1304 1979 2013 Questions April 2013 2010 Ford Mustang
Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 25, 2013

Red-headed Step Children

I'm a recent subscriber to your magazine. Although you seem to focus more on vintage Mustangs, you occasionally dabble into the new ones. One recent interesting article was cold-air induction kits, except it was on the new 5.0s! I have a '10 GT with the 4.6L Three-Valve.

What is it with '10 Mustang GTs with the 4.6L V-8? It seems to me that it's the poor red-headed stepchild of the Mustang family! The engine is more in line with the '05-'09 models, except it's somehow different (more horsepower!) which is akin to '08-'09 Bullitt (but different). Meanwhile, the body is more in line with the '11-'13. I guess that when the 5.0s came out, everybody in the aftermarket forgot about the 4.6L-powered '10 models!

To be honest with you, it's kind of difficult to find performance parts geared specifically to the '10. Can you guys help me out with budget (i.e. no supercharger) "go-fast" parts/sources or possibly do a future article?

Ed Zaremba
North Royalton, OH

Unfortunately, there is always going to be that redheaded step-child in the group. Ford has had several over the years as the model line progressed. Recent memory for late-model fans is the '94-'95 Mustang. Ford launched the redesigned SN-95 model yet didn't have their ducks in a row to get the new modular engine into the revamped Mustang. So the trusty 5.0L pushrod engine was retained for those two model years, creating a barrage of swap and hardware issues down the road—bellhousing and driveshaft differences, engine management changes, etc.—that simply make the '94-'95 models tougher to modify or find performance parts for. The '10 ended up being that same step-child when Ford brought out the new body to combat the '10 Camaro re-launch, but the hot 5.0L "Coyote" was still a year off.

We're seeing some '10 specific parts out there, such as cold-air kits, exhaust systems, and so forth, which are perfect for your budget plan. If we picked up a used '10 today, our budget mods would include an axle-back exhaust, cold-air kit with a tuner, a short-throw shifter, a set of 3.73 or 4.10 gears, braided brake hoses with 13- or 14-inch front rotors, and a set of 18- or 19-inch wheels with sticky tires. So there you have it, start bolting on some fun!

New V-6 Owner

I just bought a '13 V-6 Mustang. It has the optional Performance Package, so a nice amount of GT-level suspension and brake stuff was included and the 19-inch rims with Pirelli P-Zero summer tires makes my car look anything but a standard V-6 model. I wanted to do some mild stuff to my engine for an increase in horsepower without nullifying the warranty, but it seems no one caters to the V-6 Mustang. I've scoured magazines and the Internet, but nothing really shows up anywhere. Please help with any advice.

Vinay Singh
Randolph, NJ

Congratulations on your new ride! The new 3.7L V-6 is a fun driver for sure and adding the Performance Package certainly ups the ante with the GT springs, shocks, anti-sway bars, and rolling stock! Matter of fact, the new 3.7L V-6 seems to be getting considerably more notice from the aftermarket than the 3.8L and 4.0L V-6s in previous base Mustangs. To that end, we've seen just about every performance parts company looking hard at the new V-6 and coming up with parts for the application. We've seen exhaust kits, cold-air induction kits, nitrous kits, blower kits, and more. Of course, deeper rear gears are popular no matter what engine is under the hood.

Bolting on any of these upgrades will not void your warranty. What many owners get confused about is how these aftermarket parts affect their factory warranty. While it is rare that Ford has voided a car's complete warranty status, it has happened in extreme cases. Generally speaking, Ford (and other manufacturers) follow the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which states that they cannot deny you warranty service or void your warranty when aftermarket or used/recycled parts are used on the vehicle. What can happen, though, is if you have a warranty claim/repair and the dealer determines the damage was caused by the aftermarket part, the repair coverage by the warranty can be denied—meaning you'll pay out of pocket for the repair. We've found that most dealers will try to keep their customers happy and will approve the warranty claim, but if the car comes in with habitual problems with a lot of warranty service, red flags start flying and the dealer will clamp down. In a nutshell, use quality aftermarket parts and ensure they are installed properly and you shouldn't have anything to worry about.

Let us hear from you. Send your late-model Mustang questions or comments to: Late-Model Corral, c/o Mustang Monthly, 9036 Brittany Way, Tampa, FL 33619, or email us at mustang.monthly@sorc.com.