Jim Smart
January 18, 2011
Photos By: The Mustang Monthly Staff

11 Classic Mustang Headers

We've seen lots of header installations. Shorty headers offer a nice clean installation but they don't always offer the performance of long-tube headers. Stan Johnson of Ford Powertrain Applications (www.fordpowertrain.com or 253/848-9503) has taken header design and function to new levels for Mustang owners. These are perfect-fit, long-tube headers designed for virtually every type of Ford V-8. They combine the benefits of both long- and short-tube headers.

FPA headers are high-tech exhaust scavengers you can install in a weekend because they fit so well. Jack your engine off the mounts and install these guys through the bottom. Check out our photo of long-tube FPA headers on an FE big-block. They hug the engine without causing clearance problems in a tight Mustang engine compartment. You can expect even better fit with small-blocks. Instead of conventional header collectors with gaskets that can fail, you have a ball and socket design that doesn't require a gasket.

Spend the money and get the best header gaskets money can buy because gasket replacement is an unnecessary problem you don't need. Also go for the best locking fasteners while you're at it. Tighten fasteners uniformly and do not overtighten.

12 Increase 5.0 Power

Old hot rodding tricks still apply to today's fuel injected small-block Fords and overhead cam behemoths. Engines are still air pumps. The more air and fuel you huff through them, the more power your engine's going to make if you do everything right. One easy modification you can make in an afternoon on your '86-'95 Mustang 5.0 is a larger throttle body, which increases airflow to improve both horsepower and torque. Few companies know more about late-model Mustangs than BBK Performance (www.bbkperformance.com or 951/296-1771). BBK has a variety of performance improving throttle bodies for Fox-body Mustangs.

Like carburetors, you can go too large with throttle bodies. For your street 5.0, all you need is a 70mm throttle body, which is something you can add without having to step up to larger fuel injectors. And honestly, it's all you need for improved street performance. Don't forget to go with the larger 70mm EGR spacer, also available from BBK. And regardless of what anyone will tell you, remain smog legal and install that spacer along with all the appropriate emission control parts.

13 Install A Rally Pac

Few accessories excite the senses like a Rally Pac, which was an option for '65-'66 Mustangs. Selection has never been better because there are plenty of options out there today. Reproductions are available in every color imaginable from Mustangs Unlimited (www.mustangsunlimited.com or 888/398-9898), including standard factory dark face and Electroluminescent (white) for under $450. Swap meets, eBay, and the classifieds offer plenty of used Rally Pacs. Regardless of where you find your Rally Pac, installation is simple because everything necessary for installation and restoration is available from Mustangs Unlimited. We're talking wiring harness, lenses, faces, interior spray paint, clamps, and more.

As with most accessory installations, we suggest doing a mock-up to check fit and positioning before tightening everything up. Follow your Ford wiring schematic for proper wiring instructions because Rally-Pac power is both switched (ignition and instrument lights) and live. Switched power is for the tachometer and instrument lighting. Live is for the clock, which runs all the time. It is not necessary to cut or splice wiring because your Mustang is fitted with switched and live power plugs underdash. If a plug is not available underdash, go directly to your Mustang's fuse box.