Thursday, April 30, 2009

my other car is...

So this is "the other car". It is a 2005 Windveil Blue Mustang Coupe with a Parchment cloth interior. The car has the base package with a manual transmission. I really like the clean looks of the V6 over the S197 GT, no foglamps, no spoiler, no scoops...just Plane Jane. The mods are few, but well chosen. The wheels are the 17x8" 5spoke rims from my 1996 GT with the inserts painted Windveil Blue (that took a lot of masking and paint stripping, lol). Inside i painted the air vent bezels that same blue to match the exterior and get rid of some of that chrome. The stock shifter has been replace with a Hurst Comp Plus unit. Really love that classic white ball shifter sitting atop that classic chrome stick. The shifting is improved, but damn 5ft gear is still a pain for me as i am more used to the 5speed of my '96. Next on the mod list is a K&N drop in filter (stock airbox). The biggest mod to date is the addition of the Pypes true dual exhaust system with inline mufflers. The sound is amazing, plus the car has the "True" dual setup, not just some axle back conversion, this is the real deal. A lot of work to install, but worth it.

I have big plans for this car, but as it is the V6 i want to keep it livable. A supercharger would be awesome, noting crazy, just a nice low boost setup. Next car car really needs limited slip rear end, kinda embarrassing without it. I would really love to put the Classic Design Concepts "Shaker" hood system someday, but it is a bit costly. The CDC lip spoiler would be nice too. I am happy that the aftermarket sees the same potential for the new S197 V6 as I do. Not everybody can have a GT, let alone a Cobra or Roush/Saleen/Shelby. I really think these cars deserve more R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

Oh yeah, those stock V6 seats have to go along with the factory gauges. The seats are unsupportive and lack bolsters. The gauges are almost pointless and very difficult to read. Think i need to go with the white face set up.

Stop by and check out their large inventory of 2005 Mustang Parts.

Mods part 3

Shifter: The stock shifter in a Mustang just doesn't cut it. That 2-3 shift can be a real pain, even in daily driving. Before I bought aftermarket shifter i thought i would see if there could be any improvements made to the stock shifter. I installed the Steeda bushing kit. Easy install and very cheap. It did improve the firmness of the shifts, but still a long throw and continued to have problems with the 2-3 shift. So i bought a Steeda Tri-Ax short shifter. The installation was straight forward and easy enough to say anyone with some free time and a few basic tools can do it. The shifter has this spring deal that really helps that 2-3 shift, kinda like it is guiding you to that gear, not the other way around. The shifter let me use the stock knobs, never had problems with that. It has two height positions, i drove for a long time with the shifter arm in the top position but one day thought i should try the lower one. It does lower the shifter arm and does require a bit more leverage, but i enjoyed it enough to keep it that way. I have had that shifter for three years and the only real problems I have had was the bolt kept coming loose, so i put a lil bit of lock-tight, cured the problem. Someday i would like to switch to the MGW shifter to see what all the hype is about.

Clutch: this modification was required due to a coolant leak i had that had. Coolant leaked down the back of motor and rusted out throw-out bearing. I bought the Ford Racing King Cobra clutch because i had one in my 1983 GT and loved it. At the same time i replaced the worn-out stock plastic quadrant with a Steeda double hook aluminum quadrant along with the Steeda cable and firewall adjuster. Everything is great with the cable and quadrant, but i still am having problems with the adjuster. The set screw used to lock the adjuster in the desired position has stripped out, so i went to OSH and bought a new set screw that was not only stronger but was a bit longer so it is easier to adjust. I also did this mod on my 1983 GT but never had any problems with any of those pices.

Brakes: My rotors where a little worn out so i decided to not have them turned, but instead I replaced all four rotors. I went with PowerSlot Slotted rotors. They are coated so they don't rust, help get rid of brake gasses and heat. I wish the company would have upgraded the rear disc ti vented disc, but other wise happy with them. I put the Hawk HPS street pads and J&M ss braided front brake lines to further improve the braking capibility. All these parts i was able to install myself, but when it came time to bleed the brakes I just couldn't get the air out, so i had my local Ford service tech do it. While i had everything apart I painted the calipers yellow. This is what started the Black and Yellow theme on my car. I was at a autocross and saw a Porsche 996 911 GT3 in black with the optional brake upgrade. Porsche paints the calipers yellow, which really caught my eye. The cailper paint is super easy to use and really stands out.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mods: Part 2

Engine bay with LiveWires, K&N cold air intake.
New improved design intake on left, factory manifold on right

MAC tailpipes

MAC Catback just installed

Before I begin i would like to say that my car is daily driven. It isn't a race car, nor is it a show car. I do however take it to races at the local autocross and have entered it in a show before. The point is the mods done to the car are made to improve the car overall. I know this car won't win at the 'strip or best of show, but i love it!

  • K&N Cold Air Intake Kit: I bought the K&N due to a few factors. One being that it is a proven design. Two, i didn't want a flashy chrome cold air intake (not really a big chrome fan). And last main reason being that i wanted the tubing to be plastic instead of aluminum for cooler intake charge. The kit was really simple, all the instructions are provided with the kit and only basic hand tools are needed to install the setup. I didn't have to flash the computer or anything like that, nor did it give me any check engine lights or idle problems. One thing I wish to improve upon this kit is perhaps a better heat shield. Doesn't do a whole lot to seal off air filter. I have plans on making my own heat shield with some sort of heat guard material on the outside of the shield. My only other complaint is that the filter is difficult to remove when it comes time to clean it. Other than that i love it, sounds great and sure it gave the car a lil pep

  • Intake Manifold: When i got the car it had a coolant leak. Turns out to be a common problem for this year of Mustang. The plastic lower intake manifold has a coolant passage at the very front of the manifold. Problem is that the plastic is prone to cracking at that area. To solve that problem I installed a "improved design" intake manifold with a aluminum coolant passage. Otherwise the manifold is like the stock piece. That was the first mod to the car and haven't had a problem with the manifold since. While I had the manifold off i installed a 180 thermostat to aide cooling.

  • Plug wires: When it came time to replace the plugs and wires on the car i chose to brighten up the engine compartment with a set of Performance distributors "LiveWires". They are great looking. I was very hard to find yellow plug wires for my car so that is the reason why i chose that brand. Everything has been great with them. Think they are a 8.5mm or 9mm but with a Yellow jacketing material on them so almost all plug wire dividers don't work with them, so use the Performance distributors ones.

  • Cat Back Exhaust: It wasn't long before i noticed how quiet my car was. I am young stupid guy, and dammit i want my car loud, lol. But i didn't want it super loud because i don't need tickets. So I bought the MAC "True-fit" 2.5" cat back exhaust system. The kit said it was going to be powdercoated black, but when i got it, the tubing was bare metal. So i painted everything except the tailpipes high-temp black with a rattle can. I was really happy because it only took my dad and i to install it. We don't have a lift or anything fancy like that. I ran the car for a long time with the chrome 3" tips in place but after awhile grew tired of the chrome. So one day i removed the tailpipes and not only was i rewarded with the look i was after but gave the exhaust note a increased "bark".

  • BBK X-pipe: My factory h-pipe had four cats and two resonators, plus it weight a lot. I decided to replace it with aftermarket piece, but wasn't sure if i wanted to go with a X-pipe or H-pipe. I played around on youtube, listening to cars similar to mine only with different mid-pipes. After much consideration i choose the X-pipe. I just loved that sound, and if you haven't heard it, stop reading this and go take a listen. At first i was going to get the Pipes X-pipe due to the lower price but some people warned me about the fitment issues with stock manifolds and aftermarket headers. SO in the end i chose the BBK X-pipe with cats (hey I live in CA, need to at least try to pass smog). The sound is amazing. But man did i struggle with getting the fitment together. I took my car to a local exhaust shop where they put the car on a lift and got all the issues taken care of. So if you do plan to do this mod, take into consideration that no matter what the kit says, there will be tweaking involved. But it is worth it and damn does it sound great. It isn't the cheapest mod, especially if you get one with cats (I mean some are going for close to $700, but the BBK was easier on the wallet).

Shrader Performance rear seat delete

Here is what the Shrader Performance rear seat delete looks like installed. It consists of three pieces. The top piece covers and sound deadens the pass-through to the trunk. The two lower pieces open indvidualy to reveal a nice storage area. I keep my spare quart of oil, coolant, tool kit, and car duster in the storage compartment.

First Day Pics

Shorty after bringing it home i snapped this pic, notice the clear coat failing on the rear bumper. Otherwise paint was in pretty good shape.
With a little over 100k miles on the '96 GT, the exterior cleaned up well after its first wash and wax.

After a couple of hours of work, she is nice a clean. This car didn't have a single mod to the engine. As a matter of fact it even had the stock air filter silencer in place!!!

Here is the engine bay before I cleaned it! Oh man...what a mess!

Mods (the fun stuff!) part 1

Here is a run-down of the exterior and interior mods I have done to my 1996 Mustang GT: (if you have any questions on installing advise or want to see pics of before and after just leave me a message and I will help you out as best as i can)


  • V6 rear bumper cover. (took off the stock GT rear bumper which has the "MUSTANG GT" script and replaced it with V6 cover that reads "MUSTANG". I found a used bumper from a Black '98 V6 that was in pretty good shape on craigslist for $75. I did this for two reasons: one being the original cover's clear coat had seen better days, and the other reason being I wanted the "Cobra" look, no hint of a GT. I later added the yellow bumper decal to accent the black/yellow theme. The decal costed only 20 from 50Resto. Both these items are easy to install and only required basic hand tools.)
  • Rear spoiler removed. (Ever other Black GT in my area had a wing or spoiler and i didn't want my car to look like just another Black GT. So one day i got out my socket set and unbolted the rear wing. The result made the car look cleaner. Although the at some point of its life, the spoiler vibrated a bit loose which caused it to rub against the paint, causing a "ring around the spoiler mounts. To me it stood out too much, but i didn't have the money to repaint the trunk, so I bought a sheet of black decal material and cut out a shape to cover the areas where the spoiler was mounted. It came out really good and was a cheap fix, no body notices it.)

  • Emblems. ( I went back and forth on what emblems I should get for my car. I knew that i didn't want my car to look like a GT anymore, so I spent the afternoon with a heat gun, a plastic putty knife and some Goo Be-Gone and took off all the emblems. The car looked mean, but i wanted something to cover the holes and give the car a bit more character. So going along with the "Cobra" look I chose to get the Cobra fender snakes. On i found that they not only had the cobra fender snake emblems but also a matching cobra grille emblem, so i bought the set. They look great and to most people the emblems when placed in the factory locations, fool them into thinking it is a Cobra. This is a very simple mod, the emblems only cost me $40.00 for all three. Great way to change your mustangs attitude.)

  • Headlamps. (from the day i bought my car i new it needed new headlamps. Not only were they yellowed and faded, but they had a few small cracks i them. So a quick trip to rewarded with a easy cheap solution: aftermarket units. I ended up choosing the ultra clear headlamps with chrome backgrounds along with matching side markers. I really recommend buying the side markers at the same time as the headlamps because it really refreshes the look of the car. The installation was super hard, just have to be patient, and like many of its other products, has install instructions as well as how-to videos to help. Once they were on my car, i wondered how the previous owner lived with the stock headlamps. No more yellow hazy plastic, improved night vision, and modified look. I got mine for $150.00, trust me, 100% worth it)

  • Decals. (I have changed decals more times than most people change air fresheners. As it stands right now, I have a local Ford dealership decal on the trunk alongside of a silver "SVT" decal. A yellow ford oval brightens the windshield and goes well with the yellow black theme. The twin yellow fender stripes idea came from the 1996 Corvette Grand Sport.


  • Seats (I love these seats! They are PROCAR by Scat Elite seats in black cloth which i found used online for about $200.00 Much more supportive than the factory seats plus gives the interior "that race look". I had another set from APEX but found them to be too stiff and uncomfortable. Before buying seats, really do your research and ask around on local mustang forums. Remember that's where you will be spending the most time, so don't skimp out on seats and buy some cheap seat covers.
  • Rear Seat Delete: (Anyone who has or had a mustang, have ever ride in the back seat knows it is just about pointless. Even as a kid i remember rinding in the back of my dad's '85 gt and it being too tight. So i knew down the line i wanted that back seat out. For awhile i drove around with just the back seat removed and called it that. but after awhile i knew that wasn't going to cut it, so i did some researching online a found a site called Through them i found a company called Shrader Performance who had a really nice rear seat delete kit. Although it was a bit pricey at $200.00, but it was worth it, not only does it fill the void with a stylish replacement, but also serves as a storage area for all your car cleaning products. To complete the look i removed the rear seat belts with took some time and required removing interior panels, but total weight savings was around 40lbs!
  • Ford Racing FR500 steering wheel: For about $240 i bought this 'wheel at American Muscle and i have been very happy. My original wheel was a bit worn out and after driving a friends mustang who had installed one, i wanted one. The installation wasn't too difficult as long as you have a good shop many and a decent steering wheel puller. Don't forget to disconnect the battery so the air bags don't go off! I love the feel of the wheel in my hands, more soft and easier to grip. Plus it looks great!

  • Roush Interior Trim Kit: (found this online for under $50. It is a quick and simple install. Better than a decal or sticker because it is plastic and molds to the lines of the interior, attached with 3M tape and it was good to go! I bought mine in the silver carbon fiber trim to lighten the interior a bit. Came with a piece for the instrument cluster bezel, center HAVC trim with matching shifter bezel trim, and although i chose not to use them two small pieces for the door cups)

  • Shifter Knob: This is actually my fourth shifter knob, and until something else catches my eye that is cheap and looks good think i will stay with it. First i had the stock knob which i painted the shifter pattern insert yellow, then i had a Hurst knock-off white shifter ball but the threads stripped out. Then i bought a knob from a wrecked 2003 Mach 1 which was great except it got too hot, so to replace that bought a PRO 5.0 black shifter ball. Never gets too hot, looks great as it is a semi-gloss back, and fits my big hands well. Take some time when looking for a knob and if possible ask friends to try theirs out for a quick test.

First Blog

Hello everyone. This site is dedicated to all the Mustang lover's out there. Ever since I was young I was a Mustang nut. My dad bought a 1985 Mustang GT after it was about a year old and since day one with that car i have been in love. There are pictures of me hugging that car, washing it and pretending to drive it when i was little. Fast forward to the summer of 2000. My father gave me the keys to (after backing out of our shop with the driver's door open, catching it on the shop opening and bending the door back). It didn't matter to me, it was still the same car i have always loved. My friend Robert and I would drive it around my back yard (without a driver's door of course), strapping a mic to the rear bumper and then playing the recorded tunes of the carbureted 302cid 5.0L V8, over and over again! But the car sat while i was in high school due to an electrical issue. Shortly after my High school Senior year, i found a 1983 Mustang GT on craigslist for $1,200. The car had some damage to the rear, but it was a lot of fun. I was my project car in my college body shop until i ran across a 1996 Mustang GT listed on a bay area craigslist ad. I bought the '96 GT the same day for $4,800. It was love at first sight. Even though i loved the 83-86 body style i was really fond of the SN-95 body shape. I remember having a poster on my bedroom wall back in late 90's of Muscle Mustangs and Fast Ford test of the "all new Mustang for 1996". It was my dream car, and all i could think of while i was driving home for the first time in my '96 is how i know owned my dream car! The poster car was a early production '96 GT in Black hardtop with Black cloth and a auto trans. I bought mine with the 5speed for the fun of rowing through the gears. Its been over three years since i bought the car, and its only gotten better with time. I will never grow old with this car because i could be having the worse day, but all i have to hop in the car and turn over the 4.6L V8 and go for a cruise...and all is Zen. Thank you for taking a look at my site. I will be posted all the mods I have done to my car along with pics, reviews of products i have bought and future mods I have planned. So stay tuned!