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Text and Photography by Chirag Asaravala

Atkins fans put down your steak filets because we're gonna boost your carbs. Recently we came across an excellent deal on a 5.0L supercharger kit. Too good to pass up, we picked it up without any real plans in mind. Once we got it to the shop we batted around the idea of installing it on one of our late model Mustangs. While the idea of quick power gains is always appealing, we didn't see anything challenging about the project; afterall the kit is designed for an 87-93 Mustang, and thousands of such kits have been installed without much fuss. So the kit sat in the shop, just as it was brought in, stuffed in an old brown moving box. Until one day it dawned on us, let's throw this baby on the carbed 331 stroker in our Project '67 Mustang. The 331 is certainly no slouch in naturally aspirated form, propelling the coupe to 11.6 at nearly 120mph in the quarter mile. Yet the idea of making this workhorse of a blower force air down the throat of a carburetor made us grin like Dr. Evil. Not to mention that knocking off ten second ET's and pushing the limits of the stock block has dangerous appeal. So the decision was made.

The first step was to assess the magnitude of the project. When installed as intended this kit can be bolted up in a weekend. However, in our case we planned on at least six weeks. Of course that is not working straight through, but rather taking our time mocking everything up, measuring twice, and cutting only once.

We mentally
broke the project down into several categories; blower mounting, pulleys, fuel system, and air inlet/outlet. With regards to mounting the brackets and head unit, we were fairly confident that getting this kit under the hood would not be too tough. Afterall, a 5.0L block is no different whether it is carbureted or fuel injected. We cleared the passenger side of the block by removing the alternator. We then preassembled the two brackets (cast aluminum "rear" piece and the thick steel front half.) The bracket unit was then bolted to the block. That went so well that we just had to set the head unit in place. To our surprise within just an hour we had a clear vision of the beast we'd be creating.


Mounting the bracket was easier then expected.

We placed the head unit in place just to get a vision.


We knew that some of the challenges we'd face would be with the pulley system and alternator relocation. The single V-belt pulley setup would have to be replaced with a five-rib serpentine setup in order to use the integrated Vortech crank pulley. However, this opens up a can of worms. First off, the early Mustang waterpump is standard rotation, which means we need to find a ribbed waterpump pulley (late model Fords use a
reverse rotation waterpump, hence the pulley's belt surface is smooth, as it is driven with the non-ribbed side of the belt.) Secondly, early Mustang

Mounting the blower and alternator established the pulley "constraints" to which the other pulleys must align.
waterpumps have a shorter pump flange offset. In other words, early V-belt pulleys sit closer to the block than on late model vehicles. It turns out actually that early 80's LTD's (and other vehicles) did in-fact come with ribbed waterpump pulleys, but they used yet a another flange offset dimension. We were faced with several options. Change waterpumps and find the LTD pulley, or have a custom waterpump pulley made. Needless to say this became a mind numbing facet of this project, which at times left us staring endlessly into the engine bay, hoping the solution would jump out at us. Finally it occurred to us that you have to start with the "constraints" and the one constraint here was the blower pulley. With the blower bolted in place, the driven pulley position was fixed. By process of elimination the next pulley that had to have a fixed position would be the blower drive pulley, which is part of the integrated crank pulley. So we bolted that up and checked the 8-rib crank-to-blower belt alignment. With that looking good, the next pulley constraint would be the alternator. If we bolt the alternator to the blower bracket, it has a fixed position and offset. So with that set, all that remained was the waterpump pulley. Our solution was clear: take some careful measurements and order up a customer waterpump pulley. Cost would be under $50, which is not bad at all for the sort of customization we are doing. Mounting the alternator hoeverw was not as simple as it sounds and opened up other issues.
(Installation mockup.)
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In This Article:
We adapt a 5.0L Vortech supercharger kit on to our 331 stroker equipped 1967 Mustang.

Also See:
High on Carbs
Part II: The Pressure Mounts
 

We found a used 5.0L Mustang Vortech S-trim kit in the local classifieds. With a recently rebuilt headunit, the kit was a bargain for $1000.
 

Shown is the front side of the S-trim, with pulley and belt tensioner mounted. The S-trim with stock pulley should make 8-10psi of boost - equating to around a 50% power increase.
 

The kit came complete with everything needed to bolt up to a 5.0L fuel-injected Mustang. However, our challenge will be adapting it for the carbureted '67.
 

The cast aluminum bracket and steel front piece bolted together as they would attach to the passenger side of the block.
 

We're planning to feed the carburetor with a carb hat, aka "bonnet" rather than a full enclosure. This bonnet is the Extreme Velocity by Superior Airflow. We'll discuss this hat design in detail in an upcoming article.
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