Mustang California Special Front Valance Installation (10-12 GT)

Posted 11/26/2013 by Jeff Jimenez

Add some aggressive styling to your 2010-12 S197 Mustang with the California Special valance for the front bumper! We will walk you through the installation in the article.

FOLLOW: mustang , 10 14 mustang , s197 , installation , tech , exterior , bumper , chin spoiler

I'm rounding out the cosmetic portion of my 2011 Mustang GT 5.0 build.  Fresh for 2011, Ford introduced the California Special package for 2011 Mustang GT's.  The package consists of a few specific styling cues, including a pedestal rear spoiler, billet grille, side scoops, wheels, side stripes and front chin spoiler with relocated foglights.  The California Special is a great looking Mustang, but at $1995 MSRP, I didn't want to foot the bill for the CS styling.  I also didn't want to lose the Brembo brake option and 19" dark painted wheels that aren't available on a Cali Special.  

I am, however, very fond of the front air dam that comes on the California Special.  I like the smaller, projector-like fog lights, and more aggressive chin spoiler.  So, I did a little research and determined what pieces were required to upgrade my 2011 5.0 to the California Special front.  I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that my Mustang's bumper cover did not need replacement for the California Special chin spoiler.  

The California Special front valance kit simply replaces the standard GT piece.  No drilling, painting, or cussing required.  No painting means no additional preparation cost, or concerns with quality of materials and workmanship, or color inconsistencies.  I completed the installation of my California Special front valance with zero fuss.  

We now offer a kit to convert the front of your 2010-2011 Mustang GT to the CS front valance.  The kit consists of the valance, fog lights, and fog light pigtails.  

Follow along as I remove the front fascia from my 2011 5.0 Mustang for the installation of the California Special front end kit.  

You'll also notice that I installed the Roush 7-bar black billet grill to delete the factory fog lights.  The Roush grille fits great and compliments the new airdam.  Roush's instructions are beautiful, and the completed installation is OEM quality.  

Total installation time for both pieces was about 2 hours, and the fit was of OEM quality.  The 2010-2011 Mustang Roush 7-bar grille retails for $234.99, and the 2010-11 California Special front valance kit retails for $499.99, complete with fog lights and wiring.  I think you'll agree, that this simple upgrade will dramatically improve the styling of any 2010-2011 Mustang GT. 

2011 5.0L Mustang GT

2011 5.0L Mustang GT

2011 5.0L Mustang GT

2011 5.0L Mustang GT

The first step in the installation process is to remove the upper radiator support cover by removing its plastic push-pins.  Be careful with all of your factory hardware, as it will all be re-used during the conversion.




Then, remove the two 8mm bolts that hold the upper portion of the bumper cover, on each side of the grille, and carefully pry the upper portion of the bumper cover over the plastic nibs adjacent to the bolts.



Remove the 4, 7mm hex head screws that attach the bumper cover to the inner fender splash shields in front of each tire.



Remove the 7mm hex-head screws that attach the front bumper cover to the lower radiator cover, beneath the bumper.


Remove the outside air temperature sensor from the lower grille opening.


Then, carefully pull straight out on each side of the bumper cover, where it attaches to the fender.  This will release the bumper cover from the fender retainers.


Finally, carefully pull the entire bumper cover assembly forward to gain access to fog light and parking light connectors. Remove your parking light and fog light connectors, and remove the bumper cover from the car.




Once the bumper cover is removed from the car, it's time to replace the lower valance.  The valance is held in place with barbed tabs that slide into slots on the bumper cover.  The valance is also retained by one phillips-head screw on each corner of the bumper cover, as well as 2 push pins on each side. To release the valance, carefully pry open the slots in the bumper cover, and push the barbed tabs of the valance through.  Have a buddy help you in this process, as you'll need to carefully hold pressure on the entire valance while you release the tabs.




Re-installation of your new California Special valance simply consists of popping the new valance into the bumper cover's slotted holes, and re-installing the screws and push-pins.

Before re-installing your bumper cover, your factory fog light wiring must be extended, and the pigtail connectors will need to be replaced with the ones in the kit.  I accomplished this with a bit of 16-gauge wire, and some red butt connectors.  You can either cut off your factory fog light plug, as I did, or attach new wire to your fog light pigtails with scotch locks.  I finished my wiring modification by wrapping the new pigtail and extension with electrical tape.  You'll notice that the two wires attached to your new fog light connectors are both the same color.  Wiring orientation of the new plug does not matter.



Repeat the disassembly procedure to re-install your bumper cover with its new valance, and enjoy the stares you'll receive from the installation of your California Special front valance kit from Latemodel Restoration Supply!