Modified Mustangs & FordsHow To Chassis Suspension
Mustang & Fords Performance Suspension Guide - MMF Tech
Modified Mustangs & Fords' Guide To Performance Suspension Systems
Performance Suspension Guide
When it comes to performance upgrades for your Mustang or Ford, be it classic or late-model, the right combination of suspension components can make a dramatic difference. Whether your tastes run to high-performance street driving, open-tracking, or drag racing, the right set of parts can completely transform the way your vehicle behaves on the road or track. It's often said that a car (or truck) is only as great as the sum of its parts, and that most definitely applies to suspension pieces.
Classic Mustang And Ford Suspension Packages
Air Ride Technologies
Air Ride Technologies (www.ridetech.com; (812) 482-2932) now offers an air suspension system that fits classic and late-model Mustangs and works at all four corners of the vehicle. The whole suspension can be adjusted from inside the car at the touch of a button, made possible with dual on-board compressors and an air-storage tank. Retail price is $1,299.
At the rear, the leaf springs are replaced by upper and lower trailing arms in a configuration similar to what is found on many modern cars. Connecting the upper trailing arm brackets to the rear axlehousing is the only welding required. The rear suspension kit costs $1,995.
On the front axle, the coil springs are eliminated and the entire weight of the front end is supported by the Air Ride Technologies air springs. The retail price for the front kit is $995.
Blue Moon Motorsports Control Freak Suspension
Blue Moon (www.bluemooncars.com; (888) 325-6462) offers its line of Control Freak suspension components. Check out these tubular upper and lower control arms for '65-'73 Mustangs. The Control Freak upper control arms incorporate the negative wedge mounting of the ball joint, which makes them ideal for the 1-inch upper control arm drop as used on early Shelby GT350 Mustangs.
The upper control arms are available powdercoated for $599 a pair while a stainless steel version is priced at $799 a pair. Lower control arms are priced at $399 and $599, respectively.
Chris Alston's Chassisworks g-Bar/g-Link
Chris Alston's Chassisworks/Total Control Products (www.totalcontrolproducts.com; (916) 388-0288) offers the g-Bar and g-Link Rear Suspension Kits. Both systems use a state-of-the-art, canted four-bar suspension design. With either kit, different upper and lower link combinations can be used to adjust the suspension to the vehicle and its intended use.
The g-Bar system uses polyurethane bushings on the ends while the g-Link system uses deflection-free pivot ball assemblies for concise adjustability and enhanced handling performance. The adjustable shock mounts are made of billet aluminum and bolt directly to the back of the lower control arm bracket. They provide 41/2 inches of ride height adjustment. Coilover shocks or ShockWave air springs are available on either system. A Chris Alston Fab9 Housing, or your vehicle's original differential housing, can be used. The g-Link system is shown and has a base price of $2,049.
DVS Restorations Independent Rear Suspension for '67-'70 Mustangs and Cougars
Enjoy late-model ride and handling in your classic Mustang. The DVS IRS kit (www.dvsrestorations.com; (765) 362-1967) installs the '99-and-up Mustang Cobra independent rear suspension into the '67-'70 Ford Mustang and Cougar. The base kit retails for $1,599 and comes complete with Koni coilover shocks, coil springs, laser-cut brackets, and stainless steel frame inserts. High-grade hardware and a 23-page installation manual are also included.
Easy bolt-in installation means no welding is required. Normal-wear items are available from your local Ford dealer, and the shock absorbers can be rebuilt. Choose from a wide selection of aftermarket parts, including axle ratios and brake assemblies.
Fat Man Fabrications McPherson strut suspension for '71-'73 Mustangs
Like most classic car suspensions, the '71-'73 Mustang could use some improvement to help it better cope with the demands of modern traffic conditions and improved tire traction.
Update your big-bodied Mustang with the Fat Man (www.fatmanfab.com; (704) 545-0369) strut-type suspension based on '94-'04 Mustang parts. Factory bumpsteer is eliminated while gaining an adjustable ride using either coilover shocks or Air Ride suspension. Five-lug disc brakes with 15-inch or larger wheels are required. An aftermarket or original steering column can be used. The steering rack and polished stainless steel lower control arms attach to a new crossmember plate, which bolts into and reinforces the body. Because the McPherson strut suspension eliminates the upper control arms, there's room to trim the shock towers for header clearance.
The kit is a bolt-in swap and it carries an MSRP of $1,995. Other Mustang and classic Ford kits are available.
Full Tilt Street Rods Coil Spring Tubular Control Arms
Full Tilt Street Rods (www.fulltiltstreetrods.com; (970) 255-8890) has these Coil Spring Tubular Lower Control Arms for Mustang II-based IFS kits. Constructed of 1-inch diameter, 3/16-inch wall DOM steel, the control arms feature aircraft aluminum spring risers and fit all aftermarket Mustang II crossmembers. Full Tilt's design eliminates strut rods and the arms come complete with new screw-in type balljoints for Mustang II spindles, polyurethane bushings, and all hardware and instructions needed for installation. The control arms cost $199.95 in bare steel, or $244.95 black powdercoated.
Global West Negative Roll System
For dramatic improvement in your classic Mustang's handling characteristics, move beyond the stock components to this Negative Roll System from Global West (www.globalwest.net; (877) 470-2975). The included template is for lowering the position of the new tubular control arms exactly 1 inch. It's the same trick used on the '65 Shelby GT350 Mustang and it improves the tire contact patch during cornering. The tubular upper control arms feature billet cross-shafts and are far stronger and more resistant to flexing than the O.E. stamped steel arms.
These tubular control arms have corrected ball joint angles to eliminate binding near the end of suspension travel. The available lower control arms show the same stout construction as the uppers and also feature Del-A-Lum bushings for minimal deflection. Upper tubular control arms have a limited lifetime warranty, for as long as you own your car, racing or not. Arms are pre-assembled and powdercoated gloss black. Alignment information is included. We found the Negative Roll Kit for classic Fords for $599.
Griggs Racing Products GR-350
Griggs Racing (www.griggsracing.com; (707) 939-2244) now offers an extensive line of suspension products for vintage Mustangs under the GR-350 name. The GR-350 chassis systems deliver the same precision handling and hookup potential as the famous GR-40 suspensions, which are made for newer Mustangs.
GR-350 components are modular in design and the combined front and rear systems will improve cornering ability substantially. The front GR-350 suspension system allows removal of spring towers in the engine bay for increased room, while the rear system eliminates the heavy leaf springs and uses a torque arm and a Panhard bar or Watt's linkage. The complete front and rear suspension kit for a '67-'70 Mustang with a Windsor engine and a 9-inch axle (other kits available) is PN GR350 SP-L-W9. The kit cost is $10,054.05.
Heidt's Hot Rod Shop
Heidt's Hot Rod Shop (www.heidts.com; (800) 841-8188) offers the Superide II IFS independent front suspension kit for '65-'70 Mustangs. Based on the Mustang II front end, the true coilover front suspension system provides excellent performance for both a smooth ride and precise handling.
Kit features include front-frame boxing plates, tubular arms, dropped spindles, rack-and-pinion steering, and front-disc brakes with 11-inch rotors. Coilover shocks with chrome springs are standard. Your kit can be special ordered to include polished control arms; 11-, 12-, or 13-inch brakes with polished hubs; and your choice of polished, black, or red calipers. Power steering is also available. Kits start at $2,659. Heidt's has a whole array of suspension offerings suitable for classic Fords as well.
JME Enterprises PS-1 Suspension system
JME Enterprises (www.jmeenterprises.com; (619) 669-9904) offers the PS-1 suspension system for '64-'70 and '79-'04 Mustangs. The double wishbone design replaces the strut suspension on '79-and-newer Mustangs. All suspension geometry is optimized for unsurpassed handling and performance with zero bumpsteer.
The PS-1 system is tested and proven on the racetrack. The modular construction center section of the K-member is removable for access to take out the oil pan without removing the engine or K-member. Wheel track and width are adjustable for race application and 3/8-inch drive adjusters on control arms make alignment adjustments easy. Spindles incorporate a 2-inch drop in ride height to maintain proper suspension geometry and have caster already built in for better stability.
The PS-1 is available in a traditional upright shock or a cantilever pushrod design (shown). An adjustable antiroll bar provides a wide range of adjustability. Self-lubricating spherical bearings require no maintenance. The system can accommodate any caliper combination and uses off-the-shelf Fox or SN95 Mustang rack-and-pinion steering racks.
Mustangs Plus Grab-A-Trak Performance Suspension Rebuild Kit
This Grab-A-Trak Performance Suspension Rebuild Kit from Mustangs Plus (www.mustangsplus.com; (800) 999-4289) is a great front suspension refurbishment value. The Grab-A-Trak upper and lower control arms and new coil springs with the spring rate of your choice will have your front end at better-than-factory specs and ready for the alignment shop. The control arms come ready to go with new ball joints, cross-shafts, and bushings. Included in the kit, but not shown, are new spring perches, rubber upper spring cushions, and new antisway bar links. The kit for '65-'66 and '67-'73 Mustangs costs just $329.95.
National Parts Depot Classic Mustang Lowering Kit
If you're in the final stages of your classic Ford suspension upgrade project, one of the last things to do is to lower the back end of the car and National Parts Depot (www.npdlink.com; (800) 874-7595) can help. By lowering the rear, the vehicle roll center will be effectively lowered, which reduces weight transfer in turns and enhances overall handling. The lowered stance will also look great and help you put just the right rake on your car. The 1-inch lowering kit for '65-'66 Mustangs is PN 55001A, while '67-'73 Mustangs use PN 55002A. Both cost only $28.95.
For a more complete handling upgrade, choose the NPD Street Bandit Handling kit for $409.95. Besides lowering blocks, the Street Bandit Kit includes four KYB Gas-A-Just shocks, front and rear antisway bars, and front coil springs.
Pro-Motorsports Engineering Negative Wedge Kit
If you're planning on lowering your Mustang's upper control arms, then you should know that Pro-Motorsports Engineering (www.pro-motorsports.com; (801) 563-1111) has eliminated the ball joint binding and breakage problem by using a wedge-shaped spacer between the control arm and ball joint.
The use of this kit allows you to lower the arm on '65-'73 Mustangs without binding problems to further optimize the camber curve as the suspension moves through its travel. Fastener sizes have been increased and strengthened and the upper ball joints included in the kit are modified to accommodate the heavier bolts.
The Negative Wedge Kit fits both Mustangs and Falcons and is a very effective and economical way to correct the factory backward camber curve, resulting in reduced understeer and tire rollover. The ride height is reduced by 11/2 inches and installation requires front suspension disassembly, drilling, and re-alignment. An internal spring compressor is also required. The cost of the kit is $249.95.
Rod & Custom Motorsports CoilOver Front Suspension
The Rod & Custom Motorsports (www.rcmotorsports.net; (843) 629-1273) Coilover Front Suspension is available for '65-'70 Mustangs as well as '62-'70 Fairlanes, '60-'70 Comets and Falcons, and '67-'70 Cougars. It replaces the entire front suspension of the car and eliminates the shock towers completely. This makes it a perfect choice if your plans include a larger engine.
The Rod & Custom suspension incorporates a whole new main structural crossmember and uses tubular control arms, Mustang II-type spindles and disc brakes, along with rack-and-pinion steering. The retail price for the coilover front end kit is $2,495.
New from Rod & Custom is the Triangulated 4-Bar Rear Coilover Kit. No welding is needed for installation and the kit uses a slide adjust mounting system to bolt the coilover shocks and lower links to the axle. The upper two links are adjustable for fine-tuning on pinion angle if necessary. The kit comes with all Grade 8 hardware and instructions and a coilover spanner wrench is also included. The retail price is $1,695.
RRS Three-Link Rear Suspension For '65-'73 Mustangs
Revelation Racing Supply of Australia (www.rrs-online.com; (866) 805-1878) offers a state-of-the-art three-link rear suspension to fit classic Mustangs. It's a far better arrangement than the stock leaf spring suspension from acceleration and handling standpoints, as it controls axle movement precisely in all three planes of motion. An equal-length Watt's linkage assembly locates the axle in the center of the car, firmly controlling any sideways movement. A center torque arm or traction bar attaches to the front of the differential case and prevents axle windup with its very long moment of leverage. Dual trailing arms locate the axle in the front to rear plane while coil springs installed over Koni shocks support the weight of the car. The O.E. leaf springs are eliminated entirely.
The three-link rear suspension retails for $3,500. RRS also offers a McPherson strut front suspension for classic Mustangs and other early Fords with prices ranging from $2,650 to $4,495.
Ron Morris Performance Street Force Coilover Front Suspension
Ron Morris Performance's (www.ronmorrisperformance.com; (209) 605-1590) "Street Force" Tubular Coilover Front Suspension System is available for '65-'70 Mustangs. The RMP coilover system improves the handling and ride of your Mustang over factory stock suspension.
One great aspect of the Ron Morris system is that the threaded body of the shock absorber allows for 3 to 4 inches of travel for ride-height adjustment. Because of improved suspension geometry, lighter-rate coil springs and softer shock settings can be used. The result is more suspension travel and better ride quality. The RMP front-end equipment is far stronger than the stock components and because spherical rod ends are used instead of rubber bushings, a more precise alignment is possible. The kit cost is $2,250.
Total Cost Involved Front Suspension Package for '65-'70 Mustangs
Total Cost Involved (www.totalcostinvolved.com; (800) 984-6259) offers a Front Suspension Package for '65-'70 Mustangs. It's designed to lower the stance and dramatically improve both handling and braking. The kit opens up the engine compartment area for header clearance and big-block engine installation. The weld-in kit comes with frame-reinforcing plates, inner fender panels, crossmember, upper A-arms, and shock-mounting towers. The tubular control arms are urethane-bushed and the Total Cost Involved custom spindles are controlled by power rack-and-pinion steering.
The photo shown includes the options of polished stainless A-arms, chrome spindles, chrome antiroll bar, and polished billet coilovers. Also available are custom 11-inch disc brakes with polished billet calipers and backing plates. The photo shows the available air spring suspension on one side and the coilover shock arrangement on the other. Larger brake rotor sizes will also be available. TCI offers a multi-link rear suspension package to complement its front suspension kit as well.
Late-Model Mustang and Ford Suspension Packages
BMR Fabrication Level 1 Handling PackageDoing the homework for you, BMR (www.bmrfabrication.com; (813) 986-9302) has combined some of its best-selling items into a complete suspension package for you '05-'08 Mustang owners. The kit combines both front and rear replacement sway bars (PN SB022 and PN SB023), premium Tokico D-spec front struts and rear shocks (PN DSP-12), upper front strut mounts (PN SM001), 1-inch lowering springs (PN SP-009), adjustable rear Panhard rod (PN PHR-006), rear control arm relocation brackets (PN CAB-005), and a set of camber bolts (PN FC-001). Combining all these items together results in a package that delivers a lot for the money. We found the Level 1 package listed for $1,625.
Ford Racing Shelby GT500 FR3 Handling Pack
Due to its unique drivetrain, the '07-and-up Shelby GT500 features specific suspension components to help achieve a balanced level of ride and performance handling.
Hot on the heels of its popular Handling Pack for Mustang GTs, Ford Racing Performance Parts (www.fordracingparts.com; (800) FORD788) has released an FR3 kit for the Shelby to further improve its cornering agility and turn it into a highly capable street/track car. The kit includes specifically tuned front struts and rear shocks developed by Multimatic Motorsports (PN M18000C), a set of lowering springs (PN M5300L), front and rear sway bars (PN M5490B) and a strut-tower brace (listed as PN M20201C). Please note that this kit is designed for Shelby GT500 coupes only.
Granatelli Motor Sports 1G Suspension System
In an effort to give enthusiasts of both V-6 and GT '05-'08 Mustangs a complete and effective suspension upgrade package, Granatelli Motor Sports (www.granatellimotorsports.com; (805) 486-6644) has put together some of its most popular components under a single umbrella.
The 1G system is designed to reduce chassis flex, and improve stability and handling of the car at higher speeds. Correctly installed, the 1G allows your Mustang to generate up to 1.0 lateral g on a 200-foot skidpad. The kit features progressive-rate lowering springs, Tokico adjustable front struts and rear shocks, billet adjustable caster/camber plates, a double-tube front strut-tower brace, a rear strut-tower brace for behind the back seat, a lower front chassis A-arm brace, heavy-duty motor mounts, a driveshaft loop, front and rear sway bars, a stronger upper third link, replacement lower control arms, and Panhard rod and subframe connectors.
Global West Traclink Traction Kit
If you've tried pushing a Fox Mustang to the limit, especially with the stock suspension, then you know how precarious the car can feel at times. Hard braking can cause the front to feel like it's standing on end while the rear starts getting squirrelly the instant you hit the throttle.
Global West (www.globalwest.net; (877) 470-2975) has a solution for these white-knuckle woes, in the shape of its Traclink Traction kits. A complete bolt-in system that includes a torque arm, Panhard bar, rubber bushings, mounts, and driveshaft safety loop brackets, the Traclink enables the Mustang's rearend to remain free from binding, increasing suspension travel, reducing standing/start wheelhop, and providing greater wet-weather traction without compromising the car's ride quality or ground clearance. It also helps reduce nose dive under braking and, because it eliminates the quad shock system, allows for bigger wheels and tires to be installed
The Traclink for '79-'93 Mustangs is listed as PN TSF-93 and retails for $481.04. Another kit (PN TSF-93A) is designed for '87-'93 Mustangs that use aluminum rear differential covers. Kits are also available for '94-'95 V-8 Mustang GTs (PN TSF-43) and '96-'98 4.6-engined Mustang Cobras (PN TSF-63).
Griggs Racing GR-40 Ultimate Street Complete Chassis Upgrade
To those who've been around Mustangs for some time, the name Griggs Racing (www.griggsracing.com; (707) 939-2244) needs little introduction. For years, Griggs Racing has been transforming stock late-model Mustangs into supple riding Porsche killers that can hold their own on both street and track, thanks to its GR-40 packages for Fox and SN95 chassis cars.
The company has released its latest GR-40 package, designed for '05-and-up Mustangs-the GR-40 Ultimate Street Complete Chassis. From the outset, this kit was configured to give maximum hookup and cornering performance and focuses on the weakest link of the S197 cars-the front suspension-and manages to shave 250 pounds off the front end.
It includes a tubular front cradle, premium Koni SLA street adjustable coilovers, tubular front lower control arms, SLA tower adjustment, bumpsteer kit, a performance lower steering shaft, performance variable ratio power steering rack (15:1), upper ball joints, ball joint adapters, new spindles and hubs, and a Zero Bind front sway bar. It also has an adjustable rear torque arm, a lightweight aluminum Panhard bar, adjustable lower rear control arms, a rear sway bar, along with axle and shock brackets. Further components are optionally available with the GR-40 USC, including a Watt's linkage and adjustable rear sway bar, along with lower control arms incorporating Heim joints for more dedicated racing applications.
H&R Coilover kit for '05-'08 Mustangs
This German company, with much experience developing premium suspension packages and spring kits for European cars, now offers that same technology for '05-and-up Mustang owners. H&R's (www.hrsprings.com; (888) 827-8881) adjustable coilover kit allows enthusiasts to change their suspension height at the turn of a wrench, lowering it for optimum handling on the road course or during racing (a maximum of 2 inches lower than stock), then raising it for driving on the street (3/4 inches lower than the stock ride height), allowing the best of both worlds.
The kit includes H&R's premium shocks with multiple adjustability and progressive-rate springs to deliver the maximum in handling and ride performance, while lowering your Mustang's center of gravity and improving overall driving response. It's also 100 percent made in Germany. We found the kit listed for $1,099.95.
Hotchkis Performance F-150 Lightning/regular cab Total Vehicle Suspension System
If you own a '99-'04 Ford F-150 Lightning and are looking to further improve its performance in the handling department, Hotchkis Performance offers its Total Vehicle System. This is an all-inclusive package that has been extensively designed and tested as a complete system for these trucks. It includes sport coil springs, both front and back (which drop ride height by 1.5 inches in the front and an impressive 3 inches in the back), along with stiffer front and rear sway bars and a pair of replacement rear leaf springs, to further improve ride quality and handling on these supercharged trucks. The kit retails for $1,179.95. Hotchkis also offers a Rear Suspension Package for '79-'93 Mustangs under PN 1805 and we found it listed for $421.95.
KW Suspension Variant 1/3 coilover kit for '94-'98 Mustangs
Specializing in high-performance coilover kits for late-model Mustangs, Germany's KW Suspension (www.kwsuspension.com; (888) 713-5566) now offers conversion packages for '94-'98 Mustangs including GT and Cobra models. These kits are custom designed to fit each application and are made from the highest quality materials and meet stringent German TUV requirements. They allow you to adjust the ride height between 1.4 and 2.5 inches lower than stock in the front and 0.9 and 2.1 inches in the rear.
These adjustable coilover kits are available in Variant 1 configuration (incorporating KW factory set pre-dampening for the best balance between performance, comfort, and safety), or in Variant 3, which is designed for the highly experienced competition driver allowing him or her to individually set rebound and compression damping (up to 14 individual settings) as well as adjust the height.
The Variant 1 kits are listed as PN 10330032 ('94-'98 Mustang Cobra) and PN 1023000 ('94-'98 Mustang GT), while the Variant 3 kits fall under PN 35230031 ('94-'98 Mustang Cobra) and PN 35230032 ('94-'98 Mustang GT). As for pricing, we found the Variant 1 kit listed for $1,248.16. Besides these cars, KW also offers premium adjustable coilovers for '86-'93, '99-'04, and '05-'08 Mustangs.
Maximum Motorsports K-member package for '79-'98 Mustangs
From the factory, high-speed handling is not the Fox Mustang's forte. However, Maximum Motorsports (www.maximummotorsports.com; (888) 378-8380) can turn your foal from sloppy to sensational in the turns with its K-member package designed for '79-'98 Mustangs.
The K-member kit includes a tubular front K-member, tubular front lower control arms, MM coilover conversion kit, aluminum steering rack bushings, MM adjustable caster/camber plates, MM adjustable tie-rod ends, MM 2-point K-member brace, urethane front sway bar bushings, and shorter-than-factory replacement sway bar end links.
Do note that this kit includes Delrin offset bushings and is designed to work specifically with Bilstein front struts. For maximum improvements in handling, Maximum Motorsports also recommends installing its front sway bar bracket reinforcement, strut-tower brace, specific high-performance struts to match the car's spring rates, and a solid steering shaft. Our investigating gave us a list price of $1,777.70 for this kit.
Maximum Motorsports Starter box for '99-'04 Mustang GTs
Designed for '99-'04 Mustang GTs, this package from Maximum Motorsports (www.maximummotorsports.com; (888) 378-8380) features everything you need to properly lower your Mustang to achieve a sportier look and much improved handling as well as providing an excellent foundation for future performance suspension upgrades.
The Starter Box comes with premium Bilstein front struts and rear shocks, H&R lowering springs, MM adjustable caster/camber plates, MM urethane rear pinion snubber, and front and rear urethane spring isolators. The '99-'04 specific kit is listed as PN SBX-6 and retails for $1,118.48, according to our findings. Other Starter Box packages are available for '87-'89, '90-'93, '94-'98, '99-'04 Cobras; '99-'04 Cobra convertibles; and '05-'08 Mustangs.
Roush Performance '05-'08 Mustang GT Suspension kit
For those who have driven a Roush Mustang, you're probably aware of how amazingly capable these cars are in the handling department. Part of this reason is that Roush Performance (www.roushperformance.com; (800) 59-ROUSH) uses a range of suspension components that have been specifically designed to work together as a system.
Its S197 Mustang GT kit groups together front and rear performance springs to give the car that lowered aggressive stance and more taut handling through the corners, along with performance front strut and rear shocks to improve stability, directional response, and driving feel, while front and rear sway bars help control lateral movement and reduce rolling through the corners. We found the complete Roush kit listed for $1,468.25.
Metco Motorsports - Fox And S197 Mustang Rear Suspension Kits
Metco Motorsports (www.metcomotorsports.com; (864) 332-5929) offers a number of suspension upgrades for Mustang and Ford vehicles, including this '79-'93 Fox Mustang rear suspension package. Included within the kit are a pair of billet lower control arms with polyurethane bushings, a pair of double adjustable uppers with differential bushings, and the optional Instant Center Modification brackets.
The kit is designed to reduce axle wind-up under acceleration, eliminating the Fox Mustang's tendency to hop once weight is transferred to the rear of the car. All Metco Motorsports products are manufactured in their Anderson, South Carolina, facility and the billet components are precision CNC-machined for the ultimate fit, then clear-anodized for long-lasting protection. Steel components are made from laser-cut high-grade steel, then precision-welded and powdercoated to prevent corrosion.
Metco's rear suspension package for '05-'08 Mustangs follows a similar theme to its Fox chassis package and is designed to maximize traction under launch and eliminate wheelhop. Metco's suspension package for the latest Mustangs features precision-cut billet aluminum lower control arms that include Delrin/polyurethane bushings, Instant Center Modification brackets to correctly restore rear suspension geometry, and a double adjustable upper control arm and heavy-duty mounting bracket.
Steeda Autosports Adjustable Suspension Systems for '05-'08 Mustangs
A long-standing player in the late-model Mustang arena, Steeda (www.steeda.com; (954) 960-0774) has multiple championship wins in many different areas of motorsport, including SCCA, NASA, and NMRA, proving that its suspension components truly work.
With the greater flexibility offered by coilover systems, Steeda has jumped into the market with a big splash. Its new coilover suspension kit for S197 Mustangs incorporates Tokico D-spec struts and shocks that feature infinite and simultaneous adjustment of compression and rebound.
The front coilover system is designed to use Steeda's exclusive upper strut mount kit, which eliminates the weak factory upper spring perch, which is prone to "popping," yet provides increased spring rates and 1 degree (plus or minus) of camber adjustment that isn't possible with the factory mount. The rear coilover system features ride height adjusters for the rear of the Mustang, which accept a coilover-style spring, and Tokico D-spec shocks.
Two complete kits are available, depending on whether you have Steeda's current strut-mount kit, which only requires replacing the upper spring cup, or the factory strut-mount, which requires Steeda's complete new upper strut-mount kit. This kit is made from billet aluminum in-house at Steeda's Pompano Beach, Florida, facility. It features anodized parts for long-lasting protection against oxidation and roller bearings to make adjustments a snap and is also fully adjustable with a wide range of spring rates available. The complete adjustable coilover kit is listed as PN 555-8127 as a complete front and rear system with upper strut mount included, along with the D-spec struts and shocks, or PN 555-8128 with upper spring cup and D-spec struts. These kits exceed O.E. build quality and feature high-strength steel strut-body and anodizing. Backed by a lifetime warranty, we found these kits listed at $1,499.95 and $1,399.95, respectively. (Springs are sold separately.)
Steeda Autosports Fusion Handling Pak
Ford's new Fusion is one of the hottest-selling sedans on the market. It has also become an increasingly popular platform for modification. Although it handles well out of the box, there is still plenty of room for improvement.
Steeda Autosports (www.steeda.com; (954) 960-0774) now offers a Fusion Handling Pak that provides a complete balanced solution, giving improved handling, control, and ride at a total price less than buying suspension components individually. Developed in conjunction with Ford Motor Company engineers through Steeda's Technology Transfer program, the Handling Pak is comprised of a set of Steeda Sport Springs, strut-tower brace, rear sway bar, and Tokico front struts and rear shocks. Designed to fit all '06-'08 Fusions, Lincoln MKZ/Zephyrs, and Mercury Milans, it's listed as PN 555-2375 and retails for $699.95.
Saleen Speedlab '05-'06 Mustang suspension kit
Saleen (www.saleen.com; (800) 888-8945), one of the very first companies to develop premium suspension systems for late-model Mustangs, has powered many Mustangs and Fords to the winner's circle over the years.
That expertise has been carried over from the racetrack to the street, and today Saleen's Speedlab division offers up its premium suspension kit for S197 Mustangs. This includes specially calibrated and tuned front struts and rear shocks, progressive-rate springs front and back, along with a replacement front sway bar. Installing this kit not only provides improved looks by dropping your Mustang 1 inch in front and 3/4 inch in the rear, but it noticeably improves the car's cornering ability, giving it a much lighter, more controllable character compared with the stock suspension. The Saleen kit is listed as PN 10-1300-A11503 and we found it listed for $799.99.
Tokico HP Suspension Kit for '87-'93 Mustangs
Having demonstrated the potential of its suspension equipment on cars such as the esteemed '01 Mustang Bullitt, Tokico (www.tokicousa.com; (562) 295-2500) now offers a wide range of upgrades for '87-to-present Mustangs. Fox aficionados might want to check out the company's HP suspension kit designed for the '87-'93 5-liter cars. The kit comes with front struts and rear shocks and a set of ultra-high-grade steel/alloy lowering springs and is a direct bolt-in for the factory hardware. The lowering springs reduce ride height by approximately 1 inch in the front and 3/4 inch in the rear.
Two packages are available, one with non-adjustable HP struts and shocks, and another with Tokico's Illumina five-way adjustable units, designed for more serious drivers who like to fine-tune their Mustang's shock valving to suit their particular driving style, along with road conditions. Both kits carry a limited lifetime warranty and will noticeably improve the handling and poise of your 5-liter Mustang. We were able to find a list price for this kit of $414.95.
Tokico HP Suspension Kit for '89-'97 Thunderbirds
When introduced, the MN12-chassis Thunderbird was a smooth-riding and well-handling car. However, now that the youngest specimens are more than 10 years old, the suspension could probably use an upgrade.
Tokico's HP suspension package, designed specifically for these cars, can help. It includes a set of four premium lowering springs (made from chrome silicon spring alloy that are heat-treated and shot-peened) which drop the car by 1.25 inches front and rear, to lower the center of gravity and improve cornering, along with a set of Tokico HP gas-charged shocks, which are designed to ensure a compliant ride at lower speeds and deliver improved control and handling at medium to higher velocity.
The kit is designed to work in conjunction with larger-than-OEM wheel and tire combinations, which are popular on these cars. The kit will fit base Thunderbirds with the normally aspirated 3.8L V-6 engine, the 5.0L and 4.6L LX/Sport models, and the 3.8L supercharged Super Coupe. Listed as PN T38HPK221, the kit retails for $391.36.