5.0 Mustang & Super FordsHow To Chassis Suspension
Steeda S197 Mustang Suspension - Q Grip
Underneath Steeda's Stealthy Mustangs Is A Scienced-Out Suspension That Handles Without Harshness
Horse Sense: It's not often that an aftermarket manufacturer achieves the coveted certification from the International Organization for Standardization, but that's just what happened recently at Steeda Autosports. The company earned the prestigious ISO 9001-2000 Certification by developing a quality management system. "The entire Steeda Autosports Team quickly realized the benefits that achieving ISO 9001-2000 certification would provide and made its own individual commitment for success-something that happens frequently around here at Steeda," says Glen Vitale, Steeda Autosports' vice president of operations and ISO main quality representative. "Our quality system is maintained and continually improved through the use of the quality policy, quality objectives, audit results, analysis of data, corrective and preventative action, and management review to ensure only the best quality for our Ford performance customers."
It's no secret that I've long been a fan of Steeda Autosports' suspension systems. Though the company has its heart on the road course, it knows that the street is where most of us have our fun. To that end, it has always offered an array of suspension packages for combinations ranging from daily drivers to full-on race cars.
I've spent plenty of seat time in Steeda street and race cars, and even had its G-Trac Stage 3 system on my '98 Cobra. Over that time, one thing has always stood out: compliance. Unless you opt for full-race springs, these cars always offer a supple ride in everyday conditions, but one that digs into the pavement when you push it through the turns.
These genetic traits have followed the Steeda gear from the Fox era, through the SN-95s, and into the latest S197 Mustang. It's good that some things never change, especially since the latest car provides a more rigid, well-thought-out starting place than the chassis and suspension of its Fox and Fox 4 brothers.
Naturally, Steeda's own line of Q-series Mustangs are equipped with a selection of suspension bits that makes them much better than stock without pushing them too far into race car territory. This is no less evident than on Steeda President Dario Orlando's personal Q500, a car designed for big performance without impact on its daily driveability. You can read our review of the Q500 in this issue ("Brain Power," p. 48). We were fortunate enough to follow along with the installation of the car's suspension system to see how it came to perform as well as it does.
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When we returned to take the Q500 for a spin, we were able to catch up on some new Steeda gear that slants toward the dragstrip. Though the company has long been known for building gear to turn corners, its Hardcore line is targeted squarely at the dragstrip. A new piece of hardware for S197 weight watchers is the company's S197 tubular front crossmember (PN 555-5075; $179.95). This part isn't limited to racing, but it does shave off weight where it counts-the front of the car.
Truly a drag-race-only part is Steeda's S197 rear antiroll bar. Drag racers are likely familiar with these devices for earlier Mustangs. These ancillary rollbars counteract the Mustang chassis' natural tendency to load the passenger-side tire and unload the driver-side tire. The result is an even application of torque to the rear tires and quicker e.t.'s.