Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
January 1, 2004
Photos By: Michael Johnson, Chuck James
The folks at Laurel Mountain Mustang sell several brands of suspension products, but we asked them to send us their most popular sellers for our project Mustang. The company sent us its Platinum Series progressive-rate lowering springs ($149.95), its six-piece KYB shock and strut kit ($194.95), its Ground Pounder caster/camber plates ($139), and a full complement of urethane bushings and spring pads.

Horse Sense: Everyone has a different idea of how his or her Mustang should sit and look when it's lowered. Some like a nice rake, others want the wheels tucked up tight in the fenders, while others want a modest 1/2-3/4 inch drop just to close the wheelwell gap and improve handling. Different spring rates, free height, and installed heights cause different amounts of lowering. Know how low you want to go before you pull the trigger on your purchase.

What may be considered an easy installation for one Mustang owner can turn out to be a scary proposition for another. It's easy to become jaded once you have some wrenching experience under your belt, but think back to your early days of Mustang knowledge and you'll likely remember having lots of questions and being hesitant to rip into a project. Often it's a matter of personal comfort zones. Some people can handle mechanical repairs, while others are at ease doing electrical work. I've known plenty of people who could rebuild an engine but didn't have a clue about how to wire a simple relay circuit or install an ignition box, and vice versa.

This month's 5.0 Basics is on suspension modifications. Many Mustang owners want their cars to handle better and have that low and lean stance. The actual replacement of the most common suspension components is straightforward, nut-and-bolt work. The only challenge for the first-time installer might be the springs, especially the fronts. The springs store a tremendous amount of energy and can be dangerous if you don't take the proper precautions. While we always recommend a spring compressor for those who aren't experienced in spring removal, after dozens of spring installations we found the only time we really needed a spring compressor was for the longer-than-stock front "drag" springs. Everything else can be handled carefully with a prybar and some common sense. So get your car down where it belongs and enjoy the firmer ride and better handling.

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