(approx) 6 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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Hey guys, Stephanie with AmericanMuscle.com here with this assembled handling pack from Ford Racing for the 2005 to 2014 GT coupe Mustang. The Ford Racing assembled handling pack is going to be a good option for the S197 owners out there that are looking to do some handling upgrades but that want to make sure all of the components are going to work together and that all of the most important areas in the suspension are taken care of. There are a few different handling packs on the site. This is going to be one of the more complete handling packs, so it's a good option for those that are looking for a more complete pack or one that isn't going to make the car too low and one that isn't going to cost you an arm and a leg. This kit has some of the most important suspension upgrades that are really going to change the handling performance of the car. It has front and rear shocks and struts, a set of Ford Racing's lower springs, front and rear sway bars with bushings, an adjustable panhard bar and front suspension mount upgrades as well. The factory suspension was set up 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. Performance based minds want something 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 of the little bumps in the road and a jarring ride. Overall, this kit does give a stiffer than factory ride quality, but the kit's paired not to be too harsh, so still comfortable but also able to perform when you need it to. These are all going to be Ford Racing parts. The first thing we're looking at is the Ford Racing P springs. These springs are going to have an even 1 inch drop all the way around the car which isn't what I'd classify as aggressive, but the springs are enough to make a difference in handling. I'd say that this package is geared more towards handling improvements than appearance improvements. If you really like the idea of an assembled handling pack but aren't crazy about this drop and you want a little bit more, there are some other options on the site that you can check out that will still give you the benefits of an assembled package but that'll give you a little bit more of a drop for a bigger change in appearance. The P springs, though, do have a progressive spring rate, which means that they're a good option for a street car. They do not have a harsh ride quality, but they will firm up as you start pushing the car, which works to give you the best of both worlds between comfortable and functional. Moving on to the shocks and struts, you're looking at the Ford Racing dynamic shock and strut kit. These are specifically designed for lower cars. They're also made to complement the Ford Racing springs and sway bars. We all know that all of these parts work very closely together. When you start upgrading to 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 these components work well together. You also really want to make sure that the shocks and struts are made for lowered vehicles. A lot of times, you can get away with running your stock components, but the internals are not set up to take the abuse of a lowered ride height. These shocks and struts, on the other hand, are. Another really nice thing here is that the struts are pre-assembled. The springs are already on the front struts, so you don't have to worry about getting those on yourself. That also means a faster, easier install. This means they're ready to bolt right in and you won't need a spring compressor for the install. Moving on to the front and rear sway bars, the front bar has a 35 millimeter diameter and the rear bar has a 22 millimeter diameter. These are solid steel construction bars which are a big upgrade over the factory bars. The downside here is that they do have some weight to them. Like I said before, these bars are designed to work with the progressive springs that are included in this kit. They're three way adjustable and come with polyurethane bushings. The adjustability means that you can set the front bar as you'd like. You can soften or stiffen the bar depending on how you want it to feel and perform. The poly bushings are going to help add some much needed stiffness and reduce deflection, but they aren't going to be so solid that they wont' allow any movement which would create NVH. We're always trying to find that balance between better performance and NVH. The sway bars are also going to include the frame brackets and the rear end links, which gives you more of that complete upgrade. Both parts are finished with a blue paint to give them a little bit more durability. The last thing we're looking at here is an adjustable panhard bar. The purpose of a panhard bar is to keep the rear axle from moving side to side. The side to side movement in the rear axle is created by chassis flex and twist. It's going to have an impact on the consistency of the handling. If the rear axle is allowed to move side to side and not stay centered, you're looking at things like rear steer which is going to kill your ability to corner, hence the need for a panhard bar, not to mention a centered rear. This bar is made from chrome-moly steel tubing and it has urethane rod ends with steel sleeve inserts. Once again, we have urethane bushings that are going to add stiffness for less deflection but still have some give at the same time. This bar is on car adjustable, which is perfect for lowered cars since the geometry changes once you add a little drop to the car. You can adjust the bar without having to uninstall it. Keep in mind that while all of these suspension components are the major suspension upgrades 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 upon the S197 platform based off how you'd like your car to perform. These are still a good step towards making some big changes. You can expect to eliminate some wheel hop, have less nosedive during hard braking, better cornering ability, and a lower center of gravity for an all around more planted car, having a more stable rear allowing 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's going to cost just south of $1500. I will say that picking up an assembled kit will save you a few bucks over purchasing each component of the kit individually. You probably could mix and match 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. Piecing your own kit together is always an option if you don't have the budget for a kit like this. You also have to keep in mind that the Ford Racing components are always top notch, so you can expect a perfect fit and highly functional components. The install here is a lot of work, but I wouldn't say that it's a difficult install. It's all straightforward. You won't need any tools out of the ordinary especially since the front springs are already installed on the struts. You will need an assortment of different sockets and wrenches. If you decide to tackle this yourself, you can expect to spend about six hours. I'm going to call this a two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter, but just because of the amount of work that's involved. This is a little bit of a project. Having a lift is going to make things a lot easier here, but you can complete the install with a jack and stands. You'll also have to keep in mind that you'll want to go for an alignment after the install is all completed. You're tweaking with pretty much of the suspension here, so it's necessary to get that alignment. Wrapping things up here, the Ford Racing assembled handling pack comes with lowering springs, front and rear shocks and struts, front and rear sway bars, and an adjustable rear panhard bar. It's a performance based kit. As always, I suggest you check this kit out more online for yourself. For all things Mustang, keep it right here at AmericanMuscle.com.
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(approx) 6 Hours
Mechanical expertise or professional installation required.
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