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How To Lower Your S197 Mustang

Written by Staff. Posted in How To Tutorials, Technical Articles

Published on April 29, 2016 with No Comments

Editor of Hot Rod magazine-see coverage of the ’09 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational on how well Rob drove his car! Mustang GT Handling Pack Install for 2005-2010 Ford Mustangs

Last month we introduced you to our ’06 Mustang as part of a group of fresh project cars we are going to tinker with for your entertainment. This low-mileage GT doesn’t really have any problems, so from here on out, all the work we do will be for performance and looks.

The first step is to get the stance right. That means lowering the car. In the past you had to cut the springs, heat them (don’t), or find an aftermarket company that has done the R&D to make the springs fit the car. The first two options will change both the ride height and spring rate, wrecking all the factory engineered handling goodness and in some cases making the coils bind and spiking the rate infinitely, causing you to Rob Kinnan* into a guardrail. Buying the suspension parts from Ford assures that the guys who designed the car also had a hand in the design of the upgrades. Can’t get better than that. The downside is that Ford only makes two kits for the coupe and one kit for the convertible, meaning you get what is offered, and no more. Although the front sway bar on this kit is adjustable, the dampers are not. Ford also only offers one spring rate, which means you really can’t add or subtract rates to tune for a specific type of competition.

This kit is designed for ’05 to ’10 Mustang GTs. Even though the body changed in 2010, the underpinnings are identical. For a low-price, matched, entry-level kit that lowers the car correctly and gives you a handling advantage and some small amount of adjustment, you really can’t go wrong.

To properly extrapolate any improvement from the data, you have to look beyond the top speed in the slalom and maximum g’s on the skidpad and study the averages. Our test driver was Nick Licata from Camaro Performers magazine. His method for evaluating improvements is what he calls predictability, compliancy, and precision, where an improved vehicle is easier to control and therefore easier to repeatedly drive through the cones at high speed. This translates into performance gains on the street or racetrack. On the second track-day slalom test, the Mustang ran 6.37 three times in a row. That is a car that is dialed in.

’01 Camaro stock
Best-6.45 seconds = 44.7 mph-200′ skidpad-0.87 ’10
Camaro SS stock
Best 6.31 seconds = 45.7 mph – 200′ skidpad-0.84 g
’68 Camaro Z28
Best-6.66 = 43.4 mph
’02 Z06 Corvette stock
Best – 5.89 seconds = 49.3 mph-200′ skidpad-0.98 g
’67 Mustang stock
Best 7.40 seconds = 38.7 mph-200′ skidpad-0.69 g

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