So I'm picking up my new 5.0 this Friday (GT, Brembo,3.73). This is my first Mustang, I use to drive an RX-8. I plan on road racing it at least 5-7 times a season at Road America (kick a%$ track). I decided on the 5.0 over another RX-8 (wife wrecked old one) due to the fact that the RX-8 is a better handling car than the 5.0 but it's much more expensive to get it to have the power of the 5.0. The 5.0 on the other hand may not handle as great in stock form but after a few grand I'm sure it can surpas the 8. So in the end the 5.0 was the most cost effective option.
So, being new to the mustang world what would be the steps I take to beef up the suspension. The driver mod will be done in early Spring as I do about 4 days of events, so by early summer I'll start the suspension upgrades. I'm new to american muscle so i am cluless. I want a set-up that will work great together. I was thinking of doing the upgrade in two stages. First body regidity (sway bars, subframes etc...) then actual suspension (coil overs, lcas etc...). It's my DD but just to and from work (15 miles each way), the family car (Pilot) does the rest. I need some drivabilty but can handle a stiff ride as long as it dosn't break my back.
What do you think?
I don't think there is anything you can really do with the 'subframes'. You can install a tubular k-member in the front very easily, but it seems like an excessive thing to do at first.
For streetability I would look at koni sport struts/shocks and steeda sport springs instead of coilovers. This setup is plenty stiff, lots of people use it for auto-x, and it doesn't require constant tweaking. I am currently running this setup and with the konis turned up high, I can see no reason why I would need anything more. Of course, if you want to go with coilovers then there are plenty of companies that make them.
The baseline recommended upgrades to make the new mustangs corner well seems to be pretty simple:
- Adjustable shocks/struts (koni sports are excellent, but the backorders suck)
- Lowering springs
- Adjustable strut mounts
- Rear LCA relocation brackets to help the car hook after lowering (usually along with some aftermarket LCAs)
- Sway bars - I can't really comment on these because I haven't upgraded yet
- Adjustable Panhard rod - This is just used to center the rear axle after lowering. If you go with a watts linkage, you don't need it.
- Watts Link (not really required, but I've never heard anything but good stuff about them)
As for body rigidity...I am not sure what you can really do with the S197s aside from replace the from k-member with a tubular version. I don't think many people mess around with that stuff. Even griggs racing says the S197 chassis is stiff enough as is.
This guy is a very popular vendor who would be happy to discuss suspension upgrades if you give him a call. He hooked me up with most of my components. He races, so he knows what he's talking about
: Strano Performance Parts - Parts Catalog
Steeda makes a lot of suspension parts, their HD strut mounts are very popular: Mustang Performance | Mustang Cold Air Intakes | Mustang Short Shifters | Mustang Lowering Springs | Mustang Exhaust | Mustang Pulleys
Griggs makes a ridiculous total suspension replacement that can cost upwards of $10k, even if it's out of your budget it's still interesting to look at: Griggs Racing Products
There are a lot of people road racing/auto-crossing these cars and I'm sure they will chime in here. I have been amazed at how friendly this community is (coming from BMW and Mercedes), and the vendors are downright awesome. Good luck!