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Old 11-22-2014, 01:06 AM   #1
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Handling Packages

Ok, so I know I'm opening up a can of worms here, but I've been reading around and saw the thread on Eibach v. Ford Racing Handling Pack but a lot of that revolved around that guy getting a sweet deal.

So here's my question. If I have $1,400 that I'm actually willing to spend, what's the best package I can purchase (in your opinion).

Must haves:
-Good springs that lower the car 1-1.5"
-Better swaybars and bushings... something that would reduce body roll and the instability I feel when I shift weight from one side of the car to another quickly through a slalom.
-Minimize nose dive
-Minimize understeer
-Front brace


Not racing, just some auto-X, non-competitive road course events and spirited mountain road driving.

Going with a 9" front and 10" rear wheel with appropriately sized tires.

I set it at $1,400 because that's what the Ford Racing kit goes for and that's within my consideration. If a better kit can be pieced together for the same money, I'm open to hearing the arguments. If you can be specific as to why you recommend what you do, that'd be even better.

I'm told that subframe connectors/braces do wonders to stiffen up this body, so anyone with experience with these please do speak up. These would be a separate purchase and not part of the budget however.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:17 AM   #2
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If you lower you will want new rear control arms and a panhard bar as well (wasn't sure if that's what you meant by the subframe connectors comment) but figure that's another $400 if you find deals.
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:19 AM   #3
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Thanks for that. I figured if I got a kit that lowered it I'd need the adjustable panhard, and camber plates (didn't think about the control arms), but lets say for the sake of argument I'll foot the bill for those separately.
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Old 11-22-2014, 01:27 AM   #4
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I'm not really a huge fan of handling kits. Mainly because it is best to do some mods, see how your car reacts to that, determine your driving style and them modify it further based on that given information.

Let me start off with this..... Subframe connectors on 2005+ won't do much, not unless you are a hardcore racer. The chassis is pretty stiff as it is, so forget about those.

To minimize understeer you can do that 2 different ways. First is running a square tire set up. With a staggered set up you will have more rear grip, which actually induces understeer. The other way is increasing the stiffness of your rear sway bar.

So you have to find a balance of where you modify the car. So based off of that i would leave the front strut tower brace alone, and increase spring stiffness. That way you don't induce more understeer, and you also tackle the nose dive/body roll.

For a 2005+ I would recommend:

1. Very good springs (will have to look into specifically)
2. Watts Link
3. Torque Arm
4. Adjustable Rear Sway Bar

I would highly highly highly recommend looking into coilovers over springs, you have a much broader selection of spring rates available, and you can also set your height for the specific roll center you want, that makes a huge difference.

This is just general knowledge of Autocross and corner carving, i would have to look into specific parts for the 2011+ to see what is good and will work together. But i will say this, look into Cortex, and Griggs Racing. They make great stuff.

This is specifically what i'm doing with my 2001, I'm not necessarily "competitive", but i want this car to be a badass corner carver & Porsche Eater.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:45 AM   #5
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Do you care what autox class you end up in, or are you ok with being classed along side full tilt race cars on race rubber? Beyond the basic shocks, springs, and sways, that will affect how you go about selecting your mods.
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Old 11-22-2014, 10:45 AM   #6
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I think also understanding how each mod affects the car is important as well, as was mentioned above, Sway bars dont just reduce body roll. The point of a sway bar really is to adjust grip independently from the front and read, just putting a larger or stiffer set on will not inherently make the car turn "better," it will just make it turn differently than it previously did.

All i currently have on my GT is:
OEM Adjustable Boss Shocks / struts + FRPP P springs bought for $450 used.
BMR LCA + LCA Brackets
BMR Adjustable PHB
295 35 18 Nitto NT05s on 18 x 10s

The car with this set up is still FAR more capable than I, so i'm not interested in changing anything until the car is holding me back and not the other way around. The good thing about adjustable suspension is it really allows you to change the entire dynamics of the car and see how it reacts. This takes a lot of time, i've had this suspension on for almost a year now and am still playing with the settings to see how the car responds ... I couldnt imagine doing that, as well as changing sway bars at the same time to try to adjust my grip.
I think Less is more when it comes to suspension. I agree with whoever said start with small incremental changes, otherwise it will be impossible to know what effect each individual part had.


Granted, you do save a bit of money with those packages. If you have the self control, maybe just add 1 piece every few weeks / months and see how they impact the car individually.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:39 PM   #7
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How about the Roush kit?

I was talking to my shop today about a full kit and he said Ford Racing and Roush are pretty on par with each other.

I'm curious about this as well. I don't autocross or drag but I do enjoy canyon carving. Firming it up on the highway would be nice too. I do 110 miles a day of 80mph-ish highway driving. Anything that would inspire some more confidence when I have to dodge that huge chunk of tire, would be awesome.

Plus full kit > piecing it together for me. I'd rather get it all done at once and be done with it.

Not to hijack thread, but I think it's related.
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:45 PM   #8
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Any sort of shock / strut combo is really the only thing that impacts body roll. A sway bar is on the very bottom of the chassis and isnt really set up in a way to support the body if you think about it, as its only really attached to other suspension components.
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