The Road To Sema

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We knew qui Pony needed to stand out under the SEMA lights, and we ordered many of the needed parts prior to taking delivery of the car.

Starting off, our main concern was power. With just 1,200 miles on the clock, our '11 GT was loaded into our trailer and hauled across Florida to Blow-By Racing in Boca Raton. Ford Racing Performance Parts (FRPP) shipped us a FRPP/Whipple twin-screw supercharger kit for the Coyote engine.

With this much extra air being forced through the Four-Valve bullet, we knew there was power to gain with an exhaust upgrade. Kook's Custom Headers sent us its complete exhaust for Ford's newest rendition of the Pony.

So with parts and vehicle in South Florida, Chris Jones and the Blow-By Racing crew dove into our SEMA-bound Mustang to begin the transformation.

Of course, the Stang is show-quality and track-ready, but we're

Kook's designs its headers to be an improvement over the factory pipes. It uses individual primary tubes with a merge collector as opposed to the twin-T setup employed by the factory.

The headers are constructed from mandrel-bent 304 stainless steel. Once the welding is complete, the openings are ground smooth for unrestricted exhaust flow.

The mid-pipe consists of high-flow cats and an X-style crossover pipe. Factory clamps connect the mid-pipe to the rest of the exhaust, and ball flanges connect the midpipe to the headers.

The headers are constructed from mandrel-bent 304 stainless steel. Once the welding is complete, the openings are ground smooth for unrestricted exhaust flow.

The mid-pipe consists of high-flow cats and an X-style crossover pipe. Factory clamps connect the mid-pipe to the rest of the exhaust, and ball flanges connect the midpipe to the headers.

With the motor mounts disconnected, Jones used a pole jack to lift the engine, making more room for the headers to slip into place. The driver-side header went in easily, but the passenger side offered more of a challenge. The motor mount and starter needed to be removed to make enough room for the header to slide into place. Disconnecting the transmission lines will make installing this header much easier on an automatic transmission-equipped GT.

going to take you through the build process over the next few months. Then, we'll hit the track and push this thing to the limit. No project car is ever complete, so the sky is the limit with this new 5.0. We'll ultimately rebuild the engine and go hog wild with the power. We also have plans to race the car in NMFLA competition, whether it be in our own True Street or in another class.

So with that, strap in and come along for the ride as we dig into our newest family member.

With the headers in place, Jones shifted his attention to the rest of the exhaust Connecting the midpipe and installing the mufflers is little more than bolting it together and aligning the tailpipes.

The finished product is super-clean and sounds great. The entire system fits as if it were designed at the factory.

The mufflers included with the Kook's exhaust are significantly smaller and lighter than the factory mufflers. They are mellow at idle and part throttle, but L-O-U-D and mean-sounding when the throttle is cracked. Although the volume is significantly greater, the exhaust is not overpowering in the driver compartment, and the tone is pleasantly aggressive.

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