1996 Mustang Parts
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1996 Mustang Parts
The arrival of the 1996 Mustang brought a car that looked the same as the previous year’s at first glance, but there was a huge change under the hood. After almost 40 years, the 302 5.0 liter V8 was retired and replaced with a new 4.6 liter modular V8, which was used in a variety of vehicles made by Ford and its affiliates. This new motor, used in the GT trim, made the same power as the outgoing V8 but ended up being slightly slower than the old engine. However, it was also comparatively smoother, quieter, and, most importantly, it could meet the strict emissions requirements that the old V8 no longer could.
Enthusiasts heavily criticized the new engine in the 1996 Mustang GT at first for its lack of performance, though it went on to win multiple awards for its design and would eventually become well-loved. The modular engine would be used for years to come in until a 5.0-liter engine returned to great fanfare in 2011.
While the specifications on the 4.6L V8 remained very similar to the outgoing engine, it didn't perform as well in racing applications, nor did it come anywhere near matching the output of the engines in competing cars. This, combined with a lack of other major improvements, led to sales of the Mustang plummeting 27% year-over-year, to 135,620 total units.
The Cobra was also revised with a version of the new engine that had dual overhead cams and 32 valves, making more power than before, with 305 hp and 300 lb-ft. These new upgrades for the Cobra didn't make the Mustang the fastest muscle car available, but it was certainly more competitive. Power to the base V6 was also slightly increased. Little else was changed, apart from the tail light layout going to a vertical design.
The 1996 Mustang Cobra did receive the one major styling change for the model year when it received a redesigned hood. The 1996 Mustang Cobra also was the recipient of a special color package, called the Mystic Cobra package. This consisted of a very special, unique paint scheme that allowed it to appear as a different color depending on the light, angle, and shadows. While expensive, 2,000 copies were produced and it remains a very rare and highly sought-after Mustang today.
Mustangs from the SN95 generation are in a great place, in that they can be modernized and restored with relative ease, plus there are a host of performance upgrades just waiting to be added. Check out our selection of 1996 Mustang parts and accessories today, and make CJ Pony Parts your go-to place for everything on your list, plus great support and technical installation videos that will show you every step of the process. Check out the specs for the 1996 Ford Mustang in CJ's Resource Center.