...and we've already started bastardizing it. Our 2015 EcoBoost Mustang arrived here at Stage 3 yesterday afternoon, and spent the latter part of the day getting some new wheels and tires thrown onto it. We grabbed ourselves a base model EcoBoost Mustang with nice and bright Competition Orange Paint. No performance package, no frills. Just a car that we can rip everything out of, before throwing aftermarket hardware back into it. Being a base model Mustang, it naturally came with fairly sad 17" wheels and Hankook tires with enough sidewall for your average soccer-going minivan. Needless to say, those didn't stay on long, and a few minutes after our preliminary photo shoot, the car and new set of wheels and tires went out for mounting, balancing, and installation.
We've had our ADD Stealth Front Bumper on our 2012 F150 EcoBoost FX4 installed for a while now, and it was high time that the rear of our truck go the same treatment. So we grabbed ourselves a 2009 to 2014 F150 & SVT Raptor ADD Stealth Rear Bumper so that we actually had a truck that matched front to rear. Our ADD Stealth rear bumper was decked out with slots for our F150's factory backup sensors, lights mounts for a pair of Rigid D-Series lights, and a standard Black Hammertone Finish for the bumper's frame and Black Satin Finish for the bumper's integrated Stealth Panels. The rear bumper definitely helped finish up the look of our truck and gave it the extra protection we needed, since we tend to run into stuff on occasion. And by we, I mean me.
The F150 EcoBoosts balance on a ledge, as far as their maximum gains are concerned. Being turbocharged from the factory, it's natural to assume that throwing a larger set of turbochargers on your truck will get you massive power. Unfortunately, the factory direct-injected fuel system just can't handle massive turbo builds. Luckily, our friends over at High Tech Turbos (HTT) have developed a drop-in turbocharger upgrade that can help take your full bolt-on truck build to the absolute limits of its performance without exceeding your EcoBoost's fuel capabilities. The HTT 2011 to 2012 F150 EcoBoost Turbocharger Upgrade and 2013 to 2014 F150 EcoBoost Turbocharger Upgrade Kits include fully rebuilt factory Ford turbochargers fitted with larger billet wheels and machined compressor housings that flow much more air and generate greater boost pressure than stock after their required custom tuning, making them a perfect choice for heavily built trucks that just need more power.
With our 2012 F150 EcoBoost FX4 Project Truck up on a towering 8" lift provided by combining a Zone Off-Road Lift Kit with a set of Pro Comp Add-a-Leafs, the Zone rear shocks that came standard with the kit were pushed past the point of being useful. That's why we grabbed a pair of 2009-2014 F150 BDS FOX 2.0 Rear Shocks for 6" or higher lift kits for our truck to get both improved performance and more articulation ability. The good news is that the BDS FOX Shocks are just as easy to install as a set of stock replacement shocks, making them an extremely painless upgrade for anyone that wants to get a little bit more out of their F150's 6" (or taller) suspension lift kit.
The twin turbochargers on the 2011 to 2014 F150 EcoBoost are the big reason why those F150s make so much power, but there's still some more performance to be found by upgrading some of the core components of your F150's turbocharger system. One of those are the hot side tubes leading from the turbo compressor outlets to your F150's intercooler. The stock tubes are fairly small and have a ton of bends that restrict their flow, which is why aFe developed these 2011 to 2014 F150 Hot-Side Intercooler Tubes to give your truck an overall bump in performance. The tubes greatly improve airflow to the intercooler and reduce back pressure, adding performance especially when tuned. Given that our 2012 F150 EcoBoost FX4 Project Truck was rolling around with a ton of extra weight and 37" tires, we decided to get aFe's Hot-Side tubes installed to get all the performance we could get.
Just when we've thought the innovative minds at Rigid Industries had thought of all the possible combinations and applications for automotive LED lighting, they once again deliver a new product that we absolutely have to have on our F150s here at Stage 3. Just in time to make it under the Christmas tree, it's the new E2 High & Low Dual Function LED Driving Light. This inventive take on their already wildly popular E2 Series Light Bar gives you the convenience of quickly toggling between a high or low beam depending on your needs. With a flick of the switch your Ford F-150, Super Duty, Jeep, or other off-road vehicle of your choice can light up an incredible distance at full intensity while allowing you to maintain high speeds and maximum night time visibility or you can select to have it put out a beam at 20% on low power.
We here at Stage 3 Motorsports definitely throw our vehicles around more than the average bear, and while we don't do that much towing, we did make the executive decision to add a 2009 to 2015 F150 aFe Machined Transmission Pan to our 2012 F150 EcoBoost FX4 Project Truck, mostly out of concern that we would wend up damaging the stock one sooner rather than later. aFe's pan is made out of cast aluminum an has machined cooling fins which lowers transmission temperatures while being much stronger than stock. Most impressively, the pan increases transmission fluid capacity by a whopping 7 quarts over stock which further improves cooling. Install was surprisingly simple, though also extraordinarily messy thanks to the lack of a drain plug on the factory transmission pan. Still, it was all pretty painless, and the end result looks and feels like a massive improvement.
If there’s one product that we here at Stage 3 Motorsports can’t get enough of for our F150 project trucks, it’s one of the hundreds of LED lighting systems from our friends at Rigid Industries. Just when we thought they couldn’t possibly outdo themselves, they’ve done just that by introducing this new version of their already popular E-Series LED Light Bars that features an awesome option that lets you switch between Amber and White. With the new Amber & White Dual Function LED Off-Road Light Bar you don’t have to make the decision of whether to equip your Super Duty or F150 with one or the other as Rigid now lets you select either light color with the flick of a switch, using the included toggle. Amber is great for snow or foggy conditions, while the powerful white light is preferred for most other night-time driving conditions. It’s the best of both worlds for off-road conditions after the sun goes down.
Our friends over at Rigid Industries have once again outdone themselves. Apparently not content with their already widely popular D2 Driving Light, one of their products that changed the off-road LED lighting industry, Rigid has completely revamped their design to now offer the convenience of a high and low dual function. We love how intensely bright the original D2 Driving lights are here at Stage 3 and have mounted several on our project trucks. The D2s allow us to stay out on the trail way after the sun sets, but there are situations where the intensity can be a bit much. Rigid Industries must have read our minds, as they’ve now introduced these new D2 High & Low Dual Function LED Lights. Now you can speed around at night in your F150 or Super Duty with a beam pattern extending out about 280 meters while running at full intensity on high power or instantly drop it to 20% intensity on low power with the flick of a switch.
Our dear friends over at Flowmaster were ready to pounce on the 2015 Mustang GTs, and they've done so in high style by developing a pair of aggressive cat-back exhaust systems so that you can get an awesome new sound and exhaust note coming out of your Pony's 5.0L Coyote V8. The first is Flowmaster's classic American Thunder Cat-Back Kit, which adds an impressive, deep, and old-school muscle car sound without adding a ton of drone or being too overwhelming. The second is Flowmaster's Outlaw Cat-Back Kit which was designed from the ground up to be one of the loudest and most aggressive cat-back systems available for the 2015 Mustangs. You can't really go wrong when it comes to adding a Flowmaster kit to a Mustang, and either one of these systems are great choices for taking your Pony build to the next level.
It's a pretty well-known fact that we here at Stage 3 are fans of off-road bumpers and side steps, so we've recently added Rock-Slide Engineering's SVT Raptor and Super Duty Bumpers and unique Step-Slider Rock Sliders that feature a built-in powered step inside a complete, heavy-duty Rock Slider assembly that gives your truck some extra protection from terrain and hazards all while making it easier to get in and out of your truck's cab. One of the most unique aspects of Rock-Slide is that they manufacture all of their bumpers and rock sliders out of aluminum plates in a boxed design that gives their hardware impressive levels of strength without being as heavy as boxed steel hardware.
We love our friends over at ATP dearly for all the wonderful things they've thrown out there for all of Ford's EcoBoost engines, and they've now made the jump over the 2.3L I4 EcoBoost of the 2015 Mustangs with a new lineup of powerful EcoBoost Mustang downpipes. These off-road downpipes are virtually guaranteed to give your aggressive turbocharged and direct-injected Mustang a massive bump in power output with the right custom tuning. ATP has three different downpipe options for your 2015 2.3L EcoBoost Mustang, which gives you plenty of room to plan your build and to possibly change things up to something even more aggressive down the road. Knowing ATP, they're going to have even more for us here in the near future, so stay tuned!