July 26, 2006

Step By Step

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Mmfp_0609_air_01_z Air_ride_technologies_coolride_suspension Mmfp_0609_air_02_z Air_ride_technologies_coolride_suspension
Shortly after finishing the job, we rolled the GT from the garage and dumped the air. While we couldn't drive the Mustang like this, it certainly looked wild.
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With the system inflated to 125 psi, the Mustang climbs up pretty high. Pumping the pressure this high resulted in a seriously harsh ride. Our Mustang rode best with the front bags around 80-85 psi in the front springs and with rear shocks/bags at 65-75 psi.
Mmfp_0609_air_04_z Air_ride_technologies_coolride_suspension
It all went down at Danny's Pro Performance now located in Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey.
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Prior to the Air Ride Technologies install, Ice Box wore Eibach coilover front struts and adjustable springs in the back. The big, beefy antiroll bar was also from Eibach.

How Low can you go? That's been a question Mustang owners have asked for a long time. Low is cool, as long as your Pony doesn't end up riding like a bucking bronco. Fact is, virtually all late-model Mustangs can stand to be dropped a bit as they suffer from a ride height that's just not aesthetically pleasing. Dropping your Stang gives it a meaner look and lowers the center of gravity, which can also improve handling. But all too often, owners slam the car to the ground by cutting the springs or by installing short, overly stiff ones. In doing so, they end up with a harsh ride, terrible handling, and poor driveability.

Still, Mustang owners want to get down, and one cool way to get 'er low is with an air suspension like the ones offered by Air Ride Technologies of Jasper, Indiana.

Air suspensions are nothing new. Most of today's product goods transported by truck ride on air-air springs, to be more accurate. Additionally, many luxury cars, including some trucks and SUVs, ride on air suspensions and have done so for decades. With the latest from Air Ride, you can get your Stang riding on air, too.

To find out more about this, we ordered a kit for Ice Box, our 10-second Mustang GT project Pony. Not so long ago, we added Eibach's coilover Pro Kit to the steed, but the suspension was not properly matched to the power and the other components we had installed, thus, it never reached its potential. Oh, it accelerates like a missile, but its cornering could be improved upon. The problem is that the rear springs were too soft when compared to the front coils, and this made the back of the car seem like it was disconnected from the front. In addition, we had huge antiroll bars (also from Eibach), and the combo just wasn't working for us.

To improve our project Mustang, Air Ride Technologies supplied us with its CoolRide front air springs that replace the coil springs but retain the struts, and its Shockwave rear air springs that incorporate adjustable shocks into one component. The kit also includes a 3-gallon air tank, a sealed air compressor, a RidePro e control panel, sending units, lines, and all the necessary wiring and hardware for a clean installation. It also comes with an easy-to-use, four-way controller that lets you adjust each of the four springs individually, right from the driver seat. Together, the package offers full control of the ride height and ride quality.

With parts in hand, we teamed up with Dan Ryder of Danny's Pro Performance in Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey. We spent a day and a half installing the hard parts and hooking up the lines and electronics. After installation, our hope was that the Mustang would have better overall balance and improved compliance, something it lacked with the current setup. The install went well, but the instructions could have provided more detail.