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TESTED: Ford Mustang GT Power Packs 1-3

by Billy Johnson

 

Ford Performance offers three different 50-state legal “Power Packs” for the 2015-2017 Mustang GT that increases horsepower without affecting the factory warranty*. We back-to-back test Power Packs 1, 2, & 3 on a stock Mustang GT to see if Ford’s claim of 13-37hp increases are legitimate. We then analyze the GT350 intake manifold’s effect on the torque curve to see if it really has less low-RPM torque than stock in favor of high-RPM power. Finally, we determine which packages would be best for street and track use through in-depth torque and gear ratio analysis.

Ford Performance is really stepping it up from their factory-built hot rods like the Ford GT, GT350/R, Focus RS and Raptor, to supporting the aftermarket with factory-engineered Ford Performance Power Packs and Handling Packs. These Power Packs really cater to those who want OEM-quality calibrations that will not affect the factory 3 year/36,000-mile warranty* (*when installed by a dealer or ASE-certified mechanic) and are 50-state legal and CARB-certified for those who live in the strictly regulated state of California and don’t want to deal with the legal hassles that can come from modifying cars. 

The calibrations that come with these packages are optimized for 91+ octane. This enables the Ford engineers to raise the rev limit and push the envelope beyond the stock tunes that are designed to operate with 87-octane, for the non-enthusiast customers who may not know any better. There is also a pretty neat No-Lift Shift (NLS) strategy which enables the driver to stay full throttle when shifting without bouncing off the rev limiter. In addition to the enhanced throttle response, the calibrations allow for gear ratio changes up to 4.09:1 and work with both automatic and manual cars. There is a lot of confidence in these proprietary calibrations that have OEM-reliability since they were developed by the Ford Engineers that have far more resources at their disposal than what most shops and fly-by-night tuners are capable of. 

For the 2015-2017 Mustang GT, Ford offers three “Power Packs”:

 

Ford Mustang Power Pack 1Power Pack 1 consists of a standard K&N drop-in panel filter and Ford’s ProCal tuning tool, which plugs in to your personal laptop to upload their highly developed calibration.

Power Pack 1 - ( M-9603-M8 ) : 

 -Ford Performance ProCal tool

-Custom calibration (with NLS) that raises rev limit to 7,300 rpm (effectively 7,100 rpm)

-K&N drop-in panel air filter

-13HP & 16lb/ft gains over stock

-40lb/ft gain at 1,500rpm.

 

Ford Mustang GT Power Pack 2Power Pack 2 is a little more involved and utilizes an adapter plate to mount the 7mm larger GT350 throttle body and OEM GT350 “Cold Air Intake” to the factory Coyote intake manifold. All the necessary vacuum lines and hardware are included to make this a very easy bolt-on install.

Power Pack 2 - ( M-9603-M8A ) :

-Ford Performance ProCal tool

-Custom calibration (with NLS) that raises rev limit to 7,350 rpm (effectively 7,150 rpm)

-GT350 Cold Air Intake with CARB certification.

-GT350 87mm Throttle Body with exclusive intake adapter.

-21hp & 24lb/ft peak gains over stock

-40lb-ft gain at 1,500rpm

 

Ford Mustang GT Power Pack 3Power Pack 3 adds the infamous GT350 intake manifold to the rest of the PP2 components as well as an even higher redline and calibration for the unique character of the intake manifold.

Power Pack 3 - ( M-9452-M8 ) :

-Ford Performance ProCal tool

-Custom calibration (with NLS) that raises rev limit to 7,500 rpm

-GT350 Intake Manifold (M-9424-M52)

-GT350 Cold Air Intake with CARB certification

-GT350 87mm Throttle Body

-37hp and 5lb/ft peak gains over stock

-60hp gain at 7,500rpm

 

Quick Reference:
Page 1 - Power Packs
Page 2 - Baseline Dyno
Page 3 - K&N and Power Pack 1 Dynos
Page 4 - Power Pack 2 Install
Page 5 - Power Pack 2 Dynos
Page 6 - GT350 Intake Manifold Analysis
Page 7 - GT350 Intake Manifold Analysis & Install
Page 8 - Power Pack 3 Dynos
Page 9 - Thrust Analysis of PP3 vs PP2, and Bonus Dynos (M3 & GT350R)
Page 10 - Road Test Review and Overview
Page 1 of 10 Next Page
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Comments
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Monday, October 30, 2017 5:51 PM
PP3: 60hp gain at 7,500rpm

over what? it doesn't rev that high stock... so is it only making 60 hp at 7500 rpm? haha
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Monday, October 30, 2017 5:55 PM
@warmmilk - over a stock car with a rev limit raised to 7,500rpm.
Einar
Einarlink
Monday, October 30, 2017 7:40 PM
From this test, It seems off the 3 power packs. The PP2 is the best one for the street.
But when reviewing the PP2. It seems you are not a fan of the open intake and refer to it as the "hot air intake".
But still PP2 gives both more hp/torque then PP1. Ken from KBD thinks it is all because the bigger throttle body that allows the PP2 tune to be for aggressive with added fuel and timing.
So know I like to ask. how can there be a gain from a 87mm throttle body if the opening on the manifold itself is only 80mm. Isn't the restriction then the manifold opening?
Do you think the PP2 gains would be truly better with a true "cold air intake"? Like for exp the Injen evolution intake?

I am personally considering (tune, intake options for a S550 GT) and would want to minimise the under hood heat in the air intake.
I have been looking into the closed air intakes like airaid or the Injen evolution I think is worth a serious look.
But what tune is a big dilemma. and like you say they Ford performance has factory drivability and no issues and that is a huge factor in a street car. But because I won't have warranty to worry about. I simply want the best tune not something that is within warranty parameters. But as a street car 91 oct is ideal. But I guess if the 87mm throttle body is worth it and only the guys at Ford can tune it the PP2 but with a "colder intake" would be the best "street intake/tune combo" I guess or what?
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:54 AM
@Einar - I'm not a fan of 'hot air intakes' in general due to their inefficiency which hurts performance in real world conditions.

The larger diameter intake, freer flowing (no sound resonating tubes), larger air filter, and larger throttle body all improve the flow (and power) despite the stock intake manifold's 80mm opening.

Real world gains, gains at speed (ram-air), and AITs will be better with a sealed and true "cold air intake".

Be sure to add insulation to the intake tube and airbox - like from www.HeatShieldProducts.com

Ken from PBD said that its harder for most tuners to make the larger 87mm TB work, but there are aftermarket tuners who can have good driveability. But will it drive as good as this Power Pack? I'm not sure without testing it.

The 'hot air intake' is fine and will make far more power than stock. You can improve the efficiency (and probably power) by adding heat shielding and possibly an air tight top plate.
warmmilk
warmmilklink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 11:54 AM
@BillJ
its hard to convey sarcasm over text, I was just being a smartass
8695Beaters
8695Beaterslink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 3:58 PM
Hey we make that GT350 throttle body at my Hitachi plant in KY! I actually worked on those about a year ago. All designed and manufactured in the USA and designed to last 10 years or 150,000 miles. Had no idea they were going on the GT350, that's friggin awesome!!!
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:20 PM
@8695Beaters - have any extra? ;)
Einar
Einarlink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:29 PM
Thank you BillyJ for your answer.

But, are you saying if you were a S550 GT owner and would use it 100% on the street.

You would go with the PP2 and add some heat shielding and possible a top plate over the air filter . Not just use the tune and throttle body and use someone else's brand "true cold air intake"

But maybe that would not workout with the PP2 tune calibrations?
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 4:58 PM
PP2 vs PP3 depends on the needs of each person. They are quite a bit different with the PP2 having more useful power in the street driving rev range. The PP3 on the other hand drives quite a bit different and has more top end charge and is faster. I don't feel like I'm missing out DDing the PP3.

Whether you have the PP2 or PP3, I would add heat shielding and probably seal the top of the intake with a plate to make it a true "cold air intake" to reduce AITs. It's far from necessary, it just makes the intake that much better.

You won't retain the warranty and probably not the driveability for going with an aftermarket tune.
Einar
Einarlink
Tuesday, October 31, 2017 5:31 PM
Thanks again for your answer.

Warranty is not something I will have. So that is not a factor. But I guess the best and cheapest solution if you have purchased the PP2 is to seal the airbox. But maybe it will not look very pleasant with some homemade cover.

engineered
engineeredlink
Wednesday, November 01, 2017 8:54 PM
Great article and analysis!
Hap
Haplink
Friday, November 03, 2017 2:34 PM
So I'm just doing HPDE type things, they don't even time yours laps, it just intended for having fun with your car. I really don't like the thought of the added wear that turning 8K rpm is going to cause and for all but 1 track that I run torque is really more useful than HP for most of the lap. For my case, I think that PP2 is going to be the best bang for the buck and minimize engine wear from turning super high revs. I can buy a lot of brakes and tires for what an engine rebuild is going to cost! Makes sense to me anyway. Great article though, and might have just saved me spending $2K needlessly. Ford Racing will probably get it anyway though with some other thing I just have to have.
BillyJ
BillyJlink
Monday, November 06, 2017 10:00 AM
@Hap - remember that HP is just a function of Torque and RPM.

Look at the thrust curves and chart to determine if the PP2 or PP3 would be better for your track given the cornering speeds.

I think your concern for engine rebuilds is a bit over exaggerated. There are many cars that are being tracked with the PP3 without issues. If you aren't going to take PP3 to it's 7,500rpm redline, then hands down PP2 will give you better performance.
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