Never felt like getting all the power the 5.0 should be putting out. Currently everything stock


Asked by Oct 16, 2011 at 11:42 AM about the 1994 Ford Mustang GT Coupe

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

20 Answers


Drop an LS1 in it.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

I have a 86 stock GT convertible and it's a screamer. You might need a good mechanic.


Like mentioned, you need a mechanic who's a 5.0 liter specialist ideally. There are a few overlooked areas on the 5.0 liters that can have a major impact on power and I've helped a few of my clients through problems like yours before. Here they are: Clean the throttle body and IAC valve assemblies with TB Cleaner (NOT carb cleaner). This will slightly improve airflow through the throttlebody if it's gunked up bad but more importantly, it will improve idle quality and throttle response. Check Throttle Position Sensor voltage at idle. The 5.0 has an adjustable throttle position sensor, but you'll need a set of tamper-proof Torx bits and a voltmeter, available at any auto parts store. Set the voltmeter to proper range (your max here will be about 4.5v). Positive lead to green wire, negative lead to good ground. You should be roughly 0.95-1.0v with the throttle completely closed, and a smooth transition up to a max of around 4.5v at wide open. Obviously do this with the key on, engine off to power the circuit. Clean the mass air element. This is tricky and best done by an expert. The mass air meter should have a burn-off circuit in it which is designed to clean the element, but this often fails and dirt builds up on the element. The mass air meter is used to measure the amount of airflow passing through the engine, so a dirt filament will mask airflow causing your computer to under-fuel the engine. Typical signs of this are a sharp drop in power as rpms increase and poor high-speed performance. You will probably need the tamper-proof Torx bits mentioned above to remove it. Disconnect the connector (it's the long one on the top just behind the filter assembly) and CAREFULLY remove the assembly from its tube. Clean it off with Electrical Parts Cleaner or Mass Air Cleaner (which is new to the market and produced specifically by CRC). Make sure your ignition timing is set properly. Search under your hood for a two-pin connector with a little gray block sticking out that looks more or less like a Lego piece. Remove this block. Now hook up a timing light and slip the inductive lead over the #1 plugwire (pass. side, furthest forward). You may need to get underneath the car and locate the timing marks on the balancer and clean them, marking the 10* ATDC with a small dot or line of white-out or bright nail-polish. Now start the engine and shoot the timing light at the timing tab which is located about 45-degrees off of twelve-oclock to the passenger side. If you are sitting LOWER than ten degrees, carefully loosen the distributor's hold-down bolt with a 1/2" socket, swivel, and extension til it's JUST loose enough to turn by hand..don't over-loosen it with the engine running or it will jump on its own causing a backfire and stall. Now 10* ATDC is your stock never want LESS than this. You can safely increase it to 12* for more performance but if you do, listen for pinging because you may need to run a higher octane fuel. On 93-octane, you can run up to a maximum of 14-15* of timing. Any more will not produce additional power. Don't forget to reinstall the gray connector after setting the timing and shutting down the motor. Don't run race fuel to "clean the engine out". This is an old wive's tale and is based on bogus science and rumors that have been handed down like a crappy t-shirt. And obviously, first and foremost, give it a good tuneup. This includes a clean air filter, fuel filter, spark plugs gapped properly (gap will be on a white sticker under your hood, I believe it is 0.52), plugwires installed and routed away from eachother with wire-spacers to avoid crossfire, a new distributor cap and rotor with *brass* terminals (the factory aluminum are junk), and new Oxygen Sensors if they have not been changed in the past 45,000 miles. These few little "insider tips" should help get the most out of your stock engine.

5 out of 5 people think this is helpful.

I should also mention that when cleaning the mass air meter, the filaments inside of it are fragile and will sometimes break. If you remove the meter and find a broken filament, replace the assembly.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Good info,but you wrote a book.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

y ruin a mustang w/ a pos chevy engin?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

if thats how u feel thats fine h/o i will keep my 5.0s and 429 cobra jet engins


HAHA The one's that get absolutely no power!? I'm glad you're keeping them, because they're worthless.


so ur saying that the engines that killed the camaro for 10 years are worthless? u no there is a reason camaros disappered for ten year they suck and are just cheap imatations of the mustang btw u can get over 700hp out of either of those engines....yea they lack power sure

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

The above argument is stupid... The Ford SEFI 5.0 made good power for its era and was a versatile engine that's proven itself over and over again in terms of durability and power production, though its peak is limited by O.E. block strength and 2-bolt mains. The 305 TPI Camaro was good competition for the Mustang GT and stock-for-stock, it really came down to the driver. What killed the Camaro and Firebird in that era though was that the TPI setup had poor aftermarket support, whereas Ford has an aftermarket so large that you can call AUTOZONE and they'll stock performance aftermarket parts for your Mustang half of the time. Now when GM started with the TPI 5.7 as an option...that made things interesting. But we all know who won that contest eventually. Past the early 90's, every F-body sold in the entire world was manufactured in *one* facility...Van Nuys, in Canada I believe....that's how hurt their sales were. Going to the 4.6 should have given Chevy the opening necessary to pull ahead, since they were producing MUCH better engines in the LT1 and then the bullet-proof LS1, but they priced themselves out of the market and seceded to a weaker car in the Mustang. It took TEN YEARS after the death of the F-body for the Mustang GT to finally get PROPER power again (SVT cobra not included).

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Yes, I'm saying they are worthless because without deep pockets, you won't make any power out of them. Let me ask you this, how much money are you spending to get that 700 horsepower. Was I talking about the 350? No. Was I talking about the LT1? No. I was talking about the LS1, and what's funny is I'm building a 750 Horsepower LS1 and I guarantee it's not as expensive as a ford engine would be to upgrade, because it doesn't have faulty engineering in the block. In fact Ford copied, that's right, copied Chevy's 6 bolt mains, and they still failed without further fortification. Ford is only known for it's rear axle, because that's the only reliable part of their vehicles. Everything else is poorly engineered, and will eventually rust away.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

well this is ur opinion but im taking my own real life experience and going to say that ive seen many ppl build up chevy engins dumping 2-4k in them and still not putting out near the same power as a ford with only 1k invested, if chevys are so reliable y r they always the cars i see broken down on the side of the road? ive been around cars my whole life i know what ppl say and what actualy is so o on ur little rant all u want its not gonna change anything....i know what ive seen and done before and experience has taught me to nvr trust anything from chevy cus chances are it will die in a week

Tell you what big mouth,when and if you ever get your 750 hp cheby running ,I got a 429 super cobra jet Torino Cobra,71 modle,look at it in my garage,Ill put it up againist your little cheby any time,any you say you got deep pockets,well i bet mine is deeper,put your money where your mouth is.we got a race or not.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

going along w/ others just have it checked by someone that knows what to look for and make sure its tuned right.....if u werent the original owner of the car chances are somebody tinkered with it a little bit and messed it up....h/e if u r the original owner the tuning goes out just through time....i have a 1994 5.0 gt and it puts out more power than i expected it too, they are great engines if they r set up right


The list I wrote up there is where you want to start.. Obviously there are other avenues you can take here, but those are your conventional tune-up methods that anyone should be able to figure out. I wrote you a novella for a reason....the things I mentioned are, 90% of the time, overlooked by a typical mechanic who is not an expert or thoroughly versed with the 5.0 platform and the EEC-4 computer system. What I gave you there is the "voodoo" to really make a 5.0 run tops. :)

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

if you put a chevy engine in a ford then you dont belong in this car club so stop trollin and go join a chevy one

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I'll take on what ever ls1 you have without going deep in my pockets and still run 10s with stock pistons and all motor.. wanna give it a go


Tell that Chevy Guy to kick rock till his toes bleed and get up out of this Ford Forum real talk thanks to the guy who put up all the useful info it helped me !!!

This is a forever battle between my sons and I! I have mustang GT he has 1989 Cameron with LS1 motor, the car is fast and bullet proof. However when it broke down he sure didn't hesitate to drive my mustang. It's the Hatfield and Mc cops really just personal preference. While I'm on here I'm getting a motor rebuild, it's all unhooked but something is holding it back from being removed. Any ideas?


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