Review & Install Video
Hey, guys. Stephanie, with americanmuscle.com, here with an overview and an install of this Ford Performance Track Handling Pack for the 2015 and newer S550 GT and EcoBoost Mustang. In this video, we're gonna cover a few topics with this handling pack. We're gonna talk about the different components, the performance you can expect, and the install as well. So I'll get into more detail later, but I can tell you right now that the install for this kit isn't hard. But there are quite a few pieces so it is gonna be a little bit time-consuming and a little bit of work. That being said, I'm going to call this install a two-out-of-three wrenches in the difficulty meter. The Ford Racing Assembled Handling Pack is gonna be a good option for the S550 owners out there. That are looking to do some more serious handling upgrades, but that wanna make sure all of the components are gonna work together and that all of the most important areas of the suspension are taken care of. There are a few different handling packs on the site, but this is gonna be one of the more complete and aggressive ones. So it's a good option for those that are looking for a touch more performance-over-ride quality, and more of a complete package. This kit has some of the most important suspension upgrades that are really gonna change the handling performance of the car. It has Ford Racing's Track front and rear shocks and struts, a set of Ford Racing Track lowering springs, adjustable front and rear sway bars with poly bushings. And rear toe links as well as new performance pack spec upper strut mounts.The factory suspension is set on more for having a comfortable ride quality and being easy to drive than anything else, which is why there's so much room for improvement in the minds of some. Performance-based minds want something that's more than comfortable. They want effective. Usually, in order to get better suspension performance, you need to take away some ride quality. Since a lot of the ride quality comes from soft rubber bushings and components that allow for twisting. Taking away too much comfort, however, leads to an uncomfortable ride, noticing all the little bumps in the road and a jarring ride. Overall, this kit does give a stiffer-than-factory ride quality,, but the kit is paired to not be too harsh. So, still comfortable, but also able to perform when you want it to. These are all gonna be Ford Racing parts, and the first thing that we're gonna be looking at is the Ford Racing "Y" springs. These springs are gonna have an even one-inch drop, all the way around the car. Which doesn't sound like much but it's a pretty decent drop from the S550 chassis. The S550s respond a lot more to a little bit of drop from the lowering spring, so it doesn't take much to get these cars looking and driving better. The springs are enough to make a noticeable difference in both handling and in looks. And I'd say that this package is more geared towards handling improvements than appearance improvements. The "Y" springs, though, just to be clear on their intended use, are not intended to be used with the factory shocks and struts. These springs are a little bit different than the street springs are. The street springs are gonna be a touch softer, and not geared as much towards track-like performance, so just keep that in mind. I still wouldn't say that these have a harsh ride quality, but they are firm, for sure. And they do give you the best of both worlds between comfortable and functional. So these are the Ford Racing Track shocks and struts that are designed to be used with these springs. You're looking at pre-assembled fronts with a new upper strut mount. Which is nice because Ford Racing is taking a little bit of the work out of the install for you. You won't need a spring compressor now. These are just ready to go, right into place. Then you have your rear shocks as well. These are also specifically designed to not only compliment the Ford Racing springs but the sway bars as well. And we all know that all these parts work very closely together. So when you start upgrading things like lowering springs and sway bars, you have to keep in mind things like spring rate, and sway bar thickness, and setup. With an assembled kit like this, you have the comfort of knowing that all of these components work well together. Moving on to the front and rear sway bars, these are an upgrade over the factory sway bars. These are also solid steel construction bars, which are a big upgrade over the factory bars. But the downside here is that they do have some weight to them. These bars are two-way adjustable which is different than the other Ford Racing Handling Kit that's available. These also come with polyurethane bushings. The adjustability means that you can set the bars as you like to. You can soften or stiffen the bar, depending on how you want it to feel and perform. The poly bushings are gonna help add some much needed stiffness and reduce deflection. But they aren't gonna be so solid that they don't allow for any movement which would create NVH. We're always trying to find that balance between better performance and NVH. The sway bars are also gonna include the frame brackets, which gives you more of that complete upgrade.The last thing we're looking at here are the toe links, and these are gonna help you a little bit with wheel hop, and even in the corners. They give you some stability to the IRS and help reduce some of the unwanted handling characteristics. Keep in mind that while all of these components are the major suspension upgrade and they are designed to work together to improve handling. They're not the only components that you can upgrade. There are always other ways to improve up on the S550 platform based on how you'd like your car to perform, but these are still a good step towards making some big changes. You can expect to eliminate some wheel hop, have less nose dive during hard braking. Have better cornering ability, a lower center of gravity for an all-around more planted car. And having a more stable rear which is gonna allow for harder launches. And keeping the suspension more consistent and planted no matter what you're doing with your car. As far as price, this kit is gonna be just south of $1,300. I will say that picking up an assembled kit will save you a few bucks over purchasing each component of the kit individually. Now, you probably could mix brands and piece together your own kit. But you do run the risk of missing out on some ride quality and performance just from the fact that these pieces are all made to work together. But piecing your own kit is always an option if you don't have the budget for a kit like this. You also have to keep in mind that Ford Racing components are always top-notch, so you can expect a perfect fit and highly functional components.So, the install here is a lot of work, but I wouldn't say that it's a difficult install. Like I said earlier, I'm gonna call this a two-out-of-three wrenches, just because you are doing a bit of an overhaul here. It's all straightforward and you won't need any tools out of the ordinary, especially since the front springs are already installed in the struts. You just need to get your stock springs out. You will need an assortment of different sockets and wrenches and, if you decide to tackle this yourself, you can expect to spend about six hours. Having a lift is gonna make things a lot easier here, but you can complete the install with a jack and stands. You also have to keep in mind that you'll wanna go for an alignment after the install's all completed. You're tweaking, pretty much, the suspension here, so it's necessary to get that alignment. So, ultimately, you're going to need to get down to the spring and strut assemblies. So everything like the wheels, the brakes, the ABS lines will need to be moved out of the way so you can pull the assemblies out of the car. The front spring and strut assembly is very straightforward. The rear's a little bit different because the IRS subframe will be dropped along with the rear shock mount. So you can slide the rear springs out and get your new shocks in. You might need to pop out your air box to get to some of your bolts for the front sway bar. And the majority of the bolts can be removed from reaching down through the engine bay, except for the unlink bolts, of course. And the rear's even easier to get to, you can get to all your bolts from below the car. All these parts reinstall the same way as the factory ones came out. And, like I said, this is a good amount of work to get this all done but it's not difficult.Wrapping things up here, the Ford Performance Track Handling Pack comes with lowering springs, front and rear shocks and struts, front and rear sway bars, and rear toe links. This kit is designed to give you track-like handling performance. And, as always, I suggest you check it out more online for yourself. And for all things Mustang, keep it right here at americanmuscle.com.