10 Things to Make a Mustang 5.0 Fasterby William Zane
The 5.0 Mustang is a popular basis for a fast, fun-to-drive car. Thanks to a torquey 5.0-liter V8, it is an impressive car even in stock form. But it also takes very well to modifications. Every area of the car, from the engine to the suspension and the brakes, can be improved, resulting in an even more impressive car.
One of the first steps to take is installing a more free-flowing exhaust to evacuate spent gasses from the motor as quickly as possible. This can be done by a local muffler shop, or you can order a ready-to-install exhaust from a Mustang parts vendor.
(2) Tubular Headers
Headers will help as well. Stock manifolds are relatively restrictive; bolting up a set of tubular headers will result in better flow.
(3) Reprogrammed ECU
Install a computer chip with more aggressive maps for the fuel and timing curves.
(4) Underdrive Pulleys
A set of underdrive pulleys to replace the larger, stock belt pulleys reduced parasitic drag on the motor and frees up more power.
(5) Cold Air Intake
A cold air intake will provide cooler air to the motor, allowing it to produce more power.
(6) Springs and Shocks
Making a Mustang faster does not just mean making it more powerful. A car with more power than handling may be dangerous, and it might not be any faster than a less powerful car when it comes to real world driving. To improve the handling, install stiffer and lower springs and a set of performance shocks. The car will look better and handle a lot better.
(7) Anti-roll bars
Next up, install a set of anti-roll bars, which will reduce the lean that the car experiences during aggressive cornering.
(8) Stickier Tires and larger wheels
Replace the stock tires with some stickier, track oriented R (racing) compound tires. Or swap out the stock alloys for bigger wheels, which will allow you to install even larger tires.
Like the suspension, the brakes on a Mustang need to be upgraded if you want to get the best out of the car. Start by installing ceramic brake pads, which hold up better under heat and provide improved braking.
Install cross-drilled and ventilated rotors and a set of braided steel brake lines. The braided lines don't necessarily make the car faster, but they do provide a firmer pedal feel, which in turn makes it easier to precisely modulate the amount of braking during aggressive driving.
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.