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 with the Mustang suspension. That means lowering the Mustang suspension. 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 spring rate infinitely, causing you to Rob Kinnan* into a guardrail. Buying the Mustang 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 Mustang suspension 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. Performance 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. Comparables '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 TEST 420-FOOT SLALOM SKIDPAD Average Best Description Average Time/Speed Best Time/Speed g-Force g-Force Test 1: Stock Suspension 6.51/43.4mph 6.38/44.7 0.80 0.81 Test 2: FRPP Suspension 6.38/44.7mph (+0.13/1.3) 6.37/44.7 0.88 0.89 (+0.08) PARTS DESCRIPTION SOURCE PN PRICE Mustang GT handling pack (1-inch drop) FRPP M-FR3-MGT $1,275.95 SVT brakes FRPP M-2300-S 1,489.00 19x9.5 SVT wheels FRPP M-1007-M1995AV CALL 18x9.5 SVT wheels FRPP M-1007-DC1895 189.00 each Proxes4 tires Toyo 295/30ZR-19 345.99 each If we are pulling off the factory stuff and junking it, that means guys who are buying the '11 GTs might be doing the same thing in the next few years. We know at least the wheels from the new 5.0 and GT500s fit on the older cars, so keep an eyeball out for castoffs. If we are pulling off the factory stuff and junking it, that means guys who are buying the The forward adjustment is the most aggressive setting on the sway bar. The stiffest end of the car will wash out first. So if the car is understeering or pushing, this adjustment will help. The forward adjustment is the most aggressive setting on the sway bar. The stiffest end of The front sway bar is 35 mm, tubular, and three-way adjustable. It is the only adjustable part on the new suspension. The front sway bar is 35 mm, tubular, and three-way adjustable. It is the only adjustable There are actually three kits for the '05 to '10 GT Mustang. The coupe kit has either a 1- or 1.5-inch drop, depending on the look you want. The convertible pack also has a 1-inch drop, but the dampers and spring rates are slightly softer for a smoother ride. Hard-core guys use the GT kit. That's us. There are actually three kits for the '05 to '10 GT Mustang. The coupe kit has either a 1- We haven't included much of the actual installation because the instructions from Ford are comprehensive and about the only trick to it is finding the location of the stud on the top of the rear dampers. Here it is. We haven't included much of the actual installation because the instructions from Ford are The brakes can be upgraded with a kit as well. This is the SVT 14-inch upgrade for the GT. It takes the stock 12.85-inch rotors to 14 inches and adds a four-piston Brembo caliper. It also includes a four-piece brake-line kit and all the little parts to make it work. To use it, you'll need a 18- or 19-inch wheel. The brakes can be upgraded with a kit as well. This is the SVT 14-inch upgrade for the GT. The bolt-on strut-tower brace is for the '05 to '06 Mustang GT kit only. It will not clear the '07 to '10 engine cover. The bolt-on strut-tower brace is for the '05 to '06 Mustang GT kit only. It will not clear The S197 Mustang can swallow a lot of tire. In this case, adding a set of 295/30ZR19 Toyo Proxes4s on the 19x9.5-inch '11 SVT wheels was no problem with no rubbing. We think we could have easily fit a 315 in the rear. The S197 Mustang can swallow a lot of tire. In this case, adding a set of 295/30ZR19 Toyo The larger tire and aggressive spring rate were evident immediately on the 200-foot skidpad as the car picked up 0.08 g's going counterclockwise. The larger tire and aggressive spring rate were evident immediately on the 200-foot skidpa Out on the 420-foot slalom, the car picked up a slight oversteer that we couldn't completely cure with tire pressure or repeated floggings. Out best run of the day was with only 32 psi in the rear Toyos. Our average time was in the low 6s at about 45 mph. Out on the 420-foot slalom, the car picked up a slight oversteer that we couldn't complete This is the before shot on the slalom. You can see the ride height and body roll difference between this and the FRPP handling pack. This is the before shot on the slalom. You can see the ride height and body roll differenc We added one tenth of a g on the skidpad with the new suspension without picking up a bone-jarring ride. The same suspension on a lighter GT coupe would improve a bit more in both the slalom and skid pad. We added one tenth of a g on the skidpad with the new suspension without picking up a bone SOURCES Toyo Tires USA CA 800-678-3250 www.toyotires.com Ford Racing Performance Parts 15021 Commerce Drive S Suite 200 Dearborn MI 48120 800-FOR-D788 www.fordracingparts.com By Douglas R. Glad Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!