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S197 Handling Section For everything suspension related, inlcuding brakes, tires, and wheels.

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Old 03-18-2012, 09:33 PM   #1
Quicker10u
 
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Default Swaybars and Shocks and Brakes, Oh My...

Trying not to beat a dead horse here, but I have searched and searched and not gotten a true answer to my question.

I have an 08' Bullitt. I totally agree with Pobst's observation that the car (all S197's) are under dampened. Coming from a German and Japanese car background, I can't believe the lack of rebound control/dampening of my Bullitt. Not to mention the lack of roll stiffness. Now I understand mass production budgets, and Motor City Potholes, but come on.

Most of the cars I have owned have either had Bilsteins, or I added Bilsteins to them shortly after purchase. Hoping that the Bullitt had "an upgraded spring and shock package exclusive to the Bullitt" that I would not have to do the same. However, if this is better than the Stock GT, I would honestly hate to drive that car everyday.

I use the car as a daily driver, for now, but it will become a weekend/track day toy shortly. I have done many DE's and time attacks in VW/AUDI/Mazdas and plan to do the same with this. Now for my questions...

My first track day is April 7th at Roebling Road here in Savannah..The track is relatively high speed with flowing, long 3rd and 4th gear corners. I have been contemplating the following..

-Running the car Stock with R4 pads and ATE Superblue...

-Adding a set of sway bars to help with roll stiffness and possibly eliminate under-steer and make recovering from a tank slapper a bit easier (Roebling is notorious for these), in addition to the ATE Superblue and R4 pads...

-Saying "Screw it" and putting in the Bilsteins, with Superblue and R4s..

As much as I would love to do it all at once, I am limited by time and budget..It will all get done eventually..I am just looking for what will have the most immediate impact on the handling of the car and help me keep it under control at the limit...I have never pushed a mustang this hard..The closest I have had was an LS1 Powered Rx7 and the CG is much higher in this car...

My fear of lowering the car is messing with the suspension geometry and opening up that whole can of worms (bumpsteer, panhard rods, Crash bolts, etc) The Bullitt springs have it low enough for now..

Also, other than Hawks and R4's, what pads would you guys recommend? I won't run Hawks again after I had a pad come off the backing plate.

Thank you so much for any feedback you can provide..I am enjoying the car thoroughly and am loving the amount of knowledge on this board...

Oh, BTW, my mods are as follows...
2010 Brembo 19" wheels/255-35-19 Perellis
X Pipe
Bama Performance 93 octane tune
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:37 PM   #2
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I've never had the budget to do everything at once and probably never will. I replace and upgrade my parts in stages to measure and notice the differences if any each makes. Now granted my car is a turn key modified Mustang from Roush that came with the Stage 2 suspension kit and the big front brakes, so I've had a good head start to modding my car to suit my track wants/needs. It is my dedicated HPDE car and occasional club cruiser not a daily driver.
I think it will take some time to explore the limits of you and your car on track, so suggest you run your first track day as planned with minimal mods except the brake fluid and high performance pads. If changing pads before hand make sure to bed-in the brakes. I've had no problems with Hawk so thats my choice. My Mustang buddies track with Carbotech, EBC and they're happy with those brands.
I would start my modding with a brake upgrade to at least 4 piston front calipers, ss lines and front cooling ducts. A firm pedal with no fade that will last all day and weekend is a safety must and provides confidence. The best money spent will be to purchase many HPDE track days this year. There is no substitute for track time.
I would then consider suspension pieces like springs, sway bars adjustable dampers or coilovers, front camber plates, alignment and corner weighting.
You'll be ready for new tires about now so look for a compromise between a sticky track tire and a good every day tire (Ultra high performance summer tire) with a tread wear rating between 140-220. If you have the budget right now then save your current Pirellis for street use and buy a dedicated set of track wheels and tires. Enkei PF01s, Steeda Ultralights etc. Toyo R888s, Nitto NT01s, Hoosiers etc.
In a year, depending on your interest and track pursuits, you may consider an Eaton Tru-Trac differential with a watts link. I think the 08 Bullit came with a set of 3:73 gears and this should be fine for track use but talk with the new friends that you'll be making and decide for yourself.
This is just my two cents and is based upon my own personal experience. Another suggestion on your first day is to drive slowly through the paddock area after each session to cool the brakes and don't use your E-brake when you park, bring a tire block or brick if you have to and please remove as much personal gear from the interior and trunk cause you don't want anything rolling around in the corners. Get to the track early, eat light and drink water between each session. Also look for track videos of Mustangs at Roebling Road on youtube and preview the venue.
Have fun, go fast, be safe.

Last edited by Campo 427R; 03-18-2012 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:52 AM   #3
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Ken - I don't know what the specs are on the Bullit's suspension but if its anything like my 07 I'll agree with you its way to soft and underdamped for any serious track work by a driver with your experience. After pads and fluid my next highest priority would be the dampers. The adjustable Koni's, rather than the Bilsteins, are the standard upgrade for enthusiasts and track junkies on a reasonable budget.

Stiffer springs may or may not be in order (on the GT...yes, on the Bullit...don't know).

I'd wait on the sways until you have a better feel for the car with the new dampers.

Carbotech XP10 all around are a popular pad choice. With good fluid, pads and brake ducts lots of seriously fast folks get by with the stock calipers and rotors. Eventually you may want some radial mount calipers in the front for their increased heat tolerance, consistent pedal and lower consumables cost, but I wouldn't call them a priority unless you start doing lots of track days.

Those Pirellis will be a lot of fun the first few days. Their grip is limited and its easy to push them past the limit at moderate speeds - great way to learn the handling traits of a new car. After you wear them out you'll need to decide your goals. If you are serious about track days then you will probably want two sets of rims. 19" tires are $, so get a set of 18" rims, much cheaper to find race rubber for.

Have fun and give us a report back. Video and photos are always nice.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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carbotech RP2 fronts and xp8 rears for track work here. i am also a big fan of brembo lcf 600+ fluid. the koni yellows would be the way to go me thinks.
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Old 03-20-2012, 12:30 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback guys. Definately what I was looking for.

How do the Koni's compare to the Bilstens? Has anyone even tried them on their S197?
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Old 03-23-2012, 04:27 PM   #6
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Koni's have way more rebound control in their Sport version than Bilstein's do. Koni STR.T's and Bilstein are similar in the control. I sell Bilstein, I use Koni.
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Old 03-24-2012, 12:16 PM   #7
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Thanks Sam...After watching some of your AutoX videos, and your experience with the mustang, I appreciate your insight..I also know how much work you had to put in to get the neutrality and balance I've seen in your cars.

Would you recommend putting a set of swaybars on for this track session to help with transient response, or is it moot with stock (Bullitt) dampers?

Now if you ever have questions about GTI's, Rx7's or RS4's-I might be able to help you out.

Thanks again for your responses..
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Old 03-26-2012, 02:26 PM   #8
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Bullitt dampers *suck*. Add to that the transient response is mainly the dampers (bars and springs play in, but it's rebound damping that really controls the roll and pitch rate) and that's where you need to be. And that's why I really try and run Koni Sports. That adjustable rebound gives you control over the rate of response, the rate at each end, the feel, and some firmness too.

Let me make it easy. Rebound damping increases slow the roll and pitch rate of the car. It can do so much that folks will tell me the car "rolls less". Well, no.... but the rate of roll is so much better checked it feels that different to them. That's pretty impressive.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
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I have the Roush Trak Pak coilovers with 8 clicks/settings of rebound adjustment per damper. My understanding is that they were manufactured by KW to Roush research and development specifications.
How would they compare to the adjustable Konis?
They came as OEM parts on the car and are four years old. How long does an adjustable shock last before replacement and/or rebuild?
The car is driven to several tracks with about 2,000 miles of driving per year. So the car has 10,000 miles of track and street use on the dampers.
Sorry OP, probably should have started a new thread.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:47 PM   #10
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Lots of conjecture, not much fact on those.....

I can't even say for sure if KW built them or not. But even if they did the valving was probably spec'd by Roush (or maybe not). And who knows what that is, or even what the spring rates are. These are details that are sort of good to know when setting up a car.
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Old 03-26-2012, 04:47 PM
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