After taking some time off, Kenny Brown is back in the game. We installed the latest subframe connectors from Kenny Brown Performance in Project Shake 'N' Bake (Nov. '09), but wanted to get our hands on an entire kit to test. So we called Kenny Brown himself to inquire about his product line.
"We started by bringing back our most popular parts," Brown told us. "We were getting a lot of requests for the K-member." Though some weight-reducing changes have been made to the components, Brown tells us that "all the geometry is exactly the same" as his previous products.
The kit is the latest in a line of Kenny Brown suspension components for Mustangs that started over 20 years ago. "Our products are specifically designed for performance/street and track use," Brown says of his products. "They are robust and go through FEA testing before production." Also used by NASA, FEA stands for Finite Element Analysis, which uses computers to maximize strength and rigidity while minimizing costs and weight-ideal for chassis components.
JMS Chip and Performance technician Roy Snelgrove welded the Kenny Brown Extreme Matrix ch
After supporting the engine from the top, Snelgrove and Hood disconnected and removed the
Lighter and stronger than the stock piece, the KB K-member (PN KB-49610; $769)...
Brown began creating his Advanced Geometry Suspension (AGS) systems in 1987 while working on the championship winning Saleen racing Mustangs. Those early renditions are what he refers to his Gen-I systems for the Fox platform, which featured a revised K-member geometry. By 1993, Brown had launched the Gen-II AGS. These components worked with Fox Mustangs, as well as the new SN-95 platform, and featured a tweaked version of the Gen-I K-member, a new fixed-strut front geometry, and a revised rear geometry dubbed "TracKit."
Today, the Gen-III AGS shares the same basic design of the Gen-I and Gen-II systems, but offers CAD-improved design and weight reduction through FEA. "All my stuff is an evolution," Brown tells us. The system we received is an AGS 3.5 design, a recent updated iteration of the Gen-III system that features low-friction bushings and ball joints in the control arms.
So when we found a car to use for the install, KB shipped us an entire kit. Our vehicle of choice, a '00 GT, was basically stock with a Vortech centrifugal supercharger. The car is a shop project vehicle for JMS Chip and Performance in Lucedale, Mississippi. So we headed to JMS, a 13-year-old parts distributor and full-service performance shop nestled between New Orleans and Mobile. It houses a parts showroom, auto and motorcycle chassis dynos and tuning, full-time installation technicians, and a full-service chassis fabrication shop.
requires matching control arms (PN KB-49621; $529) and coilover suspension.
The control arms feature...
Led by Monty Johnson, technicians Roy Snelgrove and Chris Hood teamed up to install the KB system on the JMS Chip and Performance open-track hopeful. Snelgrove began by welding the KB Extreme Matrix Kit (PN KB-29550) in place. It consists of subframe connectors, Extreme Matrix Brace, and jacking rails, and sells for $349.99. The team then moved to the front to install the K-member.
After supporting the engine with a brace from the top, Snelgrove and Hood disassembled the brakes, disconnected the tie-rod ends, and unbolted the steering rack; then they unbolted the struts from the spindles, and unbolted and lowered the stock K-member and A-arms. The new tubular K-member (PN KB-49610) and control arms (PN KB-49621) weigh over 30 pounds lighter than the stock pieces, and retail for $769 and $529 respectively.
After installing the K-member and control arms, Snelgrove and Hood installed the front coilovers. Made by Koni, the kit (PN KONI-CO) consists of Koni Sport single adjustable coilover struts, 550-pound Hyperco springs, spring tenders, isolators, and a coilover conversion kit. It's available through KB for $1,549. The team buttoned up the rest of the front components and lowered the car.
Under the hood, Snelgrove installed the KB strut tower brace (PN KB-29501) and the KB Caster Plus kit (PN KB-49041). The brace costs $199 and the caster/camber kit is $149. With the front complete, Snelgrove and Hood moved to the rear.
...and ball joints.
Hood and Snelgrove bolt the KB K-member in place using existing hardware.
Snelgrove lubricated the bushings with the included grease and bolted the control arms int