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Old 05-18-2013, 11:06 PM   #1
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Question What would you tell a n00b? ('03 GT)

So, my Dad passed away around Christmas of last year and... long-story-short... I have found myself in possession of his 2003 GT, with only ~18,000 miles on it!! (Dad drove his pickup truck to work, and only drove the Mustang on weekends. Clearly he didn't get out much.)

The thing is, I'm not a car dude by a long shot. I tend to drive cheap cars that look sporty but aren't, and the last time I drove a manual was a 1995 Geo Prizm, fifteen years ago. (It's ok to laugh, it was my wife's when we were dating.) Needless to say, that 108 hp experience didn't really prepare me for rumbling around town in this thing.

I'm enjoying the car, even if I'm always being nagged by a sense that I could be doing everything better. (Should I really be in 4th gear already at 35 mph? Can I just skip from 1st to 3rd next time? Because 2nd gear really feels like a waste of two-and-a-half seconds.) So I thought... since there seem to be thousands of Mustang forums full of people eager to share their advice and opinions... maybe I'll just put out an open call.

So...

If there was one thing you would tell a new owner of this car... something to look out for, something to not do, something to mod, something to leave alone, something to pay attention to... what would it be?

Dave
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:09 PM   #2
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I generally go up a gear every 10mph, so normally i'll be cruising around town in 4th gear at 40mph just under 2k rpm. If you want to, you can start in 1st gear and go up to around 3-3.2k rpm and go straight to 3rd. Don't cruise around town too low, like 4th gear at 30 at 1100rpm because you will just bog the engine and use even more gas than a higher rpm.

I hope you like the forum and decide to stay. A lot of nice and knowledgeable people are on here.
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:35 PM   #3
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Im sorry about your loss, an 03 with that low miles is awesome, not many with low mileage those years. i got mine with 29k in august.

anyways it Depends, if you want to save gas shift lower, if you want to feel the power of a stang shift higher but you wont get far without exceeding the speed limit in these cars and yes you can skip gears if you like just make sure its in decent rpm range, just don't skip first. First is pretty much there to get you going and starting off in second is a no no (unless you're rolling from neutral)
Theres a beginners bolt ons thread on here if you're wanting to mod, is the car completely stock? What mods do you want, performance or looks?
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Old 05-18-2013, 11:44 PM   #4
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Welcome, enjoy it like dad did and leave it stock, in another 10yrs it'll be a classic.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:07 AM   #5
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Theres a beginners bolt ons thread on here if you're wanting to mod, is the car completely stock? What mods do you want, performance or looks?
I'm fairly sure it's all stock. I'm only starting to scratch the surface in terms of investigating what sorts of mods are out there. There are a few appearance mods that catch my eye. Performance-wise, there isn't much point. I commute 8 miles a each way through a town filled with summer-tourist speed traps!

(One immediate must is a way to get my Sirius and iPod up and running in the car instead of the 6-disc changer. Looking around, it seems like the Mach amplifiers don't play nice with just any old head unit, though, so... I'm looking into various options there.)

Thanks to the other posters for the tips. I'm really not THAT hopeless with the manual... it's just taking some experimenting to figure out how a car this (over)powered wants to be driven. Hell, the last car I had with a V8 was the '78 Thunderbird I bought in college. (I paid $800 for that car, and it was worth every penny!)
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:15 AM   #6
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If you can take some pictures of the car and engine we can tell.

---------- Post added at 01:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:15 AM ----------

Quote:
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If you can take some pictures of the car and engine we can tell.
And will be able to help more.
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctordave

I'm fairly sure it's all stock. I'm only starting to scratch the surface in terms of investigating what sorts of mods are out there. There are a few appearance mods that catch my eye. Performance-wise, there isn't much point. I commute 8 miles a each way through a town filled with summer-tourist speed traps!

(One immediate must is a way to get my Sirius and iPod up and running in the car instead of the 6-disc changer. Looking around, it seems like the Mach amplifiers don't play nice with just any old head unit, though, so... I'm looking into various options there.)

Thanks to the other posters for the tips. I'm really not THAT hopeless with the manual... it's just taking some experimenting to figure out how a car this (over)powered wants to be driven. Hell, the last car I had with a V8 was the '78 Thunderbird I bought in college. (I paid $800 for that car, and it was worth every penny!)
Take photos of the engine bay and we can see if there is any mods there
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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If you can take some pictures of the car and engine we can tell.
Here is the engine. I didn't see anything that didn't look factory. (Although it all sure does look like it's been sitting in the front yard for 10 years.)
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:03 AM   #9
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Treat her like your dad would and enjoy,he would appreciate that.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:04 AM   #10
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I don't see any upgrades but I'm new to mod motors
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:06 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by doctordave View Post

Here is the engine. I didn't see anything that didn't look factory. (Although it all sure does look like it's been sitting in the front yard for 10 years.)
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:26 PM   #12
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Yup stock, if you want performance mods id go exhaust, gears, cold air intake/tuner. But you said you don't drive it much and wanted appearance mods. There's a thread on here for new edge appearance mods which is our car. You should take a look at that, a lot a good suggestions, surely you'll find something you'll want to go with. Cheap and easy appearance mods are tint. Id do that if you like the dark look.
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:45 PM   #13
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Engine is stock, look under the car too and check if he had and performance mufflers in. Also look at the suspension. My guess is its probably all stock. He probably wanted to keep it all original, witch in the long run will be worth more
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