Fox What cheapish mods can i do to increase horsepower/torque?

5.sloww

New Member
Apr 8, 2019
5
0
1
25
California
Hey i have a black 1990 lx 5.0 thats basically stock. All it has is koni shocks and a 3:73 gear ratio. I was wondering what other mods you guys recommend to up the horsepower and torque. Thanks :)
 
  • Sponsors (?)


95BlueStallion

You drunk?
10 Year Member
Feb 22, 2007
5,298
3,012
214
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Do you still have the stock air box? I just learned a few days ago that my car still had the air silencer. Supposedly removing it can net 5-10 horsepower.

If you have an aftermarket midpipe in your exhaust you can remove the smog pump (thermactor pump) and run a shorter serpentine belt.

I don’t recommend under drive pulleys.

You already have good rear end gears, so from this point I would say start saving up for heads, a cam and upper/lower intakes.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5.sloww

FoxMustangLvr

I love my Pimp
SN Certified Technician
Oct 14, 2012
4,929
3,459
194
43
Spokane, Wa
Hey i have a black 1990 lx 5.0 thats basically stock. All it has is koni shocks and a 3:73 gear ratio. I was wondering what other mods you guys recommend to up the horsepower and torque. Thanks :)
You got any money? If not, bumping timing and gears is the best you can do on a stock 5.0 without buying and replacing parts. The gears you have so bump the timing. I was able to run 13.5* and stay on 87 octane. Running 91+ octane isn't worth squat on a stock engine.

If you want more, acquire about $3k, and we can give you endless suggestions with what do to with it.

Lets see some pictures of your car!
:worthlesb
 

90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
SN Certified Technician
Mar 2, 2015
4,399
3,746
183
41
Long tube headers will help get a little more torque... intake will help a little horsepower ....

You have the gear...so...a decent camshaft would help torque and hp. That's a more complicated route...and you'll need rockers and springs..and maybe push rods too.
 

1990 5.0 LX

Member
Apr 11, 2019
37
20
18
69
Ben Lomond, CA
Hi there. Lots of good suggestions here. I also have a '90 LX also and here are the things I did:

- remove the bug screen that's part way up in the air intake upstream of the MAF, it restricts the flow
- put a K&N air cleaner in the stock air intake. Less expensive than a cold air intake and you can tell the difference
- under drive pulleys. I got a noticeable bump with these (5-7hp) with no impact to charging or cooling
- better ignition. I installed a Performance Distributors system which was hotter coil, TFI card with longer dwell, and their "live wires" spark plug wires. You can increase spark plug gap. Got a nice bump out of this change
- you have headers and X pipe already, replace the stock mufflers with performance mufflers, I installed Magnaflows
- run synthetic motor oil, that increases hp as well compared to non-synthetic oil

You can also put in a larger throttle body. I haven't done this but it's easy to do and the computer brain will adapt to the larger tb and deliver more fuel to the injectors.

Years ago, Mustangs and Super Fords magazine had a series of three articles with progressive changes that can be made to the Fox to boost performance. It started with some of the easy stuff in the list above and progressed to intakes, heads and cams. After each round of changes, they ran dyno checks and provided the results.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 5.sloww

FoxMustangLvr

I love my Pimp
SN Certified Technician
Oct 14, 2012
4,929
3,459
194
43
Spokane, Wa
- better ignition. I installed a Performance Distributors system which was hotter coil, TFI card with longer dwell, and their "live wires" spark plug wires. You can increase spark plug gap. Got a nice bump out of this change

- run synthetic motor oil, that increases hp as well compared to non-synthetic oil
Welcome to Stangnet. Please do not post while drunk bro! :cheers: :D
 

Mstng93SSP

You have a nice rear end there Dave.
15 Year Member
Nov 29, 1999
1,300
1,515
174
Mililani, Hawaii
We all consider each other as friends on this site. Friends don't let friends do underdrive pullies.....or longtubes. You can thank me now....or later. Up to you. :cool:
 
  • Like
Reactions: 5.sloww

1990 5.0 LX

Member
Apr 11, 2019
37
20
18
69
Ben Lomond, CA
You must have had a bad experience with under drive pulleys. I haven't. I installed mine around 8 years ago and as I indicated in my post, no problems with charging or overheating. Just free additional power.

I'm thinking that some under drive pulley sets have more aggressive ratios than others, that's something to think about.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GTVin and 5.sloww

General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
12,399
3,932
193
polk county florida
We all consider each other as friends on this site. Friends don't let friends do underdrive pullies.....or longtubes. You can thank me now....or later. Up to you. :cool:
well this shows where I stand around here.
i also have both
and I will say underdrive pulleys are well known for charging/high temperature issues, you can change the pulley on the alternator to help but then you chance over charging at highway speeds. My car runs warmer idling in traffic.
as for long tube headers, I have run them all my life, with the new style mini starter will make starter changing easy, now how often do you change the starter anyway?
 
  • Like
Reactions: aztecgwynn

Mustang5L5

Mod Dude
Feb 18, 2001
30,809
7,251
224
Massachusetts
You must have had a bad experience with under drive pulleys. I haven't. I installed mine around 8 years ago and as I indicated in my post, no problems with charging or overheating. Just free additional power.

I'm thinking that some under drive pulley sets have more aggressive ratios than others, that's something to think about.

I've had underdrives on my car for 20 years. I've never had issues.

Granted, I addressed the issues before the problems ever started. My charging and cooling systems are pretty healthy.
 

a91what

SendMeUrDataLog
Mod Dude
Apr 6, 2011
8,522
4,973
204
30
Hillsborough county
yeah well I overdrive all my accessories, well not the PS pump used a 3.8 pulley on it to underdrive it as i run a 6.71 crank pulley
 

BlakeusMaximus

“Blakeusdoneimus”
Jul 12, 2017
1,636
893
153
I've had underdrives on my car for 20 years. I've never had issues.

Granted, I addressed the issues before the problems ever started. My charging and cooling systems are pretty healthy.
I have pulleys on my car too, and every other Mustang Ive had, never had an issue during the day, just at night. I guess my cooling system is good enough. I don't drive much at night but when I do, you could tell they affected the charging system. Dim lights, slow signals, weak blower while they are all on sitting at street lights. Ill probably pull them off when I get my car home, that does get on my nerves. We'll see.
 
Last edited:

Boostedpimp

10 Year Member
May 8, 2003
817
222
74
NJ
UD pullies get a bad rap from people who don't want to deal with there weak charging/cooling systems. I run them on all my cars :)
 

95BlueStallion

You drunk?
10 Year Member
Feb 22, 2007
5,298
3,012
214
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
I have pulleys on my car too, and every other Mustang Ive had, never had an issue. I guess my charging and cooling systems are good enough. I don't drive much at night but when I do, you could tell they affected the charging system. Dim lights, slow signals, weak blower while sitting at street lights. Ill probably pull them off when I get my car home, that does get on my nerves. We'll see.
Not trying to be a dick here, but you say never had an issue and then list off a bunch of issues, lol.

UD pulleys aren’t the devil by any means, but you will notice dim lights at night, especially with your heat/ac and radio on. There is a reason people do 130 amp alternator upgrades.

That being said, anyone that wants them, go for it! Mercia!