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2006 GT Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I'm an new, old member :) I find myself with another Mustang after selling my previous one 10 years ago. I'm a 70 year old male who, in my lifetime, has owned a 1965 coupe, 1965 fastback, 2006 GT, and now a 2006 GT convertible. My question is how can I improve the cornering of the current vert without breaking the bank? Are the upgrades different for a convertible than the coupes? Remember, I'm an old [email protected] and living on a fixed income so I'm looking for upgrades that start with the most bang for the bucks and then down the road, adding more improvements. From perusing the past posts I suspect a rear sway bar would be of immediate benefit?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

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· Tech Advisor
2006 Mustang GT
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4,161 Posts
Hi, I'm an new, old member :) I find myself with another Mustang after selling my previous one 10 years ago. I'm a 70 year old male who, in my lifetime, has owned a 1965 coupe, 1965 fastback, 2006 GT, and now a 2006 GT convertible. My question is how can I improve the cornering of the current vert without breaking the bank? Are the upgrades different for a convertible than the coupes? Remember, I'm an old [email protected] and living on a fixed income so I'm looking for upgrades that start with the most bang for the bucks and then down the road, adding more improvements. From perusing the past posts I suspect a rear sway bar would be of immediate benefit?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
You could replicate the suspension upgrades that I've done on my '06 GT.

BMR rear lower control arms & relocation brackets
Prothane rear sway bar & end link bushings
Energy Suspension rear track bar bushings
Prothane rear differential carrier bushing

Energy Suspension front control arm bushings
Energy Suspension front sway bar bushings
GT500 front strut mounts

I also have 255/45R18 tires which are wider and lower profile than stock.
Since my car is entirely street driven, I steered clear of adding lowering springs since the exhaust would otherwise be scraping a lot of speed bumps. As it is, the car handles great but still has a firm but compliant ride quality. Perfect for me 'cause I don't race it.
 

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Bullitt95 covered the key points, some follow-ups on that:
  • The hard bushings will transmit more NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) and changing them is not an easy job. For a street car I'd probably leave those for last (I have them in my car, for road track purposes, and they definitely made all the clunks and bangs a bit louder)
  • Stiffer front and rear sway bars can reduce body roll, without stiffening everything up as much as stiffer springs would. Doing the rear alone will make the car less understeer prone at the limit, but won't reduce the body roll as much as both front and back would
  • watch your local craig's list and e-bay for take-off GT500 sway bars, they are a little stiffer than the regular GT ones and can be bought cheap if you can be patient until they come along
  • you might consider better dampers (struts and shocks) -- Billstein is probably a good choice but on the pricey side
  • if you do want to lower the car, keep in mind that most lowering springs are stiffer than stock, which is good if you want to firm up the ride, but bad for comfort and ground clearance
 

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Were those cars that bad from the factory to start with? Probably just need new struts and shocks. ‘06 would still be live rear axle, maybe switch to sticky tires also. Anything feeling loose as steering or brakes address as separate repair issues, not performance. Myself at 77YO just don’t have the need for speed and then the embarrassment of smoking tires… nope. Glad to be over those years, only reason I have mine now is I always wanted a car I didn’t have to use daily.
 

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Were those cars that bad from the factory to start with? ...
"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" ;)

I think opinions vary widely because everyone has their preferences ... some think the suspension is too soft from the factory, some think it is too harsh, for some it is "just right" ... SiberD50 mentioned making the car corner better, so I assume he is in the "too soft" camp.
 

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2006 Mustang GT
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Were those cars that bad from the factory to start with? Probably just need new struts and shocks. ‘06 would still be live rear axle, maybe switch to sticky tires also. Anything feeling loose as steering or brakes address as separate repair issues, not performance.
If the car is still running mostly 16-year-old original suspension components (especially rubber bushings), even replacing them with new OEM items will improve the handling but it'll only be to a factory stock level. Better than stock handling is going to require upgraded components. Some won't compromise ride quality but one upgrade that'll definitely compromise the ride (and reduce ground clearance) is lowering springs, as they're almost always stiffer than stock. You could instead retain the stock springs and swap in aftermarket shocks/struts to firm up the damping for better body control during hard cornering. I find the stock front struts are firm enough but the stock rear shocks are a little soft.
 

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2014 GT, 1967 Fairlane GTA
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How many miles are on this car? The answer to this will help us understand the current state of the suspension parts. As others have touched on already a worn suspension is likely half the problem on a high mileage car and can make a car feel like a cream puff in the turns.
I agree that bigger sway bars are probably the best bang for the buck and also aren't hard/expensive to install.
 

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2006 Mustang GT
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I have adjustable shocks on mine among other things. I can go from softer than stock to very very stiff. I can't comment on how much changing shocks will help cause I changed multiple parts at once.
 

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What I ponder about is if not a car guy, how would one have any idea on handling potential without a comparison? Coming onto a ramp off turnpike at 90MPH? No qualms whatsoever here with recommendations, doing what you want because you can… my Boss, have no clue if it’s good cornering or handles exceptional. Never ran it on a track or never will (supposedly track ready out of box?). Yes, have Trackey but that’s ok even for street or other.

The vendors in the after market industry have to make profits also and this facet is incorporated with new car warranties (not all additions or swaps as I understand). Things over decade old sure if you want to or needs basics. Mine’s in that category also, true. Take for example shocks, I would definitely look into more updated ones other than screwdriver adjusting each one. Will wait awhile until broke in a bit. Never changed any settings on them, no problems as is. With traffic and roads as here (ME) doubt that feature means a whole lot.

And yes, have taken all the defensive driving, crash and skid control schooling that was available over years. Just in another head on situation this past August. Getting pretty good at 2 wheeling the ditches so far. This made my 4th probably fatal outcome up here since driving.
 

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2006 GT Convertible
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How many miles are on this car? The answer to this will help us understand the current state of the suspension parts. As others have touched on already a worn suspension is likely half the problem on a high mileage car and can make a car feel like a cream puff in the turns.
I agree that bigger sway bars are probably the best bang for the buck and also aren't hard/expensive to install.
The car is, and has been, a garage queen with 47,000 miles on it.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I live in Kentucky with a LOT of twisty roads!
 

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with 47,000 miles there should not be much wear, but the bushings could be dried out and falling apart from age alone .... it would be a good idea to get under there and have a look at them ... and if you don't want to go the hard bushings route, you can replace the control arms with OEM ones, that have the rubber bushings already installed .... that saves a lot of time and aggravation pressing out the old bushings, which is a lot harder than it sounds
 

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2006 GT Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I'm still trying to decide what to do. I think a better rear sway bar is in the mix. Apparently the stock convertible one is only 18mm thick. Steeda makes one for the convertible that is .22mm. Would I need to replace the front one too? I think I'm going to go with Koni adjustable shocks all the way around with stock springs?
 

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‘05 V6 Windveil Blue
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I have the Koni STR.T's with stock springs and i have plenty of fun with them in my coupe on stock springs, X brace and strut bar
 
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2006 Mustang GT
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I'm still trying to decide what to do. I think a better rear sway bar is in the mix. Apparently the stock convertible one is only 18mm thick. Steeda makes one for the convertible that is .22mm. Would I need to replace the front one too? I think I'm going to go with Koni adjustable shocks all the way around with stock springs?
The Koni shocks will make a big difference. Are you able to do the work yourself? If you aren't doing the install it may be more cost effective to have the spring changed at the same time if you think you may want to change them at a later date.
 

· Dragon Tail Master
2013 Mustang V6 Brembo
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I'm still trying to decide what to do. I think a better rear sway bar is in the mix. Apparently the stock convertible one is only 18mm thick. Steeda makes one for the convertible that is .22mm. Would I need to replace the front one too? I think I'm going to go with Koni adjustable shocks all the way around with stock springs?
I have the Koni Sports on my 2013 along with Vogtland Springs that were a .75/1.25 drop on the coupe but not many make a lowering sport spring for the Vert's.
I also have the Factory Performance Package with biggers front and rear sway bars and some SVT lower control arms in the rear. 255/40 19 front and 295/35 19's in the rear have helped with the cornering
Speedometer Steering part Gauge Car Automotive design

Actual numbers from the built in G-Meter on the 2013 and up on the Tail of the Dragon. Yes I live 40 miles south of the Kentucky Tennessee line right off of 75 so I know about the Twisties :cool:
 

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2006 GT Convertible
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Koni shocks will make a big difference. Are you able to do the work yourself? If you aren't doing the install it may be more cost effective to have the spring changed at the same time if you think you may want to change them at a later date.
Like maybe adding the eibach lowering springs at the same time?
 

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2014 GT, 1967 Fairlane GTA
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I'm still trying to decide what to do. I think a better rear sway bar is in the mix. Apparently the stock convertible one is only 18mm thick. Steeda makes one for the convertible that is .22mm. Would I need to replace the front one too? I think I'm going to go with Koni adjustable shocks all the way around with stock springs?
Understeer/oversteer will be affected if you only put in a bigger rear sway bar. As mentioned just a bigger rear bar will help slightly with understeer in hard turns but won't make as big of a difference in handling overall so you should just buy a set of bigger front/rear bars.
 
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