Recommendation for First Step in Handling Upgrade - Mustang Evolution

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Old 10-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #1
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Recommendation for First Step in Handling Upgrade

I just got my first Mustang (used but new to me) 2011 V6 base, manual trans. It is a 100% stock "base" model at this point and is my "daily."

While I love the car (looks, engine and transmission are all fantastic) the handling could definitely be better. When the roads are damp I have to be careful taking corners or it wants to unexpectedly oversteer. Not only that but on rough road it wants to "hop around." On the interstate it doesn't feel 100% "planted."

I realize the "base" model has lots of room for improvement but is what I could afford. Because I don't have a money tree growing in the back yard, I need to make improvements one as a time as I save-up for them. This leads me to my question: if I were to make ONE change to the handling, what would make the biggest positive improvement to make it grip the road and handle better:
  • Upgrade the sway bars?
  • Stiffer springs with progressive rate (i.e. Eibach Pro?)
  • Better shocks / dampers?
  • Better control arms?
  • Something else?
BTW: at some point (in the future) I would like to lower it a little (nothing crazy) but am most interested in improving the handling right now.


Your sage wisdom is appreciated!
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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OP, ignore the sell it and buy a GT comment.
How much are you looking to spend?
a good first step, in my opinion, is a good set of Lower Control Arms. It will make your launches alot more grippy.
If you plan on lowering your car, I would recommend knocking out as much of the stuff as possible.
when you lower your car, you throw your alignment out of whack. In order to correct it, you will need either camber bolts or Caster camber plates.
if you're serious about suspension, I'd go with caster camber plates. you're going to want to replace your shocks/struts and springs, and also a panhard bar.
the panhard bar is important, because when you lower the car, your rear axel shifts a little. the panhard bar will relocate the rear axle. All of these parts can be found on Americanmuscle.com (great site! if you've ever got questions, you can call them, and they will get you squared away.)

If you're really crazy about suspension(like me ), and you're looking for serious competition, then you can check out griggsracing.com they have a ton of parts that completely redesign the suspension, not just tweak it.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:22 PM   #3
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Gonna recommend a rear strut bar and a front strut bar. Tightens up the car tremendously. I can take a turn at 10 mph faster and it sticks better.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:42 PM   #4
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Gonna recommend a rear strut bar and a front strut bar. Tightens up the car tremendously. I can take a turn at 10 mph faster and it sticks better.
Ah, you're diggin that rear stb.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:35 PM   #5
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So a strut bar would actually make more impact than upgraded sway bars or springs? I would never have guessed.

As far as the note about control arms, I'm not targeting quicker launches at this point - I primarily want to get rid of the extra movement on corners and uneven pavement.

I want to carve through corners - right now, however, it feels like it is just knocking them off.
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:08 PM   #6
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Well if you're on a budget and wanna keep stuff fairly simple, a strut bar. If you're talking sways, then get sways. They are better than just the braces. Lca helps with turning some too and puts more power to the ground to help power through the turns. A stick from Mother Nature is better than ford's stamped lca
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Old 10-08-2013, 10:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by alrefire View Post
OP, ignore the sell it and buy a GT comment.
How much are you looking to spend?
a good first step, in my opinion, is a good set of Lower Control Arms. It will make your launches alot more grippy.
If you plan on lowering your car, I would recommend knocking out as much of the stuff as possible.
when you lower your car, you throw your alignment out of whack. In order to correct it, you will need either camber bolts or Caster camber plates.
if you're serious about suspension, I'd go with caster camber plates. you're going to want to replace your shocks/struts and springs, and also a panhard bar.
the panhard bar is important, because when you lower the car, your rear axel shifts a little. the panhard bar will relocate the rear axle. All of these parts can be found on Americanmuscle.com (great site! if you've ever got questions, you can call them, and they will get you squared away.)

If you're really crazy about suspension(like me ), and you're looking for serious competition, then you can check out griggsracing.com they have a ton of parts that completely redesign the suspension, not just tweak it.
I would say buy a 370z if you want a car to carve corners not a GT. Lol The mustang is an awesome American muscle pony car. Its designed to be a beast on straight line acceleration. My 2011 V6 handles just fine around corners. I turn the wheel and it goes. Lol
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:02 AM   #8
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tires & the correct pressure , some tires are a natural for better handling but the good ones are expensive , you have to do your homework ask around & see what ones give you what you want ...you have an 11 does it have the adjustment on the cluster for sport & comfort ? I did notice a difference on how she took the winding roads also the tire pressure can make a difference in handling ..... back in the day I had a hook in a big junkyard not a crummy pick & pull I would & did get some real expensive fancy tires I would search out Z rated & others ,some wore quickly but were like glue, on the side of the tire you have to look at how many ply's the side wall has ....if they flex too much they don't handle well but I haven't gone there in a long time plus I have moved on to this new 2013 & it has been OK on all I can ask PS when you search around you will also see the max PSI it can tell you a lot they can run from a high of 44 PSI to 50 something , I always stayed away from the low PSI tires also its not that easy to get an exact match which is important brand match not size as same make ......back then the really best tires I got were from Europe today almost all are from CHINA I'm not fond of CHINA junk too many bad experience but that's a long story & would take a full page I will say I read the label if I see China no matter if its tooth paste or car stuff China I move on NO-THANKYOU
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:24 AM   #9
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... Not only that but on rough road it wants to "hop around."
This is my main complaint about my GT - i will be getting a watts link setup to replace the panhard bar at some point and others who have done the same say that this goes a long way towards fixing this issue.

There's a road up the street that is kind of crappy at a sweeping turn and this is the first car I've had where just driving at 30mph it gets stupid and acts like a horse trying to throw me.
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:36 AM   #10
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This is my main complaint about my GT - i will be getting a watts link setup to replace the panhard bar at some point and others who have done the same say that this goes a long way towards fixing this issue. There's a road up the street that is kind of crappy at a sweeping turn and this is the first car I've had where just driving at 30mph it gets stupid and acts like a horse trying to throw me.
Also agree with te watts link. But for now it's just struts and a better lca since my stocks gave out. I have far less bounce and shutter around.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:07 AM   #11
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Ford Racing Handling package

Check this out,

FORD RACING SUSPENSION PARTS

Plus a good set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires and you will have a great handling Mustang.

Ronnie
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Old 10-10-2013, 06:11 AM   #12
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Check this out,

FORD RACING SUSPENSION PARTS

Plus a good set of Michelin Pilot Sport tires and you will have a great handling Mustang.

Ronnie
I have these tires; after putting on about 6K miles on them, they get an A+ rating from me. Another benifit is that they are quieter (much less road noise) then most tires I have purchased.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:58 AM   #13
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I have these tires; after putting on about 6K miles on them, they get an A+ rating from me. Another benifit is that they are quieter (much less road noise) then most tires I have purchased.
+1 michelin. I have the defender and they still have grip like my old bfg TA that came on the car. And I get a 90,000 mile warranty.
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