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How to Build a Widebody S550 Mustang

How to Build a Widebody S550 Mustang

Have you seen Ken Block’s Hoonicorn Mustang? That thing is low, that thing is wide, and that thing is mean. Everything is essentially custom built, and it all comes together to make one sinister looking Mustang. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have a huge team of sponsors standing behind us. However, creating a wide, low look for our Mustangs needn’t be a million dollar affair. There are tons of off the shelf parts, once painted to match, can really add and change the look of any S550 Mustang to make it a little more “a la Hoonigan” if you will.

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Widening your Mustang requires you to alter the body, and if you want it to look as streamlined as it did from the factory you'll want to select your parts carefully. Various brands offer multiple styles to give you the exact look your craving.

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How Wheel Spacers Widen Your Mustang

Wheel spacers are, without a doubt, the easiest and cheapest way to widen the stance of any Mustang. Usually 1” or an 1-1/4” in width, wheel spacers (or rather, adapters) bolt to the stock hub and offer a secondary face for the wheel to bolt up to. They are a fast and easy way to widen the stance of the car. However, just be sure everything is properly mounted and balanced. Many wheel spacers are universal, and thus will not be hub centric. Some can accommodate hub centering rings whilst others cannot. It is always best to go with a hub centric spacer as opposed to a lug centric spacer, since hub centric spacers are less likely to suffer from abnormal vibrations. It is also very important to make sure both the spacer and the wheel are well balanced, or vibration will ensue.

2015-2017 Mustang with 1.5in. Hubcentric Wheel Spacers Installed
1.5in. Wheel Spacers Before and After

S550 Body Kits

Many may envision the awful 90’s style, 4-foot high and 8-foot wide spoilers Civic drivers used to employ on their trunk lids, or perhaps the bubble-style rear bumpers that would shoot out the back of a Mitsubishi Eclipse, scraping the ground at every turn. These are the body kits of yore, where flamboyant looks and poor build quality was the norm.

S550 owners, however, need not cringe when they hear the term ‘body kit’ in relation to their Mustang. The aftermarket has plenty of well-built, actually tasteful items that can personalize your S550 and really give it a mean look. If a wider and lower stance is something you are after, definitely give the latest body kits a look.‚Äč

CDC Outlaw Chin Spoiler Installed on a 2015-2017 Mustang

Most body kits comprise of a remodeled front fascia, a new rear bumper cover and also a re-designed rocker panel cover to tie the front and the rear together. The kits may be a simple appearance package of another model (for example the GT350), or a totally fresh look as envisioned by aftermarket manufacturers. The front often comes with a more angular design, a larger chin and a revised grille. Rear bumper covers typically droop lower, are also more chiseled, feature additional vents, and have a remade diffuser. Rocker panel covers are typically wider and more aggressively sculpted over stock. All in all, the purpose of aftermarket body kits is to tighten up the gaps of the Mustang and add more meat to the bone, to produce a wider, lower and meaner stance.

Another great area to concentrate on is just aft of the doors, by the quarter panel. That is a perfect location to add a rear quarter panel side scoop, which really, and I mean really, visually widens the hips of the S550 when looked at from the front or the rear.

MMD Rear Diffuser Fins Installed on a 2015-2017 Mustang

The Effectiveness of Fender Flares

Another aspect of the Hoonigan Mustang that gives it its crazy look is the fenders. Each fender has been massively flared as if it were something out of a Mad Max movie (actually, the entire Mustang looks as if it was from that movie).

S550 owners can replicate this look on their own Mustang (mind you, in a milder manner, as the Hoonicorn’s flares are just insanse!). Not only are they for visual appeal, but they have a functional aspect to them as well. This aspect is the ability to stuff an even wider wheel and tire in there to really achieve the widebody look.

The Shelby 1000 Conversion

Imagine all of the above, combined into one seamless, high quality package. Yes, such a thing exists, and such a thing goes by the name of a Shelby 1000 conversion. Modeled after the Shelby widebody car, the conversion kit consists of completely reworked body panels to change a base S550 into a Shelby 1000. Huge, sweeping fender flares are rolled seamlessly into the front and rear haunches, designed to house 20x13” wheels in the back and 20x10” in the front. The rocker panels too are widened to bridge the gap between front and rear.

Whilst aesthetically breath taking, the Shelby 1000 conversion is NOT for the faint of heart. As far as plastic surgery goes on a car, this is about as in-depth as it gets. It isn’t a matter of grabbing some double-sided tape and sticking it on. Rather, the stock panels have to come off and the new Shelby 1000’s put in their place, which requires some very tricky body work. The kit needs to be installed professionally. But once it is done, boy, does it sure look good. 

2015-2017 Mustang with MMD Matte Black Wheels 20x10
20x10 Wheels on All Four Corners

Keys to a Widebody Mustang

  • Wheel spacers – push the wheels farther out for a wider track 
  • Body kit – add meat to the bone with new front and rear bumpers
  • Side scoops – add some muscle to the hips with quarter panel side scoops
  • Shelby 1000 conversion – the ultimate phat booty, widebody look out there
Fitment includes: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, GT, V6, EcoBoost