Tremec TXK 5-Speed Manual Transmission | Quick Look
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It’s a sad realization that hand-shaker enthusiasts are a dying breed. Manual transmission options on new cars have been steadily disappearing for years now. However, for those who love to row our own gears there are a few bright spots on the horizon. An obvious one is Ford’s acknowledgement of the overwhelming support the buying community has displayed for the manual-trans equipped Bronco, so much so that they are considering offering it more broadly across the package lineup. And second, we’re seeing several new aftermarket manual transmission replacement options hitting the market.

A few years back Tremec made their TR-4050 5-Speed manual truck transmission, previously an OEM option on Ford Super Duty trucks in South America, available to builders in the US. Jay Leno was one of the first to snag one, as he installed it in his custom Predator-Powered 1968 Ford Bronco. However, Tremec wasn’t going to stop with just the trucks. They recently released their all new TKX 5-Speed...
MGW Shifter's Cobra Kit Car Maintenance | 427 SBF Wrenching Action
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Sometimes you just need to get out in the garage and turn some wrenches with a couple friends. I consider it therapy for car guys. We all deal with the stresses of day-to-day life differently, but for me the calming effect of some basic automotive maintenance can’t be beat. Now if you really want to kick it up a notch, add a 427 cube SBF powered Cobra kit car to the mix.

Recently, I was passing through the Augusta, GA area and made a stop by MGW Shifters. George and long time mutual friend Rich were there going over George’s newly delivered Cobra kit car (I don’t remember the particular make). We wanted to knock out a basic oil change and make sure all the suspension hardware is properly torqued. This is a hand built custom car, and no one wants to find out some random bolt is loose while airing it out in a tight curve in a car with a 90-inch wheelbase.


These cars are surprisingly simple, these homemade wheel chocks probably cost a...
Quick Look & Dyno Numbers | 2022 Ford Maverick | 5 Star Tuning
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The All-New 2022 Ford Maverick has been somewhat polarizing in the online performance community. Some see it’s small’ish size and payload capacity as a hindrance to performing truck-like duties. Other’s see the base hybrid powertrain and impressive MPG rating (42 city/33 hwy/37 combined) as major highpoints for any truck. I think everyone can agree that the impressively low base price ($19,995) is something to take notice of. However, if you’re on SVTP you’re probably interested in wringing our all the performance you can from the optional 2.0L EcoBoost power-plant.

On a recent trip through Florence, SC we stopped by 5 Star Tuning for a visit and happened to catch them working on a new performance calibration for their 2022 Maverick R&D vehicle. Since time was short and the mini-truck was still strapped to the rollers, we didn’t have time to get it out on the street and give their work a proper test. However, they report that the preliminary numbers (this isn’t the final version...
The 10-Year Old Battery in my SVT Lightning Finally Died | What Killed It???
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Your car’s battery is an often overlooked maintenance item. You typically don’t even consider replacing it until it starts giving you issues. There’s usually nothing wrong with that method of replacement requirement determination as long as you’re not getting excessive out-gassing, leakage around the posts, or you have HEUI fired Powerstroke diesel (weak batteries will kill a 6.0L FICM). I recently found myself in need of a new battery for my SVT Lightning.

First, a little back story. Over the past few months I’ve been dealing more with batteries of all types than I ever really wanted to. It’s insane the amount of batteries I’ve bought an installed various projects. Yachts, RVs, golf carts, SVTs, you name it; I’ve brought new meaning to the phrase “Slingin’ Lead”. As a side note, if anyone needs Trojan or Odyssey Batteries I’m now a dealer for them. That should give you an idea of how many I’ve bought. Just let me know what you need.

Back on topic, I recently suffered a battery...
2021 Gen-3 Ford F-150 Raptor | Undercarriage Inspection | Weird Stuff Found
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There are few trucks that have made a bigger market impact over the past decade than the Ford SVT Raptor F-150. It was so hot from its drop in 2010 that basically ever other truck manufacturer has ripped it off in one way or another. Just look around, how many manufacturers now emboss brick-lettered versions of their company name in a truck grille? And Ford has wisely kept investing in their Premium-Level Cash-Cow Off-Roader over the years. That brings to the current 2021 F-150 Raptor from Ford Performance.

While out for a Friday evening cruise recently, I stopped in to harass the guys at 5 Star Tuning. That company is growing so quickly that they’re running out of places to put new employees, but they still find some space for a few new Fords ever couple months. This time around they had two new Ford trucks in for R&D work, a 2021 Ford Maverick (more on that in the future) and a 2021 F-150 Raptor.


The new rear control arms are...
DiabloSport Makes Major Investment in EPA Compliant Performance Tuning
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For the past few months you guys have been constantly reminded that the car modding hobby is under serious threat from the EPA. By now, if you don’t know the need for action and vigilance I’m not sure what rock you may have been hiding under. We here at SVTP have been trying to encourage everyone to pressure their representatives to supporting the SEMA Sponsored RPM Act. However, others in the aftermarket are not waiting around for some legislative protection that may never come. The team over at Diablo Sport (a division of Holley Performance) in Sanford, FL have been busy investing in the future.

Diablo was a pioneer in handheld tuning in the Ford market, and they intend to be a huge part of the Ford Performance aftermarket in the future. To that end, they have invested in a full vehicle emissions lab setup. In conjunction with an in-ground Superflow AWD Chassis Dyno they have purchased, installed, and calibrated a full array of advanced exhaust emissions testing equipment. This...
It's Here!! | MGW Gen 2 Shifter for the Tremec TR-3160 | Mach 1 & GT350 6-Speed
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There are few names in the performance industry more synonymous with the idea of quality than MGW Shifter. Simply put, you can lay money on any MGW product having best in class material use and build quality. I’ve personally known George (the owner of MGW) for over a decade, and in that time I’ve gotten to spend time with every shifter he has produced. As time has marched forward George’s products have only gotten better, and his latest shifter is no exception.

A few days ago we got the call to come try out MGW’s newest shifter, the MGW Gen 2 Shifter for the Tremec TR-3160. This unit will be replacing the Gen 1 Shifter originally released for the Shelby GT350 Mustangs, and will now be MGW’s offering for both the 2021+ Mach 1 and the 2015-2020 GT350 Mustangs. If you have an S550 Mustang with a TR-3160 6-Speed manual transmission you might want to get your wallet ready.

George @MGW gives all the details of his TR-3160...
2650 TVS Supercharger/Heads/Cam/Etc. for 7.3L Godzilla V8 from Mast Motorsports
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It's been a bit since we had any 7.3L Godzilla coverage here on the SVTP Front Page, so when I spotted a fresh assortment of performance goodies for Ford's lizard motor I had to stop and get the details for you guys. Mast Motorsports, probably best known for building some formidable GM go-fast parts, has a display setup at the NMRA World Finals / Holley Intergalactic Ford Fest in Bowling Green, KY; an it is filled with their new Godzilla offerings. Jason, Mast's CEO, walked me through their new hard parts. I have the full details in the video below:

These 7.3L Godzilla parts represent about a two year commitment by Mast. They've been quietly massaging heads and grinding their own custom cams with the intent to offer turnkey packages for those looking to swap in a modern big-inch Ford V8. Today they were displaying two different engine setups; an N/A one with their ported heads and cam package cranking out 600+HP, and a Harrop Supercharger equipped fully build mill set to over...
Stop Wasting Money | Rotate Your Tires More Often
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I’ve had a habit over the years of replacing my tires when they get about half worn. To me, few things can make a car feel better than a fresh set of rubber. Unfortunately though, keeping up that habit has becoming increasingly expensive over the years. We’re living in a time where high quality tires in an appropriate size for many of our performance/hard-working vehicle don’t even break a sweat to get past $300 each. Fortunately, there’re a few simple things you can do to prolong the life of your current tread.

Unfortunately, I hadn’t been quite as studious as needed to keep everything wearing evenly with the Nitto Ridge Grapplers on my 2009 F-350. 4WD Ford Super Duty trucks are well known for eating front tires and ball joints. It’s just the nature of the heavy-duty Super Dana 60 solid front axle, and my front tires were starting to show a little uneven wear on the outside edge. That’s par for the course for big truck ownership, so I made a call to my local North Myrtle Beach...
MGW Shifter for the Mustang Mach 1 | Coming Soon???
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We’ve been saying for a while that the 2021 Mach 1 may very well be the best all around Performance-for-Dollar new Mustang you can buy right now. Unfortunately, you’ll have to wait a little longer for our full review on a test model. However, on a recent trip through Georgia we stopped by MGW Shifters to see what George and the crew have been working on. Needless to say, we weren’t disappointed.

Among the many awesome projects around the shop (more on that in the future) we spotted George’s new 2021 Mustang Mach 1. Currently its only mod is a custom hood stripe delete, but the real story is what may come. Though the Mach 1 uses the same transmission and shifter as the now defunct Shelby GT350 (for which MGW has had a shifter available for years), George thinks there may be room for improvement for an MGW Mach shifter.

When designing his shifter for the GT350, George had to take into consideration the natural NVH issues inherent to the 5.2L VooDoo engine’s flat plane crank. In...
Unearthed | Ultra Rare Prototype 2000 Cobra R Intake Manifolds Discovered
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Unearthed | Ultra Rare Prototype 2000 Cobra R Intake Manifolds Discovered

Ever run across a unique piece of history and just have to hold it in your hands? That’s the situation I just found myself in. Recently, a good friend with a long history with SVT and Ford Performance stumbled upon something truly special. This man had two prototype 2000 SVT Cobra R Intake manifolds collecting dust in some forgotten boxes in his basement. Talk about finding forgotten treasure.

You see, back in the late 90’s computational fluid dynamics based design programs were just becoming common place, and 3D rapid prototyping was still a decade or so away. So if you wanted to test an intake design, you had to produce an actual physical prototype. That means you had to call up the foundry and have them cast some molten aluminum. That’s...
Mishimoto Intercooler, MBRP Exhaust, and 5 Star Tuning | Boosting a 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel
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Mishimoto Intercooler, MBRP Exhaust, and 5 Star Tuning | Boosting a 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel

“Too much power is almost enough.” Those words ring particularly true in the world of diesel trucks. While GM seems to have fallen by the wayside in the HP one-upmanship among the Big 3, Ford and Ram are steadily cranking up the performance dial on their respective diesels. And there no shortage of aftermarket companies out there to help the diesel enthusiast get their torque fix. Recently, we caught up with the guys over at 5 Star Tuning while they had a 2017 Powerstroke F-250 on the dyno. That truck was in for some custom tuning to go along with some newly installed upgrades.

Chief among the new mods was Mishimoto’s newly released 6.7L Powerstroke Intercooler. The 6.7 PSD, unlike previous model...
7.3L Godzilla V8 Gets a Ported Intake Manifold | Dyno-Tested
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7.3L Godzilla V8 Gets a Ported Intake Manifold | Dyno-Tested

Porting intake manifolds has been part of a hot-rodder’s arsenal of tricks for over a century. Your grand-dad was probably sanding down the runner on a Flat-Head-Ford in 1950. The thing is, those proven methods can still show gains on modern engines. Depending on the platform, modders have found different levels of success from bolting on a ported intake manifold. The 2018+ Gen 3 Coyote engine appears to be particularly happy with a little port work. Since the 7.3L motor has been quite popular, it only makes sense to see how it would respond.

The guys over at 5 Star Tuning have been toying around with different combinations on their bevy of Godzilla powered test trucks. So when Josh had a chance to test out a freshly ported intake manifold on his 7.3L equipped F-250...
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...
IATs Terminated |VMP's 3100 TVS Supercharger and Intercooler for 2003-04 SVT Cobra Mustangs
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IATs Terminated |VMP's 3100 TVS Supercharger and Intercooler for 2003-04 SVT Cobra Mustangs

For nearly twenty years the SVT Cobra Terminator has roamed the streets; dispatching its challengers without pity, remorse, or fear. It is a machine designed for a single purpose, to terminate the competition. Two decades later, there’s still nothing quite like the 2003-04 Cobra. The unending march of technological progress has produced cars that are faster and more powerful, but at the cost of the soul which made the Terminator so special. Owners of these cars know exactly what I’m talking about.

However, the advances in technology that have benefited newer Mustang models can also be used to enhance the already capable Terminator platform. VMP Performance has long provided TVS supercharger upgrades to the...
VMP | Destroying High IATs in the 2020+ Shelby GT500 Mustang
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VMP | Destroying High IATs in the 2020+ Shelby GT500 Mustang

The 2020+ Shelby GT500 Mustangs are a marvel of modern V8 performance. It’s 2650 TVS Supercharged 5.2L Predator engine cranks out impressive power while still being completely docile during every day around-town driving. However, when you lay your foot into the skinny pedal you better be ready to go for a tide. This is especially true if you happen to be on a road course. But that’s also where you’ll find one of the GT500’s weaknesses.

Spinning that blower hard enough to create the boost needed to produce 760HP creates a lot of heat. Elevated intake air temperatures leads power loss, it’s just a fact of hot rodding. Unfortunately, the GT500’s intercooling system can quickly be overwhelmed in prolonged WOT situations. It can be easily see in datalogs from dyno...
4-Digit HP | VMP 3100 TVS Superchargers for Coyote and GT500
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4-Digit HP | VMP 3100 TVS Superchargers for Coyote and GT500

We’ve known this was coming for over a year, but that passage of time hasn’t seemed to reduce the fevered interest in the forthcoming slate of TVS 3100 based superchargers. Of the manufacturers that will be releasing kits based on the 3100 rotor pack, VMP Performance has to be the one garnering the most interest. We’ve heard talk of VMP 3100 blower head units testing out in the wild for some time now, but we recently got a chance to check out a couple such setups at VMP’s HQ in FL.

The two engines in question are heavy hitters in the field of modern Ford performance mills, a 5.0L Coyote and a 5.8L Trinity. The Coyote was instrumented up for testing. On top of several pressure sensors located throughout various sections of the intake tract, VMP placed one very...
VMP Product Development | Stage 3 Odin 2650 TVS Supercharger & Ice Tank
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VMP Product Development | Stage 3 Odin 2650 TVS Supercharger & Ice Tank

Few things get my inner scientist going like seeing practical engineering advancements being tested, and the crew at VMP Performance do that on the daily. We recently stopped by and found them working away on several projects that will soon be coming to a Mustang near you. One car on the scene that should be familiar to anyone in the Coyote Performance World is VMP’s own Chuck Harter’s 2019 10R80 equipped Mustang GT. It has been a VMP Odin blower test car since the program began, and they are far from finished with it.

As it sits, Chuck’s car is not sporting VMP’s latest Stage 3 Odin 2650 TVS Supercharger featuring Magnuson’s DFT port design. Magnuson is VMP’s manufacturing partner for the Odin line of blowers, and they bring over 60 years of supercharger design...
Ford's 7.3L Godzilla V8 Gets American Racing Headers
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Ford's 7.3L Godzilla V8 Gets American Racing Headers

We’ve been saying it for years; the holy trinity of bolt-on mods consists of intake, tune, and exhaust. With Ford getting better and better at designing high-flow/low-restriction intakes that gulp in cool outside air, aftermarket CAIs have become less of a necessity. However, there’s still plenty of performance to be found by feeding the ECU a new calibration and few things personalize a ride quite like a new exhaust. But if you really want to liven things up on the back end, few ways do it with more style than a quality set of long tube headers.

This particular set brings us back out to 5 Star Tuning in Florence, SC; and quite possibly the most viewed 2020 7.3L Super Duty in the interwebs. Josh’s Godzilla truck has been featured so many times on the site that I have a hard time...
2020 Explorer ST Gets Modded – Borla Exhaust and 5 Star Tuning
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2020 Explorer ST Gets Modded – Borla Exhaust and 5 Star Tuning

A few weeks back we were passing through Florence, SC on our way to I-95 and decided to drop in and see what was going on at 5 Star Tuning. They happened to have a new project that we’re really looking forward to getting more coverage on in the future, a white 2020 Ford Explorer ST. They had already been hard at work developing some 93 octane and EtOH tuning (currently making over 411 AWHP and 525+ AWTQ with just a tune and E-50), but what really caught our eye was the freshly installed Borla Cat-back Exhaust.

Boral was one of the first companies to release an exhaust system for the latest generation of Explorer SUVs, and with good reason. Borla has long been the Tier 1 supplier of aftermarket exhausts for Ford Performance Racing Parts (Ford Racing). Many...