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10 Awesome Ways To Modify Your Ford Mustang

Apr 21, 2023Apr 21, 2023

While the Ford Mustang comes equipped with great performance, here is a list of upgrades you can consider to extract even more from your muscle car.

The Ford Mustang is often classified as an American muscle car icon and is well-known for its power packed performance and strong long-term reliability. While most models of the Mustang come with powerful powertrain options and boast a strong character, the owners are very often seen modifying their beloved beasts to extract better performance and improve the dynamics.

There are so many aftermarket modifications currently available that it can become quite confusing for owners if they don't understand what each option offers. To help eliminate the confusion, we have compiled 10 awesome ways to modify a Ford Mustang to offer a faster and more balanced performance output.

Sway bars play an important role in keeping the car stable and flat while cornering hard, and can bring significant changes to the way a car handles. Switching to better and stiffer sway bars is one of the best Ford Mustang modifications and not only limits the body roll effect, but also improves handling via tackling sharp turns or executing quick maneuvers. A sway bar helps in improving the grip levels when the body leans during cornering.

Most Mustang models, when fitted with a well-designed sway bar, boast significantly improved handling. Installing an aftermarket sway bar, is a simple yet effective modification to improve the dynamics and it is not an expensive upgrade. A number of popular modification brands are offering different sway bars for the popular models of the Mustang. Adding a stiffer sway bar can be a critical modification for those looking for a fun-to-drive and dynamic performance muscle car.

A cold air intake is one of the common car modifications that we usually see in the market and is an effective way for those looking at boosting the power figures without making extensive or complex changes to the powertrain. Also regarded as an essential modification for Ford Mustang models, a cold air intake helps in reducing hot air from the engine entering the combustion chamber by the stock intake system.

Cooler air is not only dense but also offers better oxygen levels that result in improved combustion in the cylinders, hence boosting the power output by 10-15 hp. Other than this, a cold air intake with a free-flow air filter can also contribute to better acceleration performance, improved mileage, increased power, and smoother top-end. Many engines with a cold air intake may also sound better when compared to the stock setup.

While aftermarket exhausts are often known to offer a louder and sporty exhaust note, they also help in reducing the back-pressure. A negative pressure helps in removing the exhaust gases from the combustion chamber and forcing air into the chamber in the next combustion cycle. A richer air-fuel supply improves the overall power output and fuel economy of an engine. A number of exhaust modifications are currently available for owners, and picking the right one can be a challenging task for many.

While not all aftermarket exhaust systems are as affordable and easy to install, most of the units are cheap and do not require any major effort to add. A cat-back exhaust is one of the most popular aftermarket exhaust systems and runs from the catalytic converter's outlet to the exhaust tips. Cat-back exhausts are also preferred as they are comparatively more affordable, easy to maintain and offer significant gains over the stock setup.

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Limited only to those opting for a manual gearbox, a short-throw shifter can be a great add-on that improves the overall driving experience by a fair margin. As the name suggests, a short-throw shifter has short throws and reduces the shift time by a fair margin. This in turn improves the performance of the vehicle and fixes issues for those finding the OEM gear shifter having long throws.

What makes a short-throw shifter even better and an essential modification is more precision when shifting hard, while also improving the smoothness. A short-throw shifter enhances the feel while shifting a gear and makes driving a manual muscle car even more fun. Installing a short-throw shifter is not a cumbersome process and is a job which can be completed within minutes. Most of the aftermarket Ford Mustang short-throw shifters are not very expensive, and they are easy to source.

For those looking to seriously modify their Ford Mustangs, a catch can, also known as an air-oil separator, is a must-have add-on. A catch can filters air to separate oil found in the fuel vapor coming via the intake. A catch can is connected to the crankcase and the intake manifold by a hose and prevents oil build-up in the manifold. This brings a decrease in performance from the engine in the longer run.

An air-oil separator ensures the best possible condition of the engine and prevents a reduced performance in the longer run. Several high-quality catch can kits are currently on offer in the aftermarket and are easy to install and maintain. A high-quality air-oil separator can also improve the fuel economy and performance of an engine.

The stock brakes offered with the Mustang are effective and great, but even more effective performance brakes are available in the market. Upgrading to better brakes also becomes necessary when owners modify the stock setup to extract more performance from the Mustang. Being a popular car in the market, a number of options are available for the Ford Mustang when it comes to installing after-market performance brakes.

From high friction brake pads to larger diameter rotors and multiple piston calipers, a number of components are offered with performance brake kits and offer improved braking performance and aggressive grip. These after-market brakes are also recommended for their minimal to no brake fade.

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The stock suspension setup offered with most of the models of the Ford Mustang offer a great balance of ride-handling and are tuned to smoothly absorb the energy from the road and also support the weight of the car to maintain maximum tire contact, reduce body roll and offer maximum control. Suspension has a direct role in influencing the handling and stability of a car, and hence a stiffer and more performance-oriented setup can do wonders and make a car stable and faster around corners.

Shock absorbers and springs are a few of the main components of the suspension, in addition to sway bars and trailing arms, and they all play an important role. From stiffer dampers to lowering springs, a number of suspension modifications are available and go a long way in improving the stance of the Ford Mustang while positively influencing handling characteristics. Those who want to have even better flexibility to tune the suspension as per the requirements can also opt for a set of adjustable coil overs.

Aftermarket forced air induction upgrades like installing a turbocharger or a supercharger can also yield some interesting results and significantly improve the power output figures. Deciding between a turbocharger or a supercharger, however, can be difficult and depends upon the engine under the hood. Traditionally, it is seen that Mustangs with V8 engines respond better to a supercharger and can give impressive results. While superchargers give a significant boost, they are expensive and complex to install.

Turbochargers, on the other hand, may not give that much power but are seen as a more reliable and practical add-on as they are not only more affordable but are easy to maintain and service if something goes wrong. Ford Performance offers a turbo upgrade kit for the Mustang, which can give some noticeable improvement over the stock setup. In all, a forced induction setup is a quick and well-known option for those looking to extract better performance by improving the air-fuel supply ration in favor of more power.

While upgrading to stiffer suspension and modifying the powertrain for better performance are lucrative options for Mustang owners, replacing stock tires with performance and grippier tires can be more sensible and affordable. Better tires improve the grip and handling of a car and also look cool.

Performance tires are made using special rubber to improve handling, acceleration and braking performance. Multiple aftermarket tires are currently on sale for buyers looking for stronger performance and offer different types of material and tread patterns.

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For those looking to improve the throttle response and acceleration, installing an aftermarket throttle body can be a great choice. A custom throttle body helps in allowing more air into the cylinder and improves the power output by close to 15-20 hp.

A well-built throttle body not only improves the throttle response, but in addition to this, also improves low-end grunt and mid-range of an engine. When combined with other upgrades like a cold air intake and engine remap, an aftermarket throttle body can result in significant gains.

An engineer by education and a motorhead by heart, he loves spending time behind the wheels. In the age of SUVs and crossovers, he still adores old-school low-slung sedans and drools over the Mustang '69.