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

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Looking for Suspension Advice

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Old 03-28-2012, 05:16 AM   #1
Xeremeh
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Default Looking for Suspension Advice

Hey,

I've tried searching through threads (couldn't find anything for exactly what i'm looking for) and calling Sam (hasn't answered =( ).

Basically, I'm looking for an easy suspension setup for my daily driver 08 GT. I'm going to be introducing a Whipple H/O kit, and plan on running this 19x8.5/19x10 staggered wheel/tire setup from AM:

http://www.americanmuscle.com/blackg...elli-stag.html

I have done absolutely no suspension/handling work at all yet, and am a huge novice in this area. My goals are simple:

1. Keep as a daily driver PRIMARILY (IE: comfortable ride.. hence why I didn't get 20's)

2. Will be on the German autobahn a lot, and driven long distances, so not sure if that has a huge affect on things, but it will be going pretty quickly.

3. Be able to comfortably tackle European "fun" tracks, like the Nurburgring, without making me (an amateur) feel like I'm going to roll or run into a barrier (IE.. maintain a safe buffer zone for corners)

4. Keep it in a reasonable budget - no more than 3k for now, though that can up if absolutely necessary.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeremeh View Post
Hey,

I've tried searching through threads (couldn't find anything for exactly what i'm looking for) and calling Sam (hasn't answered =( ).

Basically, I'm looking for an easy suspension setup for my daily driver 08 GT. I'm going to be introducing a Whipple H/O kit, and plan on running this 19x8.5/19x10 staggered wheel/tire setup from AM:

http://www.americanmuscle.com/blackg...elli-stag.html

I have done absolutely no suspension/handling work at all yet, and am a huge novice in this area. My goals are simple:

1. Keep as a daily driver PRIMARILY (IE: comfortable ride.. hence why I didn't get 20's)

2. Will be on the German autobahn a lot, and driven long distances, so not sure if that has a huge affect on things, but it will be going pretty quickly.

3. Be able to comfortably tackle European "fun" tracks, like the Nurburgring, without making me (an amateur) feel like I'm going to roll or run into a barrier (IE.. maintain a safe buffer zone for corners)

4. Keep it in a reasonable budget - no more than 3k for now, though that can up if absolutely necessary.

Thanks in advance!
This package sounds exactly like what you are looking for:
http://www.steeda.com/store/steeda-h...d-mustang.html

It has our Pro-Action shocks/struts, sport springs, strut tower brace, bumpsteer kit, balljoints, and front/rear swaybars.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:14 PM   #3
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that steeda kit is an option, but the most recommended setup around here is koni yellows and steeda sport springs. that is a fantastic combination with better than factory ride quality and plenty of control for the track.
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Old 03-28-2012, 01:47 PM   #4
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http://www.roushperformance.com/part...2005-2010.html

This is the Roush Stage 2 suspension kit at $1,399. Ebay may be cheaper.
This is the stock suspension on my 2007 427R before my Trak Pak coilover mod which made it ride firmer/harder. The coilovers suit my track needs though and was worth the ride quality trade-off. My Mustang is not my daily driver.

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Old 03-28-2012, 05:30 PM   #5
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My prescription would be:

Koni Yellows
GT500 strut mounts
UPR Pro Series Springs
UPR upper and lower rear control arms. (Pro Street)
UPR double adjustable panhard bar
Eibach swaybars
UPR swaybar endlinks

^^that is a nice setup, very similar to what I'm running on my '06, and it's about $1600 which leaves you enough money to upgrade your brakes within your $3000 budget. Believe me, you'll need brake upgrades!
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Campo 427R View Post
http://www.roushperformance.com/part...2005-2010.html

This is the Roush Stage 2 suspension kit at $1,399. Ebay may be cheaper.
This is the stock suspension on my 2007 427R before my Trak Pak coilover mod which made it ride firmer/harder. The coilovers suit my track needs though and was worth the ride quality trade-off. My Mustang is not my daily driver.

FYI, Sam Strano responds quicker to emails.
How was the ride quality before the trak pak? That's more what I'm interested in preserving. And I've tried e-mailing Sam. Nothing in response. I suppose he's just really busy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UPRSharad
My prescription would be:

Koni Yellows
GT500 strut mounts
UPR Pro Series Springs
UPR upper and lower rear control arms. (Pro Street)
UPR double adjustable panhard bar
Eibach swaybars
UPR swaybar endlinks

^^that is a nice setup, very similar to what I'm running on my '06, and it's about $1600 which leaves you enough money to upgrade your brakes within your $3000 budget. Believe me, you'll need brake upgrades!
As far as Yellows go, I've seen a lot about how they are mostly for tracks, and that the SRTs are used for everyday DD's. Are the Yellows harsher than SRTs? And also the huge debate on U/LCA. Are they really necessary on the S197 for non-tracks as well?
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:26 AM   #7
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Sam says the STR.Ts are like Yellows on full soft.

What you need depends on how hard you drive the car and how well you can detect and benefit from the changes.

For street use you should probably not be driving any where near the limit where some of these modifications are a benefit.

And yes Sam seems to be really busy these days - you can tell from the number of postings he has been making.
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Old 03-29-2012, 06:36 AM   #8
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Hi Xeremeh,

Are you at an APO address? I'm not too far from you in Hohenfels. Shipping to an APO can be a real hassle as you already know if you're in that same boat as I am. I was able to get in touch with Sam and he shipped my Steeda Sports, Koni STR.Ts and Steeda HD Mounts to me for a shipping cost of $60. He was able to package it well and get everything into one box and it made it here in good condition. If I were going to track the car I would have gone with the Ultralights and Koni Yellows (I think he's still got a sale going on right now), but for my DD the sports and str.ts are just fine.

Naturally, any lowered car is going to have a bit harder ride, but the combination he sent me works well and is comfortable for a guy with an "old-man-back." I fell in love all over again. Here's what mine looks like with stock wheels:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

I also added a BMR Panhard and will change out the LCAs and sways later on. At the moment I don't feel I need them, but may do it anyway after I take care of more important things like wheels, tires, tune, etc.

I recommend keep trying to get ahold of Sam and let him do his magic.

Good luck!
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper_08 View Post
Sam says the STR.Ts are like Yellows on full soft.

What you need depends on how hard you drive the car and how well you can detect and benefit from the changes.

For street use you should probably not be driving any where near the limit where some of these modifications are a benefit.
I think that STR.T's are what I'll end up going for.

Like I said, I'm pretty novice on the tracks, but I want to start off with a good base that I can learn well on, and still keep as a DD.
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Old 03-29-2012, 08:18 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by YerBuddy View Post
Are you at an APO address? I'm not too far from you in Hohenfels. Shipping to an APO can be a real hassle as you already know if you're in that same boat as I am. I was able to get in touch with Sam and he shipped my Steeda Sports, Koni STR.Ts and Steeda HD Mounts to me for a shipping cost of $60. He was able to package it well and get everything into one box and it made it here in good condition. If I were going to track the car I would have gone with the Ultralights and Koni Yellows (I think he's still got a sale going on right now), but for my DD the sports and str.ts are just fine.

I also added a BMR Panhard and will change out the LCAs and sways later on. At the moment I don't feel I need them, but may do it anyway after I take care of more important things like wheels, tires, tune, etc.
Hey, yeah, I am at an APO address, though my buddy said I can send things to his house if needed... which is what I'll have to end up doing with my S/C, I'm sure. That setup is kind of what I've been leaning on, but I want to get in touch with Sam before pulling the trigger. I'm going to try and call him tonight about it.

Have you done much driving abouts yet? I'm really interested in a few of the tracks (including the famous nurburgring), and some of the rural driving across the continent. I fell in with a british mustang club that are pretty friendly to "yanks", so plan on running with them a bit. Let me know if you're interested in doing a few runs once I get back!

As far as the PHB and U/LCAs, I've heard a lot of go back and forth between them, but nothing solid for what I want to do.
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Old 03-29-2012, 09:25 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Xeremeh View Post
I think that STR.T's are what I'll end up going for.

Like I said, I'm pretty novice on the tracks, but I want to start off with a good base that I can learn well on, and still keep as a DD.
One thing to keep in mind is that it is cheaper to buy the Yellows NOW then it is to buy the STR.Ts now and the Yellows later. With the yellows you have the ability to tune to your liking and even if you adjust them to full soft and leave them, should you decide to change them you can and don't have to buy another set of shocks/struts later. Buy Once, Cry Once as the saying goes. Yes it is more expensive now, but it saves you from buying it again in the not to distant future.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:24 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Xeremeh View Post
Hey, yeah, I am at an APO address, though my buddy said I can send things to his house if needed... which is what I'll have to end up doing with my S/C, I'm sure. That setup is kind of what I've been leaning on, but I want to get in touch with Sam before pulling the trigger. I'm going to try and call him tonight about it.

Have you done much driving abouts yet? I'm really interested in a few of the tracks (including the famous nurburgring), and some of the rural driving across the continent. I fell in with a british mustang club that are pretty friendly to "yanks", so plan on running with them a bit. Let me know if you're interested in doing a few runs once I get back!

As far as the PHB and U/LCAs, I've heard a lot of go back and forth between them, but nothing solid for what I want to do.
I've done quite a bit of short autobahn runs, but no track stuff whatsoever. I will drive the Nurburgring at least once before I leave this country. It would be a shame to be so close and not take advantage of it. So yeah, I'm definitely interested. We can exchange email addresses when you get back. PM me.

There is also a very good American Muscle car show twice a month, starting this month, in Nuremberg. There are at least four of us, with Mustangs, from Hohenfels who go there. The first one for the year is on Saturday, 07 APR. It's a great time and there are so many really nice American cars there it will blow you away. Here's just a sample of the stuff you can see there:

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Anyway, it's a great time. It starts at 2030 and usually lasts a few hours where everyone parks in a lot and people walk around and look at our cars. Then, at about 2200 they do a cruise thru Nuremberg. That's why they call it Saturday Night Cruise. The Germans love good American Made cars even if they don't want to admit it...

Shoot me a PM and I can give you the info.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey11 View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that it is cheaper to buy the Yellows NOW then it is to buy the STR.Ts now and the Yellows later. With the yellows you have the ability to tune to your liking and even if you adjust them to full soft and leave them, should you decide to change them you can and don't have to buy another set of shocks/struts later. Buy Once, Cry Once as the saying goes. Yes it is more expensive now, but it saves you from buying it again in the not to distant future.
There's a lot to be said for this. If the yellows would have been on sale at the time I ordered I probably would have spent the extra cash. Especially if you are going to track your car often, the yellow are the way to go. For me, since I know I'm only going to go to the track maybe once or twice in the life of the car, it's not that huge a deal. I just wanted to get rid of the 4x4 look...
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:26 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ShaneM View Post
that steeda kit is an option, but the most recommended setup around here is koni yellows and steeda sport springs. that is a fantastic combination with better than factory ride quality and plenty of control for the track.
This plus Steeda HD mounts, BMR LCAs, Adjustable UCA and Adjustable Panhard Bar. NO better time than now to purchase yellows! There's a reason Sam is so swamped!
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:37 PM   #14
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Appreciate it, Baker and Buddy.

Definitely going to try and give Sam a call now. Damn Afghanistan time difference is killing my modding habits.

Buddy, I'm certainly interested in going up there with yah. I think Schweinfurt is actually closer to Nuremburg as well, but I always get lost trying to drive through the crazy German streets, and end up in the middle of what town square I happen to be in with everyone thinking I'm a showboat in my fancy American muscle car... though I really just happen to be lost. =( I'll hafta meet up with ya'll. lol
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:00 PM   #15
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Busy doesn't start to describe what I am. That said, I get probably 30 messages a day that amount to "I hear you are helpful, tell me what to do". That's not very much for me to go on, and honestly the priority is dealing with orders have in hand.

I don't mind answering questions, but I am careful about because I get screwed quite often for advice and never get a sale from it, folks take the information and run. So I'm sorry, but I can't answer every e-mail, and I don't want to answer some. That said, I don't recall seeing one from you, of course I don't see a name attached and all either, so it's hard to tell. The phone is the best way to get me if you want to talk shop, that can be hard too, because when I can't get to voicemail for days at a time you can guess I'm pretty swamped. Just keep trying.

What would I do? Easy. Koni Sports, some decent springs (we have a few options here), a Watts link, and my bars. I'd also add some sort of HD mount or camber plate. All that stuff would come to around $2200-2300 plus whatever shipping is.

The Koni's will give the rebound control you need, and the chance to tweak the response and feel of the car. The swaybars give you options on balance changes since both the front and rear are 3-way adjustable. The Watts link stabilizes the back of the car a ton vs. a PHB setup, and if you want to tighten it down more you can drop the roll center with it. You want camber adjustment because for high speed autobahn type runs you don't want much negative camber at all, but you do for track use.

Does that help?
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeremeh View Post
As far as Yellows go, I've seen a lot about how they are mostly for tracks, and that the SRTs are used for everyday DD's. Are the Yellows harsher than SRTs? And also the huge debate on U/LCA. Are they really necessary on the S197 for non-tracks as well?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeper_08 View Post
STR.Ts are like Yellows on full soft.
^^What he said. The beauty of the Yellows is that you can make them tame for daily duty, but dial them in for track days. The control arms are absolutely necessary, in my opinion. On the street, they eliminated wheelhop on my car.

Now, I need to be specific about their benefit on the track so you understand this is not merely anecdotal evidence. Last year at Sebring International Raceway, I did a suspension test with Steeda. (I'm a writer for 5.0 Mustang Magazine ) After three twenty minute sessions on the factory control arms, the guys installed a new pair of LCAs in the pits, then I went back out and ran another 20 minute session with no other suspension changes. Without question, the car was more stable in transitions and over rough surfaces with the upgraded control arms. I believe it is because the control arms keep the rear end from basically flopping around on the factory rubber bushings. Whatever it is, I was able to carry more speed over the rougher sections of the track and I could power down sooner exiting the corners.

So if you're considering any HPDEs or a trip to Nurburgring, I'd consider upgraded control arms a necessity.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeremeh View Post
I'm really interested in a few of the tracks (including the famous nurburgring), and some of the rural driving across the continent. I fell in with a british mustang club that are pretty friendly to "yanks", so plan on running with them a bit. Let me know if you're interested in doing a few runs once I get back!

As far as the PHB and U/LCAs, I've heard a lot of go back and forth between them, but nothing solid for what I want to do.
The UPR PHB, UPR panhard brace, and UPR control arms were a solid improvement on my car. No question.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Whiskey11 View Post
One thing to keep in mind is that it is cheaper to buy the Yellows NOW then it is to buy the STR.Ts now and the Yellows later. With the yellows you have the ability to tune to your liking and even if you adjust them to full soft and leave them, should you decide to change them you can and don't have to buy another set of shocks/struts later. Buy Once, Cry Once as the saying goes. Yes it is more expensive now, but it saves you from buying it again in the not to distant future.
Couldn't have said it better myself! (and btw, I don't even sell Konis)
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Old 03-29-2012, 03:33 PM   #17
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Appreciate it, Baker and Buddy.

Definitely going to try and give Sam a call now. Damn Afghanistan time difference is killing my modding habits.

Buddy, I'm certainly interested in going up there with yah. I think Schweinfurt is actually closer to Nuremburg as well, but I always get lost trying to drive through the crazy German streets, and end up in the middle of what town square I happen to be in with everyone thinking I'm a showboat in my fancy American muscle car... though I really just happen to be lost. =( I'll hafta meet up with ya'll. lol
Send me a PM when you get back bud. I know how it feels to be away...it sucks! I can give you the exact address to the place and we can meet up. Stay safe over there in Asscrackistan brother!
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Old 03-29-2012, 05:48 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=Xeremeh;7891747]How was the ride quality before the trak pak? That's more what I'm interested in preserving. And I've tried e-mailing Sam. Nothing in response. I suppose he's just really busy.

The ride quality was excellent. Even on full soft adjustment the coilovers are more firm. I'm glad i don't drive it daily and its just back and forth to the track and the occasional weekend car club cruise.

Sam says that the S197 chassis is under damped, especially for track use. I suggest the Koni SRTs and springs from his website. They should give you the best of both worlds, daily driving comfort with a track day thrown in every now and then.

I've found that dampers and tires are very noticable mods when tracking the car. I've always had the upgraded front brake kit with ss lines and cooling ducts that I ordered as an option when i purchased.
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Old 03-30-2012, 05:02 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Strano View Post
Busy doesn't start to describe what I am. That said, I get probably 30 messages a day that amount to "I hear you are helpful, tell me what to do". That's not very much for me to go on, and honestly the priority is dealing with orders have in hand.

I don't mind answering questions, but I am careful about because I get screwed quite often for advice and never get a sale from it, folks take the information and run. So I'm sorry, but I can't answer every e-mail, and I don't want to answer some. That said, I don't recall seeing one from you, of course I don't see a name attached and all either, so it's hard to tell. The phone is the best way to get me if you want to talk shop, that can be hard too, because when I can't get to voicemail for days at a time you can guess I'm pretty swamped. Just keep trying.

What would I do? Easy. Koni Sports, some decent springs (we have a few options here), a Watts link, and my bars. I'd also add some sort of HD mount or camber plate. All that stuff would come to around $2200-2300 plus whatever shipping is.

The Koni's will give the rebound control you need, and the chance to tweak the response and feel of the car. The swaybars give you options on balance changes since both the front and rear are 3-way adjustable. The Watts link stabilizes the back of the car a ton vs. a PHB setup, and if you want to tighten it down more you can drop the roll center with it. You want camber adjustment because for high speed autobahn type runs you don't want much negative camber at all, but you do for track use.

Does that help?
Hey Sam, thanks for getting back to me. I understand you're busy, and really appreciate it. Couple of questions...

How much can the Yellow be dialed down? Is the ride quality smooth enough for a DD? I plan on matching them with the Steeda Sport springs, after reading a lot of Ultralight vs. Sports threads.. including one with a lot of your comments in it.

Which bars set of yours do you recommend? I see 4 different packages and have no idea which is best for me. Do I need end-links?

How necessary is the HD mount/camber for non-track use? I will be moving back to the states in a few years and won't be doing much straight-line speeding afterwards, so not sure about tossing the money at it now.

Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:12 AM   #20
Whiskey11
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Originally Posted by Xeremeh View Post
Hey Sam, thanks for getting back to me. I understand you're busy, and really appreciate it. Couple of questions...

How much can the Yellow be dialed down? Is the ride quality smooth enough for a DD? I plan on matching them with the Steeda Sport springs, after reading a lot of Ultralight vs. Sports threads.. including one with a lot of your comments in it.

Which bars set of yours do you recommend? I see 4 different packages and have no idea which is best for me. Do I need end-links?

How necessary is the HD mount/camber for non-track use? I will be moving back to the states in a few years and won't be doing much straight-line speeding afterwards, so not sure about tossing the money at it now.

Thanks!
I can't answer for the Konis but I can only imagine they will go as soft as my D-specs, which can be dialed down to very floaty and bouncy to practically rigid at fully closed. That is on stock springs so I imagine the Konis are going to be similar.

I would highly recommend the HD mounts or plates now rather than later. Lowering springs are notorious for killing the stock strut mounts. You either spend the money on the GT500 mounts (and toss out $100 when you switch to plates/HD mount) or you spend $270 now to get some adjustment and get rid of the stock style strut mounts. This is kinda like the shocks/struts. Sure you might be able to sell the GT500 mounts later but is your time worth the hassle of doing it all again when you get stateside? Not to mention the camber adjustment goes both less and more negative so you can set yourself up for factory spec camber now and when you get home dial it up for the curvies. And plates will always be better than the camber bolts.

You should really give Sam a call and ask about the bars. It will depend on your goals and the rest of the stuff on the car. He recommended a bar I previously understood to be too heavy so I can run the Watts at the bottom hole. Good for me to know but for someone else who isn't using a watts that bar could be too heavy.
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Old 03-30-2012, 11:12 AM
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