S197 Steeda stage 3 suspension kit - Ford Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-29-2019 Thread Starter
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S197 Steeda stage 3 suspension kit

I’m looking to upgrade the suspension on my project/track car, a 07 GT. I got a few bolt on mods and some brake upgrades. It’s now time to attack my stock suspension. Steeda has a sale right now and the Stage 3 handling Package on sale for $1400. The reviews are great, but I wanted some opinions from you all.

After the suspension upgrade next will be wheels that will fit a Big brake set up. Looking at the 19” AMR. Any opinions on fit or performance. Should I go with 18, 19, or 20”? This is project/track car. The goal is to keep this car street legal, but I want it handle track days as well.

Any and all opinions are welcome.

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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019
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Originally Posted by Bizzon View Post
I’m looking to upgrade the suspension on my project/track car, a 07 GT. I got a few bolt on mods and some brake upgrades. It’s now time to attack my stock suspension. Steeda has a sale right now and the Stage 3 handling Package on sale for $1400. The reviews are great, but I wanted some opinions from you all.

After the suspension upgrade next will be wheels that will fit a Big brake set up. Looking at the 19” AMR. Any opinions on fit or performance. Should I go with 18, 19, or 20”? This is project/track car. The goal is to keep this car street legal, but I want it handle track days as well.

Any and all opinions are welcome.
Can’t comment on suspension really, but have heard good things about Have you shopped around to make sure good price. Many vendors offer forum discounts as well just FYI.

Where are you located? I have some AMR wheels I might sell. Had them on a 2006 GT and comes with low mile tires as well. Put the tires on a few thousand miles before deciding to sell and buyer wanted stock wheels instead of aftermarket...


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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bizzon View Post
Im looking to upgrade the suspension on my project/track car, a 07 GT. I got a few bolt on mods and some brake upgrades.
Could you provide a few details regarding what you've already done?


Quote:
After the suspension upgrade next will be wheels that will fit a Big brake set up. Looking at the 19 AMR. Any opinions on fit or performance. Should I go with 18, 19, or 20? This is project/track car. The goal is to keep this car street legal, but I want it handle track days as well.
First off, a stock-ish 4.6L isn't going to need front brakes any bigger than the 14" 4-piston Brembos that were fitted to the 2007-2008 era GT500, and for those even 18" wheels will work provided that the wheels specify fitment to the GT500. Since you are not only going to track this car, stick to plain rotors, or at most, slotted or grooved. Leave the drilled rotors for the car show crowd (holes are places of stress concentrations and ideal places for cracks to start, and this does happen).

I don't know where you live, so I don't know whether you'll have to swap between street and track pads. Or whether you're already planning to. Some climates - and some track pad formulations - do permit street driving without the poor cold bite issues that other pads and colder winters would throw at you. You would, however, have to deal with dust and a bit of noise. My personal recommendation for track duty in a 4.6L car would be Carbotech XP10/G-loc R10 (same guys involved), and those can be used on the street subject to your tolerance for dust and noise. I'm recommending against Hawk - their HPS isn't enough pad for the track, and the HP+ and up are going to be unreasonably abrasive. XP10/R10 has bite like HP+ and rotor wear like HPS. Other people may have other pad preferences; the above only reflects my experience.

On wheels, you should really settle on width before picking a diameter, and that's going to depend on how serious you see your track day habit getting (and on how wide you think you're likely to go with the tires). That said, I'd limit the diameter choice to either 18 or 19. For any tire size that starts with a '3', you'll want wheels that are at least 11" wide. Just FWIW, 11" wide rims are tire mfr OK'ed down to 285/35 and even 275/35 sizes. Yes, they can fit up front, though there will be a little 'poke'. Kind of like the S550 GT's PP2 option, actually. One other thing, don't stagger the tire sizes, and preferably not the wheel widths either.

285/35-18 MPSS tires on 18x11 Forgestars



Quote:
Its now time to attack my stock suspension. Steeda has a sale right now and the Stage 3 handling Package on sale for $1400. The reviews are great, but I wanted some opinions from you all.
I had to look it up, and not knowing what the kit's spring rates are I am a little concerned that the 1071 rear bar supplied might be a little too stiff. It's less of a problem with a stockish 4.6 than, say, Coyote power, but I'd have still wanted it to have some adjustability like the front bar has. It's nice to be able to do the final fine-tuning of the handling with the rear bar.

What the roads in your area look is perhaps something to consider - if they're a bit rough you may want adjustable shocks and struts, which can be dialed back to reduce ride harshness. I don't know if you can get Steeda to upgrade your kit while keeping sale prices or not, but it'd certainly be worth the effort to see if they would.


I'll be adding a few more thoughts in a separate post.


Norm

'08 GT coupe, 5M, wheels, tires, pads, fluid, a few suspension mods . . . still almost stock height
'19 WRX, 6M (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE, 5M (spare, winter driver)
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019
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I've been building my '08 up with the same intent of improving track capability without compromising its streetability too much (let's face it, most track-oriented mods don't improve streetability). One thing I can tell you is that it takes less car modification than you think to support running even in the Advanced run group.

I did take a different path, though. Koni yellows, Strano sta-bars, Steeda HD strut mounts, UMI endlinks for the front bar, Currie poly/Johnny-joint rear LCAs, and those MPSS tires/Forgestar wheels got me to the run groups that I run in now (I want you to notice that that was with the OE springs still in place). Only since then have I upped the front brakes and swapped the springs out for something firmer (BMR's GT500 Handling springs).

You'll want to be able to get camber out to something more negative than Ford's max-negative spec of -1.5. I've found that something around -1.9, maybe -2 is an OK setting if you don't want to keep resetting camber and toe every time you go to the track and once again when you're back to street driving. I also think that such an admittedly mild setting for track duty is reason to pick wheel widths more toward max-recommended for the tire size that you chose, the idea being to at least minimize lateral tire tread distortion (this distortion behaves a little like not having enough camber, so let's not compromise a compromised camber setting any further than necessary).

A couple of screenshots snapped from a 2015 track day video, with Aim Solo datalog information overlaid. These were taken when the car was still on its OE springs, tires fully warmed up (beyond where any sane street driving can put tire temperatures). I was 68 at the time and not inclined to drive like an idiot just to put up big numbers.






This little snippet was from the same video the stills were taken from, basically an easy-ish drive at a reasonably brisk pace. NJMP/Thunderbolt, if it matters.



Norm

'08 GT coupe, 5M, wheels, tires, pads, fluid, a few suspension mods . . . still almost stock height
'19 WRX, 6M (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE, 5M (spare, winter driver)
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019
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Sooner or later you may find that the TR3650 gear spacing will have you using 3rd where you wish you could use 2nd, or having to grab 5th and wonder what happened to the acceleration - the gaps between 2nd and 3rd and between 4th and 5th really are that wide. 3.31's in the axle might avoid the need for 5th and make 2nd a little more useful but would compromise acceleration in 3rd and 4th which is where most of your session time will be spent. Fixing both the 2nd and 5th gear issues without messing with 3rd and 4th too much can be done, but gets expensive (it's what I'm currently working on getting changed).


Norm

'08 GT coupe, 5M, wheels, tires, pads, fluid, a few suspension mods . . . still almost stock height
'19 WRX, 6M (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE, 5M (spare, winter driver)
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 10-30-2019
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Philosophically, I don't think Ford did as poor of a job with the S197 as many other people would have you believe. Especially if you're shooting for a dual-purpose car. I suspect that in most respects the Steeda kit has kept this in mind - that 25mm solid rear bar is one thing that does stand out as a likely exception.

I'm also of the opinion that Ford optimized both front and rear suspension geometries for less than 1" lowering. As a now-retired engineer, function means almost everything to me and outward appearance almost nothing. On its new springs, my '08 is about 1/2" lower up front and about 1/4" lower out back due to the suspension change (I shimmed the rear springs 'up' to get that number). There's about another half inch of visual lowering all around from the tires being ~1" shorter than the OE sizes.

Subtle is good . . .




Norm

'08 GT coupe, 5M, wheels, tires, pads, fluid, a few suspension mods . . . still almost stock height
'19 WRX, 6M (hers)
'01 Maxima 20AE, 5M (spare, winter driver)
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