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What is a Drag Pack and What Does it Do for My Mustang?

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Traction makes all the difference in reducing drag times. Having a wide, grippy set of tires is a fast way to get closer to your goals.

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Setting up your Mustang for drag requires planning and some forethought. There are some easy steps you can take, however, to get your Mustang ready.

American Muscle

Quick Tips and Suggestions

  • Upgrading stock suspension components to more durable, less spondgy parts can help your Mustang handle the power of a dragster
  • A set of shocks and struts set up for drag should be able to transfer weight to the back tires to keep the rear end planted
  • A set of rear gears will change how fast and how quickly your Mustang accelerates
  • Tires serve as your traction pad. Upgrading to wider tires or slicks will help make the most of your Mustang's power
  • Electric water pumps, aftermarket radiators, and oil coolers keep temperatures down and help your engine to last for run after run

Setting a Mustang Up for Drag Racing

One of the most important aspects quarter mile times is having the proper suspension set up. The factory suspension leaves a lot to be desired from a performance standpoint. Flexible stamped steel and squishy rubber allow a lot of suspension deflection, which leads to wheel hop and wasted energy. By upgrading your stock upper and lower control arms, you can successfully plant your power to the ground with minimal wheel hop. For a car that is mostly driven on the street, polyurethane suspension bushings make for a great balance. They're much stiffer than rubber, but still have some deflection. For a car that sees nothing but the track and limited street use, spherical bushings have the upper hand. They are much stiffer and allow for better articulation, while preventing deflection. They do transmit more noise into the cabin, and the bearings can wear out quickly from a lot of street use. As dirt and dust builds up from normal driving, it will tear the joint apart. Shocks and struts are equally important. You want to choose a set of shocks, struts, and springs that allow your car to transfer weight to the rear tires to provide more bite.

Prothane Mustang Bushing Set

Gear Ratios

Factory gear ratios make for great all around driving, but they have an emphasis on increased fuel economy for the average Mustang owner. For the dedicated racer, a more aggressive gear ratio is in order. The higher numerically a gear ratio is, the more quickly it will be able to propel your Mustang down the track. Most Mustangs that are drag race only use a 4.56 gear, which is a very aggressive ratio. Fuel economy will suffer, and its not a good gear for a daily driver that sees a lot of highway mileage. If you want to race your Mustangs at the drag strip and to the office every day, a gear ratio like a 3.73, 3.90, or 4.10 makes for a much more street friendly set up. It will get the car up and moving, without sacrificing too much fuel economy.

Mustang Ring and Pinion Gear Set

Choosing a Tire

The stickier a tire, the more traction you will have at the track. With improved suspension, a more aggressive gear ratio, and a desire to get some great ETs, you will find that stock tires and even summer performance tires are not up to the challenge at the track. Ideally, you would want to run a drag slick at the track. The lack of tread gives them the greatest contact patch available for maximum traction, but it also means they can’t evacuate water and will be downright dangerous to drive on the street. These should only be used when at the track. There are many street radials available with water channels to provide you with traction while driving in the rain or through puddles, but caution should still be used. When trying to maximize your Mustangs performance, you will also find that setting the tire pressure on your rear wheels at the recommended stock pressure is not good for maximum traction. You should lower the pressure and to play around with it until you find what works best with your car. Starting at 20-25 PSI and working your way down is a good way to figure out the best combo for you car.

2003 Mustang Cobra with Wide Mickey Thompson Tires

Keeping Cool

Heat is the enemy of power, and an engine running too hot will not give you peak performance. Its a good idea to upgrade your Mustangs cooling capacity if you plan to become a serious racer. Installing an electric water pump and installing a switch to allow you to manually turn on the pump and your fans is a great way to help cool your engine down after a race, and to help it get ready for the next one. If the hot coolant is allowed to sit in the block, it will heat soak the block and rob you of power on your next run. Oil coolers are another good upgrade for your Mustang. The hotter oil gets, the faster it will degrade, and the less protection it provides your engine. Keeping oil cool will extend the life of your oil, and help protect critical engine components.

Mishimoto Mustang Oil Cooler Kit
Fitment includes: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, GT, V6, Cobra, ShelbyGT500, Mach1, Bullitt, Boss, LX, SVO, EcoBoost, ShelbyGT350