Now that the 2018 Mustang has hit the showroom floor, many Mustang enthusiasts might be looking to upgrade their 2015-2017 Mustangs to keep pace. However, what should you pick as the first performance modifications that will give you the best bang for your buck? In a recent episode of Hot Lap, Stephanie Wood from AmericanMuscle.com shows us her five must-have parts for your 2015-2017 Mustang that will get your new build started off right.
I always recommend pairing a cold air intake with a tune, and I always tell people to put a tune at the top of their mod list. — Stephanie Wood, AmericanMuscle
“On this episode of Hot Lap, we’re gonna look at and discuss what I would personally suggest as the most popular and beneficial first few mods that people tend to go with once they have their new S550 Mustang GTs,” Steph said. “Of course these are just suggestions, and you always have a ton of different options when it comes to brands and specific mods.”
In the video above, she walks us through the five of the most popular mods, and examples of each of the upgrades that are sure to get your build started off right. While the video primarily focuses on upgrading a stock 2015-2017 model year Mustang, the enhancements that Stephanie suggest could easily be applied to a variety of new Ford vehicles.
“When it comes to lowering springs, they can be hard to shop for,” Stephanie explained. “Some people want to get the car as low as possible, and some people are looking for more handling performance. You have to shop with your end goal in mind.”
Stephanie describes the Eibach Sportline springs, which lower the car about 1.5 inches in the front and 1.3 inches in the rear. The Sportline springs are some of the most aggressive options available for enthusiasts looking to lower their stock S550. The progressive-rate spring will help with overall ride quality, and many owners feel the improved handling right away.
One of the first upgrades many enthusiasts tend to perform on any Mustang is optimizing the vehicles right height. Although the engineers at Ford go to great lengths to tune our pony car’s suspension straight from the factory, if you decide to upgrade your vehicle to a custom wheel and tire package, this often leads to a more significant gap between the tire and fender well.
Investing in a quality set of lowering springs will not only help address this issue, but it may also give your S550 added aerodynamic benefits as well.
Unless your new Mustang comes with an active exhaust, upgrading to a more aggressive exhaust note is a popular upgrade for many enthusiasts. Stephanie demonstrated how the Kooks axle-back exhaust system for the 2015-2017 Mustang completely changes the sound of the vehicle.
“The Kooks axle-back is my choice here because I think that it’s an axle-back that has a good balance,” Stephanie explained. “It’s not too loud, and it has volume and tone without being too raspy.”
It just so happens that Stephanie runs a Kooks system on her 2017 Mustang GT.
If you have ever owned a 2011-and-newer Mustang with the MT-82 manual transmission, then you may have experienced second into high-RPM lockout when attempting a third-gear shift. Since then, Ford quietly rolled out small updates, and improvements to help remedy the problem, but several aftermarket companies offer more comprehensive cures, in the form of more robust shifters with shorter throws.
“The Barton Hybrid 3 Shifter confronts head-on the remote shifter design and is the only shifter upgrade on the site that gives you a completely upgraded unit, rather than just the handle that will require you to transfer over some of the stock components that give you trouble with a stock transmission,” she explained.
What makes the Barton Hybrid 3 Shifter unique is that you can mount the system directly to the transmission or directly to the body of the car. Stephanie runs her shifter directly mounted to the transmission, which means she does not have to worry about the body of the car and the transmission moving separately.
Cold Air Intake & Tune
It’s no secret that the 5.0-liter Coyote engine responds well to a performance tune, so it came as no surprise when Stephanie recommended this next upgrade. When combined with a cold air intake, the AmericanMuscle 2017 Mustang GT was able to see peak gains as high as 28 horsepower and 25 lb-ft of torque on an otherwise stock vehicle.
“I always recommend pairing a cold air intake with a tune, and I always tell people to put a tune at the top of their mod list,” Stephanie said. “And once you tune your GT, you’ll have a totally different car that will be a lot more fun to drive.”
Stephanie selected with the C&L Street Cold Air Intake and SCT X4 Tuner combo. She also reminds owners that you may purchase these products separately as well.
These suggested mods are a great way to start off any build and will add the right balance of style and performance to any Mustang. For the complete line of AmercianMuscle upgrades for your 2015-2017 Ford Mustang, visit its website here.