The engineering prowess and design capabilities of vehicle manufacturers are on full display in today’s performance cars like the 2018 Mustang GT seen here. With 460 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque on tap from the direct-injected 5.0-liter Coyote engine right out of the factory, the 2018-19 Mustang impresses across the board. But we, as enthusiasts, always look for places where we can improve the power and handling situation, right? That’s what happened in the case of this car, owned by Fred Cook of Evolution Performance in Aston, Pennsylvania. Cook and his team have been at the forefront of late-model Mustang performance for years now, and this car has been used as a testbed for the company since Cook picked it up. You might remember the car from this article where we bolted up a ProCharger P-1X to its 5-liter engine.
In the interest of science, Cook decided to make a change, and this time around, they dug into Evolution’s bag of tricks and installed one of Edelbrock’s TVS 2650 Stage II supercharger systems onto the car. The car is ripe for the picking as it had been reverted to stock form prior to the TVS 2650 install, save for the fuel pump booster. Cook chose a carefully curated list of modifications to help the A10-equipped machine perform up to its potential with the new equipment installed. Not only did it receive the supercharger mentioned above, but also a smaller 3.75-inch supercharger pulley designed to develop 11 psi boost pressure and a set of Injector Dynamics ID1050X injectors for the port fuel injection system, along with other supporting gear.
Evolution has solid data on Edelbrock’s TVS 2650 supercharger system, as it installed one on customer Brian Devilbiss’ 2018 Mustang early on in the game and managed to run big, big numbers at the track with it. That car eventually cracked into the 8-second zone at well over 150 mph with the same basic supercharger configuration that this car will have — all while using the stock engine.
“The fit and finish properties of this system are remarkably clean,” says Cook. “We chose this kit due to our previous experiences with it on several other vehicles; the intercooling system temperatures make it ideal for a street car, and the installation process is one of the easiest we’ve encountered.”
The Blower System
The Edelbrock supercharger systems have several advantages going for them, particularly how complete the kits are when they are delivered. From the packaging to the installation manual, Edelbrock has thought of everything the installer will need to get one of these onto a car with a minimum of muss and fuss. Although it takes a complete day — possibly two depending on wrenching talent — from our perspective, there isn’t anything overly difficult save for removing the harmonic damper. We’ll get into that part a little bit later and provide a bit of guidance based on what we discovered during the installation process. Based on the tricks and tips technician Steve Schechterly uncovered while installing the supercharger onto Devilbiss’ car, he was able to knock this entire install out in one day. The day ended with a dyno session with Jon Lund II of Lund Racing.
Edelbrock’s supercharger kits are based around Eaton’s TVS 2650 rotor packs, which are just one of the several sizes of rotor assemblies that are available. TVS-based systems are found on the assembly line in vehicles like the Corvette ZR1, Cadillac CTS-V, Jaguar XF-R, and the new GT500, and Eaton also makes the packs available to Edelbrock and several other aftermarket companies.
Each aftermarket engineering partner then develops its systems based around the known dimensions of the rotor pack and provides a finished kit that meets its specifications for appearance, performance, and the like. It’s an ingenious way for Eaton to get its products into the hands of companies who will put them to the test, without making a monster investment of capital into developing systems for the wide variety of performance vehicles and applications on the market. This strategy has allowed companies like Edelbrock to take advantage of Eaton’s OE-level engineering and manufacturing strengths, then adapt the products to the aftermarket — and not just for Mustangs.
This type of supercharger builds instant manifold pressure: you drop your foot into it, the bypass valve closes up, and bam: a manifold full of boost that seems never-ending, especially when backed by the 10R80 ten-speed automatic transmission in the newest Mustang.
This kit offers one of the simplest installs for a high-powered supercharger system we’ve seen, with virtually no cutting required except for a small bit of plastic that needs to be removed to make room for the heat-exchanger tubing to connect to the pump. It doesn’t matter whether the kit you purchase is the Stage 1 or Stage 2, as we’re installing. It just works — and easily. Edelbrock’s installation manual is one of the cleanest we’ve seen and details every step of the process. Although we had the full assets of Evolution Performance at our disposal, this is the type of installation that could be completed in the home garage easily. It’s impressive, that’s for sure.
“The support we’ve received from Edelbrock whenever we’ve needed them is extraordinary,” says Cook. “They make it easy to get one of these systems installed.”
The TVS 2650 configuration is an update of previous TVS-branded supercharger designs such as the TVS 2300, which was legendary for its high-performance capabilities. The 2650’s rotor pack configuration offers more airflow thanks to its 2.65-liter displacement, an improvement of 15 percent when compared to the 2300 rotor pack’s 2.3-liter displacement. Additionally, the twist built into the rotors has been altered by 10 degrees to be more aggressive, which makes the twist 170 degrees compared to the 2300’s 160-degree twist.
These changes result in a supercharger rotor pack that is 4 percent more efficient, with 18 percent less input power required, and 25 percent more airflow at a supercharger speed of 18,000 rpm and 14 psi boost. The four-lobe design is Eaton’s best when it comes to optimizing the supercharger for a peak power application such as this.
“We’ve installed several of these kits previously, so we already knew what it could do. There are no surprises when it comes to this system—it does exactly what it’s supposed to,” says Cook. “I’m looking forward to the improved performance it will offer and ripping through the gears with the instant boost.”
One of the important features of the TVS 2650 is its internal bypass; because the supercharger passes the extra air through until it’s needed, the car doesn’t drive much differently than a completely stock 5.0-liter Coyote. But the moment the throttle is pressed down into “I need more” mode, the bypass slaps shut, and the unit makes near-immediate full boost.
What makes these systems so attractive to the end-user is that instant boost. The design is especially well-suited to automatic transmission-equipped cars as the power comes on instantly and keeps pulling and pulling and pulling, especially in the 10-speed cars. Throughout the RPM range, there’s just a ton of power.
The Installation Notes
One of the most important aspects of this installation is the inclusion of an eight-rib drive system. With the amount of boost that the 2650 supercharger is capable of producing, belt slip can be a real issue, so Evolution addresses it immediately with the installation of the eight-rib pulleys, including a new BHJ harmonic damper that receives the eight-rib ring from Edelbrock. Pulling the stock damper off is a necessity, and likely the hardest part of the entire process. Steve has broken a couple of damper tools in the past trying to accomplish this until he stumbled on the simple way to accomplish the removal.
When Edelbrock created the system, it was with a plan for a reasonable installation time — not three days in the shop. Since they include a list of the required tools, it’s easy to plan to have everything you’ll need on-hand so you’re not making run after run to the parts store or local big-box for tools and whatnot. I’m semi-handy and after seeing a couple of these systems installed, I’m confident I could easily knock it out in a weekend, maybe even one long Saturday with the assistance of a couple of buddies. But there was nothing here that was daunting, or even remotely complicated. If you follow along with the steps in the installation manual, it’s self-explanatory.
Keeping It Cool
To combat heat soak, which can often be an issue with top-mounted superchargers due to direct contact with the cylinder heads, the design of the system includes an inverted supercharger. This allows for longer intake runners to help build low-RPM torque, especially when the bypass valve is open, and the intercoolers keep the charge temperatures down when the hammer drops. In testing, they’ve seen just and 11-degree rise in inlet temperatures.
To follow the airflow path, picture this: air is sucked into the throttle body and through the supercharger’s rotor pack, pushed up through the intercooler, against the intercooler lid, then rerouted back down through the intercooler again before it enters the intake runners, and lastly, the combustion chambers. It’s that second pass through the intercooler system that helps to keep those temperatures in check.
We made a mistake earlier. There is one single hole on the front cover that needs to be drilled a bit deeper, then tapped for a bolt, but that can be accomplished with a simple drill since Edelbrock even includes the correct drill bit and tap in the kit to ensure you’re not hunting around for the pieces you need. This type of thorough engineering is important for the customer who’s installing the kit at home because you only get one chance to drill, grind, and modify items. Everything else is designed to bolt right into — and onto — existing bolt hole locations.
The Stage II system installed includes the larger air intake, bigger 103mm throttle body, and inlet tube with the 113mm mass air sensor housing. Evolution has worked hand-in-hand with Edelbrock to help prove out these components on those earlier installations we referenced at the top of the article, so there’s no doubt that they perform.
On this particular install, Evolution is using a 3.75-inch supercharger pulley to crank the boost up a bit since there’s plenty of fuel to go around and the Gen 3 engines are plenty robust to accept the performance increase.
After the installation process was complete, it was off to the dyno to test the combination out. One thing to keep in mind is that this car had a fuel pump voltage booster already installed before I arrived, which will provide enough juice to keep the injectors cranking away and works just right with the combination of the 3.75-inch pulley and large throttle body — which itself required special treatment.
“The biggest hurdle with tuning this combination is making sure driveability with the 103mm throttle body — which uses Bullitt electronics — is not compromised, especially combined with how quickly the blower makes boost at low RPM,” explains tuner Jon Lund II of Lund Racing.
“As with most positive displacement superchargers, the transition into boost can feel abrupt and non-linear and adding in a larger throttle body can make tuning that transition even more difficult. So we focused on trying to tame that down as much as we could with the calibration for a smooth transition from vacuum to boost, as well as maintaining a comfortable pedal feel so the overall driving experience was not affected.”
The amazing thing about this installation is that the car appears to be stock until you crack the loud pedal. But just sitting in the parking lot, idling, it sounds like a stock Mustang with a good exhaust system on it — because it is. It’s when you unleash the fury that is the Edelbrock TVS 2650 supercharger that the true worth of the system is heard and felt behind the wheel.
The design of this kit covers many bases for the Mustang faithful and offers an outstanding performance improvement per dollar spent. With an installation process that can be tackled by anyone handy with tools, the ability to run deep into the 8-second zone if the pocket can support it, and a finish that enhances the under-hood appearance of the S550, what’s not to love?