Mmfp Yo Ken Readers Letters Lead
Ken Miele
September 1, 2010

Drown Out the Drone

I am a big fan of your magazine and the '03 Mustang. I read all the tech articles and various upgrades, however, I have yet to hear anything regarding the dreaded drone with aftermarket exhaust setups, which usually ruins everyday cruising and driveability. Nothing can ruin a nice Sunday drive more than that buzzing echo in your ear canal.

I've had this drone with various aftermarket exhaust systems and swapped them out immediately, but I've never upgraded a Mustang exhaust. With so many options available for the '03-'04 Cobra, could you chime in on the best combination that will free up backpressure but assure zero drone?

New Jersey

Matt, unfortunately there isn't a magic exhaust that completely removes the dreaded drone. Although the factory does extensive research and testing to remove annoying resonances that can filter into the interior, most aftermarket exhausts are a compromise between noise and performance, with performance being the priority. Noise is a necessary evil for some and a pleasure for others.

However, you have a few choices when it comes to drone-less exhaust. The Dynomax VT muffler is claimed by the manufacturer to be drone-free, along with Corsa dB mufflers. Both of these will reduce drone, but not totally eliminate it.

If you are really concerned with drone, you may want to ask yourself if the 8-12hp gain is worth the increased engine note.

Out of Juice

I have a '97 Ford Mustang GT and last year I did a full PI swap, including cylinder heads and intake. I also put in Patriot Stage One cams and upgraded the valvesprings. I have all of the bolt-ons, including a cold-air kit, underdrive pulleys, a throttle body and upper intake, long-tube headers, no cats, and a Tremec TKO 500 transmission. I also have an SCT tuner, Ford Racing driveshaft, and Steeda springs and control arms.

Can I safely install a supercharger with the right tune? I spray the car now and it goes 12.2 at 115 mph, but the juice runs out eventually. Any answers would be appreciated. I'm sure this would be a good tech article. I can't be the only one with this question.

Vilmar Ramirez
Margate, FL

Vilmar, as long as you keep the boost below 9 psi, supercharging will not be a problem. Swapping to the PI heads increased the compression ratio to 10:1, which is not ideal, but OK for a street supercharged application. If boost is kept to a moderate level, your engine will hold up.

Remember to always use the highest octane available, as this will ensure that your engine does not have any detonation, which will cause engine failure in a very short time.

Shake the S2000

I currently own two different Mustangs and love them to death. I once was the owner and die-hard fan of a rice-burner that was destroyed in a traffic accident due to a drunk driver. Now I own a '99 35th Anniversary Edition V-6 Mustang and a '92 GT. My question is about the V-6 because that's my daily driver and play toy.

What can I do to improve the performance of the car? I already installed a cold-air intake, dual exhaust with an X-style midpipe, Traction-Lok rear end, and an aftermarket clutch. What else would you recommend to make it faster? Besides a nitrous kit or supercharger/turbo kit since I don't have the funds for that right now.

Also, I'm wondering if the new Taurus SHO twin-turbo motor would swap in. I would greatly appreciate any help to so I can finally beat my buddy's Honda S2000.

Schuyler Bortz
El Paso, TX

Schuyler, there are a few more things you can do to improve performance, but without a power adder, your gains will be limited. Going to a 4.10 rear gear will give your V-6 Mustang quicker acceleration, but your engine rpm will increase when cruising the highway. Headers will give a little more horsepower-long-tubes will give you the most gain. Short-tube headers will only give you a minimal gain, as the factory exhaust manifolds flow pretty well for stock engines. After your upgrades, tune to get the most out of them.

Other than the heads and cam, there's not much else you can do to increase performance without adding a power adder. Any swap can be done, but the SHO would be very costly and complicated.

Time to Modify

I have an '03 Mustang GT with 99,000 miles on it. I've put on an X-style midpipe, a Magnaflow exhaust, and a JLT intake, but the rest of the car is stock. It runs great, with no smoke or knocking. I'm looking into superchargers but don't know if my engine will hold up. Do you have any suggestions on this? I'm also looking into replacing the engine, but I'm not sure if it would be better to buy a short-block or get a rotating assembly.

Rogelio Ortiz
McAllen, TX

Rogelio, in most cases, I probably would not recommend a power adder with mileage as high as your '03 GT. If the engine runs well, a supercharger with moderate boost should be fine as long as your future plans include a rebuild.

I lean towards a crate short-block over the rotating assembly. The down time and machine work involved in rebuilding one makes the short-block the quicker way to go. Price wise, with the machine work and having it assembled, you're looking at about the same money.

Technologically Illiterate

Your magazine has been very informative and educational. It's simply amazing what is being done these days with technology. Herein lies my problem.

I am 61 years old, have in the past raced and built motors, and had general fun with Fords. Up to this time, I have been in the dwell meter, points, plugs, and cam era. I recently purchased an '07 Mustang GT five-speed with 5,000 miles on it, and I have been quite impressed with the stock version of the automobile.

I would really like to twist up the motor a bit, but Grandma would not agree with the whine of a supercharger or the turbo blowoff valve venting, much less the need for 500-plus horsepower. I am just not sure of the technical requirements for the small but useful add-ons of the larger throttle bodies, larger air intake packages, larger exhausts, or the need for bigger injectors. (What is standard?) If you can believe the advertising for just those items alone, it's possible to bump up the stock 300 hp to 375-400 hp.

If I add the air intake, does the car need to be retuned? What the hell is that to me? I have a feeler gauge! If I add a larger throttle body later, does it again need to be tuned? Will all these items need to be synchronized, or will they work in coordination? The articles in your magazine state tuning is needed after adding the larger air intake. Why not the throttle body?

Questions, questions, questions. All I need is a perfectly good Mustang with $1,000 worth of add-ons that can get out of its own way. Otherwise the boys at the local shuffleboard club will smoke me with their Infinities.

I'm sure you can answer my questions and help me with my dilemma, but I would enjoy an article for the technologically illiterate, or you could point me to someone who can address my concerns and questions. If you write an article, make a note for which month it will be in and I'll race down to Borders and pick it up. Maybe if I listen and learn, I can do a class at the local tech school.

Les Canter
Bluffton, SC

Les, like you, I am an old-school guy who used a dwell meter when I was a teen. Those days are gone, thankfully. It's not as difficult as you may think to tune your '07 GT. The first thing you need to know is that most upgrades on the '05-'10 Mustangs need to be tuned in order to run properly. Your first purchase should be a hand-held tuner, such as those from SCT, Hypertech, or Diablosport. Just adding a tune to your stock '07 GT will increase power, and it can be done in a few minutes in your driveway.