Should I lower? Reading so much - so confused -

2010-current S197 Appearance Section For all appearance mods to the 2010-2014 S197's
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
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Default Should I lower? Reading so much - so confused

Sig pic for side view: Should I have it lowered? It looks like the bottom of the car is the same distance off the ground as some that have had it lowered so I was checking out wheel well. It is a daily driver and well instead of just relaying all of my thoughts and what I think I've read I'll just go this route:

Should I lower it?
- If so how much should I lower it?
- If so what are the best springs to use to sacrifice as little ride quality as possible?

I'm currently using 18x9 front and rear 255

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Old 05-29-2012, 04:00 PM   #2
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I was in the same position as you are with regards to lowering. After getting the Steeda pro-action dampers and sports springs installed, the car handles and looks much more to my liking. I should have done it much sooner as i thought that it had the most impact to my car as far as mods go. To me, an inch in the front, and 1.25" in the rears are good enough, with no scraping, and wouldn't want the ride quality to be harsher with a lower ride. I also got the steeda HD upper strut mounts and adj panhard bar installed.

Good luck with your decision and with some research, i don't think you'll look back once you do it.

BTW, very nice ride (and house) you have.
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Old 05-29-2012, 05:22 PM   #3
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It's always kinda of a trade off when you lower... Handling vs pampering, lol.
An inch up front and about 1.5 at the back is what the FRPP and Eibach springs will get you just about.
And frankly, that's what the car needs to set it apart from the F150s lol.
I believe Roush springs are also in the same ball park.
Anything lower, you'll lose your fillings and your chin spoiler will be on borrowed time.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:30 PM   #4
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1-1.5 INCHES...

And use a progresive rate spring like the Ford racing set up so that the intitial small bumps get soaked up better than a linear rate spring that is stiffer from the start.

ALSO NOTE that you cant use the Ford GT500 strut mounts on your stock 2013 struts in the case you wanted to do springs only... They wont fit. You'll either need different struts (and shocks) or you'll need to look around for a set of camber plates that thake the larger bolt at the top of the 2013 struts.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
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Newatthis is right on,

The Steeda springs and dampers will not only give your car the drop you are looking for but it will also give you an improved ride. If you upgrade the shocks/struts at the same time then the ride quality will only get better.

The sports will give you a 1 inch drop in the front and 1 1/4 in the rear.

PM if you have any questions? Our springs are currently on sale as well.

Best Regards,

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Old 05-30-2012, 02:23 AM   #6
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First off, that's a great photo you posted in the OP. Not only does the car look amazing, but the background of that house is stellar IMO.

I definitley think lowering these are the way to go. The 4x4 wheel gap in a stock S197 just doesn't do the car justice. You don't have to slam the car by any means to level it out and make the appearance what it should have been from the get go. More importantly, the performance is noticable immediately; significantly reduced break dive, haunch squat, and turning is unbelievable (just getting rid of that lean/roll was worth it IMO). I fell in love with my car all over again.

Now, it doesn't matter how much lower you go you will always give up some measure of ride quality. Naturally, the lower you go the more you give up in comfort. The stock spring rates and dampers were engineered for the softest, most comfortable ride possible. If you are looking for that then don't touch it. Let's face it...Ford did a pretty good job in the comfort department...but made it look like a damned truck to do so. The key, for me anyway, is finding the right spring rate coupled with the right dampers.

I also went with the Steeda Sports, Koni STR.T struts/shocks, Steeda HD Mounts, and a BMR PHB. Not slammed by any means, but the performance is perfect for what I want to do with the car (DD + few times a year track day), and it leveled the car for the appearance I was looking for as well.

Good luck with your decision. Here's what mine looks like today w/18 x 9s on all four (same wheel and tire size you are currently running with):

Last edited by YerBuddy; 05-30-2012 at 07:56 AM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:46 AM   #7
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I appreciate all the advice.

TJ: You're saying instead of lowering it hurting ride quality, if I put on what you suggested it'll actually improve the quality? That would be amazing. Also do you sell a package that includes all of what you listed? I looked only briefly because I haven't had much time, but didn't see the dampers.

YerBuddy: Thanks. Your car looks awesome dropped like that. I didn't want to slam it either, but I think the gaps are just a bit large for a mustang or any sporty looking car for that matter so it's good to see your results.

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Old 05-30-2012, 09:39 AM   #8
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Ninefooter - Don't think for one moment that if you drop your car that it will ride better (No offense TJ). It will handle better (maybe), but you will sacrifice ride quality. I say maybe because many have said that upgrading shocks and struts account for 90% of the handling improvement over OEM. My handling improved dramatically when I recently upgraded my OEM shocks/struts to the Koni STR.Ts while staying with my factory springs. And yes, ride quality decreased a little as the Koni's did firm up the ride, but the increase in handling was well worth a slight sacrifice in ride quality.

Anytime you upgrade your car with a "performance part", you will sacrifice something IMO.

You have a black car, which is the best color to mask the wheel well gap on your car. I decided to use wheel and tire size to minimize my rear wheel gap as lowering isn't as simple as a new set of springs. To do it correctly, you will need an adjustable pan hard bar to center the rear axle on the car, might as well upgrade the pan hard brace while you are at it, check the new driveshaft pinion angle and adjust if a vibration is detected, worry about headers/exhaust part clearances, etc...

I personally think your car looks fine the way it sits, but it is your decision to make. Just realize that you will trade off some ride quality with lowering springs.

Edit: Nothing against Steeda as the majority of my mods are made by Steeda - top notch company. If I were to lower, I would use their Sport Springs.

Last edited by jdmcbride; 05-30-2012 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:11 AM   #9
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I used Eibach Pro's and couldn't be happier. Same drop as TJ recommends. You will love how much it improves the look of your car.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:59 AM   #10
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I found the floatiness of the stock height/springs to be more uncomfortable than a mild drop
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