Frank H. Cicerale
December 1, 2006

OK, we admit the sound of a 4.6 or 5.0 Ford engine running at high rpm turns our heads faster than a girl wearing short-shorts and a tank top (well, maybe not, but you get the point). But let's face it. With gas prices skyrocketing each day, having the cash available two or three times a week to tank up your Mustang with the romper engine is becoming harder to do. Heck, it costs about $60-$70 to fill up our Lightning with premium. So, while most of us cringe at ditching the powerful V-8 for something a little less powerful, yet more economical, there is hope-the V-6 powerplant.

The GT models have been the ticket toquick times and fast speeds, but V-6-equipped Mustangs are just a bit better in terms of sales numbers, especially in the case of the new S197 cars. The 3.8 and 4.0 V-6s are mighty little motors that can be tuned up just like their big brothers, the 4.6 or 5.0. Imagine having a Mustang that makes great power, knocks down well over 20 mpg, and costs less to insure? Less can mean more in the case of the V-6. With that in mind, we did a little digging to uncover some of the hottest parts for those with the buzzin' half-dozen.

Bamachips
Bamachips Offers Mustang enthusiasts with all powerplants ways to tweak the factory ECM for more power and economy. For a small amount of coin, you can call BamaChips and have them come up with a custom tune for your car that they will e-mail or ship to you.

Of interest to us, however, are the multiprogram chip and the De Molet air intake kit with X-2 tuner. The multiprogram chip is a Superchips product sold by BamaChips. It features three individual tunes for your Mustang. The tunes recommended with the multiprogram chips are the 87-octane performance tune, the 91-93 octane performance tune, and the 91-93 octane torque tune. The multprogram chips can hold up to four tunes, and retail for $289.

The De Molet air intake kit is a complete cold-air intake kit that will bolt right up to your V-6 powerplant. Included with the kit is an X-2 tuner with a tune that will get the most out of the cold-air kit. The kit looks great with a carbon-fiber finish, but you can have the kit finished in other colors as well. Black is free, but matching the kit to your Mustang's paint will cost an extra 40 beans on top of the $599 retail cost.

Blow-By Racing
Known mostly for its newer '05-and-up Mustang parts, Blow-By has a host of items for the V-6 crowd. First on the list are its Spec clutch kits and flywheels for the '99-'04 Mustangs. The clutch kits range from Spec's Stage 1 all the way to the Stage 5. In addition, the company offers both Spec's aluminum and steel flywheels. Check out the Web site or call for pricing.

To help evacuate the exhaust gasses, Blow-By offers MAC headers and a JBA dual-exhaust kit for '05-and-up cars. Priced at $299, the MAC headers are a direct replacement, ceramic coated for looks, and sized at 151/48 inches for power. The JBA exhaust is a true dual-exhaust system complete with mufflers and a Y-pipe to improve not only power, but sound and looks as well. It prices out at $629.50.

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