Jim Smart
October 1, 2002
Photos By: Mustang Monthly Archives

Fit And Finish

You probably wouldn't think of "fit" as a modification, but it is because too many of us get it wrong. Mustangs with sloppy body-panel fit are the norm out there. You know, doors that don't line up and headlight doors out of alignment with the fender. The stealthiest Mustang modification is achieving perfect body panel and door fit, which puts your Mustang head and shoulders above the rest. Yet, no one knows why it looks much better. They only know they like what they see.

Transmission Transition

Automatic transmissions give us plenty of room for stealthy mods. For one thing, you can firm up the shift and achieve greater acceleration without engine modifications. How? With a shift improvement kit from Trans Go. Follow the instructions carefully and reprogram your transmission's valvebody in an afternoon. Transmission life is extended with a shift improvement kit because clutch and band slippage are eliminated, which saves clutch, band, and seal life.

Another steal-thy transmission mod is the installation of Ford's AOD or AODE transmission. The AOD/ AODE have overdrive, which lowers engine rpm, improves fuel efficiency, and reduces engine wear and tear. The AOD is a mechanically modulated automatic overdrive transmission. The AODE, first available in 1993, is electronically modulated and needs computer control to function properly. This transmission is best used hand-in-hand with a 5.0L SEFI engine and computer designed for the AODE.

Get A Grip

Here's an invisible mod no one knows is there but you. Centerforce's reputation for greatness comes from the Dual-Friction clutch enthusiasts are crazy about. The Centerforce clutch has an innovative diaphragm design that uses flyweights to apply more pressure on the clutch disc as engine rpm increases. For you, this means a softer clutch pedal without clutch slippage.

Fluid Clutch

If you've been driving a classic Mustang with a manual transmission, you understand the discomfort associ-ated with that old bellcrank clutch linkage. It makes for a stiff, unreliable clutch pedal. JMC Motorsports can help with a hydraulic clutch kit that makes short work of shifting. This clutch kit consists of a master cylinder (that installs where your Mustang's old clutch linkage was), hydraulic line, hardware, and a slave cylinder. All of it installs with no special tools. Bleed the system and you're ready to roll.

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Roller Derby

Stealth mods have always included internal engine upgrades, like roller cam-shafts that take the effort out of opening and closing valves. Roller lifter camshafts allow us more aggressive cam-shaft profiles without the driveabil-ity issues exper-ienced with flat tap-pet bumpsticks. Roller tappets experience less wear than flat tappets. They allow the lifter to follow an aggressive cam lobe without consequence. Crane Cams offers the enthusiast roller hydraulic camshaft conversion kits for older V-8 engines like the 260, 289, and 302ci small-blocks, 351C, 390, and 429. The result is crisp, snappy throttle response with the subtle click of roller tappets.

Induction Junction

If your V-8 engine is equipped with two-barrel carburetion, it's easy to step up to four-barrel atomizing with a trip to Summit Racing Equipment. Summit Racing Equipment sells genuine Edelbrock induction systems, including the Performer RPM manifold and carburetor for small-block Fords. The Performer RPM hides nicely beneath your factory air cleaner, if necessary. If you want an open-element air cleaner, Summit Racing Equipment can help. Top your Edelbrock carburetor with an open-element air cleaner and shut the hood. Then step into upscale performance.

Sneaky Snappy!

Are you tired of point bounce at high revs, not to mention having to gap ignition points every 10,000 miles? When Pertronix introduced the Ignitor ignition module many years ago, we were convinced it was too good to be true. It was compact, rock solid, and fit nicely inside our Autolite and Motorcraft distributors. A decade later, the Ignitor is the standard for stealthy aftermarket ignition systems. Today, Pertronix brings us the Ignitor II programmable ignition module. These folks took a great idea and made it better. After you install the Ignitor II, opt for a Flamethrower ignition coil and spark-plug wires for optimum performance.

Great Crates

The post-puritan age has brought us a wealth of crate engines to choose from. Companies like Performance Automotive Warehouse, Summit Racing Equipment, Coast High Performance, and Ford Racing Performance Parts offer us a wealth of crate engines and kits easily shipped to your door in a matter of days. These crate engines and kits allow us to get power back into our Mustangs in days rather than weeks. What's more, no one knows it's a crate engine but you. Drop it in, then turn and burn. With most crate engines, you get a warranty-plus factory reliability and backing.

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