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This article is meant to give a semi-n00b to cars some info on where and what to get for their car to make it faster and more fun to drive.
Check out RGR's article in the V6 forum for more great info.
http://www.mustangevolution.com/forum/t5654

Lesson 1: First decide if you really want to sink money into a V6 Mustang. We 6'ers have a lower potential hp platform than our v8 brethren. Basically meaning we get less gains for the mods we do.
Now this is of course not the case in non engine related matters. For example, adding 3.73 gears and a locking differential would greatly benefit both a v8 as well as a v6. Same goes for most suspension mods. Tuning the cars computer can greatly benefit both platforms, even more if you have an auto. The point is that a v6 is capable of making big horsepower...but only for a V6 Mustang. If you want to make 800 at the wheels then go buy a fox and play with that. The v6 is a reliable platform to build a 300-400 horsepower daily driver. Granted drastic improvements must be made to most of the suspension and driveline to get there, the stock block has been known to stand up to quite the beating.


Lesson 2: Work from the inside out. From my experience, and I'm sure other would agree, the gains from basic bolt on upgrades to a v6 are slim to none. It makes much more sense from a financial outlook as well as a performance outlook to first build a good base to have fun with.

For the big spenders you can have your motor stroked to a 4.2 v6. This is done using the stock(or forged depending on application) crank out of a Ford 4.2 6cyl engine. You can buy Stroker kits from rpm-mustangs.com, supersixmotorsports.com, and moranav6racing.net. Or you can pull a 4.2 out of a donor car and just use that. A used 4.2 rotating assembly can be had for rather cheap and once checked and machined, serve as a junkyard stroker kit!
(EDIT:plstktnkr2 has let on that you will have to use the pistons from a 4.2 as well.)

For the medium spenders(I guess that's what you call em) there are Head/Cam/Intake packages available from the same three as above. They utilize your stock bottom end(block,crank,pistons,rods) and improve performance at the same time. The heads are given a full port and polish, new valves/springs, 3 angle valve job, and can be fully machined ready to bolt on for you. I also believe that all 3 sites mentioned will give you a custom specced cam if you order from them. This meaning they will talk to you about your goals for your car, and match a cam to your own personal interests. There are a ton of good cams out there and new grinds are being thought up each day I'm sure. The cam will increase the flow of air coming into and out of your cylinders by keeping valves open longer and opening them faster in some high-ramp lobe cases. It will change the sound of your exhaust note a ton and wake the car up. Lastly the intakes that you'll get will be also ported and polished. The porter will take imperfections out of the runner walls by smoothing them out. All 3 mods complement each other very nicely. A nice cam will be held back by stock heads, while a nice set of heads will not be nearly as effective as if they had had a cam custom specced for them.


Lesson 3: Point is, its easier to do it all at once. You don't want to have to take an engine apart twice.


After you pick which of the above routes you'd like to go(or perhaps combine them and almost be done!), it's time to work on some suspension/drivetrain
stuff.


-Drivetrain-

The stock v6 drivetrain is a dog. Well, maybe that is a little too drastic. The 5 speed versions are a bit more fun, as are the newer 99-04 due to the
better gearing, but they could use some help.
First step in Drive train mods should be some new rear end gears and a locking differential.

Ring Gear and Pinion Set

The general rule of thumb is 4.10's for an auto, and 3.53/3.73 for 5 speeds. Incase your gear illiterate, the higher the number the lower the gear. Meaning 4.10 would give more acceleration than a 3.73 gear. You may be thinking, "I'll take all I can get!". Just know this, Lower gearing will lead to increased cruising RPMs on the highway. This will affect gas mileage SLIGHTLY(meaning 1-3mpg) at highway speeds. It also puts extra load on your car, something to think about. Cars that have stock computers will need to have their speed limiters raised and 99-04's will need the gearing in the computer changed as well. Or they can pick something up called the SpeedCal which changes it for you. 94-98 will need a specific speedo gear for their gearing.

Trac-Lok Differential

You should also consider upgrading to a Traction Lock Differential. This will give you increased traction for your new gearing and allow you to do a 2 wheel burnout. No more one tire fryer. There is more than one type of Trac Lok, but thats where things can get complicated. If you'd like to explore your options check out Musclecarclub.com - Library - Tech - Differential for a very informative, but techie, article on differentials.


Gears and a new Tlok are one of the most beneficial mods you can do to your car. Relatively inexpensive if you can find an honest shop to install them,
gears can be had for under 200 and the traclok for under 300. Avoid used gears or traction locks, gears develop a wear pattern after installed and traction locks take a lot of abuse. Always buy new from gefracing.com or other reputable sites.

Aluminum driveshaft

Aluminum driveshafts are a nice "finish it up" mod. They are not worth the price imho. They will give slightly quicker revs and a minimal increase, but I
doubt you would feel much. Maybe .1-.2 in the 1320.

[EDIT]6/09/06- I forgot to mention that if you plan on going Forced Induction, even if you are automatic, you should go with no higher than 3.73's. The extra power will be enough to move the taller gear. If you were to use a 4.10 gear in a super/turbo charged car it would bring the car up through the revs too fast and you will basically top out.

-Transmission-
Automatics read on, 5 speeds jump down.
The v6 automatic comes with a 4r70w 3 speed with Overdrive transmission. You shouldn't shift like a stick so just leave it in Drive Smiley. The stock
transmission suffers from soggy shifts and been known to overheat with abuse. You should invest in 2 inexpensive mods to help it.

Transmission Cooler kit

Step 1 would Most definitely be a stand-alone transmission cooler. Currently your tranny fluid is cooled along side your coolant in your radiator. Don't worry they are kept separate! By investing in a separate cooler you isolate the fluids and give better cooling to your tranny. The cooler can be mounted in a variety of places, but its mostly up to you. People like to mount them in the lower grills. They can be had for a little over 50 bucks at almost all auto stores. B&M is a trusted name.

Shift Improver Kit

Step 2 would be to invest in a Shift Kit. Do not get one that alters shifts electronically. They put extra pressure in the valve body and can be bad for the transmission. Look for the ones that modify the separator plates between the valve body and main control/fluid pan. B&M as well as Trans-go make a good shiftkit. Another option for the Do It Yourself-er would be to go to www.tccoa.org and look in their transmission tech articles for Jerry's Mod.

Torque Converter

Step 3 is rather expensive. The next logical step in automatic transmission modding would be to replace the Torque Converter. Most would recommend a 2800-3200 stall converter for a stock-modded 6'er. A new converter will help your launch nearly as much as the gears and T-lok. It's been said to be like Gears part 2! Replacing the converter means removing the tranny and some don't have the resources or the knowledge to do such a task.

You can also have your computer modified again to increase your shift points as well as raise the rev limiter and decrease shift times. A VERY worthwhile mod. All 4 can make an auto much quicker than any 5 speed.


5 Speeds!
Well buds, theres some stuff that even you can do to improve performace. I have an auto so not much experience, but there are aftermarket shifters as well as clutches/flywheels for sale to beef your ****. Shifters will help you nail 3rd gear and give you shorter throws, while clutches/flywheels will give
greater grip for launch and less rotational mass meaning quicker revs.
Aluminum Flywheel


High-Performance Clutch Kit


Short Shifters



-Suspension-

Suspension offers so much potential for almost any car is amazing. Almost anything can be turned into a corner carver with the right resources and knowledge. Our cars are great platforms for AutoX racing. They benefit from better weight distribution and a lighter front end over a v8 model.

First step is usually springs, and do we remember Lesson 3? Do it all at once, good! So that means if your gonna do springs, do struts and shocks. You have to remove each to do the other.

Lowering Springs("Eibach")

Question what kind of drop your looking for. Ford C Springs are a nice choice for someone looking for a small drop(about .8 front 1.3 rear). Eibach springs
are pricey, Ford C's can be had for nearly $130 less than their Eibach or H&R cousins. Many recommend H&R if your looking for a bigger drop than 1.5",
although there are many satisfied Eibach customers out there. Just know that going over that 1.5" mark will require Caster Camber Plates("C/C Plates") to correct your alignment.

C/C Plates


If your looking to do everything all at once Ford Racing makes the "Bullitt Suspension Kit". This kit consisted of Front/Rear Swaybars, Tokico Shocks and Struts, and Ford C Springs. All stock on the awesome Ford Mustang Bullitt. If you'd like pics e-mail me as that's what I am getting and have plenty! This package dramatically improves handling, I know of a couple people who are very happy with it. The difference between shocks and struts is simple. Struts are up front, shocks go in the rear.

Rear Sway Bar


Tubular Front Swaybar


Shocks(first pic) & Struts(second pic)



Other mods you can do to stiffen up your chassis are a Strut Tower Brace, Subframe connectors, jacking rails, and Matrix Braces(look for Kenny Brown). You can do Upper and Lower control Arms to give you better bite off launches and better handling through corners. You can pick up full replacement bushing kits and get rid of those tired worn out old ones and replace with stiffer performance ones. There are also lightweight K-Members, battery relocation Kits, Panhard Bars, coilover conversion kits and more!

Strut Tower Brace


Subframe Connectors



Jacking Rails


Matrix Braces


Tubular A-Arms


Tubular K-members





-Boltons-
Ah finally the boltons! I'm going to go through from most beneficial to least on a STOCK engine. On engines with increased airflow due to a new top/bottom end my statements may not be true. I will clarify when I can.

1. The number one most beneficial bolt on? Why that's a re tuned computer. I can't stress how important a good tune really is. It is what makes or breaks a well built car. Stock cars will benefit from increased timing, among better shift points, no speed limiter, higher revs, firmer shift points, and better
cooling. You can re tune your computer using either a computer chip or a handheld tuner. Diablo, SCT, and HyperTech all make great products. I have a 4 position chip and I'm quite happy with it. I have a 93 octane tune, an 87 octane tune, an 87 gas mileage tune, and the stock program on mine. Tuners are the more expensive option, but you can download tunes through email and burn them to your car's computer instead of having to send a chip back for a re-tune.
SCT 4 Position Chip


2. Personally I would put Underdrive Pulleys here. Others may say otherwise but on my car it seemed like one of the more beneficial boltons Ive done. They will increase hp and tq throughout the RPM range, not just at the top like exhaust or a cold air. They also give better gas mileage. Kind of a counter to gears, they increase by about 1-3mpg. People say they have charging problems on high end systems due to their alternators not making a big enough charge. Theres a solution for you audiophiles. Alternator Overdrive pulleys!! They increase your charging! Or you could simply pick up a bigger alternator from jegs.com, cjponyparts.com, or ebay!
Underdrive Pulleys



3. Exhaust System. This is a step 2 if you've already finished your engine. Don't get shorty headers, if you have a 94-98 our headers flow very nicely stock, almost identical to aftermarket shorties. Longtubes are beneficial on both v6 generations, but require you to lift the engine some to install. Straight/H/X pipes are all a matter of personal preference to sound. We have an even firing engine so we don't benefit from equalizing the pressure in two exhaust pipes with an x or h pipe. I wouldn't go Offroad Midpipe, the v6 doesn't sound to nice without cats. It gets whiny above 3000. You can have a shop cut your Y pipe behind the converters and weld 2 straight pipes to a set of GT take-offs or opt to have a fully made set delivered to your door. I own MAC exhaust and it sounds nice. Bassani sounds amazing on our cars. Borla is a tad pricey but you pay for the best. Once again foollow Lesson 3 and buy the whole system at once. It's just easier that way.

Headers, Longtube(First pic) and Shorttube(Second pic)



X Pipe w/ Cats


H Pipe w/o Cats


Muffler System



4.Cold Air Intakes, they're basically for show. You will get a small gain from one, but nothing too noticeable. Look on eBay for cheap ones, about 100 bucks I got mine after shipping. They don't suffer in quality at all. As long as you get once that is smooth inside instead of ridged like your stock airbox your accomplishing the basic concept. Look for one with minimal bends, I have been told one 90 degree bend is like adding 3 feet of straight pipe to your intake. There is no difference in the Blue Filters compared to K&N. The blues are made by Holley, same people that make Nos.
Cold Air Intake


5. Lastly, MAF and Throttlebodys. It may be different on v8's, but make no mistake, these things you should wait until almost LAST on your list. A new MAF is not needed until you turbo or supercharge your car. 94-98's can benefit from a new throttlebody(tb) so long as it is matched to your upper intake when you have it ported. Never buy a MAF or throttlebody until you have done some internal engine mods. They are an almost worthless 'bolt on" and can actually hurt your performance.

MAF


Throttlebody


After you've gotten to this point, and your not broke or happy yet there are still plenty of things to do. Like maybe changing that stock looking appearance you've been ignoring for so long. Or maybe opt for a Nitrous kit? How about a turbo/supercharger kit? All these extra steps come with extra precautions, so when in doubt call a mechanic or parts store and ask them what they think you should do.

Some nice sites to surf to find info and parts for your V6 are:
www.mustangevolution.com - YOUR ALREADY HERE!
- V6Power.net - Your #1 V6 Mustang Information Source!
Redlined Performance Mustangs - Has many good parts and services, real friendly guy, talked to him personally.
Super Six Motorsports
Tom Morana Racing Engines
Ford & Ford Racing Performance Parts - GEFRacing.com
V6 Mustang PerformanceParts and Accessories - Loads of parts, good prices, got my bolt ons here.
Delk Performance - Been around awhile, great facility for Southeast
CJ Pony Parts - My homestate Mustang warehouse, Harrisburg PA. Scrap yard and great prices on ANYTHING.
Super Coupe Performance Parts - Ford Thunderbird, Mercury Cougar, Lincoln Mark VIII (8) and Ford Escape - Great site for used parts, handy for those looking to do an m90 supercharger swap to their 94-98 sixxer.
TMA TURBO - THE turbo guy for a v6 mustang!
 

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you need to include images, they help. Show differences, where stuff is, what stuff is, etc etc a quick once over so people feel comfortable with your terminology and where stuff is.
 

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where would you like me to put the info in changing an earlier 3.8 into a 4.2 ? no computer, no electric trannys, no roller lifters and carburation?
 

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Great article by the way...I was thinking about buying the Tokico Shocks and Struts, and Ford C Springs for my 2000 V6. How much will it lower my car by the way? Maybe 1.5" in front and 1.0" in back.
 

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darkside_2000 said:
Great article by the way...I was thinking about buying the Tokico Shocks and Struts, and Ford C Springs for my 2000 V6. How much will it lower my car by the way? Maybe 1.5" in front and 1.0" in back.
I have the tokico Shocks and Struts and they hold out pretty good with my Eibach springs which lower my car around 1.8" in the front.
 

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Very nice writeup kilJosh!
A nice synopsis of what I've said for years! See my v6 buildup article
stickied in the V6 bbs for further details...

once agaIN, GREAt JOB!

RGR
 

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Wow, thats a fantastic guide. To be perfectly honest I don't know alot about cars; I'm learning though. I'm not sure if this is a ridiculous question, or one of those,"If you have to ask, you can't afford it." type of deals; do you have a ball park idea of what it might cost overall? Ive got an '03 automatic mustang (V6 of course). It's also not really a matter of can i afford it, just depending on how much it is would mean being able to get it all sooner or later. Also with the headers and part of the exhaust system there is a turbo kit at PRODUCTS which has headers and some of the other components and options to add in other parts as well, would this be fine in place of the headers and all you recommend here? There's also a Twin turbo package that can be purchased which i assume has headers at least as good as the ones in the "race" package. I figure with all the suspension upgrades/tuning/transmission/engine upgrades it all should be able to handle the TT setup right? Im determined to make this all a reality, it will just take me 5 or 6 years to get the money situation all in order. Thanks, Zach B.
 

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there is a large range of overall cost depending on what brand of parts you decide to go with. For example you can go with the MM full coil over kit swap the bilsteins for some tokico D-specs for like 2 grand vs. going with c springs and tokicos blues for like 500. You can do pretty much anything you want (like a TT setup) if you have the money. Ill let someone else estimate the total price range, but it is a wide one.
 

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there is a large range of overall cost depending on what brand of parts you decide to go with. For example you can go with the MM full coil over kit swap the bilsteins for some tokico D-specs for like 2 grand vs. going with c springs and tokicos blues for like 500. You can do pretty much anything you want (like a TT setup) if you have the money. Ill let someone else estimate the total price range, but it is a wide one.
Well it would basically be everything except for the 4.2 L deal (that means a new block right?), alluminum drive shaft, headers (i plan to get these else where), and i would be fine with the C springs, no need to be that low, plus its cheaper. easier to guess-timate?
 

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I believe that you can use just the crank and rods from a 4.2 in your block and still be alright.

Everything your talking double digit thousands man. 10-20k.
 

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you must be mindful of the piston's wrist pin to crown measurement they are different. and you will have to use the 4.2 pistons because of this.
 

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I believe that you can use just the crank and rods from a 4.2 in your block and still be alright.

Everything your talking double digit thousands man. 10-20k.
Actuall i spent the last few evening doing the math and crunching the numbers, and for parts alone it comes out to $6500, of course there will be shipping to add on, but as far as the labor goes, everything i cant do my self i will have several of my mechanic friends to lend a hand with, most likely for free.

(about the 4.2L) really? well that would be very convienent. ive been looking at posts on here about it and some made it seem like you needed a new block, others just said parts, you wouldnt happen to know if/where the pistons/crank/rods might be available? in package/kit maybe? it would be easier to get it all at once from the same place.
 

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Actuall i spent the last few evening doing the math and crunching the numbers, and for parts alone it comes out to $6500, of course there will be shipping to add on, but as far as the labor goes, everything i cant do my self i will have several of my mechanic friends to lend a hand with, most likely for free.

(about the 4.2L) really? well that would be very convienent. ive been looking at posts on here about it and some made it seem like you needed a new block, others just said parts, you wouldnt happen to know if/where the pistons/crank/rods might be available? in package/kit maybe? it would be easier to get it all at once from the same place.
www.rpm-mustangs has some killer kits. Mik and I started up together and IMO he's
the best out there overall. We think alot alike Mik and I :D His custom parts are just
like I would do them. Almost to a "T".
 
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