Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords
Yo Ken! - Tech Q & A - September 2013
Answering your technical questions
I recently bought four tires, 285/40-18. I know they will fit on the rear of my 2010 Ford Mustang GT (Tire Rack lists them for the rear), but will this size fit on the front? I’ve had 275, series 35 or 30, on an ’09 with no problems. Thanks for any help or advice.
Via the Internet
I would advise against running the 285s up front. Although they will fit, you will have issues with the tires rubbing the inner fenderwell. The 275s would be the max for the front, as long as you don’t lower your GT more than 1.5 inches. The Mustang chassis was never designed to handle such a large tire for the front and it could affect your handling characteristics, along with added stress on the suspension components.
Re-tire Your ’Vert
I have a 2002 Ford Mustang GT convertible that I daily drive during the summer. Before I put my car away for the winter last year, I started having major traction issues. Worried about the condition of the torque boxes and control arms, I examined them as well as I could—they seemed to be in fine shape. The tires have decent tread on them but are undersized at 225 mm.
One slightly alarming issue I can’t believe I missed before is that the axle damper had been removed in true hack-job fashion. In your mag I see lots of undercarriages with this piece still intact. Could this be causing my traction issues? I’m thinking it is probably the all-season tires that the dealer put on the car before selling it to me.
Is there anything else I should be looking for? Do I need to worry about the damper? My Ford dealer says he can’t get that part anymore, but told me not to worry about it. I would like to believe him, but there are no shops in this area that specialize in Mustangs. I could drive up to Jackson, Michigan, to Paul’s High Performance, but a two-hour drive for a second opinion is a bit much. Any advice you can offer me?
Mike, the axle dampers control driveline vibration and will not effect traction. The dog-bone-shaped damper is often left off after changing the ring and pinion, or even when routine maintenance is performed. The tire size is probably one of the reasons for less traction, along with the all-season tires. All-season tires are a compromise between a performance summer tire and winter tire. In many cases, most brands do not perform well on-track when pushed to their limits.
Masters of Flow
I have an 2006 Ford Mustang GT with 15/8-inch short-tube headers and Flowmaster 60 Series mufflers. I’m unhappy with the sound and lack of felt power. What kind of rwhp should I be making? I also have a K&N air filter. My GT has only has 25,000 miles and the brakes don’t seem to work well. Please help.
Jon, short-tube headers and Flowmasters will increase power about 3-5 percent. You may not feel the increase, as it is minimal, but it is a good upgrade and works well when adding other performance parts. As far as the sound goes, Flowmaster set the industry standard when it first launched its muffler design. Its parts have a unique sound that many like—but sound is subjective. Some may like it and some may not.
A complete brake service will most likely cure your brake issues; replace both the brake pads and rotors.
I am a newbie here and hoping someone can help me out with a question about horsepower. I just bought an 2006 Ford Mustang GT with some upgrades. It has a high-rise intake manifold, a C&L cold-air intake, Flowmasters, and an SCT X3 Power Flash tune. Does anyone know how much horsepower gain I should expect? It seems quick. I own two Dodge Vipers (1994 Viper RT/10 and a 1999 Viper GTS) and I wanted something a little tamer for daily driving—and it is, but it still seems to have some good power. I love it! Thanks for any insight.