In the few short months we’ve owned our Bronco Raptor I’ve had the factory hard-top off and on more than a few times. While the BRaptor looks killer stripped down, it is a bit of a PITA to remove the bolted on rear section of top. That set us out searching for a better solution for the removal and reinstall process, which is where TopLift Pros came in.
As it stands, removal of the aft most section of Bronco top is best done with three sets of hands. It’s not that the roof section is heavy; rather it is just awkward to handle. Weight-wise, one person could easily lift it. However, finesse is needed more than brute force in order to not mar any of the finished surfaces. So not wanting to have to find a couple helpers every time I was going to R&R the top, I started searching for a little mechanical advantage. After a little research we settled on ordering a rolling lift system from TopLift Pros out of Melbourne, FL. It would make top removal a one-man job...
I can't believe I haven't posted this yet. The day after picking up my BRaptor I headed over to @Livernois Motorsports for a little bone-stock dyno session. However, before spinning the rollers I wanted to get an oil separator plumbed into the intake tract. Certain EcoBoost engines (such as the Raptor's 3.0L) are particularly susceptible to coking up the intake valves because they don't have a port fuel injector spraying on the back of the valve. That fuel spray goes a long way towards keeping things clean. Not having that means keeping oil from the PCV system off the valves is paramount.
Luckily, I had a pile of old JLT oil separator parts laying around. I had used these units on several Fords in the past, and always been happy with the way they performed. So with a little help (and loaner tools) from the guys at...
There’s just something about owning a Bronco that makes the ladies in your life want to go topless. That’s just a fact, don’t ask me to try to explain it. However, the last thing you want when you’re running wild and free is to get caught out without the proper protection. That’s where the fine folks at BronCover come into play.
One of the ever present threats of owning a convertible is getting caught out in inclimate weather with your top down. With a Bronco that anxiety can be compounded by the fact that you can remove the doors as well. If you have a hard-top that makes about half-a-vehicle worth of body panels you’ve pulled off, and that takes a little time commitment to reinstall. That’s why I like having a BronCover in the cargo area as a little added insurance.
Every BronCover comes in this awesome reusable storage bag. I just throw it in the back any time we pop the top.
We hold this truth to be self-evident, More Boost = More Better. You know the thing. The problem is, more boost also leads to power robbing increased charge-air temperatures. That’s where a part like the Whipple Intercooler we recently installed on our Bronco Raptor has the opportunity to shine.
While the entire Bronco lineup is capable of impressive off-road performance, the factory equipped intercooler leaves a lot to be desired in terms of power production potential. This is especially true for the unit found on the higher powered 3.0L EcoBoost equipped Bronco Raptor. In our testing we’ve found that it heat soaks fairly quickly, and really starts to have trouble when you throw more boost at it.
I've owned a handful of EcoBoost vehicles over the years. While they all had the benefits that come with high compression and boost, they also have the exhaust note you'd expect from a small displacement non-V8. Among performance enthusiasts, the sound is nearly universally derided. Ford has major strides in EcoBoost exhaust tone quality with the Gen 3 Raptor and BRaptor, but there's still a lot to be desired. In a search for a better driving experience you can play around with aftermarket exhaust systems, buy I've always preferred to just increase the natural turbo noises.
That's why every EcoBoost powered Ford I have ever own has been equipped with a TurboSmart Blow-Off Valve. They are an extremely high quality piece constructed of billet aluminum and stainless steel. The install is super simple on the BRaptor because Ford placed the factory BOV in a very easy to reach location. It's easier to install this TurboSmart unit on a BRaptor than it is to change its oil...
It’s no secret that the Gen 4 Coyote, first introduced in the 2020 F-150, brought with it many changes from previous iterations of the dominant 5.0L V8. One of them, which is somewhat baffling, is an alteration of the intake manifold bolt pattern. I’m not sure why that change was made, likely to reduce cost or streamline machining, but it makes the 2020+ F-150 V8 engine incapable of accepting previous generation intake manifolds.
This can be a huge drawback to those looking for more performance than the factory truck manifold can provide. However, Livernois Motorsports have developed a solution. During our last visit to their shop we were able to get an early peak at a set of prototype adaptor plates for the Gen 4 heads. These billet aluminum pieces will allow you to mount Gen 1-3 intake manifolds to your Gen 4 Coyote heads.
Looking to add a GT350, Boss 302, or Cobra Jet intake manifold to your Gen-4 Coyote V8? Livernois...
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.
No trip to Detroit would be complete without stopping by @Livernois Motorsports for a visit. Since I had the Bronco Raptor with me, and it was obviously thoroughly broken-in with ~100 miles on it, I thought it would be a good idea to get some dyno numbers on it. Since I had just picked it up it had a tank full of mystery fuel supplied by the dealership. We were obviously dyno ready... Here's how the runs turned out:
After driving back to SC I had a chance to more closely review the dyno charts. Surprisingly, the third pull was the best one. Once I applied the SAE correction factor to it, the final numbers were 315 HP @ 5400 RPM and 362 lb-ft @ 3700RPM. Considering the factors mentioned above and the low 90s temperatures I'd say those numbers are decent. The factory rating is 418HP and 440 lb-ft, and the drivetrain contains far more rotating mass than your average truck.
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.
I'd say there's a noticeable difference between the stock piece...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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.
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...
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...
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...
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...