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 sessions or hot-lapping at the strip. However, that’s where the guys at VMP Performance come into play.
Justin and the VMP crew have been at the forefront of Predator aftermarket performance modifications. With their project Snow Bird they were one of the first companies testing a ported supercharger, throttle body, and CAI combination. If you’d like to see more about that round of mods CLICK HERE. But the VMP crew weren’t going to rest on their successes there. Noticing some significant heat soak issues on the dyno and Orlando Speed World they set their sights on creating a host of cooling mods.
As described in the video below, the VMP/PWR intercooler cores come in three different flavors.
The thickness of the cores is a dead giveaway that something is up. However, the core material is also different.
The first such upgrade is a higher flowing, more efficient, intercooler core. The factory core was designed with certain budgetary and manufacturing compromises that aren’t necessarily optimized for maximum performance. VMP worked with OEM supplier PWR to design cores without such concerns, and was thus able to bring a series of cores to market that greatly out-perform the factory setup. VMP’s plate design and fin count differ from the factory unit, plus their cores are physically larger as well. Check out this vid for more details:
If you're looking for all the details on VMP's GT500 Cooling mods, you're in luck, In this video [email protected] walks us through all the performance minutiae of his new go-fast parts.
Another significant upgrade over factory core design lies in VMP’s D-Shaped coolant intake/outlet ports. By using a CNC machined water neck, VMP was able to take advantage of all the dead space in the stock housing design and reshape the coolant ports to allow for roughly 30% more volume. This will lead to greatly increased coolant flow through the core. The more coolant you can run through the core the more heat that coolant will be able to carry away. This mod also allows the owner to install much larger coolant lines as well. In total, VMP has seen IAT reductions in the neighborhood of 30 degrees with their core and upgraded water manifold. The factory heat exchanger is fairly sizeable and was been tested to 1,000HP, so it doesn’t appear to be a huge bottleneck at this time.
This is a view you don't often see. Here you can easily spot the massive difference in flow potential between the standard sized ports and VMP's D-Shaped High-Flow ports.
These D-Shaped ports are massive. They essentially take up all the available space in the water manifold connection area, maximizing flow potential.
It's clear that there's a stark difference with the stock-sized ports. If you're planning on upgrading your intercooler core you should definitely opt for the VMP D-Ports.
One other area that is severely lacking in the GT500’s boost cooling system that VMP has a solution for is in coolant capacity. From the factory, the Predator engine does not have an intercooler coolant reservoir. Unlike previous supercharged Fords from SVT, the 2020 GT500 does not use a coolant tank under the hood in order to increase cooling system fluid capacity. The coffee cup sized “tank” that it has is actually just a fill point. While some owners have mounted ice tanks in the trunk, that solution is a bit extreme for an average street car.
Here is VMP's water/coolant manifold. It allows the use of AN-Fittings on your lines and can be configured with a standard port shape adaptor to run on the factory intercooler.
This one is setup the high-flow D-Ports. Everything is sealed off with o-rings. If you want to do these mods in stages, this manifold can be setup to be run the the stock configuration then upgraded with different components at a later time.
VMP’s solution is to mount their new Odin Ice Tank under the hood. The Odin tank fits perfectly and holds well over a gallon coolant. If you would like to dump in ice at the track you have a large clear screw-on lid and a drain valve on the bottom to make room for more ice. According to VMP, the Odin tank can easily hold a full 10 pound bag of ice. Even if you aren’t interested in running ice, the added coolant capacity alone is a huge upgrade to the stock system. Added fluid capacity can carry away more heat from the intake air charge and allow the car to make maximum power for a longer period of time. If you’re interested in getting the most out of your 2020+ GT500 Mustang, you definitely need to checkout VMP’s intercooler cores and Odin Ice Tank.
Here's a 'puzzle-piece' prototype of the Odin Ice Tank. This adds over a gallon of coolant capacity to the GT500's intercooler system.
This angle shows just how much unused space the tank takes advantage of. The considerable depth also helps prevent ice (which is less dense than liquid water) from being ingested by the coolant pump.