24 year old kid who needs advice on doing all his own mods

Mikepol2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Posts
874
Reaction score
547
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
First Name
Mike
Vehicle(s)
2018 Mustang GT, 2015 Chevy Silverado 6.2L, 1997 Cobra (Sold), 1999 Cobra (Sold), 2003 Cobra (Sold)
When I was your age and tried to replace the rear shocks on my 1981 Ford Granada and couldn't, the family mechanic said "any job is easy if you have the right tools." I still think of that all the time.

Tools I use constantly:
FOUR jack stands, good ones not crap ones as mentioned before, and never work with just the jack - I've had jacks blow a seal while the car was being raised. You don't want that happening while you're under the car.
Floor jack with enough lift to get your car in the air
Full length jacking rails from Steeda or BMR
Good socket set with 1/4", 3/8" and 1/2' drive sockets, including deep sockets
Metric and SAE open and box end wrench set
Dead blow hammer
Torx screwdriver set
Long 1/2" drive swivel head ratchet

You'll probably get way more responses on this than you bargained for LOL!





Advertisement

 

Blownfx

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 7, 2020
Posts
47
Reaction score
21
Location
Lehigh valley
First Name
John
Vehicle(s)
2019 Bullit
Vehicle Showcase
2
Good afternoon. I recently picked up (like a couple months ago) a '19 Mustang (non PP) GT 6 speed and I am interested in modding her. I daily drive the car. I plan to have the car become a track car for the road while retaining most of its functionality. I do want to take her to the track as soon as they open up the courses again. I plan on upgrading wheels, coil overs, brakes, transmission, all bolt ons (shy of E85) and just about any other performance mod you can think of. I want to do all the modding myself (over time) but the issue is (besides changing breaks and filters on my dads car) I have no experience working with vehicles which also means I dont have any tools to perform any of the modifications I wish to do. I have always wanted the experience of building a car from the ground up since I was a kid and I finally bought my perfect platform to do it on. I can always take it to a shop and do all the mods for me but I suppose that may not be as satisfying to me. I am just wondering if I am way over my head. I was wondering (in tools) how much do you guys think I would need to spend to perform the modifications, I was thinking at least a few grand. Do you think the car is easy enough somebody like myself can do most of the modifications? I know there are thousands of resources online to assist me which gives me a little bit of confidence going into this journey.

Thank you for your time
Get yourself a good shop manual.
Remember cleanliness is next to Godly ness. Take pictures of the stuff as you take it apart. And pay attention to detail.
Keep your shit organized. Always use lint free rags.
 

90Notch

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2018
Posts
258
Reaction score
216
Location
Houston
First Name
Dave
Vehicle(s)
2018 Silver GT PP1 A10
I work on old Jeeps that have seen mud, rust, dirt, every type of automotive fluid you can imagine leaking, etc. I've only ever broke a Harbor Freight tool twice. 1 instance was a ratchet in an instance where I should have used a breaker bar. The other instance was a ball joint press. Harbor Freight's ball joint press kit is utter garbage. Never had an issue with any of their other stuff. I've used their floor jacks and jack stands going on 6 or 7 years now. Not a single problem. Yes, they recently recalled jack stands, mine wasn't one of them. Don't let that scare you. Mustang's have had recalls as well that were just as dangerous(airbags spitting metal pieces at you in the event of an accident). Lesson here is jack up your car and put jack stands underneath. Use the floor jack as a secondary support point.

I would recommend the below tools for a starter based on experience:
*good list of tools to get you started*
Good info here and agree. I'm 36 and still acquiring tools for certain jobs. The latest was a vacuum pump and gauges to fix the AC on my wife's car. So don't feel pressured to have some huge overflowing tool chest. You will use the ratchets (1/4, 3/8 & 1/2) the most so make sure you have regular and deep sockets and a few extensions.

Don't forget that Autozone and O'Reileys will let you borrow a ton of tools as well, for free.
 

EFI

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 19, 2015
Posts
2,421
Reaction score
964
Location
Masshole central
Vehicle(s)
5.Br0
100% of Mod Money --> 5 yr CD --> cash out CD --> down payment for next car.
The same can be said about furniture in the house. Instead of buying furniture, you can take that money put it in a CD and in 10 years it will be the downpayment of your next house. You don't live in a house without any furniture do you?

Maybe the guy enjoys modding cars and working on them, so you can't really say what is the best way for him to spend money .
 

Interceptor

Daily Driver
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Posts
1,320
Reaction score
765
Location
Low country South Carolina
First Name
John-David
Vehicle(s)
2019 California Special A10
I have found the battery operated impact tools from Milwaukee to really speed up save labor. I would assume the other brands are ok also. The Milwaukees have a great assortment of 1/4" 1/2" shaped impacts. Personal I have three that will do almost anything I need. Along with using impact sockets these will be time

I have the 1/2" impact I keep in trunk of car with a small set of Husky impact sockets especially designed for removing lug nuts. You will need one for your suspension work.

My rule with Harbor Freight -- if it has no moving parts I will buy it, nothing electrical. I have found that the best deals are lowes or Home depot's package deals where you get say 4 drawer plastic tool box with tools for around 400.

Don't get caught up on buying the best on the steel non-moving tools, but do spend the bucks on pliers, screw drivers, and cutters.
 

kz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2014
Posts
2,607
Reaction score
1,020
Location
West Chester, OH
Vehicle(s)
Mustangs & F150
Tools I found incredibly useful (that generally aren't that basic) :

(flex head) ratcheting wrenches - don't have to be flex head but sometime they're life saver - they fit in tight spaces where socket / ratchet doesn't and you want the ratcheting one to no spend three hours using open end one...

Cordless ratchet (I use Milwaukee M12) - saw guys in the pro shops using it, bought it and it's my favorite tool - very much optional (really just a much faster ratchet)

Impacts (with impact sockets) - kinda obvious

All kinds of cheap LED lights with magnetic bases
swivels for sockets - sometimes only way to get to something without further disassembly

And again - while SAE tools are obviously good to have, for this car they will be useless.
 

jd_cobra

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Posts
52
Reaction score
24
Location
Texas
Vehicle(s)
2015 Mustang GT PP Magnetic metallic
Might wanna actually read the entire post instead of a sentence.

The recall was a very small number of jack stands. Mine weren't in the recall. I'm not a rookie when it comes to working on cars bud. I'll be okay.
But even the replacement stands have been having issues as well.
 

Norm Peterson

corner barstool sitter
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Posts
7,648
Reaction score
3,466
Location
On a corner barstool not too far from I-95
First Name
Norm
Vehicle(s)
'08 GT #85, '19 WRX
Take care of your tools and use them properly and they'll last. I've had more than a few of mine for 50+ years, and some of the tools I inherited from my Dad are a good bit older than that.

Confidence comes from successfully getting through tasks of increasing complexity/difficulty.

When you find yourself unsure about something you're trying to do . . . stop doing and start thinking.


Norm
 

Sigma6

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2019
Posts
429
Reaction score
210
Location
NC
First Name
Jay
Vehicle(s)
2016 GT PP1
Props to you OP. I like where you heading. I think you should start a build thread in the other sub forum for members rides :)

Here's a formula you may want to consider:

100% of Mod Money --> 5 yr CD --> cash out CD --> down payment for next car.

What did I do when young:

100% of Mod Money --> Mods --> Blackhole --> The realization that I never reflect on my prior money pits as money well spent.
I’d assume you’re talking about modding a car doesn’t necessarily add long term value or you don’t get your money out? While that’s true (many save their stock parts and re install before they sell) you also have the “hobby” factory. If it’s a hobby, you aren’t expecting to get net positive. Bonus if you do. The only thing I’d add for the 2cents it’s worth is i wouldn’t (personally) don’t do much or anything to your dd car.

Because (for example) 1) you run into problems installing and have to be down 1/2 day you don’t have a means of transportation if something comes up 2) Running at any track over time you’re going to wear and or break parts leading to possibly being down your transportation 3) Not 100% if you’re under warranty yet but a lot of parts (aftermarket) void this. 4) the more you mod and get into hard-core racing the less friendly the ride becomes driving around (imo).

....take all the money you’re planning on spending on tools and parts and invest in a second older mustang new edge or s197. And then make that your dedicated track car. Build that up over time. It’s a lot easier to tear down something that worn or broken already than a brand new car or slightly used 2019. Just something to think about as I like to play devil’s advocate.
 

Norm Peterson

corner barstool sitter
Joined
Jul 22, 2013
Posts
7,648
Reaction score
3,466
Location
On a corner barstool not too far from I-95
First Name
Norm
Vehicle(s)
'08 GT #85, '19 WRX
Pier - read Big's post (as lightly restated below) carefully. It reads like he burned both himself and his bank account out when he was younger, and is now more interested in saving for the next "latest and greatest" factory stock than in making his current car more appealing to him. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, except that since you don't have to follow his footsteps it doesn't have to apply to you.
What did I do when young:
100% of Mod Money --> Mods --> Blackhole --> The realization that I never reflect on my prior money pits as money well spent.

What you may want to consider if you do the above:
100% of Mod Money --> 5 yr CD --> cash out CD --> down payment for next car.

So especially in the beginning, choose your mods carefully and with some real thought. Don't just do them because they can be done or because your buddy did such-and-such to his car or because you read about it on some internet forum or facebook page.

After you've done one mod, stop wrenching and go back to just driving for a while. Use the time for more of that real thought about any next mod, and don't knee-jerk yourself into doing it immediately upon thinking you know what this next mod might be. Let things simmer a bit; you may find that you've changed your mind. This approach has worked out really well for me over the years. Still is, actually.


Norm
 

Ebm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Posts
2,856
Reaction score
1,102
Location
North Carolina
First Name
Guy
Vehicle(s)
'14 GT
But even the replacement stands have been having issues as well.
That may be. In order to keep prices low, they have to sacrifice somewhere. Their tooling machines could be ancient and in need of repair, I'm not sure. I was just speaking from personal experience. My jack stands and floor jack have had no issues.
 

BLUE DEVIL

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Posts
128
Reaction score
75
Location
Bolingbrook, IL.
First Name
Greg
Vehicle(s)
2017 Mustang GT Prem - Perf Pack
In my best "My Dad's Voice". "Respect this car, it's not a toy and it can and will hurt you or others. Enjoy it, but remember you and your driving skills have limits, the car isn't going to know them.....you have to!!!
 

nrm101

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2020
Posts
72
Reaction score
22
Location
Mass
First Name
Nathan
Vehicle(s)
2019 Mustang GT Premium
Vehicle Showcase
1
At some point in our lives, we were all at the same stage as you. You buy what you need when you need it not before. There isn't any need to buy stuff you don't need at this point. Invest in a good jack and great jack stands. Get jacking rails for your car. They're literally 4 bolts per side and make lifting the car easy. You have an advantage that I didn't have when I was your age...internet and Youtube. Start small and work your way into bigger things as you gain experience.

3;/8" & 1/2" drive SAE & Metric socket sets
Vice Grips
Needlenose pliers
Channel Locks
Screwdriver set
Panel removal tools
Hammer

You can get a lot done with that for starters
21 MM impact socket :) always need one of those...
 

5.2 liters of democracy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2017
Posts
380
Reaction score
405
Location
Southern California
Vehicle(s)
2017 Avalanche Gray GT350, 2019 Performance Blue Raptor
Few things to consider:

1. Driver mod will always be the most effective thing to sink your money into and that will carry you through every car you own. The abilities of the car exceed the abilities of the vast majority of the people that will ever own them. Adding go-fast mods will only increase that margin.

2. Don't break your budget on tools. Tools will break and will need to be replaced, regardless of brand. Just start with a nice middle of the road brand like some have mentioned already. You may be able to find some nice tools at auto swap meets as well.

3. If you haven't done so already, go to the track before you do anything to the car. Adding a bunch of mods and then going to the track just to find out you don't like it will leave you will an awful feeling.

4. If you're set on modding, start with something like a short-throw shift kit that will make the car feel better without affecting vehicle dynamics.

When I was 24, granted that was only about five years ago, I wanted to add a supercharger to my previous car. I thought it was going to be the greatest possible thing I could do and that I couldn't go wrong. Who doesn't want more power? What I hadn't considered was the effect of the weight on the nose of the car and how it would change the vehicle dynamics. I ended up selling that car because I no longer enjoyed it, despite the power gain. Be careful when you're modding. Take your time and really get to the root of why you want that specific part. Learn from my mistake that it is entirely possible to enjoy a car less because of a mod.
 

TheSnowmanMafia

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 26, 2019
Posts
240
Reaction score
124
Location
Denver, CO
First Name
Andrew
Vehicle(s)
2019 GT Premium
AWESOME that a millennial is doing this. You're literally the first one I ever hear asking for help, so kudos to you :D.
What lol. I bought my GT PP1 brand new last year at 25. I feel like this isn't really a rarity?
 

Advertisement





 
50 - Livernois - 2


Advertisement
Top