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Roush Stage 2 Suspension

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Old 07-14-2013, 03:16 PM   #1
VistaGT
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Default Roush Stage 2 Suspension

Looking for a suspension kit and a better stance, I got the Roush Stage 2 suspension; was this the right call?

There aren't really that many reviews of the suspension itself, most reviews just talk about Roush's overall performance with not much to say about the suspension. Also, the reviews that mention suspension in-depth are referring to the coil-over setup on the Trak Pak. From what I gather about the Stage 2, it's the most comfortable riding setup with barely any degradation over stock, however with that said, is the performance still there? How is the performance/handling - top-tier, or what?

http://www.roushperformance.com/part...2005-2010.html

Any and all input is appreciated, Thanks!!!!


Also, in your opinions, is the 1" drop enough as far as improving the aesthetics? Any pictures from those who have this is appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:12 PM   #2
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I have it, and love it.

I did add a few more pieces than just the core Stage 2 suspension kit at the same time, so your mileage may vary. I also installed J&M camber plates, Roush LCAs, Roush strut tower brace, and a BMR adjustable panhard bar and brace. The ride is a bit more "stiff" than stock, but I was fully expecting that. It's not a rough ride by any means, but it's certainly not as smooth and "floaty" as stock. That said, the car handles like it's on rails now and combined with my 10" wide Roush forged wheels, the car is planted at all times with virtually no body roll.

Here are some pics of what I installed and how the car sits with these parts:

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Old 07-15-2013, 06:47 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by VistaGT View Post
Looking for a suspension kit and a better stance, I got the Roush Stage 2 suspension; was this the right call?

There aren't really that many reviews of the suspension itself, most reviews just talk about Roush's overall performance with not much to say about the suspension. Also, the reviews that mention suspension in-depth are referring to the coil-over setup on the Trak Pak. From what I gather about the Stage 2, it's the most comfortable riding setup with barely any degradation over stock, however with that said, is the performance still there? How is the performance/handling - top-tier, or what?

http://www.roushperformance.com/part...2005-2010.html

Any and all input is appreciated, Thanks!!!!


Also, in your opinions, is the 1" drop enough as far as improving the aesthetics? Any pictures from those who have this is appreciated.

I've driven this Roush package with slight upgrades and the best thing I can say about it is at least they did not excessively lower the ride height and the dampers are not terrible. The springs and bars are typical "sport" street rates and the dampers are not great but the package as a whole drives decently enough. This is not a bad way to go for a very low price but in terms of actual performance once you get sticky tires on wheels wide enough support sticky rubber to generate grip the springs are soft and the dampers are inadequate. Drive it for a year or so, get comfortable with the new suspension. If you actually get to drive the tires hard enough to make them work you will find the damping and springs are weak.

The best thing you can do to an S197 chassis Mustang that is street driven or is a DD is install some good dampers (Koni Sports are my first choice for a stock style strut) with good adjustable camber plates (Ground Control are great race plates, Vorshlag may be quieter on the street but not as good a mechanical design) and dial in -2 to -2.5 degrees negative camber and under load zero out the toe. Buy a large 36mm front bar leave the stock 19-20mm rear bar and install a Steeda Watt's link. Roush makes some excellent forged wheels that are 10" wide all around, put some 275s on them and this will give you an excellent handling car with no bad habits, decent ride and incredibly good handling.

HTH!
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Last edited by F1Fan; 07-26-2013 at 12:00 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 07-15-2013, 07:49 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VistaGT View Post
Looking for a suspension kit and a better stance, I got the Roush Stage 2 suspension; was this the right call?

There aren't really that many reviews of the suspension itself, most reviews just talk about Roush's overall performance with not much to say about the suspension. Also, the reviews that mention suspension in-depth are referring to the coil-over setup on the Trak Pak. From what I gather about the Stage 2, it's the most comfortable riding setup with barely any degradation over stock, however with that said, is the performance still there? How is the performance/handling - top-tier, or what?

http://www.roushperformance.com/part...2005-2010.html

Any and all input is appreciated, Thanks!!!!


Also, in your opinions, is the 1" drop enough as far as improving the aesthetics? Any pictures from those who have this is appreciated.

That's a decent setup, but control arms and an adjustable panhard bar should be a part of the upgrade. They make a very noticeable improvement in handling. Of course, I recommend www.uprproducts.com
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Old 07-16-2013, 10:41 PM   #5
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My car came with the stock Stage 2 suspension. The dampers started leaking after about a year and decided to upgrade to the Roush Trak Pak set-up. I ran this set-up for about a year and decided to add the Torsen differential and a Fays 2 watts link along with the Roush LCAs. The car handles really well on the local road course tracks for my HPDEs. This allowed me to adjust the camber to -2.5 degrees and run a dedicated set of track wheels and tires.
The ride is harsh compared to the Stage 2 suspension but I can click the dampers to a softer street ride. The wife misses the Stage 2 suspension, even when the Trak Pak dampers are set to full soft for street use. This car is used to commute for HPDE days and only has 12,000 miles, so she doesn't ride much as a passenger.
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Old 07-17-2013, 02:01 PM   #6
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Hey guys thanks for the input. I'm going to keep the Roush kit but may pick up some additions. Do you think the following are necessary or at least a worthwhile upgrade while everything is apart? For the record the car has 45k miles and I already have solid Steeda LCA

- GT500 strut mounts
- Adjustable PH bar
- PH bar brace
-Caster/Camber bolts
- Caster/Camber plates
- LCA relocation brackets
- Steeda X5 ball joints
- Steeda bumpsteer kit

Thanks for the input!!!
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Old 07-17-2013, 03:37 PM   #7
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I would suggest Maximum Motorsports or Steeda camber plates. But careful as -2.5' or greater camber adjustments wears tires out fast.

Bump steer kit is recommended for lowered cars.

Steeda X5 ball joints are longer but have only seen them breaking on track cars.

I would get a watts link rather than replace the PH bar. It really settles the live axle rear end down, especially over high speed bumps and in curves and corners. The Fays 2 is least expensive followed by Whiteline, Cortex, Steeda and then Griggs. The Fays 2 and Steeda should be easy to install bolt ons. The others require a new differential girdle cover. The Steeda unit is similar to the Fays 2 except made from chromoly steel and lighter, thus more money.
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Old 07-17-2013, 06:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by VistaGT View Post
Hey guys thanks for the input. I'm going to keep the Roush kit but may pick up some additions. Do you think the following are necessary or at least a worthwhile upgrade while everything is apart? For the record the car has 45k miles and I already have solid Steeda LCA

- GT500 strut mounts
- Adjustable PH bar
- PH bar brace
-Caster/Camber bolts
- Caster/Camber plates
- LCA relocation brackets
- Steeda X5 ball joints
- Steeda bumpsteer kit

Thanks for the input!!!
I used the UPR Products adjustable panhard bar and brace on my car. It tightened up the rear end slop.
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Old 07-17-2013, 08:22 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VistaGT View Post
Hey guys thanks for the input. I'm going to keep the Roush kit but may pick up some additions. Do you think the following are necessary or at least a worthwhile upgrade while everything is apart? For the record the car has 45k miles and I already have solid Steeda LCA

- GT500 strut mounts
- Adjustable PH bar
- PH bar brace
-Caster/Camber bolts
- Caster/Camber plates
- LCA relocation brackets
- Steeda X5 ball joints
- Steeda bumpsteer kit

Thanks for the input!!!

If you are serious about improving your car's handling you need better dampers. You will wind up buying them sooner than later and nothing on your parts list can make as big a difference in handling quality and chassis control.

The GT500 strut mounts with their firmer bushing material won't buy you anything in terms of performance but they are more reliable than the stock GT mounts.

Unless you have good dampers and poly bushings on your 3-link and anti-roll bar (all six of them) even the stiffest adjustable panhard bar will make no appreciable improvement in handling. The panhard brace is an important bit of chassis stiffening that improves chassis life and transitional handling. But the handling bit only happens if the PB is stiff and you have poly bushings on both ends and tires that can generate enough grip. A Watt's link is superior in every important way to a panhard bar even if the PB is adjustable for roll center height.

Caster/camber bolts are unreliable and do not hold alignment when stressed on the street or the track. Camber bolts also sheer because they are undersized and cannot be torqued to an adequate level. Yes they are cheap but they are not reliable. That is why there are Ground Control and Vorshlag camber plates which are strong enough to take a beating and hold alignment without breaking under stress.

Unless you lower your ride height more then 1.5" you do not need LCA relocation brackets. These are only a good idea for a serious road course car or a drag car. For a street car the money is better spent elsewhere.

Steeda X5 ball joints are good, very strong, but not necessary unless you lower the car significantly more than 1" in front. A better option would be to buy the Steeda front control arms with poly bushings installed and the X5 ball joints. This really wakes up your steering feel and precision when combined with a GC or Vorshalg camber plate.

Bumpsteer kit is the same, not needed unless you lower the front ride height more than 1". Then it can make a significant improvement in steering.

The biggest improvements you can make will be good dampers and a Watt's link. Your list is basically a fashion statement if it is used for a street car. Save your money.
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Last edited by F1Fan; 07-19-2013 at 12:06 PM. Reason: typos, clarity
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Old 07-17-2013, 10:00 PM   #10
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F1fan, thanks for the long and detailed input. You definitely sound like a hardcore corner carver. I just have to ask though (and i haven't personally driven any s197 with modified suspension), are you perhaps putting down the roush kit because its not up to your higher standards? I only ask as many others said the handling was good and its definitely not a cheap kit, I wonder how it is as a setup for mainly street? Ive had the car over 7 years and have never gone to a track other than the strip.....

I'm also not really a hardcore handling person, I simply have realized that the stock setup is unfulfilling and not much fun to drive. While I plan to go to a road course, i do not believe I will frequent them (though who knows I may become hooked!).....

Anyway....thats where I am now. Basically could a full Roush suspension kit really be that inferior....or is it simply not up to par when compared with track setups
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:07 PM   #11
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My car originally came with the Roush Stage 2 suspension and was tracked at six HPDE events during the first year of ownership. The second year saw the upgrade to the Roush Trak Pak suspension and new tires. If I had to do it all over I would have bought my dampers, springs, sway bars from Strano Auto. I now track the car about eight times a year and really feel the biggest improvements in this order are the dampers, tires and watts link.
I don't think you could go wrong with a Stage 2 suspension kit for your current needs/wants. Take the car to a local HPDE event, if and when you get hooked the list of mods will grow to match your speed and confidence around the track.
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Old 07-19-2013, 11:56 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VistaGT View Post
F1fan, thanks for the long and detailed input. You definitely sound like a hardcore corner carver. I just have to ask though (and i haven't personally driven any s197 with modified suspension), are you perhaps putting down the roush kit because its not up to your higher standards? I only ask as many others said the handling was good and its definitely not a cheap kit, I wonder how it is as a setup for mainly street? Ive had the car over 7 years and have never gone to a track other than the strip.....

I'm also not really a hardcore handling person, I simply have realized that the stock setup is unfulfilling and not much fun to drive. While I plan to go to a road course, i do not believe I will frequent them (though who knows I may become hooked!).....

Anyway....thats where I am now. Basically could a full Roush suspension kit really be that inferior....or is it simply not up to par when compared with track setups

Vista dude, I'm not putting down the Roush suspension, I'm just telling you how it is. I don't know where you are but if you could drive a well setup S197 chassis in your area you would know why I posted what I did. The main issues with the S197 chassis have mainly to do with the damper calibration that many manufactures of "sport" dampers feel they have to use (too much bump and not enough low speed rebound damping), the soft bushings used to isolate the average buyer from the road and once you fix the squishy bushings the panhard bar. The stock geometry and stick axle are both positives for grip and handling though the stick axle will come back to haunt you in terms bumpy surface ride and handling.

The problem is that the S197 chassis is so much better than the typical inexpensive "sport" suspension kits out there are delivering. Don't kid yourself, the Roush kit is very inexpensive for a complete suspension which is part of the problem. Trust me it's very easy to spend more than the Roush kit price on a single damper if you are a serious suspension nerd. Heck, any of the good Watt's links will cost you at least 80% of the whole Roush kit cost.

The reason you are bored with your Roush suspension is that the chassis does not speak to the driver very well and even though we have paid the price of being so isolated from the road the S197 does not ride very well. The main reason for poor communication is too much isolation in the steering and bushings not engineered to let through the right feedback while isolating most of the bad stuff. If you lose the huge oil filled control arm bushings on the back of the front control arms and the soft strut mounts and soft bushings on the rear dampers and improve the damper curves to actually dampen at low speeds the chassis will communicate with you much better. Getting rid of the stock and Roush dampers that are over damped in bump/compression and under damped in rebound with proper slow speed damping curves and the car becomes better riding and better communicating what is going on to the driver.

LOL, you are a handling person or you would not be bored with the chassis. I am talking about street cars, race cars for the most part don't use inexpensive dampers, rubber bushings and low rate progressive springs that excessively lower ride height.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 427Roush View Post
My car came with the stock Stage 2 suspension. The dampers started leaking after about a year and decided to upgrade to the Roush Trak Pak set-up. I ran this set-up for about a year and decided to add the Torsen differential and a Fays 2 watts link along with the Roush LCAs. The car handles really well on the local road course tracks for my HPDEs. This allowed me to adjust the camber to -2.5 degrees and run a dedicated set of track wheels and tires.
The ride is harsh compared to the Stage 2 suspension but I can click the dampers to a softer street ride. The wife misses the Stage 2 suspension, even when the Trak Pak dampers are set to full soft for street use. This car is used to commute for HPDE days and only has 12,000 miles, so she doesn't ride much as a passenger.
Replace your dampers with some fabricated struts and use Koni Race double adjustable dampers front and rear and your wife will think the car rides like stock again. You will need some springs that are appropriate for the job and local roads if this is really a street car. Depending on what bars you have start at about 400lbs in front and 175lb or so at the rear. Or you could just call up Ground Control and have them build you a set of Koni D/A coilovers and save a lot of time and money. Be sure to buy race camber plates so you can get enough camber in front.

HTH!
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 PM   #14
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<<SNIPPED>>
I'm also not really a hardcore handling person, I simply have realized that the stock setup is unfulfilling and not much fun to drive. While I plan to go to a road course, i do not believe I will frequent them (though who knows I may become hooked!).....
IMO with all the marketing and parts sales emphasis on maximum grip people have forgotten about handling and fun driving. Upgrade your kit dampers, upgrade the things that improve steering (front control arm bushings, X5s, bumpsteer and FCA relocation to optimize geometry) and get a good Watt's link (Steeda or Griggs, yes there are others and they remain so for good reasons) and stay on skinny tires if fun is your goal.
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Old 07-19-2013, 12:15 PM
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