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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I've been silent a while, school has been insane the past couple of months... one test after another, and then projects in between. Anyways, I've finally saved up enough money to invest in a good suspension setup for my car. I'm really trying to go for the best bang for my buck without cheaping out on anything. So first, here are my goals.

This car is my daily driver. It gets driven most of the time on urban city roads/ interstate. However, I get to drive it up in the mountains of Western North Carolina every summer, and love the twisties. A few of my friends have M series BMWs (M5 and M3), and I would really like to be able to beat them in the corners. I have never gone to a track day, but definitely plan to in the future (Sebring, once I actually have a job and make money.) I don't plan on drag racing, other than from light to light. Now... on top of all this, I don't want the girls I take out on dates to get out of my car and feel like they've been riding in a grocery cart on a brick road.

With that in mind, here is the parts list I've come up with so far.


Koni Yellow Adjustable Shocks/Struts (stranoparts.com) $780 shipped

Vogtland Leveling Springs (Stranoparts.com) $239 shipped

BMR Boxed LCA's (one end spherical one poly) (already own)

BMR Relocation Brackets (Radmustangs.com) $114.71

GT500 Upper Strut Mounts (Radmustangs.com) $66

BMR Adj. Panhard Bar (Radmustangs.com) $119.95

BMR Front/Rear Swaybars (Direct BMR, local pickup) approx $385.48

Grand Total: $1,705.14


I'm getting the Koni's because I'm a tinkerer... I know that I will love the adjustability, but I want better quality than the D-Specs. The Koni's come with a lifetime warranty, and I've read nothing but good things about them. Now, I might end up with a Watts Link in the future, but right now, I think I'll be happy not spending the $650 that would cost. I'll see about a bump steer kit, but the vogtland springs are not aggressive at all (.8 inch in the front, 1.2 in the rear,) so I doubt that will be necessary. I can't go too low with the springs cuz I've got a Roush front fascia which already scrapes occasionally, and I have to be able to drive up the gravel road to my parent's house in NC.

Sorry for making this such a long post. What I'm looking for are any suggestions on additional parts I should get and why, different brands AND REASON WHY, or if you think something isn't necessary. Also, anywhere I can get these parts cheaper (that still has a good rep) is always great... I am just a college student. Thanks so much for your input!

-Rob
 

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all the suspension in the world is useless without tires. I would probably skip most that stuff for now except for the shocks and springs and get yourself some 20's wrapped in some nitto nt05's. Sticking to your original set up, i would add some better sway bars. my car is nice and stiff, but at times during extreme corning i notice my back end giving a little too much movement.
 

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Well, OP.. you asked for this, so you are gonna get some differing opinions :yes

If you want to make a canyon-carver, I recommend you forgo the shocks/struts and go CO's. They will afford you a better spring rate so that the car will absorb bumps more efficiently and not deliver soo much of the interuption to the driver or the body of the car. This will not only improve your handling, but ride comfort. The CO's are adjustable for ride hight, so can "tinker" with that for those days you want to go out and play. You can bring it back up for trips up the parents driveway ;)

I agree with Juco, but recommend a set of 18"s instead. This will give you MANY more options on tires in which to choose and wider range of wheels as well. You will be able to have greater options on profile hight which can help with the ride comfort as well as your budget. A higher profile tire is not going to be the optimum direction for a corner-carver, but gives options. This will also give you the ability to lower the car a bit more and NOT by shorter springs that would need to be stiffer to avoid bottoming out nor messing up geometry of suspension.

As for sway bars, these are a tuning device and as such should not be purchased until you have EVERYTHING else done first. They are really used to address understeer/oversteer issues when you push the car and see how she does. Example: I run a 750# CO (SLA) up front and 200# CO's out back. This is quite the differential and was proven on HPDE days via huge understeer. I didn't want to sacrifice straight-line comfort (DD, like you), but had WAY too much body roll on the AX course. I installed an adjustable MM sway bar and was able to dial it in to a stiffer position and cured my disease.

I would also recommend a torque-arm over the stock UCA you appearantly have currently. This may be out of budget, but will be the better way to go for your stated goals.

Jazzer :)
 

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20's are too much unsprung weight. I would go with an 18in setup with as wide of tires as you can get. If you want to go all out get a coil over setup. If not get a suspension pack. Roush was selling their stage 3 pack for a fairly decent price, cant remember where though.

Once you are done with the suspension, get some brakes. Better brakes means you can hold your speed longer before you have to hit them. From the videos I see of mustangs racing porsches and vettes, it looks like the mustang isnt faster in the turns but it beats them in the straights and can keep up with them (somewhat) in the turns.

Watch this vid and you can kinda see what i mean. Mind you this is a race car, but you get the idea.
 

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how much whp does that 650 make??

sure sounds mean
 

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i think it makes 650hp but its all race spec so i am guessing it doesnt need emissions stuff so it makes it a little louder.
im surprised how well it handles. i want to see the fr500c in a race like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alright, so I definitely plan on getting new wheels/tires as soon as my current ones get worn out, but that won't be for at least 10,000 more miles (about 9 months ish.) I'm planning on getting 20's cuz I love the way they look on our cars. They really don't add as much weight as most people think, as the tires for 20's weight less than they do for 18's, so it helps balance that issue out. Also plan on getting a big brake kit in the future (probably GT500 takeoff) but I can't do that till I get bigger wheels.

That leaves me with suspension. Now, I hadn't looked at coilovers in a while, and had forgotton that Roush has their trak pak suspension, which consists of coilovers with camber plates intigrated. The entire kit is $1500, which is only $500 more than my springs and shocks/struts, AND i get camber plates ($300 ish)! So... I think I'm sold on that unless anyone has a better suggestion. Roush recommends their swaybars to go with those... and I should still probably get the relocation brackets and adj. panhard bar... So ya, it'll end up being more expensive, but not unreasonable!

One question though... I know that on the FR500Cs that run in the koni challenge series, they run TRUE coilovers in the rear as well as the front... most of the "coilover" kits available for our cars just have adjustable spring seats in the back to adjust the height, and then shocks sit separately... kinda a copout in my opinion. Are there any true coilover kits for our car in the less than $2000 price range? I'm not sure if it make such a big difference... it would just be nice I think.

Thanks again for your input. More comments / suggestions welcome!
 

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LCA relocation brackets are not necessary (and frankly no help to handling).

I beleive my swaybars are better. Mostly because both of mine as adjustable, and both are hollow. :) And the pricing isn't really any different (I have some shipping, but no sales tax, and you save about 7 pounds vs. a solid rear bar too), which is way less than you'd spend saving that weight on Chrome-Moly parts elsewhere.

I prefer Watts links, but they are pricey. If you are staying PHB you want minimum deflection, and anything with poly bushings still has some. There are some new part out from UMI called Roto-joints which are spherical bearings with delrin races. They work like rod-ends, but can be tightened and even rebuilt... and they are quieter too. There is a double adjustable PHB that will minimize the deflection... and it's $153.99 normally, but there is 20% off UMI stuff this weekend, so it'd be a good bit less.

As for the GT500 mounts.... Either I don't change them at all (because I don't see the GT500's as anything that much more special). Or I go straight to something like Steeda HD Mounts or Maximum Motorsports CC plates (the former for street cars, the latter for track cars where some more noise could be ok). And why not? With what you save on not running the LCA brackets that aren't required (and frankly not wanted), added to the cost of the GT500 mounts you are aren't really spending a lot more than your original plan, but gaining camber adjustment (which isn't a bad idea), and taking care of the poor stock mount designs too.
 

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Alright, so I definitely plan on getting new wheels/tires as soon as my current ones get worn out, but that won't be for at least 10,000 more miles (about 9 months ish.) I'm planning on getting 20's cuz I love the way they look on our cars. They really don't add as much weight as most people think, as the tires for 20's weight less than they do for 18's, so it helps balance that issue out. Also plan on getting a big brake kit in the future (probably GT500 takeoff) but I can't do that till I get bigger wheels.

That leaves me with suspension. Now, I hadn't looked at coilovers in a while, and had forgotton that Roush has their trak pak suspension, which consists of coilovers with camber plates intigrated. The entire kit is $1500, which is only $500 more than my springs and shocks/struts, AND i get camber plates ($300 ish)! So... I think I'm sold on that unless anyone has a better suggestion. Roush recommends their swaybars to go with those... and I should still probably get the relocation brackets and adj. panhard bar... So ya, it'll end up being more expensive, but not unreasonable!

Frankly I have some issues with the Track-Pak stuff from Roush. Don't know who makes the dampers, what the spring rates are, and the rears are carried on the shocks and all the weight of the car sits on the shock bushings (which are going to deflect big time...) Shocks don't carry the car's weight, but springs do... and springs on the shocks without rod-ends... that's a cop out and frankly is something that looks racy, but would never be on real race car and in fact is worse IMO.

Koni's give you a lifetime warranty, and are in use on cars that prove their speed in places that aren't spec series. Like me, I use Koni's on our cars (starting to play with fancy-dancy AST's) and have been quite happy with them. I'm not sure how much the AST's will better the Koni's--maybe not at all--but every bit counts when the wins can be by thousanths of a second. Not all that critical on a street car that's more for fun. :)
 

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Frankly I have some issues with the Track-Pak stuff from Roush. Don't know who makes the dampers, what the spring rates are, and the rears are carried on the shocks and all the weight of the car sits on the shock bushings (which are going to deflect big time...) Shocks don't carry the car's weight, but springs do... and springs on the shocks without rod-ends... that's a cop out and frankly is something that looks racy, but would never be on real race car and in fact is worse IMO.

Koni's give you a lifetime warranty, and are in use on cars that prove their speed in places that aren't spec series. Like me, I use Koni's on our cars (starting to play with fancy-dancy AST's) and have been quite happy with them. I'm not sure how much the AST's will better the Koni's--maybe not at all--but every bit counts when the wins can be by thousanths of a second. Not all that critical on a street car that's more for fun. :)
Sam,

Would you recommend the Koni STR.T series in favor of Bilsteins for a street setup. I purchased Eibach Pro-Kit springs so I'm looking for a set of struts/shocks to compliment the springs.

Thanks,
Mitch
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Frankly I have some issues with the Track-Pak stuff from Roush. Don't know who makes the dampers, what the spring rates are, and the rears are carried on the shocks and all the weight of the car sits on the shock bushings (which are going to deflect big time...) Shocks don't carry the car's weight, but springs do... and springs on the shocks without rod-ends... that's a cop out and frankly is something that looks racy, but would never be on real race car and in fact is worse IMO.
Thanks for chiming in Sam, I really respect your opinion on this stuff. The roush coilovers I'm looking at have camber (not caster) plates built in, so that's one less thing I'd have to get. I'll definitely consider your sway bars, the price is right! And adjustability never hurt (as long as the user doesn't screw it up....)

I think I know what you're saying about the springs and shocks... it looks like the rear springs sit on the rear shocks in the sales pictures, but that's not how they are installed. If you look at the installation instructions you can see that the rear springs sit on height adjustable spring seats, and the shocks are mounted in a separate location, just like on the stock setup. I could be mistaken though... does this still create a problem?

I do agree about not knowing the springs rates or who makes the shocks... it would be great to know. But I've heard some great things about this setup, and when a company like roush puts together a set of shocks and springs (for our car specifically,) I think they would be able to match them together... much better than I could anyways.

Just my thoughts... Let me know if you disagree! I'm still new to this and only get my info from reading... I don't have experience like you do. We all know there is no substitute for actual experience. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is a video of some guys looking at a FR500 up on a lift (If you click on it and actually go to youtube to watch it, you can watch it in high quality, great quality video.)
This thing is incredible, its the best look I've ever been able to find of one of these racecars... Anyways, at about 1:50 into it, they show the rear shocks/struts... looks like they are true coilovers in the back on that car with the springs fitted over the shock. Obviously I'm not interested in paying $1300 EACH for those From Ford Racings site. It says they won't fit a stock mustang anyways. I don't think there is anything like this in the aftermarket for our cars, I just find it interesting. Does anyone know what the advantage to this sort of setup is when compared to separate coilover springs on adjustable height perches with separate shocks? I just am really intrigued by suspension and how it works... what works better than other things etc. Any insight? Btw, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
 

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Just FYI...on clearance for $1500:

ROUSH Performance: ROUSH® Ford Mustang Trak Pak Suspension System

FWIW, I run full Steeda Club Racer stages 1 and 2...and I can punish an M series - used to own one.

Your parts list looks good.

Add front control arm relocation brackets and a bump-steer kit.

You definitely want the rear LCA relo brackets...keep that LCA parallel to the groun so you don't get hop and get a good, straight hookup.

The lower you go the harder you can corner...I like the Steeda sport springs myself - 1.0 front drop, 1.25 rear.

You also might consider a panhard bar brace - or just buy a Steeda or Fays 2 Watts link FTW.
 

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Sam,

Would you recommend the Koni STR.T series in favor of Bilsteins for a street setup. I purchased Eibach Pro-Kit springs so I'm looking for a set of struts/shocks to compliment the springs.

Thanks,
Mitch

I prefer the STR.T's over Bilstein's for a couple of reasons. Most notably I think Bilstein's, while very nice dampers--are overpriced. I like that the STR.T's have a bit more rebound control, and frankly I've had much better warranty service from Koni than Bilstein's (don't need either much, but when it happens Koni has been better).

I've done a lot of STR.T's for these cars, only one person didn't really like them and he's staying with Koni's--just moving to Sports because he demands more rebound contorl than STR.T's can muster... Same issue would exist if he were on Bilstein HD's....
 

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I prefer the STR.T's over Bilstein's for a couple of reasons. Most notably I think Bilstein's, while very nice dampers--are overpriced. I like that the STR.T's have a bit more rebound control, and frankly I've had much better warranty service from Koni than Bilstein's (don't need either much, but when it happens Koni has been better).

I've done a lot of STR.T's for these cars, only one person didn't really like them and he's staying with Koni's--just moving to Sports because he demands more rebound contorl than STR.T's can muster... Same issue would exist if he were on Bilstein HD's....
Cool; thanks for the reply. BTW, do you ship to APO AE addresses? If so, I'll be placing an order from you in 2 weeks time.

Thanks again,
Mitch
 

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Since CO's were brought up, anyone know how are cars handle with tein flex? just wondering since i can probably get a decent deal on them and i never really hear it ever brought up in forums.
 

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Since CO's were brought up, anyone know how are cars handle with tein flex? just wondering since i can probably get a decent deal on them and i never really hear it ever brought up in forums.
Well they have to be pretty good since Ford Racing points them on the Frormula Drift Mustang
 
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If you want the best of the best and want to really take stuff on a road course here is my suggestion, but... its really up to you.

Griggs Racing Products
 
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