Michael Galimi
March 1, 2009

We must also note, not every combination works well with coilover springs. Lower horsepower combinations, or ones with extremely heavy front ends, tend to work better with traditionally mounted springs. The reason is traditional springs are taller, and when compressed in the factory location offer more stored energy. This problem reared its ugly head with our Project Frightning, which had a Lightning supercharged engine in a lightweight coupe. The car was extremely nose heavy and we ran a set of heavy front coilover springs to keep the front from sagging. That, in turn, hurt its ability to get the front end hiked up when the car left the starting line. Another instance where coilover springs hurt is in a dedicated drag race vehicle that runs a street-legal drag racing class. If the Stang features a naturally aspirated, small cubic-inch engine, and the car must roll on tiny, drag radials, it's likely the front end will need to come up quickly in order to plant the drive tires. The ultimate deciding factor for converting to coilover struts is your combination. Given the popularity of superchargers and turbos, getting weight off the front end, and having the variety of spring rates available, means switching to coilovers can help your car hook when setup properly.

One nice addition to our vehicle was adjustable caster/camber plates-a must for any coilover conversion. We set our plates to Granatelli's recommendations. The trick to maximizing performance is to get a zero toe alignment with lots of positive caster. It reduces rolling resistance and helps stability at higher speeds. Also helping rolling resistance are the skinny Mickey Thompson Sportsman front-runners. The smaller wheel and tire package saved 26 pounds over the heavy billet Boyd Coddington wheels and Dunlop radial tires.

Overall, the Granatelli K-member, A-arms, coilover springs, Strange struts, and Latemodel Restoration five-lug front rotors saved 39 pounds on the front end. Then we removed the crossbrace on the K-member due to header clearance, and that brought our total savings to 41 pounds. The rotors were a little heavier than stock, so doing just the Granatelli K-member, A-arms, and coilover springs will drop your Stang down by about 43-45 pounds. The front skinnies offered us even more savings as we saw a total of 26 pounds (43 for big wheel/tire per side versus 30 for the Weld/Mickey Thompson combo per side), when compared to our regular rolling stock. That effectively brought our car's overall weight down to 3,153 pounds, without driver.