Birdy :: 2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium - Mustang Evolution

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Birdy
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Vehicle Name Birdy
Year 2014
Make Ford
Model Mustang GT Premium
Color Grabber Blue
Packages Electronics/navigation, RR sensing/security, comfort, 3.73 gears, 19" machined aluminum wheels
2014 Ford Mustang GT Premium
History Purchased in mid-May 2014 and started mods before the license plates showed up!
Exterior
Boyo aftermarket backup camera

In-Car Entertainment
Lockpick navigation override

Under the Hood
Borla S-type axle back exhaust
BBK Black Out cold air induction kit
Aluminum Ford Racing coil covers
Steeda short throw shift kit with bracket
Comments: 24 / Views: 2724
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:40 PM   #2
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So I've had my car a few months and figured I would post some photos of my build so far. Initially I had planned to buy an Oxford White GT with the brick red interior since I've always wanted a '66 fastback in that color scheme. But on an anniversary trip to VA, we stopped at a dealership and saw this beauty on the lot. I always liked the color but was sold when my wife said she looked good in this car lol.


I went to pick it up on a Saturday and on the way home, I was thinking about possible names since my old '68 GT convertible had one. For whatever reason, the name Birdy came to mind and the Mrs. agreed it fit. Once I got it home, it was time for the obligatory wash and wax:


All cleaned up and ready to go but I was already thinking the 4x4 appearance has to go:
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:45 PM   #3
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Exhaust
The funny thing is the week before I actually bought the car, I had already picked up a set of Borla S-Type axlebacks on Craigslist. When I jacked the car up I was surprised to see the entire differential and driveshaft already coated in rust. It's a shame to see this on a new $35k car but it is what it is. Painting these parts is still on my to-do list.


Comparison of the Borla S-Type to the OEM muffler. Not only are the Borla's much smaller, they are a lot lighter too.


Image of the OEM exhaust tip which looks tiny in the valence cutout.


The Borla tips really fill the cutouts nicely.


Overall I love how the Borla axlebacks sound, lots of low end rumble and no drone on the highway. They are pretty loud on startup but are mild enough that I'm not worried about getting a ticket by the MSP.
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Old 09-28-2014, 05:59 PM   #4
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looks good
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:41 PM   #5
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Steeda shifter kit
Like many owners, I realized the stock shifter left a lot to be desired. For Memorial Day, Steeda was having a 20% sale so I ordered their short throw shifter kit with white shift knob and bracket. This was a relatively easy install and allowed me to see what was under the console:


I chose this shifter mainly because of the bracket which allows you to choose between two durometers (bushings). I selected the red one for minimal increase in NVH:


Comparison of the flimsy OEM bracket with the Steeda unit. Gotta say the feel between the stock parts and the aftermarket ones is like night and day.


All bolted up with the cue-ball knob which will match the white stripes I have planned for the car.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:50 PM   #6
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Interior upgrades
I bought the car knowing it was going to be a garage queen. I usually only drive it on the weekends and try to avoid the rain, and intend to never drive it in the snow. Regardless, I opted for Weathertech floor mats front and rear since they are so easy to clean:





I also got the Weathertech trunk mat just in case I decide to haul something messy which is doubtful.


My car came with the navigation package but no rear camera. I read that some cars came with the factory wiring but my hopes were dashed when I looked to find mine didn't have it:


After some research I found Coastal Electronic Technology and the Lockpick for nearly $300. Being the frugal person I am, I found a NOS Lockpick on ebay from a guy that bought it for his Shelby Raptor but never installed it for half the price of a new one. I also scored a new Boyo license plate camera for half price:


This involved ripping out the console as well as electronic components. The most difficult part was unhooking the DVD/CD player which required the use of a flashlight and dental mirror from the office.


Back of navigation unit:


Back of DVD/CD player:


At this point my wife said I was crazy for ripping apart a brand new car and went back inside the house lol. In the end, I found the Lockpick didn't work as it needs a firmware update. Unfortunately, Coastal Electronic Technology does not support Apple computers so I have no way of updating it with my laptop..
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:08 PM   #7
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Engine compartment
I noticed a lot of folks put the blue plastic Boss 302 coil covers on or paint the OEM covers and debated going this route as well. I really wanted metal covers and found a set of aluminum Ford Racing coil covers on ebay at a price I couldn't resist. Here is a comparison of the OEM unit to the FRPP part:



I also found a NIB BBK "Black Out" CAI for a great price. I don't plan to tune the car until the warranty runs out which is why I went with the BBK unit. It looks good but unfortunately the mileage has dropped slightly so I'm debating putting the OEM unit back on.


Last of all, my car did not come with a strut tower brace so I found a take off on ebay. I also ordered the Redline hood strut kit from CJ Pony and put it on in 10 minutes. This is a great mod which eliminates the ugly hood prop:
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
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Exterior upgrades
When I got the car, I knew the original 18" wheels would have to go. Granted they were optional wheels but were too bright for my taste. After looking for a few weeks, I found a set of the optional 19" machined aluminum wheels on Craigslist from a guy a couple hours away. I met him halfway and I soon had a new set of rims which barely fit in the back of my GTI:


I wound up reselling the original wheels on Craigslist to a guy with an older Shelby GT. In the end I nearly broke even so was pretty happy. Plus I got to ride in the Shelby which was a first for me.


New wheels in place, still need to do something about the 4x4 appearance:


After much thought, I decided to go with an OEM camera spoiler instead of the license plate unit. After watching for several weeks, I found one on ebay already painted in factory Grabber Blue for $200. Unfortunately, it arrived damaged and the seller agreed to a $100 refund. I tried to touch it up using the lacquer touch up paint but the results were poor to say the least. In the end I took it to the dealership who charged me $190 to repaint it. Expensive yes but still cheaper than buying the part new and having it painted.

Removal of the original spoiler was fairly straightforward, the trunk lid was taped to prevent damage and the four nuts removed. The spoiler was then cut off using 30lb monofilament fishing line and the deck lid cleaned up using Goo Gone.







Here's a photo with the new spoiler in place. I still need to wire it up but am going to take it to an auto electronics shop and let them handle it.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:40 PM   #9
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SHR window louvers
Did I mention how much I like ebay? One day I found a new set of Silver Horse Racing quarter window louvers that were already painted Grabber Blue at a fraction of the cost of buying new. Seems the previous owner bought them and had them painted but chickened out on the install. I snatched them up along with the necessary installation tools including a window removal kit, 3M urethane adhesive and bond promoter:


Installation begins with gutting of the rear interior components, nothing too difficult but some of the interior pieces must be trimmed prior to re-installing.


The braided wire that comes with these kits is pretty flimsy and kept breaking. I opted for a B guitar string instead:


The windows were taped to protect the paint and a microfiber drying towel taped below the window for good measure. Each window was cut out in only took a few minutes using the guitar string.


Here's a shot of the naked window frame. There was a gap in the sealant that probably would have leaked if the car was parked outside. Must have been built on a Monday or Friday...


The bonding promoter was applied to the back side of the louver and glued in place using the urethane adhesive. That was the hardest part of the whole job as it required a huge amount of force to express the adhesive from the caulk gun. The entire assembly was taped in place and allowed to dry overnight with the windows down.


The next morning I tested the windows for water leaks using a hose and then took it for a drive to test for wind noise. Overall there is a slight increase in noise but nothing out of the ordinary. Visibility is slightly limited vs. the stock windows but not as bad as most of the stick-on louvers as each window is molded from a single piece of polycarbonate.

For those on the fence about doing this, this is by far my favorite so far. Granted it is not a job for the weak of heart as it involves cutting out the OEM quarter windows but it nails the look of the quarter vents on the old 65-66 fastbacks. It is also the same window louver used on the factory Cobra Jet and I have yet to see another Mustang in person that has them.
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Old 09-28-2014, 11:01 PM   #10
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Car looks great. Glad to see someone not afraid to make it theirs early in its life!


Sent
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Old 09-29-2014, 02:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txffmike View Post
Car looks great. Glad to see someone not afraid to make it theirs early in its life!


Sent
Thanks, I kept my last Mustang for 25 years so figure this one is here to stay for a while.
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Old 09-29-2014, 03:13 PM   #12
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Suspension
The next big step was to finally do something about the truck-like appearance and soft bouncy ride of the factory suspension. Unfortunately my car would sometimes scrape where the driveway meets the garage due to a drainage culvert so I was leery of dropping it too much. I thought about buying one of those ramps made from recycled rubber but didn't want to spend the money. Instead I cobbled up some ramps from scrap wood which should work until I move next summer.


After a lot of research, I was about to buy the Eibach lowering kit when I found the Ford Racing Handling pack new on ebay for $500. Apparently the seller had discontinued this kit and was selling at cost. Even with $75 freight, I was still in for less than half of the cost of the kit new. This included everything I needed for the install such as front and rear sway bars, rear shocks, front struts, GT-500 strut mounts, 1" lowering springs, a shock tower brace and all the hardware needed for installation. The only thing this kit did not come with was an adjustable panhard bar so I ordered the J&M unit from AM.



Unfortunately UPS lost my package somewhere in transit for a few days. I had a 4-day weekend for Labor Day so spent that Friday getting the car on jack stands and taking off most of the original parts.


At 6pm that Friday, UPS finally showed up in this huge semi truck. I laughed because I live on a dead end street and knew the driver would have to back out nearly a quarter mile to the intersection.


Here's the new parts right off the truck. I don't know if this stuff was supposed to come in a big box or loose like this but was glad to see there were no missing components. Maybe this is the reason my parts got lost for a few days.


New 1" lowering springs:


I spent that Saturday and half of Sunday putting the car back together with only a little help from my son. This would have been easier on a lift but is something anyone with reasonable mechanical aptitude can do. Because the struts were not already assembled, I did the job using a spring compressor and torqued them to spec.


Once I had it back on the ground I could notice the difference right away with an even drop all around. During the install my car had shifted a little to one side so I evened it out with the adjustable panhard bar. I took it to the dealership the following week to check the alignment and have noticed the ride quality is much better. It is firmer than stock, but much smoother than that of my GTI.


Finally, I had this pile of parts with barely 1100 miles on them. Since then I have sold most of the OEM parts and considering what I made selling these parts vs. what the kit cost, I should only have a couple of C-notes invested in the new parts.
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Old 10-01-2014, 04:09 AM   #13
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Boss 302 exhaust with QTP cutouts
At some point I realized the Borla axlebacks were not loud enough and decided to add the Boss 302 exhaust setup. I found this for quite a bit less online than AM, but called them and they graciously agreed to price match. Plus they are close so I had it the next day.


Installation took about an hour and I omitted the restrictor plates to get the most volume.


This is a discrete modification but wow does it sound awesome with lots of snap, crackle and pop when decelerating in gear.


After a while I thought it would be nice to be able to close the side pipes when driving on the interstate and listening to the radio. I found a used set of Quick Time Products Boss 302 electric cutouts on another forum and soon had them in hand.


These are a direct bolt-on part and are designed to replace the factory spacer:


I opted to install the switch in the console next to the e-brake but bought a small DPDP toggle instead of using the ugly swich supplied by QTP.


I think it turned out really good as it almost looks like it is supposed to be there. I usually keep it open but its nice to be able to close it if needed.


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Old 10-18-2014, 12:51 AM   #14
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I got stripes...
After 5 months I finally broke down and bought a set of white racing stripes for my GT. The plan was to stripe the car from day one but I've been tied up with too many other mods. Initially I was going to go with full length Super Snake stripes but opted for dual 10" Le Mans stripes instead. I didn't really like the look of any of the tapered sets I found so ordered regular straight stripes from Auto Graphics Pro and selected their "Thunder" set for the camera spoiler. The stripes came rolled up in a box with instructions and were labeled for driver and passenger sides.


I had read a lot of mixed reviews on installing your own stripes with the overall consensus that it is a PITA and a job best left to professionals. I called several places for quotes but most didn't even bother to call me back, I guess they didn't need my business. The one place I did talk to gave me a ballpark cost of $400-600, no thanks! At that point I decided to just do it myself so bought an installation kit including Rapid Prep and Rapid Tac. I also watched a handful of videos and figured it didn't look that hard considering the kit was pre-cut to fit my car. Besides, it had to be easier than installing a convertible top, don't ask how I know.

I began the job by washing the car between rain storms so the neighbors probably thought I was crazy. The car was then measured and marked for a 2" gap using 3M masking tape. I decided to start with the rear end, mainly because the camera spoiler looked like the hardest part to do. Unfortunately the kit was not cut out for the satellite antenna. Instead of trimming around it and risking ruining the stripes, I just loosened the antenna and put them underneath. I may go back and have this part painted body color anyway.






Note the cutouts for the backup sensors. The kit also came with plain panels for cars without this option which was a nice touch.


Finished view of the rear. I opted not to put stripes on the tail light panel since it looks better without them.


The next day I moved to the front end. You can see the stripes are semigloss white from the reflections of the overhead lights.


The only hard part of the whole installation was the little trim pieces on the bottom front bumper. These were not cut correctly but were finally coaxed into submission. I'm really glad I had the Rapid Tac.




The final step was to install the top stripes. The only difficult thing was laying out the centerline with masking tape which required the use of a couple of step ladders.


This image was taken prior to removing the protective plastic film from the top stripes. Unfortunately I had ran out of Rapid Tac and had to use water with a little dish soap on the top of the car. The results were the same but it took a lot longer to dry.


Below are some photos of the final result. Sure there are a few minor imperfections but I am very happy with the way it turned out. Overall I had a good time installing this kit and saved a ton of money. I have to laugh at all the nay-sayers that insist this is an impossible job for mere mortals and that you have to pay a pro to do it for you. Many of those people have never even tried this, they just perpetuate things they have heard or read. This really is a project the average Joe can do with the right kit and a little patience.




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Old 10-18-2014, 03:55 AM   #15
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Very tastefully modded GT, seriously. Lotta quality parts and it looks like you didn't take any cheap dumb shortcuts too, I respect that. Awesome write-up.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:06 AM   #16
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Great looking car! Great write up too.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:32 PM   #17
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Nice car, nice work. Thumbs up on all of your tasteful, high quality mods.
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:49 PM   #18
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Where did you get the switch for the exhaust cut-outs? Where did you pull power for them? I have ordered the side exhaust and am going to order the cut-outs this week. I was considering pulling power from the power outlet in the console.


Deep impact blue 2014.5 GT Premium
'12 Shelby Exhaust
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Old 01-01-2015, 02:11 PM   #19
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Love your car too great build looks awesome
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Old 01-03-2015, 02:40 PM   #20
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Thanks for all the compliments, I've really missed driving the car the last couple months. Clearsky, I bought the switch from Nitrous Outlet and wired it to the power outlet in the console. The switch is always hot but I can open or close the cutouts with the ignition off and actually hear them.
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:40 PM   #21
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Winter Slumber
Well it’s been a few months since my last addition but I haven’t really done a lot to the Mustang since putting it in storage. When I bought the car, I had no intention of ever driving it in the snow due to the salt and subsequent rust issues. I've always lived in the rust belt so have been there and done that. I do garage the car but wanted a Covercraft cover to keep the dust off and found a lightly used one on ebay for cheap. I am impressed with the tailored fit and the mirror and antenna pockets are a nice touch.


To winterize my car, I filled the tank and put in some fuel stabilizer to circulate it through the system. In the garage, I put down some heavy plastic sheeting to keep moisture from coming up through the floor. This is mostly because my wife’s car shares the garage and tracks in slush every time it snows. I also overinflated the tires a little and put heavy padding under the them to prevent flat-spotting. Some say this is unnecessary with modern tires but my DD with high-performance tires will develop flat spots when parked for several weeks so its cheap insurance.


I hooked up a battery tender and plugged all four exhaust ports with steel wool to keep the mice out. I also removed the windshield wipers and wrapped the arms with cardboard which keeps the wiper blades from getting deformed while in storage. The last thing was to tuck the plastic up and around the wheel wells and into the openings to form a barrier before I put the cover into place. Its a lot of work to properly winterize a car but thankfully I'm moving further south this summer so am hoping to use the car year round.

In the interim I have been buying parts and tools for upcoming mods which will be installed when it finally warms up. One of these things were Race Ramps service ramps, wheel cribs and wheel chocks. These were purchased from two different vendors and came in several large boxes as shown.


These are custom 2-piece ramps which measure 12" tall x 14" wide so give a bit more clearance than the standard 10" version. They were expensive but were purchased using funds I saved over the year doing my own automotive work. Eventually I plan to get a lift but didn't want to bother with the logistics with my upcoming move.


Overall I'm very impressed with the ramps which should provide enough clearance for an upcoming header installation. Plus they provide a lot more working room without having a bunch of jack stands in the way. When used with the 12" wheel cribs, this will really ease detailing of the car as well. Unfortunately I found my "low profile" Harbor Freight jack won't fit under the fuel tank so I couldn't try out the wheel cribs. Next time I will use some 2x10s under the rear wheels to give me just a little more clearance for the jack.


I would have waited until the spring to try them out but someone offered to buy my Boss 302 exhaust kit which is why I had it on the ramps. I wound up buying a Kooks exhaust instead which will be going on when the weather warms up. At this point the car has the stock H-pipe back in place so I'm looking into getting a dyno run to find out where its at before I start putting on some of the performance mods. Stay tuned!
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Old 01-24-2015, 06:21 PM   #22
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Congratulation nice modification. Nice mustang
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Old 02-27-2015, 07:50 PM   #23
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look great
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:35 PM   #24
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Awesome job
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Old 10-04-2015, 01:58 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingstrider View Post
Winter Slumber
Well it’s been a few months since my last addition but I haven’t really done a lot to the Mustang since putting it in storage. When I bought the car, I had no intention of ever driving it in the snow due to the salt and subsequent rust issues. I've always lived in the rust belt so have been there and done that. I do garage the car but wanted a Covercraft cover to keep the dust off and found a lightly used one on ebay for cheap. I am impressed with the tailored fit and the mirror and antenna pockets are a nice touch.


To winterize my car, I filled the tank and put in some fuel stabilizer to circulate it through the system. In the garage, I put down some heavy plastic sheeting to keep moisture from coming up through the floor. This is mostly because my wife’s car shares the garage and tracks in slush every time it snows. I also overinflated the tires a little and put heavy padding under the them to prevent flat-spotting. Some say this is unnecessary with modern tires but my DD with high-performance tires will develop flat spots when parked for several weeks so its cheap insurance.


I hooked up a battery tender and plugged all four exhaust ports with steel wool to keep the mice out. I also removed the windshield wipers and wrapped the arms with cardboard which keeps the wiper blades from getting deformed while in storage. The last thing was to tuck the plastic up and around the wheel wells and into the openings to form a barrier before I put the cover into place. Its a lot of work to properly winterize a car but thankfully I'm moving further south this summer so am hoping to use the car year round.

In the interim I have been buying parts and tools for upcoming mods which will be installed when it finally warms up. One of these things were Race Ramps service ramps, wheel cribs and wheel chocks. These were purchased from two different vendors and came in several large boxes as shown.


These are custom 2-piece ramps which measure 12" tall x 14" wide so give a bit more clearance than the standard 10" version. They were expensive but were purchased using funds I saved over the year doing my own automotive work. Eventually I plan to get a lift but didn't want to bother with the logistics with my upcoming move.


Overall I'm very impressed with the ramps which should provide enough clearance for an upcoming header installation. Plus they provide a lot more working room without having a bunch of jack stands in the way. When used with the 12" wheel cribs, this will really ease detailing of the car as well. Unfortunately I found my "low profile" Harbor Freight jack won't fit under the fuel tank so I couldn't try out the wheel cribs. Next time I will use some 2x10s under the rear wheels to give me just a little more clearance for the jack.


I would have waited until the spring to try them out but someone offered to buy my Boss 302 exhaust kit which is why I had it on the ramps. I wound up buying a Kooks exhaust instead which will be going on when the weather warms up. At this point the car has the stock H-pipe back in place so I'm looking into getting a dyno run to find out where its at before I start putting on some of the performance mods. Stay tuned!
Those are great ramps, probably the best you can buy. I was looking at those same ones but the price scared me away. I ended on the opposite end on ramp price spectrum with a set of the $40 ones from harbor freight.
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