To boost or not to boost?


New Member
Mar 26, 2022
Hey everybody, new to Stangnet, and the car community itself as well. I have an an 89 5.0 manual LX hatch. Bought it with an Edelbrock high rpm intake, 3.55 rear, headers, exhaust, and possibly a cam. I'm not too sure if it does for a few reasons. I may swap for a decent cam in the future anyway. Eventually, I plan on making at most 500 HP. I have started hunting for suspension parts and figured that much out, but in regards to the engine itself, I have not started doing much. I would just like to know with my limit being about 500 HP, should I stick to just bolt-ons, (heads, leave the new intake, and get a better cam), or should I start looking at boost? If I do start looking at boost, what should I consider upgrading? I know the stock T5 is only rated for about 300-350 HP at best, so I do plan on T56 swapping it. Should I also upgrade the bottom end? How much HP can a stock bottom end handle? I would love to run boost, but if I can get to 400-500 HP without it, it's no big deal to me. Any help would be much appreciated!
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If you are speaking rear wheel horse power (which is the only way it should be) the numbers are as follows or close.
500rwhp is the block's limit, no fancy rotating assembly or other parts fix that. And personally i think the sensible number should be 450rwhp.
HCI has the potential to be 300rwhp to 350rwhp using quality parts, not junkyard iron heads.
You can probably get to 350rwhp with just a power adder without it being too much of a headache on a stock headed engine.

Personally i believe in doing a quality hci setup before going to a supercharger. You get a fresh top end build, less restriction and if you do it right the power adder won't blow oil and coolant out of every gasket like it's surely to do on a 30 year old factory engine.
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The block will literally crack in half around 500hp. HCI and boost will get you 400+ Hp. You could get 400ish out of a nicely built stroker. I guess the build would depend on the condition of your current engine, how much work you wanna do, and how much money you wanna spend.
Boost. Like said above, first a nice HCI setup, then boost. That’s what I did. Vortech V3 HO kit on top of a Cobra Intake, Edelbrock Performer heads, and a Ford B cam and with a conservative tune she makes 426 HP at the tire which is right at 500 HP at the crank. Very happy with it.
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