Matt Rawlins
October 1, 1999
Contributers: Matt Rawlins

Step By Step

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1. The Koni shocks and struts come complete with all of the necessary nuts, bolts, rubber stops, and even a few stickers. We chose to go with the Koni yellows because of their external adjustability, which has three different settings: soft, medium, and firm. All that is needed is a twist of the wrist with the supplied adjuster knob.
2. Banh first started by raising the car off the ground and removing the front tires and wheels. The brake calipers also need to come off and be hung out of the way so as to be able to lower the whole control arm assembly.
3. Once the front arm assembly has been lowered, Banh draws a mark on the shock tower to indicate the center of the stock caster/camber settings so that when the new Hotchkis units are installed the Mustang's front-end alignment will be fairly close to what it was before. This way, after everything is put on we'll still be able to drive the car to the alignment shop and get it dialed in right.
4. Next, the bolts on the plates are removed and the silver fasteners are drilled out in order to remove the stock strut plates.
5. One of the cool things about the Hotchkis caster/camber plates is that the kit also comes with rubber dust boots to fit over the new Koni struts. These boots not only look good but also make sure to keep moisture and dirt out of the sensitive areas of the strut. These cool Delta plates from Hotchkis will increase the suspension's overall movement by three degrees camber and up to five degrees caster. This in turn will enable the car to corner harder and faster while keeping the tires flat on the ground.
6. The next step is to insert the strut up into the strut tower and lock it all down to the new caster/camber plates. Here’s what the finished product should look like from the shock tower above. The increased adjustability allowed with the new plates will really be helpful when it’s time to hit the open road and get all the alignment specs dialed in.
7. The last few steps for the front Konis simply involve bolting down the loose ends and making sure everything is secured.
8. Banh then proceeds with the rear Koni shocks. After removing the wheels, the shocks’ lower bolts are removed and the shocks and rear springs can be taken out.
9. One of the reasons why the springs need to come out is because it makes it much easier to gain access to the quad shocks which will also be replaced by a set of new Koni quads.
10. Once the lower bolt is off, Banh removes the top bolt, which is accessed in the trunk area under the oval-shaped plastic trim panel. The panel comes off easily with a flat-head screwdriver.
11. All that is left now is to put the new rear shock and quad shock in place, tighten the bolts, and button everything up.

Wanna go fast? Then open road racing is what you need to get into. Nowhere else in this country can you mat the throttle and let it all hang out on a public highway, and not have to worry about a speeding ticket. Open road races offer speed thrills for any level of Mustang fanatic, from those who want to just hold the car at a little over 100 mph, to the truly insane who dare to push the 200-mph envelope. It's an orgy of speed, and it's legal.

We've come down with a serious speed bug that just won't go away, so we've created a new project car to satisfy the little bloodsucker--Project Silver State. Owned by yours truly, this silver '92 LX will be transformed into an open road race-worthy, asphalt-eating machine within the next few issues. The basic idea behind this project is to prepare a mildly modified Mustang to run in a few upcoming open road races including the famous Silver State Classic Challenge in late September. Our ideas to get this Pony into open road racing shape are simple yet well balanced. Having received plenty of tips and advice from heavy-duty racers like John Buscema, Charlie Turner and Russell Truex, all of whom run or have run in the unlimited class, makes us all the more confident in our decisions on how to improve the LX.

The car already features many engine and suspension mods, like TFS Twisted Wedge heads, a Cobra intake, Crane 1.7:1 roller rockers, a 65mm TB, a 73mm mass air meter, MAC 15/8-inch shorty headers, a Flowmaster exhaust, BBK subframe connectors and G-load brace, a MAC strut tower brace, KYB shocks, and Eibach progressive-rate springs. In the next few issues we will be upgrading some of the suspension components and rolling stock with the help of some great products from Koni, Yokohama, Brothers/BBK, Hotchkis, and Baer Racing.

Our first modification to PSS (Project Silver State) is to improve its suspension, which is probably the most important part of the equation when building a car to race at speeds in excess of 120 mph. Every little bump and imperfection in the road will be magnified enormously, and one little mistake at those speeds can mean the difference between finishing first and ending up on the roof out in the toolies. So with these risks involved, we chose to go with solid products from Koni, Eibach, Hotchkis, and Factory Five Racing. Our main goal with the suspension is to create a well-balanced car that will be able to take the rigors of open road racing as well as the city streets.

Making sure that everything is installed correctly, we went to DB Performance Engineering in Rosemead, California. There, the main man himself, Danny Banh, was in charge of the whole operation. Follow along as the next few pages cover PSS' first steps into the open road racing world of fast cars and dangerous curves ahead.

In the next story, we'll give you a better look at what open road racing is all about, how much fun it is, and how to get involved. Once PSS is to the point we want it, we'll enter it in a few races and eventually close out the racing season with the Silver State Classic Challenge in late September. We'll probably enter in the 125-mph class, and if I can find a navigator with enough cajones to ride with me, we'll take Nevada by storm.