KOOKS GT350 SYSTEM FEATURED ON STANGTV
GT350 GETS A POWER BOOST FROM KOOKS CUSTOM HEADERS
"The 2016 model-year Shelby GT350 Mustang made its debut in late-summer 2015 to much fanfare. Representing the closest thing Ford has offered to a mass-produced factory racer, the anxiously-awaited car hit the showroom with a bang. There are a number of advances in technology showcased with this platform, as it features a 5.2-liter engine – code-named Voodoo – which is substantially different from the 5.0-liter Coyote engine found in the standard Mustang GT.
The use of the new engine prompted Kooks Custom Headers to develop a new exhaust system from the headers to the muffler tips. The setup featured in this article belongs to none other than HiPo Joe Charles’ GT350 was created in-house, on the car, and serves as the foundation for Kooks’ line of GT350 products, which are on the shelf at this very moment.
One major change in the Voodoo engine is found in the use of a flat-plane crankshaft. While not any sort of revolutionary development in and of itself (many four-cylinder engines use a flat-plane crank), the design presents unique challenges when selected for use in a V8 engine of this type. Ford’s powertrain engineers went to great lengths to counteract the unwanted harmonics in the production vehicle, notable issues that crop up with regard to noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH)
From Conception To Design
By virtue of its prominent place within the automotive aftermarket, Kooks has the ability to work closely with Ford’s engineering team – and well-placed race teams – on product development long before the vehicle in question is ready for prime time.
“We’ve been working with Multimatic in developing the exhaust for Jack Roush, Jr.’s Mustang that he’s used in road racing competition, so we knew about the issues that the car had,” says Chris Clark, Kooks’ director of sales and marketing.
In testing, the car made 466.72 horsepower to the tires in stock configuration. With the headers and X-pipe installed, the power shot up to 481.8 horsepower, a gain of 15 horsepower at the tire.
Finally, once their own muffler system was installed to go with the new headers and Green catted X-pipe, the car pumped out a whopping 491.0 rwhp – a gain of 24.3 ponies to the tire – with no tune help to maximize the car’s performance with the improved breathing. The car also produced 20 lb-ft more torque with the full exhaust system.
system is freaking awesome,” says Charles. “It sounds awesome and makes awesome power. The biggest thing in my opinion going into this project was that I wanted more horsepower, and we found power all over the board, especially peak power. This thing just keeps pulling; if it weren’t for the factory shift light you’d never be able to bang the gears. It’s unbelievable.”
This car made insane power as a result of the exhaust installation, and Charles says there’s even more in it than what’s reflected here. He took the car home, put a cold-air kit on it, and ran it on the dyno at Tim Matherly’s MV Performance with excellent results.
As proven from the impressive gains found on the dyno, the Kooks GT350 exhaust system just flat out works. Charles found even more power once he got the car home, installed a cold-air kit, and set the car up on Tim Matherly’s dyno at MV Performance for a proper tune with the CAI installed. He wouldn’t share how much more power they found from that session, however. We heard the car recently at the NMRA/NMCA All Star Nationals in Georgia, and all we’ll say is that Charles’ claims of “it sounds awesome” were backed up. Solid sound, solid engineering, solid performance. “What matters to us is that we can build a header that isn’t going to break on people,” Clark said.
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