In 1999 Ford released the well-known SVT Lightning truck, which stunned the performance world with a factory supercharged 5.4L engine. They then followed this up with the 03/04 Cobra and the 07-14 GT500. These supercharged vehicles are known for how much heat they produce. Over time, this heat causes the breakdown of the internal oil and can cause premature wear on the belt drive. Essential maintenance of the oil and belt are integral to keeping your high-performance machine in check.
Today in the shop, we have Jay's 2012 GT500 with almost 195,000 miles on it. He purchased this car with 182,000 miles on it, so there was no telling when this car was last maintained. This makes it a perfect candidate for supercharger maintenance. If you want to see what type of power is made on the dyno when he got it, check out our 2012 GT500 Dyno! We think you will be pretty surprised. These basic steps shown within this article can cross over to the earlier 03/04 Cobra models and the 1999-2004 Ford Lightning trucks.
Regardless of the application, we have you covered. Check out the links below for belt routing and sizing guides as well as fluid capacities for all of these applications:
Some of the tools you will need for this service will be:
- 3/8" and 1/4" socket set
- Allen key set
- Assorted wrenches
- Syringe with a one-foot section of tubing
- Breaker bar
Overall this one should take you roughly half an hour to an hour to complete. Now let's get started!
Steps To Change Mustang & Lightning Supercharger Oil & Belts
- Start by locating the supercharger drain/fill plug on the snout of the blower. Set a clean rag under this plug to catch any drips that may come out. In our application, a 3/16" Allen socket was used to remove this one.
- Once you have this out, go ahead and inspect the o-ring and replace this if need be.
- Insert your hose from your syringe into this hole and push it in until it bottoms out. Pull back on the plunger and remove your fluid. As you can see here, our fluid was very dark and had years of wear and needed to be changed. Continue this process until you get out as much fluid as you can.
- Using some brake clean, thoroughly clean any old fluid from the syringe at this time.
- Once the syringe is clean, you can fill the supercharger up with clean fluid. Check your owner’s manual for your specific fluid capacity. Continue to fill through this hole until the fluid starts to dribble out. Once you are at this point, reinstall the plug and clean up any excess fluids.
- Now we can move to the belt drive. Again, this will vary depending on the model you are working with. To make more room, we chose to remove the factory coolant tank and the airbox. The coolant tank will be held in place by (2) 10mm bolts.
- The airbox will vary depending on the application. Usually, you will have a few clamps, electrical connections, and bolts that hold this in place.
- On this GT500, the supercharger belt is located behind the serpentine belt drive.
- Loosen and remove the 10mm nut holding the hose bracket in place to give you better access to the belt tensioner.
- Locate the serpentine belt tensioner, and using a 15mm wrench, release the tension. Now you can fully remove the belt.
- Once this is out of the way, we can locate the supercharger belt tensioner. Release the tension using a 3/8" ratchet with a 1" extension, and remove the belt from any pulley in this area.
- To remove the supercharger belt, we did have to unbolt the 15mm bolt on the tensioner from the front end. Once this is off, you will be able to remove the belt.
- Route the new belt on the lower crank and A/C compressor, then reinstall the belt tensioner using a 15mm socket. Then reroute the new belt in its proper orientation.
- Now, reinstall the serpentine belt.
- Now you can add back the lower hose bracket and 10mm nut.
- Reinstall the airbox and the coolant tank. Check over your work, and you are all done!
We hope that this article has helped you and you have a better understanding of how to service your supercharger oil and belts for your factory supercharged Ford vehicles. As you could tell, Jay's GT500 really needed this maintenance with the number of miles it has on it.
As always, make sure to keep it here with the Real Mustang Enthusiasts at LMR.com.