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Discussion Starter · #101 ·
Installed Some Side Stripes

Okay, I know, I had side stripes on the car when I bought it and decided to remove them along with "Over-The-Top" stripes a while ago.

Got bored with the plain look, changed my mind, and decided to re-apply some new ones.

Managed to pick up a set of genuine Ford OEM ones at a good price.

Installing stripes yourself, can be a tricky business... Getting them lined up correctly, not getting air bubbles and avoiding damaging them in the application process.

I decided the best way to fit the vinyl stripes was to use the "wet method", which allows a margin of error and some movement once you apply them.
In fact, for most DIY applications, it is the recommended way if you are not a skilled professional and doing it everyday for a living.



After thoroughly cleaning the panels with Isopropyl alcohol to remove any traces of wax and contaminants, I then measured where the stripes should sit, and placed tape "markers" at several points along the panels.



Next, was to run a straight line of painter's tape touching those markers.



With a spray water bottle, I thoroughly wet each panel before applying that section of vinyl. That allowed me to reposition the sticky vinyl at will.
Once I was happy with the alignment, I used the edge of a credit sized card to squeeze out as much water as possible, and affix the stripe in position.



I then let the glue set for a while.



Using a hairdresser, I removed any existing moisture in the vinyl peel off backing paper, before slowly removing it.
After a few hours, any trapped moisture under the vinyl had evaporated and the stripes were firmly attached perfectly.





The finished result, which I am very happy with.
 

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Looks great! Very nice build choices and details!
 

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Installed Some Side Stripes

Okay, I know, I had side stripes on the car when I bought it and decided to remove them along with "Over-The-Top" stripes a while ago.

Got bored with the plain look, changed my mind, and decided to re-apply some new ones.

Managed to pick up a set of genuine Ford OEM ones at a good price.

Installing stripes yourself, can be a tricky business... Getting them lined up correctly, not getting air bubbles and avoiding damaging them in the application process.

I decided the best way to fit the vinyl stripes was to use the "wet method", which allows a margin of error and some movement once you apply them.
In fact, for most DIY applications, it is the recommended way if you are not a skilled professional and doing it everyday for a living.



After thoroughly cleaning the panels with Isopropyl alcohol to remove any traces of wax and contaminants, I then measured where the stripes should sit, and placed tape "markers" at several points along the panels.



Next, was to run a straight line of painter's tape touching those markers.



With a spray water bottle, I thoroughly wet each panel before applying that section of vinyl. That allowed me to reposition the sticky vinyl at will.
Once I was happy with the alignment, I used the edge of a credit sized card to squeeze out as much water as possible, and affix the stripe in position.



I then let the glue set for a while.



Using a hairdresser, I removed any existing moisture in the vinyl peel off backing paper, before slowly removing it.
After a few hours, any trapped moisture under the vinyl had evaporated and the stripes were firmly attached perfectly.





The finished result, which I am very happy with.
Laughed hard when I saw this post! After buying my white Mustang last year, I read through your entire thread. I was considering over-the-top stripes, but decided to go without after getting to the part where you removed yours. I'd also been considering the rocker stripes your car came with, but switched to the style you just installed! The reason I laughed is because I've recently decided those rocker stripes are coming off my car! ? I just don't like them anymore! We can be a finicky bunch... :p I'll likely replace them with similar stripes without the "Mustang" name on them. To each their own! Btw, your car looks great. ?? You have me considering some side scoops.
 

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Discussion Starter · #105 ·
The World's Smallest & Cheapest Mustang Mod :)





How often have you tried to lock your precious S550 Mustang in the dark, wondering as you walk away, if you accidentally pressed the unlock instead of the lock button?

Well, I wear my FOB on a military "dog tag" style chain around my neck, rather than keep it in my pocket, and often just press the FOB through my shirt to lock the car.

This tiny weeny 10-second "mod" solves the problem of finding the right button. :)

These self-adhesive "bump" or surface protectors available from any good hardware store are perfect for when you need to create a raised surface to identify or make pressing a particular button easier!

I also stick these on my shutter buttons on cameras which are often flush or recessed with the camera body.
It gives the shutter so much more of a positive and tactical feel, even resulting in less camera "shake" and clearer photos. Try it, you will be amazed!

Anyone done a smaller mod? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #106 ·
Time For a New Cabin Aircon Filter

With the Mustang now at 32,000Kms and 2 years old a couple of days ago, I thought it was about time to replace the cabin filter.

I also usually have the climate control fan on all the time when I'm driving, mostly just to provide ventilation and fresh air, even if I don't have the airconditioning or heating on.

Genuine OEM Motorcraft filter costs only AUD$20 inc GST.

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Here is a comparison of the old filter after 32,000Kms (19,883 miles) and 2 years of use compared to the new one, which was quite dirty as expected.

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It's was a little more tricky replacing the filter compared to my previous FG Falcon, but not at all a difficult job.
Like the Falcon, you first need to lower the glove box out of the way.
You simply remove side tensioner on the left of the box, then squeeze the sides to lower the glove box, out of the way.

This is the view behind the glove box. You then move the partitioning felt mat out of the way, to reveal the filter housing.

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Then it is just a matter of using a TORX 20 on a long screwdriver extension to reach from behind the glove box and from below the dash, and remove the housing filter flap.

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Once the flap is removed from its "hinges", the old filter is removed and the new one slipped in.
It is important that the filter is placed in the housing with the correct filter side facing upwards.
The "marker arrow" printed on the side of the air filter should be pointing downwards, denoting the direction of the airflow.

It took all of 5 minutes to do, and at only AUD$20 a filter, is worth doing every 10,000Kms for clean, unrestricted cabin airflow.
 

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Never changed a cabin filter in my life. But after seeing this and avoiding thr $145 the garage want to charge me to do it. I think i might just spend the 5 mins doing it. Where did you purchase the filter buddy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #108 ·
Never changed a cabin filter in my life. But after seeing this and avoiding thr $145 the garage want to charge me to do it. I think i might just spend the 5 mins doing it. Where did you purchase the filter buddy?
James, I bought it from Bayford parts in Campbellfield, Victoria. (They also have an eBay store, so you can purchase through there if interstate).
 

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Discussion Starter · #109 ·
Shoed The Pony With New American Rubber

Today, the car when in for a set of new Michelin Pilot Supersport 4S's.
Glad to say goodbye to the original Pirelli P-Zeros, which lacked traction, and caused the Stang to fan tail easily especially when turning with a bit of throttle.

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Made in the good ole USA, where Michelin make their best Ultra Performance tyres.

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The rim protectors on these tyres are huge!
A good 13mm protrusion, which is double the protector width the old Pirelli's had.
In fact, they are wider from memory than the Michelin Super Sports I had only previous Ford Falcon XR6 Turbo.

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They look absolutely amazing on the stock 19 inch Ecoboost wheels.

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Even though it takes around 800Kms for new tyres to bed in and start performing at their best, I found the grip and handling to be phenomenal to say the least.
These tyres instil complete confidence on the road, and are a perfect fit to handle the 335 horses the little tuned turbo 4 puts out.
Probably hands down the best tyres I have ever had on a car.
Expensive, but worth it IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #110 ·
Installation of Red Tint Tail Lights Mod

As you know, we S550 Mustang owners here in Australia and Europe get the clear tail lights.
But most of us owners would prefer the more traditional red tail lights that you guys in the US get.

My Red Tint Tail Light Kit finally arrived yesterday.
The 6 piece vinyl wrap is computer pre-cut to suit the 2015 - 2017 S550 Mustangs, and costs AUD$68 with postage included.
(Kits are also available for the 2018 - 2020 Mustangs, which have different "C-Shaped" curved tail lights).

I must say, that at only AUD$68, it's the lowest cost exterior visual mod I've done to the car, that gives it a big difference in appearance and emulates the red tail lights on the US versions of the Mustang.

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To complete the installation, you need "application fluid", which is simply soapy water solution.
The ideal mixture recommended is 1 to 2ml of dishwashing liquid to 1 litre (32 oz) of water, placed in a trigger spray bottle.
Then another bottle of plain water, a felt covered squeegee, a heat gun or hair dryer, Isopropyl Alcohol and some microfibre towels.

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To align the vinyl wraps on the lens, and to ensure you get a good finish removing any air bubbles on application, it is critical you have good lighting.
So I set up some 1000 watt work lights as well.

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The first thing to do is to wash down the tail lights and surrounding areas to remove any debris and dirt, especially in the corners of the lenses.
Then a final wipe down with Isopropyl Alcohol and a microfibre cloth to remove any traces of wax or polishes.

This video explains the installation process, and is worth watching before you start this mod yourself, or don't have experience in applying vinyl tint using the "wet method...


Here is a comparison after I finished the right hand side...

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Here you can see the difference with the lights on between the clear stock tail light on the left and after the tint is done on the right tail light.
The LED lights on the Mustang are super bright, and give a pinkish light on the stock clear lenses.
The red tint gives the light a proper red colour....

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Here is a comparison on the amber side indicators during daylight hours... Still plenty bright...

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Here you can see the result with lights on and both sides tinted...

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Before and after, with no lights on...

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Not perfect as installing original OEM US red tail lights (which cost an arm and a leg), but for $68, the red vinyl tint kit gives a great result and has a nice satin gloss finish.

I feel it gives the back of the car a much "tougher" look than the somewhat "unfinished" look of the clear Euro tail lights.

On a scale of difficulty to install, I give it a 2 out of 5 for difficulty.
The whole process from start to finish took me around 2 hours. which is not bad considering this is something I'd never done before.

My advice is to just take your time, section at a time, and have patience.
Don't try to rush it and you will get a good finish.
The heat gun is invaluable to shrink the wrap once you have the vinyl in position and need to wrap it over the edges and shrink it to fit the curves.

A highly recommended low cost mod if you prefer the red tail lights like the homegrown US Mustangs!
 

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Discussion Starter · #111 ·
Wounded ... But Back In Action

I have not added to this thread in awhile, so I thought I'd provide a little update.

Late in November, my car was involved in a 3 car pile up.
Sitting stationary in traffic one morning, the car behind me was travelling too fast and braked at the last minute, stopping two feet behind me.
However, a young girl in a Toyota 86 did not manage to stop in time, and ran in to the back of that car, which lunged the Honda CR-V into the back of mine.

Luckily no one was injured, but the Toyota 86 was a complete right off, sustaining the most damage, being much lighter and lower than the heavy Honda SUV in front of it.

The Pony sustained a damaged bumper and rear deck lid, broken tail light, lower reversing light and number plate and cover.

All covered by the toyota 86's driver's insurance, including a hire car for the 3 weeks.









After 3 weeks in the repair shop, she's back and as good as new.
The only downside, was I lost all the work I put into the last mod doing the red vinyl tinting to the tail lights, with one tail light assembly needing replacement.

Anyway... No big deal, just glad to have the Pony back on the road again!

 
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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
New Battery - Pre-emptive Maintenance

According to car battery manufacturers, lead-acid batteries last 42 months on average, so if a battery is beyond this age it is living on borrowed time.

Just like when you reach 60... There are more days behind you than in front of you. :)

Batteries past this age can start the car perfectly one day, but leave you stranded with no warning on the next.

So replacing a battery before its untimely death is a good measure in your preventive maintenance servicing routine.

The thing to take into account with imported cars like Mustangs, especially those that may have been manufactured months or even up to a year before you buy them new, is the battery life starts from the time it is made or put in the car.... And not from the date you might drive it out of the showroom.

My Mustang, an MY17, was built in June 2017, but I did not buy it from the dealer brand new till June 2018.

This means that although I've only owned my car for 2 and a half years or 30 months... The battery is actually 42 months old (matching the manufacturing date stamp on the battery itself).

So while my battery is operating okay at this stage, I decided to take advantage of the Xmas sale at Repco, with their 20% off car batteries.



Repco car batteries are manufactured by Century, Australia’s oldest and most recognised battery manufacturer with a proud heritage spanning two centuries.
In fact, Repco are a shareholder in Century Batteries, or Century Yuasa Batteries as they are now known today.

Finding the battery to fit the current S550 model Mustangs is not easy, and rarely will you find them as a stock item on the shelf at places like Supercheap, Autobarn of even Battery World stores, and must be ordered in as a "special order" product, because of their low volume turnover.

Repco on the other hand, seem to have them on the shelves in stock at most of their metro stores nationally.

With the 20% off, at AUD$199, and a 3 year warranty, it represents good value IMO, and often less expensive than the Century branded equivalent.



First thing I always do before fitting a new battery, is give it a maintenance top up charge, since it may have been sitting on the store shelf for a few months.

My trusty fully automatic OzCharge Battery Rejuvenator does the job.
A final test with my multimeter, reads a nice strong 13.2 volts full charge.

A good battery should read around 12.6 volts left standing the next morning after its been driven and charged the day before, allowing for the parasitic draw on batteries on modern cars with computers and alarm systems.

My old battery was constantly reading 12.3 - 12.4 volts and starting to show its reduced lifespan after 42 months of age.



Before disconnecting the old battery, I use a "Battery minder" (available from Supercheap Auto for around $15) to keep the computer memory user settings alive.



The Battery minder uses a 9-volt battery, and simply plugs into the 12-volt socket in the console. (9-volts is all that is needed to keep memory settings alive).



The new Repco battery is a perfect fit in the Mustang's battery box.

Before connecting the battery I give the battery posts and terminal connectors a good clean with a battery post wire cleaning tool to make them shiny as lead oxidises the moment it is exposed to the air.

Once connected a smear of grease on the terminals or a spray of battery terminal sealant to prevent corrosion and oxidation is recommended.

... Peace of mind for another 3 years hopefully. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #113 ·
Precision Pressures On All Fours

I'm a stickler for accurate tyre pressures all round, just one of my many OCD idiosyncrasies I guess. :)

When it comes to tyre gauges, there is no question that the newer digital ones are far more accurate than their analog counterparts.

So I bought myself a digital Pro-Gauge.

These gauges are extremely accurate to 0.1 PSI.
Not only that, but it reads tire pressures from 0-60 psi in 0.1 increments , something very few non-professional digital gauges can do!
One of the most accurate tyre gauges you can buy for home use.

The gauge also features;

  • An easy to read large blue LCD display.
  • A long quality hose, with racing type push nozzle.
  • A Bleed valve to drop tire pressure to the desired reading.
  • A shock proof rubberized housing.
  • Reads in PSI or KPa
  • Keeps the pressure reading on the display after you remove the nozzle from the tyre valve.
  • Powered by 2 x AAA Batteries.



I like to keep my tyre pressures on the Mustang to 2 PSI above the Placard recommendation of 32 PSI, so 34 PSI when cold, and have found this to be the perfect pressure for my car.

But what is "Cold" tyre pressure?

The industry accepted standard for cold tyre pressures, is when the ambient air and your tyres are at 20 degrees Celsius.

So I always try to measure my tyre pressures when my car has not been driven for at least 4 hours and the ambient air temperature is around 20 degrees.
(I have a thermometer hanging in my carport in the shade to accomplish this).



The 4 PSI Inflation rule

The 4 PSI rule states that if your tyres are inflated correctly then the tyre pressure measured when the tyres are hot will be 4 PSI greater than the pressure measured when they were cold.

If the pressure change is greater than 4psi, then the tyre is under-inflated and the tyre pressure needs to be increased.

If the pressure change is less than 4 PSI then the tyre is over-inflated and the tyre pressure needs to be lowered.

To apply this rule, you use the recommended pressure on your tyre placard as a starting point, drive for approximately one hour, then stop and check the pressure.

If it's gone up by 4 PSI then your pressures are spot on. ...
If it has gone up by less than 4 PSI, then your starting pressure was too high.

As seen here on my Dash TPMS, my driving pressure is 38 PSI all round from my cold 34 PSI... Perfect!

Before using the new digital Pro-Gauge, the dash tyre pressure monitor would always show slightly different PSI readings on all four tyres.
So it's welcome sight to see using the new digital gauge! :)

 

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Hi Go Further, your roads;/highways must be pretty smooth running your inflation at 34 psi cold setting. I have tried that but found my ride way too "bouncy". So I keep my cold tire pressure at 32. My ecoboost came with PP and a somewhat stiff suspension. Does your ecoboost have PP suspension? Just curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #115 ·
Hi Go Further, your roads;/highways must be pretty smooth running your inflation at 34 psi cold setting. I have tried that but found my ride way too "bouncy". So I keep my cold tire pressure at 32. My ecoboost came with PP and a somewhat stiff suspension. Does your ecoboost have PP suspension? Just curious.
Yes, Anthony, my EB is a Performance Pack Premium and has the stiffer suspension.
I have upgraded the tires to the Michelin PS4s's, and feel they perform a little better at 34 PSI than 32 PSI on the Pirelli P-Zeros the car came with.
Also once hot, they perform nicely at 38 PSI which seems about right.
But Australia does have its fair share of bumpy and imperfect roads as well. :)
 

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Yes, Anthony, my EB is a Performance Pack Premium and has the stiffer suspension.
I have upgraded the tires to the Michelin PS4s's, and feel they perform a little better at 34 PSI than 32 PSI on the Pirelli P-Zeros the car came with.
Also once hot, they perform nicely at 38 PSI which seems about right.
But Australia does have its fair share of bumpy and imperfect roads as well. :)
Yes, Anthony, my EB is a Performance Pack Premium and has the stiffer suspension.
I have upgraded the tires to the Michelin PS4s's, and feel they perform a little better at 34 PSI than 32 PSI on the Pirelli P-Zeros the car came with.
Also once hot, they perform nicely at 38 PSI which seems about right.
But Australia does have its fair share of bumpy and imperfect roads as well. :)
I have those P-Zeros and I guess that maybe that makes the difference. Heating up to 38 psi sure scares me as I suspect I would be bouncing all over. Anyway I thank you for replying to my curiosity.
 
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