Our test pilot, associate editor Marc Christ, maneuvers through the cones in the 420-foot
Determining exactly what makes the perfect street car is fairly subjective. A stock '10 V-6 Mustang may be one person's perfect Pony, while a 1,000-rwhp twin-turbo GT500 may still not be enough for someone else. In our opinion, a healthy blend of horsepower, handling, stopping power, and comfort can make for a great car to drive on a daily basis. Although it may not be perfect for everyone, it's a formula that usually works pretty well.
About a year ago, we installed Saleen Speedlab's Super Shaker twin-screw supercharger on our stock '07 GT ("Shake, Rattle, and Boost," Aug. '09, p. 78). The end result was an S197 with near-stock driveability and 432 rwhp/408 rwtq that could rip off mid-11s at will. Mind you, that came with a totally stock exhaust, 5R55s transmission, torque converter, and standard 3.31 gears. As we've taken many Mustangs past the point of no return, we want to maintain the highest quality of driveability on this project-but we want enhanced cornering, braking and looks, too.
Though some would tell us to quit while we're ahead, we think the GT needed something else to push it to that "perfect" point. We found it in Ford Racing's '05-'10 Mustang Handling Pack (PN M-FR3-MGT), GT500 brake upgrade (PN M-2300-S), and a slick wheel and tire combination from Saleen and Nitto. To handle the installation, we headed to Ramsey's Performance in Lutz, Florida.
Our test vehicle is owned by Editor Smith, but it's mostly driven (on a daily basis) by his lovely wife, Diane. Given the fact that we were taking the boss' wife's car apart, there would be big problems if we didn't make big improvements. With my associate editor position on the line, we handed the Pony over to Robert "B" Bugg at Ramsey's Performance to handle the suspension swap.
The FRPP suspension package install is simple and straightforward. Everything in the kit is a direct replacement, so there is no heavy fabrication or changes needed. Bugg started by removing the brakes, making the front suspension components easily accessible. With the calipers, rotors, and dust shield out of the way, the struts were unbolted from the spindles. After removing four bolts on the top of the strut tower, the strut and spring came right out.
The new struts were designed by Multimatic Motorsports and Dynamic Suspension to be a high-performance replacement that will improve the handling characteristics without sacrificing ride quality. The internals of the shocks and struts feature valving, designed to perform well at an open track day as well as on the drive to work (or dance class). The struts are used in conjunction with Ford Racing's lowering springs. The new progressive-rate springs lower the car about an inch, giving it an aggressive look without sacrificing ground clearance or ride quality.
Before we dove into our suspension and wheel/tire swap, we measured our ride height at the
After Bugg reinstalled the new struts and springs up front, the front antiroll bar was next to go. The stock, non-adjustable, 34mm bar was removed; after replacing the factory endlinks, the new bar slid right into place. Ford Racing's antiroll bar is slightly larger at 35mm, but the new bar is constructed using thicker tubing, making it far stiffer than the factory bar. The new antiroll bar also has three mounting point locations for adjustability. This suspension kit also includes a strut-tower brace, but we were unable to use it with the Saleen Super Shaker supercharger.
....fenders. In stock trim, the front checked in at 27 7/8 inches while the back was 28 5/
Like the suspension, Ford Racing's 14-inch brake upgrade for the '05-10 Mustang GT is also a direct replacement. The kit includes 14-inch, one-piece rotors; Brembo four-piston calipers; rear brake pads; front dust shields; Goodridge stainless brake lines; and all necessary hardware. Being that Bugg had already removed the front brakes, installing the new brakes was simple.
We headed to Ramsey's Performance to handle the swap. First we laid out all of our new par
Robert Bugg removes the stock brake calipers, rotors, and dust shield to make room for rem
Once the struts are out, the springs are compressed and the strut is removed.
The difference between the stock springs and what comes in the kit is instantly apparent.
Bugg sets up the new struts and springs using the stock upper strut mount.
The new strut/spring combination is easily reinstalled and bolted back into the strut towe