KJ Jones
Brand Manager, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
October 1, 2008
Photos By: Courtesy Of The Suppliers
The late John Germanson (pictured) helped us with this Paxton Novi 3000-boosted Fox for a cover shot back in the day. It wasn't a budget combo, but it certainly didn't miss. While pushing the envelope is cool, it can be expensive. If saving dough is your game, going with a proven package is a much safer bet.

Horse Sense: Establishing budget parameters is always the most difficult aspect of modding a Mustang. A good practice for setting and adhering to a budget is to research and calculate a total price for the parts you want to install. If you're not skilled in the garage, also factor in the cost of labor for bolting on the improvements and determine a realistic timeframe for building the grand total you need to get everything done. Although it may be frustrating, don't spend money until you have money to spend. In these tough times, using credit cards to buy now and pay later for Mustang upgrades isn't a good idea. Cash is king right now, and you'll enjoy your pumped-up Pony a lot more when it's just the way you want it and you don't owe anyone a dime.

We're fairly certain most of you are concerned about the sluggish state our nation's economy has been in for the last two years and its effect on our beloved hobby. The rising cost of food and other commodities, coupled with gas prices closing in on a $4-per-gallon average for 87-octane unleaded, has forced most of us to refrain from making many of the 'Stang parts purchases that once were automatic. We seriously weigh the difference between our wants and absolute needs for our Mustangs before we outlay our hard-earned cash for upgrades.

When it comes to buying aftermarket goodies for our Ponies, emphasis on getting the best bang for the buck is at an all-time high right now, and enthusiasts are doing a lot more calculating than they've ever done, trying to score the best dollar-stretching deals possible on the Internet, at retail or wholesale performance parts suppliers, and even directly through manufacturers.

Let's face it: With all of the parts that are out there for improving every aspect of a Mustang (drivetrain, appearance, handling, and so on), obtaining them can sometimes be frustrating, especially when your heart is set on a specific upgrade that may be on the pricey side. It's sort of like wanting the finest champagne but only having enough money to buy a bottle of screw-top wine.

Shopping la carte for new 'Stang gear can be expensive. However, one way to beat the high price of shopping for individual components is to consider some of the great package deals that many vendors and manufacturers offer. That's right: Buying preselected combinations is a more effective method of acquiring all of the upgrade pieces you need. One-stop shopping spares you the expense-in money and time-that comes with scrambling in all directions to find the same things separately.

With performance being the name of the game, enthusiasts are interested in the latest engine and driveline packages for 5.0- and 4.6-powered 'Stangs. To address the go side of 'Stangbanging, we presented various performance-focused killer combos in our Sept. '07 issue ("Power Trippin'," p. 168).

In this report, we once again looked at performance, but we also include packages that deal with other areas of a Mustang, such as interiors and suspensions, among other things. We asked experts from 'Stang shops and aftermarket parts providers for their thoughts and suggestions on can't-miss combinations priced at $3,000 or less for Fox, SN-95/New Edge, and S197 Mustangs. Check out these values!

AFM Street Power kit for '05-'08 Mustang GT

'87-'93 5.0 Mustang LX/GT
1) Super King Cobra clutch kit with AFM Superlight flywheel (PN PKSKC1A-50; $489)
2) Hi-Rev clutch kit with AFM Superlight flywheel (PN PK-HRC1A-50; $649)
3) Quick Kit 1: 6,000 rpm kit (PN PK8793NA-QK1; $1,486.98)
4) Quick Kit 2: 6,500 rpm (PN PK8793NA-TEK; $2,299)
5) Stage 1 supercharger kit (PN PKSTG1-SQ93; $3,095)

'96-'98 Mustang GT
1) Stage 1 top-end kit (PN PK-PISTG1; $1,829)
2) Hi-Rev Stage 2 top-end kit (PN PK-PISTTG1; $2,299)

AFM Street Race kit for '05-'08 Mustang GT

'99-'04 Mustang GT
1) Street Power kit (PN PK-2VSPK; $979)
2) Street Race kit (PN PK-2VSRK99/PK2VSRK04; $2,730)
3) Hi-Rev Stage 1 kit (PN PK-HR19904; $1,430)
4) Hi-Rev Stage 2 kit (PNPK-HR29901/PK-HR20204; $2,999)

'05-'08 Mustang GT
1) Street Power kit (PN PK-3VSPK; $949)
2) Street Race kit (PN PK-3VSRK; $1,552)

'07-'08 Shelby GT500
70+Horsepower kit (PN PKGT-500hp70; $1,500)

BBK '05-'08 4.6 Three-Valve decorative engine cover

'87-'93 Mustang 5.0 LX/GT
1) Subframe connectors with seat supports (PN 2542; $129.99)
2) Strut-tower brace (PN 2504; $109.99)
3) Caster/camber kit (PN 2525; $199.99)
4) Front-end bushing kit (PN 2502; $49.99)
5) Offset rack bushings (PN 2508; $29.99)
6) Pinion snubber (PN 2531; $14.99)
7) Performance springs (PN 2510; $229.99)
8) Upper and lower control arm kit (PN 2526; $309.99)
9) Cold-air intake (PN 1557; $159.99)
10) SSI intake manifold with 70mm throttle body (PN 5002; $749.99)
11) Equal-length short-tube headers (PN 1512; $249.99)
12) High-flow X-shape crossover (PN 1660; $179.99)
13) Steel underdrive pulley kit (PN 1513; $99.99)
14) 255-lph fuel pump (PN 1607; $129.99)
15) Adjustable fuel-pressure regulator (PN 1706; $99.99)
Total: $2,744.85

BBK Fox-body subframe connectors

'96-'04 SN-95/New Edge Mustang GT
1) Subframe connectors with seat supports (PN 2543; $129.99)
2) Strut-tower brace (PN 2516; $129.99)
3) Caster/camber kit (PN 2527; $209.99)
4) Offset rack bushings (PN 2508; $29.99)
5) Pinion snubber (PN 2531; $14.99)
6) Performance springs (PN 2510; $229.99)
7) Upper and lower control arm kit (PN 2526; $309.99)
8) Cold-air intake (PN 1718; $179.99)
9) 78mm upper plenum (PN 1780; $249.99)
10) Equal-length short-tube headers (PN 1615; $299.99)
11) High-flow X-shape crossover (PN 1669; $209.99)
12) SFI underdrive pulley kit (PN 1564; $269.99)
13) 255-lph fuel pump (PN 1607; $129.99; '96-'97)
14) Adjustable fuel-pressure regulator (PN 1707; $109.99; '96-'97)
Total: $2,504.86

'05-'08 Mustang GT
1) Cold-air intake (PN 1736; $289.99)
2) Throttle body (PN 1763; $299.00)
3) Short-tube headers (PN 1612; $299.99)
4) 23/4-inch, off-road, X-shape crossover (PN 1769; $249.99)
5) Underdrive pulley kit (PN 1653; $249.99)
6) Performance springs (PN 2547; $249.99)
7) Competition Series strut-tower brace (PN2618; $269.99)
8) Chrome, decorative engine cover (PN 10250; $249.99)
Total: $2,158.93

Blow-By-Racing '05-'08 Mustang GT package

'87-'93 Mustang 5.0 LX/GT
1) Patriot Performance Freedom aluminum cylinder heads
2) Custom-grind camshaft
3) Edelbrock intake manifold
4) 3.73/4.10 ring and pinion
5) Upper and lower control arms
6) Lowering springs
7) Subframe connectors
8) Short-tube headers
9) Off-road, X-shape crossover
10) Short-throw shifter
Total: $2,950

Blow-By Racing '07-'08 Shelby GT500 package

'96-'04 SN-95/New Edge Mustang GT
1) Steeda Sport springs
2) Upper and lower control arms
3) Cross subframe connectors
4) JLT cold-air intake
5) SCT X3 tuner with Blow-By Racing custom tune
6) MSD coil-on-plug connectors
7) Underdrive pulleys
8) 70mm throttle body
9) Upper plenum
10) Professional Products Typhoon intake manifold
11) Off-road X-shape crossover
12) Zex 75hp-150hp, wet nitrous system
Total: $2,950

Blow-By Racing '96-'04 4.6 Two-Valve package

'05-'08 Mustang V-6
1) JLT cold-air intake
2) SCT X3 tuner with Blow-By Racing custom tune
3) 3.73 ring and pinion
4) Trak-Lok differential
5) Aluminum driveshaft
6) Lowering springs
7) 18x9-inch Bullitt wheels (black)
8) 275/40-18 tires
Total: $3,000

Blow-By Racing '87-'93 5.0 Mustang LX/GT package

'05-'08 Mustang GT
1) Underdrive pulleys
2) IMRC delete plates
3) JLT cold-air intake
4) SCT X3 tuner with Blow-By Racing custom tune
5) Off-road, X-shape crossover
6) 3.73/4.10 ring and pinion
7) Blow-By Racing billet-aluminum lower control arms
8) Double-adjustable upper third-link
9) Blow-By Racing Stage 1 camshafts
10) Cam lockouts
11) Aluminum driveshaft
Total: $2,950

Blow-By Racing '05-'08 V-6 Mustang package

'07-'08 Shelby GT500
1) 2.6-inch supercharger pulley
2) JLT or Steeda cold-air intake
3) SCT X3 with Blow-By Racing custom tune
4) Blow-By Racing billet-aluminum lower control arms
5) Double-adjustable upper third-link
6) Blow-By Racing heat exchanger
7) Steeda Tri-Ax shifter
8) Three-point subframe connectors
9) 3.73 ring and pinion
10) Royal Purple 75W-140 oil
Total: $2,675

FRPP Power Pack

'05-'08 Mustang GT
FR1 Power Upgrade Pack (PN M-2006-FR1; 2005-2007)
1) Cold-air intake
2) Axle-back exhaust (50-state legal)
3) Performance oil filter
4) Ford Racing performance calibration
Total: $949

FR1 Power Upgrade Pack (PN M-FR1-MGT; 2008)
1) Cold-air intake
2) Axle-back exhaust (50-state legal)
3) Performance oil filter
4) Ford Racing performance calibration
Total: $989

FRPP Drag Pack

FR2 Drag Pack (PN M-2006-FR2(A))
1) Cold-air intake
2) 4.10 ring and pinion (manual)
3) 3.73 ratio ring and pinion (automatic)
4) Gear installation kit
5) Short-tube headers
6) Short-throw shifter
7) Performance oil filter
8) Ford Racing performance calibration
Total: $1,458.69

FR3 Handling Pack (PN M-2005-FR3)
1) Dampers
2) Lowering springs
3) Sway bars
4) Strut-tower brace
Total: $1,335

FRPP Handling Pack

'07-'08 Shelby GT500
FRI Power Upgrade Pack (PN M-2007 FRISVT)
1) Cold-air intake
2) Axle-back exhaust (50-state legal)
3) Performance oil filter
4) Ford Racing performance calibration
Total: $1,489

FR2 Drag Pack (PN M-2007 FR2SVT)
1) Cold-air intake
2) 3.73 ring and pinion
3) Gear installation kit
4) Short-tube headers
5) Short-throw shifter
6) Performance oil filter
7) Ford Racing performance calibration
Total: $1,999

FR3 Handling Pack (PN M-2007 FR3SVT)
1) Dampers
2) Lowering springs
3) Sway bars
4) Strut-tower brace
Total: $1,749

'87-'93 Mustang 5.0 LX/GT
1) MAC power pulleys ($67)
2) MAC cold-air kit ($125)
3) C&L 76mm mass air meter ($160)
4) Bump timing to 14 degrees ($0)
5) MAC short-tube headers ($160)
6) MagnaFlow catalytic H-pipe ($320)
7) Kirban billet, adjustable fuel-pressure regulator ($80)
8) Pro-5.0 3.73, 3.90, or 4.10 ring and pinion ($185)
9) Pro-5.0 shifter ($185)
10) McLeod Street-Pro clutch kit ($335)
11) Steeda lowering springs ($210)
12) Tokico premium shocks and struts ($300)
13) Maximum Motorsports full-length subframe connectors ($130)
14) J&M rear upper and lower control arms ($300)
15) Energy Suspension polyurethane sway-bar bushings and end-links ($40)
16) Powerslot 11-inch, slotted front rotors ($180)
17) Hawk Performance front brake pads ($55)
18) J&M steel-braided, front and rear brake lines ($105)
19) Maximum Motorsports rear brake shoes ($50)
Total: $2,987

'99-'04 Mustang GT
1) Steeda power pulleys ($190)
2) MAC Straight-Shot cold-air intake ($170)
3) C&L intake plenum ($140)
4) BBK 75mm throttle body ($200)
5) Bassani catalytic X-shape crossover ($390)
6) DiabloSport Predator tuner ($350)
7) Pro-5.0 3.73, 3.90, or 4.10 ring and pinion ($185)
8) Steeda Tri-Ax shifter ($165)
9) Progressive lowering springs ($180)
10 ) Tokico premium shocks and struts ($290)
11) J&M full-length subframe connectors ($80)
12) J&M rear lower control arms ($180)
13) Powerslot slotted front rotors ($180)
14) Powerslot slotted rear rotors ($160)
15) Hawk Performance front brake pads ($80)
16) Hawk rear brake pads ($60)
Total: $3,000

'03-'04 Cobra
1) JLT cold-air intake ($150)
2) Steeda 2.8-inch supercharger pulley ($80)
3) Steeda belt tensioner ($125)
4) Shorter supercharger belt ($40)
5) Bassani catalytic, X-shape crossover ($390)
6) MagnaFlow after-cat exhaust ($485)
7) DiabloSport Predator tuner ($360)
8) Steeda Tri-Ax shifter ($180)
9) Steeda IRS differential brace ($155)
10) Steeda lowering springs ($305)
11) J&M full-length subframe connectors ($80)
12) Steeda polyurethane differential bushings ($40)
13) Powerslot slotted front rotors ($230)
14) Powerslot slotted rear rotors ($230)
15) Hawk Performance front pads ($85)
16) Hawk Performance rear pads ($60)
Total: $2,995

'05-'08 Mustang GT
1) C&L Racer cold-air intake and DiabloSport Predator tuner ($615)
2) Steeda power pulleys ($190)
3) Bassani X-shape crossover ($240)
4) Pro-5.0 3.73, 3.90, or 4.10 ring and pinion ($185)
5) Steeda lowering springs ($230)
6) Tokico D-Spec shocks and struts ($600)
7) J&M adjustable-length Panhard bar ($120)
8) Powerslot slotted front rotors ($240)
9) Powerslot slotted rear rotors ($220)
10) Hawk Performance front pads ($80)
11) Hawk Performance rear pads ($60)
12) StopTech steel brake lines ($220)
Total: $3,000

'07-'08 Shelby GT500
1) C&L cold-air intake and DiabloSport Predator tuner ($710)
2) Steeda 2.7-inch supercharger pulley ($150)
3) NGK TR6 spark plugs ($30)
4) Pro-5.0 3.73, 3.90, or 4.10 ring and pinion ($185)
5) Steeda lowering springs ($265)
6) Tokico D-Spec shocks and struts ($600)
7) J&M adjustable Panhard bar ($120)
8) Steeda Panhard-bar brace ($75)
9) Steeda chrome-moly, rear lower control arms ($205)
10) Steeda rear shock-tower brace ($165)
11) Steeda three-point subframe connectors ($230)
12) StopTech steel brake lines ($220)
Total: $2,955

50Resto convertible top kit

'79-'04 Mustang
50Resto starter kit ('87-'93)
1) Coupe or convertible carpet
2) Clear or amber, six-piece, economy headlight kit
3) Two door-to-body weatherstrips
4) Two 5.0 or 2.3 emblems
5) Two outer door handles
6) Four door-handle rivets
Total: $279.95

50Resto five-lug conversion kit

Five-Lug Conversion Kit ('87-'93)
1) Two five-lug front rotors
2) Two five-lug, 28-spline rear axles and drums (5x4.5 bolt pattern)
3) Two inner and outer front wheel bearings
4) Two front rotor grease seals
5) Two axle bearing and seal kits
6) Two bottles of Royal Purple 75W90 gear oil
7) One bottle of friction modifier
Total: $399.95

Complete Weatherstrip Kit ('87-'93; non-T-top coupe and hatchback)
1) Two door-to-body weatherstrips
2) One hatch/trunk weatherstrip
3) One lefthand run channel liner
3) One righthand run channel liner
4) One lefthand, outside door-belt weatherstrip
5) One righthand, outside door-belt weatherstrip
Total: $149.95

50Resto Back-in-Black interior kit

Convertible Top Kit ('83-'04; doesn't include metal frame)
1) Convertible top
2) Top pads
3) Well liner
4) Rear glass
Total: From $349.95

Back-in-Black Interior Kit ('90-'93)
1) Carpet
2) Seat upholstery (Standard or Sport)
3) Headliner (scrape and cover)
4) Sunvisors
5) Door panels
Total: $679.95

Front Seatbelt Kits ('79-'93; meet or exceed FMVSS 209/302 specs)
1) Two belt/retractor assemblies
2) Two buckles
3) Two inner sleeves
4) Two outer sleeves
5) One Torx bit
Total: $319.95

Ford Pony Wheel And Tire Kit ('79-'93)
1) Four silver-painted or chrome 16x7-inch, four-lug '91-'93 factory Pony wheels
2) Four Sumitomo HTRZ 245/50/16 tires (mounted and balanced)
Total: From $899.95