Tom Wilson
August 1, 2002

Horse Sense: Though it is best known for offering springs and suspension kits for improved handling, Eibach also offers springs for drag racing. The company's Drag Launch kit for Mustangs includes four springs with rates designed for quarter-mile work, as well as an airbag for the passenger-side rear spring. The bag allows you to preload the spring to fight the chassis twist common on Mustangs launching at the dragstrip.

Of all the things we've said about lowering springs, performance shocks, and the like, we haven't said they improve a Mustang's ride-until now. Difficult as it is to believe, Eibach's Pro System Plus does improve the ride 95 percent of the time, all while building grip, tightening the steering, and doing the lowering thing. Definitely cool.

Notice we said an Eibach system, not just lowering springs. While Eibach has great name recognition when it comes to springs, the company has added sway bars and shocks to its repertoire. Don't be surprised if you didn't know Eibach is building its own shocks and struts. While the wound and bent wire technology in coil springs and sway bars is expected from Eibach, its in-house shock development department is relatively new.

The fact is, Eibach has added an entire damper department to its Irvine, California, plant. Therefore, its dampers are developed in-house, alongside the spring and sway bar production and engineering. This obviously helps Eibach get precisely the ride and handling compromise it wants, a point the company was eager for us to experience firsthand.

To make that comparison, we bothered Ford for a stock '02 Mustang GT five-speed, while Eibach provided a customer's similarly equipped '01 GT with the Pro System Plus kit on board. Because the installation of the shocks, struts, sway bars, and springs follow standard Mustang practice, we bypassed the installation process and went straight to testing.

While the Pro System Plus is most definitely a street-oriented kit for daily driver Mustangs, Eibach agreed that a session at a road-racing track would provide the gung-ho driving that would fully show the difference between stock and the Pro System Plus suspenders. That opportunity came at Buttonwillow Raceway Park, which gave us 227 street miles in each Mustang just getting to the track and back, and as many laps as we needed to feel the difference between the two cars. Having thus sampled surface streets, miles and miles of freeway, country roads, and a road-racing track offering a combination of sweepers and tight sections, we're confident in our calibrated-Levi's evaluation.

We won't bore you with details of the stock Mustang's street manners, other than to say it is plush in a loose sort of way. The rear axle flops around over sharp edges (in case you've been driving an IRS Cobra the last three years), the steering is vague, the rear waggles uncomfortably through minor culverts, and-hey-it's a Mustang. In the best factory tradition, the Mustang's ride is cloudy enough to never insult, but that also means it's never direct enough to clearly communicate, either.

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