Lest it be forgotten that there is also a mustang in the household (that I don’t own, but do maintain and drive regularly), and last weekend was some needed mustang maintenance.

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With all the time and effort (and money) being spent on the Pajero lately, I didn’t want the mustang to feel ignored. At 57K, it was due for an oil change and it felt like about time for a minor tune up.

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First up was an oil change and tire rotation. The tires being off also provided a convenient oppotunity to replace the fender liner in the right front wheel well. There had been an incident with a truck tire carcass on I-10 that took a chunk out of it. We don’t talk about the incident.

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Up next were fresh belts. The A/C belt is a stretch fit, which is how you know design, durability and build quality weren’t the priority, and to be honest, nothing could possibly feel more right on a car from Detroit.

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Going up top, it got a new set of spark plugs, PCV valve and intake plenum gasket. Why the later? Because also fitting for questionable American car design, you have to remove take manifold to remove the #2 bank ignition coils. This piece of Ford engineering ineptness was pretty surprising. It’s not like the Japanese and Europeans figured out how the make the rear bank spark plug/wires/coils serviceable without removing the manifold on even transverse V6 applications in 80's or anything. Even the Italians had this figured out by the 90's. Spark plug gaps were worn .003-.005 out of spec after 57K.

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Moving back under the car, the manual transmission got some fresh fluid. Curiously, the spec’d oil for the 6-speed manual in current gen mustangs is Ford’s Dual Clutch Transmission Fluid. I had to verify that from a couple of sources before I could bring myself to order this expensive stuff. I’d be curious to know the specs on it, because it sure seemed a lot like a lightweight GL4 type gear oil. Say, something along the lines of 10w-60 oil without the additive pack for a combustion application. I’m going to guess specing this kind of lightweight oil probably has something to do with EPA CAFE standards and fractional gains in efficiency.

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The rear differential also got some fresh gear oil. Rockauto had Ford’s OEM synthetic gear oil for cheap, so I added that and some friction modifier to the order with the rest of the parts.

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Mustang day finished up with a wash and interior Svending. The wind and dust ended up picking enough that I wasn’t willing to claybar and wax the outside. Maybe this weekend.

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One of the ponies had wandered off, so I also sourced a replacement center cap from eBay. The car now has a full stable of ponies again.

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For as much as I complain about some shoddy engineering decisions, it has still been a really good car. It can be easy to overlook that even in base, V6/manual spec, the S550 mustang is a legitimately good sports car for surprisingly little money when it was new.

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