Steve Turner
Former Editor, 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords
March 1, 2005

When modular Mustangs debuted in 1996, we often lamented the lag time before performance parts hit the market. Fast forward to 2004 and there's no lag at all. Couple the hullabaloo surrounding the debut of the '05 Mustang with Ford's recent open-mindedness toward the aftermarket, and we suddenly have the benefit of our friends in the performance world working with measurements, technical specifications, and actual development cars ahead of the real car's release. Meaning, when you roll your '05 Mustang off the lot, you can already have a pile of parts waiting in the garage to make it your own.

At the forefront of such product development is Steeda Autosports in Pompano Beach, Florida. Steeda has long worked closely with Ford on projects such as the '93 Cobra R, the CJ-R 6.1 show car, and several others we never heard about. When Ford began its Technology Transfer program in conjunction with aftermarket trade group the Specialty Equipment Market Association, Steeda was one of the first companies to jump onboard, working up tuning technology for the then-new returnless-fuel electronics in the '99 Mustangs. Since then Steeda has been heavily involved in transferring information back and forth with Ford.

As a result, the company had intermittent access to '05 Mustangs for measuring and fitting its product. So, when its first '05 Mustang arrived in anticipation of the '04 SEMA show, Steeda already had 60 part numbers on the shelf and another 40 in the pipeline. By the time you read this, the company will have more than 100 new pieces for your '05 Mustang. The car you see here will have been ogled by thousands at the SEMA show and will be on the order sheets at Steeda dealers.

The car in question is the Screamin' Yellow Q, the latest in a line of Steeda Q Mustangs, which included the Windsor-powered Q351 and the supercharged modular Q400. The former Q-cars took their names from their respective displacements and horsepower numbers, but the latest Q obviously takes its handle from the bright hue on its bodywork. It's here where you first notice the SYQ is no stock '05 Mustang. The towering

GT-R-style wing and blacked-out cowl-induction hood exude performance intent. Subtler, but pure Steeda, is the new front splitter, which is stylistically similar to those found on New Edge Steedas, yet smoothly incorporated in the '05's retro look. Steeda's team was careful to follow the factory body lines so the splitter is legal for Grand Am competition.

Of course, the requisite Steeda stripe package and Ultra Lite wheels continue the theme, but it's under the car that Steeda's engineers really put in the hours. Handling has long been a Steeda specialty, but the all-new suspension under the '05 Mustang gave the protractor jockeys a whole new race course. From the factory, the Panhard bar and three-link rear suspension are a marked improvement over Fox platform's compromised four-link, but Steeda takes things a bit further. While offering various ways to bolster and replace the factory Panhard rod, Steeda opted for the fully adjustable Panhard rod, that allows for adjusting the rear roll center, which is necessary when the '05 is lowered.

The drop is accomplished via Steeda's new coilover Sport springs on the factory dampers. Replacing the lead-filled lower control arms are a pair of lightweight aluminum pieces with robust urethane bushings. The car is scheduled to receive a new adjustable upper link as well, but it wasn't on at the time of our shoot. A larger stabilizer bar with urethane bushings, and an upper shock-tower brace round out the Q's improved rear underpinnings.

Up front the changes are less dramatic, but still comprehensive. Sport springs ride on the factory dampers, but those are now adjustable via billet caster/camber plates, which also serve as the beefy anchors for Steeda's strut-tower brace. Underneath, a trio of parts corrects the suspension geometry to work properly with those lowering springs. The X5 ball joints and bumpsteer kit are new but familiar pieces to correct the steering geometry. What's new and unfamiliar is the control-arm relocation kit, which maintains the proper geometry in concert with the lowering springs. And, as in the rear, a beefier stabilizer bar mounted by rugged billet brackets housing urethane bushings tames body roll.

Above all those suspension bits, Steeda placed a few more choice bolt-ons. We caught them during the car's construction, so the cold-air kit wasn't in place yet. In place were the Steeda-designed, equal-length, short-tube headers, which open up the front of the exhaust, while the rear is freed by a lightweight, free-flowing Steeda after-cat system. All told the system is even throatier than the robust stocker, but it retains civility when cruising. Also present were the no-brainer underdrive pulleys, which always free up a little power. Tying it all together is a Steeda Technology Transfer flash-tune. Working with 3.73 cogs out back, the package felt more robust during our short test drive, but things were sure to get better with the cold-air kit and final tune. Steeda's plan is to boost the factory flywheel rating of 300 by another 50 horses with its package.

So for those worried about the complexity of new cars delaying our chances of improving performance, Steeda's Screamin' Yellow Q shows there's an equation for multiplying the factory fun right out of the barn.

5.0 TECH SPECS
ENGINE AND DRIVETRAIN
Block Stock
Displacement 281 ci
Crank Stock
Rods Stock
Pistons Stock
Cams Stock
Rocker Arms Stock
Heads Stock
Intake Stock
Throttle Body Stock
Mass Air Stock
Injectors Stock
Fuel Pump Stock
Headers Steeda equal-length short-tube
Exhaust Steeda after-cat
Transmission Stock
Rearend Stock 8.8 w/Auburn differential and 3.73 gears
ELECTRONICS
Engine
Management Stock Spanish Oak w/Steeda Technology Transfer flash tuning
Ignition Stock
Gauges Stock
CHASSIS AND SUSPENSION
FRONT SUSPENSION
K-Member Stock
Control Arms Stock w/Steeda {{{X5}}} ball joints and Steeda bumpsteer kit
Springs Steeda Sport
Struts Stock
Caster/Camber Plates Steeda billet
Brakes Stock
Wheels 18x9.5-in Steeda Ultra-Lite
Tires 285/35-18 Nitto 555
REAR SUSPENSION
Traction Devices Steeda adjustable Panhard bar, Steeda adjustable sway bar
Springs Steeda Sport
Shocks Stock
Control Arms Steeda adjustable upper
Brakes Stock
Wheels 18x9.5-in Steeda Ultra-Lite
Tires 285/35-18 Nitto 555