Mmfp Yo Ken Readers Letters Lead
Ken Miele
January 1, 2013

Restricted Access

I have a '10 Mustang GT that I bought new. Recently, I was inspecting the rear drive mechanism when I noticed that the exhaust pipe that goes over the rear axle at the big U-bend is flat at the bottom of the bend. It seems to me that is a restriction of the exhaust gasses, and thereby killing performance.

Carlos Nambhard Canoga Park, California

Carlos, you're correct. The bend in the exhaust where it's flat is a restriction, but it's not as bad as you think. For a stock 4.6, the exhaust makes good power. An aftermarket exhaust will increase power, but for a stock engine, it is a small gain.

Factory exhausts are typically built with a compromise between performance, sound, quality, and price. Most GT Mustangs never see a performance upgrade, therefore the factory has to make the decision based on all of these factors. The good news is that the aftermarket has a wealth of exhaust systems for every performance level.

Am I Cool?

Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords is an awesome magazine! Your tech advice makes the magazine more enjoyable to read.

I have a '95 Mustang GT with a 5.0-liter engine. I'm getting ready to replace the antifreeze, hoses, water pump, and so on. Is it OK to use a 160-degree thermostat on it? Will it harm the engine or make it run slower?

Carlson Mechanicsville, Virginia

Carlson, the 160-degree thermostat will not hurt your engine, but I don't recommend running a 160-degree thermostat for the best performance. Your computer is programmed to run best with the stock thermostat, and going to a cooler thermostat will most likely cause a rich condition. If you must have a 160-degree thermostat, I suggest you get a tune that reflects the 160-degree operating temperature.

Strokin' SN-95

I have a '95 Mustang GT with BBK long-tube headers, an X-style mid-pipe with cats, and a cold-air intake. I am looking to stroking to a 347 and want to find the right heads, cam, and fuel pump for it. I want to use 1.7 rockers. How much power do you think that would be putting out?

Aaron Danville, Pennsylvania

Aaron, when choosing heads, there are many offerings, but you can't go wrong with Ford Racing heads. Part number M6049-X307 are a simple bolt-on and work great with Ford Racing's M-6250-X303 camshaft.

You will need to check the piston-to-valve clearance with most aftermarket cams. I suggest at least 190-lph pump. With these components, you should be making 400 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque.

Shifters and Brake Dust

I'm looking for a shifter for my '12 GT convertible -- can you recommend a good one? Also, I would like to change the brake pads to something that doesn't create so much brake dust. I have the Brembo brake package and I'm tired of cleaning the wheels.

Richard Dumas Takoma Park, Maryland

Richard, one of the most popular shifters for the '12 Mustang six-speed is the Steeda Tri-Ax shifter. This shifter retains the Reverse-lockout feature of your Mustang's stock shifter, so you don't have to worry about hitting Reverse by accident.

A good low-dust brake pad for the Brembo brakes on your Mustang is Hawk Ceramics. These pads are specifically formulated and made of ceramic composite for ultra-low dust.

Truck Swap

I have an '02 F-150 that I bought new; it is my daily driver. It has the 4.2L, a five-speed, and 182,000 miles on the clock. Will a '93 5.0 with a five-speed go into this without much trouble? I have the engine, trans, and all the wiring. Power steering lines and A/C lines I can have made at a business here. I would go with AutoMeter gauges, so the speedo doesn't matter.

I might be able to go with a hydraulic throwout bearing and mate it with my clutch master. I'm more worried about the oil pan, cutting, motor mounts, trans mount, and so on. I weld and do some fabricating at work, so I could make motor mounts and a tranny mount. But maybe someone makes a bolt-in kit, or maybe it will drop right in, or maybe it won't fit at all. I don't know -- that's why I'm asking you. I've had no help in truck forums.

Jeff Green Ooltewah, Tennessee

Jeff, the engine and trans will physically bolt in, but there are many issues. The '97-and-newer F-150s came with Modular engines. All of the associated parts are not compatible, along with the ECU and warning harness. You would be better off locating a 4.6 or 5.4 for this swap if a V-8 is what you want.

Get the Scoop

I have an '04 Mach 1. A few years ago I saw a 1-inch spacer that mounted under the scoop to make it stick up further out of the hood. Can you give me an idea of where to buy one?

Nicholas White Dumas, Texas

Nicholas, there are two ways to raise the shaker on your Mach 1. VAP makes a phenolic intake spacer that raises the shaker a 1/2-inch. There were a few people making aluminum spacers that bolt right below the scoop. These are not available anymore, but you might try hitting some of the forums for a used one.