Pete Epple Technical Editor
September 24, 2010
Photos By: Steve Baur

We all know that having copious amounts of power is extremely important, but having power means nothing if you can't get it to the racing surface. Of equal importance is getting the car stopped at the end of the track (or slowed before that harrowing turn). With that in mind, we set our sights on upgrading the front suspension and braking capabilities of Repeat Offender, our True Street project car.

If you've been following the early phases of our True Streeter, you may have been expecting more on the building and testing of the powerplant. Unfortunately, sometimes you hit some speed bumps when building a project car. While we iron out the details with our 427ci bullet (we're waiting for parts, just like many of you), we are shifting our attention to suspension and braking.

With our e.t. goal in the 9-second zone, getting the power to the ground is critical. Being that we will compete in True Street, the car has to be reliable and produce repeatable results. To accomplish this, we turned to some of the best suspension companies in the business-Steeda Autosports and Strange Engineering.

For the time being, our front suspension will consist of a few basic yet effective upgrades. The stock springs and struts will give way to Steeda Drag Race springs and 10-way single-adjustable struts from Strange Engineering. The stock K-member will remain in place for now.

Steeda's Drag Racing front springs (PN 555-8230) have longer-than-stock coils that store more energy for quicker extension compared to the stock coils, when the car is launched. This allows for faster weight transfer to the rear tires, which increases traction. The spring rates are tuned for improved traction at the track, while maintaining good ride quality on the street. The front springs are progressive springs with rates varying from 343 to 463 lb/in. The stock springs are a specific-rate spring, checking in at 370 lb/in.

Strange Engineering's '87-'93 V-8 Mustang front struts (PN S6001EM) are adjustable units with 10 rebound settings, giving you a wide range of adjustments, which is perfect for the street and strip. Being that Repeat Offender is an '85 LX, the stock spindles are not compatible with the Strange struts. The '87-'93 V-8 spindle strut mount is thinner than the variants on the four-cylinder and earlier V-8 Foxes. The Strange struts are designed to only work with the thinner '87-'93 V-8 spindles. Strange Engineering doesn't advocate the use of spacers with its struts, so we needed to swap to the newer-style spindles. MPS Auto Salvage sent a set of '87-'93 spindles, which made the installation a breeze.

Lastly, we ditched the stock front brakes in favor of a setup from Aerospace Components, and we converted to manual brakes. The Pro Street 2 Piston Floating Kit (PN AC-320VRDSP) will replace the stock binders. The power-to-manual-brake conversion is fairly simple and can be done in your driveway or garage. So follow along as we upgrade the suspension and stopping power of Repeat Offender.

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Editors Note: Installation of Aerospace Components' manual brake system will require bending new brake lines to accommodate the new master cylinder. We recommend having a qualified performance shop install your brakes and lines if you are a novice mechanic.

Aerospace Components' manual brake kit is not compatible with the stock brake-light switch. The addition of Hurst's roll control and a brake pressure switch is an easy way to ensure your brake light operates properly.

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