Here's my strut tower brace; gotta have one of these. I've noticed that the stock equipment/ride height doesn't like be... Show moreing front-heavy as the nose can tend to feel loose on the car. I plan on starting with this simple mod to tighten handling. I bought this chrome one from Blue Oval Industries; it should fit the plenum cover underneath if I decide to go that route for dress-up in the engine compartment.
I like this California Dream hood, but I'm swaying toward the 3-4" Cowl now (see below). I mainly wanted the hood to extract heat from the engine compartment, but the cowl's design is classic and works well at cooling the engine down. These engines have what's called "heat soak" problems; you run them hard a time or two and the engine gets "soaked" in heat. There tends to be a quite noticable loss of power until you let her cool down awhile with a highway cruise.
I was also looking at a fiberglass cowl hood for the thing and deciding on paint for it, as well. I saw one that really looked cool. I would probably have to pin it, but that would be no problem. As far as paint, I'm debating on the same color, but running a light grey wide, double stripe down the hood, roof, and trunk lid. I may try a lighter silver, to give it a "ghosting" effect. I may put some pearl with that, as well. I have been debating on another paint scheme that will be friggin' killer, but I want to do it myself and it's going to take some practice; the Cutlass may be my guinea pig for that. I'm keeping that one secret as it's my own design and I haven't seen it done ANYWHERE. It may very well have been done somewhere, but I keep pretty good tabs on this stuff and haven't found it anywhere. I want something like no other, so it won't just be another Mustang 'like that guy's' and will be known as mine. I'll keep you posted on this stuff, too.
Here's the 3" cowl I found; I believe it's on a Mr. Bodykit's site...this may be the one I go with. I'm looking at 3-4 different styles to suit my taste.
Here's the 4" Cowl hood I'm eyeballing and foaming at the mouth for. What a beauty, huh? I think I saw this in one of my Mustang mags and am not quite sure if this would be a hinderance on my view. I pay quite close attention to the road and don't like my vision blocked; whether it looks cool or not. Maybe the 3" cowl is for me.
Nothing like hood struts to make it easier. With a newer model, I didn't like the fact that they went hood prop on it; even if they're trying to give vintage feel. I don't MIND it, but it gets in the way when you're trying to do modifications under the hood.
SLP's X-pipe with hi-flow cats. I also included the off-road pipes with the kit (these substitute for the cats when you want to run it without restriction/race). The bungs for the O2 sensors on the cats and the exhaust hangers are pre-welded in, but I'm not sure about the off-road pipes. It's upposed to be a bolt-in deal with no welding. I love the plug-and-play stuff nowadays. All you have to do is slide it over the existing stuff and clamp it in. Then, you can slide off the cats, install off-road pipes, and hit the track. 'Not too much easier than that. You better have a tuner, though, for the track runs. This is what I purchased after I got the "E" kit delivered; I finally installed it and let me tell you...it is AWESOME. It has the racecar sound but not obnoxiously. It's not for everyone, but it is decent until you get in the throttle. Then, it simply ROARS to life. This will improve hp, but you'll be in the throttle a LOT to hear it, so mpg will suffer unless you show some control, heh.
And of course SLP's Loudmouth exhaust. Pricy damned little pipes, I will have to say. Ridiculous for a small mandrel bend tube with chrome tips at $315 . Had to have it, though. These delete your mufflers and make it LOUD. Most find it too loud for their taste and go with the Powerflows from SLP or some other brand's stuff with resonators. I heard this in person on a friend's '03 Mach 1 and fell in love! I love it loud and proud. I've been trying to find this exhaust for awhile now and never could catch up with the Mustangs in town to ask what it was. Finally! This was purchased with the SLP X-pipe/high-flow cats/offroad pipe kit. This has a really wicked sound to it. Nasty. Most tell me that it makes the car sound like it has a LOT done to it. Oh, and it WILL when I'm out of warranty.
Here's a short vid for ya. It sucks and STILL doesn't do the exhaust justice as it was still cold and I really couldn't get in it so I didn't piss my lady's neighbors off, heh. I'll have a better one here later; promise.
Short Exhaust Clip
Here's the headers I bought on Ebay, as well(love that site, but it's FRICKIN' ADDICTIVE). They're the shorty style and should mate up to my upgraded exhaust just fine. I figured, "What the hell?" I might as well upgrade that, too. I purchased them for $250 and will have them ceramic-coated at a local shop for about $110. MUCH cheaper than spending $400-900 for pre-coated ones. Sweeeeet. Creative Aftermarket (CAM) makes them and they're actually pretty good, as I've been told by a speed shop. Long tubes are better on performance, but they're harder to install and create clearance issues when transmission work (clutch, for example) is done, so you have to go through the whole process of removing them afterward. I'll stick with these.
I added these Ventshade pieces. They're pretty nice, though the plastic was cheap and I cracked the corner on one; sucks. I'll replace it when it falls off, heh.
This is the Honeycomb Tail Panel that I added. I bought it on Ebay for about $139. It's the same design as what's up front. Most go for the black vinyl piece or the flat plastic piece here. I like this design.
Roush makes this 3-pc wing. I debated on it, but when the honeycomb piece was added, it just wouldn't look right, so I'm keeping the stocker on.
This is the rear window louvered panel from Astra Hammond that I added; I bought it off of Amazon.com for $179, I think(don't quote me on that). I always loved this on the classic muscle cars, even as a kid. They say that if you get these louvers on whatever model car you have, get the plastic. My friends in the local club say it fits better, plus there's that spraypaint for plastics that you can touch it up with every few years and it looks as good as new. This one's a bit flimsy, and when it bakes in the sun it tends to bend upward in the center; especially when catching wind during highway driving. I haven't had any other problems and it looks great on the car. I'm still waiting on the aluminum ones to come down on price; they're still $400...sheesh.
Roush also makes this quarter window louver. I like the scoop; don't get me wrong. This will allow some vision out my blind spots, though, and it has three wider panels; different from the others out there and the louvered design allows you to see out of them. I like this design.
My Nitto NT-450s...crap on the strip, but GREAT on the street. Pretty damned good for wet traction.
Some custom fog light covers I made for the car thanks to the idea from one of my club members! Painted Satin Silver like the car, too.
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I have a bad experience to share with my fellow 'Stangers. I installed some Blue Xenon headlamp bulbs in my headlights, which I bought on eBay. They worked fine for about 2 1/2 weeks, then would not work after a slightly longer than normal drive. I took the car to Ford to find out that I had to fork up $480 in repairs, as the lights melted the connectors and burnt the wiring harness on both sides. I'm seeking damages from the guy since he advertised, and I quote, "a direct replacement for OEM lights, no wiring necessary." Ford said the blue bulbs (they were darker blue than the Sylvania Cool Blue ones you find at Auto Zone) burn too hot (thus melt the connector) and draw too much current (thus burn up the harness) for stock installation. They recommend stock or white bulbs. End result: Well, I waited too long to notify eBay about it and there was nothing they could do, nor would the jerk do anything about it. There are a TON of these things on eBay; even some that say "HID" in the title, so watch out for these ladies and gentlemen. I made the mistake, so don't do it to yours, too. For now I'm $480 shorter and pissed off.
Update: I'll be replacing some of these pics with REAL pics of the car VERY soon. Show Less