Review & Install Video
The SR Performance shock and strut kit is available for any '11 to '14 GT or V6 owner who wants a more comfortable, sporty ride quality, thanks to a set of dampers that increase your handling performance. This is the most affordable way to replace your stock stuff, the non-adjustable set here falls at about 300 bucks. The installation requires a spring compressor and a little bit of know-how, but overall it's not too difficult, so I'm giving it two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter, which I'll walk you through later on.
Now, obviously, first off, if you feel like your S197 might have a poor suspension, something that's lacking the performance it once had, you'll definitely feel some symptoms. You might have a bouncy ride or it might seem like you can feel every bump on the road. If so, it's probably time to replace those factory shocks and struts.
If you want to new set that will upgrade over the factory while staying pretty simple, these non-adjustables here will be a great replacement. Now, these entry level upgrades have a set damper rate using gas pressurized twin tube designs, much like a lot of the options in the category. The larger diameter pistons improve the dampening and rebound over the stock setup. Now, the outer steel housing is completed in a durable black finish, which helps with corrosion and rust resistance while giving it a subtle, stealthy look.
The good thing about the SRs is that they don't have to be used with aftermarket lowering springs unlike some of the other options on the market. Now, these will work with both stock ride height and a lower S197. Now, if you're looking to get an even bigger upgrade and you're interested in being able to adjust your suspension setup on the fly, you might want to check out the KONI sport or KONI yellows that will allow you to stiffen or soften the damper for your liking, but these are a great beginner set up, like I said.
Now, if you're interested in picking up the SR Performance set I have here, you can expect to be spending a right around the $300 region, which is a pretty budget friendly price. A set of stock replacements would probably run you a little less but not by much at all. Now, if you're gonna spend the money on new suspension parts, I think it's always a good idea to upgrade, even if it's not by much, in which case this is what I'm talking about.
I rode personally on the SR Performance shock and struts on my S195s and they felt great, not too stiff, not too soft, perfect for any daily driver like myself. Like I said in the very beginning, this one isn't the hardest install the world, but it does require some mechanical experience and know-how as well as the right tools. You wanna have a ratchet and full socket set on deck as well as some extensions and a lift or jack and jack stands and finally, a spring compressor to safely remove and install the springs.
Overall, you should expect to have this done in about three hours or so, give or take your experience, and I'll give it two out of three wrenches on our difficulty meter. Keep in mind this is a great time to toss on a set of lowering springs. So if you've got a set or you're planning to do it, you might as well tackle these all together since you'll have the suspension taken apart there.
To give you an idea of what this involves, you'll need to, of course, jack the car up or put on a lift, remove the wheels one of the time in the front, and drop down the braking system out of the way to access the front strut. Once that's done, you'll pop the hood and remove the nuts holding the top strut in place at the strut tower while supporting it from the bottom, then remove the lower strut bolts and end links, pull the strut out of the vehicle, and set it aside.
You'll need to use your spring compressor at this point to remove the factory springs from your OEM struts to swap them on to the SR Performance ones. Now once assembled, you'll reinstall this in the reverse order. Now, using the spring compressor can be tricky, you want to make sure you're doing it properly since it is pretty dangerous. You'll attach one part of the spring compressor to the top foil, one in the bottom, compress it ever so slowly just enough to remove the top strut mount. Remove the spring itself once you decompress it.
You want to make sure you're using caution with that though. It's under a lot of tension, a lot of load, so if it snaps off, it can be pretty dangerous, kind of like shooting around your garage, which you definitely don't want. So use caution, extreme caution when using the spring compressor. Now, once you have that safely transferred over to the SR performance strut and you have your strut mount in place, everything's good to go, you can start putting it back into the assembly there on the car, tightening the upper strut bolts to the top of the tower to about 30-foot pounds, and then, of course, the lower bolt and end links to about 85-foot pounds.
Once you're done with the fronts, you'll start the rears off the exact same way by removing the wheels, dropping the breaking system out of the way to access your factory shocks. You may need to drop the rear sway bar out of the way because it may interfere with your access to the lower shock bolt. You want to support the differential housing during this process as well. The top bolt, you can tackle next, which can be found by moving the trunk liner out of the way on both sides and on the bottom. Once you have that top pulled out of the way, unbolt the bottom of the factory shocks and pull those out of place.
Now, with this one, you don't need spring compressors or anything, it's not like the fronts. With this you can just throw on the SR Performance ones in the place and bolt them down at the same spots using the same torque specs. Just to wrap this overview and install up, if you're the owner of an '11 to '14 GT or V6 Mustang, you might want to check out the SR Performance shock and struck kit which can be found right here at americanmuscle.com.