Ok guys, heads up – I’ve broken this article down by exhaust component to cover as many of our common Mustang exhaust questions as possible. If there’s a question you have that isn’t answered here, then you know what to do! (If you’re scratching your head right now – the answer is call/email us!) You can also check out our tech article on Understanding Mustang Exhaust Systems if you need a refresher or some basic info.
How does an aftermarket exhaust improve my car’s performance?
I’m sure many of us are familiar with the “air pump” analogy – that is, an engine is essentially a big air pump, and the faster we move air into and out of the engine, the more power it will make. Therefore, replacing your factory exhaust with a larger, freer-flowing aftermarket exhaust can improve horsepower and torque.
What’s the difference between long-tube and shorty headers and how do they help my car?
Long-tube headers can also be called full-length headers, and require a shorty mid-pipe, oxygen sensor extensions, and a tune. Stock manifolds restrict airflow, especially on 2-valve engines. Tuning is required because long tube headers relocate the oxygen sensors further down-stream than factory, so a tune is necessary to compensate for the delay in response. For all you track-rats out there (or anybody who’s looking for a little extra kick from your pony) – long tubes are the way to go. Shorty headers are a direct replacement for your factory exhaust manifolds and do not require additional parts or tuning. Power gains differ between the two as well; long tubes will see the most gains in the mid-low to mid-high RPM range, while shorty headers will see their biggest gains in the mid-RPM range. Shorty headers are a great upgrade for your daily driver, but long tubes are best if you’re going for all-out performance, on the street or the strip. Another option for your Mustang headers is ceramic coating, which is more durable than chrome, and absorbs heat better.
The last few weeks behind the scenes here at AmericanMuscle have been 2011 Mustang chaos! Our Bama Custom Tuning team has been locked away, testing and refining calibrations for the new 5.0 platform. We’ve been experimenting with never-before-seen modifications from some of the aftermarket’s top brand names and we couldn’t hold back our secrets any longer. We’ll be unveiling all of these featured finds very shortly, starting with our brand new C&L Performance prototype cold air intake system! See the results after the jump!
As proud as we are to announce that Bama Custom tune files are now available for your 2011 5.0L Mustang through AmericanMuscle.com, we are even more excited to have become a trusted partner for many of the aftermarket test products that you will see. This means that our Bama calibration experts are first in line to develop precision custom tunes for many new products before they even hit the street! All tunes are not created equal, and we plan to show you how ours are superior!
Grand Prize Winner: Al’s orange 2004 Mustang GT.
Wheel Style & Size: Cragar S/S 18X9
Tire Brand & Size: Riken 275/35/18
Al’s 2004 GT sports a Kenne Bell 2.1 Supercharger, a Stack Racing 75 mm throttle body, and a BBK cold air intake. Though he hasn’t made any upgrades to the suspension yet, he has worked on the interior and the exterior. The orange GT sports a Roush body kit with a wing, and a Roush exhaust with enhanced sound. In the cabin, Al has added Pillar Equus boost, oil pressure, and temperature gauges, plus a short throw shifter.
We figured we’d get some pretty cool pictures when we announced our Mustangs at the Ballpark Photo Contest, but we had no idea how many awesome photos we’d receive. Narrowing the field down to three winners was a tough job, and there were a lot of great pictures we still wanted to share with everyone, so we decided that a FotoFix was in order. We’re showcasing eight of the coolest pictures that were submitted. Whether in a major, minor, or little league stadium, Mustangs always look great at the ballpark.
Chris’s Mustang shows off with a car-sized bright red Angels cap.
Daniel decided to take his Mustang to play at Isotopes Park. If we lived in Albuquerque, we would do the same.
We recently took possession of our 2011 Mustang GT 5.0L Automatic. There may or may not have been excited giggling as we poured out of our offices to catch a glimpse, but we’re not at liberty to say! Our first impression: this car begs to be pushed to its limits. Small styling changes in the interior are completely overshadowed by the massively impressive upgrade under the hood.
Most of us remember the original 5.0L 302. When Ford released it, it was under-designed and under-powered, and there weren’t any real aftermarket performance parts available at first release. Thankfully, that won’t be the case this time around. The biggest names in aftermarket Mustang parts are developing sweet performance upgrades, and we’re working right alongside them. Our vendors are working with us exclusively to test parts, as well as research fitment and performance. We’re going to be building our GT the same way any enthusiast does—right here, in our garage. Along the way, we’ll be showing you more coverage of our mod strategy and giving you examples of real world numbers, both on the dyno and on the asphalt.
Needless to say, we can’t let a car sit for long. Within hours of delivery of our 2011, we were all thinking of one thing – Maple Grove Raceway. We broke it in as quickly as possible (the hardest 2 days ever!), and high-tailed it to the track this past Friday afternoon for some baseline testing. We were pleased with the times, considering we ran it at the track in its bone-stock condition. Our team laid down some impressive numbers out of the GT, with consistent times of 13.034 at 109mph and 13.022 at 110mph. Check out the awesome video below to see the team flying down the track!
Here’s a new, fun contest from AmericanMuscle: How long do you think someone can sit in a new Mustang and outlast three cabin mates in order to win that Mustang? Maybe weeks and weeks. Honestly, the twisted minds in AM’s contest department don’t care about that. What we want to know is how long it takes a person to get fed up with the others in the car, quit the contest, and leave the car. Now that takes guts.
Make a guess – but you only get one – and submit it via the form below. If your entry is the winner, you’ll receive a nice front end appearance prize consisting of new headlights, a billet grille, and chin spoiler for your own Mustang.
Details follow below…
The Glory of Giggle Gas Explained
Question: I’ve heard that NOS is the easiest way to boost power, I wanted to know if that was true and how nitrous actually works.
Answer: Great question! You can learn a lot “through the grapevine” but it’s always important to do your research. Nitrous is considered to be the cheapest power-adder available, but it’s important to understand how it changes your car’s performance before you go all gas-happy…
There’s a stash of 2010 AmericanMuscle calendars in our warehouse, and we thought we’d share them with our blog readers. When you sign up for e-mail blog updates, we’ll send you a calendar. Here’s how it works.
- Click the envelope icon in the top right corner. (see the illustration below)
- Enter your email address and fill out the anti-spam verification box.
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org from the email address you signed up with. Make sure you include your name, shipping address, and phone number, and that the email is sent from the address you signed up with, so we can verify it. Please note that any personal information will be used solely to process your calendar order, and that calendars can only be shipped to locations in the US and Canada.
- Hang your awesome calendar up and enjoy the pictures of all the gorgeous Mustangs.
We received some amazing entries for our Mustangs At the Ballpark Photo Contest. Locations ranged from the local little league field to some major league stadiums, and there were some truly awesome photos. In fact, there were so many great photos that we’ll be featuring several on the blog next week. In the end, we had to choose just three winners though. Thanks to everybody who sent an entry in, and congratulations to our winners, who are listed below with their winning photos.
Jordan S’s picture of his Mustang lit up in front of Progressive Field, where the Cleveland Indians play earned him a $25 AmericanMuscle.com gift card, plus an awesome prize pack.
A small adjustment can make a huge difference in the way something looks. Changing out your grille is the same principle–a minor adjustment makes a big difference in the overall look and style of your Mustang. You can make your Mustang sleeker, darker, meaner, or sexier with a relatively small amount of work. Not every look appeals to every person though, so we’d like to know which grilles are your personal favorites. Below are some of our most popular grilles, listed by generation and ready for your vote. Don’t see the grille you like best for one of the body styles? Leave a comment to let us know what your favorite is.