SHO Modifications

Due to financial constraints on my part, I have not been able to do any modifications to the Phoenix Project and therefore not many guides have shown up here as of yet.

Installing Aluminum Subframe Bushings

Swaybars, Springs, and Struts. Which ones to buy?

Installing High Performance Rear Swaybar Bushings

Here is a compilation of several posts made on SHOforum about modifying the SHO.
They are quite exhaustive, so enjoy!

First thing to do, MAINTAINANCE!
cannot stress the importance of that enough

Next, Quaife ATB differential

This somewhat coincides with the maintainance listed above. Obviously do not buy stock rubber bushings to replace old worn out ones, and then swap them again for TPR or polyurethane ones later.

I will not put these in a particular order, as the order each individual does them will depend on the needs of their car.
Specifics include the following;

Struts: Koni inserts, Tokicos, KYBs

Springs: Eibachs, Intrax, Moog Cargo Coils, and where applicable and when you can find them, SHO Shop linears

Tied in with those, Coilovers. Midwest and Ground Control both offer kits. A handful of other manufacturers have produced them in the past, and may be available pre-owned.

Bushings. Polyurethane and TPR are the two usual choices. Applications include sway bar to body mounts, sway bar endlinks(rear) and strut rods. Again, there are some oddball materials floating around like Delrin, but they are no longer in production.

Strut Tower braces. They are made for both front and rear. Plenty of choices in regards to where you buy them. Some are steel, some are aluminum, and their used to be carbon fiber also.

H-brace. Tons of places to get these as well. Mostly all steel, but I think I have seen aluminum as well.

Tubular rear control arms. GM GTPs are a popular choice. FPS makes aluminum ones. TCEs are no longer in production. These provide alignment adjustment. Very handy on lowered cars and track cars.

Rear knuckle braces. Only required if you track your car, and then only if you run race rubber. Some folks put them on anyway, as an "better safe than sorry" kind of thing.

Subframe bushings. Aluminum cup or ring style. Thats as far as I go on that debate. Delrin may or may not still be around somewhere as well.

Subframe connectors. A few options on these as well. Some are long, some are short. Thickness of the steel is the only other real difference to note.

Front camber plates. Used on lowered cars to get the alignment into spec.

Motor mounts. Not neseccarily suspension, but important to note and this seems a good time to do it. There are a few levels of reinforcment available, and a few places to get them. SHO motor mounts are notoriously weak, and should definately be upgraded.

Engine torque limiters. Goes hand in hand with motor mounts.


For fronts, depending on the year of the car in questioon, you can choose from a wide variety of upgrades. 11.6 96 Taurus brakes, Wilwood and PBR offer kits (through specific vendors) up to 13" with calipers running 2,4,or 6 pistons.

The rear you can upgrade to Gen 1 vented 10", 11.6, and some have even gone as far as 13" as well.

Brake bias plugs. Only for ABS equipped cars. They allow more braking force to be applied to the rear brakes.

Fluids and pads are way too big a discussion to get into.


Clutch kits. We have a TON of options for clutch kits. Opinions vary here as well. Choose the clutch kit based on the power you are making, driving style, and budget.

Flywheels. Billet steel lightweight, or aluminum. If you are planning to do one, do it at the same time as the clutch!

Throw out bearings. SHO nut offers ceramic throwout bearings. There may be other ones as well. If so, someone please chime in. Most clutch kits come with them, as well as the clutch disc and pressure plate. Hence the term "kit"

CV Axles. SHOnut offers heavy duty "stage 5" axle shafts. These are for any car running slicks/drag radials, or making big horsepower.

Transaxle fluid is another one too big to get into right now.

Other. There are various treatments that can be done to the internals of the transaxle. Cryo, ceramalube, etc. The benifits of each have been debated endlessly. If you believe in them, go for it!

Racing gearsets. SHOnut (again!) offers serious race gears for the manual transaxle. These are for the big horsepower/torgue cars. Also, a 4.30 final drive ratio kit may be on the horizon.


The first and best modification to do for an MTX is the Y-pipe. This can be found at the SHOShop, Midwest or PP. There is also the Catco (I think that’s how its spelled) which was a cheaper version.

The next one would be the MAF. You can go with a PRO-M unit, C&L or the Ford 80mm. The Pro-M requires no tuning and usually has good results. The C&L tends to have problems. The Ford MAF requires an LPM for tuning though you can pull the MAF from the junk yard.

You can also get an intake, which will not work with the 80mm PRO-M but will work with others. This will only add a couple horsepower at best but odes make the engine sound better. Most say to spend you money elsewhere.

Now if you want to go with an all bolt on MTX then you would go to cams. if you want to save yourself the work of swapping cams in the 3.0 and plan on going to a 3.2 then you should do the cams at the same time of the 3.2 swap. This will save you in labor but if you can only do one, then it comes down to the time you have and money.

The SHOrt throw shifter would be the only true short throw shifter as opposed to just a shorted rod shifter. It does take more of a mechanical advantage. The rod shifter upgrade should be done on 89-91 SHOs with cable shifters as over time the cable loossens up and causes sloppy shifters.

The next best modification would probably be the 3.2 though some might argue cams. You can usually find a 3.2 in the junkyard for a couple hundred. Usually you would want to the 60k and replace as many gaskets as possible. Also it would be recommended to to the rod bearings at this point unless you know the history of the engine. Some just drop in the engine with little or no work. Others rebuild it. It all depends on time and money. It can run from a couple hundred to a $1kor so. The other option is to get a 3.2 rebuild from the SHOShop for either high compression or low compression (boost).

Cams can either come before, during or after the 3.2 swap depending on your priorities. Currently only The SHOShop only offers cams but Midwest is coming out with their own. There are also a couple of custom grinds out there as well. The SHOShop cams can be expensive running $650 for a set but they are on sale for $450 right now. The SHOShop has 2 grinds the first gain 15hp and can pass smog. The second gain 25hp and have a rough idle. You do not need tuning to see gains from them but to see the maximum gain tuning is preferred.

There are cam gears offered by SHONut but gains tend to be minimal with them and are only used on custom cams.

At the same time as cams should be done are Big Bore Butterflies and Ported Intake (or Extrude Honed). Some say you wont see much gains unless you are more modified. If you do decide to get them have your intake painted or powder coated afterwards so they don’t get damaged. The difference between the ported and honed intakes in gain tend to me minimal and usually are not worth the extra price unless you can get in on a group buy.
The overbored throttle bodies may gain a couple of horse power but that is usually only on heavily modified SHOs. mustangs pushing over 500hp run throttle bodies the same as ours. For most this upgrade isnt worth it. The space I think just moves the peak horse power band from what I understand. I could be wrong.
The phenolic intake spacer is used more for cooling or when clearance is needed during a SHO motor swap.

Head work should be done during an engine swap as that would the best time. The SHO heads already flow well but still can be improved. The SHOShop does offer head work as well as over sized valves. You could find a shop to do the work as well. As far as valve springs use stock ones as they work just fine.

Mufflers or a Catback will help only a little bit. SHOShop and Midwest both offer Cat Back systems but for the money you may be better off buying mufflers and having a custom system done by an exhaust shop.
Headers. Something that everyone wants but only a few have. To have a custom set done you are looking at $1k plus. Rikety makes headers but will only do it on a group buy. A few N/A SHOs have seen some gains usually over the gains of a Y-pipe. Where as the SHOShop did testing and felt it wasnt worth it. The headers replace the Y-Pipe and usually are ran with a true dual system though some go back into a Y. The gains are more seen on S/C SHOs. Fred saw gains over his Y-Pipe on his supercharged setup.

For injectors you should use the 3.2 injectors if you do the swap otherwise the 3.0s are fine. If you go to forced induction SHOShop offer some as well.

For the fuel pump there is the 190LPH and 255LPH units. These can be found at the SHOShop, Midwest SHO, and SP Motorsports. The 190 is good for most applications and the 255 tends to be used for forced induction.

Spark plugs and wires are usually a maintenance item. Only Motorcraft plugs work unless you need specials for Nitrous then there are some that will work. As far as wires, stock work fine but Taylor wires are a good upgrade. They can be found at above-mentioned places. Coil packs are not needed.
The MSD Ignition is relaly not worth the money .You wont see too much gains even with a supercharges setup. Most S/C setups run stock ignition.

Nitrous is a cheap alternative to supercharging. Midwest SHO and SP Motorsports offer kits. Zex is the best kit to use but NOS has been used on a couple of cars.

For Tuning there is the LPM, Tweecer, and SCTuner. They can be found at all above mentioned places as well as SHONut. The LPM can only be tuned by either the SHOShop or TedB. This is a fairly good chip but must be shipped off for programming. Both the Tweecer and SCTuner can be done on the fly but the Tweecer has real time data logging. There is also the Superchip but most have not had good results with these.

Lastly there is Forced Induction. The SHOShop offers a complete kit for the MTX only. There are 3 stages and cost $5k plus. There is also the Doug Lewis Kit which can be used on an ATX (not recommended unless the tranny has been worked on ) but it is not sold as a kit. Only 2 cars that I know of have been turboed, and both are custom jobs. These should only be done if you know what you are getting into. The rest of the car should be upgraded but not necessary. The MTX should have a Quafie. The tranny can handle the power up to around 300ftlb, cryo treating will help but not much. SHONut offers a gear set to handle up to around 500ftlb but it runs $6k.

For an ATX ignore the stuff on the 3.2 swap. The ATX can benefit from a Y-Pipe but not as much as an MTX becasue it is a better design. Performance Plus does offer an ATX Y-Pipe but it runs over $500 for cheaper alternative, a custome job is the only other choice. The ATX can also benefit from a LPM for shifting and if you have a 93 the 95 computer will help. Midwest also offers a differential for it as well. There is also the Trans-Go shift kit as well. If you plan on Nitrous, heaving modifications or FI then the tranny should be heavily worked over. The SHOShop also offers a 3.3 upgrade as well for a small gain.

There is as the Phantom Grip differential which is clutch style differential and due to its installation it actually weakens the differential by removing 2 gears, it is not worth the money at all. A few have been destroyed by it.

The air intake sensor mod that you often see on eBay (ADD 20hp OR MORE!!!) is worthless along with the Tornado.