JUST BOUGHT DIFFERENT MUFFLERS FOR MUSTANG

Just bought these two items. Absolutely best price possible and free shipping. Didn’t want a situation where it was out of stock when I needed it. Uninstalled stuff can be returned anytime for a refund.

http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/item/M5230MGTCA1/2011-Mustang-Gt-50L-Ford-Racing-Gt500-Axle-Back-Exhaust-Kit

http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/item/LRS-CW1/Wheel-Nut-Cavity-Cleaner

I’m paying the dealer to install it when the car comes in so I have full warranty. These are Ford Racing parts. Obviously I’m keeping the original mufflers.

I’m not doing any custom tunes until the drivetrain warranty expires in 5 years. By that time I’ll know if there are any issues with the engine. If not, I’m safe using a BAMA tune and a quality cold air intake.

These mufflers: extra 9 hp and lighter weight. But I got them for the sound without being too loud.
CAI: 11 hp
Tune for 93 octane: 20-24 hp

This is all rear wheel hp. So the flywheel hp would go from 420 to maybe 475, plus shifting would be better. No manual with the same tune would beat it.

The Ford Racing tune and air filter is not worth the money for the little bit of power added, even if it’s covered under warranty. It’s about 7 hp overall. However it does add 60 pounds of torque at 1500 rpm. But that won’t do me much good, really, unless I was using gigantic monster slicks in the rear. Otherwise takeoffs would spin tires even easier than it can do already.

BAMA gives you 3 tunes for any and all of the 3 octanes, generically offering Street, Performance and Racing, but you can mix and match parameters.
I’d do 87 Performance with original shifting, 93 Performance with Performance shifting, and 93 Racing with Racing shifting, which I would rarely use. Takes about 5-15 minutes to reload a tune. Original factory tune is backed up.

BAMA is by far the best company (American Muscle) with the best warranty. Most people also report MPG gains, especially with using Performance. They also offer a Nitrous mode for 91 octane only. I think just that one is not warrantied.

BAMA is the most careful not to get into detonation issues or getting something too lean or rich, yet their numbers are as good as anyone’s. You can also shut off the speed limiter or adjust rpm limiter, though I’d leave the latter alone for sure.

Once you purchase your 3 tunes, you get more tunes free for life. This means if a tune doesn’t work out, or you get different size tires, or get different rear end gears, etc. This way your instruments still read right, etc.

I’ve done research. IF the engine blew up, the dealer can tell if the computer was flashed, though they would not know what was changed and how it was changed before you loaded the original tune back in. So you’d likely have no warranty. An engine is about $10k installed. IF the #8 piston blows up (detonation/runner issue done wrong), BAMA covers $8k of the cost. That’s why I think they’re the most careful.

The scary thing is that if you took it to a dealer while traveling out of state and they needed to reflash it for some reason, you really better have a detailed receipt to show your original dealer if the engine blows up later. I would also have the dealer contact my dealer by phone to let them know what they did so it could be entered into the database. Otherwise you’d be on the hook for no warranty.

These engines seem to be as reliable as any. You know how the Internet is. The people with problems likely did something stupid.

I’m switching from Hess gas to Shell, as usually Shell here is just as cheap or even cheaper. The Hess gas is just as good, but the Shell has useful additives that likely would help the engine. The important thing is never buy gas from a place that is really a “no name” brand or doesn’t do much business, so the gas sits in their tanks longer.

I want to get the car broken in fast so I’m planning some day trips off of interstate highways. I’ve never been to Burlington, VT, so that might be a valid itinerary.

ADDITIONAL POWER OPTIONS

The Mustang’s engine power at the engine is 420 hp, about 373-376 at the wheels. The Shelby mufflers, surprisingly, turn out to add about 9 hp at the wheels, nice bonus besides sounding better.

At some point I’d be looking to add CAI (cold air induction). By itself, maybe 11 hp more at the wheels. This is basically updating the air filter and tubing so that it’s sucking in cold air away from the engine while also using a state of the art filter with less air restriction and better filtration. It also can be washed instead of being tossed every 15-20,ooo miles. Probably good for 80,000 or better.

So now that takes us to 393 hp at the wheels, or maybe an engine rating of 440-450 hp. That’s the same as the Boss 302 version of the Mustang.

Now let’s add a custom tune. This is reprogramming the chip that runs everything. Typically this will add at least another 20 hp overall to the peak hp and torque, and maybe as much as 40 more to the very low end torque in some cases.

You buy a programmer that plugs into a port under your dashboard. A company emails custom tunes to you and you load them into the chip. As you’d expect, it changes the engine setup, but since I have an automatic, it can also change how hard and quick the transmission shifts, from a little more than stock, to very strong for racing.

These overall tunes are typically rated as Street, Performance, and Racing. Some people report BETTER gas mileage in Racing mode, probably because of optimization of power from the fuel to air ratio. The programmer also stores the original factory tune in case you want to put that back in. I expect I’d want to use the Performance mode, but I’d try all three.

Mufflers: $310 plus 100-200 to install by a dealer if I want to have a warranty.

CAI: $300 (more if you get it separately from the programmer, package savings here)

Programmer: $379

Tune: 3 tunes for free when you buy programmer. They also have a program where you can get additional tunes for life for free.

This is what they look like together:

http://www.americanmuscle.com/airaid-race-cai-tuner-1113gt.html

After much research it appears the Bama company knows what they’re doing better than anyone else.

I want to do this sometime when I can get up money for it. $1009 to take the car from 420 to 460-470 hp. That’s mufflers, CAI and tuner. I can load in different tunes whenever, takes lessĀ  than 15 minutes the first time and even less after that.

The car starts out being able to use any gas, but the tunes optimize it to take only 91 or 93 octane to get more power. I’d do 93. More importantly, shifting for the automatic would be more crisp and firm and would make for better acceleration. At that point no manual shift car could touch this, even if it had the same engine tune.

If I wanted even quicker acceleration with a loss of high end speed, I could install 4:10 rear gears for about $250 including labor. Not likely for me, but remotely possible.

I could do the tune or the CAI by themselves, but it makes more sense to do them together.

I should also point out that the car comes from the factory with the top speed limited to 147 mph. With reprogramming, I can remove that. I can also fine tune the red line RPM limit, which I’d adjust for safety. Hey, it already revs to 7,000!

Without speed limiting, the car would probably be good for 160, maybe more but not sure. I’ve noticed that it pulls really strong up to 135, rather impressively from 135-150. So likely 160, and with more power added, possibly 165. The Shelby at 662 hp makes about 202 mph. You need a LOT more power to get from 165 to 200!

However here in New England I’m not likely to find a stretch of, um, private pavement to bury the speedometer at 160. Though there is a speedway nearby.

Here I am without the car being delivered yet, and I’m already researching ways to make it punchier!

THE CAR IS ORDERED!

Today I placed a deposit to order the car……FINALLY! Likely to show up August 4 (9 weeks) give or take a week.

I added the option of getting a NOAH style car cover for $321 as part of the loan. After a lot of research, this style of cover is in the top 20% of all serious covers for cars.

I already had all the codes for all the other options I wanted, so things went easier for the manager to confirm my “Internet” pricing. Altogether after the usual Destination/Prep charges and Administrative fees, the final price is quite nice at $4710 off MSRP. They did at least $500 better than the next competing dealer.

I asked about the possibility of getting sticky summer tires with the wheels I ordered, but as I expected, those are only for manual transmission cars with the Brembo brake track package. The typical tire is an all-season Pirelli P Zero. Good enough tire, and when they eventually wear out, I can get summer tires. Summer would work for me as I don’t expect to be driving in the winter.

I sent an email to the Gibbs metal protectant manufacturer to see how much I’d have to buy to spray the bottom of the car. I covered this topic in an earlier post about protecting metal on cars. I figure at least six 12 oz spray cans at $72 total.

I’ve listened to a lot of YouTube vids to see if there are any mufflers out there I’d like better than the stock ones. All the third party sets run about $500-630. Kind of rich for me. But the one I liked about the best I can get on the Net for $310 shipped free, and it’s a Ford Racing part that won’t invalidate any warranties. It’s the same muffler used on the Shelby, but with a single outlet per muffler instead of dual like the Shelby, so it’s compatible with the GT rear fascia without any modifications.

I only like mufflers that sound throaty and deep. I don’t like the snapping, barking Rice Crispies kind of sound, which covers most of the aftermarket mufflers. They also tend to be louder than what I want. I found one like the Shelby that was quite nice, but it’s probably a bit louder and again, about $600.

I wanted to incorporate the Shelby mufflers into the loan, but my dealer is not a Ford Racing dealer, and if I had them get it, it would be an extra $40. So I’m ordering it myself out of pocket. When it comes in I can decide whether to install it myself or have them do it. I looked at a very well done YouTube vid showing the right way to do it without problems. I could probably do it in 60-90 minutes. The dealer wasn’t sure exactly how long it would take them, but said they could cover it for sure for $200, and if it only turned out to be $100 worth of time, they’d charge me that. I’ll make up my mind on that later.

I’m happy with the whole experience at this dealer thus far. This is the same dealer with whom I’ve spent a lot of time. I’m containing my excitement until I’m actually driving off the lot and driving it home. Then at that time my brain will likely pop like a balloon at 175,000 feet altitude!

WHAT WOULD MY CAR LOOK LIKE AT A DRAG STRIP?

This car has the same drivetrain I’m buying. Quote:

1/4 mile Drag Race Video of a bone stock 2013 Mustang GT 5.0 with an automatic transmission. The new 420 horsepower 5.0 liter Coyote motor is a stout performer in stock form as it clicks off a respectable 12.91 @ 110 mph in the quarter mile.

This is certainly faster than my 1968 Olds 442, which was plenty of fun.

I’VE PICKED AN ORDERING DATE

I’m getting 60 hours of earned time turned into cash on July 11, 2013. Therefore since a car takes at least 6 weeks to arrive, I’m ordering on May 30. Don’t want it showing up before I have that extra money for a down payment.

AUTOMATIC V8 TEST DRIVE, MORE FINANCE NEWS

Previously I stated I drove a V8 manual and a V6 automatic. Hard to find a V8 automatic.

A few days back I went to Salem, NH to drive a V8 automatic Mustang. I took it out about 20 minutes and found out what I wanted to find out.

Reviewers who compare the automatic to the manual transmission are pretty much right. Compared to a manual clutch, the grab after changing gears is somewhat “muted” as they put it, but it’s so small as to not make any difference to me, especially at 420 hp.

As far as the speed for changing gears, it’s at least as fast as a manual if you’re pushing hard, in many instances a bit faster, probably always faster. The only YouTube vid I saw where a guy could do really fast manual shifts the way I want to do it, without notches, was the result of a modification they call “faceplating”, which is a modification more suitable to racing and not especially practical for daily driving. I know I’m not modifying any manual transmission.

If I didn’t care about the warranty, I could reprogram the chip for not only better throttle response, but also faster and harder automatic shift response. There’s no way the manual could compete with that.

As far as regular and sport mode selection in the auto, Ford did a good job programming that, no complaints.

This year’s automatic has a button on the knob for manual selection while in Sport mode. It engages the first time you use it. To go back to regular Sport mode auto shifting, I guess you put it in Normal then back to Sport. That worked for me.

What reviewers said about the button is true, you have to anticipate its slowness. I’d say depending on whether or not you’re upshifting or downshifting, and your speed and torque, the lag ranges from 0.8 to 1.8 seconds. Maybe most of the time about a second. During the times you want it to shift fast, figure on 0.9 to 1.1 seconds. That’s my gut feeling, had no opportunity to time that for real.

As I told the salesman, if the manual had no notches like my Olds 442, I would enjoy shifting the manual. A reviewer asked, “Why would you get a car like this and not the manual?” Well, reviewers are used to driving mostly cars that have notches. The enjoyment for me is completing a really fast, solid shift. If I can’t do that, no fun at all. I want to feel like I can shift better than the next guy. With this manual, everybody will be mostly shifting as fast as anybody else.

I noticed in a few vids people doing a technique to give them a bit faster manual shift, but I’d be scared to try it as it looked to me like eventually it would mess up some parts. What they’d do is start pushing on the shifter about a quarter of the distance to the notch before actually doing the shift. They’d start pushing about 1.5 seconds before doing the shift. That has to be putting pressure on something. Yeah, that would be great having the dealership tell me I was shifting it like a clown after taking it in for repairs, thus a voided warranty.

Ford wisely didn’t spend money on paddle shifters and dual clutch setups, which would add a lot of cost to the car. That would make the automatic shift like a supercar, but even the cheapest car with a paddle shift dual clutch usually is at least twice the cost of a Mustang. Makes more sense to just reprogram the chip, would make it just as fast, even if it would be more of a jerk to the seat of your pants.

Conclusion:
I’m totally satisfied with deciding on the automatic over the manual.

Previously I stated what it would cost to trade the Buick or not. My new number for keeping it is $98 a month.

If I didn’t say this previously, I’ve also established that I can get $4000-4200 off MSRP for the Mustang locally, somewhat less from other dealers. Therefore the “sting” for keeping the Buick works out to $41 a month. I still have to decide how the eventual payments impact my lifestyle, and that might still force me to trade the Buick. Won’t think about it again until I’m ready to do a deposit and order.
If I order a month sooner than planned, it comes out to $13 a month extra. Doesn’t sound like much, but all this adds up. Still shooting for the first few weeks of June for the deposit, first few weeks of August for delivery, more likely beginning of September. Don’t want to take delivery in November! I’ll at least wait until I get my next credit report around the beginning of April to see what direction it’s trending. I hope it’s up a little.