Here's a shot of the entire Vortech kit for Ford and Chevy. Looks intimidating, doesn't it? Don't worry because some of the pieces you won't use. The kit on the left will fit all '97-'03 F-150s, and Ford has made some changes during that time, so some parts are extra. Between the Chevy and the Ford, the Ford took more time and was a little harder to install. The Chevy's system, on the right, seems a little less complicated, but that is mostly due to the fact that the kit is a direct bolt-on application with no modifications for most '99-'05 small-blocks.
Here's the Ford application...
Here's the Ford application in its final stages. The kit comes with two serpentine belts for the right configuration of your truck. The entire setup looks awesome and fits snugly under the hood with no modifications.
More air means more fuel....
More air means more fuel. Both trucks received this treatment. Vortech supplies the fuel pump and mounting accessories to help increase the fuel flow necessary for the supercharger's thirst for air and fuel. This is one of the easy parts of the install.
To recalibrate the trucks,...
To recalibrate the trucks, a hand-held SuperChips programmer was plugged into the data port under the dash. After answering a few simple questions, the tune-up was complete and the trucks were ready to throw down some dyno numbers.
There are two major changes...
There are two major changes that grab your eye on the Chevy: one, the huge new supercharger, and two, the new shiny pipes hooking the whole thing together. We love it.
The Final Word
So, who won? Who took out whom? Who was the fastest draw? That answer is not clear, given the sizable differences in equipment installed onto the trucks before the testing. Plus, given the nature of how a chassis dyno loads the truck and the difficulty you can encounter when trying to duplicate dyno testing on a computer-controlled vehicle, it's tough to say which engine actually produced more usable power in the end. If you've ever tried to do back-to-back dyno runs with trucks like these, you'll find that the computer likes to pull out ignition timing when things get hot in the intake manifold, which always kills power output, so the results don't always make sense. The one thing we did learn, though, is that both vehicles showed significant increases down low in the powerband, making the engines very streetable. And the truest testament to both engines' might is that both of these trucks have seen daily trips down the rugged freeways of California, and both have been on road trips to neighboring states as far away as Arkansas, without a hiccup since the addition of Vortech's blowers.