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Stage 1
  1. Dual Exhaust (2.25" for Naturally Aspirated Cars and 2.5" for Blown Cars and some big NA strokers)
  2. Rear End Gears & Traction-Lok (3.73 for Manual & 4.10 for Automatic)
  3. Cold Air Intake
  4. Underdrive Pullies
  5. Short Throw Shifter (5-Speed) or Shift Kit (Automatic)
Stage 2
  1. Torque Converter (Automatics)
  2. Suspension Upgrade (Lowering Springs, Shocks & Struts, Rear Sway Bar and Strut Tower Brace).
  3. Throttle Body (94-98) with crossover tube matching.
  4. Custom Burned Chip, but most do not need this until Stage 3.
Stage 3
  1. Ported and Polished Upper Intake, Lower Intake & Heads
  2. Custom Ground Camshaft
  3. Pushrods and Springs
  4. Ignition System (Only needed if Forced Induction or Nitrous is used)
  5. Fuel System Upgrades (190/255 lph fuel pump, bigger injectors & adjustable fuel pressure regulator)
  6. Custom Chip necessary at this level for max power! Usually worth at least 10-15 RWHP and mucho low end torque.
Stage 4
  1. Built 3.8 or 4.2L Engine (big bore best :D)
  2. Supercharger, Turbocharger, Nitrous
  3. Forged Internals (sic) Forged rods and pistons are a good idea.
  4. MAF (all years) and TB (99^) stock MAF is adequate before this.
And now a comment on how mods work together, from an old post
I made a while back.

What ever the last major mod is will
seem like the missing link... That means that if you do all but the cam, then
decide to do the cam, it will seem like the cam added the most HP. But a cam
alone is good for maybe 15 HP on unported heads/intakes, (not SPI though!)
but it would add maybe 25-30 if changed last. All the mods work together...
the stock cam will hold back the porting and unported heads/intakes will limit
the HP produced by a cam swap. (SPI is a great candidate for unported heads
and new cam, the stock head flow is awesome!)

It is well worth it to change the cam! Also easier to do when you have the
heads off there, as most of the junk that you remove for a cam swap is
removed when you take off the heads. But you can change a cam with the
heads on, and the engine stays in the car too. Check out the shop manual on
this procedure.





If you have any questions or think something should be added or moved please post. Please keep this on topic as well.
 

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So basically, according to your list RGR, not sure it applies to GTs, I have basically a Stage II, maybe beginning stage III GT?? Minus the torque converter? I really see not much sense in me investing in a torque converter since I am not into drag racing...? Or should I?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Rick0636 said:
So basically, according to your list RGR, not sure it applies to GTs, I have basically a Stage II, maybe beginning stage III GT?? Minus the torque converter? I really see not much sense in me investing in a torque converter since I am not into drag racing...? Or should I?
I'd say the list is pretty close to what one would do with GT's also,
but I would not use stages to describe the level of work, that was just
to make it in distinct levels that tend to work together in cost and
effectiveness.
The groups (stages) tend to be natural points of progression. (IMO)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, it is good to follow the list somewhat, the mods work together.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Adding this above:

Good Q's, but what ever the _last_ major mod is will
seem like the missing link... That means that if U do all but the cam, then decide to do the cam, it will seem like the cam added the most HP. But a cam alone is good for maybe 15 HP on unported heads/intakes, but it would add maybe 25-30 if changed last. All the mods work together... the stock cam will hold back the porting and unported heads/intakes will limit the HP produced by a cam swap.
It is well worth it to change the cam! Also easier to do when U have the heads off there, as most of the junk that U remove for a cam swap is removed when U take off the heads. But U can change a cam with the heads on, and the engine stays in the car too. Check out the shop manual on this procedure.


Nice format change Brent!
 

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Hrm RGR I'm going to start modding my car by how you think it should go :) I trust ya
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Seph said:
Hrm RGR I'm going to start modding my car by how you think it should go :) I trust ya
You have to list a goal, like streetable NA setup, Hot street stroker,
SC'ed street 3.8, SC'ed stroker, etc...

Then we can talk about what you need!
 

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I am in complete agreement with the stage 1 thru 4 of RGR (Robert) except the MAF. I only see a MAF doing anything amazing at the stage 4 level. But I dont think it will hurt anything if the MAF is changed in the Stage 2. But if you are headed to the stage 4 level buying a MAF at stage 2 or stage 4 really depends on the money available.
 

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Dom said:
Okay, what about a nitrous and exhaust. Use a 2.25" or 2.50" exhaust system?

I'm thinking 2.25".
2.25 is great for everthing until you go supercharger with P&P heads, intakes and cam then you will need the extra exhaust excavation of the 2.5 exhaust pipes
 

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um where can I buy a Rear End Gears & Traction-Lok ( 3.73 for Manual & 4.10 for Automatic) for a 2002 V6 Stang automatic...?
 

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WOW, this list is really helpful to me, thanks RGR. Is the traction lok a professional job for the installation or is it not too hard. What about the rear gears. Thanks
P.S. I got a K&N FIPK II :)
 

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KyleUSAF said:
WOW, this list is really helpful to me, thanks RGR. Is the traction lok a professional job for the installation or is it not too hard. What about the rear gears. Thanks
P.S. I got a K&N FIPK II :)
The job needs to be done by a professional yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Danger Dude said:
I am in complete agreement with the stage 1 thru 4 of RGR (Robert) except the MAF. I only see a MAF doing anything amazing at the stage 4 level. But I dont think it will hurt anything if the MAF is changed in the Stage 2. But if you are headed to the stage 4 level buying a MAF at stage 2 or stage 4 really depends on the money available.
This is true, my tuner and other tuners are getting good #'s with
a stocker MAF much longer than this list assumes. A stroker with
H/C/I swap will need a better MAF. We have proof of this :D
A really well tuned 4.2 I know is seeing 1.5" vacuum with the
stock MAF and is looking to upgrade. The tuner (Jerry of FORDCHIP)
said the bigger MAF should give +10 RWHP at that level. sweet!

The power level in question is ~250 RWHP range and he is now at 265 RWHP
with the stock MAF. I also edited the original post to reflect the above comments.
 

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What kind of dual exhaust do you guys recommend? I was thinking about GT Takeoff Catbacks with either Mac Flowpath or Flowmaster 2 Chamber Mufflers...also, would it be better to cut and weld the y-pipe or get an h-pipe?

I have a 99 V6 3.8l Mustang Convertible

thanks
 

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just get two mufflers of your choice (flowmasters :D ) and go to an exhaust shop to get them welded in, have the exhaust shop make you an H pipe
 

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If you know somebody who has been racing mustangs for a while he might know how to swap out gears. I went over to a friend's place who had done about 30-40 gear swaps previously and really knows his stuff. Sometimes you can find some backyard mechanics to help you out. It was free for me, just had to buy him a couple new adjustable shims but the other guy I was gonna have do it was going to charge me around $100 for the install.
 

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So....what should I expect tog et out of the swapping of the rear gearing and traction lok? Will I be getting more low end or high end torque from the gearing? And what does the traction-lok do?
 

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gears dont add H.P. they just help you get up to speed faster however it will lower your top speed and you will need a gear tooth to adjust your speed.
 
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