Beginners Guide To Modifying Your S550 Mustang
Throughout the last six decades, automotive enthusiasts have looked to both the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and the aftermarket to help them tastefully modify their vehicle for a specific purpose. These could be anything from merely wanting to get a little more horsepower and torque for a better driving experience or adding a distinctive look to their car's exterior. No vehicle is more tailored to this mindset than the Ford Mustang. For over fifty-five years, America's pony car has become the staple for enthusiasts to turn to for a sports or muscle car. Thanks to the efforts of companies like Steeda and various aftermarket companies, it has made it easy for Mustang enthusiasts to modify their pony to make it stand out from the rest of the herd.
Like all Mustang generations, they can be modified to the owner's liking thanks to an abundance of aftermarket parts and accessories. Recently, no Mustang generation has been more fortunate to the aftermarket than the S550. Debuting in 2015, the S550 is the most technologically advanced and sophisticated Mustang ever to come out of Ford's stable of ponies. With the push to continue being the most modified muscle car on the market, various companies in the aftermarket like Whipple Superchargers, Borla Exhaust, Velgen Wheels, Baer Brakes, Cervinis, Anderson Composites, and Ford Performance enable new owners to put their own unique touch.
Chances are if you're new to the automotive world and especially the Mustang community, you're probably wondering where to start modifying your S550 Mustang? Well, there is no need to worry; Steeda has you covered with our complete guide below that will educate you on everything you need to know to get started on modifying your 2015-2021 Mustang!
S550 Mustang Exterior
Throughout its nearly six decade history, every Mustang has been a marvel of engineering and automotive design. Few performance vehicles in history have created a segment of cars from its inception. Some could argue that the Mustang is the reason Ford is as successful as it is today. The Mustang's key design characteristics such as the long hood, short rear deck, shart bite grille, tri-bar taillamps, fastback roofline, and broad rear haunches helped create the presence of Mustang known for so heavily in the performance community. Luckily, these characteristics trickled their way down to the S550 to help its road presence, unlike any other stallion before it.
When it comes to the 2015-2021 Mustang, it is an entirely modern take and interpretation of the original 1960s pony car. If you are new to the Ford and Mustang segment, you must understand that most enthusiasts will modify their Mustang with the exterior styling before power adders. New enthusiasts to the S550 Mustang world need to know that a common goal among the community is to get your pony to stand out from the herd of stallions; exterior styling is key to getting this completed.
Thanks to many different companies like Anderson Composites and Cervinis, they aid owners in the ability to add unique exterior styling mods such as:
Functional Hood: From the factory, Mustang designers and engineers implemented the most functional hood ever to debut from a factory-built Mustang, helping the stallion command presence and functionality. Fortunately, there is hope for you, the enthusiast, who seeks even more style and functionality. You can get many different hoods that use ram-air induction and heat extraction options to set yourself apart from the rest.
Spoiler: For decades, the Mustang rear-end design has been defined by using a race-inspired spoiler; the S550 stallion is no different from this influence. If you're the type of new 2015-2021 Mustang enthusiast looking for subtle styling to your trunk-lid or wanting to go all-out with a pedestal style spoiler, both will give the form and function your modern pony deserves.
Rear Diffuser: For many years, rear diffusers have been derived from racing technology and aerodynamics to promote better air efficiency. Recently they have made their way down from Mustang race cars to the street pony to promote style, speed, and functionality. They're most often considered to help with ground effects and stance while promoting racecar design for the street. Whereas if you're the proud new owner of a 2015-2021 Mustang, wanting to head out to your local autocross or road course, they will help diffuse air out from underneath your stallion.
Front Chin Spoiler & Splitters: With over fifty years of incredible design and performance, one variable among all six Mustang generations remains the same: a front splitter. A front splitter is going to do several things for your S550 Mustang; it will add racecar inspired design to the front end of your stallion while promoting both downforce and give your Mustang a more aggressive stance. Nowadays, these are offered in various options, including carbon fiber, composite, and injected molded plastic, to provide new enthusiasts the choice of what suits them best without breaking the bank.
S550 Mustang Interior
The Mustang interior is just as important as the exterior because it is where you will spend most of your time taming the stallion. For decades, enthusiasts have become accustomed to the legendary design and implementations that Ford engineered into all six Mustang generations. The S550 is no different from this philosophy of innovation and legendary Mustang design cues for its interior. Many 2015-2021 Mustang owners have the most exceptional interior ever integrated into America's original pony car.
Enthusiasts that have been around the Mustang community for many years are very familiar with the interior characteristics Ford made so famous over the last six decades. Key elements such as the double brow dashboard, fighter jet-like gauges, and driver-focused center console are what make the Mustang interior so unique, just like its exterior design cues. To improve these fantastic innovations, owners look to the aftermarket to add even more creature comforts, technology, and functionality to increase the already outstanding interior quality.
Race Inspired Seats: Chances are if you weren't able to pick up an S550 Mustang with factory Recaro seats, then you have the base or premium seats. Most S550 owners are always looking for better comfort and functionality in the form of sportier seats than what Ford implemented. Fortunately, Steeda provides a wide variety of race-inspired seats that will hold you better while giving you more comfort and functionality.
Steering Wheel: The factory steering wheel on the S550 Mustang is excellent for the average enthusiasts and offers excellent grip and feedback. Although, if you're not satisfied with the OEM steering wheel, Ford Performance offers a more race-inspired steering wheel with better materials such as premium leather and alcantara to enhance your driving experience.
Shift Knob: Besides grabbing onto the steering wheel like the reigns of a wild Mustang, a shift knob gives you not only great style to your stallion's interior; it allows you to kick it gear when needed. Adding a performance shift knob will provide you a more personable touch to your S550 interior while adding more race-inspired styling.
S550 Mustang Exhaust
Among the entire American automotive industry, one variable that can be agreed upon unanimously is the sound of a roaring V8 flying down the highway or street. The Mustang is exceptionally familiar with this characteristic; without the theatre of sound that the S550 Mustang produces, it wouldn't be the most successful modern stallion to date. In today's world of sound regulation and emissions, new enthusiasts are always wondering how they can get more volume, rumble, and performance out of their pony's exhaust. While Ford has done an excellent job of freeing up their OEM exhaust components', true enthusiasts are always looking for ways to unleash American muscle.
Like a cold air intake, adding upgraded exhaust will only help your 2015-2021 Mustang breathe better over the factory components. The balance of air properly-being brought in and out is crucial to ensuring a proper air/fuel ratio to promote acceleration and power throughout your S550 Mustang engine RPM band. While gaining better airflow is excellent for horsepower, torque, and efficiency, most new and veteran enthusiasts are always seeking more growl from their Mustang engine to promote the Fast, Fun, and Freedom lifestyle that only the Ford stallion can bring!
Long Tube Headers: To maximize horsepower, torque, and airflow; a set of long-tube headers will only benefit the long term health of your Coyote based S550 Mustang. Simultaneously, getting the benefit of incredible thunderous exhaust note at every RPM throughout the range of power.
Mid-Pipe: What a mid-pipe will do for you is the ability to create a more crisp and deep exhaust note while at the same time creating an increase of horsepower and torque. It will depend on if you choose a X-Pipe or H-Pipe because each of them establishes power and sound different due to the design in which they hold exhaust backpressure and distribute airflow.
Axle-Back Exhaust: For many years, companies have been creating various axle-back exhaust systems to give new and experienced Mustang enthusiasts the ability to acquire a specific exhaust note that suits them. One thing that needs to be understood is that exhaust tone is subjective, and every exhaust setup is going to sound different to each enthusiast.
S550 Mustang Powertrain
Throughout Mustang's legendary history, performance has been at the center of each stallion to roll out from Detroit. Every single pony since 1964 has strived to push the boundaries of what is possible in powertrain and engine performance. Like all Mustang generations, Ford knew that as technology advanced, so must America's original pony car powertrain. Luckily for enthusiasts new and veteran to the Mustang community, they got fortunate in 2015 when both the second generation of the legendary 5.0L Coyote engine and 2.3L EcoBoost four-cylinder engine debuted. Both engines offered the ability to market themselves to potential new enthusiasts and consumers in a way that hadn't been done beforehand.
The characteristics that make these two engines so unique are the ability to have easy access to performance modifications on-demand thanks to the automotive aftermarket. From the factory, both the Gen II/Gen III Coyote 5.0L V8 and 2.3L EcoBoost engine became so easy to modify with an abundance of performance parts that will enhance throttle response, acceleration, horsepower, and torque thanks to the help of many aftermarket companies. Now for the new S550 owners out there, you will want to plan out what goals are for your modern pony in terms of driveability, reliability, and how much power you are seeking to put down to the ground.
Well, no need to worry will help put your mind at ease with some of the performance parts that we offer here at Steeda that will be a great start to get your 2015-2021 Mustang running with the rest of the herd. Below are some modifications for your powertrain that will get you the added horsepower and torque you need without breaking the bank.
Cold Air Intake: Throughout the entire automotive aftermarket and industry, one performance modification for your vehicle and Mustang can help in power, efficiency, and airflow is to add a cold air intake. From the factory, the S550 Mustang air intake is designed to bring in a sufficient amount of air while still promoting more efficiency to meet federal regulatory standards. The more air you add to your Mustang engine, you will be promoting better performance and power throughout the RPM range.
Intake Manifold: As Ford has continued to evolve the legendary Coyote engine, so has intake manifold technology to promote better CFM (Cubic Feet Per Minute) and efficiency for your Mustang's heart. It will help boost horsepower and torque at a dramatic pace to help you run with the rest of the pony's on the street or track while not breaking the bank.
Throttle Body: A characteristic and variable that new S550 Mustang enthusiasts need to understand are without the throttle body; you wouldn't be able to provide the air into your Mustang engine. The OEM throttle body on both the EcoBoost and the Coyote engines is designed to give excellent throttle response but not what enthusiasts expect maximum performance. That is why bolting up a larger throttle body will allow for more CFM and airflow to produce more horsepower and torque.
S550 Mustang Suspension
When it comes to Mustang suspension, it has had its critiques over the years due to the outdated live rear axle that it came equipped with for many decades. Fortunately, the Ford and Mustang engineering team concluded that they needed to bring the S550 Mustang suspension to the twenty-first century by integrating independent rear suspension. Adding IRS (Independent Rear Suspension) engineers could give the S550 pony more balance, better handling characteristics, and revolutionizing the ride quality. Unlike the live axle found in the S197 Mustang, engineers implemented variables that would take the legendary American pony car to the next level on the race track or street.
During its debut in 2015, aftermarket companies like Steeda knew that to make it the best-handling Mustang ever, they had to find out the characteristics in which it had flaws that Ford did not implement to address from the factory. When it comes to new and experienced enthusiasts geared towards the S550 Mustang, it is essential to know your suspension goals and what application you intend to use. Some people are looking for better ride quality, stance, and handling when it comes to upgrading your 2015-2021 Mustang suspension.
Shocks & Struts: From the factory, the S550 Mustang is hands down the best riding pony to be assembled from Ford. With the integration of the IRS (Independent Rear Suspension), better bushings, more sophisticated suspension geometry, and dampening, enthusiasts can enjoy a much more excellent ride while not having to worry about the rear-end staying planted at full throttle. To better ride quality, enthusiasts will need to look to even better shocks & struts for better ride quality and handling. Why should you upgrade your factory OEM shocks & struts? The reason for this is because, unlike the factory equipment, aftermarket shocks will allow you to adjust the rebound and dampening. In contrast, the factory components won't allow you to change your dampening because it is continuous valving when the suspension is in motion.
Lowering Springs: The significant characteristic about lowering springs is they check off so many variables with a straightforward modification. Unfortunately, the ride height has always plagued the Mustang from the factory. Thanks to companies like Steeda, you can solve this problem from a stance standpoint by adding either linear, progressive, or dual-rate lowering springs which add the benefits of increasing handling response & ride quality, while reducing body roll!