Product Reviews

In this section I will detail some of the products I have either used directly on my car or have helped someone else with a S197 install/test on their car. I go through alot of parts testing and trying various setups to get it exactly the way I like it. Most of these products perform very well, because I spent a considerable amount of time researching what others have liked on their cars.

Let me know if you would like further details on the installation or performance of a specific product.

Product Name Review Notes Rating Image Link
JLT Intake This is a great intake for the price. Sure the C&L may look a little better, but you can pick these up used for right at $100. My only complaint is that the material the elbow is made of is hard to keep looking nice. If anyone has suggestions on better options for making that elbow look nice shoot me an email. Having the intake is nice, because you can take it off and get it out of the way in < 1 minute when you need to. I have seen some independent testing by magazines that show this intake makes as much or more power than any other intake on the market. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
SCT XCal 2 Again for the money these are hard to beat. It has all the main features you should need w/o paying for a bunch of extra junk that you don't. The X-Cal 3 is a little nicer, but usually costs more too. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge Email Tune I bought the 93 Race tune. There is no way to describe the difference over the canned JLT tune. For $50 this is like stealing from Doug, because the difference it made on the car was worth way more to me. Excellent service, and he updates your tune for free as you upgrade. Many people have other tuners they have had luck with, but usually you read others that didn't have as good of an experience. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge Email Tune I bought the 93 Race tune at a Christmas special for $35. This was installed after the Bama tune and I thought it had a slight improvement overall. The crazy thing when I had the car dyno tuned 2 years later they could only pull like an extra 2hp and 2ft lb of torque. The tuner couldn't believe how nuts on this tune was. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Bassani Modular X-Pipe This is the least favorite kit that I have run. I do like the ability to either put on the cats, or the off-road pipes. They installed and fit perfectly. Mine is the aluminized steel version, and it is 2.5" tubing. The kit pictured is the Stainless Steel version of what I have. I eventually switched to the Pypes O/R H-Pipe for better sound. Star Star  Click to enlarge
Pypes O/R H-Pipe (4-piece design) This kit is by far my favorite mid-pipe if you are not running LT's. It gets alot of bad rap about fitment, but I have installed 2 kits and have never seen an issue. I do recommend scrapping the clamps they send for the middle and getting some wide band clamps. The sound from these with a chambered muffler is great (I ran these with the stock mufflers mostly). I got mine for $139 shipped from Brenspeed, but I think they are more now. These also provide a substantial performance benefit (especially for the money). Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
MAC Long Tube Headers and O/R ProChamber This setup provided alot of power for the money. The sound and performance improvement is substantial. Most of the good power is all on the top end, so the car accellerats considerably better but doesn't have the brute pull off the line because it doesn't add alot of low-end torque. This will be a great addition for when I add a supercharger. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Flowmaster 40 Series Weld-In's These sounded great when I bought the car (and it had the stock H-Pipe), but with the Bassani X they sounded horrible and had to go. I think they would be great with either the Mac Prochamber or the Pypes H-Pipe. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Ford Racing GTA Mufflers I am not a big fan of mufflers on these cars due to the cost and the fact that they really only change the sound. These mufflers don't drone at all. They have a very low deep tone and seem to be a good fit for the an H-Pipe or a ProChamber. The huge 4" tips look awesome too! Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Coast 1-Piece Aluminum Driveshaft I waited to change out the driveshaft based on all the vibration issues people had been having. I researched and came down to Powerhouse and Coast Driveline Gear as the best options. So far I have installed this on two cars with no vibrations. It is an excellent upgrade that really makes the car drive nicer, and provides a noticeable difference in accelleration. Overall a must upgrade if you are looking for a better performing car. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
3D Carbon Eleanor Grille In my opinion this is the best looking grille you can buy. My only complaint is the bulbs that it comes with are light blue, and they are not bright at all. You can't reuse the stock bulbs that were fine for me. Other than that it is a sweet kit. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
CDC Rear Black Panel I picked the all black panel with no emblems. I love the look of it. My only complaint with this (and others) is they are not curved perfectly for the rear trunk lid. I would recommend extra double sided tape on the ends and also when you install it hold it down for a day or two on the ends with blue painter tape to make sure it fully adheres. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
eBay GT500 Spoiler This was a no brainer. I hated the factory GT spoiler, and liked this one. Painted for like $100-120. Perfect addition. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
SOS Center Console Switch Panel This is real nice if you don't know where to mount your switches. I ended up getting rid of it, because I couldn't live w/o the cupholders. It looks great in the car and I always got compliments on it. I probably should have gotten the 4 button version (same cost) for when I add nitrous, but there is room for me to add 2-3 more on my own. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Mini Raptor Shift Light The one I got is super small, but also super bright. It is easy to mount anywhere and it doesn't stand out. I mounted mine right at the base of the drivers pillar. You can run the wire right down the corner so nothing shows. The separate RPM Activated Switch is nice, because it is routed to the glove box for easy access if necessary. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Steeda Underdrive Pullies Nice add-on, but don't expect real noticable performance benefit. I think this is a good upgrade if you can find it on sale or used. Installation was easy. I used PB Blaster and a long pry to get the balancer bolt off. Make sure you use RTV on the groove in the bottom pulley or you will most likely have a light oil leak. If you get used ones and you don't get the alternator bolt (to replace the stud with) you need an 8 X 1 1/2 X 50mm bolt. Not sure the size and length of the install bolt, but it is basically the same as the stock harmonic balancer bolt only 1-2" longer. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Steeda Delete Plates If you want every last bit of NA HP you can get this is a decent upgrade. This mod seems to be very dependent on having the right tune. It seems like my BBR tune worked better with this mod than the BamaChips. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Autolite Spark Plugs (HT1) Changed to these after about 22k miles due to concerns of stock 2-piece plugs getting stuck and breaking. Followed procedure with PB Blaster to remove the stock ones, and then put anti-sieze on these. Car ran much smoother/better after changing to these plugs. I have changed to these on two cars and so far none have had any broken stock plugs. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Steeda Poly Bushings for Stock Shifter If you are going to stick with the stock shifter this is a must for $12. This makes the shifter less spongy. Adding this to the stock shifter is my favorite shifter combo thus far. For the price this is a no-brainer if you are staying with the stock shifter. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Saleen Shift Block This is a cheap way to turn your stock shifter into a short throw (usually $35-40 used). I didn't really like the feel of it (although alot of people do). You gotta be careful to not overtighten the bolts or it is horrible (almost unusable)! It really takes adjustment to get it just right. Star  Click to enlarge
Hurst Billet Shifter This is personal preference for sure (again there alot who swear by these), but I only had this on my car for about an hour. I bought it used and got out of it quickly, but it was super notchy for me. I wouldn't have liked this as my car is my daily driver. I am glad I tried it, but definitely not for me! I think that the physics of a short throw shifter makes it too notchy for me. With that said I am still up for trying a Pro 5.0 or MGW after all the great things I have read about them! Star Star  Click to enlarge
SLP Line Lock This is a pretty nice kit, but it is the first line lock I have ever installed so I don't have a good reference point. This kit is made for someone who wants a do-it-yourself install. The wiring was already premade, and the brake lines were already bent. The hardest part of the install was snaking the stock brake line (that goes from the master cylinder to the radiator) out of the car w/o bending it. This took me a good 25 minutes to get it completely out. Installation of the new parts was easy outside of having enough room to get wrenches in. The kits are different for 05/06 and 07+. The 05/06 kit solenoid mounts between the shock tower and the valve cover. You can't drill the mounting holes unless you pull the engine or have access to an angle drill. I have seen pics of the other kit and it appears to mount on the front side of the shock tower allowing easier access. Overall this kit has a good price and functions well. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
MRT Hood Struts I put this off forever, because I thought other stuff was more important. This is an awesome upgrade. No drilling into your car, and they tuck back so far and lift the hood higher than the prop rod. I can't imagine there is another kit better than this one. The fit and finish were perfect. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
LRS Pedal Covers These pedal covers look nice and they don't show major scratches like others I have had in the past. The pedals are a pain to drill through to mount them. I think there are other options that are better, but for the money these are really good. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Midwest Auto Gear Plenum Cover For the money you these are hard to beat. They are very sturdy and have a high quality paint. They are much nicer than the factory covers, and can usually be found for about the same price. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
NX Fuel Fitting I got this used with my gauges (to hook up my fuel pressure gauge). Pretty standard with 2 ports (one on each side). No leaks and a really nice quality piece. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Billet Oil/Wiper Fluid/Radiator Fluid Cap Covers I bought these super cheap on eBay. I believe they are made by BilletPros. They fit well and were well worth what I paid ($25 for all). For someone really into all the appearance changes this is probably a great buy, but for me it is just average. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
CHE Driveshaft Loop This is a very study piece (like the other CHE parts I have bought). It was a real pain to install, because you have to drill 8 holes through the floorboard to mount it. It has a ton of clearance with the stock DS though. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
BMR Billet Lower Control Arms (LCA) This piece looks very nice, but I would have preferred to get the standard BMR LCA's. I had one problem with a bushing (forgot to grease one fitting), but other than that it has been fine. I would definitely go with the standard BMR LCA's instead of getting these. They barely show, and get really dirty anyway. The lower rating is based on the cost of the billet version. These are great LCA's other than the cost. Personally I would stick to the tubular ones that are half the cost. Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
CHE Anti-Squat Brackets For bolt-in relocation brackets these are perfect. They fit very tight (one was very hard to get on), but they are more than sturdy for what I need. I guess for some real high HP/Torque applications it would be better to have weld-in brackets, but for my car this is more than adequate. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
CHE K-Member w/Torque Limiters This mod tightened up the front end quite a bit with the k-member brace. I later installed the torque limiters, and it seemed to help keep the shifting nice and smooth even under full throttle. This will probably be more important for my car after I install a major power adder (like FI or NOS). Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Roush Rear Lowering Springs If your car is a daily driver and you don't want a radical drop this is a great option. I have gotten alot of compliments about the stance of my car (the wheel/tire combo adds alot too). I chose these also because I didn't want to mess with the front ones. This leveled off my car perfectly, and was a super easy install (took maybe 30 minutes tops). In the pic the blue one is the Roush, and the black one is the stock spring. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Ford Racing Black FR500 Rims 24mm offset These are only made with an offset for 99-04 Mustangs, but with a 255/45/18 tire they are the perfect fit for me. I bought them with 285/40/18's but they stuck out a bit on the sides. I like the 255's better because I can rotate the tires as well. I just use a separate set of rims/tires for the track. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Nitto 555 Tires These hook suprisingly well on the street. I have been real happy with them so far. Not sure what the life expectancy is for these, because I got my first ones used. Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Weld Drag Lites XPS Series Got these used as the XPS series which come in 16" size is discontinued. They are perfect because they clear the calipers. The offset limits the width of the tire, but with the ET Streets I am running they hook excellent. You need really long lugs to run these, because the stock studs are not terribly long. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Mickey Thompson ET Streets If you need traction these are the tires you need. These should be enough to hold as much power as my car will build as long as they are heated up. I have run pretty consistent 1.7X 60" times with these on a NA car. Star Star Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Black Turn Signal Bumper Lights These are pretty cheap, and add alot of look to a many colors of car. The think I like about them is they have a black back bezel finish and a clear lense similar to the stock headlights (so the kinda match the stock look pretty well). Get these on eBay as they are much cheaper there. Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
Pioneer Avic-X930BT Head Unit Stereos today are so easy to install with a plug-n-play harness. No cutting or knowledge of wiring required for a basic install. Of course I later installed a GT500 steering wheel and wanted to wire in the stereo controls. That was fun :) This stereo hooks up to the iPhone and works like a champ. Some of the newer AppRadio's have considerably better features now though. Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
Pioneer TS-A6870AR 6X8 Speakers I had originally had these in a Ford Explorer and removed them when I sold the car. I was happy to find that the door and rear valence speakers were this exact size. I replaced all 4 and it made a big difference in the quality of the sound. Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
Moser Axles This was an unplanned upgrade thanks to a hard 2nd a little to close to a cement barrier. The back end came around and the next thing I know I have a bent axle... Luckily that is all I had! Star Star Star  Click to enlarge
Exedy MACH 400 Clutch Kit and Aluminum Flywheel This is an outstanding clutch kit that includes everything. For a stock or lightly modified car this is a perfect option. I burned my clutch out at the track and had to fix it. I decided to install an aluminum flywheel at the same time. My only regret was not going with the steel flywheel. My car never felt like it had the same low end torque out of the hole. Pros and cons of the flywheel, but for me on a street car that goes stoplight to stoplight I would stick with the heavier one. Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
Cervini 2.5 Cowl Hood I bought this used from a guy that was setting his car back to stock. I loved this hood. For short people it may be a little high to look over. The quality of these hoods is outstanding. It includes a full frame and maintains solid rigidity. I was worried about getting a flimbsy hood. One thing to note is this hood is considerably heavier than the stock aluminum hood that weighs about 35 lbs. This adds atleast 10-15 lbs to the front of the car. Star Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
Fluidyne Aluminum Radiator I bought this mainly because I got an outstanding deal and was planning at some point to build more power and need greater cooling capacity. For my setup this was unnecessary, but overall this radiator is very nice. Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
BBK Throttle Body I got this used with the electronics already installed. I never had a single issue with it. Throttle response and HP seemed to be improved. Overall I would definitely recommend it if you can find a good deal on one. Star Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge
JLT Oil Separator These are no brainers. The first time you clean your throttle body and see oil coming in you will want to get these. For the price I wouldn't run without them. Many brands to choose from, but the JLT ones are really nice. I kept mine and had them rebuilt for my GT500 later. JLT is an outstanding company to work with. They stand by and fix any issues with their products. Star Star Star Star Star Click to enlarge