Customizing Your EcoBoost MustangLast Updated June 13, 2023 | Meghan Drummond
EcoBoost Mustangs are more than capable of performing, and with a few tweaks, it’s easier to make it perfect for you. One of the best things about owning a Mustang is how easy it is to use bolt-ons or accessories to create a Mustang that’s one-of-a-kind and perfect for you.
Whether you’re more interested in improving your performance, getting better handling and ride quality, creating a customized exterior look, making the perfect exhaust note, or having an interior that looks right for you, these are some of the most popular and effective modifications.
Even bone stock, the EcoBoost Mustang is pretty amazing. Thanks to its turbocharger, the EcoBoost engine can do more with four cylinders than engines of the past could accomplish with eight. It’s no wonder the EcoBoost Mustang has been such a success, and why the performance packs are so popular. From the factory or with additional upgrades, the EcoBoost is a Mustang that can excel at autocross.
The EcoBoost engine is no stranger to impressive performance numbers. From the Focus RS to the upcoming performance-focused EcoBoost Mustang, we’ve seen what a modified EcoBoost engine is capable of. If you love your EcoBoost but wish it had a little more power, there are a few easy ways to get you there.
The reason that the EcoBoost is able to create so much power despite having only four cylinders is related to its turbo. One way to improve the turbocharger’s power output is to install an intercooler. The intercooler cools the air that is compressed by the turbocharger. A pretty basic tenant of internal combustion engines is that if you can use cooler, denser air in your ignition process, then the resulting power will be greater.
Another popular modification for your EcoBoost Mustang that focuses on cooling the air that enters your engine is a cold air intake. Cold air intakes can be used on any vehicle, not just ones that use a turbo or supercharger. But vehicles that are using an intercooler can also use a cold air intake. This just ensures that the air coming through the air filter and from the turbocharger is both cooler and denser, giving your engine more power.
Using a tuner is a great way to get a performance boost on its own, but where tunes really shine is when coupled with other modifications, especially intercoolers and cold air intakes. Combining the three of these will give your EcoBoost a fairly substantial performance boost, or you can use any of the three on their own.
Stock suspensions are definitely set up to be “good for everyone, not great for anyone.” By selecting a suspension that more closely meets your needs and accommodates where and how you like to drive, you can get a suspension that’s great for you.
Lowering springs obviously lower the ride height of your Mustang a little, but they also create a stiffer ride. Stiffer springs make handling more responsive, creating a better feel and less body roll when turning sharp corners. If you love cornering though, you’ll want to at least consider coilover suspensions.
Coilovers offer more of a drop than lowering springs do, and they usually have an adjustable ride, allowing you to create a stiffer suspension for heavy cornering but still soften it up some for daily driving.
The most customizable suspension system of all though is an airlift suspension. Though there are definite pros and cons to installing an airbag suspension on your Mustang, it’s an option to consider if you like the idea of being able to customize your vehicle’s suspension and handling.
EcoBoost Exhaust Systems
Exhaust modifications are a triple threat. They can make your car sound better, perform better, and look better. What exhaust note sounds perfect to you is largely a matter of personal preference, but it’s hard to find many Mustang enthusiasts who don’t love the sound of a high-quality aftermarket exhaust.
Most exhaust systems that you’ll find for the EcoBoost Mustang will either be axle-back or cat-back. This is a pretty important difference and one that you should spend some time considering (our article is a good place to start). Either will offer a substantial improvement over the stock exhaust though.
If your EcoBoost Mustang was made after 2019, make sure to check whether or not it has an active exhaust system since that will affect your Mustang’s compatibility with many exhaust systems.
If you’re part of a Mustang club, or just want your Mustang to look a little different than the others, then there are a lot of easy ways to customize the exterior so that it’s perfect for you and unique.
A new hood or taillight panel changes the appearance of your Mustang immediately, and depending on which one you select can create a unique look. Though a blacked-out Mustang is an amazing and classic look, having black panels on a brightly colored Mustang is also a great look.
Changing out your lights is another way to change up your Mustang’s appearance in a way that’s easily customizable. Sequential lights are always a hit, but don’t forget about the bezels around the light. Changing the area around your lights definitely affects their overall appearance, and is a more subtle way to create a personalized Mustang.
Carbon fiber upgrades are obviously incredibly attractive, but there are some good things to know about carbon fiber when compared to other aftermarket body kit materials. There are a lot of individuals who may find that fiberglass or ABS is more suited to their needs. No matter which material is the right fit for you and your life, there are aftermarket parts that can create the unique look you’re after.
If you’re interested in going for a widebody Mustang build, then a set of wheel spacers will help you get a wider stance. Just make sure you have a great set of wheels and tires if you’re going to draw attention to them.
Ways to Customize Your Interior
Changing your Mustang’s exterior definitely creates a look, but it’s a look that’s hard to appreciate from the driver’s seat. Though mirroring the modifications that you’ve created on the exterior of your Mustang through the interior creates a unified appearance, there’s something great about going in the opposite direction as well.
An interior that isn’t perfectly in sync with its exterior ends up feeling like its own world, and there’s no reason why it can’t be even more personal to you. Large modifications, like trading out your stock seats for some that offer a little more support, may not be able to be seen from the outside, but you’ll certainly feel the difference every time you sit behind the wheel.
It’s little details that ultimately really make interior customization look special. Whether that’s changing out the faces of the air conditioning vents, making sure you have a perfect place to keep your cell phone, or changing the entire look of your dash.
Carbon fiber sets certainly look amazing, and there’s nothing quite like the feel of real carbon fiber. But for people who love the look of carbon fiber but not the price tag, there are vinyl options that look incredible, especially if you really take the time to make sure that they’re perfectly installed.
Manual drivers have long known that they can change out their shift knob for a better looking one, or change out the entire assembly for a short throw shifter, but options for automatic drivers were limited. The S550 Mustang added paddle shifters, which offer an easy way to affect your driving by changing transmissions manually, but with an automatic transmission. Though the stock paddle shifters aren’t the most convenient to use, by adding extensions you can make it even easier to paddle shift and give your interior a little personalization at the same time.
Exterior lights are obviously customizable, and changing them out is a popular modification. Interior lights can be changed out as well, and create an amazing, personalized feeling in your cabin. Nothing changes the feel of a space quite as quickly as lighting, and you can definitely use your Mustang’s lighting to create a mood.
We’re certainly familiar with modifying S550 Ecoboost Mustangs at CJs. For more inspiration, check out our SEMA EcoBoost Mustang creation and build list.