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How Much Power is the Boss Mustang Track Key Worth?
Recently we had the chance to put a 2013 Boss Laguna Seca on the dyno before we did some upgrades. I always like to have a baseline dyno to compare to the after so we know how much our performance upgrades improved from stock. First, we made three pulls on the dyno without the Track Key then we made three pulls with the Track Key. We took the best results from each run and compared them to each other.
The Track Key was worth – drum roll please – Nothing. We actually lost just a touch power with Track Key. "I read somewhere on the internet" that someone claimed 6hp and 8hp gain with Track Key, but we couldn’t duplicate those results. However, don't stop reading in disgust yet. There's some good news.
Ford Racing doesn’t say that there is any power gain, just that Track Key is better suited for track use with a raft of adjustments to the ECU. Some of the parameters that Track Key adjusts are:
- Ignition Timing
- CamTiming (TiVCT)
- Wide-Open Throttle Fuel
- Engine Braking
- Accelerator Pedal Map
- Idle Speed
- Throttle Response
- Cooling Fan Activation Temps
- Driver Adjustable Launch Control, or "2-Step Engine Speed Limiting"
- Driver Adjustable Pit Lane Speed Control
- Lopey Idle
The first thing I noticed with Track Key was the Lopey Hot Rod Idle - it sounds really good. We data logged all six runs and we could see the changes in fuel and timing with Track Key. It is still winter here in Chicago as of this writing, so a track test was not in the cards as the car didn’t have snow tires. But on a lesser winter day I did take it for a drive both with and without Track Key. The dyno didn’t show any power gain with Track Key, but from the driver’s seat it was more fun to drive and felt much sportier.
Again being winter, it was hard to put my finger on any one thing, more of an overall improvement in the drivability, response and fun factor. From my short test drive, if I owned a Boss, I’d drive it with the track key all the time.
Is the Track Key worth it? I’d have to say yes. For what it costs and what it does, I feel that it is good value, plus it is 50 state emissions legal. I give Track Key two thumbs up, just wish there was a little power to go with it!
A side note from my test drive: I had forgotten just how bad the wheel-hop is in these cars are with stock suspension. I’m sure the cooler temps made it worse but it's still a pain. This is why you should seriously consider the Rear Grip and Handling Kit (or better yet, my complete Kenny Brown AGS 4.0 suspension system).
The Kenny Brown Rear Grip Kit consists of the my Upper Control Arm Module, Lower Control Arms, Anti-squat Traction Axle Brackets and the Rear Roll Center Relocation it with Double Adjustable Panhard bar. What the KB Rear Grip Kit does is replaces the soft rubber control arm bushings, with more positive urethane/rod-end (or rod-end, rod-end) control arms. This completely changes the rear suspension geometry to my latest fourth generation of AGS (Advanced Geometry Suspension) for better grip and handling. Add a good spring and shock package (I recommend my KB/Eibach Street Sport) and the back of your Mustang hooks up and goes around corners flatter. On track, it gets off the corner harder - all good things.