Upgrading gear ratio vs. other mods? - Ford Mustang Forum

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post #1 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-26-2016 Thread Starter
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Upgrading gear ratio vs. other mods?

Hey ya'll. Brand new to the forums and the mustang community. I recently purchased a Base model 2016 ecoboost and I am officially hooked. I've been doing a lot of reading over the past month on my upgrade path and I see there are a wide variety of opinions. My overall goal is to gradually upgrade as much power as I can while maintaining the longevity of the engine for daily commuting. Here's where I am stuck...


I've been reading about the larger gear sizes providing increased revolutions to the rear axles which makes sense that it would provide better performance. Unfortunately I did not purchase my S550 with the performance package so it looks like I would need to replace the Limited Slip and the rear axles if I want to increase the gear sizes. So if I got that correct should this be the first performance mod or should I proceed with my original plan (intercooler, intake, turbo back exhaust etc.) and then if funds allow in the future look into replacing the LSD and gears. Like I said I am new to all of this and I'm learning as I go so I just want to make sure I am not handicapping any of the upgrades by doing this out of order. In a perfect world I could do everything at once but unless I hit the lottery tomorrow I will be doing this in stages.

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post #2 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016
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I would probably go with exhaust and intake mods first. Maybe ignition as well. I do not know what ignition system your particular car comes with but upgrading those will give more power from the engine.
Rear end gears really depend on what you want out of the car. IE 1/4 mile car or top speed car. Basically the lower the gear ratio the slower the top speed will be and you also have to tune new cars when you change gear ratios so the speedo is correct.
As for LSD I would definitely go up to Posi-Trac for better traction but that can always wait. I would do engine and exhaust first to increase HP. Cat removal will increase HP by quite a bit but is illegal in most states.
No muffler or high flow mufflers will increase it a little.

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post #3 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016 Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input. I'm not as worried about top end speed as this is mostly a commuter. I just want the extra power to play around with and for those annoying snails on the highway

I will have to stay clear of the catless exhaust systems but they do make some high Flow cats which should still pass emissions from what I've read. Other then spark plugs what ignition mods would you be referring to?
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post #4 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016
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Upgrading gear ratio vs. other mods?

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I would probably go with exhaust and intake mods first. Maybe ignition as well. I do not know what ignition system your particular car comes with but upgrading those will give more power from the engine.

Rear end gears really depend on what you want out of the car. IE 1/4 mile car or top speed car. Basically the lower the gear ratio the slower the top speed will be and you also have to tune new cars when you change gear ratios so the speedo is correct.

As for LSD I would definitely go up to Posi-Trac for better traction but that can always wait. I would do engine and exhaust first to increase HP. Cat removal will increase HP by quite a bit but is illegal in most states.

No muffler or high flow mufflers will increase it a little.

This guy kinda sold you some bum dope.
A rear gear swap won't necessarily decrease your top speed and it will only decrease your 1/4 mile time by fractions of a second. However, being a turbo car a steeper "numerically larger" might help you get into "boost" faster since you'll redline quicker (at a lower mph) in each gear. Also limited slip and posi trac are the same thing. Posi is what GM called it.
Having no catalytic converter will help a little but not enough to feel and mufflers won't make any extra power, just sound.
Ignition components also don't add any extra horsepower. Zip, zero, zilch, none. Old cars (older than the 90's) needed ignition upgrades to be able to support "extra power" that was made. Your stock ignition will handle more power than you'll probably ever make. "High performance" ignition coil packs and such are just gimmicks.
Cold air intakes won't help much if any and and aftermarket mid pipes (X pipe, Y pipe, etc) will help a tad but maybe not enough to notice.
If I were you I'd look into a good tune and up the psi that the turbo is making. More psi is really the only way you'll notice any more power.


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post #5 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016 Thread Starter
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Ok so upgrading the waste gate will provide more power then the intake and exhaust? The tune is a given as any upgrade will benefit from a custom tune so that will be a must have. One of the things that confused me is the BoV verses the waste gate. They both vent excess pressure correct? Would I upgrade both or just one of them if that's the case?
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post #6 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-27-2016
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Upgrading gear ratio vs. other mods?

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Ok so upgrading the waste gate will provide more power then the intake and exhaust? The tune is a given as any upgrade will benefit from a custom tune so that will be a must have. One of the things that confused me is the BoV verses the waste gate. They both vent excess pressure correct? Would I upgrade both or just one of them if that's the case?


I'm not all that turbo savvy but I think the benefit of the waste gate and blow-off valve is to make sure that you're max psi is at a constant and not so much to force more air in than it does stock. I believe that the boost is controlled by "the tune." I imagine a new tune would gain you more than a cai and exhaust combined. I'm not saying not to do any exhaust work (I wouldn't buy a cai though) but if you had to pick one item and one item only the tune should probably be that one item.


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post #7 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Yeah I will definitely be getting a custom tune. I would think that combining a CAI with a full 3" exhaust would provide the best airflow for the turbo verses just the exhaust alone, at least that's what I've read elsewhere. Still new to this so I only know what I've read. I've also read that the increased airflow from the CAI and exhaust help with the turbo lag a bit. Not sure how much that is true.

I'm still curious about the need for both the BoV and waste gate. Are they both needed? Some of what I read has stated that the factory waste gate isn't sufficient to handle the extra pressure when modding.

I think based on the few responses here I'm still leaning towards the same upgrade path as originally planned.

Stage 1-Intercooler, Tune, CAI, Full 3" turbo back exhaust
Stage 2- waste gate, BoV, throttle max, throttle body spacer
Stage 3- coil over kit
Stage 4 - tires
Possible stage 5- 3.7 gears W/ new LSD and 800hp rear axles.

So to my original question, unless someone has a good argument for doing the gear ratio sooner I will put it at the end of my build stages. I'd like to keep the thread open in hopes that I get some more info on the waste gate and BoV and also if anyone has a response to my original question.
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post #8 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016
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Don't get a throttle body spacer, it's a gimmick.
As far as waste gate vs BOV: if I'm not mistaken the waste gate will help increase the psi and the BOV is there to "protect" the turbo. It bleeds off excess pressure at a set psi (I think yours is set by the tune) when the throttle is closed to prevent turbine surge. If the stock BOV isn't too jinky and can handle more psi than what it is now, I think I'd skimp on a new one and put the money else where if it were my car.

How many rpm's are you running on the highway when cruising? For an experiment, when you get on the highway and are settled at your cruising speed down shift a gear but don't increase speed. Set the cruise control and drive like that for 10 miles. That's kind of how 3.73's will be on the highway when you're in the highest gear.


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post #9 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016 Thread Starter
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Really? So the higher gears will put much more stress on the engine then for daily driving if running at higher rpm's all the time? Doesnt sound like a good option when using the car for daily commuting. I would think it would be much better for the engine if I'm cruising at 75 at 2200 rpm's verses 3200 rpm's. I would much rather have the quicker acceleration but not the extra stress on the engine when cruising. Is that still possible?
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Upgrading gear ratio vs. other mods?

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Really? So the higher gears will put much more stress on the engine then for daily driving if running at higher rpm's all the time? Doesnt sound like a good option when using the car for daily commuting. I would think it would be much better for the engine if I'm cruising at 75 at 2200 rpm's verses 3200 rpm's. I would much rather have the quicker acceleration but not the extra stress on the engine when cruising. Is that still possible?

It won't necessarily be 1k rpm higher but it will be higher in each gear. Google rear gear calculator. Find one that you put in tire size, transmission ratio, and rear gear ratio. Put in the numbers and it'll give you an estimate of rpm and mph.
Around town the it won't be all that bad, you'll just be shifting sooner than you do now.


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post #11 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016 Thread Starter
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That doesn't sound as bad. FYI I have an auto trans and just use the paddle shifters when I want to have a little fun.
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Upgrading gear ratio vs. other mods?

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That doesn't sound as bad. FYI I have an auto trans and just use the paddle shifters when I want to have a little fun.

With an auto you won't notice much of a difference when driving around town I assume. When you go full throttle it make take another shift to get to 60 mph than it does now. For example, in my '95 I was able to do 70 mph in 2nd gear at redline with the 2.73 rear gear. With 3.73's I have to shift to 3rd to hit 60.


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Are you sure that you're car doesn't have limited slip? Only one tire spins when you do a burnout? If you do a burnout do you see one tire mark or two left on the ground?


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post #14 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016 Thread Starter
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I'm pretty sure all the S550's are limited slip but from what I'm reading it has to be replaced if you go with the larger gears. I've never done a burn out but I could find an empty lot to give it a try.
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post #15 of 54 (permalink) Old 12-28-2016 Thread Starter
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http://www.americanmuscle.com/frpp-3...diff-1516.html

Link to the LSD I was talking about

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