Ways for more HP on a budget

Dfraley379

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Aug 8, 2019
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I recently acquired a 2 valve 4.6 L mustang GT (2003)

Any thoughts for getting more horsepower on a budget? It already has cat back exhaust and a cold air. Those things alone don't do much, I'm interested in keeping it street legal, but more fun.
20190805_110340.jpg
 
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08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
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Massachusetts
Hi,
Nice Car! Gears are hands down the best bang for the Buck, will make it feel like a completely different Car.
Is this an Auto or 5 speed?
Gains of around 20RWHP & 25-30Ft/Lbs of Torque with a good CAI, Catback are typical along with a Tune. (SCT/BAMA) is popular, you won’t realize much add on HP/TQ gains without one.
BAMA’s free Tunes for life’ program is great for the $$, they will make a new Tunes for free for your Car based on any parts you add, as long as you own the Car. Done & sent to you via e-mail or WIFI within 48Hr’s.
Stock Tune is stored on the Tuner to revert back to Stock for Inspection time.
American Muscle sells them, any questions- feel free to ask!
Good luck
-John
 
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Dark04GT

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Apr 27, 2008
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Save your nickels and dimes for blower and dyno-tune.
+1

Full boltons (tune, full intake, and full exhaust) will only get you to 260rwhp. The cost adds up. Save your cash and do suspension or forced induction.
 

Dfraley379

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
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0
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33
77384
Hi,
Nice Car! Gears are hands down the best bang for the Buck, will make it feel like a completely different Car.
Is this an Auto or 5 speed?
Gains of around 20RWHP & 25-30Ft/Lbs of Torque with a good CAI, Catback are typical along with a Tune. (SCT/BAMA) is popular, you won’t realize much add on HP/TQ gains without one.
BAMA’s free Tunes for life’ program is great for the $$, they will make a new Tunes for free for your Car based on any parts you add, as long as you own the Car. Done & sent to you via e-mail or WIFI within 48Hr’s.
Stock Tune is stored on the Tuner to revert back to Stock for Inspection time.
American Muscle sells them, any questions- feel free to ask!
Good luck
-John
Dude, sounds great. Could you supply any links so I could look at all the stuff you just mentioned?

I'm a diesel mechanic, and vehicle programming and all that stuff are familiar to me, however this will be the first muscle car I've attempted to upgrade.

It's an auto. I'm currently experiencing some strange shifting, so I will have to address that before I do any major engine work. My initial thought would be cams, and new valve train parts. I'd like to see what she'll do with some basic top end work. The ultimate goal is a blower and a badass tune. I'd love to hit a 10 s quarter mile in a 16 old car with an auto trans. Loo
 

08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
692
91
38
Massachusetts
Hi,
Ok
This is what I’d do, have done on my own, and have said to other’s when I’ve modified their Cars. Your at the N.A./F.I. Junction.
It’s MUCH easier with this Genre’ of Ponycars to get gains by F.I., 1996 & on Fords OBD2 came, they can fail you at Inspection with Cams & other Parts that require a Tune to run correctly. If you build N.A., it becomes a major PITA to get a Sticker, depending on where you live & who you know.
1) You will need to save around another 3K for a good FI setup, and it will be 50 State legal. Kenne Bell. + 160HP, bone stock motor.
You can boost it further using a smaller upper pulley.
2) Most Cams best for a strong N.A.setup will actually hurt performance with later F.I. Plans. OE P.I. Cams will outperform them. You’ll spend 1,000$ for Cams by the time you get all the parts required.
You’re Handicapped regarding Cams running an Automatic. You can’t go too radical without a 2,000RPM+ Stall Converter, or it will become a headache.
3) Unless you’re buying parts you can apply later for an F.I. Setup, you’ll be tearing them all back off & that will be money wasted for future F.I. Savings. Setup an account for it & target it hard if that’s the goal.
4) How strict are the laws where you live regarding Inspection?
My suggestion is, with your Goals in mind:
Spend as little as possible now on parts that won’t help you later, but absolutely, make it more fun!
A) Grab a good CAI that requires a Tune. They sell Tuners with other pats as combo’s for a better cost on AM.*
B) Find a Shop, specific to doing Gears. Or do it yourself. Sound capable. Install would
Cost you 300$(+/-)
C) Grab a set of longtube Headers. They will help gains now, and later.
D) Get Bama’s Tune, it’ll reset the speedo from the lower Gears.
E) Slowly Upgrade for later, multipiston Calipers, larger Rotors, improve on the Suspension, Tires, get some good pillar mount pod’s for Gauges.Oil Pressure, Boost, Wideband 02 Sensor, Coolant temp.
Save about another 3K, strap on a Kenne Bell & hang the hell on. They tune for near stock bolt-on Blower apps, L.T. Headers. Anything beyond, locate a local Dynotuner.
*Notes regarding BAMA, etc:
The Parts below with a Tune will gain you around 50RWHP, 70TQ it’ll feel more like 150HP with the 4.10 Gears.
You’ll rev about 400RPM’s higher @ 80MPH.
You’ll have further gains in acceleration as you’ll be able to change Trans.settings. BAMA sends you Custom Tunes via home WIFI network, the Tuner downloads them, or Email.
36Hr’s turnaround Tune requests to receiving new Tunes. AM emails a link once you buy the Tuner by to create a Tuning account.
Yes, interfacing occurs with a Tuning guru via Email or phone to convey anything, ask questions. No limit to requests & custom tunes, or datalogging if you have a tuning issue, as long as you still own it.
Tuner is also a basic Scantool & Datalogger so they can view if you think there’s an issue.
Installing Tunes is a simple process.
Below are links to AM. You can buy the Tuner by itself. Just saw it with the Gear Combo. Convenient!
I prefer to sell the SCT Rev X, vs. the X4, but they work, identically.
Read the reviews. Best places to buy Parts: AM, Jeg’s, LMR, Pit Stop USA, Summit..where depends on what.
Buy OE replacement parts @ RockAuto.
Do it without the Headers at first, try the Intake & Tune, then add the gears, you’ll see what I mean, the parts below & a Tune will impress you. Save your $$, then go with a K.B..
SCT Tuner with Free Tunes for life w/ 4.10 Gears included...

+35HP & 55RWTQ increase with a custom Tune by BAMA with your SCT Tuner. 50 State Legal. Airaid Intake.
LongTube Headers for Manual or Auto Trans, another 15RWHP with a Tune..Don’t forget 02 Extensions, stock Plugs won’t reach the 02’s.
O2 Extension Plugs.

Snapshot of a SOHC 268 Comp Cam’s cost, I ran the 270 & it’s a very Streetable Cam, good for 30HP as Built with basic bolt on’s. Needs no custom Tune, about +30RWHP over OE with a Tune, a 72MM BBK T.B., 30LB injectors, 76mm MAF, upper plenum. OE P.I. Intake.
You need Bolts & the Front Gears, add +200$ for Springs/Ret/Keepers/Gaskets: 2,300$
Wanted more, just bought a 400$ ZEX NOS kit, hit it 100’s of times with a 125HP Shot, no Tune- this was an 02’ GT.
Filled my Bottles, weekly. Cars still running fine, sold. Know it’s ok b/c guy came by & I put a clutch in it 2yr’s ago. Still drives around.
So, here, your budget is depleted by the cost of the Cams, parts required, alone.


Let me know if you still want to
pursue the Cam’s & NNA Build further, hope the insight helps!
- John
 

08GT500

Active Member
Jul 12, 2018
692
91
38
Massachusetts
Edit- ! 2 calc’s off. Cam(s).=1,450$ Drop em’ in with OE Springs, still 800-850$. Based RPM’s in OD at 80mph off 3.55:1’s to 4.10:1’s.
Best way to build hinges greatly on how tight inspection guidelines are where you live(?). They’re not likely to get better, either.
There really no sub. FI, $ per Hp, or ET improvement. only rivalries: NOS or Gears.
Mentioned no NOS, wondered why...?
-John
 
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