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Old 04-19-2013, 11:37 AM   #1
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1996 Mustang GT upgrade suggestions!! please help!

Hey guys I'm new to the site, I have a 1996 Mustang GT and my birthday is in 2 weeks and I graduate in June. I will have around $1000-$1500. What upgrades will get me the most horsepower? BTW my stang is all stock. Please leave me replies!
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:52 AM   #2
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PI swap and gears.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:07 PM   #3
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PI swap and gears.
I'm looking at a kit on eBay for pi swap and it's $950 estimate how much would labor cost?
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:32 PM   #4
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It's pretty straightforward once you get all the pieces, so you could just do it yourself. I helped a buddy do a PI swap over a weekend on his 97. 99-00 parts require a new timing chain cover and a few other pieces, so make sure you get 01-04.
Shops will charge around $1,500-$2,000 (based on what I've seen from others having it quoted).
I wouldn't do a PI swap on a motor with over 100k though, it's not worth the money.
If you want to keep it cheap, just do a throttle body, o/r midpipe, mufflers (not a catback - they're a waste of money unless you really want one), gears, and a tuner.
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:47 PM   #5
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It's pretty straightforward once you get all the pieces, so you could just do it yourself. I helped a buddy do a PI swap over a weekend on his 97. 99-00 parts require a new timing chain cover and a few other pieces, so make sure you get 01-04.
Shops will charge around $1,500-$2,000 (based on what I've seen from others having it quoted).
I wouldn't do a PI swap on a motor with over 100k though, it's not worth the money.
If you want to keep it cheap, just do a throttle body, o/r midpipe, mufflers (not a catback - they're a waste of money unless you really want one), gears, and a tuner.
My car has 92300 but the odometer stopped working 2 months ago. I'm guessing it has around 95k now. And how long would it take to swap heads? I'm only 17
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Old 04-19-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
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My car has 92300 but the odometer stopped working 2 months ago. I'm guessing it has around 95k now. And how long would it take to swap heads? I'm only 17
It took us the better part of Friday night and Saturday, but we have some experience building motors.
If you really want to, go and do some research and see if you think you can attempt it.
Given your age and experience, I'd just do a throttle body/exhaust/gears/tuner and do little things here and there to make your car stand out a bit. I'm not talking big time ricer body kits, just small stuff like polishing your brake calipers (it takes forever, but it is gorgeous).
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Old 04-19-2013, 01:01 PM   #7
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It took us the better part of Friday night and Saturday, but we have some experience building motors.
If you really want to, go and do some research and see if you think you can attempt it.
Given your age and experience, I'd just do a throttle body/exhaust/gears/tuner and do little things here and there to make your car stand out a bit. I'm not talking big time ricer body kits, just small stuff like polishing your brake calipers (it takes forever, but it is gorgeous).
Yeah I hate ricers lol. I'm all about performance before appearance. And I'm debating whether I should sell my 96 gt and combine money for a newer gt
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:16 PM   #8
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SN95s can pull off looks that New Edges can't. For example, thin spoke wheels are gorgeous on an SN95 but they look awful on a NE. It's all about what you want in the long run. Both cars can make the same power if you know what you're doing. I passed up a 97 cobra for my 01 GT because the SN95s just aren't my taste. It's completely up to what you want out of your car.
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Old 04-19-2013, 05:21 PM   #9
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SN95s can pull off looks that New Edges can't. For example, thin spoke wheels are gorgeous on an SN95 but they look awful on a NE. It's all about what you want in the long run. Both cars can make the same power if you know what you're doing. I passed up a 97 cobra for my 01 GT because the SN95s just aren't my taste. It's completely up to what you want out of your car.
I had a 2000 gt last year and I liked it. But it was a vert. I just want the Most hp and torque. Exhaust, tune. Intake. And throttle body is only gonna get me 25hp and Itsgonna cost me like $1k What about a stage 1 cam?
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:40 PM   #10
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I had a 2000 gt last year and I liked it. But it was a vert. I just want the Most hp and torque. Exhaust, tune. Intake. And throttle body is only gonna get me 25hp and Itsgonna cost me like $1k What about a stage 1 cam?
Stage 1 is useless.
If you're going to cam it, do stage 2 minimum. Anderson Ford Motorsports probably makes the best 2v cams there are.
Trust me, you don't need loads of power at your age, I was there and I drove a 500hp 1978 Corvette back in high school and for the first 2 years of college. It's not worth the money it takes to get there. Love your car the way it is and save up for college.
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:53 PM   #11
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I'm not going to college. Army or marines. And how much does it cost roughly to install cams?
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Old 04-19-2013, 07:59 PM   #12
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If your gonna join the military I'd say marines the brotherhood is amazing, but I'll let that be.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:17 PM   #13
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I'm not going to college. Army or marines. And how much does it cost roughly to install cams?
I did all my own work when I cammed my old mustang.
I'd guess it an 8-10 hour job for a shop including degreeing...maybe $900 or so.
It kinda isn't worth it for the power gains unless you do it yourself.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:52 PM   #14
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I did all my own work when I cammed my old mustang.
I'd guess it an 8-10 hour job for a shop including degreeing...maybe $900 or so.
It kinda isn't worth it for the power gains unless you do it yourself.
Holy forget that. I think I'm just gonna sell it and get a 99-04 that already has more hp than mine would upgraded
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Old 04-19-2013, 11:41 PM   #15
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Holy forget that. I think I'm just gonna sell it and get a 99-04 that already has more hp than mine would upgraded
I found a pair of pi heads off a 99 gt for only $260 is that a good deal? What else would I need to swap
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:25 AM   #16
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I personally think our year with pi heads and intake pushes more hp than a new edge. Considering on stock all you fid was a pi swap our compression is higher and we put put a little more than new edges. However downside is the higher compression when it comea to boost unless you build the motor for it. As for your question you will need pi manifold and the crossover pipe that runs under the manifold since it does change from our year to a new edge
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o/r x-pipe flow master 40 series dump downs, cai/ram intake, 75mm c&l throttle body and plenum, pi heads and intake swap, msd wires, stock gears, untuned at the moment, no dyno numbers for now.
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:42 PM   #17
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PI swap and gears.
+1
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:50 PM   #18
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I personally think our year with pi heads and intake pushes more hp than a new edge. Considering on stock all you fid was a pi swap our compression is higher and we put put a little more than new edges. However downside is the higher compression when it comea to boost unless you build the motor for it. As for your question you will need pi manifold and the crossover pipe that runs under the manifold since it does change from our year to a new edge
+1 Where can I find the crossover pipe? I can get the manifold on ebay as Well as the pi heads
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:30 PM   #19
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Crossover pipe could be gotten from a dealer or junkyard however if from a yard id suggest from a crown vic 04 to 09 cause of oxidation possibley or just old age
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:21 PM   #20
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Crossover pipe could be gotten from a dealer or junkyard however if from a yard id suggest from a crown vic 04 to 09 cause of oxidation possibley or just old age
I found some intakes on eBay that already have the pipe on it
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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not that crossover pipe, its a coolant crossover pipe that runs under the intake manifold, not the aluminum one on the manifold. ill post a pic of it soon
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:47 PM   #22
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this is the pipe im speaking of, it differs from our years, which its a heater hose from the heater core to intake manifold.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:49 PM   #23
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this is the pipe im speaking of, it differs from our years, which its a heater hose from the heater core to intake manifold.
Where can I find that?
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:52 PM   #24
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so here is a pic of the pi on the left and non pi on the right, hence y you need the heater hose as well since it sits much deeper than the original
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:58 PM   #25
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2003 Ford Mustang HVAC Heater Hose Tube | FordParts.com

website to the part number of it and as well a diagram of it from ford. when u replace it i highly suggest replacing the fitting that goes to it as well behind where the water pump sits, so recommend removing the pump to do it easier.
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Old 04-20-2013, 03:06 PM   #26
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2003 Ford Mustang HVAC Heater Hose Tube | FordParts.com

website to the part number of it and as well a diagram of it from ford. when u replace it i highly suggest replacing the fitting that goes to it as well behind where the water pump sits, so recommend removing the pump to do it easier.
Okay thanks for the help! +1
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:02 AM   #27
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Honestly easier and just as cost effective to pull the old NPI out and drop in a complete PI motor. Motor pulls in these cars are easy, however if you are 17 and never done it and joining the military. Sell it.

1 - You're going to be in basic at least 9 weeks, then however long in tech school, upgrade training etc... then gotta get it to god knows where if you are in the US and they won't ship it for you like they will overseas.

2 - At 17, you don't want to be car poor, trust me, been there, done it, as an E-2/E-3 and after awhile you look at the car and the parts pile you have to install still and see your buds in their basic Honda (non riced) sedans taking out GFs, going out with friends, taking road trips and not having to worry about money for that stuff vs an exhaust kit or something.

3 - At 17 I had not a single clue on how to do an exhaust change, much less the whole motor or a topend swap. Also if you or your dad/whoever doesn't have a good selection of tools and a cherry picker... yeah...

And also, take a look at the USAF if you are going to go into the military. We get better treatment, accommodations, deployment cycles and its the branch most like just going to work without a lot of the BS that comes along with especially the Army/Marines. I'm not some gung ho, hating on the other branches AF guy, I just know what I've seen from over a decade in. You couldn't pay me enough to join the Army/Marines. Call us the "Chair Force" or whatever you want, I'll take that and my air conditioned trailer in the desert for 4-6 months vs a tent in some hellhole for 12+.
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:19 AM   #28
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Honestly easier and just as cost effective to pull the old NPI out and drop in a complete PI motor. Motor pulls in these cars are easy, however if you are 17 and never done it and joining the military. Sell it.

1 - You're going to be in basic at least 9 weeks, then however long in tech school, upgrade training etc... then gotta get it to god knows where if you are in the US and they won't ship it for you like they will overseas.

2 - At 17, you don't want to be car poor, trust me, been there, done it, as an E-2/E-3 and after awhile you look at the car and the parts pile you have to install still and see your buds in their basic Honda (non riced) sedans taking out GFs, going out with friends, taking road trips and not having to worry about money for that stuff vs an exhaust kit or something.

3 - At 17 I had not a single clue on how to do an exhaust change, much less the whole motor or a topend swap. Also if you or your dad/whoever doesn't have a good selection of tools and a cherry picker... yeah...

And also, take a look at the USAF if you are going to go into the military. We get better treatment, accommodations, deployment cycles and its the branch most like just going to work without a lot of the BS that comes along with especially the Army/Marines. I'm not some gung ho, hating on the other branches AF guy, I just know what I've seen from over a decade in. You couldn't pay me enough to join the Army/Marines. Call us the "Chair Force" or whatever you want, I'll take that and my air conditioned trailer in the desert for 4-6 months vs a tent in some hellhole for 12+.
+1
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Old 04-21-2013, 12:23 AM   #29
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Id get full exhaust and gears if u can install yourself and not pay for install
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Old 04-21-2013, 01:50 AM   #30
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Honestly easier and just as cost effective to pull the old NPI out and drop in a complete PI motor. Motor pulls in these cars are easy, however if you are 17 and never done it and joining the military. Sell it.

1 - You're going to be in basic at least 9 weeks, then however long in tech school, upgrade training etc... then gotta get it to god knows where if you are in the US and they won't ship it for you like they will overseas.

2 - At 17, you don't want to be car poor, trust me, been there, done it, as an E-2/E-3 and after awhile you look at the car and the parts pile you have to install still and see your buds in their basic Honda (non riced) sedans taking out GFs, going out with friends, taking road trips and not having to worry about money for that stuff vs an exhaust kit or something.

3 - At 17 I had not a single clue on how to do an exhaust change, much less the whole motor or a topend swap. Also if you or your dad/whoever doesn't have a good selection of tools and a cherry picker... yeah...

And also, take a look at the USAF if you are going to go into the military. We get better treatment, accommodations, deployment cycles and its the branch most like just going to work without a lot of the BS that comes along with especially the Army/Marines. I'm not some gung ho, hating on the other branches AF guy, I just know what I've seen from over a decade in. You couldn't pay me enough to join the Army/Marines. Call us the "Chair Force" or whatever you want, I'll take that and my air conditioned trailer in the desert for 4-6 months vs a tent in some hellhole for 12+.
Well I'm not sure what I'm doing yet. Just a kid with alot of decisions to make soon

---------- Post added at 12:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 AM ----------

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Id get full exhaust and gears if u can install yourself and not pay for install
There's no way I could install gears by myself lol.
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:04 AM   #31
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Honestly easier and just as cost effective to pull the old NPI out and drop in a complete PI motor. Motor pulls in these cars are easy, however if you are 17 and never done it and joining the military. Sell it.

1 - You're going to be in basic at least 9 weeks, then however long in tech school, upgrade training etc... then gotta get it to god knows where if you are in the US and they won't ship it for you like they will overseas.

2 - At 17, you don't want to be car poor, trust me, been there, done it, as an E-2/E-3 and after awhile you look at the car and the parts pile you have to install still and see your buds in their basic Honda (non riced) sedans taking out GFs, going out with friends, taking road trips and not having to worry about money for that stuff vs an exhaust kit or something.

3 - At 17 I had not a single clue on how to do an exhaust change, much less the whole motor or a topend swap. Also if you or your dad/whoever doesn't have a good selection of tools and a cherry picker... yeah...

And also, take a look at the USAF if you are going to go into the military. We get better treatment, accommodations, deployment cycles and its the branch most like just going to work without a lot of the BS that comes along with especially the Army/Marines. I'm not some gung ho, hating on the other branches AF guy, I just know what I've seen from over a decade in. You couldn't pay me enough to join the Army/Marines. Call us the "Chair Force" or whatever you want, I'll take that and my air conditioned trailer in the desert for 4-6 months vs a tent in some hellhole for 12+.
I get what your trying to tell him I'm an E-3 in the marines but I still manage my money enough to have fun with my car and still get mods done. But yes gotta agree about the treatment and other things in the different branches do what feels best to you.
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:18 PM   #32
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Well I'm not sure what I'm doing yet. Just a kid with alot of decisions to make soon

---------- Post added at 12:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:47 AM ----------



There's no way I could install gears by myself lol.
Gears are not that hard to install yourself but you do need some special tools. Shops like to charge stupid amounts of money for gear installs for some reason. They SHOULD charge you 2 hours of labor but most won't. I had a really good Mustang shop do mine back in the day for 2 hours of labor because it only took a little over an hour for the tech to do it.

As far as the military, whatever you do, remember, recruiters have an agenda especially the USMC/Army recruiters who don't have it as easy as say, the USAF recruiter who doesn't have to put many ppl in because we are in drawdown mode. Remember these things:

1- You are a number, nothing more, a number towards the recruiter's quota that month

2- EVERY recruiter will at least stretch the truth, leave out details or often flat out lie to you

3- Do your own research on the jobs you want and style of living, use the internet, talk to anyone you know actually in the military and remember that YOU are the one in control up to the day you arrive in BMT. If you feel the recruiter is giving you a bad deal or being really pushy, go find another recruiter or tell him to eff off.

4- Anything is better than the ppl running up $100k+ in student loans, coming out with no job and then getting slammed with $1000/mo that they can't pay. Even if you only do 4 years, get at least an associates (legit one from non PME school) and then finish it up afterwards with the GI bill.
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Old 04-21-2013, 05:36 PM   #33
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Thanks for all the help guys!
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:45 PM   #34
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Well with a bone stock engine I would start with checking out CliffyK's Beginners Guide to Bolt-On's in the sticky section of this forum. As to a gear install, they are do-able by yourself, just double and triple check your backlash, pinion bearing pre-load, and your gear wear pattern before you button everything up and try to drive it. A PI swap like mentioned earlier is a great mod and usually puts you at 270ish horsepower due to the increased compression ratio. Going straight to cams is pretty pointless with a stock engine because you have no supporting mods to go with them.
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Old 04-21-2013, 09:57 PM   #35
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Well with a bone stock engine I would start with checking out CliffyK's Beginners Guide to Bolt-On's in the sticky section of this forum. As to a gear install, they are do-able by yourself, just double and triple check your backlash, pinion bearing pre-load, and your gear wear pattern before you button everything up and try to drive it. A PI swap like mentioned earlier is a great mod and usually puts you at 270ish horsepower due to the increased compression ratio. Going straight to cams is pretty pointless with a stock engine because you have no supporting mods to go with them.
Took a look at his guide. Thanks
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