How to Upgrade Your 1999-2004 Mustang's Fuel System
What are the main 1999-2004 Mustang fuel system parts that need upgrading?
While there are other factors that will affect what kind of fuel setup you will need, there are three basic parts that will be upgraded when you go to overhaul your 1999-2004 fuel system to support bolt-on modifications. The fuel pump, fuel lines and rails, and injectors are what keep the fuel flowing through your system. How to figure out what setup or flow rate to use will depend on your horsepower goals and the existing modifications to the car. It is very important to assure that the vehicle had adequate fuel; else you may end up spending large sums of money fixing engine related problems. Supporting mods like fuel system upgrades are crucial!
Not until you are making some serious power or just want total control over your fuel setup will you have to upgrade the fuel management system. For a daily driver or street/strip car, these are the main areas you want to upgrade your fuel system.
When Upgrading a 1999-2004 Mustang’s Fuel System:
• There are three primary part upgrades: fuel pump, fuel lines and rails, and fuel injectors
• Fuel injectors deliver the fuel to the cylinder chamber
• Fuel lines and fuel rails are how fuel is delivered from the pump to the injectors and into your engine’s cylinders
• Fuel pumps must adequately supply fuel at a reliable duty cycle
Injectors: When will my 1999-2004 Mustang need a new set?
The car’s computer receives its data from various sensors such as the mass air meter, crankshaft sensor, fuel pressure sensor, and temperature sensors. The car then sends a signal to the fuel pump telling it how much fuel to push out which goes through the lines and fuel rails and comes out of the injectors are a certain calibrated amount. The injector is what delivers the fuel to the cylinder chamber for combustion to take place.
Injectors are rated as pounds per hour. This is how you determine how much fuel the injector is capable of delivering. On stock 1999-2004 Mustang GTs, the factory fuel injector size is 19 lb/hr. Other 4v models came with 24 lb/hr injectors and the supercharged 03/04 Cobra came with 42 lb/hr injectors to accompany the compressed air of the forced induction.
When you upgrade injectors make sure that you have your mass air flow meter calibrated to whatever size injector you are using. This is a must. You can also consider buying an aftermarket mass air flow meter or purchasing a MAFia connector to calibrate your existing mass air flow.
Do I need to upgrade the 1999-2004 Mustang’s fuel rails and fuel lines too?
The only way the fuel can make it from the pump to the injectors is by the fuel lines and fuel rails. The factory equipment is sufficient for slightly modified builds, but if you are running some type of power adder then it is recommended that upgrade these components of the fuel system as well. Aftermarket fuel rails will allow more fuel to flow through to the injectors. The 99-04 Mustangs use a return-less fuel system while the earlier models use a return style system, so make sure you get the correct equipment for your application.
It is not necessary to have a power adder to install aftermarket fuel rails. Some people buy them simply because they look better. Aftermarket fuel rails are often anodized aluminum and look far better than the OEM fuel rails. These will add a nice touch to your engine bay if you enjoy entering your car into local car shows.
Your 1999-2004 Mustang’s Fuel Pump
Assuming you have the rest of your fuel system picked out the last part you’ll need for setup is a fuel pump. You need to make sure the fuel pump can adequately supply fuel at a reliable duty cycle. The fuel pump(s) used in the 1999-2004 Mustangs is different from the ones used in the earlier years. This is because the 1999-2004 models use a returnless fuel system, so make sure the pump you pick is compatible with your setup.
If you find that you still need a little bit more out the fuel pump that you chose you can purchase a boost-a-pump or inline fuel booster. This will regulate voltage sent to the fuel pump and is activated when a car is either in boost or at full throttle in order to meet the demands. This allows you the get the flow of fuel you need at higher RPMS without overloading the fuel system. It is a fairly easy install job and should definitely be considered with any high horsepower application.