The Ford Mustang has always been synonymous with power, speed, and the open road. For speed enthusiasts, the Mustang represents the embodiment of freedom and the thrill of the drive. However, as exciting as this legendary car can be, it comes equipped with a built-in speed limiter that restricts its top speed.
The speed limiter serves a safety purpose, but many Mustang owners always yearn to push their machines to their limits without any restrictions. Removing the speed limiter can be a tricky task that needs careful consideration and understanding of the responsibilities that come with it. In this article, we will explore the steps and considerations involved in removing or adjusting the speed limiter on a Mustang.
Speed Limiter Overview
A speed limiter is a device that’s used to put a cap on how fast a vehicle can go. In certain cases, depending on the type of vehicle and the laws in a particular place, having a speed limiter is mandatory. On the other hand, some manufacturers may choose to install a speed limiter that isn’t mandated by law. In this case, the person driving the vehicle can either set the limiter permanently or adjust it.
The primary purpose of a speed limiter is to ensure that a vehicle does not exceed a predetermined speed, usually set by the vehicle manufacturer or government regulations. For instance, in some regions, commercial vehicles like trucks and buses may be required to have speed limiters to promote road safety.
The Ford Mustang comes with a speed limiter that allows the driver to tweak the speed settings as they desire. The limiter can either come with the car or be added as an extra feature later. With this limiter, the driver can set the maximum speed they want the car to go, and they can also bypass it by removing it if they need to go faster.
How to Remove Speed Limiter on Mustang
Driving over the Mustang speed limit on public roads is illegal and dangerous. As such, most of the drivers who remove the speed limiter do so with the intention of using their vehicles for legally sanctioned track races.
In such environments, drivers have the opportunity to push their vehicles to their limits in a controlled and safe environment, where speed restrictions are defined by the track’s regulations rather than public road law.
It’s important to emphasize that the speed limiter is not a physical component but rather a program or setting within the car’s electronic control unit (ECU). The program can often be adjusted or removed through reprogramming. That said, here are the steps involved in removing the speed limiter on a Ford Mustang;
Check Local Regulations
Before making any modifications, research your local laws and regulations regarding vehicle speed limiters. Some places may have strict rules about tampering with or removing speed limiters, so ensure you’re in compliance with the law.
Identify the Vehicle Speed Limit Specifications
Understand your vehicle speed limit and how it functions in your specific Mustang model. The Ford Mustang speed limiter is programmed into the vehicle’s electronic control unit, and you can find this information in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. For instance, the top speed of the 2021 Ford Mustang GT is electronically limited to approximately 155 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour) to ensure safe operation under typical driving conditions.
Access the Vehicle’s Computer System
The ECU is essentially the brain of the vehicle, responsible for managing and controlling various functions, including engine performance and speed limitations. To remove or make changes to the speed limiter settings, you’ll need to access and modify this computer system.
Get a Tuning Device
Invest in a reputable tuning device that’s compatible with your Mustang model. The tuner, also known as a programmer, is a specialized tool designed to communicate with your vehicle’s ECU. Different models and engine types may require different tuners, so ensure to check compatibility carefully.
Ideally, the tuner allows you to reprogram the ECU to remove or change the speed limiter as desired. With the right tuning device, you can modify the speed limiter settings to either increase the top speed or remove it altogether.
To reprogram the ECU, you’ll typically need to connect the tuning device to your vehicle’s OBD-II (On-Board Diagnostics) port. This port is usually located beneath the dashboard, near the driver’s seat. Ensure that your vehicle is turned off before making the connection.
After connecting the tuning device, power it on according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The device will initiate communication with the ECU, allowing you to access and modify the speed limiter settings. Most tuning devices have user-friendly interfaces with on-screen prompts and menus.
Follow the on-screen instructions to navigate to the section related to the vehicle speed limiter settings. Depending on the device and your goals, you can either adjust the speed limit to a higher value or remove it entirely.
Be cautious not to set it too high, as this can be dangerous and may lead to unforeseen consequences. In addition, some tuning devices may prompt you to create a backup of your vehicle’s current ECU settings before making any changes. It’s often advisable to do so in case you need to revert to the original settings later.
Once you’ve made the desired adjustments to the speed limiter settings, follow the instructions to complete the programming process. This may involve uploading new software or code to the ECU. After programming is complete, the tuning device will usually provide a confirmation message. Ensure that the changes have been applied as intended.
Test and Monitor
After making changes, take your Mustang for a test drive to verify that the speed limiter has been adjusted or removed as desired. Pay close attention to how your vehicle handles at higher speeds and ensure that it remains safe and stable.
Take it slow and gradually increase your speed during testing. Don’t immediately push your Mustang to its maximum potential. Instead, ease into the new speed limits to become familiar with how your vehicle responds.
Pay close attention to how your Mustang handles and maintains stability as you reach higher speeds. Look for any signs of instability or unusual behavior. You may also want to test the braking performance at increased speeds to ensure that your car can safely slow down and stop when needed.
Always prioritize safety during the test drive. Ensure to wear your seatbelt and conduct the test in a safe and controlled environment. Also, ensure that your vehicle remains compliant with local speed limits and regulations during the test drive.
Considerations for Removing Speed Limiter on a Ford Mustang
- Safety- Removing or raising the speed limiter can increase the risk of accidents if not done responsibly. As we mentioned, always prioritize safety when making such modifications.
- Tire Rating- Ensure that your vehicle’s tires are rated for the higher speeds you intend to achieve after adjusting the limiter. Inadequate tires can lead to reduced control and increased safety risks.
- Legal Implications- Be aware of any legal consequences associated with altering the speed limiter. Non-compliance with local laws can result in fines or penalties.
- Warranty Impact- Modifying the speed limiter can void your vehicle’s warranty. As such, consider the potential warranty implications before making any changes.
- Track Use- If you plan to use your Mustang on a racetrack, it’s crucial to ensure the vehicle’s modifications meet track safety requirements and regulations.
- Responsible Driving- Regardless of the adjustments made to your Mustang, always practice responsible and safe driving. Ensure to adhere to local speed limits and drive within your vehicle’s capabilities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does my car reduce speed if it has a speed limiter?
Technically, a speed limiter doesn’t reduce your vehicle’s speed. Instead, it prevents you from exceeding a certain maximum speed, which is typically set by the manufacturer. When your car reaches the preset speed limit, the limiter will intervene and either cut off the fuel supply, reduce engine power, or apply the brakes to prevent the vehicle from going faster.
What is the top speed of the Ford Mustang without the limiter?
The top speed of a Ford Mustang without the speed limiter can vary depending on factors such as engine power, aerodynamics, tire rating, and other performance-related variables. But on average, some high-performance Mustangs are known to reach a top speed exceeding 180 mph (290 km/h) when the speed limiter is removed or adjusted.
Removing the speed limiter on your Mustang can be an effective way to tap into its hidden power and performance potential. With the proper tools and expertise, you can safely remove the speed limiter from your Mustang to enhance its power and performance while maintaining safety on the road. However, it is always a good idea to seek advice and guidance from a professional before proceeding with speed limiter removal.