Progress Thread 2014 V6 'chelle-b Ii'

Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#1
In mid- to late-2016 with the payoff of the auto loan on my wife’s vehicle in sight and my daily-driver—a 1996 Ford Ranger with nearly 250K miles—getting a bit long in the tooth, I set my sights on acquiring a new vehicle to take over my commuting duties. As a longtime Mustang fan and owner of a ’66 convertible which is limited to fair-weather forays during agreeable weather, I’d set my sights on a new-ish Mustang.

Always harboring a special affinity for the first-generation Pony’s (particularly the 1965-’68 era), I was thrilled with the introduction of the S197 platform in 2005 with its “modern retro” styling which harkened back to the afore mentioned period. While I’m certain that it will grow on me with time, I still haven’t taken to the looks of the “new” sixth generation S550 style; as such I sent my sights on the 2014 model year—the last of the S197s.

Intended primarily as a daily commuter (22 miles each way X5 days/week, plus miscellaneous errands), I felt that I was going to be more than satisfied with a V6 and, for convenience/ease of driving, the 6-speed slushbox was also on my “preferred want list” as was the “Premium” equipment group. My final criteria was only for a clean, low mileage exemplar. While Ruby Red would have been my first color choice, I was not going to let color be a deal breaker; having only eliminated from consideration those hues that didn’t appeal to me (Gotta Have It Green, Race Red, Grabber Blue and Black).

After spending several weeks in March-April 2017 unsuccessfully searching the local dealers’ inventories, I finally turned to the inter-web and came across a viable candidate, albeit located nearly 1,000 miles away in Texas. Doing my due diligence, I felt comfortable in making an offer to the seller (Texas Direct Auto/Vroom) on a certified pre-owned 2014 V6 Premium coupe with 35K miles. After a week of Q&A, I made an offer which was accepted by the seller and, which included shipping fees and a factory spare tire kit (in lieu of the included and oft-chided “mobility kit”). With my own financing in place, it still took 3 weeks to get a few interstate title issues resolved, but on June 5, 2017 my ‘new-ish’ pony was delivered… Clean as a whistle and mechanically sound, as advertised

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From visual inspection of the pre-purchase photos, I was aware of the 19” factory wheels as well as the strut tower brace (factory option or a post-purchase Ford accessory?); it also was apparent that the previous owner had a Llumar window tint installed. Two weeks into my ownership, a dead battery and lack of a provided spare key prompted a trip to my local Ford dealer where they pulled the VIN and informed me that my new ride had originally been factory optioned with: 1) Hood and side stripes (boo!); 2) Reverse Sensing System & Security Package (OK); and 3) the V6 Performance Package (yea!)

With my thoughts quickly turning to, “How am I going to mod this?”, my first impression was that of how the hood/side stipes—a $395 waste of money, in my opinion—had to go! But as removal of these was not deemed as an “urgent” need, I digress.


THE VISION

So what set ol’ Shel’s steed apart from the original “Hi-Po” ponies of Dearborn? Mechanically, the G.T.350 was “souped up” with a variety of off-the-shelf bits & pieces that could be obtained either from Ford’s high performance “Cobra” catalog (high-rise intake manifold, valve covers, oil pan, etc.), pilfered from other Ford models (i.e. wider rear brakes from Fairlane wagon), or readily available aftermarket goodies (i.e. TractionMaster traction bars, Magnum 500 wheels, etc.). Visual/cosmetic differences were the hood and quarter-panel side scoops and rear window louvers (incorporated into Ford’s fastback), rocker panel striping with model designation, distinctive over-the-top Le Mans striping (though actually optional, with most being dealer, rather than factory installed), and unique Shelby badging/identity.

In addition to the original 1965-’66 G.T.350, Shelby also undertook a number of projects whereas it sought to put its’ mark on the fifth-generation S197 V6 Mustang. First, in 2005 Shelby introduced the CS6, which was sold as a do-it-yourself two-stage package—a cosmetic only “Appearance Package, or a ‘Performance Package’, which included all of the Turn1’s cosmetics plus a suspension upgrade, a Borla dual exhaust, Baer brakes, a rear gear upgrade, and an exclusive Paxton intercooled supercharger. The following year, Shelby unveiled its’ second stab at a performance version of the 4.0 liter-based Mustang, the Terlingua V6. Like the CS6, Shelby initially offered two Terlingua packages. The standard “base pack” included a Borla exhaust, Ford Racing’s Handling Pack, a strut tower brace, a short-throw shifter, Ford V6 rear spoiler, Shelby deep-draw hood with hood pins, a CS6-style front fascia & grille, a modified California Special rear fascia, side scoops, quarter-window covers, and Terlingua stripe/sticker kit & grille/trunk lid “Rabbit” emblems. The Terlingua “Performance Pack” took the upgrades even further, including a Shelby/Baer brake kit, 20” American Racing Razor wheels, a 3.45:1 differential gear, and an intercooled Paxton NOVI-1200 supercharger, which boosted the V6’s output to around 375 horsepower. Instead of being sold to the customer in “kit” form, the Terlingua conversions could be completed by either Shelby American in Las Vegas or at one of its factory mod centers.

For 2010, Ford refreshed the S-197 Mustang; in 2011 the “base” model received the 305 HP 3.7l “Cyclone” V6 engine. In response, Shelby introduced the GTS in 2011. Offered in post-title form, customers sent their Mustang to Shelby’s facility where the vehicle received a factory conversion, which included a package of standard features along with additional available options. The package included cosmetic elements such as front & rear fascias, a “deep draw” hood, a billet grille and signature “Le Mans” & side stripes; performance enhancements included upgrades to the brakes and suspension. Beyond the basics, options included a supercharger, 2nd-tier brake upgrade, wheel & tire options, and additional suspension mods. The GTS was made available through the 2014 model year; during its four-year production run, thirty one conversions were performed

Taking into account both the spirit of the original 1965-’66 G.T.350 and the image of the 2011-’14 GTS, my “vision” is: 1) to incorporate the distinctive visual elements which capture the essence of these Shelby automobiles and set them off from the stock Mustang, and; 2) add readily-available “bolt-on” components which enhance the performance and handling of the factory stock Mustang, as was originally done by Shelby American. Not attempting to exactly “clone” a specific model, instead my build will essentially be a tribute to the mentioned Carroll Shelby designed vehicles; thus the non-model specific “CS/T”—Carroll Shelby “tribute” moniker.

Let the modding begin...
 
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Sep 3, 2012
34
3
18
Southern Colorado
#2
LET THE MOD-ING BEGIN…

July 2017 - Starting where most Mustang-ers do—with the intake— in lieu of a full cold air intake (CAI), I instead opted for a high-flow K&N/Ford Performance filter installed into the OEM airbox, coupled with an Airaid Modular Intake Tube. Thais was an easy, straightforward install though I would recommend a shot of silicon spray on the airbox and throttle body ends of the rubber reducer and hump hoses in order to ease assembly. In addition, I installed a similarly sized Ford ‘blue oval’ emblem, in place of the ‘AIRAID’ decal. This “cheap” alternative (relative to the cost of a full CAI), was undertaken for two reasons: Firstly, it was significantly less expensive while providing most all the benefits of a full CAI; secondly, a possible hood change (to a ducted ram-air type) may likely be on the horizon, at which time, I will replace this “cheap” set-up with a full-blown CAI (which is still under consideration if/when I replace the OEM hood).

For a bit o’ flash, next came an engine cover kit from Ford and a chrome engine dress up kit. Regarding the engine cover, this was designed/intended for use on the manual transmission equipped vehicles optioned with the Performance Package. Installation on my slushbox-equipped car required minor trimming of the foam cover for clearance around the brake aspirator line. Still under consideration is a battery cover…

EngCompBA01.jpg

Engine compartment before (left) and after installation of Airaid Modular Intake Tube, engine cover, and fluid cap "bling"

Outside the engine compartment, a “shorty” antenna was also added and an AM matte black quarter window blackout kit sits awaiting to be installed concurrent with the installation of…
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#3
August 2017 – … quarter window louvers. With the engine compartment dress-up completed, for now (see image above), I next turned my attention to exterior styling. Evoking the design of the 1st-generation fastback, a pair of Modern Muscle Design (MMD)’s pre-painted SpeedForm classic quarter window louvers were added. After studying the multitude of options available, these were chosen as, to my eye, they most closely mimicked the lines of the original circa 1965-’66 Mustangs’. I really like the looks of these! Installation was straight-forward and took less than 30 minutes—most of which was spent trying to separate the backing tape from the double-sided adhesive strips.

Also added was MMD’s chrome tail light trim; again intended as a nod to the early Mustangs. Post install, I’m sill not sure that I’m that fond of these, but maybe the look will grow on me.

I also broke out the wife’s hair dryer and removed the factory-installed side (rocker) stripes—aesthetically these never appealed to me on ANY Mustang as I prefer a ‘cleaner’ profile look. I have (for now) decided to retain the hood stipes, which I find somewhat less offensive. These may eventually disappear with a tentatively-planned hood change in the future, however, that’s a consideration/discussion for a later time.
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#4
September 2017 – The next “throwback” components added were the MMD by Foose side scoops. This particular choice features a somewhat less angular/more rounded design than most of the other aftermarket offerings; more akin to those used on Shelby’s original G.T.350. All in all, I like the installed appearance of these, however, the ‘fit’ was less than perfect as, despite multiple test fits, there was no ‘sweet spot’ where they seemed to line up perfectly with the contour/lines of the car. Once again, a fairly straight-forward install with the removal of the backing from the 3M double-sided tape being the most frustrating/time-consuming step in the process.

Ext Mods 1.JPG

I've also decided on one additional “appearance” component to be added (for now); this is the Modern Billet polished ‘retro’ upper/lower combo grille set with a 7-bar upper replacement grill and a 5-bar lower overlay.

The last remaining exterior appearance mod that I plan to undertake is the addition of a hood scoop—once again, one of the unique distinguishing features of ol’ Shel’s original design. A lower-cost option would be to simply add a bolt-on scoop of which there are surprisingly limited aftermarket options for the 2013-’14 model years; none of which stuck me from an aesthetic reasons with (at least one option appearing too angular and the other, too large, yet too low-profile). The other negative to these options is that said scoops would be yet another ‘appearance only’ mod, with absolutely no functional purpose. For these reasons, I’ll likely go with an aftermarket hood with a functional scoop integrated into its’ design. While cost will be increased significantly, the benefits of replacement fiberglass hood (vs. bolt-on scoop attached to the OEM hood) include functionality of the scoop as well as an estimated 25 lbs. weight reduction (approx. 13# for fiberglass vs 38# for OEM).

Considering that, with paint, installation and the purchase of some addition of items to go along with the hood (i.e. hood struts, pins, CAI, etc.), the bill for this is likely to be north of $1,500. Not that I outright reject this from a cost-benefit standpoint, it’s just that I’m likely to shelve this particular project for the time being and instead, turn my attention to other (performance) mods such as gearing, exhaust & tuning and even those are likely to wait for now as the wife and I have a planned vacation to pay for. So, ‘til next time…
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#6
Yup! Functional hood pins are definately on the'to do' list. While I didn't go into detail here, I've pretty well set my sights on a specific hood (Cervinis' Stalker)... Now to try to ascertain which specific pins will work with this hood.
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#7
January 2018 – So, to make a long story short... Back in mid-September, I began feeling a bit "puny"; and have spent the past three months of going through nearly every diagnostic test in the books. Needless to say, nearly all of my to-do-list projects have been put on hold. Which (in terms of my car) include the following:

Back in September, I'd purchased AM/Modern Billet's Polished Retro Grille (upper/lower combo). After receiving it, I got as far as removing the components from the shipping box. As of this date, however, they remain in place on my work bench...

Also, during the period of October through December, I began acquiring the components needed for a rear axle final gear swap. As my car was originally optioned with the V6 Performance Package which included 3.31:1 final gearing, I waffled between the single-step up to 3.55:1 or a 2X step up to 3.73:1. Based on others' recommendations, most seemed to be pleased with their choice of going with the 3.71:1 option; thus did I. Assembled components for this mod include:
  • Ford Performance 3.73 Gears (p/n M-4209-F373N) - While there are other (i.e. less expensive) options available, I've found that you can't beat the quality/durability of FMC''s factory parts, even if it means paying a bit more. While this ring/pinon set was the first item ordered, it actually took the longest to obtain. Initially ordered from AM, this was backordered with an expected ship date of 2-3 weeks... Two months later, it was still out of stock so the (1st) order was cancelled. Turning to eBay (cautionary tale follows), I purchased a set in "new-other" condition that was advertised as being an "open box, but new/never installed" item. Upon receipt/inspection, two items arose: First, it was obvious that these gears had indeed been previously installed as wear, albeit minimal, was evident; secondly, these were the WRONG gears! While the factory box that the parts came in indicated the correct p/n for a 3:73 set, the parts themselves were stamped as 4.10s (which the listings' photos did not show). Re-boxed and sent back to the seller for a refund, by this time AM had this item back in stock (after nearly 3 months) and so a second order was placed and the part was received in less than a week. On a final note, FMC has, at some point in the recent past, changes its' part numbering for this item and the newer # is M-4209-88331.
  • Ford Performance 8.8" Ring Gear and Pinion Installation Kit (p/n M-4210-B2) - Again, cheaper options were available but I decided to go with the FMC kit which included new heavy-duty carrier bearings and a high-torque pinion bearing (from the 2012 GT500) as well as pinion shims, carrier shims, crush sleeve, pinion seal, pinion nut, ring gear bolts, cover gasket & gear-marking compound). This was ordered from a Ford dealer's eBay store, saving a few $s off of other suppliers' asking prices of $95 to $105.
  • Ford Rear Gear Pinion Bearing - 8.8 in (p/n 9L3Z-4630-A)- required as, apparently starting in 2010, FMC changed the inner rear gear pinion bearing in all 8.8" equipped Mustangs; because of this, a new rear gear pinion bearing is required to install new gears into a 2011-'14 V6 Mustang. Though ordered from a different Ford dealer, as with the installation kit above, purchasing from a Ford dealer on eBay resulted in significant savings on a 'typical' cost of around $60.
  • Ford (2013) GT500 Axle Cover (p/n DR3Z-4033-B) - So sure, one could argue the mechanical merits of this upgrade (i.e. finned design which dissipates heat increasing gear life; lightweight cast-aluminum construction; increases in rear end's rigidity, etc.), I'll flat out tell you that my decision was based on the "it looks way more cool than stock" factor. That and, I was able to pick one up (again from a Ford dealer on eBay) for about half of the 'typical' asking price of around $145. Note for anyone else thinking about this... The stock (stamped steel) cover's bolts are too short to be re-used with this cast-aluminum upgrade... Make sure when shopping, you look for one that includes the (10) correct, longer bolts (as opposed to the cover only). I've read nightmare stories re: guys who've ended up sourcing these from their local dealer at $15 per bolt (or $150)!
Like my grille, these are also awaiting install... Maybe in the spring as the weather becomes a bit more predictable...​


Along with these two on-hold projects, there are a few more items on the imminent to-do list...
  • Exhaust... Currently leaning towards a FPP "sport" axle-back (p/nM-5230-MV6LA ; mnfg. by Borla?) along with a "X" mid-pipe
  • CAI (Airaid MPX, p/n 450-265)... While I'd initially planned to hold off on considerataion of this 'til I made a decision/pulled the trigger on a hood replacement, I've since decided to move forward with this prior to purchase of...
  • Bama X4/SF4 flash tuner (to properly adjust for and take full advantage of other mods noted above)
  • Eibach lowering springs (p/n 35125.14) with camber adjustment bolts (p/n5.81260K); FPP adjustable panhard bar (p/n M-4264-A)... These "progressive rate" springs should provide for a modest drop (advertised as 0.8” front; 1.2” rear) while maintaining a mostly civil ride quality under 'normal' driving conditions.
While additional common mods also remain on my 'to-do' list (such as upgraded brakes, wheels/tires, shocks/struts, etc.), addressing these items is likely to be deferred until normal wear & tear dictates their replacement.

'til next time...
 
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David Young

Active Member
Sep 16, 2012
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Clinton, Tennessee
#8
If I had to do it all over again, I would have added a ProCharger and an aluminum driveshaft and stopped as far as power adders. I wouldn't have changed from my 3.31's to 3.73. No long tube headers with the catted shorty x pipe, just run the factory cast iron exhaust manifolds. And no my cold air intake, just run the one that comes with the ProCharger 'Kit'. Just saying what I wished I had done :)
 
Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#9
If I had to do it all over again, I would have added a ProCharger and an aluminum driveshaft and stopped as far as power adders. I wouldn't have changed from my 3.31's to 3.73. No long tube headers with the catted shorty x pipe, just run the factory cast iron exhaust manifolds. And no my cold air intake, just run the one that comes with the ProCharger 'Kit'. Just saying what I wished I had done :)
David:
Thanks for the input! No immediate plans (as of this time) for any significant power adders aside from the CAI and a tune. Also planned is a "mild" exhaust upgrade as mentioned above, but I'm really not looking at this as a "power adder". In the longrun, I may consider either the ProCharger SC and/or the Super Six 4.0l stoker, but if I do, that's WAY OFF down the line. In the more immediate future, I'm curious as to why you'd reconsider the 3.31 to 3.73 gear change? While I currently have all of the parts on hand for this gear swap, I've not yet pulled the trigger on the install (and could be talked out of it if you have a convincing argument). ;)
 

David Young

Active Member
Sep 16, 2012
96
9
28
65
Clinton, Tennessee
#10
If you add a ProCharger you'll have over 400 horsepower at the wheels. 3.73 gears are just too much. 3.31 would be better for dead stop wide open throttle starts. I burn the tires off from a dead stop with my 3.73 gears until almost 45 mph and I just have long tube headers, cai and a tune with an aluminum driveshaft :(. With my 3.31 gears it would burn the tires for about 8 feet and take off :)
 
Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#11
If you add a ProCharger you'll have over 400 horsepower at the wheels. 3.73 gears are just too much. 3.31 would be better for dead stop wide open throttle starts. I burn the tires off from a dead stop with my 3.73 gears until almost 45 mph and I just have long tube headers, cai and a tune with an aluminum driveshaft :(. With my 3.31 gears it would burn the tires for about 8 feet and take off :)
Makes sense... Had you installed the 3.73s before the ProCharger; if so, were you happy w/ the results coupled with the NA engine?
 

David Young

Active Member
Sep 16, 2012
96
9
28
65
Clinton, Tennessee
#12
I don't have a ProCharger, but thinking about it. The 475 crank horsepower is with the factory exhaust manifolds. If I knew for sure I was going with the ProCharger, I would 'not have bought' my cai, long tube headers and changed my rear gears from my 3.31's to 3.73's. I have almost $800 in just my rear gear change. All that money could have been saved to go towards the cost of the ProCharger :(. If this makes any sense :)
 
Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#13
Makes perfect sense! For now, supercharging is a long way off into the future, and still a BIG 'if' at that. For now, I suspect I'm likely to move ahead with the CAI and gear change along with axle-back exhaust & x-pipe (maybe) and a tune in the not-to-distant future. As far as power-adding mods, this will be it for the time being. In theory, this should bump up my HP to the 325 range... More than enough for a non-raced daily driver and already more than my '66 289 puts out! ;)
 
Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#14
I don't have a ProCharger, but thinking about it. The 475 crank horsepower is with the factory exhaust manifolds. If I knew for sure I was going with the ProCharger, I would 'not have bought' my cai, long tube headers and changed my rear gears from my 3.31's to 3.73's. I have almost $800 in just my rear gear change. All that money could have been saved to go towards the cost of the ProCharger :(. If this makes any sense :)
Makes perfect sense! For now, supercharging is a long way off into the future, and still a BIG 'if' at that. For now, I suspect I'm likely to move ahead with the CAI and gear change along with axle-back exhaust & x-pipe (maybe) and a tune in the not-to-distant future. As far as power-adding mods, this will be it for the time being. In theory, this should bump up my HP to the 325 range... More than enough for a non-raced daily driver and already more than my '66 289 puts out! ;)
 
Sep 3, 2012
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#15
February 2018 – Without having accomplished much, I’ve recently set my sights on refining my overall plan rather than having executed any “major” specific mods. This recent “re-think” has resulted in a few changes to my original “vision”. To wit:
  • Exhaust… As mentioned last month, I was leaning towards the V6-specific FPP "sport" axle-back; related plans also included a new rear valance/diffuser. A bit more research led me to the FPP Shelby GT500 Rear Valance & Exhaust Kit (p/n M-5230-MSVTCD). While a bit more expensive than the 6-banger exhaust, this “kit” includes both the GT500 quad-tip mufflers and matching diffuser, which will be less costly than the previously considered separate muffler set and diffuser. It is understood, however, that the cost savings on the parts will be offset by an added expense for the more complicated install (which will include modification to the factory rear bumper fascia cover as well as welding of the new mufflers rather than bolting on).
  • CAI (not)… In my recent weeks of driving, I’ve noted that, with my current intake set-up—FPP/K&N filter in the stock (CAI-type) air intake box coupled with a smoothed Airaid modular air intake tube—my Air Inlet Temp generally is within +/- 1 deg. F. of the ambient air temperature. So I question: will dropping an additional $300 or so for a dedicated CAI make any meaningful difference in either the inlet temperature or air flow. The common-sense-o-meter say, “no”.
  • Miscellaneous (Interior): I’ve installed the Shelby Map light Accents from Scott Drake (p/n 5S3Z-63519A70-B) along with CJPP’s LED map light conversion kit (CJPP p/n HW3279), Drake Muscle Cars’ (Shelby-style) billet aluminum pedal covers (p/n 5R3Z-2457/9735A) and a Designer Auto Accessories’ Shelby center console emblem set.
Next month: Engine bay asthetic mods (continued). Stay tuned...
 

Linda N

New Member
Dec 6, 2017
3
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#16
I'm following this with interest. I am still formulating a plan for my 2011 3.7 Mustang. I just got it last November and have been working on just getting regular maintenance and wear-and-tear items replaced. Shocks and struts next on my list and maybe after that I can do something more fun. I don't feel as if I need more power than the 3.7 offers but would like to make improvements in the handling area and I also want to have my seats done in leather. I'm very interesting in watching your progress with your Mustang.
 
Sep 3, 2012
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#17
I'm following this with interest. I am still formulating a plan for my 2011 3.7 Mustang. I just got it last November and have been working on just getting regular maintenance and wear-and-tear items replaced. Shocks and struts next on my list and maybe after that I can do something more fun. I don't feel as if I need more power than the 3.7 offers but would like to make improvements in the handling area and I also want to have my seats done in leather. I'm very interesting in watching your progress with your Mustang.
Thanks for following Linda! As much as I've tried to develop a comprehensive plan/"to-do" list up front, it still remains a work in progress as I continually (re-) evaluate options.

Aftermarket springs (along with associated caster/camber adjust bolt and an adjustable panhard bar) are on my near-term list, however, a recent mishap may probably lead to a hood replacement, sooner rather than later (See my 'March 2018' update below).

I'd also agree that significant power adders are not in the works for me as, for a daily driver, the 3.7s 305+ HP is more than sufficient for my needs... While I hat to admit it (because of the $$ I've spent on my 'other' Mustang), based on my seat-of-the-pants-dyno, my 2014 V6 will run circles around my '66 289. :)
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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#18
March 2018 – Continuing with last month’s theme of minor mods, I turned my attention back to the engine compartment. Having previously done a couple of “dress up” mods therein, I may have created a “where-do-you-stop?” monster… Newly installed this month is the Ford Performance Hood Strut Kit (p/n M-16826-M) and the unique “Powered By Ford” fender emblems (used on the 2007–’08 Shelby GT, the 2012-’14 Shelby GTS, and the 2014 Shelby GT & GT/SC).* Additional underhood bobbles for “phase 2” are CPC’s Battery & Master Brake Cylinder Cover Kit (p/n 13404); and a Moroso aluminum coolant expansion tank (p/n 63783).

PBF emblem.JPG

Front fender w/ Shelby "Powered By Ford" emblems installed

One last exterior do-dad still on the “under consideration” list is the black inset “SHELBY” decklid lettering (which was original equipment on the 2007-’09 Shelby GT500*.

[Re: those items annotated w/ *… My apologies to the badge Nazis, my build is intended as a tribute to ol’ Shel; the afore mentioned emblems are not intended to infer/imply that my car is a Shelby.]

The one intended mod that did not go as well as hoped was the attempted installation of AM’s Modern Billet Chrome Strut Tower Caps & Nuts (p/n 41199). While the caps were attractive and installed easily enough with the pre-installed adhesive tape, the nuts were another story. While advertised as having a polished chrome finish, these were neither polished nor chrome, but rather had a dull-ish, satin finish and were made of a soft (aluminum?) material which raised questions regarding long-term durability. Of greater concern than the appearance, was this fit. While advertised as being applicable to ANY 2010-14 Mustang, these did not fit my 2014 V6 with the Performance Pack’s strut tower bar. Specifically, the driver’s side’s forward/outboard nut nearly punched through the hood’s insulation upon first closure of the hood. While not so tall as to prevent the hood from latching completely, this interference did result in a slight upward bowing of the hood (NOT good!). As such, the caps remain installed, however, the kit’s “dressy” nuts were removed and replace with the original, stock hardware.

To end the month (on the 31st) on a sad note… A mishap at work resulted in the heavy-duty entry security gate coming down atop my hood leaving an 8” scratch/gash down the center of my hood. I will have to take it into the body shop to determine if repair or replacement is in order. This may very well accelerate my need/desire for a new hood.

After some (previous) consideration, I’d limited my options to two choices: Cervini’s ‘Stalker’ and Trufiber’s A72KR. For an apples-to-apples cost comparison, I priced both of these hoods from the same supplier (CJ Pony Parts). While the Trufiber hood’s base price (of $799) is higher than that of the Cervini ($680), the A72KR has a (removable) built-in ram air kit whereas the Stalker would require the addition of a ram air duct kit (P/N 4425) at an additional cost ($150). Countering this, the Trufiber hood requires the addition of a windshield washer relocator kit (P/N TF032109 at $65) whereas the Cervini hood includes relocated window washer nozzles. To both, this particular supplier adds a $179 truck freight charge. When all is said and done, the total delivered cost is almost a wash--$1,009 for the Cervini vs. $1,043 for the Trufiber. That said, one significant advantage of the Cervini hoods are that they can be purchased directly from the manufacturer and, in doing so, Cervini offers free shipping. For those that may not want to undertake prep & paint, Cervini also offers the advantage of offering this part pre-painted (at an additional cost of around $465, with matte black louvers… Color-matched louvers add another $100).
 
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Sep 3, 2012
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#19
April 2018 – While in the dealership for an oil change, I had the service department install the previously purchased Modern Billet Polished Retro Grille (upper & lower) as well as the Moroso aluminum cooling system expansion tank.

Grille.JPG

(Above: Recently installed grille & recently acquired hood gash (Ouch!);
Below: Engine compartment update w/ added hood struts, battery & brake mstr cylinder covers, strut caps & coolant overflow tank;).

2018-04 Eng Comp.JPG

The following day, a trip to the body shop yielded a repair estimate totaling $1,100 for the previously mentioned damage to my hood and thus, elevated my consideration of a new hood as replacement with an aftermarket hood of my choosing will cost little more than repairing the stock hood.

After several months of deliberations (see September entry), I’ve been forced to narrow my focus on a hood and have chosen Cervini’s Stalker which, for the most part, maintains the vehicle’s original lines while upping the aggressiveness with an integral hood scoop. Along with this hood, I also ordered the optional Ram Air Under Hood Duct (Cervini p/n 4408) which will add full “ram air” functionality to the hood’s scoop.

While awaiting the hood (was told to expect a six-week time for the factory-painted option), my more immediate purchases were focused on those ancillary items to go along with this. Ordered first was a pre-painted GT500-style rear spoiler along with a set of 10” vinyl LeMans stripes in flat black which are to be installed/applied along with the hood replacement. I also took a chance and ordered a chrome hood pin set (Moroso p/n 39021) without the certainly of knowing that these will work with the new hood. Cervini stated that hood pins are not required and offered no assistance regarding any that have been factory tested; sill with lightweight fiberglass hood (and for only a $30 investment in the purchase), if these work, it will afford me some peace of mind… I have had a hood latch fail once before and having the hood pop up and slap your windshield at 60 MPH is NOT a fun experience!

While not expressly related to the hood, once this is replaced, my spoiler is installed, and the Le Mans over-the-top stripes are applied, I can install the previously purchased “SHELBY” decklid lettering. Also ordered (from RiderGraphix) was a custom set of vinyl rocker “side” stripes. Purchased flat black (to match the Le Mans stripes), this was selected as a number of different striping designs were available (from which I chose the GT500-like ‘Style 8’) and could be customized for both text (“Shelby CS/T”) and font (the Shebly-esque Microgramma D Extended-Bold). The hood change (along with its’ functional “ram air” scoop) has also forced me to reconsidering a CAI… An Airaid MPX series was purchased as well.

Upon completion of my repair/final “appearance” mod, I plan to return to my regularly scheduled programming… Lowering springs then gear change, exhaust, and tuning. Other longer-term “planned” mods (such as shocks/struts, wheels/tires & a brake upgrade), will likely wait until normal wear ‘n’ tear necessitates their replacement.
 
Sep 3, 2012
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Southern Colorado
#20
May 2018 – While awaiting my hood’s arrival (scheduled to ship 6/12), I ordered & installed the Airaid MPX series cold air intake (CAI, p/n 450-265). My hope was to be able to retain the previously installed Modular Air Intake Tube (p/n 450-945) and simply install the new air box and filter… No such luck as the two intake tubes are molded/shaped differently; as such, a complete swap-over was in order. Installation was easy enough, save for slipping the “hump” hose over the intake flange of the throttle body, which, as I recall, was also a significant pain in the ass when I installed the modular air intake tube last year (See: ‘July 2017’ entry). Post-install, I did not notice any significant power gains (per seat-of-the-pants dyno) or noticeable changes in fuel economy, however, this swap did make for a more “throaty” exhaust sound at wide-open throttle.

EngCompCAI1.JPG

Updated engine compartment with CAI installed

Along with the new hood’s installation, I have also ordered and received AM’s SpeedForm GT500 Style Rear Spoiler, pre-painted in Sterling Grey as well as the previously mentioned vinyl graphics (matte black 10” LeMans stripes and custom rocker panel side stripes and rear deck plate (“SHELBY”) lettering which will all be installed, sequentially as listed.
 
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