Where would the Ford Mustang be without its legions of aftermarket supporters? There'd be no Shelby, for starters. And there would be a shortage of Fox-bodies doing burnouts with straight pipes in the K-Mart parking lot.
But Ford's latest technical service bulletin aims to put a damper on all this modifyingat least for warranty purposes. It's not for any potential mechanical issues; rather, tweaking the 5.0-liter engine could "cause damage to the powertrain and/or void the factory powertrain warrantyattempting to increase the engine output via recalibrating the PCM may result in poor drivability, DTCs, or component failures."
These aftermarket modifications could alter the fuel and spark settings, damage the pistons, and throw off the knock sensor, which Ford technicians have been told to watch out for. They will also see if there have been any aftermarket parts installed, such as exhausts, superchargers, nitrous systems, and intakes, though fuzzy dice and 8-ball shift knobs are still fair gamefor now.
"Customization is a big part of the Mustang ownership experience," said a Ford spokesman. This is designed to alert people to the possible damage and warranty 'voiding' one can incur if they modify their vehicles beyond factory specifications."
Though Mustang enthusiasts shouldn't be too despondent over the potential loss of their warranty/nuking of their engines: after all, they said the same thing about another cult-status sports car, a vehicle whose popularity and success couldn't have happened without its endlessly modded counterparts. That car was the Nissan GT-R. And while true-blue Mustang enthusiasts might not get along with GT-R drivers, they can both take heart in knowing that both cars have both survived against such warnings and corporate hand-wringing. You'll take our cold-air intakes from our cold, dead hands!
More: Ford Warns Against Modifying 2011 Mustangs on AutoGuide.com