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

New 2013 Mustang Lineup From The 2012 Washington D.C. Auto Show

This past weekend in the Nation’s Capitol the 2012 Washington D.C. Auto Show took place with a huge turnout from fans and enthusiasts alike, all eyes were on the newly refreshed 2013 Mustang line. Huge crowds, even the President of the United States was in attendance to welcome the next generation of Ford’s flagship pony car. With big styling changes and mechanical updates for the new year, the Mustang is on it’s way to the top of the affordable sports car playing field, kicking *** and taking names.

On display were all flavors of the 2013 Mustang including the GT, Boss 302 Laguna Seca and the much improved Shelby GT500 with it’s new 5.8L engine. The 2013 GT500 features the most powerful production V8 Ford has ever developed for a road legal car. Featuring over 650hp and a new 2.9L supercharger and Ford GT camshafts, the new Shelby motor is sure to crush any competition Detroit’s best can throw it’s way.

All 2013 Mustang models feature the new GT500 inspired front end, as well as new headlight and hood designs. Out back the 13′ Mustangs have a new gloss black deck lid panels, black tail lamps with LED lighting technology and sequential turn signals off the assembly line. Mechanically there are few changes on the Boss 302, GT and V6 models, however the Shelby GT500 is host to new go-fast mechanicals that put it way ahead of the other offerings from Detroit.

We had a chance to speak with an actual worker from the Mustang plant in Dearborne, he was clearly proud of what Ford has to offer in the new Mustangs and made a good point; even though the competition is offering independent rear suspension, the Mustang is still able to outperform with it’s tried-and-true solid rear axle. Imagine what will be possible one Ford offers the Mustang with IRS again. The competition may not be ready for that. Offering an affordable alternative to more expensive performance cars on the market has always been the Mustang’s claim to fame. Nothing can beat a Mustang for the money.

Since the re-introduction of the 5.0 in the Mustang, yet again America’s favorite pony car is on the top of it’s playing field. Even those looking for something a little more frugal find plenty of enjoyment in the updated V6 powerplant which now makes over 300hp. Being lighter than the Camaro gives the Mustang a huge advantage in terms of handling, ride quality and straight line performance as well as fuel economy. It seems like Ford really has a winning combination with the new Mustangs and we look forward to see what the next generation has to offer.

The new 2013 Mustangs really provide the whole package. Updated materials and premium standard offerings like HID headlamps, LED tail lamps and vented hoods on even the GT really make the car a huge bargain in the performance car market. One good comparison is BMW’s M3, a car that costs close to $70,000, is outperformed by the 5.0 GT Mustang. Looking at the spec sheets of both those cars you’d never be able to justify spending nearly $40,000 more on the BMW.

All in all the 2012 D.C. Auto Show was a great experience and Ford had a huge turnout of fans and enthusiasts trying to get a sneak peek at the new 2013 Mustangs. Ford definitely didn’t disappoint with a huge list of new standard features that really make the Mustang a bargain premium sports car. We look forward to seeing these new Stangs on the streets and can’t wait to see what the new Shelby GT500 is capable of on the track.

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.

How-To: Installing Headlamp Lenses & HIDs in 79-93 Foxbody Mustangs

With more and more cars on the road coming equipped with HID headlamps from the factory, older cars are really starting to show their age in terms of lighting technology. The foxbody Mustangs come standard with halogen bulbs and plastic housings that are prone to clouding over time, which is rather dangerous for night visibility. At StangMods we love lighting, so when we picked up our 93′ LX project car one of the first things we replaced were the headlamps. We opted for an OEM style 3-piece design. There are 1-piece lenses out there for the fox, but they don’t fit the same and look a bit tacky in our opinion. We wanted to keep the car looking as original as possible while improving light output and appearance. The image below shows the difference between the stock with halogen and the new lenses with our 4300k single-beam HID kit.

The install was rather simple, took about an hour and a half from start to finish. The most difficult part is removing the stock lenses, some of the nuts that hold the lenses in are hard to get to, but with patience and the right tools for the job it was well worth it. On each headlight, there are 7 nuts total. The image below with the lenses removes shows clearly where these mounting points are, circled in red. These nuts are 11mm, and we used both a socked and an open-end wrench, depending on the location.

These 7 nuts are located on the back of the headlights, the passenger side was a little easier to work on. On the drivers side there was one nut we had to access from the bottom through the front bumper, but again we stress that patience and an open-end 11mm wrench and socket will get the job done. We started with the passenger side corner lens, once you remove the two nuts holding the lens in place, rotate the bulb and free it from the lens.

The center lens, the actual headlight, has three 11mm nuts holding it in place. After removing these the lens slides out. Twist the bulb retaining ring and slide it back, the headlight bulb will come out easily. Make sure to keep this black locking ring, it is required and you will be re-using this on the new lens.

Next up remove the inner lens that houses the turn signal. We decided to replace the stock amber turn signal bulb with our 3157 chrome/amber bulbs. They look chrome when off but light up amber.

Back to the headlight lens, you will need to remove the three black clips holding the plastic bracket to the back of the headlight. These clips pop off and the bracket shown below will separate from the back of the stock housing. You will be using these three clips to fasten the stock bracket to the new lens, so be sure to keep these handy.

After removing the bracket, remove the rubber weather stripping shown below from the stock lens, as you will be using this on the new aftermarket lens. It is held on by clips on the side, it slides free easily.

Install the original headlight bracket onto the new lens and fasten it with the black metal clips. The rubber weather stripping also installs on the new lenses.

Install the new outer clear lens and side marker bulb.

After installing the new clear outer lens, find a safe and secure mounting place for the HID ballast behind the headlight, make sure none of the wires will be pinched. Feed the wires through the hole behind the headlight lens and connect the harness.

After the ballast is in place, install the HID bulb in the lens and feed the wiring through the locking ring. Install the locking ring and connect the bulb to the HID harness. Be sure to check power and make sure the HID bulb comes on before mounting the new headlamp lens to the car.

Last step is to reinstall the turn signal lens. After all the new lenses are installed, be sure to replace and tighten all 7 nuts behind the lights.

Repeat all the above steps on the other side. The install is simple, hardest part is getting the lenses out and locating the nuts holding the lenses in.

Below are some photos comparing the stock lenses to our aftermarket clear ones.

MAC’s New 2011 5.0 Stainless Axle-Back Exhaust System

We shot some photos of our new MAC axle-back exhaust for the 2011+ GT 5.0 in the studio today.  This is a brand-new system from MAC featuring polished angle cut 4″ tips and lighter-than-stock stainless steel construction. MAC’s chambered muffler design is not only attractive, but makes for an incredibly deep and aggressive exhaust tone that really lets your 5.0 Stang breathe. For ease of installation, this system simply bolts up using OEM hardware for a quick and easy job.  This is a truly beautiful system, the fully polished chambers with etched MAC logos let your opponents know you mean business as you leave them in your dust. Now on to the photos:

 

Customer Video From Germany, 2011 GT 5.0 On The Track

We love getting feedback from our customers, whether it be in the form of emails, comments, photos or even videos. The latter is rare, especially a video coming from a track event at Hockenheim racetrack in Germany! One of our overseas customers recently purchased a few suspension items from our online store in preparation for a track day. His black 2011 GT was fitted with Tokico D-Spec shocks and struts, H&R lowering springs and a wealth of other go-fast suspension parts that not only transformed his Mustang visually, but also in terms of it’s handling capabilities on the track. These modifications stiffened the car’s dampers and springs and lowered the ride height, reducing body roll during cornering and lowering the Mustang’s center of gravity. All of these parts work together to turn the 2011 GT from a daily cruiser to a weekend track toy. Below are a few photos and a video of his 5.0 after the suspension install and at the track. Enjoy, and happy modding!

Click on images to enlarge