KJ Jones
March 1, 2013
Contributers: KJ Jones

Get My Shift?

I know the T-top coupe has an AODE transmission, and the B&M Hammer shifter in the car has been modified to use a pistol-grip-style shifter handle. I don't have the AODE in my car—it's just an AOD transmission—but I want to install a true standard-pattern, pistol-grip shifter, not a modified Hammer.

Does anyone make a good racing shifter for the regular Ford AOD tranny? And, if I put this in, will I be able to go from First, to Second, and then to Third gear without having to do the shuffle-shifting for holding Second gear? My car is a '91 Mustang GT.

Donny A. Carter
Clawson, MI

The Fox Mustang's AOD transmission is basically a three-speed unit (with an automatic overdrive) that unfortunately does not support the standard forward-pattern manual shifting that you want. The reason for this is because First and Second gear share the same circuit in the AOD's valvebody, which requires doing the shuffle-type shifting that you mention (start in First, shift to Drive, trans will shift to Second, pull shifter back to First, it will hold Second until you shift back to Drive).

In order to have full manual control of the 1-3 shifts, you'll have to install a manual valvebody in your GT's AOD transmission or step up to an AODE, like the Performance Automatic Super Comp unit that we have in T-top coupe.

Once you have the valvebody situation sorted out, you can use any one of the popular pistol-grip shifters for C-4 automatics. However, to do this, an aftermarket shift cable and shift-lever kit is necessary, along with an adaptor plate for mounting the shifter in the factory location.

Harness Havoc

I'm wondering what the differences are between the wiring harnesses for '87-'89 and '90-'93 5.0 'Stangs. I currently have a mass-air harness from an '89, but I need a new harness for my '92.

In looking at the wiring schematics for the '92 and then the car itself, I've noticed that the mass-air-harness-to-body-harness plug is supposed to have a fuel relay near the mass airflow sensor. My '89 harness does not have any relay.

Before I go any further, can you tell me if I'm wasting time and actually need the '92 engine harness in order to get the car running? I'm really trying to lay everything in nicely, with an OEM look.

Randy Tomlich
Newport, MA

Unfortunately, the '89 mass-air wiring harness you have will not work as a plug-and-play deal with your '92 5.0 Mustang. As Fox V-8 wiring harnesses go, an '89 harness includes a fuel relay located below the mass-air meter, which is necessary for starting the engine.

In '92 Mustangs, the two fuel relays are mounted next to the mass-air sensor. So, when you try to use that '89 mass-air harness, since there is no relay on the harness, the engine cannot be started. The only fix for this is to swap out the main body harness (inside the car), with a harness from any '87-'91 V-8 ‘Stang.

Or install a '92-'93 mass-air harness, which you should be able to find through one of the many online parts recycling/trading resources.

Consider the Source

I've read and re-read your June '12 issue on engine swaps, and I have a rather simple question. I purchased an '03 GT a little over a year ago, and after doing some research on performance and the costs of all of the mods out there, I have come to the conclusion that the swap to a Three-Valve would give me the power I want plus lower the mileage of my current—and rather tired—powerplant.

I live in a rural area of Missouri and am not without mechanical knowledge, but I would prefer having this swap performed by a reputable shop. Can you recommend a performance dealer in the St. Louis, Kansas City, or hopefully my area of Southwest Missouri that could help? You might want to consider a future article featuring shops and their locales for guys like me.

Ray Bohn
Highlandville, MO

While we're sure there probably are reputable and qualified shops in St. Louis and Kansas City that can perform the Three-Valve swap in your New Edge, it might be a better bet to go the extra miles (to Sycamore, Illinois) and have the work done by Logan Motorsports, maker of the bolt-on kit that's required for the Two-Valve- to-Three-Valve swap.

Give Logan Motorsports a call at (630) 531-0897, and ask Keith or DeWayne Logan for specifics for doing the project at their facility, or for details on authorized installers in your area.

Know Your Strength

Will my '12 Mustang GT handle a turbo or supercharger, without changing any internals? This is my daily driver and I would like to get at least 500 rwhp. A Steeda cold-air intake and tune are the only mods I have installed so far. Thanks!

Mark Jones
Via email

Your 500-at-the-feet horsepower target is well within the safe zone for a stock '11-'13 Coyote 5.0 engine. The CAI and tune you've added puts you on the path toward making that kind of steam, as those items probably have your Pony making roughly 400-405 rwhp now.

Of course, there are a few other bolt-ons that will further improve your ride's power output—without installing a power adder (like the long-tube headers/full-exhaust combinations from such companies as American Racing Headers, BBK Performance, and MBRP, along with a Ford Racing Performance Parts Boss 302 intake manifold and 90mm throttle body). However, should you decide to go inside the engine, Comp Cams' Stage 3 camshafts are proven to bring performance near your desired horsepower level in otherwise-stock Coyote 5.0s.

New Tails

Is it possible to change the taillights of a '93 coupe from standard to LED? My car is in the body shop right now, and I really like the look of those LEDs for the back.

Does anybody sell a kit that retrofits the stock taillights, or a replacement set of LED taillights for '79-'93s? If this is a retrofit deal, how can I remove the original lenses without breaking them, and then reseal them so they don't leak?

Name Witheld
Via the Internet

The easiest way to make the change is by installing a set of brand-new LED taillights, which are available through companies such as American Muscle for relatively short money (PN 49057; $189.99).

Doing an LED conversion involves carefully prying the stock taillight lenses from their housings, and then installing LED strips—which can be purchased at most car-stereo-installation shops—against each lens (with bulbs pointing inward), using hot-glue, epoxy, or other strong adhesive.

After wiring the new lights, reseal the retrofitted lenses using American Muscle's Tail Light Lens Retainer and Sealer Kit (PN 87255; $44.99), then reinstall them in your 'Stang.

Virgin of the Month
Hosed and Confused

I'm working on a 5.4 swap in my '01 Mustang GT (your engine-swaps issue inspired this project). The motor is actually in the car, and now I'm hooking up the incidental stuff.

With the various hoses and such, can you please tell me where the lines for the heater core should be connected? If one of them is linked to the water pump, where does the other hose go? Thanks!

Jacob Ross
Tarrytown, NY

Routing of heater-core hoses for Two-Valve and Four-Valve modulars is not the same. With your Pony's stock Two-Valve 4.6 setup, heater-core hoses run from the heater core to the water pump, which you already know, and also to a fitting on the intake manifold. However, for the Four-Valve 5.4 engine, there's a fitting (pressed into the freeze plug) at the back of the passenger-side cylinder head, on which the heater-core hose is connected. The hose on the water pump remains constant for this application (the same as it is on your 'Stang's original Two-Valve).