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.

 

Comments

Boss side exhaust

Removing side exhaust discs has been shown to give slight performance improvement: +6 HP, +6 TQ http://www.mustangandfords.com/how-to/engine/m5lp-1208-boss-302-exhaust-sides-and-sounds/power-and-torque.html

My track-key results much different

I had the track-key installed on my '12 Boss and had it Dyno'd at Roush in Mooresville, NC. See my post here: http://www.boss302forum.com/topic/15882-trackey-dyno/. (Dyno chart included) Basically, I picked up a solid 15 hp, and torque gains across the entire rpm range. I do agree, the Boss has some major traction issues that I'm looking to rectify in the near future. Thanks for the article. -TrippCat, Belmont, NC

Track Key

Tracks Key is great, your article is on the money. I own 2013 BOSS and only use track key, but for city driving the ford racing grill need to be added and spacers removed from side exhaust. The only bad thing is you can't add alot of horse power gain items because of the two tunes. One for track key and one for highway driving. It does burn a hell of alot more gas using track key, but Im not into being a ricer. Most Ford racing dealers run the track key for around $200 now, mine cost $212. Non Ford Racing dealers get as much $750 to add this program (for both tunes) and dont understand the steps. Thanks, Billy Bass' Discount Air 145 Prosser Rd NE Milledgeville Ga. 31061 phone 478-414-1104 cell 478-456-4626 fax 478-451-0142 Lic# CR110026 bassdiscountair.com discountair@windstream.net