How to Tune Up a 2001 Ford Mustang

by Jennifer T

The Ford Mustang is one of America's oldest sports cars. A tune up on the 2001 Mustang is needed every 80,000 to 100,000 miles. Some of the key signs that your car needs a tuning is: slow start up, sluggish acceleration, skipping or jerking while driving, and backfiring through the exhaust. Automotive repair companies can charge you upwards of $300 for a full tune up. The parts needed for the job are around $100 as of September 2010. This project takes patience and attention to detail. The average time to complete it is around 90 to 120 minutes.

Write down the list of things you need to complete the tune up and take it to your local auto part retailer. They will locate the factory suggested brands/parts, generic brands, and the high performance brands that are approved for your car. Either of the approved brands is fine, but there will be a difference in price, and performance may vary. The standard way to go is with the factory suggested brands.

Park your vehicle in a roomy and shaded place such as a garage. If you have been driving the car prior to tuning it up you will have to let the engine cool two to three hours. Raise the hood to allow it to cool faster.

Change out the air filter which will be on your right-hand side towards the front of the motor. The air filter is exposed making it easy to see. To change it you must unlatch the clamp on the hose connected to the air filter. This can be done by hand. Pull the air filter out from the tip/front. It should come out smoothly. Put the new filter in by sliding it on to the hose clamping it on and pushing the tip down until it is snug the way you found the original.

Remove the spark plug wires one by one and remove each spark plug one by one as well. This is crucial to avoid crossing up the wiring. Start from the passenger side from back to front. The wires are plainly seen running from the distributor cap to the spark plug. The distributor cap is located on the back left-hand side; it is round with six to eight round spark plug wires coming from it. The wires will be leading downward to either side of the motor to where the plugs are.

Locate the plug closest to the back and unscrew the ignition switch with your Philips-head screw driver. Pull the wire off of the plug by hand. Place your ratchet with the 5/8 attachment and extension if necessary on the spark plug that is screwed into the motor. Unscrew it and pull it out. Install the new spark plug into that same hole and tighten it snug but not overly tight.

Pull out your new spark plug wires and find the one that is the exact same size as the one you just removed. Place the new spark plug wire in the location where you removed the old one.

Move on to the next plug and wire and repeat steps 4, 5, and 6.

Remove the distributor cap by unscrewing it with your flat-head screw driver. It is mounted on top of the distributor with two screws holding it in place. Once you have it off you can pull the rotor out; it is attached on the distributor in plain sight and pulls off by hand. Place the new rotor on by simply pushing it down on to the same place you pulled the old one off.

Install the distributor cap by lining up the new distributor cap with the old one which should still have the wires connected to it. Place the new distributor cap in the mounting position and screw it down tight. Transfer one wire at a time on to the new distributor cap in the same exact spot you remove the old one.

Items you will need

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