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Old 08-19-2014, 08:59 AM   #1
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Help me decide on mods

Hello everyone!
Recently I was in an auto accident that totaled my 2009 civic DX. To be honest, I did not miss that car. In fact, I was kind of glad it was totaled because it gave me an excuse to dig into that savings account I have been building and buy a car that would be fun to drive and look great. That led me to looking into the mustang. Originally, I was looking at an older model V8 (I wanted one so bad), but price of insurance and lower MPGs sadly led me to looking at a newer v6. The cost of insurance was not much higher than the civic and the power seemed pretty good just by reading the specs. Then I test drove one. Let me tell you, I fell in love with it the moment I stepped behind the wheel. It has far more power than anything I've ever driven.
After shopping around, I found a deal on a 2013 v6 premium (automatic) that I decided to pull the trigger on. So far, I'm absolutely loving it, but I know there is work to be done if I want to tap into my car's potential.

What I want out of the mustang:
-Maximum speed and acceleration: This is my daily driver, but I still like to have that extra speed and acceleration. I live in an area in which I have to make a right turn onto a road that has a 60 mph speed limit. Most of the people like to do 70 on that road and when I was driving my civic, I felt like I risked getting rear ended several times even though I had plenty of room between the other car and my own upon turning; it was just that bad at accelerating.
Also, knowing that there is some untapped potential in my car kind of makes me feel like I'm doing myself a disservice without "waking the beast".
-Long lifetime: I plan on driving this car for a while. I don't want to mod it and then run into avoidable problems (problems caused by modding) 20k miles later.
-Quicker shift points: As I stated above, I would like to have quick acceleration. As a stock auto, the acceleration is far better than anything I've ever driven, yet it does not seem to have an absolutely buttery-smooth transmission when accelerating.

What I'd like to avoid:
-Destroying the fuel economy: That kind of defeats one of the purposes of choosing a V6 over a V8
-Hurting the lifetime of the vehicle (see above)
-Voiding the warranty (looks like this might be unavoidable)

My budget to do achieve this: <$2500

Points to add:
-I don't plan on taking my car to a track any time soon. I may want to later on down the road, but that remains to be seen.
-I'm still interested in adding some body mods so any money that can be saved in performance mods is a plus.

I was originally planning on buying 3.73 or 4.10 gears as the first mod since that seems like the most highly recommended mod. However, my experience with working with cars is pretty limited as I've had little problems with them and never really needed to. For that reason, I don't feel very comfortable installing them myself and I'm prepared to pay around a $600 installation fee.
Basically, what are some mods that would help me get what I want out of my mustang without passing my target budget?
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:02 AM   #2
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Old 08-19-2014, 09:49 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maverick41 View Post
Hello everyone!
Recently I was in an auto accident that totaled my 2009 civic DX. To be honest, I did not miss that car. In fact, I was kind of glad it was totaled because it gave me an excuse to dig into that savings account I have been building and buy a car that would be fun to drive and look great. That led me to looking into the mustang. Originally, I was looking at an older model V8 (I wanted one so bad), but price of insurance and lower MPGs sadly led me to looking at a newer v6. The cost of insurance was not much higher than the civic and the power seemed pretty good just by reading the specs. Then I test drove one. Let me tell you, I fell in love with it the moment I stepped behind the wheel. It has far more power than anything I've ever driven.
After shopping around, I found a deal on a 2013 v6 premium (automatic) that I decided to pull the trigger on. So far, I'm absolutely loving it, but I know there is work to be done if I want to tap into my car's potential.

What I want out of the mustang:
-Maximum speed and acceleration: This is my daily driver, but I still like to have that extra speed and acceleration. I live in an area in which I have to make a right turn onto a road that has a 60 mph speed limit. Most of the people like to do 70 on that road and when I was driving my civic, I felt like I risked getting rear ended several times even though I had plenty of room between the other car and my own upon turning; it was just that bad at accelerating.
Also, knowing that there is some untapped potential in my car kind of makes me feel like I'm doing myself a disservice without "waking the beast".
-Long lifetime: I plan on driving this car for a while. I don't want to mod it and then run into avoidable problems (problems caused by modding) 20k miles later.
-Quicker shift points: As I stated above, I would like to have quick acceleration. As a stock auto, the acceleration is far better than anything I've ever driven, yet it does not seem to have an absolutely buttery-smooth transmission when accelerating.

What I'd like to avoid:
-Destroying the fuel economy: That kind of defeats one of the purposes of choosing a V6 over a V8
-Hurting the lifetime of the vehicle (see above)
-Voiding the warranty (looks like this might be unavoidable)

My budget to do achieve this: <$2500

Points to add:
-I don't plan on taking my car to a track any time soon. I may want to later on down the road, but that remains to be seen.
-I'm still interested in adding some body mods so any money that can be saved in performance mods is a plus.

I was originally planning on buying 3.73 or 4.10 gears as the first mod since that seems like the most highly recommended mod. However, my experience with working with cars is pretty limited as I've had little problems with them and never really needed to. For that reason, I don't feel very comfortable installing them myself and I'm prepared to pay around a $600 installation fee.
Basically, what are some mods that would help me get what I want out of my mustang without passing my target budget?
Cold air intake and tune combo is something you could install yourself for 6-700. That would be a good start my friend.

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Old 08-19-2014, 09:51 AM   #4
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Or if you are worried about speed and life of a car you can save up just a bit more coin and buy a car rapinator is selling!

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Old 08-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #5
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Hello

BAMA performance 89 tune with a CAI.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:10 AM   #6
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I like your spirit! Nice to hear someone happy to lose their Honda and gain some good ol' American muscle. Like Rapinator said, the questions you asked are discussed daily on ME, so you will only need to hang around a little bit to learn a lot. Here are some of my favorites:

The truth about gears..
BAMA- What are you really getting from them?
Steeda CAI and tune - results
CAI vs Standard Air box with K&N <--- This may or may not refute what Natestang told you, depending on what side you end up taking. This particular thread has a lot of info on both sides of the debate.

Regarding your warranty, here's what I'm doing. I'm very patient. I bought my 2012 v6 new in 2011 and now my warranty is almost done. I've been doing a ton of research on exactly what performance mods I want during that time. You can do appearance and interior/entertainment stuff to pass the time.

There are some work-arounds if you really want to do performance modding while keeping warranty. Regarding tunes, Steeda has a close relationship with Ford and they maintain Ford's safety specifications, so Ford dealers will be more likely to honor warranty if you go with Steeda tunes. Also, note that you won't void your whole warranty with a tune. The dealer needs to prove that the problem you had was caused by the tune. Regarding gears, if you currently have 2.73 you could upgrade to 3.31 through the dealer (it will cost you...) and not void your warranty, because the dealer has the stock tune for 3.31s. Certain dealers will honor your warranty for 3.55s or 3.73s as well, as long as you buy Ford Racing gears (which you should, anyway, they're the best). They will load the 3.31 tune and adjust for the difference by playing with the tire size. You need to ask around to find a dealer that will do this.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:16 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Sakib View Post
I like your spirit! Nice to hear someone happy to lose their Honda and gain some good ol' American muscle. Like Rapinator said, the questions you asked are discussed daily on ME, so you will only need to hang around a little bit to learn a lot. Here are some of my favorites:

The truth about gears..
BAMA- What are you really getting from them?
Steeda CAI and tune - results
CAI vs Standard Air box with K&N <--- This may or may not refute what Natestang told you, depending on what side you end up taking. This particular thread has a lot of info on both sides of the debate.

Regarding your warranty, here's what I'm doing. I'm very patient. I bought my 2012 v6 new in 2011 and now my warranty is almost done. I've been doing a ton of research on exactly what performance mods I want during that time. You can do appearance and interior/entertainment stuff to pass the time.

There are some work-arounds if you really want to do performance modding while keeping warranty. Regarding tunes, Steeda has a close relationship with Ford and they maintain Ford's safety specifications, so Ford dealers will be more likely to honor warranty if you go with Steeda tunes. Also, note that you won't void your whole warranty with a tune. The dealer needs to prove that the problem you had was caused by the tune. Regarding gears, if you currently have 2.73 you could upgrade to 3.31 through the dealer (it will cost you...) and not void your warranty, because the dealer has the stock tune for 3.31s. Certain dealers will honor your warranty for 3.55s or 3.73s as well, as long as you buy Ford Racing gears (which you should, anyway, they're the best). They will load the 3.31 tune and adjust for the difference by playing with the tire size. You need to ask around to find a dealer that will do this.
Ah I didn't look at the year of the car. The debate is much more intense on the newer models. Op if you do get a cai make it one that seals well with the hood

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Old 08-19-2014, 10:18 AM   #8
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3.73 gears and a tune should be at the top of your list. If you have a warranty both of these will most likely cause you an issue at the dealer.
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Old 08-19-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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I would recommend a tune and gears. I have a tuner super cheap for sale if you'd be interested in saving some $!
Gears will definitely get you feeling a quicker acceleration and launch.
My car came with the 3.31 factory option, if it didn't the first thing I would have done is get 3.73s
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Old 08-19-2014, 01:15 PM   #10
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It sounds like going with the tune + airaid after those 36k miles are up is the best bet for now. I'm just worried about killing my fuel economy when switching from 2.73 to 3.73. I get mixed results by reading what others are reporting. Some are saying the drop in highway mpg is not bad at all while others are saying it was quite noticeable with around a 7-9 mpg drop. I was really impressed with getting 31 mpg highway (25 average after driving a few days in town) on my trip back home from Dallas and I don't want to see that drop to the low twenties unless I'm getting a huge difference in speed and acceleration.

Thanks for the responses, guys!
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:10 PM   #11
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It sounds like going with the tune + airaid after those 36k miles are up is the best bet for now. I'm just worried about killing my fuel economy when switching from 2.73 to 3.73. I get mixed results by reading what others are reporting. Some are saying the drop in highway mpg is not bad at all while others are saying it was quite noticeable with around a 7-9 mpg drop. I was really impressed with getting 31 mpg highway (25 average after driving a few days in town) on my trip back home from Dallas and I don't want to see that drop to the low twenties unless I'm getting a huge difference in speed and acceleration.

Thanks for the responses, guys!
When I put my airaid on my v6 I did get a slight bump in fuel economy

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Old 08-19-2014, 03:34 PM   #12
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Help me decide on mods

Keep in mind that your car has a stock cold air intake. Not as pretty as the aftermarket ones, but they do a better job at drawing cool air. You'll just be getting the cold air intake for noise.

My opinion, and we all know a thing or two about opinions, is to get the tuner and go from there. All of the engine mods you do (that are worth anything performance wise) will require a tune. So start there.

Even keeping your car bone stock but change the tune will yield nice gains. But this will void part of your warranty.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:43 PM   #13
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Honestly I'd get other things before a CAI. The stock CAI is pretty much optimal for what you're looking for right now. If you were going to run boost or something then I would say a CAI is definitely worth it, but since you're not right now I'd put that money towards other things. I think an aFe filter would be great for you: http://www.amazon.com/30-80179-Direc.../dp/B00381IQ68

For what you want as far as performance I think a tune would be a great start, then after that I'd probably go with suspension and gears.
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:51 PM   #14
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Keep in mind that your car has a stock cold air intake. Not as pretty as the aftermarket ones, but they do a better job at drawing cool air. You'll just be getting the cold air intake for noise.

My opinion, and we all know a thing or two about opinions, is to get the tuner and go from there. All of the engine mods you do (that are worth anything performance wise) will require a tune. So start there.

Even keeping your car bone stock but change the tune will yield nice gains. But this will void part of your warranty.
StormTrooperV6;2069074]Honestly I'd get other things before a CAI. The stock CAI is pretty much optimal for what you're looking for right now. If you were going to run boost or something then I would say a CAI is definitely worth it, but since you're not right now I'd put that money towards other things. I think an aFe filter would be great for you: Amazon.com: aFe 30-80179 Direct Fit Inverted Replacement Filter: Automotive

For what you want as far as performance I think a tune would be a great start, then after that I'd probably go with suspension and gears.[/QUOTE]

I agree with them both. Read that last thread that I linked to in my first response to you. Lots of good info about "cold air" intakes in there. Yes, I put cold air in quotes for a reason.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:50 AM   #15
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