Ford Mustang Forum banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First of all, let me say that my goals for suspension and braking upgrades are simply to achieve better handling and stopping in my daily driving and better response on curvy backroads. I plan to do only mild HP upgrades and my eventual hp goals are to be in the stock range of the 05/06 GTs, although I realize HP is addictive and I may eventually want to do more. For the most part, hp upgrades will be put on the back burner until after I make handling and braking improvements. The only thing I have on my list to do before handling/braking is to put in a short throw shifter (leaning toward Hurst, but B&M or Steeda Tri-Ax are in the running). In other words, I want to make regular (and some 'fun') driving in my Mustang just a little more pleasurable - and safe. I will probably make it to a dragway at some point, but mostly out of curiosity. My 1/4 mile times are not my biggest concern and I don't need a monster handler that will run road courses (I am not even sure if there are any road courses in this area). Also, I want the least amount of drop possible while improving handling. One thing I like about my Mustang is that, unlike many sporty cars, I don't feel like I have to climb up out of it. Also, I don't want to fool with bumpsteer kits or c/c plates. I realize there is a chance of giving up some smoothness in the ride quality in order to achieve better handling, but as Tennessee spends more money on roads than on schools, or just about anything else (not necessarily something to be proud of), even secondary and backroads are fairly smooth, so I can deal with a bit more 'harshness' if I have to. I don't have a lot of extra cash to spend on mods, so cost is a pretty big factor.

First, my brake questions. If I keep the stock brakes for now and go with Hawk brake pads all around, will my braking show much improvement? I am planning an eventual brake upgrade, but that is probably a little way off right now. I really want to get a suspension package in place first.

When the time comes, there are two major brake upgrade kits I am considering. One would be to simply upgrade the front brakes to a 13 inch Cobra brake setup and keep the stock GT rears with good pads (thanks to Meatball for that suggestion). The other would be to go with a Bullitt brake kit which apparently upgrades the fronts to 13in and the rears to 12in. Again, I am looking for a good brake package to improve safety in daily driving and complement a suspension upgrade. I would like to keep my stock Bullitt rims for now, so would like brake kits that are compatible. Any thoughts?

Now for suspension kits. From the research I have done so far, I keep coming back to the same three or four kits. I am wondering if anyone has experience with any of these and what opinions/impressions people have. Here are the choices so far:

Bullitt suspension kit. Pros: Made by Ford for a Mustang GT special edition so should work very well with my GT. No c/c plates or bumpsteer required and only drops .75 of an inch. Have read that handling is markedly improved over a regular GT suspension. Have seen the full kit advertised for around $399 - $450 and kit includes better sway bars. Cons: Have read that it makes the ride a bit 'harsh', although some don't agree. Could deal with some harshness if it improves the handling without being too bad.

Mach 1 suspension kit. Pros: Made by Ford for a Mustang which is built on pretty much the same platform as my GT, so should be a good fit. Also requires no c/c plates or bumpsteer and only drops about .75 of an inch. At Stangsuspension.com, the kit is even cheaper than the Bullitt kit. Cons: Unlike Bullitt kits, Mach 1 kits I have seen advertised do not include sway bars. I have read that the Mach 1 kit is better for dragracing and 1/4 mile times but that the Bullitt kit actually improves street handling more (although I don't see how this is possible as the tables I have seen give the same spring rates for both - unless it is all in the sway bars). Unknowns: Haven't found anything about the harshness of Mach 1s compared to GTs.

Ford Racing Performance Parts 1994-04 Mustang handling suspension kit. Pros: Made by Ford specifically to improve SN95 Mustang handling. Like the previous two, only drops .75 of an inch and should not require bumpsteer or c/c plates. Cons: I suspect this is pretty much the same as the Bullitt kit which I can get for $50 to $100 cheaper.

MRT Street Suspension Kit. Pros: Claims not to require bumpsteer or c/c plates. Possibly better handling and/or ride quality than other kits mentioned. Cons: Drops 1.25 inches, which is more than I really want to drop. Costs more than other kits. Haven't heard/read much about this kit or if it really works well without c/c plates.

Whichever kit I end up going with, would it still be a good idea to eventually put on subframe connectors? Feedback is appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
701 Posts
JB02GT,

That's quite a bit of text you wrote...

OK, don't ask me about the suspension. The only thing I can say is that if you go with suspension parts get some decent quality (brand name) parts. Eibach seems to be the winer among stang drivers.

Brakes; I can probabely tell you quite a bit:

The stock brakes of the GT's lack an agresive brake pad. especially if your stang is equipped with the motorcraft pads. The motorcraft ones compared to the oem Ford ones are less agressive and therefore have less bite. How ever the motorcraft ones create least brake dust.
An upgrade with a more agressive pad is definitely a good choice. and that's where hawk has great products.

Disk size wise, if you do some sporty driving on curvie roads you can get the brakes to the limit. But that means driving way faster than legal.
If you want to go with the next upgrade, I strongly recomend you to get the cobra/mach1 brake setup. Just keep in mind that the 16" rims don't work anymore. This wold be a great kit with great stopping power and still reasonable in price.

After that you have other options, sch as big brake / extreme kits. Manufacturers would be Baer, Brembo, Wilwood. Buf for a daily driver I could not really reommend you those.

By the way: Stay away from slotted/drilled rotors. They give your car only a marginal gain but very high noise.

Hope this helps out man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,579 Posts
You sound like your handling and braking goals are the same as mine so I will recommend to you what I have. First, I have EBC brake pads all around with cross-drilled and slotted rotors. I disagree with Engineer and a lot of others on this board when it comes to rotors. With the research I've done and the braking ability my car has now, I highly recommend cross-drilled and slotted. I also feel there is no need in using the Cobra or Bullit brake kits if you still have 8 inch wide wheels (like your Bullits). I have stock GT wheels that have the same dimensions as your Bullits and it is extremely easy to lock my wheels up with just the pad and rotor changes. The brakes are already too much for the tires to handle.

I will also recommend the Bullit suspension. There is a noticeable difference in handling with this kit. Less body roll, less brake dive, and the car is not as eager to understeer as a stock GT suspension. The FRPP kit is almost identical to the Bullit kit but costs more and the Mach suspension doesn't handle as well as the Bullit. I haven't noticed ANY difference in ride quality with the Bullit kit. The Tokicko's that come with it are valved just right to give you that factory ride while still reducing body roll. My only complaint is that because I have a V6 that is lighter in the front than a GT, the gap between the fender and top of the wheels is still a little too much. This shouldn't be a problem with your car, though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Some of the things I've learned:

When you can afford it go with 13" up front with 12" in back. The Cobra and Mach 1 kits do this. The only difference is the marking on the calipers. Make dure you get vented rotors but I would not recommend cross drilled and/or slotted.

Unless you race or autoX you don't need slotted or cross drilled. Back in the day, pad material, particularly the bonding agents used, would out-gas at high temps. This gas would form a layer between the pad and rotor reducing contact and stopping power. The cross drilling and slots were developed to vent the gas and restore pad/rotor contact. The new pad materials don't out-gas the way the older ones did so the need for cross drilling and slotting has gone away, unless the brakes get supper hot as in racing conditions. Also, when you cross drill or slot you're removing surface area on the rotor were the pads contact thus reducing friction surface and stopping power. Additionally, particularly with cross drilling you weaken the rotor and this in many cases has led to cracks forming and the need to replace the rotor prematurely. I have also heard that the cross drilling can lead to noise problems.

The suspension kits you mention are all good. I think it depends on how low you want to go. Personally I'm saving up for MM coil-overs front and rear.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
Suspension

First off, let me state for all around use Granatelli front coil overs with 300 lb springs handle and ride GREAT. I will never go back to inboard springs again! Look at the new mustang and decide. Second, IF you stick with stock sized components, QUALITY rotors and pads designed for performance ( you decide on brand and design) will add a lot of fun factor without braking (pun intended) the bank. I have drilled and slotted rotors (Ford racing) with Performance Friction Carbon Metalic (autozone) pads and can stop on a dime repeatedly. However these lifetime pads (what idiots LOL) make my wheels black instantly when I get on them a few times. On the rear the ULCA situation depends upon driving style. Decide now if you want ride, corners, drag, or durability. All in one package is VERY difficult and expensive to achieve. The main thing is it has to suit you and no one else. My car drags only fair, but handles almost as good as a lot of Vettes, Cobras, or other performance cars (usually heavily modified) and mine only cost a fraction of what theirs does.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks to everyone for the info. I think I am going to first try some premium brake pads on my stock setup and see how I like that. If that doesn't suit my purposes, then down the road (when it is time to have brakes done again) I will look at upgradingto something else. I don't hate the brakes the way they are, I just want a little quicker response and better stopping times, so it is entirely possible that a pad improvement will do it. When the time comes that my rotors have to be replaced, I will upgrade, regardless. If the pads will meet my desires for now, I am really more interested in spending the $$$ on suspension.

I think I am going to go with the Bullitt kit. It really sounds like that kit will meet my needs perfectly. I got a quote yesterday of around $500 to have the entire thing installed (not including the price of the kit). I am going to check around for more estimates, but it may be a case where I have to buy the kit while I can get it for a good price and wait a month or two to have it installed. I'm not in a huge hurry because I plan on having my Mustang for a long time - maybe from now on - so I can take my time and mod it as I go.

I don't want to say too much about it right now, as things might not work out, but there is a chance I will be building a 'sleeper' out of a '64 Ford F100 I have had for several years (it was my daily driver for a while in college). If I end up doing that, the Mustang will probably be pretty much left alone after the suspension is done. Since the truck won't be my daily driver, I won't have to worry about balancing performance with reliability, ride quality and fuel effeciency, so I can concentrate on making it downright mean.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top