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On Wednesday, Jan 5th, i had my motive 3.90 gears installed to my 2004 Mustang GT 5 speed. You can see what mods i have in my signature. My brother is an oil change tech at the local ford dealership, so he had a connection with the rear end tech guy. He agreed to install the gears for me, under the table for $150. (not including the price of gears, and a bearing, and some shims, and gear oil and lube.) I purchased my gears from www.mustangtuning.com for 152.99 including shipping. I also paid 47$ at the dealership for all the little extra parts that were needed to complete the install. (bearing, shims, fluid) I also purchased a Dallas Mustang Speedo Recal from Ninosport for 90$ shipped. (best price on the internet).
3.73's, 3.90's or 4.10's???
I decided to go with 3.90's...after a long, and agonizing debate on whether i should get 3.73 or 4.10's. It didnt take me long to totally and completely rule out any thought of getting 3.73's. Considering all the not so positive reviews about them. i.e. not enough bang for the buck. I was going to get 4.10's...but after watching those videos that somebody made of daily driving with his 4.10's in his car... http://forums.stangnet.com/showthread.php?t=521948 i quickly realized that for freeway use...those gears were just too steep. They put you at too high of an rpm. I truelly wanted to get 4.10's on my car, however, based on my normal driving routine they just seemed to be too much gear. I will say again: If i didnt have as much freeway driving, i would certaintly have purchased 4.10's. ill get into that a little bit more later in this review.
So i made the big decision to go with 3.90's....many considered this a gamble since ford doesnt make that size gear. But after talking to a guy who installs gears daily, for a living...i was assured that THE ONLY THING THAT COULD CAUSE GEAR WHINE IS THE QUALITY OF THE INSTALL. He also told me that 3.90's are a tricky gear to install in mustangs. Therefor to have somebody who KNOWS what they are doing, install them, because just because your good at installing 3.73's, or 4.10's on a mustang, doesnt mean you will be 100% successfull with the 3.90's. I was going to have this gentleman install them on my car. He was a ford tech for 7 years, and now is he gear man at a local performance shop. he was going to charge me 200 for the gear install, not including parts. He was also going to install my DM speeo for 60$. I really wanted to have this guy do the install...i talked to him a few times...and he reallly seemed to know his ****. But my brother convinced me to have his tech buddy at ford do it, for cheaper. In a way i was reluctant, but i figured who better to do it than somebody that actually works at ford, and in the process save a few bucks.
THE DAY OF THE INSTALL:
I had the gears at my house..and waited nearly two weeks for a day that my gear installer would have a chance to install them. (since he was doing it on work hours, he had to do them on a day that wasnt going to be very busy.)
It was wednesday the 5th, and was a normal work day for me. I went home for my hour lunch break. When i got home i decided to call my bro to see whats up, mainly to see when my damn gears could go in. My brother made my day when he said "dude...bring your car down here, he can do it this afternoon for sure" My heart was racing. I hastly made a sandwich and downed it faster than any other BLT in history. Got in my car and drove 10 minutes to the dealership. I dropped off my car, with the gears and took my brothers mustang (my old one) back to work. I seriously thought about it alllll day. I checked the clock every minute, waiting impatiently for 4 o'clock to come, so id be off of work, and could go get my car. the tech guy started working on it at 2pm..and said it would take almost 3 hours to install. So i figured i would have plenty of time to go home, get changed, and go to the dealership just intime for the install to be finished. i arrived at the dealership at 430. i walked right up to my car as he was installing them. i was realllly neet to see what the inside of a gear box looks like. But i quickly left the pit area so i wouldnt interfer with his concentration for my precious gear install. Which i have to admit was VERY nerve wracking for me. You fellas have no damn idea how nervious i was about gear whine. scared *****less. I go talk to my bro while he changes some other cars oil. My bro said the install was going well. Another guy (that i knew from high school) came over to say hello. In a nut shell he told me that the gear installer had been having a difficult time with the install. Quote "pain in the *** to line them up right" he told me he spent 30 minutes alone doing that. I got kinda nervious...but my buddy assured me that he got everything in there right, it just took a little longer than other gears he had done. I breathed a sigh of relief. My tech finally finished installing them at about 540. Yes it was a long install. He went out and took it for a test drive with another tech to see if they felt right. I heard them tear *** out of the car lot, lol. But i didnt care, cuz i figured he was doing what he needed to do to see if they were properly set up. he came back 5 minutes later. He told me they felt great, and the install was a success. I of course asked "does my car feel fast?" lol. he replied "well, we only got sideways once" i laughed. The guy looked incredibly tired though. it was almost 6pm..and he normally leaves at 4 pm. not to mention, having your hands about your head for a few hours on end is very tiring. I asked him about how difficult it was to line the gears up..he said that it was a b!tch. he mentioned that he installed those same exact gears on his car (not a mustang) and had no problem. this proved the point that 3.90's are definitly tricky to install on mustangs. But he assured me that the install was successful. I told him that i felt i should pay him more than 150 because of the difficulty. he said no, dont worry about it..but i could TOTALLY notice that he wanted to say "damn right you should pay me more" ..but he didnt say that. I have him 200$. i believe, and so did he, that 200$ was a fair payment. I mean...most people have their gears installed for over 300$.
BREAKING THE GEARS IN:
I pulled out of the car lot just dying to see what my car could do. But my tech guy told me to take it easy for 500 miles. I didnt like the sound of that. I have heard numerous people say that you should drive the car around, heat up the gears, let the gears cool down, 3 times and then they are fine to beat on. I have a buddy with a 12 second 5.0 (his second) he had 3.73s on both cars, and never broke them in at all. he told me both cars..he beat the **** out of it the second after leaving the installer, and he never had any problems. I decided that i would take it easy for several days....give my car around a dozen times to heat up, and cool down. During this process i never really took it over 3k rpms. I was amazed to see just how fast the rpms get to 2k. (where i normally shift at) 1st gear goes very fast... as i expected it too. But its not TOOO fast. Not nearly fast enough to where you'd want to start in 2nd or something. So ya, i took it very easy on the gears. I took the car out 3 times wednesday night. Waiting an hour between my 20 minute drives. The next day, thursday...i took it out a few times (to, and from work) and took it easy as well. Thursday night i took her out for a 25 minute drive with a buddy. I did, floor it in 2nd..and quickly noticed that it pulls just about as hard has 1st used to. *impressive* but i took it easy after that. I had my buddy pull along side me so we could see just how fast i was going. (it was difficult driving around for 24 hours not knowing exactly how fast i was going..but i had a feeling it was around 10mph too fast. So i told my buddy to drive along side me at exactly 45 mph...my speedo said i was going about 54mph. so now i just drive 10mph faster on my speedo than what the speed limit is. I continued to take it easy all day friday, with the exception of accelerating quickly a few times, but never going over 4k. Actually i was curious to see how fast my rpms would go up in 1st...so i gave it half throttle one time..and wow..i was at 4k before i knew it. *impressive* last night, saturday night..i did quite a bit of driving. i went out with some friends...and practically drove all over town to a few places we went. That gave my gears a great chance to heat up and cool down a few times. I decided when i got home, that my gears were pretty much broken in. I took the stang out this afternoon. i drove it around for about 15 miles before getting on it.
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2004 Dark Shadow Gray Mustang GT 5 Speed
Mac Off Road H-Pipe
Motive Performance 3.90's
DM Speedo Recal
I went and picked up my buddy, who was practically just as excited as i was to see what my car could do now. He was with me for the very first time i floored it in 1st. we pulled out of his million dollar development and went left when there were no cars around. i lined up, held it at 2500rpms...we both were practically at climax just dying to see how fast we were about to accelerate. wow...it was lilke having sex for the first time..haha i was just soo damn excited knowing that i was literally 2 seconds away from flooring it...i had waited soooo damn long for this... you have no idea how difficult it was for me to drive like a b1tch for a few days knowing that my gears were FINALLY in. i mashed it. I didnt peel out..but damn...we were thown back in our seats...i gently, but quickly put it in second...still glued to our seats..i let off while going into third. im not entirely sure how fast i was going. with my 3.27's...i would redline in 2nd at about 60 mph. i have a feeling i was going 50-55 with my 3.90's when i was about to go into third. but i really dont know. we both started laughing after i let off the gas...we were laughing because of how impressed we were. My buddy knew very well what my car was capable off before the install. (i let him drive it once with me in it) we did this about two more times. once time, going about 60, i down shifted to 3rd...it pulled great. felt almost like 2nd used to.
DAILY DRIVING WITH 3.90's
I absolutely love these damn gears. I am very glad i didnt get 3.73's. I am a little disapointed that i couldnt get 4.10's..cuz these 3.90's are in no way, too much for the streets. 4.10's would be great for people who dont use the freeway much. infact..they would be perfect. 3.90's are plenty...but maybe not enough for street driving only people. But like i said...for freeways...is a whole different story. I took my 3.90's on the freeway. 5th gear feels great now. It's actually good for something. i have not yet gone WOT in 4th yet on the freeway. but i will soon...i have a perfect picture in my mind on just how good it will feel. the rpms are definitly higher ont he freeway than they used to be. i was going 65mph in 5th...and was at 2k rpms. with my 3.27's i would be at exactly 75mph at 2k. my car is really noisy on the freeway now. but if i go about 75-80...you get out of that drone field and its not quite so noisy. I dont mind the noise..but i had a girl in the car last night on the freeway..and i could tell she thought it was a little too noisy, lol. but i know she likes it. Overall, the rpms are about 600rpms higher than they were before. Yes, its higher..but not THAT bad. 4.10's would definitly be worse...considering 80mph is 3k ....and in my car with 3.90's its like 2600rpms. *give or take 100rpms because of innacurate speedo, but im pretty sure i got a beat on it*
DM SPEEDO RECAL INSTALL
I ATTEMPTED to install this the other day. i was unsuccessful. i could not, for the life of me, figure out step 5. http://www.dallasmustang.com/index....s=SpeedCal_Inst i am going to have my dad take a look...he might be able to figure it out. if not...i might have to pay 60$ to have it installed. *i DONT WANT TO PAY TO HAVE IT INSTALLED...i like working on my car..and i dont feel like spending any more money on the gear stuff* but we'll see. Either way, it will be in, in the next few days.
Gears truelly are the biggest bang for the buck. I am 100% satisfied with my gears...they pull hard, the rpms are reasonable..and there is NO gear whine! i love being able to drive 35mph in 5th gear....and not even be close to bogging. i dont even have to down shift anymore. I can take corners in 3rd without bogging too. Man my car feels fast!!!!! I was very concerned about my stock tires though. i had been doing A LOT of research on getting two nitto's for the rear. but after driving...they arent necessary at all. *well, at the tracks , ha, but i really didnt have much trouble with peeling out today* when i went from 1st to second, my car got sideways more than it used to...and i can tell my car WANTS to peel out hell of easy..but when you feather the clutch, like i was doing today...its not a problem...just takes some getting used to. truthfully...my car feels like a whole new engine was put in. i mean...my car feels much lighter...it just pulls harder in every gear. It even makes my exhaust sound better, because naturally most exhausts sound better at a higher rpm..and since im at a higher rpm much more quickly...the exhaust has less rasp...and sounds smoother. I have no complaints. If i could do it all over again, i would stay with the 3.90's. But i hope i never drive in a car with 4.10's..cuz they WILL be that much better. Just with my freeway driving..it wouldnt be worth the higher rpm. but again! If you dont have much freeway..get the 4.10's...cuz i can picture what those might feel like..and its good. Never get 3.73's unless you do A LOT of freeway. If your half and half like myself...3.90's are your gear.
TOTAL COST FOR GEARS *gears, small parts, speedo recal, install* = $490
Sorry for this being soo damn long and unorganized. please send me a pm , or instant message me with questions..cuz im sure i left stuff out that some of you might want to know about. my aim screen name is: jimboC066
2004 Dark Shadow Gray Mustang GT 5 Speed
Mac Off Road H-Pipe
Motive Performance 3.90's
DM Speedo Recal
You can now cross off 3.90 from your "soon to come" list in your sig
I was thinking about 3.90 too but I also want to add a supercharger and I heard that 3.73 was the max you should go for a supercharger. But theres always that what if I don't get a supercharger so I'm all lost in what I should do.
__________________ 2002 Saleen Mustang S281 #379
-Steeda rear Upper & Lower Control arms
-Saleen Bassani O/R X-pipe,Borla catback w/ Chicane center exhaust
-Saleen Pullies + intake
- VIS Cobra R hood: 3.5 in. cowl
-SCT 4 bank chip w/ 1 tune
-19'' black 5-spokes with 3 1/2'' lip
-FRPP 70mm TB
-MM front coil over kit
-MM caster/camber plates
-13'' Front CobraR brakes w/ Cobra rear
Don't apologize for your post being long. I enjoyed reading your take on your new gears. And hands down, if you own a standard tranny, gears are the best bang for the buck. If you own an auto tranny - TORQUE CONVERTER. But of course you will need taller gears with the converter too.
Nice write up! I'm glad you are enjoying your new gears. 3.90's are a good choice for a daily driver. Feels like a whole different car now I bet. 4.10's would have been good also but there is not much difference between them and you'll keep your rpm's down.
Thanks for the kick A## write up, im definetely going 3.90 for my car now. This was the perfect review of the 3.90's i was looking for. Only wish i could find a good install for less than $350, here in columbus,GA thats the best price I can find, and I don't have any friends in the business.