Mustang Metamorphosis - Mustang Evolution

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Old 12-10-2014, 12:55 PM   #1
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Mustang Metamorphosis

I thought it would be neat to start a thread just to track my Mustang's journey from "Friendly Pony Package V6" to ... well, wherever she eventually winds up. Hoping it'll be cool to look back on it after a while.


So to start... the day I bought her in Kaiserslautern, Germany:

Dead stock and thankfully owned by a total car nut. 60k miles (which thankfully scared off many prospective buyers) but I got it for nearly 4k under book as a result. It was very much like an off-the-lot car when I bought her.









It was a total bummer driving a governor limited car (118mph) on the autobahn, but I had a LOT of fun driving her around Germany. And once I got off post far enough I was surprised at how many Germans seemed to compliment the looks of the car.

I had a great time over there... sigh.
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Old 12-10-2014, 01:07 PM   #2
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Little Bits

While I was there I didn't do much modding, just a few bits here and there. The previous owner gave me an American Muscle catalogue with the car. A blessing to the car, a curse on my wallet Living in an apt building I was limited to what I could do after hours in the parking garage. They really frowned on "working on your car" there...

Starting slow I just wanted to "class it up" a bit. There was a LOT of white on this car

The smoked deck lid cover was a very inexpensive visual upgrade I thought. I'm only bothered by the little bit of water that seems to get trapped behind it. I worry about the paint being perpetually wet. Anyone who lived in Germany knows how much misty rain there is throughout the year.

I'm thinking about sealing off the ends and around the faux gas cap to prevent water from getting in there. But I'm afraid that'll just trap it... decisions decision.

Also got the taillight and side marker tints. These were WELL worth the money. Perhaps I'll do something more sophisticated at a later time, but for now, that's a lot of improvement for a little bit of money.

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Old 12-10-2014, 01:36 PM   #3
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Back in the USA!

When it was time to come home I had to ship her on a boat. Nerve wracking experience. First off, I got to the shipper's facility at the appointed time only to be informed it could not get on the boat with more than a quarter tank of gas. I had just filled up the other day and had 3/4 left. So... 118mph in 4th gear on the autobahn for 20-25 minutes will burn approx. 1/2 tank of gas. If anyone was curious. Shockingly getting around 8-10 mpg still. God bless those 2.73s I guess...

Got her off the boar and LITERALLY drove her straight to the shop to get the top vinyled and the windows tinted. I work out of town a lot and was going to be gone for that week anyway

One cool thing that happened to me was that on the way to the shop I was flagged down by another mustang owner at a stop light. Camaraderie!!

Totally worth doing. I tell you though it makes me want to go buy a glassback. God those things look slick.







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Old 12-10-2014, 02:00 PM   #4
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A few more stick-on bits...

No great shakes here, but a few standard stick-on bits to jazz things up a little. My fear is making it too chincy looking but I hope to maintain that balance.

Side scoops. First ones came damaged and not well painted. Alex from AM swooped in and I had new ones at my door in just a couple days.

Added the smooth window covers and a matte rear window spoiler. Funny, I don't see these very often, but I really like it. Sometimes I miss the slick curve of the original body lines, but overall I think I like it.


The more I do this sort of thing the more I realize I'll probably wind up reconfiguring the look oft he car every so often :/

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Old 12-10-2014, 03:20 PM   #5
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Merry Xmas! (to me)

So... it was a very... productive black Friday / cyber Monday.

Not listing all the parts, will post as I install them, but thought this was a beautiful pic.
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Old 12-11-2014, 12:02 PM   #6
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Subscribed. Got any end goals in mind for the car?
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
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Ultimately I just want a great looking car that's comfortable and quick.


We have some road racing up here in the PNW, and I used to AutoX my RX-7 so might do a little of that. The staggered setup works against me there probably but trade-offs


Ultimately I'm just a tinker and the car is a great outlet for that.


Oh, got home after 10PM last night but couldn't wait any longer so went and popped the wheels on.







I think the combination of new tread, staggered stance and wet roads is giving it a very squirmy feel. I'll reserve judgment until I get some miles on her and get onto some dry asphalt.


That said, I'm sitting in a Denny's across the street from the shop while my 3.55s are getting installed.
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Old 12-11-2014, 02:51 PM   #8
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Awesome


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Old 12-11-2014, 05:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WordySanchez View Post
Ultimately I just want a great looking car that's comfortable and quick.


We have some road racing up here in the PNW, and I used to AutoX my RX-7 so might do a little of that. The staggered setup works against me there probably but trade-offs


Ultimately I'm just a tinker and the car is a great outlet for that.


Oh, got home after 10PM last night but couldn't wait any longer so went and popped the wheels on.







I think the combination of new tread, staggered stance and wet roads is giving it a very squirmy feel. I'll reserve judgment until I get some miles on her and get onto some dry asphalt.


That said, I'm sitting in a Denny's across the street from the shop while my 3.55s are getting installed.
New struts, shocks, lower it and a strut tower brace. It tightens it up like you wouldn't believe. New sway bars, LCAS and UCA are up next.

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2011 V6 Race Red - Airaid CAI , BBK 73mm Throttle Body, 3.73 FRPP Gears, BBK Longtube Headers , BBK Off Road X-Pipe , Borla ATAKs , SR Performance Strut Tower Brace, MPT 91R Tune, Powerstop Rotors and pads, JLT Oil Seperator, Koni STR.T Struts & Shocks, Eibach Pro Line Springs, BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar, J&M Caster Camber Plates, Mickey Thompson Street Comps on 19" Laguna Seca Hyper Black Wheels, Several other aesthetic mods
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:46 PM   #10
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How much did you pay to have the 3.55 gears installed?
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:57 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by JoeyM91 View Post
New struts, shocks, lower it and a strut tower brace. It tightens it up like you wouldn't believe. New sway bars, LCAS and UCA are up next.

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These are my next major expenses alas. After a set of Borla Tourings.

I definitely want to stiffen things up. I had been considering a handling package, but the more I read the more it seems I should take a piece by piece approach. Definitely hope to get a watts link, I've heard this is a major improvement.
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Old 12-11-2014, 11:59 PM   #12
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How much did you pay to have the 3.55 gears installed?
350. The Mustang Shop in Kent, WA.
They're normal price is $400 I think, but they're running a sale this month so I pulled the trigger. Took 3.5 hours.
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:06 AM   #13
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Can you tell me what made you pull the trigger on 3.55? Also, assuming you had 2.73 before, give me a noob language summary of your pros and cons on how much better/worse it is in various categories and why. I'll buy you dinner. THANKS!
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:07 AM   #14
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No cons only pros. The 2.73 gears are a joke on this car to boost mileage to offset the other fuel hungry models. You get good fuel economy with them, but that's it. I'm getting 3.55s after my warranty runs out next spring.

Was the 350 labor only or with parts?
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:02 AM   #15
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Looking good. I like the roof and deck lid panel.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:56 AM   #16
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No cons only pros. The 2.73 gears are a joke on this car to boost mileage to offset the other fuel hungry models. You get good fuel economy with them, but that's it. I'm getting 3.55s after my warranty runs out next spring.

Was the 350 labor only or with parts?
350 was labor only, LOL. I'd be suspicious of anyone willing to do both for that price I got the kit so it had new bearings, shims, etc.

I don't want to derail this thread too much, but the 2.73s are FINE for a certain type of Mustang owner. That's just not typically the type of Mustang owner that hangs out in Mustang-specific forums You can still stand on it and merge into traffic fine, cruise the beach with the top down, etc. But if you can't help but to tinker and/or like to horse around a bit with your car then yes, you're gonna need gears. Before a CAI, before exhaust... gears.


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Can you tell me what made you pull the trigger on 3.55? Also, assuming you had 2.73 before, give me a noob language summary of your pros and cons on how much better/worse it is in various categories and why. I'll buy you dinner. THANKS!

No worries DiE, I am a noob myself (sorta) and can give you my thoughts on the swap and why I chose 3.55s.

My other main vehicle is a 4x4 truck with 4.11s. We've driven that thing everywhere over the last eight years, but for long trips (8+ hours down the the OR coast or over to eastern WA for instance) I wanted something that would not totally defeat the awesome fuel economy I get in the Mustang. But I needed more grunt.

The way I saw it was this:

Fuel Economy: 2.72, 3.31
Flat Out Launch Gears: 4.11, 4.56

Compromise Gears: 3.55, 3.73

I just decided to go a little lower. SHe doesn't have to be a track monster, just look good and be quick and fun while she's doing it.

Observations:
1) First gear is now for hard launches only. In first I can spin the wheels on wet pavement easily, traction control be damned. We haven't had dry pavement since I installed the gears. Welcome to the PNW.

2) Second gear is the new first gear. I can get off a light a light with less bog in second than I could in first with the 2.73s. I'm dying to feel what a hard launch in first on dry pavement feels like. I'm HAPPY.

3) Fifth gear is no longer useless. That's right, I said it, fifth was useless. At redline the car would hit the speed governor in 3rd. Realistically I would hit 70 on the freeway in in 3rd (or 4th if I was feeling leisurely) . That meant I was skipping to sixth for cruising (and that sweet sweet MPG). Skipping 4th sometimes, and 5th all the time. Now I use fifth gear a lot more. Its actually zippy enough to easily pass other traffic without having to shift all the time.

4) Third is my new "in town gear". Average speed limit is 30-35 up here (lame-o I know). Third gear is basically all I need in town. She can pick up from a near stop in third as long as I don't come to an actual complete stop. She doesn't rev high at 35 either. LIke I said, a great "in-town" gear.

5) If I was going to track this car with any regularity I'd have gone 3.73s. 4.11s would not make the car a fun daily driver for me and I imagine would relegate first gear to drag launches only (just my guess).

So far it looks like I might have lost 1 mpg on the highway but picked up 2 in town. This seems to average right back out to the EPA combined number, only now I have some real pop to the pavement. I'm so happy I don't know whether to sh*t or go blind.

So that's my layman's/noob's POV on my choice and experience of and with 3.55s.

Hope that helps?
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:02 PM   #17
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Looking good. I like the roof and deck lid panel.
Thanks man!

The roof was done locally for $250 materials included. I've done vinyl before but didn't want to tackle a 4'x4' stretch like that myself while on a fugging ladder. I went with matte for a couple reasons:

1) Things like the grill and rear fascias are matte
2) I was afraid that gloss vinyl would get swirl marks eventually and dull (I love the glass back look though).

Interestingly, the folks at my local Mustang Club thought I had a glassback when I pulled up, so that vinyl still really pops in the sun.

I want to matte the decklid panel and lights to keep the gloss/matte contrast to a minimum.

AM pulled their vinyl but any reputable vinyl guy should be able to get high quality breathable vinyl for you at the same or less than I paid. Things seem pricey up here.

Make sure they pull the roof strips and use tape to hold back the rubber on the front and back windows so that it lays OVER the vinyl. I swear the guy did such a good job it could easily be mistaken for a factory option. Its a great bang-for-buck visual mod IMO.
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Old 12-29-2014, 12:34 AM   #18
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Breathing Easier

So had a few minutes and wanted to conduct a little experiment.

I had a chance to score both Airaid tube and full CAI for a great price. I had always wanted figure out what the difference was (aside from cost).

My final thoughts are that there isn't likely any real HP gain between stock, Airraid Tube, and the full Airaid CAI. Certainly nothing you can actually notice, and I'm dubious the Dyno would find a difference either.

The other benefit however was most noticeable. Noise. Sweet, sweet, engine noise. This wasn't really true of the tube though. It was MILDLY more noticeable, but the full CAI gives you all the auditory benefits one could want. Its like music at WOT.

So I don't believe either actually gives you more power, and I do believe that the stock airbox flows better and colder, I personally believe that power differences are NOT the reason to shell out.

It does sound beautiful and look great to boot.

So I'm keeping the CAI and selling the tube.





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Old 12-29-2014, 12:43 AM   #19
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BBK Thottlebody

The second part of this experiment, 73mm BBK throttle body.

I would believe that this gives you some small boost of power. It shows up mainly as snappier throttle response and smoother overall acceleration. I'm not sure if any of this is impacted by the Airraid CAI.

The combination of these two has gotten me a slightly more fun car that sounds loads better. I certainly would not have paid full retail for new parts. But for great prices on lightly used parts these are fun upgrades. So long as you don't expect too much from them you should be fine.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:35 PM   #20
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Long-term gears feedback and Cravensped Stubby

So I've had a while to drive the car with the 3.55s and have to say this was the right choice for ME.

Any steeper and the considerable amount of time I spend on the freeway would be a little less enjoyable. As it is I lot 1mpg on the freeway, but picked up 2 in the city for an overall wash in combined per tank.

That's pretty amazing considering the order of magnitude of improvement in acceleration and fun! Totally worth it, and I'm glad I chose to do it this early on.


Now the Cravenspeed Stubby antenna... I'll try to post a pic as a follow up, but it looks great, haven't lost any reception at all and best of off it was $20 to my door. I'd have just snipped my OEM and put a vacuum tube cap on it as others have done (and that looks good), but sadly it was just easier to click-click and find it waiting for me when I got home from work. If you're just too lazy or busy like me to modify your oem, this thing is a winner.

So many parts on the bench still... so little time.
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Old 01-21-2015, 05:04 PM   #21
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Is your mustang tuned yet? Or do you plan to tune it?
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:00 PM   #22
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Tuned!

Thanks for reminding me! I actually DID forget to mention this!

I decided to use MPT. They were a snap to deal with. I had some questions about the tune form, so I just picked up the phone and JR walked me through the process. Five minutes later my order was placed. Three days later I had my tune in email.

I have a WIndows 8.1 machine, and so JR walked me through where to find the updated drivers and how to get my tuner hooked up with my PC. Loading the tune to the car was a also a breeze.

I was tempted by the Ghost Cam tune, but ultimately I'm trying to draw LESS attention to myself, not more. Maybe if I break a 500hp threshold I'll consider getting something for the sake of showing off a bit. I went with 89 Performance/Street. Yeah, I know, its not all that extreme, but I wanted to try it out. I think I might buy a more aggressive 91 tune as well. 93 isn't available at all gas stations here...

This was the second biggest difference I have experienced with the car so far, hands down. The gears were a total kick in the ***, but the tune, mild as it may be, is definitely a hard shove in the back. It was a VERY noticeable difference.

Traction control is useless in 1st and 2nd. I get major wheel spin before the computer catches up and cuts throttle.

Without traction control, she's chirping the tires when I slam into third. Granted these are summer tires and its never over 50 degrees here this time of year, but still. Chirping in 3rd. Very happy.

Oh, when I got my tune, the speedo wasn't corrected (I changed gears). I took some GPS differential readings and sent them to MPT and two days later I had a corrected tune in my inbox.


So just to reiterate...anyone starting from scratch and interested in performance, your first two actions should be:

1) Gears
2) Tune (and ajust speedo/remove governor)

Your choice after that, but CAI is bull**** unless you just love the noise it makes like I do. Anything else (including headers, etc) will pale in comparison to the effect of either of these first two.
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Old 01-21-2015, 11:16 PM   #23
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I don't know if it was just the placebo effect, but when I added my CAI I actually felt a difference. It could have been the brand I used, Steeda, which required a tune. Nonetheless I loved the whistle it produced up until I got my Borla S types, after that I couldn't hear my CAI ever again haha.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:11 PM   #24
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HA, I bet there's whole ranges of sound you don't hear anymore after rolling with those Stingers.


I'm pretty sure what you felt was the tune rather than the CAI. THe tune was such a DRASTIC kick in the ***. I don't discount that CAIs CAN make a diff, just need to see it. The stock intake design is said to be about as efficient as it gets (by non-Ford engineers). If there's 10+ hp to be gotten out of a CAI as a friend of mine insists about the JLT, then it should be easy to show on a dyno. And when someone does, I'll run out and buy one that same day.
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:38 AM   #25
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BBK Shorty Headers! w00t!

Welp, after sitting on my bench for a couple months now I guess I finally had an opportunity to get these suckers installed. I'm lucky to be part of a really great local Mustang club and one of the guys has a lift at his work, and a boss nice enough to let us use it last Yesterday

This job is the nightmare that people advertise it to be, no doubt. The driver's side practically drops in. The passenger side took me HOURS.

What I did right:
1) Had a lift and friends. I'm not sure I'd do this job without a lift. Possible? Yes. But what a PITA it would be trying to get the right angle on stuff while on a creeper with only 18" or so of space to work with. Having extra hands was also great while propping up the H Pipe to seat them back onto the headers.

2) Flex head 1/2" ratcheting wrench. Just. Just don't even bother without it. Seriously.

3) Soaked every bolt/stud I could find in PB blaster once a day for three days before doing the install. The manifold bolts came right out, no fuss, no muss.

4) Used Ford OEM exhaust gaskets instead of those provided by BBKs. I bought NEW ones cause they're only $20 for a set. I've heard you can reuse them, more power to you. For $20 bucks... I'll just go with new ones, thanks.

5) Removed starter, battery and tray. Disconnected H Pipe from both sides so it would drop out of the way and provide some much needed access from the bottom.



What I wish I had done:
1) Soaked the nuts connecting the H pipe to the manifolds from the BOTTOM. That's where they are. I was hoping the PB Blaster would penetrate from the top. All I know is that it was a bear breaking those loose.

2) Bought all new SS bolts to replace the OEM studs. The studs were rusty as hell, and thanks to some sadist at BBK the back, rear stud on the passenger side is COMPELTELY blocked by the header pipe. Couldn't get an open end on it to turn the nut, and there was only 1/8" clearance between tip of stud and header pipe. I EVENTUALLY wound up sawing off 1/4" of the end of that stud (with a keyhole saw and 1" of clearance mind you!) so I could get the ratcheting wrench in there. Did I mention how utterly necessary this $5 tool is?

At the very least I wish I had shorted that one stud BEFORE putting it into the block. I just wasn't prepared to undo the work of the other five studs, so I cut and filed it in place. Bolts would give you better fasteners AND be a hell of a lot easier to put in.


The Verdict
No real sound improvement I mean... MAYBE? But its not obvious. I was disappointed, but I have a set of Borla Tourings on the bench ready to go on next and I suspect the combination of the two is going to be delightful.

Honest-to-god noticeable difference in power in the lower range. You can actually feel it in your butt. Its basically like getting a mild tune to be honest. Its not dramatic, but it is definitely noticeable.


All in all, I'm glad I did it, would do it again, but would do a few things to make it easier on me (and my hands!). Can't wait to pair them with my Tourings.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:47 PM   #26
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Looks like a really nice car! I like the appearance mods that you have done! It looks very nice
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:18 PM   #27
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Looks like a really nice car! I like the appearance mods that you have done! It looks very nice
Thanks man! Hoping to get a front and rear swap done here soon, if I can find the time!
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:22 PM   #28
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Please, sir! Please!! Take a quick spray to that area. It's hurting my heart!
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Old 03-04-2015, 03:14 PM   #29
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Nice mods so far. I used to live in Sembach when I was a teen not to far from K-Town. They still have 40 Marc Strassa in that area lol ?


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Old 10-26-2015, 04:00 PM   #30
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Almost There...

Been awhile since I've posted anything. Big move across country, new gig at work, had to settle into the new digs. Vehicle shipper dropped a tow-chain on the roof of my car... so there was THAT to deal with...

Anyway, since I last posted I managed to ALMOST polish off the exterior appearance mods. Since I have a couple decent pics I thought I'd update. The REALLY good news is my RTR flat decklid should arrive this week and I'm hoping to get the time to go in and cut out the old faux gas cap hump and get the decklid panel put on.

After that its onto my interior project!

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WordySanchez is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2015, 06:45 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by WordySanchez View Post
Been awhile since I've posted anything. Big move across country, new gig at work, had to settle into the new digs. Vehicle shipper dropped a tow-chain on the roof of my car... so there was THAT to deal with...

Anyway, since I last posted I managed to ALMOST polish off the exterior appearance mods. Since I have a couple decent pics I thought I'd update. The REALLY good news is my RTR flat decklid should arrive this week and I'm hoping to get the time to go in and cut out the old faux gas cap hump and get the decklid panel put on.

After that its onto my interior project!

Enjoyed reading your entire thread for the first time.
One question came to mind when you mentioned, "remove governor". I'm sure you can guess what it is. Any concerns about the stock driveshaft or are you not exceeding the original governed speed? Particularly with the 3.55s increasing driveshaft speed.
PS: I didn't see any mention of what you thought of the Borla Tourings.
Also, I particularly enjoyed reading about your experience installing the BBK shorties. I can completely relate to it. LOL
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Old 11-03-2015, 10:27 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Diehard View Post
Enjoyed reading your entire thread for the first time.
One question came to mind when you mentioned, "remove governor". I'm sure you can guess what it is. Any concerns about the stock driveshaft or are you not exceeding the original governed speed? Particularly with the 3.55s increasing driveshaft speed.
PS: I didn't see any mention of what you thought of the Borla Tourings.
Also, I particularly enjoyed reading about your experience installing the BBK shorties. I can completely relate to it. LOL
Hey man thanks!

Yeah those shorties are a bear for sure. The longtubes are supposed to be worse and since I'm never at the track looking for hundredths of seconds of advantage it wasn't worth the additional heart/knuckle ache. Very happy with them.

THe Borlas were a forgone conclusion for me, but I did neglect to update this thread. They're PERFECT (for me). I basically don't want anything more than a change in tone at idle and cruise. A little deeper and well defined. At WOT, they can be heard from almost a quarter mile up the road, but barely. Its the QUALITY of the sound that is so great. No rasp at all, no drone at all. Very resonant and just a total blast to listen to, especially in combination with any kind of CAI.

I also neglected to mention that I swapped out the driveshaft the week after I put the Tourings on. One piece aluminum. I actually prefer the feedback and feel of the car this way. I was worried about that two piece as well.
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