ProCharger for Ford 4.6 V8

Ford 4.6 Supercharger Upgrade Guide

Chandler Stark

Meet Chandler

Chandler is an automotive expert with over a decade of experience working on and modifying cars. A couple of his favorites were his heavily modded 2016 Subaru WRX and his current 2020 VW Golf GTI. He’s also a big fan of American Muscle and automotive history. Chandler’s passion and knowledge of the automotive industry help him deliver high-quality, insightful content to TuningPro readers.

Long beloved as one of Ford’s best motors, the Modular 4.6 V8 lasted for more than two decades powering various Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury cars and trucks. The most powerful version was the supercharged 4-valve, DOHC variant found inside the 2003–2004 SVT Mustang Cobra R, which made 390 horsepower and 390 lb-ft of torque. And while that may have been the only blown 4.6 from the factory, owners of non-Mustang 4.6 V8s have been slapping their own superchargers on for years. That’s why today we’re discussing Ford 4.6 supercharger kits, power gains, costs, and more.

Ford 4.6 Supercharger Basics

ProCharger for Ford 4.6 V8
ProCharger for Ford 4.6 V8

Ford produced the 4.6 liter V8 engine from 1991–2014, and it was part of Ford’s Modular (or Titron) V8 series of engines. They built three different types of the 4.6 V8: a two, three, and four-valve version of the engine. All of these were naturally aspirated, except the version Ford put inside the 2003–2004 SVT Mustang Cobra R, which was supercharged. Both the two and three-valve variants used single-overhead camshaft (SOHC) valve trains, while the four-valve version used a dual-overhead camshaft (DOHC) design. 

All variants received electronic fuel injection and had compression ranging from 9.0:1 – 10.1:1. For the cylinder heads, Ford used aluminum in all versions. Ford used both cast iron and aluminum for the engine blocks, depending on the model. Power sat at 190-390 horsepower and 260-390 lb-ft of torque, depending on the year and model it powered. 

In terms of supercharging, all versions from the 16-32 valve versions are capable of handling boost. Unfortunately, since Ford stopped producing the engine in the 2010s and switched to the 5.0 Coyote V8, most of the original supercharger kits are long out of production. There used to be kits from Whipple, Eaton, Magnuson, Roush, and several others. Sadly, they no longer produce them, so they are now incredibly hard to find. 

Luckily, several other companies have picked up the slack, so there are still a ton of options out there for Ford 4.6 supercharger kits. Most kits are designed primarily for the Mustang, F-150, or Expedition, but you can usually retrofit kits to other versions with some minor fabrication. 

Supporting Mods and Tuning

Before you buy your Ford 4.6 supercharger kit, you’ll want to keep in mind some supporting mods to make sure your engine can properly handle the boost. For most builds, this will mean at a minimum upgrading the fuel system, ignition system, exhaust system, and ECU unit. To increase fueling to flow enough for the 5-10 PSI you will likely be running, you will need a bigger fuel pump (or two) and larger fuel injectors. 

Additionally, you will also want to make sure you upgrade from the factory spark plugs and coil packs. The engine will be running much hotter cylinder temperatures after adding a bunch of boost. So you’ll want colder plugs to help reduce cylinder temperature and pressure. Better coil packs will ensure consistent spark even at higher RPM, which is where the factory packs tend to struggle under boost. 

Ford Block and Internals Power Limits

Ford used several different engine blocks during its 24 years in production. The most desirable is the Teskid block used inside the 1996–1998 Cobra and 1993–1998 Lincoln Mark VIII. These blocks are 75 pounds less than the other aluminum blocks, and Ferrari manufactured them. 

For pretty much all 4.6 engines, the block itself is usually fine to support 600 horsepower. The block is by far the strongest part of the engine. For even bigger builds there are crate engines with reinforced blocks. Internally, the connecting rods and pistons are going to be the weakest parts and most prone to failure. Usually, 400-450 horsepower is the maximum they are reliable for, especially if they are higher mileage. For any builds past 450 horsepower, forged “I-beam” style connecting rods and Manley or JE pistons are a must. 

Finally, the cast iron crankshaft. The OEM crankshaft is good until around 500 horsepower, which is still pretty solid. The Cobra Rs from 1996–2004 got a forged steel version of the crankshaft, which can support north of 1,500 horsepower. For non-Cobra R builds, upgrading to a forged crank past 500 horsepower is a good idea. 

Basically, the block is good until 600 horsepower, after which you will want to get a crate version. The connecting rods and pistons are okay until 400-450 horsepower, past which you will also want forged versions. For the crankshaft, anything past 500 horsepower it is suggested to replace the cast iron version with forged steel. 

How much boost can my engine take?

For a completely stock block and internals, most builds will keep the boost below 9-10 PSI. For builds that have forged internals, the engines can easily handle 15-20+ PSI of boost without a problem. 

Different Kinds of 4.6 Ford Superchargers

Before we get into our recommendations, let’s briefly discuss the three different types of superchargers available for the Ford 4.6 V8. All three of them are available in different kits, but they produce somewhat different peak results and power bands based on how they operate.

Generally, roots and twin-screw style superchargers will provide excellent low-end torque and horsepower, but they will struggle to produce the same power on the top-end. In contrast, centrifugal superchargers will produce lots of power in the higher RPM-range, but won’t match the roots or twin-screw down low. 

Roots and Twin-Screw

First up are roots and twin-screw style superchargers. These are the more traditional type of supercharger, and are most consistently used by OEMs for stock-supercharged vehicles. Roots and twin-screw superchargers are very similar to each other and are both belt-driven, but have a few key differences.

Roots-style blowers operate by using rotors that are close together and spin in opposite directions. These rotors draw air into the engine, essentially acting as a larger air pump. The air enters the engine where it becomes compressed, producing lots more horsepower and torque.

Twin-screw blowers operate the same way, except the rotors have much tighter clearances. The clearances are actually so tight that they allow for the air to be compressed as it passes through. The compressed air then enters the engine where it can be burned to produce more power.

Since twin-screws compress the air before it enters the engine, they are generally superior and will produce better and more consistent power than roots-style blowers. They are however more complicated, thus they are more expensive and harder to service/maintain.


The other type of supercharger is a centrifugal-style supercharger. Centrifugal superchargers operate much differently than roots and twin-screw blowers, though they are also belt-driven. On these blowers, the belt spins an impeller, which pushes air into the compressor (volute). After leaving the volute, the compressed air makes its way into the engine, where its increased oxygen content leads to higher combustion and more horsepower and torque.

Since the speed of the impeller determines the amount of boost being made, centrifugal blowers make the most boost in the upper RPM range when it is spinning its fastest. In addition, while roots and twin-screw produce static levels of boost, centrifugals are more dynamic and vary the PSI depending on the RPM. This means they won’t be as powerful on the low-end, but far superior on the top-end compared with roots/twin-screws. 

Edelbrock Supercharger for Ford 4.6 V8
Edelbrock Supercharger for Ford 4.6 V8

Best Ford 4.6 Supercharger Kits

  • Kenne Bell
  • Edelbrock
  • Paxton/Vortech
  • ProCharger

1) Kenne Bell Superchargers

Supercharger Type: Twin Screw

Applicable Models: 1996–1998, 2003–2004 SVT Mustang Cobra R; 1999–2009 Mustang GT/Bullitt

First up on our list is the tried and true, ultra-popular, Kenne Bell Ford Mustang 4.6 Supercharger Kits. Kenne Bell were one of the first companies to create a supercharger kit for the 4.6 Ford Mustang, first bringing one out in 1998. Since then, Kenne Bell has remained one of the top, if not the top, name for aftermarket supercharging Ford Mustangs. 

KB has several different kits for the Mustang GT, Cobra R, and Bullitt. All of their systems use twin-screw style superchargers that are intercooled for maximum performance. Their blowers range from 2.6-3.2 liters in displacement, and can produce anywhere from 450-950 horsepower depending on size and supporting mods. KB produces complete systems, with all necessary fueling and tuning (if applicable) upgrades included. Kenne Bell is definitely the top choice for Ford 4.6 Supercharger Kits, and they have been the standard for many years. 

2) Edelbrock Supercharger Kits

Supercharger Type: Roots

Applicable Models: 2005–2009 Ford Mustang GT (3-valve)

CARB Approved?: Yes

Next up for our Ford 4.6 supercharger kits we have Edelbrock superchargers. Edelbrock is another company that has built an impeccable reputation for themselves over the past several decades, and their supercharger kits are very highly rated. For the 4.6 Ford, they have two different kits, a stage 1 and high-output stage 2 kit. The stage 1 kit is good for 465 horsepower and 440 lb-ft of torque, while the stage 2 kit can produce as much as 530 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque. 

Both kits use a Eaton Gen VI 2300 TVS supercharger, which is a roots-style unit. Both kits include an air-to-water intercooler and heat exchanger for maximum cooling and performance. The Edelbrock kits are also CARB approved with an EO number, and come with their own tuning solution (most kits). Unfortunately, they only fit the 2005–2009 Ford Mustang GT. 

3) Paxton/Vortech Supercharger Kits

Supercharger Type: Centrifugal

Applicable Models: 1996–2010 Ford Mustang GT/Bullitt (2 & 3-valve)

CARB Approved?: Depends on kit

For our third 4.6 Ford Supercharger kit recommendation, we suggest going with Paxton. Paxton makes kits for the 1996–2010 Ford Mustang GT, including both the two and three-valve variants. Some of their kits are CARB Approved with EO numbers, but not all of them. Paxton has two different kits for the Mustang GT, one that uses a V-3 Si-Trim Vortech supercharger, and one that uses a V-2 Si-Trim Vortech supercharger. The V-3 kits can produce up to 500 horsepower and 430 lb-ft of torque, while the V-2 kits produce a respectable 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. 

All of the kits use either a V-3 or V-2 Vortech centrifugal style supercharger and an integrated air-to-water intercooler. They also have necessary fuel upgrades and tuning solutions when necessary. The Paxton/Vortech kits are extremely reliable and produce a solid amount of power for their cost. They are also one of the few kits available for the early 1996–1998 Mustang GT, making them even more valuable for some. 

4) ProCharger 4.6 Ford Supercharger Kits

Supercharger Type: Centrifugal

Applicable Models: 1997–2003 Ford F-150 & Expedition; 1996–2010 Ford Mustang GT/Bullitt/Cobra/Cobra R (2, 3, & 4-valve)

CARB Approved?: Depends on kit

For our final Ford 4.6 supercharger recommendation, we had to include ProCharger Kits for the Mustang and ProCharger kits for F-150/Expedition. ProCharger is probably the most well-known and popular manufacturer of centrifugal-style superchargers for American cars, and their Mustang and truck kits are fantastic. ProCharger makes kits for pretty much every 4.6 powered Mustang, as well as the 1997–2003 F-150 and Explorer (through ‘02). They are extremely reliable and well reviewed, and produce gobs of horsepower.

Depending on the size of the blower and model, ProCharger blowers will add 55-75% horsepower and torque over stock. That means you can easily produce more than 500 horsepower on most versions. In addition, they also have blower upgrades for the 2003–2004 SVT Cobra R, which can produce more than 750 wheel-horsepower. The ProCharger kits are very versatile and easy to install, and the results more than speak for themselves. 


What is the best Ford 4.6 Supercharger Kit?

The best Ford 4.6 supercharger kit is either from Kenne Bell, Edelbrock, Paxton/Vortech, or ProCharger. For many, the Kenne Bell is the most reliable and best kit on the market.

How much horsepower can I make with a 4.6 Ford Supercharger?

With a supercharger, the Ford 4.6 V8 can make more than 900h horsepower with the right supporting mods. The best Ford 4.6 supercharger kit is either from Kenne Bell, Edelbrock, Paxton/Vortech, or ProCharger. For many, the Kenne Bell is the most reliable and best kit on the market.

How much boost can my 4.6 Ford Supercharger safely run?

For a completely stock block and internals, most builds will keep the boost below 9-10 PSI. For builds that have forged internals, the engines can easily handle 15-20+ PSI of boost without a problem.

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