5.0 Mustang & Super FordsEvents
SEMA Show 2013 - Still Climbing
With a new Mustang on the horizon, the aftermarket still brims with Fresh gear
Next year's SEMA Show will be abuzz with the 2015 Mustang. Mark your calendars for November 4-7, 2014, if you want to take in all the excitement.
As trendy as teenage fashion, the Specialty Equipment Market Show naturally gravitates to what's cool. And, just like fashion, the annual show held in the Las Vegas convention center ebbs and flows with the trends. So, in any given year, you'll get a clear direction of the industry's headspace by the cars you see at the show.
While the trends come and go, our beloved Mustang is a constant. If there were ever a go-to display vehicle for a SEMA booth, it is a Mustang. That said, we didn't really know what to expect from the 2013 edition of the show. The ever-present rumors about the '15 Mustang were on the tip of everyone's tongue, but that car is still in the distance. So, despite the anticipation, the '14 and earlier Mustangs were such a ubiquitous sight in booths that the Mustang took home the coveted Hottest Car award (and its big brother the F-150 grabbed Hottest Truck honors).
That enthusiasm carried over to the products. You might expect that the aftermarket already has the Mustang well in hand. It does, but there's always room for innovation and variations on a theme. To uncover all the new gear, big and small, your favorite magazine editors combed through every booth on the massive show floor to bring you this top-to-bottom report. Keep reading and we think you'll find some new gear for your Mustang mod list.
Spark blowout is common and annoying for modular Mustang engines that are boosted by blowers and turbos. However, we think it's important to let you know that spark theoretically is not being blown out when it happens. The condition (usually identified by a misfire) is caused by increased cylinder pressure, and a spark's inability to jump the plug's gap under that high pressure. ACCEL's new Energy Booster (PN 383800) appears to be a cure for this problem. The device is a MAP-sensor-referenced, plug-and-play unit that connects to and increases power to the coils to help them jump that gap under pressure.
Taking home Best Engineered New Product honors for its A3000 pump, the folks at Aeromotive were understandably proud. This new carbureted pump offer improved flow capabilities and a modular design that allows for easy customization. The company also showed off the latest iteration of its easy retrofit EFI pump conversions, the Phanton 200. Additionally, Aeromotive offered a new diesel fuel system if you are so inclined.
If you are building a custom inlet system, Airaid's Universal MAF Adapter Housing will come in handy. These housings are available in 3-, 31⁄2-, and 4-inch diameters to suit your engines airflow needs. Of course, these are compatible with the company's U-Build-It Intakes, so they can help you with a complete custom induction system.
It's pretty much impossible to pass a hands-on shifter display at SEMA, without running through the gears at least once (you're really hardcore if you make engine noises while doing it). American Powertrain's White Lightning shifter definitely is an eye catcher, and after banging gears on the demo stand, we have to say it really is quick (second-to-third is unbelievable). Available for Tremec's T-5 ($303.45), TKO ($313.19), and T-56 ($345.45) transmissions, the White Lightning features independent adjustable spring bias for improved centering per your driving style, and definitely is a shifter that we'll be working with at some point soon.
App-Tronics's new SmartNav 5 is probably one of the coolest tech parts that we saw at the 2013 SEMA show. The trick rearview mirror brings GPS navigation (with turn-by-turn directions), a high-definition reverse camera, Bluetooth 4.0 (with smartphone music integration), music player and a video/photo viewer, all into a 5-inch captive touchscreen that can be mounted in the factory location on a Pony's windshield. And if that isn't enough, continuous DVR recording, as well as radar and laser protection, and redlight and speed-trap databases are optional. Keeping your eyes on the road won't be easy with this hotness onboard.
In the highly competitive arena that is SEMA's New Products Showcase, Auto Meter stood head-and- shoulders above all entries in the Street Product category. The company released its uber-cool boost controller system (PN 3381); a trick, new 21⁄16-inch gauge that provides complete and total forced-air management, like boost-by-rpm or boost-by-gear, as well as low- and high-boost settings for the street and track. We dig this gauge, which also doesn't require any laptop or auxiliary devices for boost-control programming or operation. Pretty slick, and deserving of the accolades it received at SEMA 2013.
Form meets function in this new, cast-aluminum, diff cover from B&M Racing & Performance Products ($165), hewn from an aluminum alloy that is said to run cooler. The cover fits the solid-axle, 8.8 rearends of '86-'14 Mustangs, increasing their fluid capacity by nearly a full pint, and adding strength to the rearend through load bolts that support each bearing cap. The cover includes magnetic fill and drain plugs, and a classy engraved B&M logo for Brand-X drivers to stare at when your ‘Stang pulls away.
SEMA's New Products area presented us with another bitchin' upgrade for ‘strip-focused Foxes that remain on four lugs—Baer Brakes' Deep Stage Drag Race front brake system for ‘87-'93 Mustangs (PN 4261415; $895). The bolt-on kit features 11x1-inch, directionally vaned, slotted, drilled, and zinc-plated rotors; 6061-T6 aluminum hats and four-lug hubs (with long studs); Deep Stage S4 calipers; zinc-plated brackets; high-grade stainless hardware; billet dust caps; and Hawk pads.
Dropping a 'Stang low is a time-honored mod that can be applied to any-year Pony. On the newest GTs (and Boss/GT500s), installing a spring set or coilovers definitely achieves a killer stance. However, one caveat to this coolness, if the front wheels are not properly aligned after the car is down, the chances of your belly-scraping Mustang driving down the street in a straight line are pretty slim. BBK Performance has created slick, new caster/camber plates to ensure this will never be a problem for S197 Mustangs. The company's '05-'14 Mustang Caster Kit (PN 2551; $299.99) allows independent adjustment of the front wheels' caster and camber, to help improve front-end alignment, front-suspension geometry, and overall steering and handling performance on the street or track.
Offering replacement carbon-look interior pieces for '11-and-up Mustangs was BM Auto. The company also offers these kits in colors, faux brushed aluminum, and even faux wood. In addition, the company has a unique full-car sunshade for Mustangs.
Need a Coyote induction system that will stop traffic? Have an extra $11,000? Well, Borla Induction can fix you up with this gorgeous multi-throttle intake for the modern 5.0. The company promises unimpeded airflow from its retro-themed induction system.
For those seeking maximum clamping force in a streetable package, Centerforce has a new triple-disc clutch to meet your needs. The triple DYAD was launched initially for Brand X vehicles, but expect it to hit the Mustang market in the near future.
A super-clean black now joins high-bling standard polishing as an optional finish for Corsa's Pro-Series exhaust tips. Unfortunately, only ‘11-'14 GTs and '11-'13 GT500s are eligible for this cosmetic coolness, which we're sure will be appreciated by every Brand-X driver that gets the pleasure of seeing them.
Custom Peformance Engineering
In the Mustang world, CPE offers a few fuel system solutions for the latest 'Stangs. However, the company also offers a full lineup of performance gear for Ford's hot hatch, the Focus ST. The latest member of its ST parts line is this Delta Core Front Mount Intercooler. Planned out using computer-aided design and computational fluid dynamics, this unit promises lower inlet temperatures and a bolt-in install.
Modular Integrated Deck is the latest buzz term for Coyote engine builders, and Darton Sleeves is at the forefront of this technology. The company's new MID sleeves were designed to support the big bore sizes, high horsepower, high-boost that have come to the front as being the lone weakness in aluminum Coyote engine blocks (limited support in the deck area). When installed, the flanges on Darton's new, patented ductile-iron sleeves create a virtual solid deck for Coyotes, and greatly improves their ability to stand up to the type of abuse that we're sure racers competing in NMRA's new Coyote Modified class will be giving them in 2014.
Driven Racing Oil
Driven's new FR50 synthetic oil joins a small group of lubricants designed exclusively for Ford's variable-cam-timed, ‘11-'14 5.0-liter engine. With its 5W-50 viscosity rating (at 32 and 212 degrees), the new fluid provides great cold-start/bearing protection, as well as superior protection against shear and excessive heat, for high-revving Coyotes that are naturally aspirated or boosted.
Known for its pistons and engines, D.S.S. Racing showed off its complete AX Series engine at the show. Designed to take on Brand X bullets in SCCA road racing, this all- aluminum, 370ci engine delivers a consistent 580 horsepower at 6,600 rpm, breathing through a mandated, SCCA-spec restrictor. Without the restrictor, the AX engine puts down 615 horsepower.
Our Project Cheaper Sleeper's cracked clearcoat and faded paint might be a bit much for Dupli-Color's new Scratch Fix All-in-1 touch-up tool, but we're sure this neat paint system will be perfect for repairing the little nicks and paint damage that eventually falls on all street-driven ‘Stangs. Even cooler, however is the company's new Carbon Fiber-style paint kit, which allows you to apply a carbon-fiber-look finish to any metal or plastic surface.
We typically would not pay too much mind to a carbureted intake manifold, as our tech coverage is primarily focused on fuel-injected Ford engines. This Edelbrock Super Victor 8.2 caught your Senior Tech Editor's eye, thanks to the addition of factory-installed fuel rails, injector bungs, and rear water bosses (for cooling). The EFI piece is based on the Super Victor 8.2 manifold (PN 2928), and like its carbcentric sibling, the single-plane intake is designed for high-rpm street or competitive racing performance on 5.0/302-based engines that work in the 4,500- to 8,500-rpm range. The company now offers a high-output, tuner version of the pictured Coyote supercharger system.
If you want to run FAST EFI on a Coyote, you need a cable throttle body. Why not make it a bigger throttle body. That's just the solution that FAST offers in the form of its new Big Mouth 87mm throttle body for the latest 5.0.
Obviously named for its fender and front-end protection products, Fender Gripper also offers these officially licensed trunk mats that will keep things from sliding all over your cargo area when you drive more aggressively.
Having installed long-tube headers on '05-'14 Mustang GTs, Boss 302s and GT500s more than a few times, we're first-hand familiar with the minimal clearance (and potential conflict) between the headers' tubes and a ‘Stang's steering linkage. The Ultra Clearance Shaft Kit (PN FR1515P-SHFT; $359) is Flaming River's remedy for this problem. The chrome-moly link directly replaces the factory steering shaft, and features correct yoke ends for connecting it to the stock steering column and power steering unit.
Following in the footsteps of its Fox cooling systems, Flex-a-lite offered up a new radiator and fan combo for '96-'04 Mustangs. The direct-fit system is said to offer improved cooling from the two-row aluminum radiator.
Hands down the show-stopper of SEMA was this new offering from EFI experts Haltech. A member of the company's Elite Series fuel injection systems, this setup offers plug-and-play control of a Coyote 5.0. Now other systems will run a Coyote, but the Haltech is the first we know of to offer both a plug-in harness and full control of the Twin Independent Variable Cam Timing. This system offers myriad other cool features, including OBD-II compatibility, Cruise Control, multi-fuel support, launch control, knock control, and more. If this doesn't make you want a Coyote swap, what will?
It was the Boss intake that caught our eye, but Heatshield Products says its adhesive heat barrier can boost horsepower by a dozen ponies, which is pretty intriguing.
Hellion Power Systems
Ford SVT's Raptor is a wildly popular truck, but even this performance pickup can use more power. To that end, the turbo experts at Hellion Power Systems created a bolt-on, emissions-friendly install that retains all the factory accessories. The kit features two 62mm turbos, two Turbosmart CompGate 40 wastegates, and a Turbosmart Vee Port Pro blow-off valve. No word on the power gain at press time, but we'd venture it's a signficant number.
One of the most intriguing products at the show was the MyFord Touch Android kit from Intraphex. It is said to offer a seamless integration of an Android device with your factory audio system. Automotive tablet installs seem to be growing in popularity, and this product should help that trend along.
We've long known about the heat-isolation and protective properties of Jet-Hot's coatings. The latest in the company's coating line is a product that adds some flair to the function—Jet-Hot Graphics. This coating offers the benefits of the traditional coating, but is available in a wide variety of colors so you can add that custom touch to your 'Stang.
We are big fans of Kicker's PXi50.2 amplified controller as an easy way to add iPod integration to older vehicles. The latest version, the PXiBT50.2 forgoes the cables for a Bluetooth connection for an even easier install.
Kooks Custom Exhaust
Known for its expansive line-up of long-tube-centric, full exhaust systems for all manner of Mustangs, Kooks Custom Exhaust has a few other tricks up its sleeve. One of the latest is a 17⁄8-inch short-tube header for Coyote 5.0s.
If you know coilover suspensions, you undoubtedly know about KW. Now we know coilovers are popular due to their adjustability, but the company's latest Dynamic Damping Control product takes that a step further. KW is bringing suspension adjustment into the modern world with this app- adjustable suspension. The system offers Comfort, Sport, and Sport Plus modes.
A product that really opens up some interesting possibilities on modern performance cars is the MyCal Real-Time Nitrous/Forced Induction Tuner from Livernois Motorsports. Designed to temporarily adjust any calibration— factory or aftermarket—for nitrous, this product can temporarily make adjustments for the likes of race gas or boost without taking the time to reflash your Mustang's PCM.
Known primarily for its mufflers and after-cat systems, Magnaflow is making the push into full exhaust solutions with headers. These are ceramic-coated short-tubes for Three-Valve 4.6-liter modulars.
While dropping Coyote engines into Fox, New Edge and other (earlier) ponies is quickly becoming old hat as far as engine swaps go, configuring accessories in said 'Stangs remains one of the bigger challenges in the new-meets-old project. The pulley professionals at March Performance gave SEMA attendees a first look at a complete pulley-and-bracket system that eliminates all of the problems that have frustrated so many. The complete kit (PN 30550), available with clear or black powdercoat, is comprised of a stylish one-piece, air-conditioning (compressor)/power-steering (remote pump) bracket; a water-pump pulley; and a series of idlers to ensure the serpentine belt stays put.
Exhaust specialist MBRP has really taken a liking to Ford's Focus ST. Having already created an after-cat exhaust system, the company rolled out downpipes, a cold-air inlet, and the intercooler piping seen here. MBRP even developed a rear engine mount for the ST. The company also expanded its Mustang exhaust lineup with flat-black variants.
How cool would it be to be able to purchase everything you need for a late-model-Mustang drivetrain conversion (five-speed/six-speed) upgrade, all from one source? McLeod Racing makes this possible with its new Complete Driveline Solutions program for ‘99-'14s, which mates Tremec's popular Mustang transmissions (TKO 600, T-56 Magnum, and Magnum XL) with a full host of finishing parts (RST/RXT clutch, Stiffler's crossmember, Dynotech aluminum driveshaft, yoke, shifter, and so on) to make a one-stop transmission swap possible.
MGP Caliper Covers
MGP innovated an easy way to dress up factory brake calipers, and the company has recently expanded its lineup with a new Stealth Black Series. The company also added a Shelby license to its full line of Ford licenses.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, is quickly becoming a hotbed of sorts for late-model Mustang performance. The Duke City is the home of Motiva Performance; a new player in the ‘11-present Coyote 5.0 performance game, and parent company of Armageddon Turbo Systems. Its all-new 5.0 Mustang twin-turbo system ($10,495/fits all GTs and Boss 302s) is highlighted by a pair of Garrett GT3076R (76mm) turbochargers, TiAL Sport 44mm wastegates, a Fluidyne air-to-air intecooler, and mandrel-bent hot- and cold-side tubing designed by Kooks Custom Exhaust. The kit also includes plumbing by Goodridge Fluid Systems and silicone couplers w/stainless-steel T-bolt clamps. When it's all said and done, this twin setup is capable of making 1,200 horses. And when upgraded with optional turbos (billet wheel, 82mm, and more), it can make much more.
We know all too well that when building a modern hot rod project, getting all the parts to work in concert can be a challenge. Well, MSD has launched an innovative new standard, called Brainwave, that should make that a lot easier. Products designed to meet the Brainwave standard will all talk, join a network, and are controlled wirelessly by a smartphone or tablet.
We found this 8.8 differential nestled among the new products at SEMA. It's the OS Super Lock LSD ($1,790), designed specifically for ‘Stang's equipped with independent rear suspensions. The new diff's tunability (a patented Lock Timing System allows full customization of its locking characteristics) and 28 clutch plates facilitate full lockup in a progressive, smooth, and quiet manner, making the unit suitable for street and racing performance.
Modifying a Mustang can sometimes put a heavy... no, extreme load on the car's battery. To offset such a high demand for power (brought forth by stereo systems, lighting, big fuel pumps, aftermarket engine management, and more), adding a second cell to a Pony's electrical scheme is necessary. Painless Performance Products has developed a new 500-amp, Digital Power Manager with Jump Start (PN 40121), highlighted by a solid-state, dual-battery control unit that automatically engages the second battery when it senses large loads are being applied to the main cell, but still prevent loads from draining the auxillary battery to lower than 11.5 Volts. The Digital Power Manager also has the capability of making two batteries work as one when necessary, like when the main battery is too low to crank the engine by itself. In such situations, a switch- activated, 250-amp solenoid combines the main and auxiliary batteries to fire the engine. Once the engine is running and spinning the alternator again, the unit will only allow charging of the second battery after the main battery is fully recharged.
We know batteries are heavy and weight slows down our Mustangs. To help drop some weight and still have your car start, Performance Distributors now offers this 3-pound lithium battery, which is said to start and perform flawlessly.
With five different clocking adjustments, Powermaster's Coyote starter sounds like it would be a big help for swaps or clearing exhaust systems. It is also lighter and shorter than the stock unit, while offering a 16:1 ratio versus the stock unit's 11:1 ratio. Its encapsulated solenoid is also said to eliminate hot-start issues.
One year after making its triumphant debut, ProCharger's innovative i-1 centrifugal supercharger reemerged at SEMA with a new black finish. We weren't able to get any deeper intelligence on this neat-looking alternative to polished components, but with black being the new chrome, we're sure this will be a popular option for i-1 buyers.
Ron Francis Wiring
Fuel-injected '86-'93 Mustangs aren't getting any younger—that certainly isn't a secret. However, despite their aging, Foxes are still dear to us, and we dig seeing new pieces such as this, that are created to help keep coupes, hatchbacks, and even convertibles around for many years to come. Father time, hibernating rodents, elements, and more are all known to wreak havoc on a parked Mustang's wiring. Ron Francis' replacement transmission (manual and auto), injector (5.0 only), and lighting harnesses for '87-'93 Ponies are all manufactured with OEM-spec connectors, and are designed to match Ford's dimensions for simple plug-and-play replacement.
An exciting upgrade to the tried and true XCal3, SCT's new X4 tuner offers more capabilities in a smaller, more modern package. Chief among the X4's new offerings is wireless firmware updates, so you can maintain your tuner without access to a Windows PC.
If you have a Mustang, SPEC has you covered with a wide variety of single- and twin-disc clutches, including units for the latest Boss 302 and Shelby. The latest product to join the SPEC line is a Non-Ratcheting/Single Mass clutch and flywheel for the Focus ST. It can be customized to support 671 lb-ft of torque in a daily driveable configuration, and up to 820 lb-ft if you can handle a harsher engagement for racing applications.
Squash Performance has been a relative unknown on the Ford scene ... until now. At SEMA, the company showcased its all-new high-volume, twin-fuel-pump (320 lph) set for '05-'09 S197s (GTs and GT500s) that run on E85. The new Uber Fueler is a drop-in, plug-and-play, top-hat-style unit that will feed more than enough corn to hopped-up Three-Valves or factory-blown 5.4s.
Want a stealthy turbo system that doesn't stick out in the engine compartment? Well, STS Turbo has a new rear-mount system for '11-'14 GTs and Bosses that will fit the bill. The system, which utilizes oil-free Comp Turbos, is designed to push the Boss 302 to over 600 horsepower at the wheels.
We've been big fans of TMI Products' late-model interior treatments (seat/door panels, upholstery) for many years, and we were excited to see the company's latest seat offerings at the 2013 SEMA show. The new Sport R500 seats for ‘94-'98 (left) and ‘87-'89/Fox (center) Ponies were highlights in the TMI display, along with the popular Sport R seat style for ‘87-'89 Mustangs (right). The new hotness, however, are the airbag-friendly Sport XR seats for '05-'09 Mustangs seen in the background. Look for more on these beauties in an upcoming issue.
With many of the quickest, fastest Mustangs in the NMRA as their customers, Injector Dynamics definitely is the hot name in fuel injectors these days. The company has joined forces with Trick Flow to manufacture new 95-lb/hr (1,000 cc/min) squirters for '86-'04 5.0- and 4.6-liter Mustangs. The 95s are perfect for power-adder applications that require more fuel than 80s supply, yet aren't sophisticated enough to warrant using much-larger injectors such as 120s, 160s, and so on. However, whenever that need arises, Injector Dynamics/Trick Flow has injectors in those sizes, too.
Continuing to expand its line of carbon-fiber gear for modern Mustangs, Trufiber showed off this full-length radiator cover for '07-'09 GT500s. The company also showed off carbon-fiber hood vents for '13-'14 GTs and a full carbon rear-seat delete for '05-and-up Mustangs.
The best thing about trade shows is running into Mustang gear from unexpected places. When the nice folks at VEI Systems invited us to check out their booth, we didn't expect to find anything Mustang-specific. Then someone moved out of the way, the angels sang, and we saw a slick digital gauge cluster for Fox Mustangs. Available with red or more expensive blue LEDs, the cluster offers all the stock gauge outputs as well as an optional upper center gauge with bargraph and optional lower gauge, both of which can have a custom function. Additionally, the tachometer has a built-in shift light.
Obviously, Vortech proudly displayed its numerous superchargers, including the race-proven V24 Xi. They also showed off a new, billet- aluminum Maxflow Race Blow-Off Valve. However, perhaps most intriguing was the company's foray into Ecoboost intercooling. They served up high-performance heat exchangers for F-150, Focus ST (pictured), and Fiesta ST. All promise improved power and torque.
We're excited at the way Weld has stepped up its game, introducing two new 20-inch GT-S Series wheels (Riverside and Speed 10) for GT500 ‘Stangs, and the RT-S Series hoops shown here—with four-lug bolt pattern—for Foxes. Right now, this newness for all ‘79-'93 Ponies is available in 15-inch diameter. However, based on positive, instant feedback to our queries (on social media) for your opinions, we may see the four-lug slickness in 17-inch sizes soon.
Shifts that feel firm and confident are probably the most desired qualities Mustang enthusiasts want from their Ponies' five- or six-speed manual-transmissions. Factory shifters are notorious for their softness, a phenomenon that has been consistent from '79 to present day, and replacing stock selectors with aftermarket sticks is the tried-and-true strategy for tightening things. For the newest Mustangs ('11-'14), which feature Getrag MT-82 six-speed manual transmissions, Whiteline has developed an interesting new transmission-mount bushing (PN KDT928; $34.95). The low-compliance elastomer piece actually fits and is installed inside the mount, increasing its stiffness and creating a more positive shift feel as you upshift and downshift through the gears.
To uncover all the new gear, big and small, your favorite magazine editors combed through every booth on the massive show floor to bring you this top-to-bottom report.
Top 5.0 New Products
1.0 Haltech Elite Series EFI for Coyote
2.0 Livernois MyCal Real-Time Nitrous/Forced Induction Tuner
3.0 March Performance Coyote Ford 5.0 V-8 Serpentine Kit
4.0 Intraphex MyFord Touch Android
5.0 Weld Racing RT-S (Four-Lug)
See more at 50mustangandsuperfords.com