Vortech V2-SQ Installation  

a corral original article
Christopher Ihara  

 

CORRAL UNIVERSAL RATING SYSTEM:
Difficulty (Easy 1-10 Difficult) Medium Difficulty
Special Tools (Few 1-10 Many) Some
Price (Cheap 1-10 Expensive) Expensive
Improvement (None 1-10 A lot) A lot
Customer Service (Poor 1-10 Good) Excellent

We have often lamented about the lack of aftermarket peformance products for the Ford Modular engine platform. One company though has stepped up to the plate and provided a quality bolt-on performance product. Vortech Engineering (http://www.vortecheng.com) manufactures one of the most complete lines of superchargers to fit many different Modular and Windsor powered Mustangs. In addition to their normal line of superchargers Vortech now manufactures their SQ series of "quiet" superchargers. We installed just such a kit on our Mongoose 99 Project car.

INITIAL IMPRESSION
The first thing we noticed about this kit is that upon delivery it becomes readily apparent how thorough Vortech's kit assembly and packing process is. Each group of parts is securely packaged and numbered. Inside the instruction manual is a complete checklist of all parts included in the kit. The instruction manual is well laid out, has excellent photos, and explains each step in detail. Each piece of the kit is well constructed and is of the same caliber as normal OEM parts.

We brought Mongoose 99 to Springfield Motorsport's new 6,000 square foot facility in Springfield, VA to have our Vortech V2-SQ installed. Springfield Motorsport (http://www.springfieldmotorsport.com) has tremendous experience in Late Model Mustangs and we have found their previous work on the car to be top notch. Experience pays off as Mustang wizard Paul Taylor installed the Vortech V2-SQ in less than five hours! Kits made for 1999 and later Mustangs are somewhat easier to install than those for earlier modular cars. This is because changes in the modular platform do not require the usual addition of a secondary fuel pump, fuel pressure regulator, relocation of coil packs, or several other steps previously needed. This makes installation cleaner, and faster.

POST INSTALLATION IMPRESSIONS
The most surprising element about Vortech's V2-SQ kit for the 1999 Mustang GT is how fast it can be installed! An experienced mechanic, who had never installed a 1999 specific Vortech kit, was able to do the installation in about four and a half hours! This means that the average backyard mechanic should be able to perform this installation in under eight hours.

One caveat with the 1999 and later Vortech V2-SQ kits is that the same changes to the 1999 Mustang powerplant that eliminate the need for additional fuel pumps and fuel pressure, also necessitate the installation of a Superchips EEC-V performance chip with a custom Vortech calibration. While you can have your shop install this chip Vortech recommends that you send your EEC-V processor to them for installation. We HIGHLY recommend that you have this done at Vortech! The Vortech kit includes everything you need to ship the EEC-V to them via Fed-Ex overnight. Take our word for it and have them install the chip for you.

We have gone through great lengths to determine actual performance improvement numbers on the car after each modification. This not only helps us to be objective but lets us see how much improvement we get with each modification. To do this we utilize the services of Woodbridge Dynotech (http://www.woodbridgedynotech.com ) located in Woodbridge, Virginia. Our first dyno pull when the car was completely stock yielded 229.9 rear wheel horsepower and 276.4 lb/ft. of torque. The addition of our Magnaflow exhaust bumped the numbers up to 243.3 RWHP and 285.8 lb/ft of rear wheel torque. After the installation of the V2-SQ we will determine if the kit lives up to its claim of 380bhp at the flywheel.

INSTALLATION
Having a lift will make installation somewhat easier, however, with this kit it isn't necessary. What follows below is a general overview of the installation of the Vortech V2-SQ. The major steps are covered, however, this is no substitute for the instructions included with the kit.

PROCESSOR REMOVAL
The first thing you'll need to do is take the processor out and have the chip installed. To do this you'll need to remove the trim from the passenger side footwell.

  • Disconnect the battery
  • Pull up the passenger side scuff strip nearest the front of the car. You should be able to pull upwards firmly and gently and the strip will come up. You do not need to remove the whole thing, just enough to be able to remove the passenger side footwell kick panel.
  • Remove the round push fastener that holds the kick panel in. Then grasp the panel at the edge and pull firmly towards the rear of the car and remove the panel.
  • Using an 8mm socket remove the two screws holding the black wiring harness bracket.
  • Lift up the carpet some and pull the black wiring harness up so that you can move the bracket out of the way enough to remove the processor.
  • Using an 8mm socket loosen the screw securing the EEC-V mounting cage.
  • Using a 10mm socket loosen the processor's wiring harness connector until you can remove the connector from the processor.
  • Carefully remove the processor.
  • Be certain not to touch any pins on the processor as static discharge could ruin the EEC-V.
  • Installation is the reverse of removal. Be certain not to overtighten the processor wiring harness! Doing so will damage the processor. Tighten the harness only until it is flush with the EEC-V's connector port.

ENGINE PREPARATION

OIL SYSTEM PREPARATION
Click to enlarge

INJECTOR REMOVAL AND INSTALLATION
With the lack of ability to change fuel pressure directly, it is necessary to install 30 lb/hr fuel injectors to ensure that the engine gets enough fuel.

    Click to enlarge
  • Disconnect each injector's wiring harness connector.
  • Release the pressure from the fuel rail by using the schrader valve on the rail. Be sure to clean up any spilled fuel!
  • Using deep well sockets, remove the nuts that fasten the fuel rail to the intake.
  • Be careful with the fuel that will come out, make certain to clean up any spills to prevent a fire hazard.
  • Lift off the fuel rail.
  • Remove the old fuel injectors and install the new injectors per the directions. Be sure to use a light coating of CLEAN motor oil to help lubricate the O-Rings on both ends.
  • Reinstall the fuel rail and wiring harnesses.

ENGINE BAY PREPARATION
It is necessary to make one slight change to the engine bay to accomodate the supercharger. The metal air conditioning line must be moved slightly so that it will clear the supercharger. Simply bend the port slightly until it will clear the compressor. Be very careful and refer to the instructions for this step. This line is under high pressure and contains toxic fluid inside!

SUPERCHARGER COMPRESSOR PREPARATION
The Vortech V2-SQ must be attached to its mounting hardware before it is installed in the engine bay. The next steps cover assembling the supercharger and bracket.

  • Leave the blue inlet and output covers on the V2-SQ
  • Using a light coating of engine oil on the threads, install the 1/8" NPT x 45 deg flare fitting and the oil feed hose to the oil feed fitting. Make sure that the fitting points forward towards the intake.
  • Slide the 1/2" oil drain hose onto the fitting and secure it with a #8 hose clamp.
  • Install the mounting bracket using the Votech supplied bolts and hardware.

SUPERCHARGER COMPRESSOR INSTALLATION
The next phase of installation involves installing the supercharger compressor itself. Aside from tapping the oil pan, this is the most difficult part of installation. In reality it is no more involved than removing a few bolts.

FINAL ENGINE BAY MODIFICATIONS

AIR INLET ASSEMBLY
You will now need to assemble the cold air intake kit supplied with the Vortech V2-SQ. This kit uses the factory mass air meter, a supplied K&N air filter, and various elbows and hose ducts, to supply cool air to the V2-SQ. This unit will be mounted inside the passenger side fender well.

FINAL ASSEMBLY
The last parts of assembly involve mounting and moving the last few miscellaneous items around the engine bay. It also includes the finial checks before the engine is fired up for the first time after the supercharger installation.

  • Relocate the ignition capacitor to the passenger side alternator bolt.
  • CHECK YOUR WORK THROUGHLY AT THIS POINT!
  • Vortech recommends changing spark plugs if you have driven over 10,000 miles since your last spark plug change.
  • Check to make sure that all wires, hoses, clamps, fuel lines, etc. are properly secured before starting the vehicle!
  • Reinstall the EEC-V processor.
  • Reconnect the battery.
  • Start the car and allow it to idle for a few minutes.

    When we first started the car we found that the engine was flooded and would not crank. If you find that this has happened, stop cranking the car, press the accelerator all the way to the floor, then crank again and release the pedal once the engine has fired. Starting the engine with the Throttle Wide Open is the signal to the EEC-V that the engine has flooded and to shut off the fuel injectors until the engine fires.
  • Shut the engine back down.
  • Re-check your installation and ensure that there are no leaks in the fuel lines, oil lines, coolant lines, vacuum lines, duct work, etc.
  • Finally take the vehicle out for a test drive and enjoy!

LONG TERM IMPRESSIONS
Click to Enlarge The Vortech V2-SQ kit provides a tremendous addition of power to an otherwise stock car. We dynoed the car after several thousand miles and were stunned with what we found. As reported earlier we recorded SAE corrected numbers of 243.3 HP and 285.5 lb/ft. of rear wheel torque, which roughly equates to about 286 bhp and 335 lb/ft of torque at the flywheel. After the V2-SQ was installed the Vortech Supercharged Mongoose 99 project car spun the dyno hard enough to yield 350.7 HP and 353.4 lb/ft of SAE corrected torque and horsepower at the rear wheels! That's roughly 412 bhp and 415 lb/ft of torque at the flywheel!

The power is very subtle and truly makes the car quite liveable as a daily driver. One thing we did notice is that at city speeds, when the RPMs are over 3,000, the engine seems somewhat less smooth. We believe this to be caused by the blower bypass valve opening and closing as the throttle is opened and closed. The resulting boost and subsequent drag of the supercharger can be felt when the throttle is closed. Cars with automatic transmissions shouldn't feel this as much as a stick shift car as the transmission should absorb some of these power/drag oscillations. We have simply modified our driving style somewhat and use a higher gear while driving around town. This keeps RPMs lower thus keeping the blower out of high drag boost at lower driving speeds.

Another thing that we found was that immediately after installation the Vortech V2-SQ was indeed very quiet. It was not much louder than a noisy power steering pump at idle, under no load. Under full boost the whistle of the impeller could be heard somewhat, however, the exhaust system easily drowned it out. The sound of the V2-SQ was also more pronounced as the supercharger spun down from higher RPMs to idle. We surmised that this is the result of the gear teeth meshing with their opposite faces as the impeller slows down.

We recorded the sound of the engine and Vortech V2-SQ at work on the dyno. There is an air ratchet being used in the background so don't confuse that with the sound of the V2-SQ. The engine hood is open during the dyno pull in clip 1 and the recording was taken about 6 feet away from the engine bay. In clip 2 we were outside, directly behind the car during the run. In this clip you cannot even hear the V2-SQ at all!

[Click for Clip 1 - 801k]
[Click for Clip 2 - 529k]
Oddly enough though, as we put miles on the kit, the Vortech V2-SQ has gotten a little louder in the 1,000 - 3,000 RPM range. On the Supercharged Mongoose 99 car, this is where the exhaust is at its quietest. The V2-SQ is still significantly quieter than any of the previous generations of Vortech superchargers, and this increase in sound seems to be only an increase in impeller noise, not gear noise. We have, however, had more than one person ask us why the car sounded like a jet engine as we tooled around at low speeds in first gear. It isn't terribly loud, it's just that it definitely doesn't sound like the average car they're used to - with good reason, it isn't your average car! Most unsuspecting victims don't seem to notice the faint whistle, and even at full boost the exhaust easily drowns out the sound of the impeller. We haven't noticed any additional increase in impeller noise and this characteristic seems to have leveled off.

According to Springfield Motorsport, one thing about running a supercharger - of any brand - on a stock Modular powered engine is that you should be very wary of detonation. If you hear any detonation be certain that you back off the throttle! Failure to do so could result in some expensive repairs as the Modular engine's hypereuretectic pistons do not like detonation. When subjected to detonation the pistons have a tendency to disintegrate.

It is mandatory to use premium unleaded fuel with this kit, so if for some reason you've been putting lower octane fuel in your Mustang you'd better break that habit before putting the kit on. One thing we were worried about was that the installation of the Vortech V2-SQ would kill our fuel mileage. With the price of fuel in our area staying steady in the $1.80 range fuel mileage is a bit important for those of us who aren't independently wealthy. We found no noticeable change in city or highway mileage... as long as we can keep our foot out of the loud pedal. Mileage is still around 18MPG city and 25MPG highway. Keeping our foot out of the gas pedal has proven to be exceedingly difficult with over 400 horsepower on tap. With the V2-SQ it is far too easy - and fun - to obliterate the tires in almost any gear. So it is always very easy to tell how much fun we've been having if we have to refuel around 200 miles after the last fill-up.

Overall you simply cannot beat the Vortech V2-SQ for bolt-on performance. Few other kits are able to be installed in less than 5 hours and provide over 100 rear wheel horsepower worth of tire smoking, Vette stomping performance. If you've got a 1999 or later Mustang this is one of the few bolt on performance products you're going to find that actually delivers what it promises. Save your money, rack up that Visa bill, sell all those old parts in your garage, do whatever you need to do to get your hands on one of these kits!

Vortech V2-SQ dealer information available from:
Vortech Engineering
1650 Pacific Avenue
Channel Islands, CA 93033-9901
(805) 247-0226
http://www.vortecheng.com

Vortech V2-SQ purchase and installation available at:
Springfield Motorsport
8532 W. Terminal Rd
Lorton, VA
(703) 339-3780
http://www.springfieldmotorsport.com

Dyno measurements performed at:
Woodbridge Dynotech
13404 Jefferson Davis Highway
Woodbridge, VA 22191
(703) 494-5789
(888) 316-5866
http://www.woodbridgedynotech.com


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