Michael Galimi
March 7, 2013

Steeda made it easy for us to select the proper suspension parts because it has pre-arranged bundles. We chose the Stage 1 Drag Pak that is designed for '05-'10 Mustangs and retails for approximately $579.95. The package includes adjustable upper and lower control arms, along with an adjustable street Panhard bar.

The control arms feature bushings rather than the extreme Heim-joints like on the racier options. That will keep a nice ride quality, but still offer better performance due to the stiffer-than-stock bushing.

The adjustable Panhard bar (in length) is required because when you lower the car, the rear end shifts left. We used the four-post lift at JPC to adjust the Panhard bar and get the rear housing perfectly centered once the installation was finished.

“Lowering the car also effects the pinion angle,“ says Justin Burcham of JPC Racing, who handled the installation of the Steeda Sport Springs and Drag Pak on our S197 Mustang. He continues, “The rear end stays fixed when you lower the car, but the pinion moves upward, which effectively takes pinion angle out of the car—not a lot of angle, but it does move.“ The adjustable upper control is generally shortened to drop the nose of the housing and retain proper pinion angle.

Not included in the Steeda drag racing package are relocation brackets, and Burcham wanted to add a set during our installation. “The relocation brackets change the angle of the rear lower control arms, which changes the instant center of the car and affects how hard the tire plants into the track. The chassis is basically like a balance beam, and the relocation brackets allow you to change the pivot point—or lift point—of the rear suspension,“ he says.

The installation took approximately one day and having a lift definitely made it easier. One element that makes this installation harder for the average enthusiast is the Steeda relocation brackets—each one must be welded into place. Outside of that, the springs install without drama, and the control arms and Panhard bar are what you'd expect. The JPC technicians took many measurements to ensure the control arms were equal in length to the factory control arms, and the rear end was centered in the car, along with the wheels sitting center in the wheel openings.

On the street, we are very happy to report the ride quality is just as Boda and Steeda explained to us. We're not going to say it's exactly like stock because that would be bending the truth. But in our opinion, the car drives and handles exceptionally well for being lowered.

The stiffer control arms and stronger bushings do transmit some vehicle noise, but nothing that is terrible and certainly within acceptable limits. Trust us, we've driven it all on these streets—from full-on drag race cars to many modified street Mustangs, including Fox-body models. Overall we'd say the Sport Springs and Stage 1 Drag Pak pass our stringent standards for use in the New York metropolitan area, especially when compared to other suspension components out there.

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