New owner: 2019 Taurus SHO PP, black [Los Angeles].

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studio460

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I feel lucky to have just found a 2019 Ford Taurus SHO in black with the performance package (but not the 12-speaker Sony system or sunroof). It's the lowest-mileage SHO I've seen at only 14,2XX miles. Coming from a 2003 Mercury Marauder, a 2014 Ford Focus Electric, a 2006 Ford Freestar, I have a lot of Fords. GF bought a 2018 1.5L turbo Fusion (unfortunately, not the sport). Last summer, I bought a 2019 BMW i3s electric as a commuter since the Focus' range was degrading.

The SHO is replacing my 2003 Marauder (4.6L DOHC V8), my prior daily driver before I went electric. Love my Marauder, but too many things to fix on a 100,000+ vehicle.

My 2019 SHO is on its way from a dealer in Texas, bought through Vroom. I wanted a fast four-door sedan with AWD, and as you all know all other options are either $100K+ (e.g., BMW M5), or under-powered (i.e., AWD Dodge Charger is only available with a V6 that's much slower than the SHO's).

The SHO is a road-trip car. In brief, I plan to add:

• Megan Racing SHO coil-overs/springs or BC Racing suspension kit for Ford Flex.
• Police interceptor grille (fitment okay?).
• Aftermarket chin-splitter + shaker-hood (source?).
• Downpipes (brand?).
• Exhaust (loudest = Magnaflo?)
• SCTX4 tuner + 170° thermostat.

Unsure what exhaust is best. I mainly want to improve sound since I'm guessing there's little to no performance increase for a cat-back system. Also unsure if third CAT removal would be noticed at smog-check. Definitely want to lower the car with H&Rs or the Megan coil-over/spring kit.

Unfortunately, I live in California so even CAIs have to be removed every two years for smog-check. Would love to add an intercooler, but that would likely be spotted at smog-check. I assume there are no after-market performance upgrades for the SHO with California CARB numbers?

So this is my "fun" car. Money is no object for performance mods or exterior mods. I will probably wrap it in matte-black vinyl. Will immediately replace "daisy-pattern" wheels with 20x8.5 five-spoke Ford factory wheels, powder-coated gloss black by Wheel Exchange in Detroit (already ordered).

Would've preferred a 20x9 or 20x10 wheel but bolt-pattern and offset seemed to be difficult to match. Will likely mount some beefy summer Nittos or Hankooks. Anyone know the largest tire you can fit on a 20x8.5 rim? Will need to buy tires as soon as I receive the car since I plan the dump the factory wheels which I think are only 19s (or did they come with 20s from the factory?).

Anywho, I'm itching to get the car fully customed before its maiden road-trip (except for the vinyl-wrap), so any personalized guidance would be hugely appreciated. The first mechanical mod I want to do is to lower the suspension, then exhaust (for sound).

Immediate planned mods:

1. Swap wheels/sensors/tires.
2. Install lowered-suspension (e.g. H&R springs or Megan Racing coil-over kit).
3. Install aftermarket front/rear anti-sway bars (brand?).
4. Install high-flow downpipes (install cost?).
5. Install new muffler/resonator/tips.
6. Program SCT-tune.
7. Install PI grille.
8. Install Ford splashguards.
9. Install aftermarket chin-splitter + shaker-hood.
10. Window/headlight/back-up/tail-lights tint.
11. Chrome-trim delete.
12. Debadge all nameplates except for "SHO" badges.
 
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Ta2dResqr

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1. Technically, according to tire/rim manufacturers 255 is the widest for a 8.5" rim. That being said, my next set will be moving from 255 to 275.
3. I believe most of the people on here have gone with Whiteline.
4. I went with PPE downpipes. The catted pipes were a great fitment and throw no codes.
5. You will find a hundred different opinions on exhaust with not many happy results. Third cat delete will definitely increase volume albeit many complain of drone after modify exhaust which may not be desired on long trips. My goal eventually is to do a third cat delete (replacing with an x-pipe) and a pair of Varex mufflers with electric dumps.
6. Gearhead or AJP are the general go to tuners.
9. I have not seen a shaker hood. There is a cowl "GT500" hood and a couple people have gone with universal extractors.
12. Just a heads up, the Ford emblem on the back is integrated into the "spear" and backup camera and the one in the grille is integrated into the grille (leaving a black oval in the mesh if removed).

A couple things I would highly recommend adding to your list would be a set of AD motor mounts (you can find info on sourcing them on here or FB under Anthony Diconzulo (sp?)), ForScan (recommend OBDLink EX connector), and upgrading to the PP brake pads. You mentioned being a California car, for CAI your best bet is going to be a K&N in the stock box. The only CAI that many people have had good luck with are full hard pipes and that is mainly just to get away from the stock plastic with higher boost. For intercoolers, Gearhead makes a black one that is sandwiched in between the radiator and the A/C condenser. I cannot see mine without pulling the plastic cover off above or below it. After that the big things are all maintenance (especially on the PTU that is NOT lifetime fluid as Ford claims).
 

luigisho

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I don't know if I would stiffen the suspension for a road trip car. For purpose build yeah, but not for regular street driving. It can be a harsh ride over long distance. If you (and others that will be riding) can put up with it then full ahead.
 

studio460

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Cool! Thanks for all the great info, Ta2dResqr! Which series tire is best for road touring? Is 45 about right? Too skinny? Should I opt for a 275/50/20 instead?

1. Tire size for 20x8.5 rim: 275/45/20.
4. Downpipe: PPE downpipes—check! How much was your install?
5. Exhaust: Since I'm only looking for sound, I'll probably just replace the muffler. Are Magnaflos still good and loud (throaty)?
6. Tuners: I haven't heard of Gearhead or AJP. Are these people or OBD-tuners? Do I still buy the SCTX4 tuner?
9. Hood: Is the "GT500" cowl-hood a direct-replacement for the SHO factory hood?
12. Debadging: Thanks for the head's-up on that. I knew the rear badge would probably be an issue.
 

studio460

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I don't know if I would stiffen the suspension for a road trip car. For purpose build yeah, but not for regular street driving. It can be a harsh ride over long distance. If you (and others that will be riding) can put up with it then full ahead.

Ahhh . . . thanks for the head's-up! Maybe the Megans are a good middle-ground since I can dial them to their minimum-setting? Or just go with the H&R springs for a lower CG and improved cosmetics?
 

SM105K

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Ahhh . . . thanks for the head's-up! Maybe the Megans are a good middle-ground since I can dial them to their minimum-setting? Or just go with the H&R springs for a lower CG and improved cosmetics?
Since it is a road trip car, I would cut the factory rear springs to level it out. The PP already has a stiff suspension from the factory. Adding H&R's will make it ride like a tank with PP struts and shocks. Ask me how I know.
 

SM105K

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Ahhh . . . thanks for the head's-up! Maybe the Megans are a good middle-ground since I can dial them to their minimum-setting? Or just go with the H&R springs for a lower CG and improved cosmetics?
Almost every one of you questions can be answered here.

 

luigisho

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Since it is a road trip car, I would cut the factory rear springs to level it out. The PP already has a stiff suspension from the factory. Adding H&R's will make it ride like a tank with PP struts and shocks. Ask me how I know.
This is my thought also.
Tight suspension is amazing on a track or road course but as a regular driveable car I would not. Your Mileage May Vary but I agree with above about PP setup. That's as tight as I would want in a regular driving car.

Coilovers and really stiff suspensions are for younger folks who think rattling the fillings in your teeth is a good ride. We usually all grow out of it quickly once the newness/unique feel wears off and the car is beating you up on your way to a destination.
 

SM105K

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This is my thought also.
Tight suspension is amazing on a track or road course but as a regular driveable car I would not. Your Mileage May Vary but I agree with above about PP setup. That's as tight as I would want in a regular driving car.

Coilovers and really stiff suspensions are for younger folks who think rattling the fillings in your teeth is a good ride. We usually all grow out of it quickly once the newness/unique feel wears off and the car is beating you up on your way to a destination.
Yep, my car looks and handles great. However it rides like a tank. My SHO used to be my road trip car, but then I rented a 2020 MB E 300 for a road trip. That car really put into perspective on how bad the ride was in the SHO.
 

Ta2dResqr

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Cool! Thanks for all the great info, Ta2dResqr! Which series tire is best for road touring? Is 45 about right? Too skinny? Should I opt for a 275/50/20 instead?

1. Tire size for 20x8.5 rim: 275/45/20.
4. Downpipe: PPE downpipes—check! How much was your install?
5. Exhaust: Since I'm only looking for sound, I'll probably just replace the muffler. Are Magnaflos still good and loud (throaty)?
6. Tuners: I haven't heard of Gearhead or AJP. Are these people or OBD-tuners? Do I still buy the SCTX4 tuner?
9. Hood: Is the "GT500" cowl-hood a direct-replacement for the SHO factory hood?
12. Debadging: Thanks for the head's-up on that. I knew the rear badge would probably be an issue.

1. I will be going 275/40R20. Most likely sticking with the DSW06 Plus I currently have.
4. I do all my own work. It was quick and easy on jackstands.
5. It is all personal preference. I do not like the sound of them on the V6 turbo application.
6.They are people/companies. Look them up. Gearhead sells kits with the tuner, plugs, thermostat, and tune.
9. Yes.
 

studio460

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Wow! Thank you everyone for all of your thoughtful replies! (I will create more topic-specific threads for my further upgrade questions.)

So, about the lowering-springs/coil-overs: I greatly appreciate all the real-world advice. I have a BMW i3s which is the performance-suspension version of the i3. It is bumpy. It has a resonant-frequency on the 405 freeway's concrete-slabs which makes your head go into a nightclub head-bop at about 30Hertz when driving 30-40MPH. Pretty unpleasant but corners like a ****.

So I definitely don't want that, but I do like a solid-feeling suspension. If the stock performance package's suspension is decent enough, then I suppose I'll just go with that.

About the tires: I was going to start a separate thread on "rake." My 2003 Mercury Marauder came from the factory with a designed-in rake: The rear tires came larger than the fronts, giving about a 1.5" lift on the rear for a more aggressive look.

I lowered the Marauder's front with Eibach springs they made specifically for the Marauder and adjusted the rear to mimic the rake with the factory air-suspension. So, I may want to introduce a slight rake on the SHO; i.e., cutting both the front and rear springs and differentiating tire size, perhaps something like this:

Fronts: 255/40/20
Rears: 275/50/20

Lastly, I also upgraded the rear control-arms on my Marauder. The factory arms were stamped metal. I tore those up at about 50K and got a pair of hefty Metco billet-aluminum control-arms. Anything like that available for the 2019 SHO PPs?

Again, I will begin new threads for my tuning and other modifications questions. Thank you again to everyone here who replied, and for all the help so far!
 
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SeanDev

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Cool! Thanks for all the great info, Ta2dResqr! Which series tire is best for road touring? Is 45 about right? Too skinny? Should I opt for a 275/50/20 instead?

1. Tire size for 20x8.5 rim: 275/45/20.
4. Downpipe: PPE downpipes—check! How much was your install?
5. Exhaust: Since I'm only looking for sound, I'll probably just replace the muffler. Are Magnaflos still good and loud (throaty)?
6. Tuners: I haven't heard of Gearhead or AJP. Are these people or OBD-tuners? Do I still buy the SCTX4 tuner?
9. Hood: Is the "GT500" cowl-hood a direct-replacement for the SHO factory hood?
12. Debadging: Thanks for the head's-up on that. I knew the rear badge would probably be an issue.
Good list, exhaust is a personal preference, I have PPE , Magnaflow resonator, followed by MRT with Helmholtz resonators. I'm one who tried without third cat, then put third cat back on after terrible rasp. Now have a deep rumble, and sound great in the cab but not overpowering. If looking for aftermarket hood, there are examples out there that the hood is not up to ***** on quality. But the carbon fiber version seems to have higher quality fitment. With AJP I purchased tuner from him, AJP and GH are only two I would recommend for this platform. Livernois, please don't even consider them.
 

studio460

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Thanks, SeanDev! That's exactly the kind of guidance I need on the exhaust. I'm not expecting any performance increase—just looking for the "right" sound. If your set-up is producing a deep rumble, that's exactly what I'm looking for. If you don't mind, I would love to copy your exact set-up so that I'm guaranteed the deep, throaty rumble I'm after—really appreciate you sharing the information. Will probe you for the particulars (e.g., MRT?) in a more specific exhaust thread at a later date.

Immediate/revised mod order [i.e., the day Vroom delivers the car in about 10 days]:

1. Swap wheels [keeping 20" PP tires for now since they have a lot of tread left].
2. Change all fluids/filters w/full-synthetic [odometer @ 14,000].
3. Suspension-upgrades now on hold based on advice given here.
4. Install Police Interceptor grille [in transit].
5. Install Ford molded splashguards.
6. Debadge.
7. Apply vinyl lens-tint for all lighting.

//////////ROAD TRIP!//////////

8. Magnaflow mufflers + Helmholtz resonators.
9. PPE downpipes.
10. GH intercooler.
11. GH tune-package [specific tuner, add-ons, etc. TBD].
12. 3M window-tint [10% more transmissive than limo-tint].
13. Matte-black vinyl vehicle-wrap + chrome-delete.

• Considering: GH turbo upgrades, etc.
• Considering: carbonfiber "GT500" hood for Ford Taurus SHO + lifters/pins.
• Considering: chin-splitter + struts.
 
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Ta2dResqr

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I lowered the Marauder's front with Eibach springs they made specifically for the Marauder and adjusted the rear to mimic the rake with the factory air-suspension. So, I may want to introduce a slight rake on the SHO; i.e., cutting both the front and rear springs and differentiating tire size, perhaps something like this:

Fronts: 255/40/20
Rears: 275/50/20
I would not suggest this. The SHO is AWD as opposed to the Marauder being RWD. All 4 tire/wheel assemblies need to be the same. If not your driveline may suffer. They recommend a maximum of 3/32" difference in tread. That is only 2.38mm. The 2 sizes you listed are 35.5mm difference (in radius). In addition, the fender and wheel well clearance will be greatly reduced with the added height and width. Combine that with cut springs and It is very likely you will have many expensive repairs.
 

Crio

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255 Michelin or continentals, 275s will have some minor rubbing clearance issues especially if you lower it at all. You can black out/wrap the trim on the grill which is what I did and it’s a lot nicer finish than the center on the police grill the factory one that is. Personally, I prefer gearheads for my tune. They have the complete package and you can run the intercooler and no state inspector will ever realize it’s not factory. Down pipes I can’t tell you about. I stopped at Livernois and picked up a set of stainless steel catless ones since they’re local to me. They are rebranded something. We don’t have inspections in Michigan. I also picked up a set of white line springs While I was there, they are still in the box after three years. I went for a ride in my buddy show with this thing springs, and while his car looks a little cooler lowered the ride quality was so not worth the aesthetics as far as I was concerned. As far as exhaust sound goes that is hit and miss, but I’ve heard some really good sounding sho’s, but seemed like the better they sounded the more they had drown. Air filter and cold air intakes. I did a whole lot of testing with my dragy in the exact same spot in the road with cool down laps and dozens and dozens of runs, and I can tell you this there was no discernible difference between a factory new air filter And no air filter at all according to the data. I would absolutely recommend like a JLT oil catch can. I was lucky enough to find a leftover 2018 performance pack, exactly spec the way I wanted it right when the Taurus went out of production so that I could have the stupid rear sunshade which I don’t care about but more importantly the power tilt/telescoping steering wheel for my 6 foot six tall ass for auto exit. I did badged my car soon as it came in and sent it out to have all the chrome wrapped in gloss, black and Makar ceramic coated. I threw away the junk Perelli Pzero tires and went with an all season Michelin AS3+ which i think has since been upgraded with a new tire. I’m just about to roll 20,000 miles on mine. I drive it more than any of my other cars and I have a lot of cars.
 

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studio460

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Tire sizes:

Hey, thanks Ta2dResqr, on the tire advice! The AWD-issue didn't even occur to me—good call! I think it has the factory-supplied Continentals on the 20" flower-rims. Based on all your advice, I'm keeping the stock tire-sizes and only swapping the flower-rims for the Ford factory five-spoke rims (which are the same size: 20" x 8.5").

I think Crio's last post put the nail in the coffin on the springs/coil-overs decision. It's going be factory-suspension for now (at least I've got the slightly improved PP-suspension?). However, I may cut the front and rear coils later for a sportier-look and lower-CG. How much should I cut? A full or half-coil? I'll also probably adding front and rear anti-sway bars later.

My five-spoke rims with Ford-branded center-caps are still getting powder-coated in Detroit (which then still has to ground-ship to L.A.). They look similar to Mercedes rims and virtually identical to my BMW i3s' rims. This morning I called Pick Your Parts to haul away my 2003 Mercury Marauder—they're coming to tow it away tomorrow morning.

SHO arriving tomorrow!

My black 2019 SHO PP should be here tomorrow mid-day, right after the Marauder gets picked up. Its last-mile transport is coming on a flatbed from Vroom's hub in Riverside, CA (I'm in the South Bay in Los Angeles County, just south of LAX). So f'ing excited!

As soon as I get it, and especially once the wheels are swapped, I'll be posting a TON of SHO pictures!

California gas: 91 octane.

Unfortunately, I live in the state with the most expensive and lowest-octane gas. I am dying to get a GH-tune but wasn't sure which hardware-tuner to get. I suppose the more expensive one is better.

I had the SCT guys personally tune my Marauder (had to drive to Las Vegas), but the gas here is so bad, the tune was barely changed from stock due to constant pre-ignition. I fear the same is likely true of a SHO-tune, regardless of how good the tuner is.

However, the tune could still benefit any out-of-state driving, especially since the GH-tune is AO and adjusts based on octane.

A couple of engine-start/fuel questions:

1. Does the 2019 SHO have auto-engine cutoff on idle? My GF's 2018 Fusion's can be manually turned off, but it defaults to cutoff-mode when re-started. Can the default be permanently changed (i.e., to engine always-running) with the right tuner? Anyone aware of any hardware tuners capable of this granular-level of ECU-programming?

2. Any California owners here use octane-boosters? Is it simply too expensive?

3. Good to hear about the nominal performance-increase on CAIs—thanks for the head's-up, Crio. It was a pain to uninstall/reinstall on my Marauder every two years for inspection.
 
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SM105K

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You cannot cut the front springs. Only the rears. Post 49 in the thread below is how and how much I cut to level my PP SHO.

 

studio460

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Thanks! So you think 13" was about right? I guess I'll just leave it stock for now. I was excited to introduce a rake, but apparently that's a no-no for AWD vehicles. Will take it on one or two road-trips before thinking again about upgrading the suspension. Now leaning toward the H&Rs only. Though, I wonder if the Megan springs/coil-overs adjusted all the way "soft" is a good enough to smooth things out.

Now that I see the car in person, I don't particularly mind the high ride-height. Actually kinda goes with the AWD-theme. Thanks for your help!
 
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