Ford Mustang GT Performance!

The Silver Streak

This car has saved my life. After driving an Isuzu Trooper 4x4 for four years I needed a serious excitement boost. After a brief look at the Camaro I decided it was back to the Mustang for me. I choose the GT over the Cobra because I could upgrade the GT to Cobra speed for a reasonable price and avoid the extra $1000 per year in insurance. I decided to get a '95 with the 302 instead of the new 4.6 liter engine. In hindsight I'm glad I did. There's plenty of parts available now for the SOHC but nothing like what's available for the 302, plus the modular aftermarket parts are expensive. The Silver Streak is silver with a grey leather interior. I went for the 5 speed tranny (of course) with 3.08:1 rear gears. The tires are Goodyear Eagle GT P245/45R17 on good looking alloy wheels. Since I live close to work I put very low miles on my cars. When my five year or fifty thousand mile extended warranty is up the car should be ripe for heads and a supercharger. Until then I'll stick to factory friendly bolt-on modifications. This SN95 is almosy two years old with no major complaints. In short, I love this car.

Well, I still love this car but it had to go. I've decided that my modified Mustang, no matter how fast it goes, will always be a $20,000 car. I want luxury, a quiet ride and more acceleration than the human body can handle. That means a C5 Corvette. The Silver Streak was sold at the end of July, 1998 and will now give someone else a smile every time it hits the road.

The Silver Streak Picture Gallery


Installed K&N Filtercharger and removed intake silencer and mass air screen. Easy ten minute inexpensive power booster. The air silencer is just a flexible rubber boot that connects the air filter housing to the right fender wall. It comes out quickly with a little effort. The mass air screen may or may not be a good item to remove. It would seem to be somewhat restrictive so I yanked it out. Don't just bust it out! Take apart the mass air housing and remove the screen and gasket. You'll need to CAREFULLY pry up the soft aluminium ring where it's crushed over the screen. Remove the screen and pound the ring flat. Reinstall with the rubebr gasket so there are no leaks. The mass air screen is TOUGH so take your time. The K&N FilterCharger is a no brainer. Pull out the factory filter and put in the K&N.
Installed Walker DynoMax cat-back system. This was a straightforward modification. It sounds great and was good for a few horsepower. This will pay off in the future as the engine is upgraded.
Installed Tesla G-Tech Pro performance computer. This is a neat little accelerometer package which can display your 0-60 time, quarter mile (trap time and speed), 60-0 braking time and distance as well as continuous and instantaneous G forces plus horsepower. It's very accurate and saves a lot of trips to the drag strip. The G-Tech Pro attatches to the windshield and plugs into the 12V power jack. It's great for measuring changes as you modify your car. The real world accuracy of the G-Tech Pro is +/- 1/10 of a second 0-60, +/- 1/10 of a second and +/- 1 MPH in the quarter-mile. The only thing wrong with the G-Tech/Pro is Tesla's decision to produce the product with a non removable power cord. I really don't like a large coiled cord in my face all day so I decided to fix this oversight. Since the case is so small I had a limited choice of plugs to use. I ended up with a Radio Shack enclosed 1/32" mono headphone jack. It fit perfectly in the G-Tech/Pro housing where the cable strain relief used to go. Installation was straightforward with a little bit of soldering. I then put a 1/32" plug on a 12V cord for a removeable, portable solution. I also hard wired a hidden cord in the car so I could leave the G-Tech/Pro permanently mounted to the windshield. Now I'm happy!
Installed Pro 5.0 Power Tower shifter. This was another easy modification with great results. Shifting is now a pleasure, especialy second to third gear. If you plan on going fast, do this modification!
Installed March Performance underdrive pulleys. I chose the black aluminum model because I didn't want anything to stand out in the engine compartment. These ran about $110 from Summit and I think they're worth it for the money. They give a little power boost and have not detracted from everyday driving at all. The installation was straightforward and simple. The bolts on my pulleys broke free without major effort. You may need air tools on your car. You can only apply so much pressure before you crank the engine or slip the belt. You'll also need a breaking bar to relax the tension on the belt. It's a good idea to use Locktite for the bolts when you put the new pulleys on. I've decided to check the bolt tightness on a regular basis for a while just to be safe. Now that I've said all that, I decided to reinstall the factory alternator pulley. The voltage was dropping a fair bit at idle and I'm sick of worrying about it. The performance difference should be very small. With the stock pulley back on the voltage looks great. I never had any trouble with the battery but you never know.
Installed Steeda adjustable fuel pressure regulator and gauge. This modification was intended to cure my detonation problems with advanced timing. It should also come in handy in the future when additional modifications are installed.
Advanced base ignition timing to 14 degrees before top dead center. If your engine can handle it, this is a free performance boost. My engine wouldn't take any advance until I installed a Steeda adjustable fuel pressure regulator (see previous segment) and gauge. Be sure to run premium gas and use a quality timing light. You also need to remember to remove the spout plug (located on the right side by the mass air housing) to prevent the computer from advancing the timing while you adjust. The amount of advance you can run depends on your engine and the outside air temperature. After installing the adjustable fuel pressure regulator I advanced the timing to 14 degrees with 38 psi of pressure. The car still had a slight ping under load so I bumped the pressure to 40 psi and it ran great. Once the computer gets used the new pressure and gas I plan on trying 16 degrees advance. Don't forget to reinstall the spout plug before you hit the road.
Performance Update: I've been lazy and haven't made it to the track once. I've been using the Tesla G-Tech Pro for all testing but finding a level straight road in California can be a challenge. After everything so far we recorded 0-60 times of 5.87 to 6.25 seconds on a pretty flat road in cool weather, right after the fuel pressure regulator install and timing advance. All in all this is a fair improvement over stock. All the upgrades so far have been easy to install and reasonably priced. The car drives great and loves to move through gears at wide open throttle. I'll have another performance update after I install the 3.55:1 gears in a week or two.
Installed JBA unequal length 1 5/8" shorty headers. These were a chore to install but worth the effort. They really helped the top end and open up the exhaust so it can handle future modifications.
Installed Bosch Platinum spark plugs. I did this when the headers were off to make things easy. The factory plugs have been in for 11,000 miles and I figured why not try some new parts. The original plugs were in good condition with no fouling or pitting. I gapped the Bosch at .054 to start. The car seems to idle a little rougher when cold but has plenty of go when things warm up. Since this was done at the same time asthe headers it's a little hard so sort out which changes are from which parts. All in all it was a worthy experiment. Once I get a new coil I'll see if I can open the gap a bit more.
Performance Update: I'm still being lazy and I still haven't made it to the track. I did find an excellent location for quarter-mile blasts so away we went! With stock tires, a passenger and no cool down time I netted a 14.75 @ 99.5 MPH and a best of 14.61 @103.1 MPH. I also recorded 0-60 times of 6.11 seconds and 6.05 seconds on these same runs. I must say that my launches are less than perfect (I bogged a bit on the faster run) and I should be able to pull even better times as I improve. I'm still using the Tesla G-Tech Pro computer for these times. From what I understand, the G-Tech Pro is more accurate than the track and typicaly yields 2-3 MPH more on quarter mile runs. All in all, the car is doing pretty darn good for the work that's been done so far. I'm still waiting for a chance to install the gears and work the suspension, then I'll try again.
Installed Schroth Rallye-4 four point harness system. I noticed a little piece about this system in a MM&FF article about the Kenny Brown C4 Cobra. I was unaware that you could install a usable harness without a roll bar. I checked around and they sounded great. Schroth directed me to Sube Motorsports who had the Rallye-4 for $139 each. Summit also sells Schroth but they didn't have the Rallye-4 with black belts in stock. Since I usually like my passenger, I purchased one for each side. The Rallye-4 attaches in addition to your factory belts so you have a choice about which to use. They share all the seatbelt anchor points and are easy to install. You'll need a Torx-50 to remove the front seatbelt bolts. You need to remove the rear seating surface but it's easy. There are two metal pins which are released by pushing down a plastic tab at the front of the seat (under the cushion). You'll need to bend the Rallye-4 anchors almost ninety degrees for proper fit. Route the belts out where the stock system runs. Be careful on the outboard routing: you want to be able to use the stock belts in back without crossing over the Rallye-4 belts. The front is very straight forward. The stock bolts have a built in spacer that the Rallye-4 anchors won't go over. This is no problem. Remove the metal clip which holds on the rubber bushing and replace it with a washer provided with the Harnessbelt. The Rallye-4 anchor comes next, followed by another washer. This setup is the same for all the front seatbelt mounting points. You'll need to bend the center console anchors about thirty degrees for the proper fit. The Rallye-4 anchors will not be able to pivot so it's important to line them up before you tighten everything down. Once the system is all set be sure to torque all the bolts to thirty foot pounds and make sure the stock seatbelts aren't twisted or reinstalled incorrectly. This is one of the best upgrades I've done so far. As you probably know, the SN95 seats don't have much in the way of lateral support. I have leather seats which makes things even worse. The system keeps you in place and is safer than the factory restraint system. You can switch from the Rallye-4 to the stock belts in just a few seconds. I highly recommend this investment, it'll pay off in the future.
Performance Update: Okay, I finaly got motivated. It was off to Carlsbad Racway for some Saturday drags! We really should have done this sooner!
Installed Kenny Brown strut tower brace. I didn't really need to buy this now but it was part of a package so I went for it. This replaces the factory strut tower brace and is supposed to be stronger. I don't think it'll make any performance difference over the factory brace but it will clear a GT-40 or Cobra intake manifold, something we'll be adding soon.
Installed Kenny Brown SuperSubs. These looked to be the best subframe connectors on the market. They are the cross type which bolt to the seat mounting points. They're made of thick boxed steel and fit perfectly. The car feels much stiffer now with less chassis flex and chatter. A excellent modification that I highly recommend. I had these welded in by Manning Motorsports in San Diego and they did and excellent job.
Installed Ford SVO 3.55:1 rear end gears. These made a big difference in the way the car feels off the line and at moderate speeds. Things happen a lot quicker with the 3.08:1 gears out of there. I had these installed my Manning Motorsports in San Diego and they did an excellent job. The gears are quiet and tight. I had them add Red Line synthetic gear oil (with Ford Friction Modifier) for extra protection. This is another must do modification. Ford does not make the correct speedometer gear for this ratio so you'll need to shop around to get the right one. It takes a 23 tooth gear on the SN95. The one I got was white and came from Autosport JBA. It's easy to install. Jack up the front of the car and support it with jackstands under the suspension. The gear housing on the T-5 is located on the drivers side near the rear of the transmission. It's held in place by a brass colored bracket and has a wire going to it. Use a 11mm socket and a long, long extension to remove the bolt. Pull straight out to remove the gear and VSS assembly. Next, unplug the wire to the VSS and get out from under the car so you can work. Remove the retaining clip with pliers and take off the old gear. Install the new gear and retaining clip. Once you make sure the gear is free of any debris you can put it back in the transmission, exactly the way you took it out. Reinstall the bolt, then reconnect the wire to the VSS. Take it for a drive with a friend and make sure it's right (you can take the car off the jackstands first). Enjoy the extra kick!
Installed Eibach progressive rate springs. I've been waiting to install these for a long time. The car now rides about an inch lower and will settle another quarter to half an inch over time. It looks excellent and handles even better. Cornering is much flatter and more controlable than before. The increased stability makes it easy to break the rear end free on turns so watch out. Manning Motorsports also installed these, doing another excellent job.
Installed Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plates. These are a major improvement over the factory strut tower plates. They allow fully adjustable caster and camber for the ultimate in front end tuning. The Maximum Motorsports plates allow for an extra inch of suspension travel which is perfect for lowered cars. They very well made a feature a replacable steel bearing. These were installed my Manning Motorsports and purchased directly from Maximum. I had a local Winston Tire do the alignment to Maximum's recommended specs (+3.6 degress caster, -0.6 degrees camber and factory toe) and it seems to work great.
Performance Update: Another trip to Carlsbad raceway. It seems to me that the car should be faster. What do you think?
Installed Steeda aluminum lower control arms and heavy duty upper control arms. I was going to do this myself but the Steeda upper arms come with new bushings for the axle and it was impossible to get the old ones out. Suspensions Plus in San Diego did the whole job for $70 so it was worth it not to spend six hours under the car anyway. The Steeda lower arms are powder coated aluminum and weigh a noticeable amount less than the stock arms. They generate more axle control than the factory arms. Steeda has their own custom bushing that get's you performance without binding or ride harshness. The Steeda upper arms are stock Ford SVO parts that have been boxed (welded) and packaged with the special Steeda bushings. The car seems much more stable in corners, especialy on rough roads. The axle stays in place instead of bouncing all over the place. This inspires a great deal of confidence when taking high speed turns. I've also noticed flatter cornering and reduced brake dive. The car doesn't feel like it's going to get away if you brake or accelerate in a turn. Unlike what I've heard about other arms I've noticed almost no increase in noise or harshness from the rear end. The Steeda arms are somewhat of a compromise between drag, road race and street performance. I'll get the car to the drag strip soon to see if they help my 60 foot times, which I expect they will. All in all a very good upgrade.
Installed Kenny Brown four point lower chassis brace. This was a very straightforward upgrade which should help in the corners. The factory g-load brace is a joke. It's a single tubular bar that's flattened at the end. It mounts to the chassis with two wimpy bolts. The Kenny Brown lower chassis brace replaces the factory unit. It's thick, high quality tubular steel. Unlike the factory brace the Kenny Brown part is tubular all the way and mounts to the crossmember as well. To install, jack up the car and place jack stands under the front suspension. Remove the factory brace and toss it aside. Remove the inner crossmember bolt on both sides of the car. It's easy to fit the brace into place and tighten it down. You may have to loosen the outer crossmember bolts to get all the holes to line up. Torque everything down and the job is done!
Performance Update: It's back to the track we go! Speaking of track, how about traction, of which I have none. Read on for my sad, sad story of spinning tires.
Upgraded to Ford SVO Cobra R wheels. As much as I liked the stock 17" wheels, I liked the Cobra R better! These 17" x 9" wheels look awesome and will hold some serious tires. This is the story about trying to do too much and listening carefully to what people tell you. First of all, I purchased the R58 Cobra R wheels from Summit Racing for $189 each. Summit matches any price on the same item in a magazine. Kar Kraft had the wheels advertised in MM&FF and Summit shipped them for free. Make sure you get the right wheel for your car. SN95's should use the R58 wheel for the correct backspacing. Many people I had talked to recommended putting P275/40 tires on these wheels. Aside from some possible minor front roll bar and rear exhaust rubbing, I was told this combination worked great. After an exhaustive tire search I decided to try BF Goodrich Comp T/A's. They had the right price and good reviews. I would also recommend the Dunlop P8000 and Firestone GZ50 as alternatives. They're more money but promise greater tread life without sacrificing traction. You'll also need to get new lug nuts. I purchased mine from Ford but discovered you can buy aftermarket chrome acorn lug nuts for less money (and get better quality). Discount Tire had the best price so off I went. We put the 275/40's on all four corners and got a surprise. The front tires stuck out from top of the fender over an inch! Now, I don't know about you but that is definitely not okay in my book of good looking cars. Now I had a dilemma. 255/40's fit great on the front and the 275/40's fit great on the back. I really didn't want to have two different tires sizes and not be able to rotate. I figured, what the hell, performance has a price. I took the tires home and got another surprise. It seems those fat 275/40's really bulge off the wheel. The back end, previously rock solid was now a wiggly as a minivan. What a mess! A very forgiving Discount Tire exchanged the 275/40's for 255/40's and told me not to change my mind again or they'd drop the car on me. With the 255/40's the car handles great. It's a little looser than before because of the new, tall tread but the tires have a death grip on the road. The 255's are perfectly matched to the 9" wheel and the sidewall is vertical and stiff. I feel the road a bit more than on the stock Gatorbacks but it's nothing I can't live with. I needed tires anyway and sold the old wheels and Gatorbacks for only $200 less than the Cobra R wheels cost. It doesnt' get any better than this!

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