Mod Science 2001 GT Mustang Project

We've finally taken the plunge into the mad world of modular Mustangs. Ford introduced the 4.6L 2V and 4V modular engines to the Mustang in 1996 (although it first showed up in the '91 Town Car.) Naturally, this
generated heavy skepticism, particularly amongst enthusiasts who were just coming of age to the 5.0L technology. Of course this was understandable. It took veteran carbed die-hards nearly a decade to embrace the computer controlled engines as viable performance engines. What was initially thought as the end of hot-rodding proved to be the beginning of the greatest boom in domestic V8's since the Chevy 350.

If the change from carburetion to fuel injection was a big step in the evolution of small block Fords, then the modular engine has to be akin to an alien species jumping head first into the gene pool. It shares nothing in common with its' pushrod predecessor. The overhead cam engine is based on over a billion dollars and five years of R&D into producing a smaller yet more efficient and more powerful V8. The term "modular" refers to design characteristics which make the fundamental parts of the engine assembly distinct components which can be configured to make a variety of engine combinations. To complicate matters even more the new engine came with a new processor version, EEC-V as a result of federally mandated OBD-II (on board diagnostics) standards.

Fortunately, there are always those up for a challenge. Not to mention an untold number of aftermarket manufacturers worn of the saturated 5.0L scene and ready to jump into a virgin market of performance and aesthetic upgrades. Eight years later the modular motor scene is thriving and showing as much promise as its' predecessors. We're excited about jumping into the frenzy with our 2001 Mustang GT project horse.

First Days

Our '01 starts out as a bone stock lease-return vehicle with abut 30,000 miles. It's a five-speed car with the Tremec T45 transmission, at some point in the 2001 model year Ford switched to the T-3650 model. With the majority of our staffs collective experience being on 5.0L Mustangs, we felt like total newbies when it came to the 4.6L pony. What to do and where to start? We figured the sanest approach would be to stick to fundamentals. The factory rates the engine at 260 Horsepower at 5250 rpm, and Torque at 302 lb.-ft. at 4000 rpm. We've seen rear wheel dyno numbers for '00-'04 GT's at around 230 horsepower stock. With selective bolt-on engine and exhaust modifications the cars are pushing beyond 260 horsepower to the wheels. We'll go through these popular modifications in upcoming articles and perform dyno and track testing to measure their worthiness. We'll also plan out handling and braking modifications to make this Mustang into an all-around performer.

In the mean time, we just had to make some visual enhancements. Ford left something to be desired on the GT- beginning with the nose of the vehicle. Fortunately the design team had their act together when they designed the Mach 1 Mustang front end. The dark gray plastic chin spoiler and black-out grill delete are Mach 1 styling cues that are available through Ford parts dealers. We picked up our parts online from Sunset Ford in Waterloo, IL (1-800-939-6303) for about $80 each. Installation was simple and took nothing more than hand tools and a spare hour. Check out the step y step instructions below.

Face Lift - Installing a Mach1 chin spoiler and grill delete.

Before: Aside from the faux hood scoop, the front of a GT is no different than the V6 99-04 Mustangs.

After: Borrowing from Mach 1 styling cues we installed a chin spoiler and grill delete kit. Both are OEM Ford parts.

The Mach 1 chin installs in about thirty minutes to the factory bumper cover.

Position the chin into place using masking tape. We recommend aligning the end of the chin with the edge of the fender.

Once you are content with the chin placement drill 1/4" holes through the bumper cover. The chin comes pre-drilled with about 10 holes.

Insert all the supplied "christmas tree" push-in fasteners and press in the expander tab.

The Mach 1 grill delete kit comes complete with new corral-less pony.

Remove the plastic screw fasteners along the top of the original grill.

Gently pull back the grill and use a 1/4" wrench to remove the four retaining screws.

With all fasteners removed, pull out the stock grill face.

Remove the two fasteners securing the remaining grill portion and pull it out.

The new grill insert slips into place and is secured with two of the stock fasteners.

The most difficult part is getting these clips over the black plastic studs which will be protruding through the bumper. Good luck.

The finishing touch is bolting on the free running Mustang to the pedestal.
In This Article:
The first in many parts to come about our 2001 Mustang GT 4.6L 2V modular motor project car.

Over the next year we'll subject this 4.6L 2V "Modular" motor to a variety of modifications.

Initial Mods
The aftermarket has responded with a host of 5-10HP upgrades. Look for upcoming installation articles and dyno/track testing on these fairly simple bolt on engine modifications.
Ignition upgrade
Plamsa Booster We've tested the Plasma Booster for COP ignitions before and shown consistent gains across the rpm band. We'll see how it fares on our new project.
Intake plenum
CNL Intake Plenum We'll bolt on this easy upgrade and test for gains over the factory unit. We'll also compare several popular brands and designs.
Cold Air Induction
DensechargerOnce again cool, dense air leads the pack of fast and affordable bolt-ons. The time old question is what effect do they have, if any, on power. We'll find out.
Underdrive Pulleys
March PulliesReducing parasitic drag off the crankshaft still yields cheap performance gains. We'll install a set of March pulleys.
Short Throw Shifter
B&M Pro RipperReplacing the factory T45/T5 wet-noodle shifter is simply a no brainer. We've been sold on the B&M Pro-Ripper for quite some time. In fact Ford selected B&M for the 2005 GT supercar.


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