It has been a few months since Mustard’s last update here on the site, and while nothing has happened to it in that time (hibernation mode is in full effect) that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to share on it. There are actually a few small modifications and changes that have yet to be properly documented so let’s get started with some of those, shall we?
Most of the changes I’m referring to have technically been seen on the site but never received proper dedicated posts though so there won’t be any real surprises; that said, it’s only fair that these changes are properly highlighted and hopefully the posts can answer some questions or offer some useful information to fellow Mk3 owners. With that said, let’s begin with the exterior today:
Granted, the exterior of the sedan hasn’t seen any drastic changes in recent times (as it had already seen so much work) but it typically sees a minor update or two each season to differentiate it. With the full ST body kit and a few more pieces already in place there wasn’t too much left to do – without making drastic changes – but I went ahead and ordered Mountune’s Lower Sport Spoiler for the front bumper as one more subtle tweak.
Previously Mustard had run our custom “E-Glove” splitter followed by a recycled portion of Ketchup’s Maxton piece, but sitting so low to the ground (granted, winter driving the car at the time didn’t help) made them prone to damage. I wanted to take a different approach but at the same time still visually “lower” the middle portion of the bumper to better flow with the Cup Spoilers, which is what led me to the Mountune Spoiler.
The install of this piece is very straight-forward, but was covered previously on the site (click here for that) when Yolanda picked one up for her ST, so I’ll skip over repeating all of that here today. Instead, I want to highlight how my install differed slightly to the usual method.
The first way in which I took a slightly different approach was by choosing to run the Mountune Spoiler with the fifteen52 Cup Spoilers, obviously; there was no way I was going to remove those as I far prefer the appearance of the ST bumper with them fitted, so that meant the Mountune Spoiler would need a tiny bit of trimming to fit between them. It was a simple job but still a matter of repeatedly test-fitting and gradually honing the cuts so that the ends fit around the Cups without an excessive gap.
The ever-handy masking tape was used to first mark how far into the inner grille the Cup Spoilers protruded. With them removed, I could then offer up the Mountune Spoiler and get an idea of how much material I had to take off.
It was then just a case of marking the locations on the Spoiler, making the cuts, and test-fitting it. As always I erred on the side of removing too little material, as it’s easier to shave a bit more off later as opposed to adding it back on.
After a few rounds of cut, test-fit, cut more, and test-fit again, I was happy with the fitment and temporarily fitted it back to the bumper, which is how it sat until I had some time to park the car for a couple of weeks and remove a selection of parts for the body shop; time for the second twist on the usual install method.
While the Mountune Spoiler did look good in black, I wanted to have it colour-coded to the car instead. Sending just the one tiny piece off for paint wouldn’t have been an efficient use of money, but as it happened a few other parts needed paint so I was able to have everything done in one go. The Cup Spoilers had picked up some small scratches (they had been resprayed not that long before this, but I ran them without PPF while the paint was curing and they managed to get scratched again. Yay) while the rear bumper had been run into with a snowblower (that wasn’t my fault, I’ll add. Haha) so it needed a respray as well. I then added a bit more to the pile to take advantage of the opportunity, and had the keyhole delete resprayed as well as two new sets of spoiler plugs and my spare Accessport faceplate painted.
With the Suburban borrowed from my mother again I loaded up all of the parts and dropped them off at Stampede Collision for the paintwork.
Soon everything was back and it was time for reassembly! As a side note the rear valance was not resprayed, but I had already fitted it to the rear bumper when I took this photo. As well, I said “screw it” to the few weeks of curing time for the fresh paint and had the Cup Spoilers as well as the Mountune Spoiler wrapped in PPF immediately. If the PPF ever gets peeled off it’ll likely be because the parts are being resprayed anyway, so if it pulls up paint it won’t matter. I don’t wish to have the Cups sprayed for a fourth time…
With everything refitted I was very pleased with the much more subtle appearance of the Mountune Spoiler and how it made the middle section of the bumper a bit more pronounced to better flow with the Cup Spoilers. I also quite like how the Mountune logo serves as a little clue to those who know.
That wraps up the updates (or rather, update and repairs…) to the body, but there were also a couple of subtle tweaks made in the lighting department which are due for a mention here:
The first was to fit this little flasher module to the third brake light’s wiring; it causes the light to flash, naturally, three times upon the initial press of the brake pedal as a way to better get the attention of drivers behind.
I had seen a group buy for these modules on the forums and so picked up a few; the ST4, the hatch, and Stewie’s ST all ended up getting one. It was a simple wiring job, and I can say that having the third brake light flash even just a few times certainly draws your attention easier than if it doesn’t. Such a feature should be standard fit, I’d say.
I didn’t stop there though, as I also rewired Mustard’s aftermarket tail lights slightly to (hopefully) be even more attention-grabbing for other drivers. As fitted out of the box, only the outer portions of the tail lights served as brake lights. The inner portions – on the trunk lid – only lit up at one level and so wouldn’t brighten under braking. Given that from factory there were no brake or running lights on the trunk at all (only the reverse lights and reflectors), this was already an upgrade in terms of lighting but I wanted more.
Wiring has never been my strong suit but in the end I managed to work my way though it and tied the inner LED strips to the outers, so that they too would brighten under braking instead of staying at a fixed brightness. It’s worth noting that I’d also tried having the rear fog lights as yet another set of brake lights, but that proved to be too much draw and so I disconnected them. Some day I should probably tie them in to the front fog lights so that they’re actually utilized (to readers in other markets: rear fog lights aren’t mandated here so there’s no existing wiring or switches in the car for such a feature)…when I feel like taking on another wiring job.
With all of that sorted, not only does the third brake light flash, but there are twice as many running lights and brake lights on the rear of the sedan as compared to factory. I still toy with the idea of taking it a step further and fitting a set of LED rear reflectors (which would also brighten under braking) but I don’t know of any for ST applications, off-hand. I may need to see if some have been released since I last looked.
And so, that brings us up to date on Mustard’s exterior changes! Obviously decals have been changed around a bit over time as well – as commemorative decals for various events come and go – but that’s not anything important. In fact, prior to the Mountune Spoiler I’d say the last big change to the exterior was at the start of 2016 when the LED tail lights were first fitted, so it’s definitely time for something a bit more substantial; and we have that coming in the form of SS Tuning’s flares. Driven registration has now opened and with that sent in, now the feeling of “we need to get to work” is returning; the show will be here before we know it!