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Old 12-10-2014, 07:14 PM   #1
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Tune vs Gears

So i've searched the forum and there are several topics on gears, tunes, and tunes and gears, but I haven't found a conversation regarding a stand alone tune vs stand alone gears on a v6 with a manual transmission (2014). I currently have the 2.73 factor rear end and no performance mods besides an axleback exhaust, which I'm pretty sure has no or very little effect on performance.

I'm looking to mainly increase performance in daily driving situations. Specifically, I would like to be able to take a normal street corner at 20 mph in 2nd gear and not have the engine completely bog down. I feel like I have to double clutch (to avoid blowing up the synchros) to get the car into 1st half the time just to pull it out of the corner.

So the debate is which of the following stand alone options would provide a better driving experience at legal speeds:
- Installing 3.31 or 3.55 gears and having ford update the factory tune to match the speedometer (I've read that a good dealer can work with tire sizes in the ecu to match 3.55s, and 3.31s can be easily updated on the stock tune).
- Tuning the car with something like a BAMA street tune to provide better throttle response and more low end torque.

I know that 3.73 gears and tune are the best option, I'm just curious which of the 2 stand alone options would produce better results (and don't want to take that big of an MPG hit as this is a daily driver and I don't race).
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Old 12-10-2014, 08:50 PM   #2
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Gears will be the most noticable upgrade out of the 2. I have 3.31s and I think anything bigger could get really annoying(to me). My first gear is already pretty short. I can't imagine it being even shorter. As far as gas mileage, you will also be a noticable loss.

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Old 12-10-2014, 09:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by CUBuffalo View Post
So i've searched the forum and there are several topics on gears, tunes, and tunes and gears, but I haven't found a conversation regarding a stand alone tune vs stand alone gears on a v6 with a manual transmission (2014). I currently have the 2.73 factor rear end and no performance mods besides an axleback exhaust, which I'm pretty sure has no or very little effect on performance.

I'm looking to mainly increase performance in daily driving situations. Specifically, I would like to be able to take a normal street corner at 20 mph in 2nd gear and not have the engine completely bog down. I feel like I have to double clutch (to avoid blowing up the synchros) to get the car into 1st half the time just to pull it out of the corner.

So the debate is which of the following stand alone options would provide a better driving experience at legal speeds:
- Installing 3.31 or 3.55 gears and having ford update the factory tune to match the speedometer (I've read that a good dealer can work with tire sizes in the ecu to match 3.55s, and 3.31s can be easily updated on the stock tune).
- Tuning the car with something like a BAMA street tune to provide better throttle response and more low end torque.

I know that 3.73 gears and tune are the best option, I'm just curious which of the 2 stand alone options would produce better results (and don't want to take that big of an MPG hit as this is a daily driver and I don't race).
If you go 3:55 gears or higher you will need a tuner to calibrate your speed. I would highly recommend getting a performance tuner prior to gears. 1st mod performance tuner.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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A tune (email tune) will net you a few ponies and much better throttle response, but its not going to fix the issue with the god awful 2.73 gears (i'm in the same boat). The bogging issue is directly related to the gears. While you will see a noticeable increase in performance, it's more of a mid range/high range increase, not down low where the 3.7 needs it most. I feel if the mustang's 3.7 developed more torque stock, it wouldn't be an issue with these 3.7's, but the lack of torque exasperates the issue.

So my money is on gears, although a tune and gears is the best way to go so you don't have to fiddle around with anything, plus you get the nice bump in power.

**Edit** I agree with Kona, start with a tune and save up for gears or just save and do it all at once.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:23 PM   #5
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That is because you need a tune with gears

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Old 12-10-2014, 09:24 PM   #6
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So quick question: can the gear ratio be changed on the tuner, or does it require another email from whoever wrote the tunes?
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:30 PM   #7
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Depends, if it's an auto you need to have them redo the tune so they can fix the shift points.
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Old 12-10-2014, 09:32 PM   #8
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It depends on if the tuner has the parameters locked or not mine doesn't so I could change it

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Old 12-11-2014, 12:26 AM   #9
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U should really do a tune and gears at the same time.

airaid cai, bbk tb, bbk shortys, Ford cut/clamp, magnaflow comp catback. bama tunes, 3.73s,
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by CUBuffalo View Post

...Specifically, I would like to be able to take a normal street corner at 20 mph in 2nd gear and not have the engine completely bog down. I feel like I have to double clutch (to avoid blowing up the synchros) to get the car into 1st half the time just to pull it out of the corner.......

....I know that 3.73 gears and tune are the best option,....
Hey CUBuffalo-

Good questions here and that's a tough one. I'll right right to the chase on this and I really think that if you're going to do the gears you should pick up the tuner along with them. If you're looking to improve the cars over all performance it's going to be a win win by picking up the Ford Racing 3.73 & Bama X4 Tuner at the same time. A sizable percentage of customers that go with the Gears turn right around and pick up the tuner within days if not weeks.

The gears are really great and making the jump to a 3.73 isn't going to kill your fuel consumption. They'll give the car a ton of extra pep but I can't stress enough if you're going to do one, definitely do the other, you'll be exponentially happier in the long run!

I can see that you're just over 50 posts as well which makes you eligible for our Mevo Discount code so shoot me a PM and I'll get you set up!

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Old 12-11-2014, 09:43 PM   #11
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Next question: worth it to replace the entire rear axle with a Ford Racing 8.8 with the gears of choice? Seems like the difference in price for the gears/LSD versus the axle is close to the same as the install cost on the gears, but I feel like I could tackle an axle swap myself.
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:10 PM   #12
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My question to add on to the thread... You put 3.73s in which will require a tune to re-calibrate. When you return to stock to bring it in to the dealer for maintenance, would any issues arise?
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Old 12-11-2014, 10:20 PM   #13
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My question to add on to the thread... You put 3.73s in which will require a tune to re-calibrate. When you return to stock to bring it in to the dealer for maintenance, would any issues arise?
Just weird shift points if it's an automatic, and your speedo will be off. It won't damage anything though.

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Old 12-11-2014, 10:22 PM   #14
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Next question: worth it to replace the entire rear axle with a Ford Racing 8.8 with the gears of choice? Seems like the difference in price for the gears/LSD versus the axle is close to the same as the install cost on the gears, but I feel like I could tackle an axle swap myself.
*edit*, sorry didn't read well enough.

It might be somewhat close, just depending on what your quote for the install is.

Do you have access to a lift and people to help you? The axle job will be a very heavy and cumbersome job, that you need to be very careful with or it can very easily injure you.

It's not complicated from what I've seen on build guides, just takes muscle and heavy duty tools.

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Old 12-11-2014, 10:23 PM   #15
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Thanks for all the replies. I have a quote from a shop here in Dfw that can supply the gears and install kit and install them for just under $700. I would probably just do 3.31 to get a little more low end power without drastically increasing the highway cruising rpm.

I almost traded to a 2015 fiesta st last week (for the same monthly payment as the mustang) because it's torque throughout the whole rpm range is awesome, and is extremely fun t drive, but at the last second I bailed out because I didn't want to give up the mustang (or drive a little bubble for 5 years that is prone to powertrain failure).

I'm on a limited budget right now, and $700 is a lot just to avoid shifting into first at low speed, but it sounds like that would be a much better way to gain low end than a cheaper tune. I may just keep it 2.73 for now, $700 covers a lot of rounds of golf vs a slight increase in drivability.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:25 AM   #16
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Your problem with the shifting (which is your original problem) isn't gears, though. It's the mount for the gearbox and the mount for the shifter both being rubbery and squishy. They both deflect enough under hard braking and/or acceleration to make it very hard to get into gear.

The solution is to get something like the Blowfish Shifter Bracket (note that the V6 version is coming out in a few weeks). As for gears, you're basically going to have to choose where your power hole is. All it's really doing it changing the shift points for a lot of money. Now, it does make the car faster 0-60, but it doesn't make you any extra power.

The best thing that you can do for the V6 is to leave it as-is and concentrate on the fog lights, shifter, driveshaft, and other parts that aren't there or need upgrades.
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Old 12-12-2014, 06:38 AM   #17
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The solution is to get something like the Blowfish Shifter Bracket (note that the V6 version is coming out in a few weeks). As for gears, you're basically going to have to choose where your power hole is. All it's really doing it changing the shift points for a lot of money. Now, it does make the car faster 0-60, but it doesn't make you any extra power.

The best thing that you can do for the V6 is to leave it as-is and concentrate on the fog lights, shifter, driveshaft, and other parts that aren't there or need upgrades.
Oh no no no, don't leave those crappy 2.73s they are the absolute biggest problem with off the line acceleration! Our ds is fine if you don't plan on tracking it, while it is a ****ty part from ford don't spend 600-700 on a ds and not on gears. I've also done the shifter bracket and a Royal Purple fluid change and it made a significant difference, I believe the single or double post bracket is more than enough and is very effective. The blow fish is a nice piece of hardware but IMO is overkill for a dd. A set of 3.55s or 3.73s with a tuner should be anyone's first performance mod, I went with 3.73s from the horrific 2.73s, yes it might be a significant chunk of change at once but the modding world isn't a cheap one. Op if your worried about your warranty I suggest you sit and talk with your service manager to see where they stand on mods. You might be surprised, some are hard core by the book and some are more lenient, it depends on the dealer. If you ever have the opportunity to take a spin in our 3.7s with 3.55s or 3.73 you'll be amazed of the difference they make, your car will feel like a completely different beast! A Ds is something you can do later down the line and should be on anyone's mod list if they plan to track their ride, its on my radar and is something that will get done eventually.

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Old 12-12-2014, 09:16 AM   #18
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Next question: worth it to replace the entire rear axle with a Ford Racing 8.8 with the gears of choice? Seems like the difference in price for the gears/LSD versus the axle is close to the same as the install cost on the gears, but I feel like I could tackle an axle swap myself.

Swapping to a gt500 rear end

Honestly, we went this route because the axle was made available to us, but the axle is MUCH more expensive than just having gears installed.

Consider the gears are ~$300 and install is ~$300 (at least thats what i paid) you're not coming out ahead going with the full axle. Granted, you also dont run the risk of having the gears whine, which the 3.73s we put in my GFs first v6 did ... and it was quite annoying.

Ford Racing Mustang 3.55 Gears and Install Kit 100572 (10-14 V8; 11-14 V6) - Free Shipping

So, consider the substantially cheaper price of instal + the potential for whine vs the cost of an axle. Granted, you could always try to snag a used one for less money as well. There's options.
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Old 12-12-2014, 10:51 AM   #19
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Swapping to a gt500 rear end

Honestly, we went this route because the axle was made available to us, but the axle is MUCH more expensive than just having gears installed.

Consider the gears are ~$300 and install is ~$300 (at least thats what i paid) you're not coming out ahead going with the full axle. Granted, you also dont run the risk of having the gears whine, which the 3.73s we put in my GFs first v6 did ... and it was quite annoying.

Ford Racing Mustang 3.55 Gears and Install Kit 100572 (10-14 V8; 11-14 V6) - Free Shipping

So, consider the substantially cheaper price of instal + the potential for whine vs the cost of an axle. Granted, you could always try to snag a used one for less money as well. There's options.

I was looking at adding a lsd also, so figure another $400 on top of the price of gears and install. That's where I was getting a price similar to the whole axle.


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Old 12-12-2014, 10:53 AM   #20
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These cars already have an LSD, unless you mean a Torsen style Diff? What are your plans for the car?
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Old 12-12-2014, 12:49 PM   #21
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These cars already have an LSD, unless you mean a Torsen style Diff? What are your plans for the car?

Didn't realize that. Haven't gone thru the trouble of looking up axle codes yet. I just remember my Explorer with the 8.8 rear end didn't come with it standard, it was an option. When I added it with 4.10 gears I was into the 9's in 1/8 mile, not bad for a 4400lb V6 Explorer (fast enough to win cash on Friday nights racing against 01-04 Mustang GT's with bad drivers who didn't take an Explorer seriously).

So that changes things
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:26 PM   #22
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I think I'm going to start with the tune first, see where that gets me, then possibly upgrade to gears later. I'm about to take a 3,000 mile road trip for the holidays so I'll leave the 2.73s on until I get back.

As far as daily driving goes, would you recommend the BAMA 87 steet tune, or something else? (I know this has been asked 1000 times before...) My car is stock manual v6, except for a bassani axleback. I'm not planning on getting an intake because I have read they don't do much, if anything, for performance.
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Old 12-14-2014, 07:57 PM   #23
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I daily around with the 93Race. If you can afford to fill up with 93, go that way! At 2.55 a gallon for 93, I have no reason not to. The Race tune is tons of fun and MPG has not suffered one bit.
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Old 12-14-2014, 08:01 PM   #24
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I can afford jet fuel with these oil prices.
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