Tech Out This Pony!

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Tech Out This Pony!

Muscle car enthusiasts might have a penchant for respecting classic styling and nostalgia, but there’s no need to be left in the dust. Gadgets, gizmos, and apps galore can all help you trick out a ride like no other. Whether you’re in the business of supplying parts to consumers or are simply looking for new ways to upgrade your own powerhouse, you’re in luck.

Check out some of these latest and greatest inventions and accessories to make life easier (or at least more impressive). There’s only so much new Mustang valve covers can do. When it comes time to figure out Mustang gift ideas, look no further than a cool techie toy. Those new car scented fresheners are so tired.

There’s an App for That

Ford went app crazy a couple of years ago and enthusiasts are still reaping the benefits. There are a series of apps, like the Twitter hit, that allows your phone to connect with the car’s Sync system so that data is delivered right to your ride. Talk about hands-free innovation.woman-1446557_1920

Scroll through apps that you need from checking tire pressure to finding the nearest gas station with the lowest costs. It’s all about saving you time, stress, and cash. What’s better than that?

Open Pandora’s Box

Your favorite free music feed can be enjoyed in the driver’s seat. Ford’s unique Sync system also allows for the internet-based app to directly feed into a car’s stereo system. There’s no more of the same old Top 40 for you. Options like HD Radio might give you more than FM, but at a cost so why not get the same thing for free?

Don’t forget to take advantage of Pandora’s latest features. Link your Pandora to your Facebook friends to find out what others are listening to. HTML 5 utilization means it’s faster than ever. The improvements for creating lists and browsing for new music are welcome and make rocking out a breeze.

Speak Up

Ever since the first Mustang rolled off the assembly line in 1964 ½, Ford has been a leader in improving how you get around. The company pioneered advanced voice control options to allow for better overall control of the car while staying safe. Sync’s “flatter” feature means less restrictions and easier navigation.

The Only REAL GPS

It usually doesn’t matter how fantastic your GPS navigation system is. What good is it to know where you’re going and how many more miles if there’s a rollover causing hours of delays? Providing real-time traffic updates has long been an obstacle.

Inrix came on the scene as part of MyFord Touch system to provide actual traffic conditions on both highways and surface streets. Inrix is also on your iPhone with a Traffic Pro app. Is it worth it? It depends if you like being stuck in gridlock for hours on end or not.

 

Is High-Performance Exhaust Necessary?

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Is High-Performance Exhaust Necessary?

“High-performance exhaust” certainly sounds like one of the must-have muscle car accessories, but is it necessary? That depends on what you’re using your car for. Let’s take a look at what exactly these Mustang parts do. An exhaust system provides a path for exhaust gases to escape (basically the lungs of the machine). The quality of an exhaust system controls how well your car “breathes” so when it’s subpar, vehicles might be using a lot of power simply to expel gases, power that might be better used elsewhere.

It’s true that a high-performance exhaust system can free up some engine power to increase performance. How much higher performance? Well, simply adding a high-performance system won’t turn a 200 horsepower car into a 600 horsepower speed machine. However, it can be advantageous to racers.

The Superficial Effect

The word “superficial” gets a bad rap, but everyone wants their vehicle not only to perform superbly but look good while doing it. Adding an upgraded or modified exhaust system can create that deep rumble that is reminiscent of pro race cars. However, don’t go solely by sound. The higher-end exhaust systems only slightly increase the aggressive note of the exhaust, but that’s actually a sign of a better system. Many high-performance systems also add to the looks of a car by using shined mufflers.

The Way it Bends

There are two ways an exhaust pipe might bend, and it’s critical to know the difference. The traditional “crush-bend” is what’s used in the factory and might also be found in some after-market exhaust systems. These pipes have an accordion-like look which unfortunately decreases the amount of gas flow. Anything that takes up space in the pipe, including a seemingly meaningless crinkle, slows gas and negatively impacts performance.

The more highly desired mandrel bend is completely smooth and allows for the best gas flow. The diameter of the pipe is consistent throughout, which means higher performance. When considering upgrading to a higher performance system, making sure a pipe is mandrel is the first thing to check.

What’s It Made Of?

The type of pipe is just the first consideration. Chances are your pony’s factory pipe is made of steel – which can deteriorate after a few years. A high-quality system uses aluminized steel that is stronger, less prone to deteriorate, and can provide years of high performance. Another option is stainless steel which is more expensive but lasts much longer than even aluminized steel.

Do I Need It?

Whether or not you “need” a high-performance system depends wholly on what you use your Mustang for and how often. Racers and car show regulars can definitely benefit from increased performance. However, for the average driver whose Pony has never seen a race track, it’s probably not worth it.

 

Mid-Aughts Shelby GT Body Structure

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Mid-Aughts Shelby GT Body Structure

This Pony is timeless for a reason. Originally manufactured from 1965 – 1970, it’s proof that not all good things come to an end – sometimes, they’re reborn. When Ford opted to reintroduce a revamped Shelby in 2006, things really started to heat up. The original five-year span saw some evolution and Mustang fan(atics) were in a prime position to pick out the best aspects of the original.

There were only 500 Shelby GT-H models released in 2007. Already, just ten years later, they’ve become a hot collector. Classic Mustang parts, like the staple GT V8 engine of 1965, were bumped up with the GT-H engine. However, some things are better left unaltered like the traditional gold on black paint. Less than a year after the first Mustang came out, a convertible version was released.

Something Old, Something New

Experts on these powerful machines were instantly transported back in time when the first Shelby 2.0 was unveiled in the early aughts. Mustang accessories may abound, but nothing is as eye-catching as the “Hertz colors” featuring gold racing stripes has been a Hertz heritage for nearly 100 years.

A 100% custom, pinned Shelby hood infuses an extra injection of power into the Pony. In keeping with the racing horse, a brushed aluminium grille showcases the well-known emblem. Side scoops give a solid nod to the sleek look of the 60’s and brings the “muscle” back into muscle cars.

Care to “Super Snake” It?

Too much of a good thing? Hardly. The Las Vegas Carroll Shelby’s Performance Plant began offering this option in 2008. Owners who snagged the Shelby in 2007 could send their baby to Sin City to get super snaked for $27,995. So, what exactly does that mean? This upgrade meant 605 horsepower, but a “supercharged” option gave speedsters over 725 horsepower (however, there’s no warranty for this option). It’s estimated that a super snaked Mustang can go 0 – 60 in as little as 3.5 seconds.

The original 1967 GT500 Super Snake is the inspiration. It’s not just extra horses that drivers get with this package. A fiberglass hood, six-piston brakes, cat-back exhaust, and cooling ducts are just a few of the extra perks of going this route.

2013 Shelby GT500

Change has been in the air since the 2013 model was revealed at an L.A. Auto Show in 2011. The fastest Shelby yet, speeds surpass 200 mph with a 5.8 supercharged V8 under the hood. A new LED taillight ups the ante a notch. The biggest cosmetic difference? There’s no grille – so much interior cooling is required that there is simply no room for it.

A Whiff of Nostalgia

You don’t have to be a child of the 60’s to appreciate one of America’s most impressive machines. Whether you enjoyed your first kiss in a classic or were barely a sparkle in someone’s eye, muscle car nostalgia is one ailment that afflicts everyone.

 

The Pros and Cons of Spoilers

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Adding a rear or chin spoiler is one of the necessary accessories for many drivers. What are the benefits? Some just prefer the look and consider it an extra dosage of muscle in the Pony. Of course, spoilers are “supposed” to add performance to the car, but whether or not any downforce is added is up for debate. Some pros say yes, some say no, so it’s up to what research strikes your fancy – but really, it’s what you think of the look.

One thing to consider is whether or not your specific model is “supposed” to have a spoiler. Some cars, like the 2008 Shelby GT, have ducktail spoilers made by Shelby for Shelby. Other models come straight from the manufacturer with a low wing rear spoiler. There are some enthusiasts who belong to the camp of believing only real Ford Mustang parts belong on these machines. On the other hand, there are others who enjoy thinking outside the box and are up for creating a one of a kind powerhouse with whatever spoiler floats their boat.Mehta_Spoilers2

The Downside

Adding the “wrong” spoiler will not negatively impact the performance of a car. However, choosing to modify a Mustang with a spoiler obviously costs money. Prices of spoilers can range drastically, so it’s important to do a little research to find one that fits a budget. More importantly, adding a spoiler – especially one that is not made specifically for a particular Mustang model – might make a difference when (or if) it comes time to sell. Will the new owner be a fan of your choice?

What Some Fans Say

Regardless of what you believe, the “real” reason spoilers were born was to increase a car’s grip on the road. How much downforce a car has is extremely important in the racing world and most of the time the only thing keeping a Mustang on a track is the weight of the car. One way to help with grip is to increase the weight of the car – but that negatively impacts how a Pony performs in turns. Spoilers are basically upside down airplane wings that are meant to add grip without the added weight. Does it work? That’s up to you to decide.

Options Abound

So, you’ve decided a spoiler is a right option for you. Now comes the tough part – there are seemingly limitless spoilers out there. Cobra styles come with or without lights. Maybe you want to replace that factory low wing rear spoiler with an F-40 high wing spoiler with a red light. An AIT racing spoiler is a popular option for drivers looking to improve on the track. No matter what you decide, remember that spoilers require some serious changes to the car (like holes in the trunk), so choose wisely.

 

Suspension Possibilities for Mustangs

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No matter what generation Pony you have, one of the most critical Ford Mustang parts is the suspension system. Think about the last time you were a passenger in a new car. If you remember spilling your drink, a “rough ride,” or grabbing for the handle on the corners, chances are the suspension system was subpar at best. Can’t remember the details of the last time you were a passenger? Then the suspension system is doing its job. A good system gives you a smooth ride and more control – and luckily for Mustang owners, there are a few possibilities.

Breaking Down the System

A suspension system is comprised of several Mustang accessories including the chassis (frame), springs, shock absorbers, and torsion bars. Knowing what’s inside of your machine – and if it can be improved – is something worth looking into. Both coil and leaf springs absorb any shocks along the road in order to give you a smoother ride. When these parts start to wear down or deteriorate, catching it early can be an inexpensive fix. Shock absorbers work with springs in order to release the shock that’s absorbed.Mehta_Suspension2

Torsion bars are optional, and most Mustangs do not have them. These bars are designed for top-heavy vehicles, such as Jeep Wranglers, and help maintain equal weight throughout the vehicle during side-to-side motion. However, for racers who take corners at high speeds, this is a possibility to consider.

Do You Need an Upgrade?

Most higher-end vehicles built for racing, like your stang, come with impressive suspension systems. However, if you’re looking for something more, or need to replace the existing system, think about a few crucial details. The right system can put your Pony’s power closer to the ground to avoid “wheel hop” for an overall better ride. You can replace the entire system as a kit or just a few key parts like strut braces, control arms, or add a roll cage (a smart idea for convertible owners).

Do you really need an upgrade? That’s up to you. If you’re a racer who spends weekends on the tracks, then an upgraded suspension system can make a big difference. If a trusted mechanic suggests that certain parts are on their last leg, it’s best to replace things early. However, if your Pony is in good shape and you’re not a daredevil, you should have a pretty solid ride with the factory system.

What’s in a Name?

Just like Mustang is an American icon known for excellence, every part of your Pony has a different type of reputation. Some of the most respected brands for suspension systems are BBK, DDJ, and Eibach. Choosing one of these brands when replacing or upgrading your system is always a safe bet. Eibach sportline lowering springs come in the staple fire engine red since beauty is also on the inside. BBK Gripp lowering springs offer a teal blue option. After all, paying a little more for top of the line parts should also have a fun side.

 

Mustang Mondays: Stripes and Decals

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Stripes and Decals

Ever since that first black on gold job on the first generation muscle cars, enthusiasts have been hooked. In the world of muscle and racing car parts, stripes and decals are perhaps the most personal. Nothing says, “This machine is built for speed,” like a racing or rally stripe. Selecting the right detailing might be as difficult as asking a child to choose only a couple of sweets in a candy shop, but that’s all part of the fun. The options are nearly limitless.

The Horse

Adding some extra horse emblems in the form of a decal can make it seem like there are a few more horses under the hood if you’re a Mustang fan. Unlike some of the competitors (if you can call them that), the Mustang logo is – for lack of better words – simply cool, classic, and instantly recognizable. Show some pride without breaking the bank. There are a number of colors and designs to choose from.

Need a Man with a Slow (Steady) Hand

Applying stripes yourself definitely saves some cash, but it’s also a painstaking process. This is not a, “hope for the best” kind of situation. Follow some simple steps for perfect results. Make sure you start with a freshly cleaned car – you’re going to want to show off the modded ride immediately, anyway. Do not wax it, but do make sure any wax residue is completely removed.

Preferably undertake the process in a garage, but if that isn’t an option it’s important to park away from debris or falling leaves. Mark the center of the hood with electrical tape, which is right at the tip of the Mustang’s mane on the grille. Carefully measure and re-measure again. Electrical tape will not damage the paint, so be liberal and be exacting. If working from a kit that supplies soap and decals, use as much soap as possible while working out the bubbles of the stripes.

Not the DIY Type?

It takes commitment, patience, and a little bit of OCD doesn’t hurt, in order to tackle striping yourself. One option is to have a professional body shop do the work, or there is always the possibility of finding a skilled pro yourself via Craigslist or asking around on Facebook. Working with these particular Mustang accessories is a tricky beast, so consider if the cash saved is worth the potential stress.

Color Combinations

If you don’t plan to give your car a complete paint job overhaul, consider the existing color and what works best. Many fans with black vehicles opt for the timeless gold stripes (an homage to the original is always in good taste). White stripes on blue, black on gray, black on red, and black on white are all popular options. Spend some time considering what color combinations say to you to decide on the perfect fit.

 

Stop! With the Right Brakes

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Replacing your vehicle’s parts is critical, but perhaps none so much as the brake system. This is one part of your Pony where you don’t want to skimp on quality. Unlike high-performance tires, factory brakes are good but not great. When it comes time to replace brake pads, it’s likely you’ll want something better than what you had before.

Racers should look into replacing factory brake systems right away in order to ensure a safe sport. Replacing brakes just doesn’t mean a safer ride – it can also increase performance. Choosing higher quality brakes means these Mustang accessories will last longer, perform better in adverse weather conditions, and lessen the time it takes to stop (which is important when dealing with those “brake riders” you might get stuck behind).

Building a Racing Machine

A lot of people get their chosen car for the power – up to 600 horsepower is standard on some newer Mustang models, for example. Add “super snaking” options into the mix or upgrading the engine can make these machines perform even faster. It’s critical to remember that when enjoying the speed and power of your Pony, upgrading the brake system at the same time is crucial. There is absolutely no point in adding power without balancing it with an adequate braking system.

Remember that factory brakes are designed with the “average” driver in mind. This means that these brakes are good enough for an average commuter or trip to the store. The minute you start doing things out of the ordinary, even if that’s pushing the horsepower regularly on a stretch of open road, you’re going to need stoppers that are up for the task.

Top of the Line

One of the most lusted after brakes are the braided stainless steel brake lines – these bad boys give drivers extremely high performance. However, there is a downside. They can fail if not replaced on a regular basis. Unless you’re very on top of things and have the cash to routinely replace a fairly expensive brake system, this isn’t for you.

Another straight-off-the-track option is the cross-drilled rotors and slotted rotors. These rotors are designed to quickly remove heat. This is an easy upgrade that can help racers (or even regular folks with lead feet) improve performance and safety.

Still Want More?

Sometimes replacing “just” the rotors isn’t enough for avid performance fans. A disc brake conversion kit may be the answer. There are conversion kits for a number of models. Keep in mind that going for a full conversion is going to be considerably costlier. You should expect to spend at least $1,500 on these kits. Of course, that’s still not a high price to pay for more performance and more importantly, the safety of you and your passengers.

Mustang Mondays – Lighting Options

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Latest Lighting Options

Interior decorators will tell you that lighting can make the difference between a home and a house. A little mood lighting can go a long way and is one of the best ways homes reflect the character of the owner. Great news – homes no longer have a corner on that market. Beginning with later models in the “aughts,” key Ford Mustang parts now include custom lighting. Everything from headlights to third brake lights is one more thing for Pony pros to think about.

A Blaze of Glory

The color of your aura or chakra might be dismissed as hippie talk, but let’s be real – a glowing blue power machine sends a very different message than a fire red. Bulb covers come in a variety of colors to give your Pony style and more oomph. The best part is that installing a bulb cover is very affordable (often in the $5 range) and easy to swap out so you can change the color depending on mood or occasion. A more permanent option is a LED replacement bulb for not much extra.

Keep it Legal

Make sure you check with local and state police regulations when it comes to modifying lighting. Some precincts and states do not allow certain hues. Avoid any trouble down the road with a simple online search. However, one of the most common no-no’s is blue lights because of the similarity to police lights. If that’s the case, you’re still in luck – there are plenty of other options like red, green, or yellow. It might just be the excuse you need to heat up your ride with a fierier shade.

That Third Point

Some coupes come with that tell-tale third headlight. However, it might also be an add-on option for those who like the look. This additional red bar on the top of the rear window provides added visibility – not to mention a sleek look. Third light burned out? This is a very inexpensive fix at around $50.

It’s MyColor!brush-2915732_1920

Beginning in 2005, MyColor was introduced for Ford. Never before have Mustang accessories been so easily customized. The Delphi system allows drivers to control interior light “color themes.” Need some ideas on which are most popular? Option 555 is a clear, bright white which is a great option for driving at night. Selecting 512 will give you a brighter teal color which is a little jazzier than the default blue. Some people go with 111, which is a calming gray that gives the visibility of 555 but with less glare. There are 127 combinations in total, so get to experimenting. Feel like you’re in a completely different ride – with the same power that you’re used to – by switching it up.