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Old 12-15-2014, 03:50 PM   #1
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Suspension upgrades for better ride quality

Hey guys, just wanted to hear your opinions on some upgrades I can do that would enhance the ride quality of my mustang. I have stock suspension with the only upgrade being a boss 302 strut tower brace. I am considering getting some lowering springs, but I am afraid they will make the ride very harsh.
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Old 12-15-2014, 04:11 PM   #2
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Any type of aftermarket suspension you do is going to make the ride more harsh. Lowering springs to me aren't bad as far as stiffness, but there are people that think the car is falling apart with just lowering springs.

If you want if a comfy ride leave it stock.


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Old 12-15-2014, 04:55 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Soccerluvr4 View Post
Any type of aftermarket suspension you do is going to make the ride more harsh. Lowering springs to me aren't bad as far as stiffness, but there are people that think the car is falling apart with just lowering springs.

If you want if a comfy ride leave it stock.


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This is correct. Springs only can be rough. When I did mine I did struts, shocks, springs, Panhard bar and camber plates. I already had a strut tower brace.

Compared with stock it was only very minimally harsher. Still perfectly able to DD with no issues. I could see springs only being more so just because you're rolling on stock struts and shocks designed for stock ride height.

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Old 12-15-2014, 05:25 PM   #4
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Its all how you define harsh... My car has a bunch of suspension work and its barely past the point where i would hate to drive it every day. But i know people that if you put the cheapest and some of the softer lowering springs in their car they would complain that it is way too stiff. If you are a tolerable person then you will be completely fine. Just don't be a whimp, modding a car's suspension changes how it rides.
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:06 PM   #5
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You should have bought a Cadallac...
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:54 PM   #6
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You can improve ride quality by getting tires meant for that kind of luxury car or family sedan, instead of performance or "semi-performance" tires that come with our mustangs. Road noise will go down too. It won't do well on the drag strip but is fine for daily driving.

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Old 12-15-2014, 08:59 PM   #7
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You should have bought a Cadallac...
More expensive performance cars like BMWs have very nice ride quality while still being fast(er) than Mustangs. I don't think there's anything wrong with the OP wanting to mod his car for more comfort, doesn't mean he doesn't still like the get-up-and-go and sporty style that you get from a Mustang and not from a Cadillac. Doesn't have to be either a race car or a grandma car.

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Old 12-15-2014, 10:05 PM   #8
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More expensive performance cars like BMWs have very nice ride quality while still being fast(er) than Mustangs. I don't think there's anything wrong with the OP wanting to mod his car for more comfort, doesn't mean he doesn't still like the get-up-and-go and sporty style that you get from a Mustang and not from a Cadillac. Doesn't have to be either a race car or a grandma car.

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Sorry totally disagree. It's a sports car. They are not built or designed to be "plush".
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Old 12-15-2014, 10:57 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sakib View Post
More expensive performance cars like BMWs have very nice ride quality while still being fast(er) than Mustangs. I don't think there's anything wrong with the OP wanting to mod his car for more comfort, doesn't mean he doesn't still like the get-up-and-go and sporty style that you get from a Mustang and not from a Cadillac. Doesn't have to be either a race car or a grandma car.

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Thank you Sakib, this is exactly what I am talking about and trying to get out of my mustang. The car is my DD, when I commute I do not want a harsh ride, however when I decide to go through the canyon roads I want the suspension to be more supportive than it is now. From the sounds of things I can't achieve both with our cars, either keep it stock or stiffen up the suspension, which frankly is a little disappointing.


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Old 12-15-2014, 11:20 PM   #10
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What size tires are you running? If you have 17's try and find a tire with a tall side wall. That will help absorb some of the bumps.

I have to be honest, if you're on stock suspension m not sure I understand why you think it's harsh. I'm lowered with Eibach and I don't think its harsh at all. When I had stock springs and no strut tower brace there was so much body roll from being "soft" , it felt like the body was going to roll off the chassis.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:35 PM   #11
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What size tires are you running? If you have 17's try and find a tire with a tall side wall. That will help absorb some of the bumps.

I have to be honest, if you're on stock suspension m not sure I understand why you think it's harsh. I'm lowered with Eibach and I don't think its harsh at all. When I had stock springs and no strut tower brace there was so much body roll from being "soft" , it felt like the body was going to roll off the chassis.
I actually have the factory 18 inch wheels from the Club of America package.

The stock set up isnt harsh in my opinion. Would I mind if it was 'softer' no. I am more concerned about upgrading my suspension and having a harsh ride that I do not enjoy unless I am driving on a windy road. I have been planning on getting the SR performance lowering springs, and possibly a few other suspension parts, but I have heard they will make the ride more harsh, which is what I am worried about for a DD.
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:43 PM   #12
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Two things will help your Mustang. A good set of tires, and high quality shocks. Do a little research and you can find out which are best for you. For example, go to Tire Rack and find the highest rated tire in your size and driving style for ride and noise. Same thing with shocks. A live axle is going to limit ride comfort, but you can still make improvements. Also, if you replace your front struts, go with the GT500 strut mount. It should really help with front end clunking.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:58 AM   #13
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I found some OEM Boss shocks / struts for sale for like $450. They're adjustable 1-5, so you could turn them down to 1 for your every day drive, and up to 5 for your "weekend cruise." Really some sort of adjustable suspension is going to be your best bet, because short of a Mag-ride system, there's really no way to do what you're asking.
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:43 PM   #14
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What are you looking to do with the car daily driver comfort or track tuned ride? Either was it will be a compromise if you meet in the middle I myself prefer a harsher track ride because I feel the road surface better.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:00 AM   #15
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Be advised that most adjustable shocks are stiffer than the same brand's street shock, even at the softest setting.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:23 AM   #16
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Other than Camber Plates and a Rear Chassis X-Brace, I have everything else upgraded. It was a trade off. When I first got my car, I took a little 25 mile trip on the back roads to the mall. Didn't hardly feel a thing. After all my upgrades, that 25 mile trip beat me to death. I knew that it would.

Now any driving on curvy roads the car just hugs and goes in and out of turns smoothly.

You can't have both unless you buy a Corvette with that Magnetic Selective Ride Control.

Good Luck, hope this helped you out.
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Old 12-17-2014, 09:03 AM   #17
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Are airbags out of the question?

You could consider a watts-link. I just got one and I notice the rear end doesn't roll, jiggle and wiggle when going over bumps anymore. It really helps keep the car planted, without being harsh.

It's expensive, but I don't regret it at all. The only suspension mods in addition to the watts-link are whiteline LCA with relocation, and UCA. Stock everything else. Air-bags would be my next step.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:43 AM   #18
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Thanks for all the feedback guys! As much as I would like to purchase adjustable shocks/struts, it would be hard for me to commit since they have a hefty price point. Same goes for air ride suspension lol. I am currently looking at a pair of eibach struts on eBay for a fair price, these paired with a pair of shocks and SR springs shouldn't be too bad, right?


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Old 12-17-2014, 10:45 AM   #19
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Bought my used Boss suspension for $450 with springs. The deals are out there if you look, 1 rides exactly like my stock GT suspension did with eibach 1" springs, and 5 is, well ... racecar haha. I'd take a look in the for sale section of a few forums, or post up a WTB. There's always someone getting rid of something.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:57 AM   #20
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Bought my used Boss suspension for $450 with springs. The deals are out there if you look, 1 rides exactly like my stock GT suspension did with eibach 1" springs, and 5 is, well ... racecar haha. I'd take a look in the for sale section of a few forums, or post up a WTB. There's always someone getting rid of something.

Wow that's a steal for adjustable suspension! I will definitely look into it, I take it you had no fitment issues with the boss struts/shocks? Did you add lowering springs to this set up as well?


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Old 12-17-2014, 11:03 AM   #21
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My set up came with Ford Racing springs, i did get a hell of a deal, but i got my girlfriend and mom these and if i find the money laying around i'll throw another set on my car. These FRPP springs are great at the track, but just a little more harsh around town than i prefer.
Eibach Pro-Kit Mustang Springs 35125.14 (11-14 GT, V6, BOSS) - Free Shipping

No fitment issues at all though, everything just bolted right up, out with the old, in with the new.
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:54 PM   #22
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My set up came with Ford Racing springs, i did get a hell of a deal, but i got my girlfriend and mom these and if i find the money laying around i'll throw another set on my car. These FRPP springs are great at the track, but just a little more harsh around town than i prefer.
Eibach Pro-Kit Mustang Springs 35125.14 (11-14 GT, V6, BOSS) - Free Shipping

No fitment issues at all though, everything just bolted right up, out with the old, in with the new.
Thanks for the info! Sounds like you have a pretty nice setup. I posted in the classifieds, hopefully I will find a set of boss shocks/struts
I have considered getting the eibach springs as well, but they just arent low enough for me. Im sure the ride is excellent though.
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:18 PM   #23
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They're a very mild drop, but i didnt want to have to worry about a harsh ride, or running over speed bumps, getting into driveways ... Its a little give and a little take. The ride quality with them however is quite nice.
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Old 12-17-2014, 05:18 PM   #24
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They're a very mild drop, but i didnt want to have to worry about a harsh ride, or running over speed bumps, getting into driveways ... Its a little give and a little take. The ride quality with them however is quite nice.
I have the same springs. Love them. Just enough to lower it but not enough to run into too many scraping problems.

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Old 12-17-2014, 07:27 PM   #25
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned sways. Springs affect ride and roll together, while sways are pretty much dedicated to roll. Although they would still not help dive/squat. For somebody more concerned with ride quality than lowering, while still imtoving handling, this might be a decent option.

Well tuned dampers are a critical part of blending performance and comfort.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:25 PM   #26
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I'm dropped on SR Performance springs and Koni shocks. Definitely harsher than stock, but usually not bad. However, if I had to drive through downtown L.A. roads everyday, I'd hate the ride.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:01 AM   #27
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I'm surprised nobody has mentioned sways. Springs affect ride and roll together, while sways are pretty much dedicated to roll. Although they would still not help dive/squat. For somebody more concerned with ride quality than lowering, while still imtoving handling, this might be a decent option.

Well tuned dampers are a critical part of blending performance and comfort.

"sway bars" despite their name, do not actually prevent body roll. If you think about it, they're attached at the very bottom of the car, below the suspension components. The springs, and shocks / struts have to compress before load is ever even put on the sways. Theres a section in the sticky on sway bars if you want to check it out
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Old 12-18-2014, 09:57 AM   #28
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The closest you will get to somewhat stock spring softness is the B&M springs.
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If you had the money the KW coilover 3 are the softest riding of any aftermarket coilover and shock combo.
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Old 12-18-2014, 04:11 PM   #29
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"sway bars" despite their name, do not actually prevent body roll. If you think about it, they're attached at the very bottom of the car, below the suspension components. The springs, and shocks / struts have to compress before load is ever even put on the sways. Theres a section in the sticky on sway bars if you want to check it out
Fundamentally, a spring does nothing more than resist relative motion between two objects. The ride control springs resist relative motion between the wheel and the chassis at that corner. Sway bars are simply torsion springs that resist relative motion between the left and right side wheels...Most commonly exhibited as body roll.

The design of the sway bar or where it is mounted relative to other suspension components is immaterial to how it functions overall. In order for any one part of the suspension to move, all of the other parts must move accordingly as defined by their geometry. This includes the control arms, springs, and dampers, as well as the sway bars too. Regardless of load on the springs/shocks, if the left and right wheels are moving in unison, the sway bar provides no additional resistance to motion. But as soon as one wheel moves independently from the other, i.e. body roll, the sway bar resists. Just like with the ride control springs, the greater the relative displacement is, the greater the roll resisting force becomes.

Changing the sway bar (or sway bar setting with an adjustable bar) on only one end of the car, or on one end of the car more than the other, will indeed affect the understeer vs oversteer characteristics. But their usefulness goes beyond that, otherwise no car would need a sway bar on both the front and the rear suspensions. The primary reason for having two sway bars, is to increase the total roll rate without an associated increase in primary ride rate. By comparison, the roll rate effects from changing front vs rear spring rates will have the same effect on oversteer/understeer characteristics as the equivalent roll rate effects from changing front vs rear sway bar rates.

The ride rate, and accompanying ride height, would generally be selected first. Then sway bars can be selected to achieve the desired roll rates...And it seems that the OP might already be at the desired ride rate on the stock springs. Thus, sways could potentially align well with the OP's stated goals. One downside to sway bars for the OP, is that one wheel bump/droop will also become more resistant to motion, and thus can have more of an effect on rough or uneven surface ride quality.

That being said, the importance of damping still cannot be stressed enough here. If the stock dampers aren't particularly well tuned, it's actually possible to increase the ride rate a little bit and still have similar, or possibly even better, perceived ride quality with proper damping. If that ends up being the case, then slightly stiffer springs are well worthy of consideration for the OP. The effect of dampers on transient handling characteristics can also improve the handling feel significantly, and might even be able to get it to a point where there is no further desire for stiffer springs or sways. So yes, a good damper is definitely where I would start...But while not typical, in this particular case I can also see how it could actually be argued to try increasing the stiffness of both sways (within reason) to firm up the roll control without necessarily changing the spring rates first. Much like the shocks, adjustable sways would be beneficial for fine tuning, but not absolutely necessary provided components are selected carefully enough.

The 'suspension tuning' article linked in the sticky, as well as the 'suspension upgrades' article linked within that, do provide a reasonable explanation of sway bar basics...And both are probably worth a reread for anybody that hasn't done so recently.
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Old 01-29-2015, 03:15 PM   #30
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Wow! A lot of good info here. Maybe I will just get taller rear tires first before I mess with lowering the rear. The previous owner had put 20" in back and 19" in front with low pro tires. So the car looks like it's jacked up in the back. Lol. Not what I would want but not going to get new rear tires till I need to. Lol.
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Old 01-30-2015, 09:17 AM   #31
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You should have bought a Cadallac...
lol
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:32 AM   #32
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If you want a softer ride get 17 inch wheels, nothing makes as big as a difference. My stock 17s make my Stang the smoothest, plushest car I've ever owned. When I installed a set of GT 18 inch oem wheels it was much harsher and rougher. I re-installed my 17s because the roads in Chicago are complete crap. You can find take off 17's for cheap. My 350z was unbearable with it's stock 18s but when I downgraded to 17s it was much smoother and actually a little quicker up to 40 mph due to losing almost 30 pounds of weight over the 18s.
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Old 02-10-2015, 04:11 PM   #33
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yeah I would have been fine with smaller wheel/tire combo. The low pros don't help. I am going to put taller tires next time at a minimum.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:13 AM   #34
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get some Steeda springs...[not the really low lowering springs]...I have 'em ..lowered an 1" all around. Rides better than stock almost!!!!
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