Dino's 2006 Ford Mustang GT

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On Saturday 26th October 2013 I handed over a mere $10,600 in a private sale and became the delighted new owner of a beautiful torch red 2006 Ford Mustang GT with black racing stripes. It had the manual transmission that I'd always craved for in a Mustang, and Bullitt 18" chrome wheels shod with brand new 245/45R18 tires. This well-maintained, strong-running US-spec muscle car had just 61,200 miles on the odometer from two previous owners. I'd sold my Modified 1995 Ford Mustang GT and my Wheeler Dealer Project 1995 Ford Mustang GT (both were automatics) earlier in the same month for a combined total of $6,000 to help finance the purchase.

Exterior

The previous owner had installed a pair of Fox axleback exhausts that produced a terrible drone from 1500-2500rpm so to save my eardrums, I had them replaced by a pair of good used 2007 GT/CS axlebacks which I'd found for $136. The 3" rolled tip chrome tailpipes don't add any horsepower but they do improve the appearance of this already fine-looking ass and play a great V8 muscle car soundtrack!
By selling the Fox axlebacks on to another 2006 Mustang GT owner for $123, I was happy to have recouped most of the cost of the conversion.

Engine

The 2006 GT comes with a 4.6L V8 all-aluminium SOHC engine which has 3 valves per cylinder and variable cam timing. Ford rated the flywheel outputs of the 2005 model as 300hp @ 5750rpm & 320lbft @ 4500rpm. However, Ford removed the restrictive precatalytic converter from the air intake tract in early 2005 (~5hp/5lbft gain) without raising their rated outputs for the subsequent models.
Chassis dyno tests of a 2006-9 GT with a Tremec 3650 5-speed manual transmission show that it actually puts down roughly 270hp & 285lbft at the rear wheels. Assuming a 12% drivetrain loss, factory ratings of 305hp & 325lbft at the flywheel would indeed have been correct. Despite these impressive outputs, the 2006 GT still leaves some power under the table and it responds very well to aftermarket bolt-on performance upgrades.
The engine bay was covered with a layer of honest dust when I bought the car so I was happy that the previous owner hadn't given it a steam clean in an attempt to hide any oil/coolant leaks. Naturally I wasn't going to leave it that way as you'll find out on the next page.

Interior

My 2006 GT came with an all-black dashboard, black door panels, black carpets, charcoal grey cloth seats, a basic 4-gauge instrument cluster, and a black plastic steering wheel. The interior was in excellent condition but was rather sombre-looking with only chrome gauge and vent bezels adding a little bling, leaving me with the perfect blank canvas to make some upgrades.