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Modifying the Ford Mustang for Muscle Power and Performance

Posted by Josh on 11/18/2013 to Ford Mustang
Any modification of the stock Ford Mustang begins with performance enhancements, particularly the air intake. An aftermarket cold-air intake with a high-flow air filter will give a significant boost to horsepower and torque without costing a great deal of money. Parts for the bolt-on mod are available for as little as a couple hundred dollars and can be done by any competent home mechanic. 

When increasing airflow, it also helps to enhance the exhaust so that when more air goes in it will come out faster. A dual aftermarket exhaust can boost performance while increasing the Mustang's ability to expel the increased exhaust gases caused by the greater rate of air flow. A good aftermarket exhaust system will give the Mustang a deep, low and very distinct tone from its six or eight cylinders while improving the effectiveness of the aftermarket air intake by increasing the flow of air in and out of the combustion chamber. 

Whenever modifying the air intake and the exhaust, for maximum performance, an electronic tuner helps a great deal by enabling the owner to change the fuel-to-air mixture. A good tuner enables the mixture to become richer or leaner with a simple adjustment while keeping the stock settings available if the need ever arises to return the Mustang to its original condition. Torque and horsepower improvements of 10 percent or greater are possible with the right setup. 

Increased power under the hood means there is a corresponding need for better braking and suspension. Drilled and slotted brake rotors will cool down faster and do not warp as readily as stock rotors, and triple-piston aftermarket brake calipers in either red or black with metallic-sintered brake pads increase stopping power while looking cool. 

To keep the Mustang as stable as possible while cornering or braking, a lowering kit with high-performance suspension springs will keep the vehicle low to the ground while preventing pitching and rolling in turns. Paired with wider aftermarket wheels and tires, the Mustang will corner better and produce faster quarter-mile times.

When a hot-rodded Mustang has increased power to the rear wheels, a Ford Racing T-2 Torsen differential will keep the power equalized to each drive wheel during cornering. Torsen is short for “torque-sensing,” and the differential adjusts the power to each wheel while cornering to maximize traction and speed, which produces faster lap times when using the Mustang for a club car during track days. 

To help keep the Mustang glued to the pavement, a front chin spoiler looks cool while emphasizing the low, lean look. A rear spoiler or wing mounted to the back trunk will improve grip for the rear-drive wheels, particularly when driving on the freeway or at high speeds on a local racetrack. 

Installing darkened projector-style headlamps will increase nighttime visibility while giving the hot-rodded Mustang a menacing look. The smoked-out lenses help hide the headlights during the day and work well with a black chin spoiler, and a rear blackout panel complements the look, especially if the car is equipped with a black rear spoiler or wing. 

The right choice of performance modifications and cosmetic touches will give the Mustang more muscle power and a cool, menacing look while greatly improving its performance on the street or at the local racetrack.

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