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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone my name is Porter, this is my 2002 Mustang GT.

Originally from Albuquerque, NM. I am technically the 4th owner. When i bought it in August 2017 it had a little more than 85k miles on it, and it was 100% stock. The original owner had it for like 12 years.







Not long after getting it, I went to a friend who has a dyno. We recorded 237hp/273tq ... all stock





I installed a chin spoiler and short antenna very soon after getting the car. I still need a license plate frame, but other than that those are probably the only things that i have planned for the exterior of this car. Eventually i would like a 99 cobra front bumper, and a new paint job, but that is well out of my price range right now..



I installed an MGW short throw shifter, new sway bar end links and sway bar bushings, and an aluminum driveshaft from Ford Racing. I also had some Maximum Motorsports Full length Subframe Connectors welded on.





Other than that, the car is still (in my eyes) pretty much stock.. I've added an Alpine head unit, running pioneer speakers, powered by a 4-channel pioneer amp. It is all hidden. I plan to add a subwoofer or two, when i do, I will take more pictures.

For now, here are some pictures from the past year or so I've had it. I've bought new headlights recently, but haven't taken any decent pictures since then.. maybe that will be my next post..







So far the only issue i have had with this car is that the fog light bulbs like to explode sometimes, I'm not sure why...
Other than that, absolutely no issues... Walmart tires...



I like the Hawk HPS brake pads and I plan to eventually upgrade to the 13" cobra brakes..

I need to change the transmission fluid, I'm planning to use Mobil 1 ATF and some Lucas transmission fix.. still not sure..
I'm pretty sure the driver side, front lower control arm ball joint is going out, should probably replace both control arms..
My clutch is trash. I don't even want to think about it.

Last but not least..



My best friend recently got us tickets to go drive on the CIRCUIT OF THE AMERICAS!!!! Picture of his cars above. :)

It's in March on St. Patricks day. It'll be fun with the green car, Lol.

I'm Super excited for this event, it's titled an "Introduction to Performance Driving".
I get two sessions on track with an Instructor (which i look forward to, even though I am confident already)..
I'm looking at this as a foot in the door to going to more track days..

I actually have an appointment with the shop that the hosts recommended, Flamingo Automotive, on Guadalupe in Austin.
I really just want them to look the car over and see if they can find anything i really need to take care of.
I don't want to show up to the track and fail tech... that would suck.
All i think i really need to fix is that ball joint.. (Front Control Arms)

There's an event soon hosted by a group called Spokes.
They host Autocross events in Austin and i would like to go to some.
I've heard of HPDE events, and it sounds like those are on actual tracks in Houston and Dallas..

Thanks for taking the time to read all of this! Lemme know what you think!
I'll do my best to update regularly.
 

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6 Cylinduh, Really Bruh?
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Fun stuff! Man you just brought me back about 9 years on my own car lol. I have so much money into it now I can't even fathom. There's so much info out there about these cars and so cheap to mod (relatively speaking) that it's a fun platform to get into. If I could do it all over again I'd do:

Gears
Short throw (which you did)
Lower it
Supercharge it

Seriously - Supercharging I wish was a main goal of mine. I plan on having my build done by June - but if only I did that first.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fun stuff! Man you just brought me back about 9 years on my own car lol. I have so much money into it now I can't even fathom. There's so much info out there about these cars and so cheap to mod (relatively speaking) that it's a fun platform to get into. If I could do it all over again I'd do:

Gears
Short throw (which you did)
Lower it
Supercharge it

Seriously - Supercharging I wish was a main goal of mine. I plan on having my build done by June - but if only I did that first.
I do plan to keep this car a long time, i hope to look back on it with nostalgia some day lol. Everything parts wise has been reasonably priced so far, I'm dreading having to pay for a clutch replacement. I hope to get it allll done right the first time and not have to worry about it for long after. At least that's what I'm hoping for...

Eventually i will lower it with Maximum Motorsports coilovers. I'm not going to waste time with any aftermarket suspension modifications, other than Maximum, or regular maintenance... which usually comes first.
 

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That's a clear car. A friend of mine just bought a 75k mile 03 True Blue GT because he liked my Mustang so much. I haven't added any power to mine but my favorite thing I've done was suspension. In summer of 2017 I completely overhauled my entire suspension and replaced just about everything except the k-member, and the car drives like it's on rails. My friends call it a fat Miata. lol. You can read my sig for everything. Welcome to the forum.
 

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Awesome progress, you eill like the cobra brakes, my cobra brakes with autozone rotors and pads stops better than my gt did the slotted rotors and hawk pads. Can only imagine what it will do with the rotors and pads on the cobra brakes.

If you are looing at ball joints they arent terrible to change, i think steeda X2's are like 125 on amazon right now. Of the control arms have to be changed price them out and then price out a UPR Tubular K, A arms and coil overs. I suggest that since i run the UPR setup on the K member and A arms and it works great for the price and allows for unbelievable access to the engine(needed it dor turbo setup). The rear of the car has full maximum motorsports, LCAs torq arm panhard bar, springs.

You should look into changing the clutch yourself, you can get a rransmission jack from harbor freight for like $50 and it isnt terrible to do.
 

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US Air Force (retired)
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Awesome progress, you eill like the cobra brakes, my cobra brakes with autozone rotors and pads stops better than my gt did the slotted rotors and hawk pads. Can only imagine what it will do with the rotors and pads on the cobra brakes.
I was buying cheap rotors and pads from Autozone for the rear even after I installed the FRPP 13" on front. They rusted and I went through two sets on the rear without touching the front. That is when I decided to upgrade and went with these.
1994-2004 Cobra Cross Drilled Slotted rotors/pads kit fits GT/V6, Speed Concepts

Its a mixed kit. Nickle plated slotted and drilled 13" Cobras on the front and nickle plated slotted and drilled stock GTs on the back with Hawk pads. I haven't had a single problem since and I love the look of slotted/drilled rotors.
 

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nice write up and clean looking GT! My 200,000 mile GT made 236WHP&279RWTQ with cold air and a borla catback so i'd say you've got a healthy engine. How do you like the aluminum drive shaft and MGW shifter? both of those are on my list of parts for my 99 GT
OP almost has the exact starting point of my build. I LOVE the MGW shifter. I've had the Steeda and the MGW and prefer the MGW (haven't used a 5.0 shifter). I think the MGW shifts better, but more than that, being able to angle the shifter however you want is a great feature.

The aluminum drive shaft I got is great as well, but it really isn't needed unless you're getting a lot of drive train vibration or your tail shaft is leaking. I didn't really notice and acceleration differences.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi everyone, sorry it has taken me so long to get back here but I didn't want to come back empty handed!

First, to answer your questions:
I do enjoy the MGW shifter, it shifts smooth and makes finding each gear super easy. I have not tried any other brands. The aluminum driveshaft was mostly intended to reduce drivetrain vibrations. Knowing that it has new u-joints makes me happy. I forgot to mention that I replaced the transmission mount with a new OEM piece and that has helped reduce vibrations more than anything else.

In my first post I talked about changing brakes, front control arms, and the clutch.

I decided to buy the OEM style replacements from LMR for $189.99 and do the work myself, it took me like 8 hours on the floor in the garage. Fighting those tall ass stock springs and getting all the angles just right to get the bolts to go through really sucked. At least now I have new front control arms with new bushings and ball joints!

After that, I took my car to Flamingo Automotive in Austin to have them install some stainless steel brake lines with Motul high temp fluid and Hawk HP+ pads. I have NOT yet done the 13" cobra brake upgrade, because I think it will be fun to see how well I can use the stock brake configuration.. In my mind the stainless lines and fluid are just going to help keep everything working like it should, and is not necessarily a modification to the original design.

These Hawk HP+ pads are the first set of autocross or track day pads I have ever used, it was kinda weird having to bed in these pads since we did not resurface the rotors. You can tell that the material on the HPS and HP+ are very different. It took quite a while and plenty of high speed braking to eventually bed in the brakes well. A month later, they feel really good! It took a little while to get used to them but I can see how they will work well at higher speeds.

I finally got the chance to visit Ryan at R&S Performance in Buda, Tx. He is the guy that I see everyone tags on the local Facebook "MOCA - Mustang Owners Club of Austin" page when someone new asks who to take their car to for work. Ryan has an awesome black cobra that he hopes to make 1000hp with, and he also had a few sweet GT500's at his shop! He looked everything over and said it was all good. He said my clutch felt fine so I guess I won't have to worry about that for now. The only thing he pointed out was a rear shock bushing going bad. I had never noticed this and still don't feel it so I will ignore it.

I recently realized that the Maximum Motorsports coilover kit is not what I am looking for, and I will more likely use QA1 coilovers front & rear. I want the ability to adjust damping and ride height all around. I know I will need CC plates with that. Forward offset control arms and rear control arms sound like a nice upgrade, probably from Maximum(?).

Aside from the usual itch to buy car parts, I am finally at a point where I am happy with the car and don't feel like I NEED to do anything to it.

I didn't take any pictures while doing the front control arms and I never took a picture of it up on the lift, but I hate to leave a post without a few pictures, so I drove down the road and found a spot to get a few before I lost all daylight haha







 

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Your car looks great!

It looks like you could use new headlights though. When I bought new headlights for mine, it made a huge difference.

Maybe I’m crazy, but I didn’t notice a big difference upgrading to Cobra front brakes.
 

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I have the maximum motorsports front coil over conversion to use with my koni single adjustable shocks, i love them. I ran those with the proper hyper coils to match H&R SS rear coupe springs. It was enjoyable. Now i have them matched to set of TA-42 springs from maximum motorsports.



If you end up doing fronts, i have rear H&R SS coupe springs if you need them, just pay shipping. Would rather see them go to use instead of take up space. It would look like this

 

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I have the maximum motorsports front coil over conversion to use with my koni single adjustable shocks, i love them. I ran those with the proper hyper coils to match H&R SS rear coupe springs. It was enjoyable. Now i have them matched to set of TA-42 springs from maximum motorsports.



If you end up doing fronts, i have rear H&R SS coupe springs if you need them, just pay shipping. Would rather see them go to use instead of take up space. It would look like this


Just offering ideas since you mentioned budget.
 

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Your car looks great!
Maybe I’m crazy, but I didn’t notice a big difference upgrading to Cobra front brakes.
These Hawk HP+ pads are the first set of autocross or track day pads I have ever used, it was kinda weird having to bed in these pads since we did not resurface the rotors. You can tell that the material on the HPS and HP+ are very different. It took quite a while and plenty of high speed braking to eventually bed in the brakes well. A month later, they feel really good! It took a little while to get used to them but I can see how they will work well at higher speeds.
The Cobra front brakes add a little bit more stopping power but not a huge amount. The Cobra calipers are actually a little smaller than the GT ones, but the benefit is an extra 2 inches in the rotor.



The real magic is the HPS pads and stainless brake lines, as they actually do make a huge difference.

I recently realized that the Maximum Motorsports coilover kit is not what I am looking for, and I will more likely use QA1 coilovers front & rear. I want the ability to adjust damping and ride height all around. I know I will need CC plates with that. Forward offset control arms and rear control arms sound like a nice upgrade, probably from Maximum(?).
I personally have the Maximum Motorsports HD lower control arms and they are fantastic. When you make a hard turn you can feel the back end get away from you. Like the tires have broke lose but they haven't. The rear axle and chassis separate so much it causes that effect. The MM control arms completely change that. It doesn't eliminate it because, live axle, but it goes from feeling like you're in a drift turn to the rear felling very planted.

Suspension upgrades are where these cars shine. You can go from a "boat" like muscle car to a canyon carver for not that much money.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thank you PULMEOVR, Snorky, & dexdiman!

Sorry for the super dark pictures last time...

I actually have replaced the headlight lenses but kept the halogen bulbs. I'm sure some quality halogens would work a better but it honestly doesn't bother me enough to spend the money right now, eventually I will replace with some better halogens.

Thank you for the offer Snorky but I will most likely ride around on the stock suspension until I can afford what I really want, btw I read your build thread and love it!

dexdiman I will most likely get those same MM HD rear lca's you are running. I can definitely feel rear steer on this stock suspension.
But I kind of want to install the good stuff in one go.. (coilovers, control arms, CC plates, ect.)

This weekend is the COTA event, I will try to take pictures and post next week!
 

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As an FYI, i have a set of the MM HD lower control arms in a box in my basement, it has new poly bushings in the poly end. Swapped them out for the XD's when i did my HD torque arm. Was saving them for a future project, but i am open to sell them.
 

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When modding these cars always keep in mind your end goal for the car. I let the mod bug get to me and started adding mods that did not actually fit with my goal for the car. I eventually de-modded many taking them off and throwing them in the trash.

My goal for my car is quick daily driver. Focus is on daily driver. I had Flowmaster mufflers cut out because of a harmonic vibration in the 1800-2200 rpm range that just killed my ears. With 3.73 gears that happens to be the normal cruising rpm. I had my upper control arms with heim joints and spherical bushing replaced because of excessive NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). I could hear every single noise from the road and rear. All of that went away when I got rid of them. And I have been fighting my manual clutch adjuster for over a year. I really wish I hadn't installed it but I had a clutch problem that I thought it would fix. It didn't.

I'm sure your goals are different but make sure the mod fits your goals.
 
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