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[newbie..] handling question

Discussion in '1994-2004 V6 Mustang Tech' started by artisan00, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. artisan00

    artisan00 New Member

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    hey, I just recently purchased a mustang convertible ('03, v6) and I have a few questions -

    i like the way it drives for the most part, but i would like a more grippy feeling on the highway - maybe wider tires, larger rims, lowered susp., etc.. would be what i need -

    but also i would like to improve street cornering..im sure you all know what i mean when i say that the car bounces a bit when you hit a bump while turning, not to mention a minor (or major.. ouch) pothole.

    basically i guess what i need is a pros/cons to what changes in suspension/springs/tires/rims would do to handling.

    also, what about stiffening up the body a bit, in response to the 'bounciness' i mentioned?..

    im sure i sound like i know nothing about what im talking about, which is true for the most part but ive been trying to read up on a lot of info over the past few weeks (here and other places) so i thought i was ready to ask the question and actually understand the responses ill (hopefully) get...
     
  2. artisan00

    artisan00 New Member

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    just to clarify and add more to my question,
    id rather that (ideally) the car would stay 'flat' when turning instead of rolling to one side, and that the front wouldnt go down as much when braking, if that makes sense..
     
  3. 2000Blackone

    2000Blackone New Member

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    A good place to start is to go through the sticky posted in this section of the board. What you need are a good set of lowering springs that will stiffen up your suspension as well as lower your center of gravity. Also, your car did not come with a rear stabilizer bar (swaybar, antiroll bar, etc.) from the factory, so if you want to increase handling ability in anyway, that will be a must have. A good set of struts/shocks will increase your car's ability to transition from turn to turn while also giving you smoother ride and cornering. You'll always feel the chassis shake some no matter what, but you can thank Ford for that (your car's skeleton is 25 years old). As far as nose dive in braking, the aforementioned springs will help that too. If you have any more questions, I will help you later as well as the plenty of people on here that can answer them too.
     
  4. WetDonkey

    WetDonkey Tech tech tech...

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    Lowering springs do lower the center of gravity, but they also drop the front roll center through the ground (that's bad), induce bumpsteer (that's bad), and reduced bump travel (that's not so bad.)

    I woulden't reccomend messing with sway bars until you've got your chassis stiffened and you've made a decision on spring rates. A convertable chassis is like a peice of wet cardboard, be prepared to spend $500+ on things like subframe connectors and K-member braces.


    Basically, lowering the front end of a Mustang usually does more harm than good and you'll want a 600-800 lb/in linear spring to maintain some ride quality for a daily driver.
     
  5. 2000Blackone

    2000Blackone New Member

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    well said
    Stiffen up the chassis first; then work with springs and swaybars.
     
  6. artisan00

    artisan00 New Member

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    ok, so i read through a bunch more threads about this, including that long one on sway bars (even though it was about tower braces for a while...)..

    so i think i understand that the sway bars introduce under/oversteer related to the stiffness and placement, etc.. to understand better though, i have to ask one question - where do sway bars attach to the car?... if i understand correctly, they dont bolt to the frame, but rather to some arm of the suspension - but maybe i read that wrong too -

    and the subframe cnnctrs go to the frame itself?

    and if this is at all correct - although i would like a stifer body, would that introduce more jerky road holding on city streets?

    also, related to the sway bars - is the 'oversteer' tendency they may introduce a very bad thing?.. or only if its overdone.
     
  7. bregulon

    bregulon Expect Nothing.

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    the rear sway attaches to the lower control arms, you unbolt the ebrake cable, slip in the sway and reattach it.

    I think you can 'tune' over steer tendency to preference by changing the size of the sway bar until you find one suited to your driving needs.

    subframe connectors, i'm not sure where they go but you'll want a shop to weld them on. I heard bolting them isn't as good since you'll have to drill holes which weakens the chassis and some other problems occur, so welding's the way to go.
     
  8. SlickV6

    SlickV6 New Member

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    Maybe I shouldn't assume, but it sounds like you just want a tighter ride, for everyday driving, not closed track driving, correct? If that's the case, lowering springs alone will give you the handling difference you want. The other things mentioned will definitely help, but for average everyday driving, the springs will be good enough to start with.
     
  9. Brandon

    Brandon Better Than Sliced Bread!

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    I would start off with new springs and shocks/struts the shocks/struts can come later but its a good idea to swap them otu while your messing with the springs, then you can get a OEM rear sway bar from a junk yard gt, try to get a 99 up gt rear sway if you can.

    wider tires and rims are a MUST it can change the whole look of the car adn those stock fugly 15s.... are just horrible at least the 16 oems are decent. go to www.gefracing.com and check out some rims.