Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsProject Vehicles
Project Build Your Own Boss - Part 1: American Muscle Mods
We take a stock ’11 Mustang GT and show you how to build a Boss 302 tribute for a lot less. Booze optional.
Fortunately, it was a very easy conversion, requiring only bumper removal on both ends, a drill, some nylon pry bars, and a basic tool set. For those less technically inclined, we recommend having these parts installed by a professional who knows how to work with delicate body parts and new vinyl graphics. Even better, if you're a DIY kind of guy who's willing to learn, American Muscle has videos on its website to show you how to install most of the items with a much younger and better looking guy than we have to offer. Hey, we're fat, ugly, and darn proud of it.
We've got some grand plans in place for our new project car and hope you'll follow along. It's not just a car, but the culmination of enjoying Mustangs for over 25 years!
|53689||Ford Boss 302 grille with emblem||$399.99|
|53673||Ford Boss 302 front chin spoiler with foglights||$364.99|
|52999||Ford Boss 302 front air splitter||$159.99|
|53675||Ford Boss 302 rear lower-bumper diffuser||$169.99|
|69046||Roush side rocker-panel air splitters||$162.99|
|71326||Painted antenna cover (PQ-Race Red)||$64.99|
|26145||Gloss Black C Stripes||$99.99|
|26266||Gloss Black roof graphic||$99.99|
|26149||Gloss Black hood graphic||$74.99|
|80174||Gloss Black taillight panel||$49.99|
|49145||Raxiom Smoked Aero taillights||$224.99|
|26080||Smoked third brake-light tint||$14.99|
|35555||AMR 19 x 8.5/10 staggered Gloss Black wheels with M/T tires||$1,669.99|
|Add: TMPS densors and syncing tool||$194.99|
|11092||RTR tear spoiler||$349.99|
12. On the rear decklid is the antenna for the Sirius satellite radio. From the factory, it’s an ungainly-looking black hump that just sits there like a wart on an otherwise good car. American Muscle offers the best solution, which is to cover it with a painted piece (color-matched to any factory color code) that vastly improves the appearance. For you techies out there, these antennas work by making the steel trunklid itself the antenna as well, so covering this up does not adverse signal performance. It is attached with high-strength, pressure-sensitive, two-sided tape.
13. Next, we installed American Muscle’s smoked acrylic taillight panel. It works perfectly to black out the area, even in the direct sunlight as shown here. We then removed the factory spoiler, which was a pain, as it is attached with two-side tape also. With a few Nylon pry pars, a heat gun, and a lot of sweat, it was no longer part of the car. The RTR spoiler replaces the factory lip spoiler, and uses the two factory outboard holes and two-sided tape to secure it to the car. From behind, you can see how it goes the full length of the rear, and its aluminum construction is cool as heck.
14. Now it was time to get some vinyl action going. Starting with the side C-stripes, we had to first remove the factory 5.0 emblems. We did so by carefully sliding a wide Nylon pry bar between the emblem and the two-sided tape. We didn’t damage the paint with this process and found it to be the fastest method. Good ol’ fishing line works also.
15. With the glue residue completely removed from under the emblem area, it was time to prep the surface with a thorough cleaning, and then a liberal layer of soap and water solution from a universal spray bottle to lube things up nicely. Heh-heh, he said lube…
16. With the C-stripe positioned to cover the factory holes left behind by the 5.0 emblem, we used several long strokes with the plastic application card (provided by American Muscle) to press out the soapy water solution and allow the vinyl to adhere to the paint. This took quite a bit of time and patience, but it was well worth it.
17. With the graphics set in place, it was time to remove the transfer paper—right here and now, our project car was born. American Muscle was able to have BYOB produced in the same font as the factory Boss graphic, making it look familiar, yet definitely noticeable.
18. Moving down, it was time to install the rocker panel splitters. We found the best way to do this was to remove all of the pushpins that hold the rocker covers in place from underneath, and then unbolt and pry them off of the car. This allows you to perform the necessary drilling to attach the Roush splitters without any fear of misalignment. Once completed, we reinstalled the rockers with their new appendages using the supplied push pins. We now had a car that looked the part.
19. The front hood graphic is a bit of a challenge. Using very little heat and a lot of patience, we again used soapy water to work out the wrinkles that come from installing vinyl onto a curved surface. To avoid scratches, use plenty of the soapy water to lube the surface as you stroke it slowly and consistently. (Okay, I’ll stop now.)
20. To get the proper Boss look, we had to make the roof gloss black. Like before, careful use of heat and generous time is needed to make this come out properly. Vinyl is a forgiving material, and American Muscle goes with a top supplier (3M) for great results. For a finished look, tuck the front edge of the vinyl under the windshield’s rubber lip, and into the channels and on the sides and back.
21. To aid installation, we removed the side channel covers. They are made of aluminum and can permanently be damaged if not properly pried off, so be careful here. With the roof graphic’s edge rolled into the channel, we simply snapped these pieces back into place.
22. Exclusive to American Muscle, these multi-spoke AMR wheels in gloss black finish are super-hot and look high in quality. As a cast-aluminum wheel, they benefit from lightweight construction and affordability, which is perfect for the theme of our project car. Wrapped in Mickey Thompson Street Comp skins, they greatly improve handling. Note that the fitment can be had in standard and staggered widths, but we highly recommend the latter for the full-on Boss look. The fronts are 19x8.5s with 255/40/19s and the rears are 19x10s with meaty 285/35/19s. The best part is, they fit perfectly, with no rubbing at full lock, and clear everything out in back. Mounting and balancing is also included when you buy the set ,and you can have American Muscle install new TMPS sensors while you’re at it. We strongly recommend this to save time later. A syncing tool comes with it also, avoiding an inconvenient visit to the dealer for programming them to the car.