5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
2005 SEMA Show Products: S197 INVASION!
It wasn't the official vehicle, but the S197 Mustang ruled the 2005 SEMAShow
Horse Sense: If you think we wereexaggerating about the number of new Mustangs at the SEMA Show, theofficial count showed a total of 121 on the property. Of those, 97 wereS197s. How's that for a lot of new Mustangs? The "97" deal had to be acoincidence, right?!
If you aren't crazy about '05-'06 Mustangs, it was a good thing youweren't at the
You might be justifiably enthralled by your '04 or earlier Mustang, butthe SEMA show is all about new--and nothing but new. Hence, the all-outattention to the '05-'06 Mustang--a godsend to the aftermarket, whichhugely appreciates a car that attracts everything from horsepower andhandling mods to dedicated air fresheners, floor mats, and othermainstream America hooey.
Frankly, we're thrilled with the SEMA show's infatuation with the newcar. It means our hobby is only getting stronger, which bodes well forMustangs past and future. And if there were little or no attention paidto the new Mustang, we'd have a dog on our hands, which nobody wants.
We found a good number of hardcore parts for the new car, which made usespecially happy. A surprising number of aftermarket parts were alreadyin production--or at least looked as if they were (this is SEMA, afterall). A few companies didn't have much new in their booths at the show,but will have gear early next year. For example, Koni [(859) 586-4100;www.koni-na.com] tendsto make a few large shipments to the United States, and will have itsnew FSD dampers here in the second quarter of 2006. After several yearsof inactivity, Weiand is busy updating its entire line of intakemanifolds and water pumps; the Ford castings are likely being massagedas you read this.
Of course, there is more to SEMA than new Mustang stuff. Companies arestill filling in their lineups for the Fox and SN-95 cars, earliermodulars and, yes, the pushrod engines. This is a process that seeminglygoes on forever--witness the flurry of FE stroker crankshafts andconnecting rods debuting this year at SEMA from Eagle [(662) 796-7373;www.eaglerod.com] and Scat [(310) 370-5501;
Eagle's 4340 forged stroker crank for the 4.6 V-8 seemed an especiallysignificant new part for Ford tuners. Modular engines can use all thedisplacement they can get, and having a proper crankshaft for the job isa big first step.
Another tip of a smaller iceberg was the sighting of a few Fusionproject cars around the show halls. Too new to have much impact thisyear, Fusion is a good platform and ought to make a slightly largerappearance at next year's SEMA fall fling. We'll be there.
KJ's Top 10
1. Inalfa Sunroofs' EVO Sport Inbuilt Roof
I thought the day we'd see any sort of open-air feature in a Mustangwere long gone. This roof will definitely be a hit in warm-weatherplaces like Florida and Cali. I saw a deal go down for six of them whileI was in the Inalfa booth.
2. Koul Tools
No, it isn't another '05-Mustang-specific item--not by a long shot. Butthese tools are the most-innovative products for taking the hassle outof installing AN fittings on braided hose.
3. MSD's Lazer Gauges
These digital gauges were recognized as one of the best new productsintroduced at SEMA. "Look, Ma, no needles (on the faces of the gauges)."And they don't have any backlights or visible LEDs. It's pretty trippytechnology.
4. Trick Flow Systems' New, Improved "R" Heads
These race heads were revamped to eliminate the cracking problems thatunfortunately were common to the original design. The perennial sleeperof the small-block Ford racing world is now ready to rock.
5. Holley's ProCharged Engine
One would think some sort of crazy EFI system would be required for thisengine. Talk about disproving myths! That huge blower feeding a good ol'Holley carb and making 1,000 hp is way cool.
6. MSD's Mod-Motor Ignition Control
Finally! Note to self: Be on the lookout for mod-motored Mustangssporting carbs real soon!
7. Control Freak Suspensions' '05 Mustang IRS System
Editor Turner and I took a look at it on a car displayed at Hot Rod'sPower Tour during the summer, but seeing this suspension in stand-aloneform at SEMA gave me a much better understanding of what's involved. The'05s have decent handling in stock form, but this IRS probably makes thenew, longer Mustang handle a slot car . . . and it bolts in.
Since I use "borrowed" milk crates, parts boxes (usually with contentsstill inside), and step stools when I'm working on "sit-down" types ofdriveway projects (brakes or changing wheels), the Kreepster reallycaught my interest because it offers better support and you can use thepush/glide technique to get back and forth between the car and variouspoints around the shop.
9. Sony Xplod Giga Panel Faceplate Stereo
This thing is a dream for driving enthusiasts who have extensive musiclibraries stored on their computers and can't stand the repetition ofcommercial radio.
10. Hellion Power Systems' '05 Mustang Turbo Kit
Hopefully, all of the fine-tuning and tweaking will be complete and thissystem will be available for sale by the time you read this. It's reallynice. C'mon, Urist, git 'er done!
The serious fuel-system crew at Aeromotive [(913) 647-7300;
Agent 47 Competition Products' "Innerframe" is a radical new setup fortightening up the overall chassis dynamics of an SN-95-based 'Stang. TheInnerframe is a bolt-in or weld-in, tubed and boxed frame structure madeof NASCAR-spec tubing that connects to every section of the car (enginebay, cockpit, and trunk). It makes up for the insufficiencies of thefactory's spot welds and thin sheetmetal, and bringstube-chassis/race-car-like handling to '94-'04 coupes and convertibles.Agent 47 [(760) 496-3809;
New from Airaid [(800) 498-6951;
Editor Turner is a sucker for carbon fiber, so this real silver carbonon the '05 Mustang interior pieces stopped us in our tracks. This is noDIY stick-on kit, rather APsis USA [(631) 421-6800;
For 2006, Auto Meter has concentrated on filling in any gaps in itsexisting lines of gauges. Notable showings were Ultra-Lite andSport-Comp tachs and speedos in the smaller 21/16-inch diameter, whichis a popular request from users, according Auto Meter [(815) 899-0800;www.autometer.com].Other innovations include detail changes to some of the showierinstruments, to include color-changing illumination, display modes, andsuch. Of course, our favorite new upgrade was the company's new NexusOBD-II arrangement, which simply plugs into the vehicle's onboarddiagnostic port to grab data from the factory electronics.
Shifter specialists B&M [(818) 882-6422;
Baer Brake Systems
Baer Brake Systems [(602) 233-1411;
Our friends at Bassani [(714) 630-1821;
Aside from the 5.0 intakes we've already tested, BBK [(800) 486-2681;www.bbkperformance.com;
Blue Moon Motorsports
Blue Moon Motorsports [(800) 893-0740;
Borla Performance Industries
The big noise at Borla was the addition of Borla's smaller, moreraucous, S-Type mufflers for Mustangs, including the '05 in V-8 and V-6trim. That gives Borla [(805) 986-8600;
Always looking to take care of the important Mustang market, Centerforce[(928) 771-8422;