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Apr 30

Getting Better Throttle Response in a Mustang GT

Improving throttle response will give you even more control of the car. When you mash the pedal you want to feel that power instantaneously.  If you tackle all of the areas I’m about to mention I can guarantee your throttle response will improve. If you feel your Mustang isn’t quite as responsive as you would like it to be then here are the three main areas to improve on that affect throttle response:

  • - Tune

  • - Engine Modifications

  • - Drivetrain

Tune

Getting the car tuned is probably the best place to start. A custom tune can directly change throttle response especially in drive-by-wire cars. Drive-by-wire refers to the flap on the throttle body being electronically controlled as opposed to a cable like the previous models. Getting your car tuned will also net you some decent horsepower and torque and it will allow you to get the most out of the performance modifications that you’ve already installed.

You can purchase a handheld tuner and either have tunes preset when you order the unit or you can take it to a local performance shop that if familiar with tuning cars, mustangs in particular, with that software. A tune can also change shift points and how firm they are in automatic transmissions and will aid with throttle response as well.

Engine Modifications

As far as aftermarket parts that will help increase your throttle response you have quite a few options. Here are some less complicated parts for you to get started with:

I personally think one of the easier and cost efficient ways is to add a throttle body spacer because this  causes the throttle cable to be stretched a little bit. If you have another method of tightening the throttle cable then, at your own risk, try it out. Next, I recommend upgrading the throttle body and plenum to a larger diameter. This will allow more air in, increase throttle response, and net you some horsepower and torque. An aftermarket cold air intake will definitely help as well. The last upgrade I mentioned is to replace the coil packs or coil-on plugs with a high performance product.  They produce more spark which will burn fuel more efficiently,  increase horsepower, and could also increase throttle response as well. All of these modifications combined together should deliver your power much faster than before.

Drivetrain

Another way to improve the response time of your car is to shed some rotating weight. By doing this you will allow the car to rev faster and help the more power reach the rear wheels. The most common way of doing this is to purchase an aluminum flywheel and/or an aluminum driveshaft.  You can also switch to a higher gear ratio in the rear. The most common upgrades are 3.73 or 4.10 gears and they will help the car accelerate faster from a dead stop as well as help get the car into its power band faster. The speedometer will have to be recalibrated after changing the rear gear ratio.

Although it is quite more technical than the other modifications I have mentioned, you can also consider changing the gearing of the transmission.  This will allow your car to react better in different RPM ranges, especially when the car is in its power band. It takes a bit of research to figure out which gearing is best for you.