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

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Old 02-02-2006, 01:34 AM   #21
smedin
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Hard to argue with you, sir, it sounds like you know what's up. Mine are sport springs. Stock shocks being adequate was quoted by a Steeda employee in a magazine article about Steeda products for the new Mustang GT...

OK, I'll redo the shock mounts, and if the axle is off, I'll get an adjustable panhard. I do want to get some bigger wheels/tires, and I DO drive the car. I suppose the need for shocks would have become self-evident.

Thanks kindly for the invite to your place, but I'm in Minnesota, so, I'll just have to figure it out on my own...

Thanks for the advice! I'll post more as I do more.


Quote:
ORIGINAL: F1Fan



Hi smedin,

Based on the images you posted I'd say you need to loosen and retorque the lower shock bolts to release the bushing preload. Yes, you should raise the car and loosen the bottom shock bolts so they are free enough to let the shocks move freely. Then lower the car and give it a several big bounces to release any stiction in the suspension, then get you air wrench or socket wrench on the lower bolts and retorque. If you tightened the lower shock bolts with the car in the air and the axle at full droop and don't redo the lower shock bolts you'll have left some preload on the lower shock bushings forcing the car's rear end up and making the bushing bind in their normal level position. Once you redo the lower shock bolts carefully re-measure on a level poured slab or level shop floor using fishing line and a plumb bob to take your measurements, take your time. It's very unlikely that the axle is only shifted left 1/8" if your car is straight and you are measuring correctly (after the lower bolt redo), on a flat level surface. Check the floor with a 6 foot level or use a leveled computer alignment rack to take your measurements (this is how I centered my own axle), or a muffler shop drive on lift. The car needs to be settled and a few miles on the new springs to set them on their seats, also have at least a half tank of gas when you do this measurement and adjustment. I think you'll find that the shift is larger than you found the first time. If you hope to get larger, wider wheels and tires an 1/8" can make the difference between tire or fender damage and a perfect fit.

All of the current Steeda catalog springs lower the '05 GT's about the same amount, about 1" in front and about 1.2" at the rear of the chassis. Trust me, it just seems like more drop than they say. If you measured before and after you would see that you did not get the car all the way down on the springs, you still have more to go. Did you buy Steeda Sport springs or Steeda's Competition springs? Steeda's Sport springs are not as high a rate spring as the Steeda Competition springs or Eibach's or H&R's Sport spring kits do. If you got Steeda Sport springs you may be able to get away with the stock struts and rear dampers until they loosen up at 8-10K, then they will start too feel too soft and the car will oscillate or bounce too much on the highway and in the turns where you are working the springs more.

Steeda's Competition springs are too stiff for the stock GT valve rates and you will be pogoing down the road just like Eibach's and H&R's Sport springs do on the stock GT struts and rear shocks. I had the Eibach Sport-Kit springs on my car for a few months when it was brand new and the shocks were O.K. but the valving was off, too much compression dampening and not enough rebound dampening. But after a couple of thousand miles the dampers softened up and the car was all over the place when I pushed the car at all. This is on top of the rear wheel-hop problem that arose once the stock shocks had broken-in when launching hard from a dig. Trust me on this, if you DRIVE the car you will need the adjustable struts and rear dampers. The Tokico Spec-D struts and dampers are only $600 for all four corners and the difference is truly amazing. If the guy you talked to a Steeda said that the stock struts and dampers are stiff enough as is, he has NOT driven a new GT with broken in stock struts and dampers sitting on sport springs. The other possibility is that he needed the sale and felt you were not going to pony up for the Tokico's up front. If you get the Tokico Spec-D's and are located in SoCal come on over to my house and I'll help you install them. I have shop air in my garage and a special fridge in the garage full of beer. It only takes an hour or two depending on how much bench racing we do while installing the dampers.

Cheers


Quote:
ORIGINAL: smedin

I tightened the shocks while the car was still up in the air. Should I loosen and retighten them while on the ground? The 1/8" axle shift seems minimal, I didn't think that it was worth worrying about...

The 2 degrees in front is only an estimate, it may be a little less. The Steedas lowered the car more than I expected, I think it's more than an inch, especially in back. I did order camber bolts.

The Steedas spring rate is not that much different than stock, the ride is actually quite nice. Even Steeda admits that the stock shocks are aggessive enough to deal with their springs. That said, I probably will get shocks eventually.

Overall, I am digging the change. And I am digging this thread. Thanks for all the advice, keep it coming.

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Old 02-07-2006, 12:38 AM   #22
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Okay, lots of info here, hard to sort out. Basically, I want to lower my car about one to one and a half inch. Want to tighten it up for corners. And it has this real annoying habit of when you go fast staight out, when you go over a minor ridge (like an expansion joint with a lip) it gets real squirrelly.
I plan on doing shocks/struts at the same time, but need to stall on panhards,sways,etc. due to the fact that this isn't my only vehicle or only hobby!
I want a firm ride, and retain some ground clearance due to the lovely roads here in PA.It gets driven a few days a week, so I aim for practical.
Appreciate any and all input.
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Old 02-07-2006, 12:41 AM   #23
smedin
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Steeda Sport springs. Tokico shocks/struts. Perfect.
Quote:
ORIGINAL: Longhaul89

Okay, lots of info here, hard to sort out. Basically, I want to lower my car about one to one and a half inch. Want to tighten it up for corners. And it has this real annoying habit of when you go fast staight out, when you go over a minor ridge (like an expansion joint with a lip) it gets real squirrelly.
I plan on doing shocks/struts at the same time, but need to stall on panhards,sways,etc. due to the fact that this isn't my only vehicle or only hobby!
I want a firm ride, and retain some ground clearance due to the lovely roads here in PA.It gets driven a few days a week, so I aim for practical.
Appreciate any and all input.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:41 AM   #24
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT


Hi LongHaul,

From your description I'd have to say H&R Sport Springs #51655 or Steeda 05/06 Sport Springs #555-8215/8216 are the best choices out there. Both of these spring sets are perfect for places that have some rough pavement and you want to retain some ground clearance. Both of these kits lower the fronts about an inch, maybe a bit less. The H&R springs sit very slightly higher in the back as the German habit is to stuff the car with (large), people and fill the boot with the stuff that four large people need to travel. Steeda's spring set is also very practical for typical American use and is slightly lower in the back and IMO looks better. Both are not too stiff but you will feel an improvment in roll resistance and brake dive. You can actually get away with the stock sturts and rear dampers initally but you will soon tire of the bouncing motion over rolling highway pavement and the lack of body control in sharp steering inputs during fast driving. Anyway the Tokico Spec-D adjustable struts and rear dampers are only $600 and worth double every penny. There is no real additional cost to install the performance struts and shock as you have to remove the stock struts and dampers anyway to install the sportsprings. Do them at the same time you won't be sorry.

BUT having said how wonderfull this combination can be I need to clarify one point you make. When cornering and your rear axle crosses a pavement irregularity the rear end is always going to give a little side-step as it looses and regains grip with the pavement. This is just a fact of life and this or any other performance suspension is not going to overcome the fact that the S197 is a live axle car. If you make the struts and rear dampers stiff enough you can make this handling trait worse. This is one of the reasons I prefer to use spring rate and suspension geometry to control roll instead of anti-roll bars. Anti-roll bars work by connecting the inside tire's suspension to the outside tire's suspension, this makes the car resist body roll but has the disadvantage of more firmly coupling both sides of the suspension when under cornering load which can upset the chassis over rough pavement. On smooth pavement this works great but on rough pavement or pavement with irregularlarities this causes the rear grip to be reduced and makes the car more difficult to control. If you don't like the rear-end stepping out on you in corners with a rough surface do not buy larger anti-roll bars. Also, do not crank up the shock stiffness too much or you will be just as bad off as not having any shocks. Once you have the springs and struts in get an adjustable Panhard Bar and a HD Panhard bar brace to support it propperly. Very carfully measure the axle and get it as well centered as you possibly can. This make a big difference in handling left to right feel while cornering.

I hope this answers your questions and offers you some guidance. If you have anyother Q's you know where to find me.


Cheers




Quote:
ORIGINAL: Longhaul89

Okay, lots of info here, hard to sort out. Basically, I want to lower my car about one to one and a half inch. Want to tighten it up for corners. And it has this real annoying habit of when you go fast staight out, when you go over a minor ridge (like an expansion joint with a lip) it gets real squirrelly.
I plan on doing shocks/struts at the same time, but need to stall on panhards,sways,etc. due to the fact that this isn't my only vehicle or only hobby!
I want a firm ride, and retain some ground clearance due to the lovely roads here in PA.It gets driven a few days a week, so I aim for practical.
Appreciate any and all input.
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:15 PM   #25
RPM
 
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Installed the Eibach Pro Kit. Stock shocks & struts. No issues.


[IMG]local://upfiles/25932/4910CD9C78F24E2C978ECA55120A7530.jpg[/IMG]
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Old 02-07-2006, 03:24 PM   #26
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Yummy looking! Cant wait to put my 18's back on in the spring.
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Old 02-08-2006, 11:41 AM   #27
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Car looks great! I was planning on getting the Eibach Pro Kit and seeing your car made up my mind. What kind of shocks and struts did you use? Do you need to get an alignment or adjust the camber?
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:00 PM   #28
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Quote:
ORIGINAL: sphillips23

Car looks great! I was planning on getting the Eibach Pro Kit and seeing your car made up my mind. What kind of shocks and struts did you use? Do you need to get an alignment or adjust the camber?
Man I really like the polished 18" rims. Oh well, I'll have to be satisified with my fanblades I guess. Now, who were you askin' about the shocks and alignment?
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Old 02-08-2006, 10:38 PM   #29
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

RPM,

Thanks Ford actually made a mistake when i ordered the car. I originally wanted the Fan rims but when i saw the polished wheels I told them to leave those on.

I was asking you about the Shocks, Struts and allignment.

Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:53 PM   #30
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Default RE: Lowering your 05/06 Mustang GT

Here's a question for the experts: I bought an 05 GT convertible last month. I didn't realize it at the time (the car came with Snoop Dogg-style 20" chrome rims which I replaced) but it's been lowered - about 1" in front and 2" in back. The dealer's got the car now and tells me it has aftermarket springs - brand unknown. I do know that the car is caught out by dips and humps on the freeway (I found that out last week at about 100 mph on the way to Las Vegas)...it feels as though the suspension is bottoming out and when it does- hang on! Otherwise the ride is fine, so my guess is its still on factory shocks. Should I get the dealer to replace the springs and bring it back to factory settings or replace the shocks? The car does look better lowered, no question.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:53 PM
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