Those of you who have been paying close attention to my updates will have no doubt noticed a light anomaly if my recent reports; in the November issue I reminded you of how I’d been happy tackling the drag strip, but before I ventured on track I wanted to make some chassis improvements before fitting some new wheels with better tyres. Then in the December issue I reported about the fun and antics I had on track with fellow Mustang owners at Silverstone, but never actually updated you on the parts I’d had fitted previously. Then, last issue, I was so excited about getting the new Velgen wheels fitted that I forgot again.
Well, that’s not strictly true… As editor Jamie told me to keep it under my hat for a few months, as we’ve been compiling a complete handling upgrade feature to show you how to really get the most out of your Mustang in the corners. And, now, with the feature due to appear in the next issue, I can finally let the cat out of the bag and tell you about the range of Steeda handling upgrades I had fitted a few weeks back.
After speaking with Robbie at Steeda in great detail about what upgrades would suit me and my car the best (there are so many options for the S550 Mustang – as you’ll see in out full feature – and Robbie is really knowledgeable about what parts will work best for different types/uses of car) a parcel of suspension goodies were soon winging their way to me. While I was waiting for them to arrive I booked the Mustang in at Perfect Touch in Waltham Cross for everything to be fitted. They may be a few hours away from me, but good workmanship at a tuner you can trust is worth the drive, and brothers Claudio & Gabs Di Maggio have built up a fantastic reputation.
The major upgrade was to fit some of Steeda’s lowering springs, but there are so many to choose from. Robbie recommended the linear lowering springs, which give the car a nice 1in drop at the rear and 1.125in on the front. This not only makes the car look so much meaner, but also helps reduce body roll through he corners, squat under acceleration, and nose-dive under braking. It also serves up a predictable much more ‘sports car-like’ feel to the ride too.
The next two Steeda parts fitted were a pair of front-end braces. The strut tower brace certainly improves the visual under-bonnet appearance to create a more purposeful look, but on its own the performance gains (of which there are definitely some) are minimal. For the full effect you need to fit the K-brace on the underside too – between them both they really reduce any flex in the front suspension geometry.
These simple bolt-on upgrades work in harmony with the IRS bushes and alignment kit I’d previously have fitted, and help improve the Mustang’s handling without compromising any of its road manners when not giving full beans everywhere.
The final job, and one that can never be underestimated, was a full wheel alignment check. Any time you make suspension adjustments you should get everything checked and re-aligned, and in fact it’s really something that should be part of your annual servicing checks too.
Next up, a track day at Rockingham to put all these upgrades through their paces…