what make’s that car special. It’s not currently available on any other Mustang model and is lightyears ahead of the GT’s MT-82 and basically every way. However, the 10R80 shifted...
Ford's All-Electric Mach E | Drag Strip and Road Tested | How Good Is It?
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I’m going to just lead off with what you all really want to know. Yes, the 2021 Mach E may just be the most important car in Ford’s lineup. And yes, it drives, rides, handles, and accelerates much better than you’re probably expecting. While I only had a week with the car I can honestly say that I came away impressed. I’ve never been a huge fan of electric vehicles (besides a golf cart), and I still refuse to call the Mach E a Mustang. However; once I set my inherent biases aside I can’t help but appreciate how well engineered this car is, no matter its propulsion system.

First thing first, the particular car I got to spend time with was a pre-production model. So I can’t guarantee the Mach Es you see on dealer lots will have the same level of fit and finish, but this thing was really good. The optional Rapid Red Metallic Paint with Tinted Clearcoat was much slicker than I’m used to seeing from Ford and the panel gaps were perfect. There were a few small issues, such as frunk...
7.2kw Generator Equipped 2021 Ford PowerBoost F-150 Packs a Punch
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Like it or not, Ford’s electrification efforts are not slowing down. And while many here on SVTP vocally lament the use of the sacred “Lightning” nameplate on a crew-cab battery powered F-150, I’m here to tell you the future isn’t completely bleak. There’re some really interesting applications for a battery pack connected to some magnets spinning inside a ball of copper wire that may help in ways you really hadn’t thought of. That’s how I approached the latest truck we had in for testing, a 2021 PowerBoost equipped F-150 Lariat.


Check out our full walk-around review of this 2021 F-150 PowerBoost.

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IMO, this is a great looking half-ton truck.

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It's a bit odd cruising along at 30 MPH while turning 0 RPM.

True, I was skeptical of how useful the PowerBoost slate of features would be in practical situations. After all, how many 120V AC...
Off-Road Testing a 2020 Ford F-250 Tremor | Coastal Carolina Sand-Pit | Full Review
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Off-Road Testing a 2020 Ford F-250 Tremor | Coastal Carolina Sand-Pit | Full Review

Few trucks have garnered more attention than the 2020+ Tremor Super Duty. Its combination of styling and capability is the thing of which truck-lovers dream. Then you have to take into account the two exceptional powertrain options available on the Tremor. The 3rd Gen 6.7L Powerstroke diesel is a turbocharged steel-piston’ed beast, while the 7.3L Godzilla V8 has curb-stomped all other gasoline fired competition. We’ve covered different aspects of the Tremor several times over the past year, but recently we had the opportunity to test one in its natural environment – Off-Road.

By now, I’m sure you guys are familiar with the features that make the Tremor package a bit step above the common FX4 Off Road package. The Super Duty...
Ford's Best SUV? | 2020 Expedition King Ranch Review | Winter Road Trip
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Ford's Best SUV? | 2020 Expedition King Ranch Review | Winter Road Trip

This one was a surprise, so I’m just going to lead with the major take-away from the story and fill in the details as I go along. The 4th Generation (2018+) Expedition is one of the best new vehicles I have driven in years. If I were in the market for a new SUV, the Expedition is what I would buy. To put it simply, I am impressed.

Our time with our 2020 King Ranch Expedition test vehicle was a bit more extensive than usual. We had the opportunity to take it on a 1,000+ mile road trip, which included a decent amount of winter weather driving. To make things more interesting, this particular truck was a 2WD model. This was a bit unusual for us, being that Ford tends to send out test vehicles that are fully loaded. The missing transfer case was...
Grab Your Driving Gloves | 2020 Bullitt Mustang | Still the Classiest S550
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Grab Your Driving Gloves | 2020 Bullitt Mustang | Still the Classiest S550

It’s been a bit over a year since we got to spend some time in a 2019 Bullitt Mustang. That particular car restored my faith in the S550 platform. To put it simply, that was my favorite iteration of a factory S550 Mustang built to that point. We tested that car at a time before the Shelby GT350 received its quiet round of mid- model upgrades that substantially work it up in comparison to the early run versions. The Bullitt benefited from the GT350’s intake tract, but managed to crank out greater low end grunt while not requiring 50 pounds of mass dampers to prevent shaking itself to pieces.

As it stands, the Bullitt is still my favorite non-Ford Performance S550. Its combination of styling, performance, and upgrade potential is simply tough...
This Thing Just Keeps Getting Better | 2020 Ford Ranger FX4 Review
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This Thing Just Keeps Getting Better | 2020 Ford Ranger FX4 Review

I have to admit, the more I drive the Ford Ranger the more I like it. The Ranger is currently Ford’s smallest pickup truck (keep an eye out for the upcoming Maverick), and it excellently combines throwback style ride and handling with modern safety and convenience. A bit over a year ago we had the opportunity to spend a week with a Sport Appearance Pack equipped Ranger Lariat, and we really enjoyed our time with it. Fast forward ~13 months and we were once again placed behind the wheel of 2020 Ranger FX4, but this time we got to let it flex its off road abilities quite a bit more.

First, I have to say that every positive aspect we noted in our previous Ranger review has only improved. The Ranger is one of those vehicles where the more time you’re given to...
2020 2.3L High Performance Package Mustang | Stepped-Up Styling and Power
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2020 2.3L High Performance Package Mustang | Stepped-Up Styling and Power

Technological progression can be a wonderful thing. When the 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang debuted for the 2015 model year, it’s performance potential surprised quite a few people. The all-aluminum mill came packed with a forged crank, steel ring-land in the pistons, and was topped off with a twin-scroll turbo. With basic mods we had our EB Mustang making 340HP and 44TQ to the wheels. That car could certainly surprise the occasional 3V GT.

Not wanting to be left out of go-fast game, Ford worked up a High Performance package for its base 2.3L Pony Car. This package is much more than a revised ECU strategy and some badges. Team Mustang made the trip across town to the Ford Performance garage to raid the Focus RS parts bin. They essentially snatched...
Quick Look | Tuned 2020 Shelby GT350R Heritage Edition
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Quick Look | Tuned 2020 Shelby GT350R Heritage Edition

A few months back we posted up Ford’s press release for the Heritage Edition Package available on 2020 Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R models. For an additional $1,965 you got unique throwback livery with Wimbledon White paint and Guardsman Blue side and over-the-top racing stripes as a tribute to Carroll Shelby’s historic 1965 fastback coupe that helped establish the GT350 brand. So when I saw one sitting in 5 Star Tuning’s parking lot I had to grab the keys and take it for a spin.

Unique styling aside, it had been quite a while since I had some time behind the wheel of a GT350R. This particular one had a 5 Star Tune via HP Tuners and a basic CAI. Other than that, the owner wanted to leave it basically stock. Not a bad idea considering the limited production nature of the car...
DIY Economy Performance | 550+HP Capable 5-Star Tuned F-150
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DIY Economy Performance | 550+HP Capable 5-Star Tuned F-150

Few modern F-150 engines raise such a variety of strongly held beliefs as the 2.7L EcoBoost V6. Some detest the thought of any gas powered truck that features less than 8-cylinders, while others love the torquey yet frugal nature of Ford’s base turbo engine. Then there’s another far smaller crowd that you may not yet know, those who love transforming a minuscule 164 cubic-inch mill into a tire slaying insane-truck. The future owner of this particular truck is definitely going to fall into that latter category.

If you judge an engine only by its displacement, I here to tell you you’re in for a rude awakening if you tangle with the wrong 2.7L EB truck at your favorite red light. This particular truck has been thoroughly worked over by the Ford Loving crew at 5 Star Tuning...
S&B Super Duty Cab Mounts | Never Install OEM Junk Again
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S&B Super Duty Cab Mounts | Never Install OEM Junk Again

For over two decades the Ford Super Duty line of trucks have continued to raise the bar for heavy-duty work truck performance and comfort. And while there have been a few stumbling points along the way (6.0 cooling system and 6.4 flame thrower come to mind) the Duty has marched steadily towards higher levels of performance and quality throughout the years. Unfortunately, the issue that leads us to this review is one of those engineering quality missteps I mentioned. Thankfully, the guys at S&B have created the ultimate solution to this particular problem.

For the 2005 model year, Ford switch from using traditional rubber cab mounts to a new style made from urethane foam. The impetus from this change was the reduction of NVH, and while there may have been some nearly...
S550 Supercharger Shakeup | From Edlebrock 2650 TVS to Whipple Gen 5 3.0L
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S550 Supercharger Shakeup | From Edlebrock 2650 TVS to Whipple Gen 5 3.0L

Hey everyone. It has been a minute since I have been on here so to everyone knew, good day! And to those who know me from before, hey hey. But I wanted to share my experience on something I did with my 2018. Recently made a swap from the Edlebrock E-force 2650 TVS to the Whipple Gen 5 3.0L Twin-Screw on my Mustang. And before I hear both sides of ‘why” or “good”, I want to give a real story behind this. This isn’t a bash or complaint. This was a honest change and being I have ran both systems I can offer honest feedback.

When I picked up the E-force, I went full-retard on it with options. Stage 2, larger throttle body and 8-rib upgrade with a 15% OD balancer. But the issue I ran into right away was that I only did injectors and a fuel pump swap as...


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