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Old 04-03-2016, 10:46 AM   #1
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2011 Mustang GT convertible impressions

First post here. I Recently purchased a 2011 GT convertible, manual, brembo package. First Mustang since 1985 GT convertible back in late 80's, early 90's. My impressions are both good and not so good.

First, for the good. The coyote engine is great! Reminds me of my old muscle cars back in the day (owned 69 Mustang GT, 351 Windsor, 69 Z28, 69 Dodge Charger-440ci, 73 Roadrunner-swapped in a 440 6 pack). The architecture is exactly the same as the big bore sport bikes I rode in the 80's-early 2000's, love DOHC engines. What is even better is that this car puts the power to the ground far better than any of those cars.

Now for the not so good. This is absolutely the worst shifter I've experienced in any car in this life. Binds up terribly under power shifting, this thing flexes all over the place. Towards this end, I have purchased Joe Heck Racing billet rear mount. Perhaps this won't be the answer, the MGW seems to be the way to go. I still suspect a stainless steel clutch line will be needed. And perhaps urethane engine/trans. mounts? How could Ford design such a thing! May suffice for 200HP car, but doesn't work here.

The suspension is also problematic. As a boulevard cruiser it may work, but as a sporty car or car that has pretensions as a sports car, not. The car feels as though it is on stilts, it floats all over the place. On the freeway at speed the car feels unstable, can't feel a thing, just floating like a luxo barge. In the twisties I don't dare drive beyond 6/10ths. The transition from straights to entrance of turns is unstable, under braking the entire car floats and bobs, especially the rear end. Once it takes a set, not bad, best live axle in bumpy turns ever experienced. This thing feels like its under-damped and under-sprung. Very difficult, even scary to drive fast. Too much engine for this suspension! These poor impressions of the suspension are accentuated by two other car I presently own. My 1970 MGB/GT and BMW E30 325ix (modded suspension) are positively race cars in comparison. Now, I will have to grant some benefit of doubt to my Mustang suspension. I assume the dampers which look to be stock original oem (38,000 miles on car) are probably clapped out. Still I suspect the springs are unsuitable for what I'm looking for. The chassis on this car seems pretty solid for a vert, stable once it takes a set and not too much cowl shake.

And now for the worst. As usual for every American car I've ever driven, the power steering is over-boosted and numb feeling. I cannot tell what the front end is doing in this car, and the fast ratio makes it even more difficult to control. Why can't Americans do power steering like BMW. With my BMW, just the right assist and I can actually feel the road! Even the MG, as antiquated as it is, is like a go kart here. This is the most problematic for me as the power steering can't be changed out.

As it is, I will not be happy with this car until I make necessary changes to shifter and suspension. The shifter changes I've already noted. As for suspension, I've already purchased Steeda Sport Springs, Koni STR. T dampers (struts 05-10 for GT500 strut mount), planning on BMR adjustable panhard bar and reinforcement bar, BMR or Roush lower control arms, BMR lower control arm relocation bracket, Ford Racing jounce kit, BMR adjustable upper control arm and bracket. I suspect I will also need a bump steer kit. My BMW suffers from bump steer after lowering, no kit for this car. If I'm going to do the suspension, may as well do it thoroughly and correctly. I'm also now running Ground Force GF09 staggered setup with Toyo Proxes 4 plus, 255/40 19, 275/40. Tires not the most performance, but wheels are aprox. 4 to 5 lbs less than track pack wheels.

Too bad Ford didn't design a proper shifter and at least offer a suspension upgrade for those of us who want to drive more than city streets. The power steering will always be problematic for me, just don't get American car engineers here. While I like the car, I hope in time I will get to love it.
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2011 Gt Premium Convertible, manual, Navigation, Ground Force GF09 19" Staggered Silver wheels, JLT oil seperator, Joe Heck Racing billet shifter mount, Steeda ABS Composite front splitter, Big Worm Graphix Super Snake stripe matte black, Steeda Convertible Sport Springs, Koni STR. T struts and shocks, GT500 strut mount, BMR adjustable panhard and support bar, Ford Racing tune, jounce bumper kit, Roush lower control arms, BMR lower control arm relocation brackets, Kooks axle back exhaust, Raxiom Aero rear tail lights
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Old 04-03-2016, 11:25 AM   #2
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Car will do a lot better after your mods are installed.


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