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Old 11-11-2014, 03:32 PM   #1
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Tuner with gear install

Hello mustang friends,

So I'm looking to go from 2.73 gears to 3.55. I've read every gear install thread I can find and people talk about paying between $300-$500 on average for the install.

However, every auto shop in the area I talk to (tri-state New York area, including several mustang specialty speedshops and an official ford dealer that specializes in ford motorsports racing stuff) has told me that in order to recalibrate the speedometer, I need to also purchase a $400 tuner.

So that brings the install with gears AND tuner up to about $1000.

I've heard people say that if I go to a factory gear ratio (3.31 for example) that ford dealers can reprogram without a tune, but none of these dealers know what I'm talking about, and I've talked to every one in the NY/NJ area.

I've heard of people going to 3.55 or 4.10 and paying $300 - $500 in total at speed shops, sometimes even including parts. It seems like other people have NOT had to buy tuners to recalibrate their speedometers.

Does anyone have any idea what is causing this discrepancy? Thanks in advance for any input.


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Old 11-11-2014, 03:55 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Thegreenmachine View Post
Hello mustang friends,

So I'm looking to go from 2.73 gears to 3.55. I've read every gear install thread I can find and people talk about paying between $300-$500 on average for the install.

However, every auto shop in the area I talk to (tri-state New York area, including several mustang specialty speedshops and an official ford dealer that specializes in ford motorsports racing stuff) has told me that in order to recalibrate the speedometer, I need to also purchase a $400 tuner.

So that brings the install with gears AND tuner up to about $1000.

I've heard people say that if I go to a factory gear ratio (3.31 for example) that ford dealers can reprogram without a tune, but none of these dealers know what I'm talking about, and I've talked to every one in the NY/NJ area.

I've heard of people going to 3.55 or 4.10 and paying $300 - $500 in total at speed shops, sometimes even including parts. It seems like other people have NOT had to buy tuners to recalibrate their speedometers.

Does anyone have any idea what is causing this discrepancy? Thanks in advance for any input.


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The discrepancy lies in the age of the car. Fox bodies and older (not exactly sure where the break is) have speedo cables and you have to change the gear in the transmission that drives the speedometer.

Sn95s and newer speedos are controlled by the ECU which takes a tuner to reset. The great thing is, once you get a tuner, you can do all sorts of things especially tuning your car.

The actual gear swap will cost, as you were told, $300-500 labor, depending on the shop, and $160-250 for parts, depending if you need new bearings or not. The tuner is required to correct the speedometer for the new gear ratio. That is not necessary to operate, just necessary for you to know how fast you are going.

As far as the dealer not knowing what you want, only some dealers are performance oriented. Those that regularly sell, Shelbys, Roushes, and Saleens are those dealers. They know about gears and tuners.

Any experienced mechanic shop can do the rear end for you, experienced being the key word here. You are better off to order the gears and tuner from one of the big internet companies, AM, LMR, CJPP and find youself your own shop to do the work.

Ah, the price of extra performance...
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:07 PM   #3
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if you have a 2005 or newer mustang you will definitely need a tuner to change your speedo after the gear change because without using a tuner your new gears will make your speedo be off by 10-20mph. If you have an automatic your shift points will be all jacked up shifting way too early or later and will damage it overtime. A tuner and gears are the best two mods you can do to your mustang
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Old 11-11-2014, 04:38 PM   #4
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Thanks for clearing that up. I was worried about the warranty with a tune but oh well might as well live life!


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Old 11-11-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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Pretty much anyone that is having gears done has had other work done and has a tuner already. It's just a given. For the most part anyway.

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Old 11-11-2014, 05:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by bigmac3 View Post
The discrepancy lies in the age of the car. Fox bodies and older (not exactly sure where the break is) have speedo cables and you have to change the gear in the transmission that drives the speedometer.

Sn95s and newer speedos are controlled by the ECU which takes a tuner to reset. The great thing is, once you get a tuner, you can do all sorts of things especially tuning your car.

The actual gear swap will cost, as you were told, $300-500 labor, depending on the shop, and $160-250 for parts, depending if you need new bearings or not. The tuner is required to correct the speedometer for the new gear ratio. That is not necessary to operate, just necessary for you to know how fast you are going.

As far as the dealer not knowing what you want, only some dealers are performance oriented. Those that regularly sell, Shelbys, Roushes, and Saleens are those dealers. They know about gears and tuners.

Any experienced mechanic shop can do the rear end for you, experienced being the key word here. You are better off to order the gears and tuner from one of the big internet companies, AM, LMR, CJPP and find youself your own shop to do the work.

Ah, the price of extra performance...
Just for clarity it's the 99-15 cars that need tuners for gear swaps


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Old 11-11-2014, 07:19 PM   #7
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If your somewhat good with tools you can also look into getting a complete rear end for around 900-1k. Its a fairly straightforward swap that you can do yourself. Also, it would allow you to go back to stock if you ever needed too. This really only makes since if all the shops in your area are really porking you on the labor.

http://www.speedconcepts.net/product...roducts_id=832
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Old 11-11-2014, 07:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by paintmann111 View Post
If your somewhat good with tools you can also look into getting a complete rear end for around 900-1k. Its a fairly straightforward swap that you can do yourself. Also, it would allow you to go back to stock if you ever needed too. This really only makes since if all the shops in your area are really porking you on the labor.

New takeoffs 05-2013 Mustang GT 8.8 Rear End Axle w/ 3.55 gears, Speed Concepts

^^ This. Poke around for a wrecked one if you can, 3.31 is a factory GT option, and just swap it in. Worst case scenario you're out $250 for a trans jack and $150 to have the dealership re-calibrate it + whatever the junk yard wants. This also insures you really wont end up with any gear whine if the shop doesnt install them just right.
Post #31 starts the good stuff.

Swapping to a gt500 rear end
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:21 AM   #9
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Just for clarity it's the 99-15 cars that need tuners for gear swaps
Cool, I wasn't clear on where the SN95 break was. I knew my '02 needed one.
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Old 11-12-2014, 07:39 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by paintmann111 View Post
If your somewhat good with tools you can also look into getting a complete rear end for around 900-1k. Its a fairly straightforward swap that you can do yourself. Also, it would allow you to go back to stock if you ever needed too. This really only makes since if all the shops in your area are really porking you on the labor.

http://www.speedconcepts.net/product...roducts_id=832

Interesting ... thanks!


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Old 11-12-2014, 10:17 PM   #11
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^^ This. Poke around for a wrecked one if you can, 3.31 is a factory GT option, and just swap it in. Worst case scenario you're out $250 for a trans jack and $150 to have the dealership re-calibrate it + whatever the junk yard wants. This also insures you really wont end up with any gear whine if the shop doesnt install them just right.
Post #31 starts the good stuff.

Swapping to a gt500 rear end
Nice write up. I think gears are going to be my next move after I get a tuner. I hate the 2.73's with a passion. If I can find a complete rear end for around 900 or less, that's the route I am going since after parts and labor your about there anyway in my area.
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