How to Make a V6 Mustang Fasterby William Zane
The Mustang is one of America’s favorite muscle cars and has been for years, even in less powerful V6 form. But despite having less power than its V8-powered Mustang siblings, the Mustang V6 is still a terrific car. There are also several ways to go about getting more speed from one of these cars, including upgrades to the engine, exhaust system and suspension.
Install a more free-flow exhaust. The stock exhaust system on a Mustang is relatively restrictive, so one of the first changes owners in search of more power make is the installation of a larger-diameter exhaust. You can either purchase an exhaust system and header from a company that sells performance parts or have an exhaust shop install a performance exhaust.
Replace the air box with a cold-air intake. The stock intake on a Mustang’s V6 lets a limited amount of air into the engine, whereas a cold air intake will provide the motor with all the air it needs. The more air the engine can get, the more power it can make. Plus, a cold-air intake sounds good. Installing a cold-air intake is generally pretty easy and involves removing the stock air box and then bolting on the new air intake.
Have the engine’s computer reprogrammed. A performance ECU will recalibrate how much air, fuel and spark the engine receives and will help it make more power. This modification should be performed by a shop familiar with modifying automotive electronics.
Install a better suspension. As originally equipped, the Mustang V6 has a pretty plush suspension, which is great for comfort but not so great for speed. Remove the stock springs and shocks and install stiffer, lower springs and adjustable-performance shocks that will allow your Mustang to corner faster. Remember, a fast car is not simply fast in a straight line but fast around corners as well.
Replace the stock wheels and tires with a performance wheel and tire package. A larger set of wheels will allow you to install wider, stickier tires for better handling and grip. To make this an easy process, simply order the wheels that you want with the tires installed already. Simply jack up your Mustang with a floor jack and install the new wheels and tires.
Lighten it. Gaining speed is not simply a function of adding power but is also a function of weight, more specifically a lack thereof. Though you want to keep your Mustang usable for the street (unless it’s a race car), you can install lighter aftermarket sport seats in place of the heavy stock seats. If you want to really get extreme, remove the rear seats, pull out the stock carpeting and sound deadening and install a lighter carpet kit made of thinner carpeting.
Things You'll Need
- Socket set and ratchet
- Specialty automotive tools
William Zane has been a freelance writer and photographer for over six years and specializes primarily in automotive-related subject matter among many other topics. He has attended the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he studied automotive design, and the University of New Mexico, where he studied journalism.