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Weighing options on suspension upgrade

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191
376
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Hi all,

I recently joined the forum when I acquired my 2012 Mustang GT and registered for some HDPE/autocross days. I am weighing my options and have been doing a lot of reading on the forums here and have narrowed down my suspension choices. Hoping to ask the group here for advice/opinions on which way to go. The car is not my daily, but I do drive it around to run errands and on the street often- it is not a dedicated track toy (yet haha). That said- I'm a young guy and I don't care if the suspension on my summer/track car is rough. One thing to note- I do plan on eventually (maybe next year) running a square 19x11 Apex wheel setup. I'm on a budget as this is a new hobby and taking the build slow. I have narrowed down the options to the following:


1. The Steeda Sport Handling Package used by @BillyJRacing in his Motoiq build. Seems like a great price point and I would pair this kit with M&M camber plates.




2. Koni Yellow adjustable shocks/struts with MMR Road and Track springs. Also paired with M&M camber plates. Seems to be very popular on the forum, and I like the idea of the extra drop in height it offers over the Steeda kit. I am almost set on going this route, however I am a bit worried that the almost 2 inch drop will negatively impact the car without additional suspension mods. Any input?


3. Steeda Stage 1 Coilover kit. Not much more expensive than the two options above, just not sure if I will really see any benefit over the other two options.



Appreciate any insight and input. I did not want to start one of "these" threads but really could use the guidance. Thanks!
 
The first two options are pretty great choices to be honest I have almost everything on option 2 minus the track pack springs but I hear they are pretty great for guys like u and me on a budget. The only difference is I have frpp k springs ( good but still pretty soft) the only thing I would change in option 2 is get the vorschlage camber plates everybody seems to like them that has them. But option 1 is pretty great I mean @BillyJRacing knows what he is talking about so I mean it cant be bad at all. The only thing i would change on your set is is go with 18s either 18x10s or 18x11. I went with 18x10s for the simple fact you can get tires alway from a 255 all the way up to 295s and have them fit fine so if your on a budget there is a huge range of cheap tires to use especially if your not out to break lap records and just want to have fun
 
1,291
1,296
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Lenoir City TN
My set up was similar to the first option, but has evolved a bit over the years. It was pieced together with the help of someone at Steeda. the original set up was the sport springs, Koni Strt (orange) shocks/struts, Steeda HD strut mounts and Steeda Competition adjustable sway bars. The Steeda ProAction shocks/struts were out of stock at the time and I was told the valving was very close between them and the Koni Strt's. Steeda was very good at assisting with the suspension upgrades. The person I worked with has retired, but he was great. He started with asking what I liked and didn't like currently with my car, how I used it and about future plans. He gave me a 3 step plan for upgrading the suspension that I could do all at once or one step at a time as time and funds allowed. He gave me such good prices I did the first two steps right away and the 3rd step was about 2 years later. I ran that set up for several years until it was time for a shock upgrade. The original Koni's were starting to wear out. I upgraded to Steeda Competition springs, Vorshlag camber plates and Koni Sports (yellows). The car is a little firmer than before, but I like the feel on track better.
 
139
245
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Central Florida
Bilsteins, Eibachs and camber plates
 
706
1,252
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Wisconsin
I would stick with option 1 or get a ford performance kit.

Proven setup that works and you can evolve it over time, no need to become an suspension engineer overnight.
100% agree, this is a proven kit back by people that know whats up. Looking forward to see you out there!
 
22
23
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
North Alabama
I've also been looking looking around for suspension options on a budget so I'm in a similar situation. I think I'm probably going to end up going with the Vorshlag StreetPro kit, I just can't decide on the springs yet. Their camber plates look top notch and the shortened strut housing for lowered cars on the Bilsteins sound very promising though. I wish I could go coilovers but like others mentioned, the good ones are expensive and then you have to rebuild them fairly often it seems.
 
160
110
NJ
After having run Koni Yellow's and a couple of different springs over the years I'd personally recommend saving up for a decent set of coil-over's instead. Knowing (and setting) the exact spring rate and setting ride height/corner weight alone was well worth it. I also didn't like the ride height of most popular aftermarket springs, way too low IMO. In turn this causes a variety of suspension geometry issues which need to be corrected.

I found a used set for Cortex (JRi) units and they are a very nice setup, although not cheap new. I suspect most here will advise cheap coil-over's are probably worse then nothing at all so unfortunately that rules out most popular affordable options. In my motorcycle racing days I ran Ohlin's stuff and that was truly transforming. I wish I could run something like that now but pricing is an order of magnitude above even the JRi stuff. But again, I'd be patient and see what you can find used if it's from a reliable source. Good luck with whatever you wind up doing!
 

racer47

Still winning after 30+ years
396
501
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SE WI
I agree with theviking above.

I've also had Koni yellows and was not impressed. They were very harsh in compression and not enough rebound no matter how I set them. Secondly, these cars don't really get fast until you get appropriate front spring rates, 500 lb/in minimum, but 600, 700 and even 800 lb/in all work well. You can't get these kind of rates with springs that fit stock type struts.

The Ford and Steeda packages never tell you the spring rate but the fronts will not be high enough. Sure it will be better than stock but thats a low bar to jump over.

Something like this will make your car significantly faster than any of the kits listed above. But it ends up being around $4000, all in, https://vorshlag-store.com/collecti...dampers-ford-s197-mustang?variant=31172132743

Notice the spring rates. Vorshlag's GTS Spring Package is 550 #/in Front / 250 #/in Rear. This is what you need.

I also disagree with Beermoney. You do want to be knowledgable about suspension. You should want to know what the spring rates are, what camber you have have, what the swaybar spring rate is. If you plan to be in the sport for a while, these are the things you need to know in order to be fast.

Kona, since you are somewhere near Chicago, come out to Jefferson Speedway this Friday night, 7/15, for a high speed autox. It starts at 6pm, ends around 10pm. You'll get 5 runs, 1 low speed run to learn the course, 1 full speed practice, 3 full speed timed runs. Top speed is about 75mph, usually all 2nd gear, no miata box bs, just a fun fast course. We get about 50 cars including 8 or so Mustangs, a couple Camaros, a Vette or 2, some Hondas, maybe an Evo, 350Z, Porsche, etc. You'll see first hand how a Ford suspension kit compares to what I and theviking are talking about.
 
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My perspective-

The Steeda kit will replace your tired old stuff and get you on solid ground to start without weird handling due to worn/mismatched parts and is very affordable. (Eg- heavy springs without enough damper). Vorschlag gets you in a place where you can be competitive.

On a limited budget for a streetcar I like the Steeda kit, a good alignment, and $3200 in tires to burn off. (Maybe some brakes and cooling too!)

If you have the money to do everything, Vorschlag puts you on a faster path and is obviously a proven recommendation.
 
191
376
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
I agree with theviking above.

I've also had Koni yellows and was not impressed. They were very harsh in compression and not enough rebound no matter how I set them. Secondly, these cars don't really get fast until you get appropriate front spring rates, 500 lb/in minimum, but 600, 700 and even 800 lb/in all work well. You can't get these kind of rates with springs that fit stock type struts.

The Ford and Steeda packages never tell you the spring rate but the fronts will not be high enough. Sure it will be better than stock but thats a low bar to jump over.

Something like this will make your car significantly faster than any of the kits listed above. But it ends up being around $4000, all in, https://vorshlag-store.com/collecti...dampers-ford-s197-mustang?variant=31172132743

Notice the spring rates. Vorshlag's GTS Spring Package is 550 #/in Front / 250 #/in Rear. This is what you need.

I also disagree with Beermoney. You do want to be knowledgable about suspension. You should want to know what the spring rates are, what camber you have have, what the swaybar spring rate is. If you plan to be in the sport for a while, these are the things you need to know in order to be fast.

Kona, since you are somewhere near Chicago, come out to Jefferson Speedway this Friday night, 7/15, for a high speed autox. It starts at 6pm, ends around 10pm. You'll get 5 runs, 1 low speed run to learn the course, 1 full speed practice, 3 full speed timed runs. Top speed is about 75mph, usually all 2nd gear, no miata box bs, just a fun fast course. We get about 50 cars including 8 or so Mustangs, a couple Camaros, a Vette or 2, some Hondas, maybe an Evo, 350Z, Porsche, etc. You'll see first hand how a a Ford suspension kit compares to what I and theviking are talking about.


Would love to come out- I think I can make it Friday night. Do you have a link for the event where I can register? The website for Jefferson Speedway isn't loading for me, for some reason. Sounds like a great chance for me to get my feet wet.
 

racer47

Still winning after 30+ years
396
501
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
SE WI
Would love to come out- I think I can make it Friday night. Do you have a link for the event where I can register? The website for Jefferson Speedway isn't loading for me, for some reason. Sounds like a great chance for me to get my feet wet.

Their website sucks. The place is run by non-technos but die hard car guys. There is no pre-registration. Just show up at 5:30pm. It costs $25 to drive, $10 for spectators in the pits, free for spectators in the stands. Stay towards the left as you enter off the highway. The pit shack will be just to the left of the stands. Sign the waivers and then get in line for the sighting lap. No tech, no car classing. You'll be in the 8 cylinder class. Bring a helmet with eye covering like a full face helmet with shield. Open face is ok with goggles. There are minimal cones so pay attention during the sight in and then watch other cars. Its basically two figure 8's run in both directions, 2 straights, 2 cross overs, 2 banked turns (oval 3 and 4 run in both directions), 2 low banked turns (oval 1 and 2 also run in both directions). Its not complicated. It will make sense when you are there. I'll be in the silver 06 GT and will get you started. Feel free to ask anyone questions. Its a laid back group. If you're late, you can still run. Timed laps start at 7pm. Practice laps start at 6pm. Sight in laps are usually only run by first timers and that runs first. You don't have to do that but it does help learn the course. After the race is over, your wrist band is good for one free beer or soda at the bar. Most of us hang out there for a while. Its fun, fast, cheap and doesn't burn an entire day.

@Vettel-ish and @Sjohnson1800 you guys should come out as well
 
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191
376
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Their website sucks. The place is run by non-technos but die hard car guys. There is no pre-registration. Just show up at 5:30pm. It costs $25 to drive, $10 for spectators in the pits, free for spectators in the stands. Stay towards the left as you enter off the highway. The pit shack will be just to the left of the stands. Sign the waivers and then get in line for the sighting lap. No tech, no car classing. You'll be in the 8 cylinder class. Bring a helmet with eye covering like a full face helmet with shield. Open face is ok with goggles. There are minimal cones so pay attention during the sight in and then watch other cars. Its basically two figure 8's run in both directions, 2 straights, 2 cross overs, 2 banked turns (oval 3 and 4 run in both directions), 2 low banked turns (oval 1 and 2 also run in both directions). Its not complicated. It will make sense when you are there. I'll be in the silver 06 GT and will get you started. Feel free to ask anyone questions. Its a laid back group. If you're late, you can still run. Timed laps start at 7pm. Practice laps start at 6pm. Sight in laps are usually only run by first timers and that runs first. You don't have to do that but it does help learn the course. After the race is over, your wrist band is good for one free beer or soda at the bar. Most of us hang out there for a while. Its fun, fast, cheap and doesn't burn an entire day.

@Vettel-ish and @Sjohnson1800 you guys should come out as well

I will let you know for sure Friday morning! Thinking I can get out of work early that day and make it over there. Sounds like a blast.
 
321
416
CA

^No need for a spring compressor with this kit. I was competitive in both local CAM autocross as well as local time trials with the above kit + MM CC plates.

FRPP parts have better resale value for when you inevitably move on to bigger and better things in my experience.

Koni yellows at full stiff + MM Road and track springs represent the cheapest possible way to get 400# springs on an s-197: anything else is either underdamped for 400# springs, or an expensive coilover.

What tire will you be running? I disagree with the above comments of needing 500+lb springs (depending on the tire you run) in order to be fast.
 
191
376
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland

^No need for a spring compressor with this kit. I was competitive in both local CAM autocross as well as local time trials with the above kit + MM CC plates.

FRPP parts have better resale value for when you inevitably move on to bigger and better things in my experience.

Koni yellows at full stiff + MM Road and track springs represent the cheapest possible way to get 400# springs on an s-197: anything else is either underdamped for 400# springs, or an expensive coilover.

What tire will you be running? I disagree with the above comments of needing 500+lb springs (depending on the tire you run) in order to be fast.

Hoping to go with Nitto NT01s, widest I can fit on a 19x11 wheel.
 

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