Shelby GT500 Parts Buying GuideLast Updated June 13, 2023 | Alison Smith
Ford added the GT500 to the iconic Shelby Mustang lineup in 1967. Production ended a short two years later in 1969. Because these Mustangs are rare, classic GT500 owners don’t typically stray from the stock build. But when Ford released the GT500 again in 2007 and 2020, adding modifications became more common.
If you’re the owner of a newer GT500, you’ve already got yourself one powerful Mustang. But there are always ways to make it better. Check out some GT500 mods below to add more performance or personality to your Shelby.
2007-2014 Shelby GT500 Performance Parts
The 2007-2014 GT500 Mustangs are based on the S197 generation. Many S197 GT500 owners find the existing exhaust too quiet for their liking. Swapping out the stock exhaust can give your Shelby a louder, more aggressive sound note. Upgrading the cold air intake along with the exhaust opens things up on both sides of the motor.
Many GT500 owners choose to upgrade the shifter and clutch as well. Replacing the shifter can give you more precision and smoother gear changes. Short throw shifters are a popular choice as they’ll feel more solid and let you shift quicker. Although the stock clutch is good, you may want something a little more heavy-duty if you’re adding more power. Clutches also wear out over time so they’ll eventually need replacing anyways.
An engine tuner can help you get the most out of your GT500 performance upgrades. You’ll be able to fine-tune the boost, air-fuel ratios, and other settings. They’ll help you squeeze the most power out of your Shelby.
Here are some mods that apply to all S197 GT500 Mustangs.
2007-2010 GT500 Parts
From 2007 up until 2010, the GT500 Mustangs had a 5.4L supercharged V8 engine that offered a staggering 500 horsepower (540 in the 2010). They included a Tremec six-speed manual transmission and a solid rear axle. Other notable features included a lowered suspension, tuned shocks, and larger Brembo disc brakes in the front.
In 2010, Ford redesigned the GT500 body style along with the other S197 Mustangs. They included the same powertrain from the 2008-2009 GT500KR, which meant an open-element cold air intake and engine management changes. These updates added 40 more horsepower.
Your Mustang already has some powerful equipment under the hood. But adding a bigger cold air intake along with a new exhaust can free up some horsepower. You can also get a more distinct sound note by swapping out the exhaust.
2011-2014 Shelby GT500 Parts
After the exterior refresh in 2010, the GT500 got an engine upgrade in 2011. Ford ditched the cast-iron big block in favor of an aluminum 5.4L V8 engine that weighed over 100 pounds less. The lighter engine made them less front-heavy, improving handling.
When the 2013 GT500 came out, it was the most powerful Mustang to date. It had a 5.8L V8 engine that put out an impressive 662 horsepower. Even with the new engine, these GT500s can still benefit from a new cold air intake and exhaust system.
2020 Shelby GT500 Parts
2020 GT500 owners already have one of the fastest Mustangs ever created. But even with 760 horsepower, there are a few upgrades that can improve your driving experience.
With the GT500’s sticky tires, they kick up gravel and deposit them on the rocker. Installing rock blockers is a cheap and easy GT500 Mod that can solve this issue. Rock blockers go between the rocker and the body, preventing the gravel from collecting underneath the side skirts. They only cost a few bucks, are easy to install, and will keep your side skirts clean and protected.
If you didn’t get the GT500 Track Package, you can still buy the Ford Performance oil separator included with the package. It prevents oil from building up in the intake, which can negatively affect performance. The best part is that there’s no emptying required.
Installing a big air intake, headers, and exhaust allows for better airflow. Not only will your engine be able to breathe better, but you can get a more pronounced exhaust note. Since the 2020 GT500 is an absolute monster, why not have it sound like one too?
If you’re adding performance mods to your GT500, you might also want to invest in a programmer. Programmers let you tune your engine to unlock its full potential.
What’s Next for the GT500?
The 760-horsepower GT500’s success led to Ford announcing the discontinuation of the GT350 and GT350R. The upcoming 2021 GT500 may be the last model year before the S550 generation comes to a close. The S650 launch may still be a while away, but it could bring big changes to the GT500. Stay updated on the latest GT500 news and parts by signing up for our newsletter.