For many car enthusiasts, the day you start modding your car is as exciting as the day you first get it. For the most enthusiastic — or perhaps the least patient — those two days are the same.
With so many options available, it's difficult deciding which mods to start with and which to dive into at all. To help ease your decision-making process, here are five of the best things to upgrade on a Mustang.
1. Exhaust System
Adding an exhaust to get that distinctive growl is one of the most popular Mustang mods. With many different options for exhaust kits, you want to base your choice on what sounds best to your ears. Some popular types of exhaust systems include axle-back, cat-back and turbo-back exhausts as well as headers and downpipes.
Installing an exhaust kit is a relatively easy modification, but it'll make a big difference, especially if you're a fan of that classic muscle car growl. Adding an exhaust kit is especially effective if you have an older 5.0 car, as they come with a 2.5-inch exhaust.
One of the most eye-catching upgrades you can make is to switch out your wheels. There are tons of wheel options available. Mustang modders also often switch out the wheels and tires at the same time to complete the look. There are various factors to consider when choosing your wheels, including:
Size: You can choose between 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20-inch wheels. The size of your wheel will impact handling and ride quality.
Width: An 8-inch width is standard, but you can also get wheels with a 9, 10 or 10.5-inch width. Increasing the width of your tires improves your handling and cornering.
Finish: The finish of your wheel is just for looks. Choose from chrome, polished, painted, clear-coated, powder-coated and more.
If you want to boost your Mustang's horsepower, adding a supercharger is the way to go. Adding a supercharger will increase the air intake to your engine, which in turn increases power. In most simple applications, improving rear wheel horsepower by up to 150 is common.
There are three main types of superchargers — centrifugal, twin screw and roots. Whichever you choose, you'll love the extra boost it gives you. A supercharger is the fastest way to get a massive increase in power. You can modify it to get even more intensity, and your supercharger will amplify all of the other power-related mods you make to your car.
If you're going to upgrade the speed and power of your Mustang, you should also update its brakes. The factory brakes are designed to handle standard power and everyday driving styles, so if you plan on doing more than that, consider a brake kit. Upgrading your brakes will help them last longer before needing service and will give you more control over your ride.
Look for brake kits that increase the number of pistons in the caliper, which will make your brakes feel more even and consistent. You can also upgrade to performance brake pads, drilled or slotted rotors and stainless steel brake fluid lines. Brake kits come with some of these components.
A slightly more advanced modification involves adjusting the suspension of your Mustang. Lowering your suspension eliminates wheel gap and creates a classic look. It also improves handling by reducing body sway during turns, reducing squat when accelerating and decreasing brake dive.
You can choose from a variety of methods for adjusting your suspension including adding springs, shocks, struts or a coilover kit. Adjustable toe links, K-member braces, vertical links are other options. You can also opt for independent rear suspension, which can help when taking sharp turns but can lead to other issues, such as wheel hop.
Let's Get Started
For many Mustang enthusiasts, the most exciting part of having a Mustang is modding it. Whether you're looking to get started with modifying your ride or wondering what your next mod should be, any of these five options make an excellent choice.