How To Install MRT Hood Struts On 2010 & Up Ford Mustangs

MRT’s hood struts are one of the most useful mods you can do to your Ford Mustang. The stock prop rod is cheap & flimsy & doesn’t belong on a car like the Mustang. Many new luxury & performance cars come with hood strut systems from the factory, this simple mod will make opening your hood easier and quicker, a useful tool for those who work on their Mustangs on a regular basis. You can find this black MRT Hood Strut Kit on StangMods by clicking the following link: MRT Black Hood Strut Kit

For this install you will need a couple of tools. They are:  a 10mm socket wrench, razor cutter or scissors, flat head screwdriver, extra set of hands to help support the hood when adding the strut brackets.

Start by locating the fender bolt closest to the hood of the car, remove this 10mm bolt, place the lower bracket there & tighten it down. The RH side is the passenger side, LH is the drivers side. Each bracket in the kit is engraved with either RH or LH.

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After the lower brackets are in place it’s time to install the upper brackets. You may want to grab a friend to help with this step. Remove the upper 10mm bolt and LOOSTEN the lower one just enough to slide the braket under the head of the lower bolt. Reinstall the upper bolt once the lower part of the bracket is fastened by the lower bolt.

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Once the brackets on both sides of the hood/vehicle are installed and tightened, install the struts! You can now ditch the prop rod for good, you can even unbolt it’s bracket & throw it in the trash, up to you!

The steps above complete the install process on 05-09 Mustangs. If you have a 2010 and newer model you’ll need to modify the sound tube located on the driver’s side. This is required to give the hood strut clearance.

Start by removing the lower rubber bushing under the plastic bracket. There is a small metal guide for the bolt pressed through this bushing, you can remove it with a flathead screwdriver Do not throw this away as it will be reused. Once the rubber bracket has been removed, cut about half an inch out of the center of the rubber bushing as marked by the red lines in the photo below.

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After you’ve cut the bushing install everything backwards like shown below. The U clip that the bolt originally threaded into must be installed on the bottom of all of this.

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Once everything is lined up, bolt it down like shown below. All done!

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Now you have an attractive, useful mod that’ll give you more clearance while providing a nice visual upgrade . For more information on MRT’s Hood Strut Kits, follow this link: http://www.stangmods.com/MRT-Hood-Struts-05-13-Mustangs-p/00109.htm

Hawk Brake Pads – A Wide Range Of Compounds For All Types Of Drivers

Hawk is one of the biggest names in performance and OE replacement brake pads out there. Their superior quality to OE components makes them not only a smart buy for customers looking to replace their stock pads but also for those looking for more stopping power for spirited street driving or even track use. Hawk pads are used worldwide by weekend racers and professionals alike because of their great fitment, reliability & quality. Let’s take a look at the different pad compounds offered by Hawk & get a better understanding of each of their strengths.

Hawk Ceramic Brake Pads

Hawk’s Performance Ceramic Brake Pads are a perfect blend of improved performance with reduced brake dust and noise.  They provide consistent quiet, fast, smooth & clean stopping power for vehicles that are primarily driven on the streets. The Performance Ceramic pads feature a unique ceramic composite formulation specifically developed to meet the ultra-low dust and low noise attributes of Original Equipment ceramic brake pads while maintaining the high friction levels professional brake tuners have grown to expect from Hawk Performance. If you are looking for replacement pads that will give you more bite & less dust, look no further than Hawk’s Performance Ceramic pads.

Hawk HPS Brake Pads

The extremely popular Hawk HPS pads really offer the best of both worlds when it comes to brake pads. The HPS compound offers a significant improvement in braking power and feel while still retaining quiet operation and low dust. Hawk’s HPS Ferro-Carbon compound brake pads provide advanced braking characteristics to enhance the driving experience. This unique compound combines the safety and quality of aerospace design partnered with the braking technology of motorsports. If you tend to drive spiritedly on the streets and occasionally do heavy repeated braking or are looking for a big improvement over stock pads without the noise & dust associated with race pads, the HPS is the perfect pad for your Mustang.

Hawk HP Plus Brake Pads

The Hawk HP Plus is Hawk’s entry level racing brake pad. The HP Plus is perfect for autocrossers or occasional weekend track warriors looking for a no compromise pad that will work well with an upgraded rotor and other supporting brake mods. Because of the more aggressive compound, the HP Plus does create noise under some conditions however they are nowhere as noisy as a dedicated track pad. The HP Plus pads are usable on the street at a wider range of temperatures vs a more serious race compound. The Hawk Performance HP Plus Ferro-Carbon compound can take the heat at the track and get you home safely without having to change your brake pads in and out. This compound was designed for the serious street and autocross enthusiast.

Hawk Racing Blue Brake Pads

Hawk’s Racing Pads are no compromise all-out performance units designed to stand the heat, wear & abuse of repeated track use. Hawk offers a few lines of Racing Blue pads depending on how much torque or friction you are looking for depending on your application and use. These pads are not recommended for street use due to their noise levels and the fact that they require heat to produce high levels of friction required for racing. If your Mustang is built for the track and rarely sees the streets or you’re looking for a set of dedicated race pads to install for an event, any of the Racing Blue pads are sure to fit your needs.

You can find Hawk’s full line of Ford Mustang brake pads for all 1994 & up Mustangs on StangMods.com by clicking here: http://www.stangmods.com/Mustang-Brake-Pads-from-StangMods-com-s/165.htm

K&N Performance Filters – Installing One In Your Mustang

Since adding K&N’s full line of intake products on our store – Click Here For Our Full Selection – we decided to give one of them a try on our 93 LX project car. We opted for a large filter unit that replaces the stock airbox and rubber piping. The install was very straight forward and took only a few hand tools. Install took no more than 45 minutes to complete.

K&N filters are special because of their high flow characteristics and their superior engine protection. By using an oiled element they are able to trap the most dirt and dust compared to a factory paper filter or a standard replacement filter. Not only do they flow and filter better, but they are completely re-usable and will last the life of your vehicle’s engine. By using K&N’s Filter Recharge Kit you can clean and re-oil your filter back to new. They recommend you clean your filter every 20,000 miles to ensure the best protection and performance. After several years and a hundred thousand miles, the K&N filters practically pay for themselves. You actually CAN save money while gaining performance, reliability & economy…who woulda thought? Now on to the install for foxbody Mustangs:
Tools Needed:

1/4″ Drill

12mm socket

11mm wrench

Flathead screwdriver

Start off by removing the two 12mm nuts that hold the factory airbox to the engine bay.

Next, remove the clamp below the MAF sensor using a flathead screwdriver.

Once the clamp is removed, pull the factory intake assembly out of the engine bay.

Once the airbox is removed, you will need to use your 1/4″ drill bit to slightly enlarge a hole for the K&N filter’s bracket mounting position.

Once the bracket bolt fits through the hole, fit the bracket in place and tighten it. You will have to reach under the bumper to tighten the nut from the bottom of the bolt.

Once the bracket is in place and is snug, it’s time to install the new filter. Get the filter in place and make sure the threads on the end of the filter fit inside the bracket. Tighten the 11mm nut on the end of the filter.

Next tighten the hose clamp at the filter opening to ensure there will be no air leakage.

That’s it! You’re done! Below are two photos comparing the factory intake and the new K&N filter.

Swapping Steering Wheel Buttons On 2010-2013 Mustangs

When installing a new performance steering wheel on your newer Mustang, you may need to retain some function on your factory wheel that your new wheel may not come with. For example, our project 2013 GT came with Sync, and our Boss 302 alcantara wheel didn’t have the correct buttons to retain this function on the new wheel. We decided to swap the buttons from the factory wheel on to the new Boss wheel, problem solved!

For this install you will need to remove wiring harnesses, remove the buttons from the steering wheels and swap them around. Doing this took about 30 minutes and a lot of patience. There are small parts and springs you must be careful not to lose track of.

Tools Needed:

Torx T27

Torx T20

Assuming you already have the airbag removed, (See this link for instructions on removing the airbag HERE) begin by removing the trim pieces surrounding the buttons on either side of the factory wheel. These trim parts are held on by plastic fasteners that seat in rubber behind the trim. Carefully pull them toward you with even pressure to ensure you don’t crack them. There are no clips or anything, just pull them with enough force and they will slowly come out. Once they are out, the buttons will come free.

Next, remove the tree T27 torx bolts that hold the horn bracket in place. This bracket has three springs on the backside of it, make sure you don’t lose these or your horn will not work. Once the three bolts are removed, pull the bracket and springs off. There is a red wire clipped to the top of the bracket, remove this and pull the bracket free from the wheel and set it aside with the springs and bolts.

Next, remove the single T20 torx bolt that grounds the wheel harness to the wheel itself as shown below. Once this is done, remove the harness and it’s two white clips.

Here is the factory Sync harness removed. Set this harness and it’s buttons aside and repeat the process above on the Boss 302 wheel, removing it’s harness and buttons.

Below are the buttons that come on the Boss 302 wheel, remove these and it’s harness and replace them with the harness and buttons from your factory wheel with Sync.

To install the new buttons, first reinstall the trim pieces that surround the buttons then snap them into place.

Once both side’s buttons are in, reinstall the harness, connect the black ground wire and it’s T20 torx bolt and plug the harness into the new buttons. Ensure everything is plugged in and solid before moving on to the next step.

Next, reinstall the horn bracket, ensure that the three springs are seated and are properly installed before putting the three T27 bolts back. Again, if these springs are not installed properly your horn will not work right.

Tighten the three black torx bolts and replace the red wire that clips to the horn bracket.

Next, reinstall the airbag unit, plug the wires in to their corresponding colors (grey or black) and press the airbag into the wheel. Replace the two 8mm bolts on either side of the wheel as well as their cover caps and you’re done! Reconnect the battery and ensure all your buttons work properly. Enjoy your new wheel!

To view to the full wheel install guide, click HERE

To find this Boss 302 steering wheel in our online store, click here: Boss 302 Alcantara Steering Wheel for 2010-2013 Mustangs

Installing The Boss 302 Alcantara Steering Wheel In 2010-2013 Mustangs

If you are looking for a change from the factory cheap rubber or leatherette steering wheel we have your solution. For under $300 you can own a real Boss 302 steering wheel with the plush alcantara covering and install it in any 2010-2013 Mustang! This is a real Ford part, the same wheel you will find on all 302s that roll off the production line. The install is pretty straight forward and takes about an hour and a half, uses simple tools and will make your Mustang feel like a race car every time you put your hands on the wheel.

Tools Required:

24mm socket

8mm socket

Socket extension

Optional Tools (If swapping buttons)

Torx 20

Torx 27

Start by removing the negative terminal on your Mustang’s battery. Give the car 20 minutes to fully drain the charge to ensure it’s safe to remove the airbag from the car. It’s unlikely the airbag could deploy, but it’s one of those situations where it’s way better to be safe than sorry.

Next, remove the two caps covering the 8mm bolts that hold the airbag unit in place.

Remove the 8mm bolts on either side of the wheel using a socket and ratcheting wrench.

After removing both 8mm bolts, carefully and slowly pull the center airbag unit straight out, be careful not to tug on the airbag’s harness when removing it.

Disconnect the large black plug (steering wheel harness) next to the yellow airbag wire.

Next, remove the clips carefully on the back of the airbag unit itself. The plugs are color coded to match their clips, one grey and one black.

Set the airbag unit aside in a safe place. Now that everything is disconnected, you can remove the 24mm bolt in the center of the wheel that holds the old wheel in place.

Once this bolt is removed, the wheel will come off, be sure to thread the wiring through the wheel when removing it to ensure you don’t break any clips or wires.

Now that the wheel is removed, check out these comparison photos of the factory wheel vs the Boss 302 wheel.

If your Mustang is a 2013 or comes with sync, you can swap the buttons from your factory wheel onto the new alcantara wheel so you don’t lose any functionality. You will have to remove the buttons and the wiring harness from the old wheel and swap it to the new wheel. To view that write up, follow this link:

How To Swap Sync Buttons To Your New Boss 302 Steering Wheel

Now all that’s left is to reinstall the new wheel in the same manner you removed the factory one. Start by bolting the wheel in with the 24mm bolt. Ford says to torque this bolt to no more than 45ft lbs, do not over tighten this bolt or it could strip out. Make sure to line up the wiring harness plugs through the top hole and pull the wires through as shown below.

Plug in the main black plug for the wheel harness and put the airbag clips in their respectable plugs. It’s very important to ensure you put the grey clip in the grey plug and the black clip[ in the black plug.

After everything is hooked up wiring wise, carefully reinstall the airbag unit in the wheel. Make sure the unit is lined up with the side bolt holes and reinstall the two 8mm bolts on either side. After making sure the bolts are snug (don’t over tighten) replace the bolt cover caps and you’re ready to go!

Now it’s time to enjoy your new Boss steering wheel! Reconnect the battery once you’ve double-checked all the wiring and bolts. Make sure all your buttons are working properly. Enjoy!

To find this wheel for sale on our online store, click the following link: Boss 302 Alcantara Steering Wheel for 10-13 Ford Mustangs

Installing An Axle-Back Exhaust On The 2011-2013 Ford Mustang GT

For our second modification on our new project car we decided to try out Borla’s Atak axle-back exhaust system. Borla is one of the biggest names in domestic performance exhaust and it’s easy to see why when looking at the build quality and fit & finish on their systems. Their sturdy, lightweight construction is superb, and more importantly, the sound they produce is nothing short of stellar. Being an axle-back system we were expecting a mild sound, however this system really screams. Not in a bad way though, it really suits the new 5.0 very well. There is no rasp whatsoever, just a deep, powerful tone that screams Mustang 5 liter power! Even better than the sound when you’re on the throttle is the gurgling and popping you get when decelerating in gear. This axle-back is perfect for someone looking for a nice grunt on throttle, an aggressive deceleration pop and gurgle and when you’re just cruising around it’s very composed. Nothing that will annoy your neighbors or Johnny Law. Now on to the install guide. It took us about 2 hours to do the install with the car on jack stands. Please note that this guide is based on the new 2013 Mustang and the process may slightly differ from 2011 and 2012 GTs.

Tools Required:

13mm Socket

Socket Extension

Ratcheting Socket Wrench

The first step is to jack up the rear of the car and secure the rear of the car on jack stands. Never work under a car with a floor jack, always be sure to use jack stands and shake the car to make sure it’s safe to work under it.

After the car is safely in the air, the first bolt to remove is the bolt on the exhaust clamp that holds on the rear mufflers. This clamp will be re-used on the new axle-back system so be sure not to damage it. Once you remove the clamp bolt, be sure to retain all the factory hardware and set it aside so it can be used when installing the clamp on the new system. The clamp is welded to the stock system by a small tab that we will remove when the muffler is off the car.

Next, remove the muffler hangar from just behind the rear bumper.

Next, there are two bolts holding the hangars at the rear of the muffler tot he underside of the car. This bracket must be removed from the car and re-used on the new system. The image below shows the location of the 13mm bolts that hold the bracket to the underside of the Mustang.

Be sure to support the muffler when removing this bracket, once it is remove the mufflers will drop from under the car. We learned this the hard way! The photo below shows the passenger side muffler removed with the hangar bracket attached.

Follow the same steps on the driver’s side muffler. Remove the clamp hardware first and then the hangar right behind the rear bumper.

The driver’s side muffler has a slightly different hangar design, instead of using two 13mm bolts it uses three. After removing the three bolts in the locations shown below, the muffler will drop from under the car.

Below is a comparison of the stock muffler next to Borla’s Atak axle-back muffler. Notice how much smaller the Borla muffler is and the larger tip. It’s a fantastic looking system that fills the rear opening better as well as saves weight over the stock mufflers.

Now that both mufflers have been removed, it’s time to transfer the necessary hardware to install the new system. First remove the factory clamps from the stock mufflers. They are welded on by thin metal tabs. We simply moved them back and forth (sort of like breaking a paper-clip) until they broke free from the tabs.

The next step is to remove the hangar brackets and install them on the new mufflers. Make sure you install them in the correct orientation or the exhaust won’t bolt up properly.

Now you’re ready to bolt the new system under the car. Start by slipping the new hangar into the hangar bushing behind the rear bumper. After that’s in, bolt the hangar bracket at the back of the muffler to the underside of the car just as you removed it. Once all the hangars are in, simply reinstall the factory clamp and tighten it to complete the installation. Make sure the clamp is on straight to avoid an exhaust leak.

Repeat these steps for both sides and you’re done! Now it’s time to enjoy the new sound! The photos below show how the Borla Atak mufflers look from behind. Great fit and finish for an aftermarket system.

In conclusion, we definitely recommend replacing the rear mufflers on the new 5.0. From the factory they already sound good, but in order to really give the car that signature Mustang sound you can’t go wrong with an axle-back system. Not only are they affordable, they don’t make the car too loud. If you’re looking for something low key that will still turn heads, look great, not void your warranty and please your ears, you can’t go wrong with the Borla Atak axle-back system for the 2011-2013 5.0. You can find this system on our store by clicking the following link: Borla Atak Axle-Back Exhaust System for 2011-2013 GT & Boss 302

Boss 302 TracKey System

Shortly after the new Boss 302 was released Ford Racing Development came out with the innovative “TracKey” system. You purchase the TracKey, take your new key and your Boss 302 to Ford and they will set up a custom tune that improves throttle response, cam timing, and allows you to use a launch control system and much more. This is all pretty awesome, but where exactly is the TracKey? It’s been almost a year now and the key still isn’t available to the public. Luckily that’s all about to change. The delay was primarily brought on by California’s strict emissions laws which would make the use of the key illegal. Finally the state of California is giving the TracKey a green light, and Ford is to announce the sale of the TracKey system for sale to the entire US at SEMA 2011.

The TracKey itself will be available from your favorite Ford Racing retailer, however you will be required to take the key to your local Ford dealer along with your new Boss 302 for proper tuning. The tune effects over 600 engine parameters within the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) which increase driving pleasure, not just things you can feel, but also things you can hear. Since the release of the new Coyote 5.0 engine, tuners have realized the true potential of the new engine and the tuning possibilities. We are looking forward to some more detailed information about how real world 302’s are affected by the upcoming TracKey system, we have already seen how the launch control system works and how the tune makes for an aggressive cammed exhaust note, but considering how comprehensive this tune is supposed to be, there have got to be other improvements felt while driving the car with the special red key. Keep posted for more information in the next few months about the final release of the TracKey system!

In the mean time, check out this video courtesy of Ford Racing which shows the difference in exhaust note with the standard key and the TracKey.