Ford Mustang (2004 and earlier)



  • mustangdrewmustangdrew Member Posts: 38
    The 2003 V6 has the reverse scoop, though it is actually more like tiny slots. Offered in Fl. on 2002, the pony package replaces that scoop with the one like the GT has had for the past several years. I think the Pony Package will have more national distribution for 2003. All GT's keep the big forward scoop.

    Also, for 2003 Laser Red has been replaced with a new red that is a bit darker. Sadly, mineral grey is gone and replaced with Dark Shadow Grey. But the new grey didn't look too shabby either, but lacks the metal flake of the mineral grey. I saw all this at dusk in person at a local dealership the other day.

    I'm not sure about getting rid of my '99 V6 for the '03 unless I got the new red. An '02 Mineral Grey seems more tempting.
  • leftywaynleftywayn Member Posts: 15
    I don't like the wheels on the V6 Stang. But otherwise it's reasonably enjoyable to drive. I had one on a trip and considering the lower power( I have a Cobra) it wasn't so bad. Too bad you can't fanagle an SVT Focus!!
  • sloan4sloan4 Member Posts: 2
    I just ordered a "Redfire" '03. The redfire replaces the Laser Red. I got the color sample cards from 02 and 03 and compared, and they were very similar with the new redfire being ever so slightly darker.

    Keep in mind this was with color cards overlapping inches in front of my face. I could only see the slightest difference.

    If the color samples are accurate, and you put a redfire 03 and a laser red 02 in front of me I would not likely be able to tell them apart.
  • mustangdrewmustangdrew Member Posts: 38
    I saw the two side by side on actual Mustangs, and the redfire is noticeably a little darker, but most people will never know the difference unless they see the two side by side. I like it better though.
  • fdthirdfdthird Member Posts: 352
    I've got a 2000 Lazer Red convertible and the color and paint job on the car gets many many comments. Hope the new color is close enough to the old to get the same reaction!
  • topgun9topgun9 Member Posts: 1
    Hello everyone i just bouth a 2003 Ford Mustang Sport Coupe GT Premium 2dr Coupe (4.6L 8cyl 5M. i was wondering if any1 knew about BODY KITS. i would like to get a full body kit for it. can you put a body kit from the 98 models or the 02's or must it be the 2003 body kits (witch i cant find any of) so it would be great if some1 could help me out. thanx
  • demonspeeddemonspeed Member Posts: 75
    99-03 kits will work. There are many many many companies that make kits...

    Wings West




    just check out for info like this.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    What aftermarket modifications are recommended from your experiences? The x-exhaust with flowmasters seems like a good idea, and the dealer even says that is all right> But I have had gears, pulleys, and a custom burned chip also recommended by a Mustang aftermarket specialist. It sounds good, but there have to be tradeoffs, and the dealer says the warranty could be voided. I just got a 03 GT (an awesome car!) and I am wondering what to do. I feel like Stangnet, great website that it is, might be prejudiced in favor of mods. What are your opinions? I would appreciate any advice, thanks!
  • demonspeeddemonspeed Member Posts: 75
    I would do just the bolt ons. Catback, x/h pipe, throttle body, gears, cai, etc... those are things that shouldn't cause you any problems. For something to void the warranty, there has to be proof that the modification caused the problem to arise. Most of the stuff you'll do will not. Besides stangnet, try some magazines like Muscle Mustangs & Fast Fords and 5.0 Mustangs and Super Fords.
  • demonspeeddemonspeed Member Posts: 75
    BTW... the chip more than likely will void the warranty, but from experience, I think they are worthless. I'd go with the x-pipe and catback first, then cold air and pullies, then gears... That should definetly give you an awesome edge on the stock cars. Also upgrade the 4x4 look with some springs such as Eibach prokit or something like it. Subframe connectors help a lot as well as a strut brace. Good luck, money will be your only limit.
  • raymmerraymmer Member Posts: 16
    I took delivery of an 03 Mustang GT 5M this past Sunday and I love it! Unlike most I am content to drive it as it is from the factory. It is an awesome ride! Can't wait to get it broken in!
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    But I understand though that if I change the gears and do not also change the chip to match it, that the speedometer will read about 30% too fast. Doesn't that pretty much necessitate a chip to compensate? Also, I have been told by the aftermarket people that cold air induction is not effective and can even reduce HP. Is this the case in your experiences?? Thanks1
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    I love the retro touches, the car looks like the 68 hatchback to me. Also I love the pull out headlight switch, how retro! I hope the new mustang being developed looks back as well as forward and incorporates more retro elements.
  • demonspeeddemonspeed Member Posts: 75
    I forgot that the 99+ stangs are not a gear driven speedo... so yes, I suppose a chip would be in order. I don't think the intake will cause you to lose power at all. I put one on mine and although I didn't notice much difference if any at all, I definetly didn't lose any power. Make sure you go with a fender mount though as the engine mount one just draws in warm air and the effect of the intake is canceled out to become worthless. I think without a doubt you should do the xpipe, catback, intake and pullies. One of my friends with a 99 GT vert has those mods and is almost dipping into the 13's and i'm sure he could with a little more practice.
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    I agree with americanflag re the retro look of the current mustang; I absolutely love it (own a 2002 GT). But my question for the assembled is which year do people think the current design most mirrors? To me, it most evokes the 1967 model....basically similar to the original, but more aggressively styled (the fake scoops, etc.). What do the more knowledgable mustang enthusiasts out there think?
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    You made me realize the hood scoop on the new GT's and the side vents maybe aren't classic, but they do make the car I think. Although the Shelby was certainly aggressively styled... Ford seems to have just made this car better and better each year. What I really want from an aftermarket modification is to make the car run like a classic 289 high performance Stang, yes, I admit, like the Mustang in "Bullitt". Pure exhaust sound, less processed feel to the power. Also on the retro point, I had a 1964 1/2 289 4-barrel Mustang Coupe for my first car, and one thing I noticed was it was designed so that it was very comfortable and natural to rest your left elbow on the drivers side door area when the window was down. The new Mustang also seems to have a great arm/elbow rest area on the drivers side door,albeit it is designed so that it can also be used when the window is up. I think in 1964 the designers probably took this into account because air conditioning was rare and it was more often that people drove with the window down.
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    At first I really didn't care for the scoops myself...but after a week or two, I couldn't imagine the car w/o them. I esp. love looking out over the really feel you're driving an old muscle car. Re the sound, I could not agree more....half the reason I bought a Mustang GT was because of my love of that movie and all things McQueen. If Ford Racing Parts were to offer a "bullitt exhaust", I'd buy it in a heartbeat. But I console myself with the thought that for a modern, emissions-controled engine, it sounds pretty good as is.

    And I actually like the fact that the car is so archaic in so many ways. The handling, while good, feels pretty vintage and there's no denying that the suspension (esp. the rear) is dated beyond belief. But I consider these things to be part of the charm of the car; a Mustang is's not just another sportcoupe. And considering the age of its components (I hear the chassis is the oldest currently operating in the car industry), it does a very good job performance-wise.

    And I LOVE that pull-out headlight switch.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    Like John 324, I had a strong reaction to the hood scoop and the view over the hood. When I first test drove the car, I couldn't believe they still made cars like that. The view is very different from that of the typical rice burner front wheel drive car. I was reminded of the good aspect of the high school days. Ditto with John on the chassis, ever notice how when you accelerate quickly with a rear wheel drive the front end raises up some? I don't think that happens from a front wheel drive.
    John, you might look at a x-exhaust with flowmasters, every one I have talked with says they sound great and add horsepower.
    The mods I am looking at, gears, exhaust, pulleys, and chip are really aimed at making the car like it used to be, bringing out it's true nature. I want it to run like a 68 Hi-performance 289.

    Have you noticed the old 68 Mustang had side vents much like the new Stangs? The Mustang in Bullitt did.

    Also, the Mustang in Bullitt had had the Pony emblem removed from the grill. I have always felt this gave the car a very non-commercial/serious look, and also personalized it. I have seen replacement grills without the Pony are available, and I am thinking about this. I know it is not for everyone, but I think it would give the car a unique look. And I don't think the world would be worse off with one less emblem out there. It would make the car unique. And if it was good enough for McQueen... However, I confess it would be difficult parting with the Pony.
  • goose1207goose1207 Member Posts: 113
    Does the traction control system introduced in 1999 on the GT make it any more driveable in the snow? I had a '90 GT and would love to get a newer one but need to be able to drive it through the winter too. Thanks.
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    I like to think that somewhere out there, there's a true Bullitt/McQueen fan who's driving around in a 2002 Bullitt edition Mustang (dark Highland green of course) with all the badging (or at least the grill pony) removed. I hope that sometimes when he drives it, he wears a turtleneck and sportcoat... ; )
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    I have an '02 GT and while I have not driven it in the snow, I live in Florida (where it rains EVERYDAY) and can honestly say the Traction has saved my butt a few times. I drive a lot of highway miles for work and often hit pools of water in the road causing me to hydroplane. The traction has kicked in a few times (you can see when it works by a green symbol that that lights up under the speedometer) and has kept me safe. Maybe I've just gotten lucky, I know there is really no safe way to get out of a hydroplaning situation, but I wouldn't live without. I'm glad we're seeing some kind of traction control in most new cars these days. yadda yadda yadda...

  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    John, we may not have the Bullitt editions or the turtleneck, but we are that fan!

    I was a English major many moons ago, and movies like Bullitt are basically modern mythologies. Only now the stories are told with celluloid instead of around a campfire. But the purpose is to instruct, and I have gotten the message - drive a Mustang GT! (Even if it is blue.)

    I had a Honda Civic, but I figured why wait - "time begins now".
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    I noticed there is a switch to turn off the traction contol on my 2003 GT - does anyone know what the advantage of turning it off would be?
    (Remember there are no stupid questions.)
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    Yeah, Steve McQueen is pretty much the archetype of 20th century masculine cool, and Bullitt I dare say is his best film. And even w/o considering his performance, the film itself is very well edited and the action is fairly realistic (the little touchs make the film, like when the hitman puts earplugs in before using a shotgun in an enclosed space, and the way McQueen actually has to parallel park and then lock the Mustang when he parks it in the city)

    As for the traction control, powerslides my good man! After you break in your mustang, you can enjoy the adolescent fun of getting the tail out when you round corners (ala any tv cop show). With T/C engaged, the car won't allow this to happen, so you have to be able turn it off. It's one of the reasons why powerful rwd cars are so much fun...
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    I just got done looking at an article on the Bullitt Mustang edition. It was a great job by Ford and I am a little envious. John, do you plan on doing any aftermarket to your GT? I am starting to wonder a little why Ford doesn't have the Premium edition with a little better exhaust (louder) and a better gear ratio. I know the Mach 1 is getting better gears and the Bullitt edition had a special exhaust which they say was great. I wonder why they don't offer a version of the GT that is spiced up like that, right now there is almost no difference between the Premium and the deluxe versions. I am a little grated that I may have to spend a couple K to aftermarket the car to bring out its true qualities and also (potentially) void the warranty. Just wondering what you think.

    On Bullitt, another great detail is when the driver of the Dodge Charger fastens his seat belt near the end of the cat and mouse part of the chase, and you can see he is wearing driving gloves. I love the hit men's expressions too throughout the car chase.

    On a separate matter, another plot subcurrent I like is McQueen's characters disregard of Vaughn's (Chalmer's) political jockeying and social climbing. It is contrasted wonderfully with Bullitt's working class attitude and morality. It is the average American that makes this country great, not the rich social climbers and power grabbers. I least that is what I think - and why I drive a Mustang GT!
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    Good point, I like that scene to, I think when McQueen parallel parks and locks his car he is actually in front or near his apartment. He was an everyman not some fat cat with a fancy garage or hi rise parking space. He had to park his car on the street!
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    I am concerned they are going to keep moving the car up the price ladder until it loses it appeal to your average person - sort of like happened to the RX-7, the 240-Z, etc.
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    I recently took my GT to Seabring Intl for a day of track fun. I've never been on any kind of track like this so for me the Traction Control was a huge help. Track driving is all about smoothnesss and needless to say I'm not any part of that just yet. So the Traction Contol kept me on the track and off the grass. Especially once it started to rain. The car would still do cool stuff like "drift" out of fast corners, which is an amazing feeling, but never spun the rear axle when I didn't shift smoothly enough. I dig it...very much.

  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    Thanks for the insights to use of t/c at the track. Before purchasing my Mustang, I autocrossed in a fwd, low-power car. I learned the basics of that setup, but obviously a Mustang is a totally different experience. I look forward to learning the dynamics of a rwd performance car, and I'm interested to find out whether traction control helps or hinders on that kind of course. On my GT, t/c seems to activate at times at the least provocation (like taking a semi-hard turn on dry road), causing that "bogging" feeling that makes you feel like the car's dying...
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    What I really like about Bullitt is the way McQueen protrays Lt. Bullitt as a totally cool, calm professional. No amount of Chalmers screaming at him, his English muffin girlfriend complaining about his job, nor skidding a car across a road and into a ditch at +60 mph can make him lose his cool.

    Re my mustang and mods, I'm unsure right now. I picked up the Ford Racing Parts catalog, and I read through it often, considering the options. I race SCCA autocross, and kinda want to stay in "stock" category (which really limits mods you can do to your car). But on the other hand, it would be totally fun to put the basic "bolt-ons" like UD pulleys, exhaust, shocks, etc. I can see how this sort of thing becomes an put that K&N and hey cool seems a tiny bit better and isn't this modification thing thing you know you're looking at superchargers and drag slicks.

    BTW have you taken the air filter silencer out of your car yet? If not, I recommend gives the engine more growl, esp. when you punch it. Doesn't feel any faster (except maybe psychologically perhaps), but the sound moves a wee bit closer to what you and I want from the car.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    Thanks for the tip, I will get it taken out. What is SCCA autocross, that sounds cool.

    On the movie Bullitt, I heard they would give McQueen the script, and he would take a scissors and cut his own lines out, to keep his lines to a minimum.

    I watched it with a girl friend of mine this week and she made an interesting comment, she said he was not good looking like the stars of today, but he looked like more like an average guy.

    And in many ways the late sixties was just a great time, and San Francisco was a great city, probably that was that city's golden age.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    What are your recommendations on the best motor oil? Castrol? Valvoline? Regular or part synthetic? Thanks!
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    "I watched it with a girl friend of mine this week and she made an interesting comment, she said he was not good looking like the stars of today, but he looked like more like an average guy."

    Actually McQueen was looking rough in this movie. I am pretty sure that was the cancer starting to really show its effects on him.
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    No doubt synthetics are the just have to keep using them forever and they're a bit pricey.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    I think you have the wrong movie, Bullitt was made in '68 and as far as I know he didn't get cancer till the late 70's.
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    Mayhap we should start a new thread? Steve McQueen and his Bullit vs. Burt Reynolds and his Firebird.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    If synthetics are best, but expensive, are they worth the incremental cost? Or, if I change every 2K miles, would regular oil be as good? And do you know anything about all the additives - oil additive, fuel injector additive, etc, they are recommending at the oil change place?
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    You mentioned changing oil every 2k miles. The inherent problem with natural oil is that it leaves residue and builds up within the engine. So changing every couple thousand miles really won't stop that from happening, even though it would be the best thing if you did decide to stick to regular oil. Synthetics not only don't build up nearly as much, they also lubricate the engine and its moving parts much better. Almost like a nano coating if you will. But as you've probably seen when looking up at the price board of your oil change specialist, much more expensive.

    As to your other question, additives can be good, can be bad. As with many things with regards to your engine, just be consistent and you should be ok. There are not too many things out there being used at the big name oil change shops that are downright Bad for your engine. If you want to use synthetics, keep using them. If you choose to use additived, be selective and stick to the brand. Many of these things are designed to work over a period of time so don't expect mud to shoot out your tailpipe in the first 10 feet while Miracle Slime removes your cars crud. :-]
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    Interesting- what about brands of oil? Should one stay with the same brand over time, or is it okay to change? Have you heard anything about Kendall oil? They are the ones who want to add the additive that is like adding a synthetic element I guess. It sounds like a good plan would be while the car is new to change the oil with regular oil at 2K intervals, and then maybe as the car gets more miles on it, to consider an additive. What do you think? I guess the problem with a synthetic is that while one may have the best intentions, it would be hard to change the oil at short intervals knowing everytime was a hit to the pocketbook.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    The reason I am concerned about this is that I want to get the car started out right, I now am at 1300 miles. Thank you for the help!
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    plain old dealer stock oil. They're actually very affordable for regularly scheduled oil changes these days. Whatever they're using is in my '02 GT. Hope that helps.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    Thank you Gt4me.
  • gtstang02gtstang02 Member Posts: 1
    Picking up my 2002 Premium GT Convertible (Mineral Grey) with MACH1000 tomorrow morning...can't wait. The dealer had to do a 500 mile search to locate a 2002 GT Convertible for me...I was stressing since I really wanted that 0%. Pickings are slim.

    Just wanted to say thanks for all of the great posts on this board. I've been reading them over the past few days and have picked up a few good tips. I'll make sure to add mine as I get familiar with the new Stang.
  • john_324john_324 Member Posts: 974
    I was thinking...since the Bullitt is a Ford car (albeit a special edition but a Ford nontheless), shouldn't it be possible to order the special high-flow mufflers it comes with (I think they're made by Arvin) from one's local Ford dealer?

    Like Americanflag, I really just want my GT to have that unique racecar/musclecar sound as did McQueen's. After listening to Bullitts on the street, I'm always amazed that the engineers at Ford could replicate that sound, esp considering that 1) the current car has a modern, emissions-controled small block engine, and 2) even the original car in the movie didn't normally sound like that (as I understand it, the sounds in the movie come from a Ford GT-40 running at a track)

    I imagine the Bullitt edition may have additional exhaust modifications, but I bet having the mufflers might be enough to bring one closer to that great sound... Any thoughts? -John
  • rea98drea98d Member Posts: 982
    If it's going to the DEW98 platform, then the price may not be that affordable. The $35,000 Thunderbird is the cheapest car on that platform, and that's about double what a V-6 Mustang goes for.
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    Interesting you mention that, John, I have been wondering the same thing. But getting that beautiful sound like the 68 Stang in the movie may not be easy. Have you heard how successful the engineers were in replicating the sound with the Bullitt edition? Or would x-pipes with flowmasters perhaps be as good or better? I just wonder if Ford is not restricted some on how they do emissions systems (no pun intended). Don't worry, no matter what I do the system will be legal - with cats. But I have been thinking about looking into the availability of the Bullitt exhaust, so please let me know if you hear anything. Also, I know the Bullitt edition was lowered about an inch. So when the struts get a bit worn, that is on my agenda too!
  • americanflagamericanflag Member Posts: 400
    So you have heard the Bullitt edition and were impressed with the sound? I have never heard the Bullitt edition.
  • mustangdrewmustangdrew Member Posts: 38
    I currently have a Stock 99 V6, and I love the way it handles those turns. In fact, I seldom have to brake in the curves unless to avoid rear-ending the car in front of me. But, the highway ride on bad roads leaves something to be desired. I know a GT would handle even better, though that is not at all necessary. But how does the GT ride on lousy highways compared to the V6. Are the holes less noticeable or worse since the GT has among other things wider tires with less tire between the wheel and the tread? Also, do the bigger 16 inch wheels now standard on the V6 make a differance?
    Lately I've had to commute longer and on worse roads and it is beginning to annoy.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    Again, the platform is using steel in place of aluminum. Fords not retarded, they're not going to bump the cost of the GT up to 28 grand and the V6 up to 22.
  • gt4megt4me Member Posts: 58
    That is a blatant advertisement that will no doubt be nuked off of this thread...I hope!?

    And about the V6 on the highway...My GT has one drawback on the highway, LOUD. I can barely hear my cell phone at 80-90 mph. Really loud. I like the growl when accelerating, but when I have a business call coming through, I hate sounding like I'm in a wind tunnel.

    Other than that...MMMMM Highway drivin' :=>
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