Help me choose a suspension setup

Discussion in 'Corner Carver Racing Tech Discussion' started by Screamin_dutch, Dec 12, 2018.

  1. Screamin_dutch

    Screamin_dutch Member

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    Hey guys,

    So after a year of owning my 2005 GT, and upgrading quite a bit, I still have a nagging voice in my head telling me the suspension and road manners could be better.

    This is strictly a street car, but I do like roadtrips and mountain roads. It's my 4th mustang, but I have been spoiled by 2 E92 BMW's and a G37S coupe. What I'm missing from the mustang is a general feel of confidence and feedback or steering feel that the bimmers gave me. I know it will never be a BMW, but I would like to strive for more of that confidence inspiring feeling. If that makes any sense.

    I really don't like NVH, and I spent a lot of time on sounddeadening the mustang, so I guess that kinda rules out a lot of the harder style bushings found in most aftermarket suspension set ups. Would also like to address the tramlining, but that might just be an alignment thing.

    What I have now:
    - ST XTA coilovers set on medium to soft settings.
    - UMI adjustable panhard bar to correct for the lowering
    - (next spring) 4x 19x9.5 wheels with 275/35/19 square

    What I had in mind:
    - FRPP rear lower control arms (GT500/trackpack ones)
    - GT500 front lower control arms
    - new stock outer tie-rod ends
    - upgraded front and rear swaybars (no idea which ones)
    - subframe connectors (I know the S197 is better than the SN95, but I still feel floppyness)

    Am I on the right track? What else can I do to improve steering feel and overall confidence?

    Thanks!
     
  2. AndrewNagle

    AndrewNagle forum member

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  3. Screamin_dutch

    Screamin_dutch Member

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    Oh that X brace is a nicr piece!! Thanks!
    I see a lot of people saying the s197 is stiff enough, but then some folks add real ridgidity like you and transforms the car! Exactly what I was hoping, the steeda reviews confirm that.
     
  4. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    I have the Kenny Brown Matrix Brace and Jacking rails installed under my 2010, It stiffened up the car tremendously. It will definitely change the way the car corners, no flexing in chassis. Also makes it so much easier to jack up the car.
    I also installed the Corbeau Harness Bar prior to that, and that also helped stiffen up the car, guessing that works similar to an x-brace.
     
  5. Vorshlag-Fair

    Vorshlag-Fair Official Site Vendor Official Vendor

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    Look, I could be part of the crowd of people "tell you what you want to hear", blow smoke up your backside... but that's not who I am. The reality is: those bolt-on braces and trinkets are good at one thing on the S197 chassis: adding weight. People like to validate their purchases online, always - this this is just a false portrayal, some self-affirming feeling they need to express to legitimize their choices. This is what 90% of forum comment are based on. ;)

    The truth is: there is no data to back up these claims.No scientific testing, just "feelings" and lots of things you can buy.

    There are simply a lot of semi-useless parts on the aftermarket made to relieve you of your money. Entire companies are built around this practice. I've heard from some of the folks slinging these parts, after confronting them on their chicanery: "Well if we didn't make this stuff, someone else would. And their money is green!"

    Bolt-on doo-dads promising a "better ride" by giving you a stiffer chassis? Come on... think about it. That's just not how cars work. If the OEM's felt they could improve ride and/or handling with doo-dads, don't you think their multi-billion dollar engineering efforts would uncover these tricks? But some yahoo with a welder... no, HE has it figured out.

    We all need to be mindful of the folks slinging miracle parts. Be skeptical, and know that a big portion of this industry only cares about taking your money. You will notice how I am not pushing this OP to any parts we sell in this post. Not a single thing, because what we make is not appropriate for his needs.

    The OP is asking for isn't really what the "Corner Carving Racing Tech" sub-forum is about. But I'll attempt to give him useful advice, not validate Bolt On Ballast ideas.

    1. The 3500 pound S197 is more similar to an E92 BMW than it is not. We work on lots of both of these cars, and I've driven many dozens examples of each. What he is missing is more likely tied to an a tire and wheel difference than anything else. The OEM tires on the S197 are SUPER tall sidewall Mud and Snow rated garbage. The OEM tires on somehting like an E92 M3 are orders of magnitude better.

    NOTHING we do to our cars makes more of a difference in PERFORMANCE and RIDE than the tires we outfit them with. NOT. ONE. THING.

    Upgrade to better rolling stock to get what you are looking after, not steel ding-dongs and tubular braces.

    2. Tramlining is 75% caused by alignment, probably 25% cause by tires. Take out any front toe (zero) and put new/name brand tires on and inflate them to proper pressures and that all likely goes away.

    3. If you want a good ride for "street driving" don't buy any of the cheap coilovers or shocks out there. Get something OEM appropriate, new, and hopefully monotube based. Bilstein, if you can find them, might be a good place to start.

    Good luck - and STAY SKEPTICAL,
     
    redsnake and markmontana like this.
  6. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    To Terry Fair, I would like to see any data you may have that says an X-Brace or Matrix brace will not help the performance of the car, especially in cornering on the track. I completely disagree with your comment on that as I will explain below.

    I don't see above where I said these items and stiffening up the chassis would give a better ride, I said it would give better cornering, which I truly believe they do, as I have run on the track with and without these items and I do notice a difference. A Matrix Brace will make the car stiffer and actually make the ride a bit rougher, won't give a better ride.
    I cut my lap times at BIR on the 2.5 mile track by 2 seconds in my 2010 Mustang after I added the Matrix brace/Jacking rails and doing nothing else to the car, even same set of tires. Was it my driving improving that much? I doubt it as I drive one handed with hand controls, so I feel quite justified in my own personal data.

    The OP did say he liked corner carving on mountain roads.... are these necessary for that, absolutely not, but nothing wrong with throwing the options out there and who knows, maybe it will spur him on to become a track rat too.... :)

    Forgot to mention I don't care much for Kenny Brown Performance's operations, but they do have track time and much info to support their matrix brace for use on the track.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2018
    AndrewNagle likes this.
  7. Norm Peterson

    Norm Peterson corner barstool sitter

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    I suspect that the KB Matrix thing does more for driver confidence (likely more for some drivers than others) by altering the car's structural vibration response than it does for the actual performance envelope. Sort of like strut tower braces, where having a less noticeable amount of NVH tends to make the car feel more solid.

    It's not that it doesn't add any stiffness (I'm sure that it does add some); it's that the tubes are all pretty small and can't have much bending or torsional stiffness of their own, and it doesn't look like they tie in to any 3-D intersection of OE chassis structure, so the pure tension/compression stiffness is compromised.


    Agree on the matter of KB operations. In the video the car should have been resting on a 4-post lift with full weight on the tires. The way it was shown, some amount of prestress will occur because the chassis actually does 'bend' differently when supported by a 2-post lift than when sitting with full weight on its wheels. And that's assuming that all four of the jacking arm pads lie in the same plane with the car weight on them (can't see that being guaranteed).


    Ford did use the X-brace in the Boss/Laguna Seca cars, so that part has somewhat more credibility. Especially since it does bring on limitations regarding usability of the trunk. I wonder if the LS cars used thicker metal where it attached.


    Norm
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2018
  8. Norm Peterson

    Norm Peterson corner barstool sitter

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    I'd have gone with an absolute minimum wheel width of 10" for 275/xx tires.


    Norm
     
  9. Mustang259

    Mustang259 forum member

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    Just food for thought and my opinion, suggest that the OP research Terry Fair and Vorshlag Racing and verify that he can back up his comments, which I believe are spot on, then the OP can make his own decision.
    Regarding Kenny Brown, marketing is king and it must be done for economic survival, just my thoughts.
     
  10. Screamin_dutch

    Screamin_dutch Member

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    I appreceate the feedback guys! I know its not pure corner carving, but I figured this forums knowledge on suspension both on and off track would be in this subforum.

    On the tire front, my set up right now is actually very similar than my old e92. Both 19x9 and 19x10 wheels with exactly the same tire; kuhmo ps91. But there is still a huge difference in driver confidence between the two cars. Im always driving the mustang overcarefully whereas the bimmer I had no problem really chucking it in fast corners.

    I suspect my 13yo oem rubber is getting old too, hence my question about the GT500 frpp control arms both front and rear. Are those a valid upgrade or am I forced to go to higher durometer bushings found in the aftermarket?

    I will get a new allignment specifically targeting my current tramlining when I put the new wheels and tires on the spring.
     
  11. Pentalab

    Pentalab forum member

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    I find it hard to believe a..."non functional" .... 'doo-dad' would result in a whopping 2.5 sec redux, due to placebo effect alone. BMR makes a similar product, but using both square and rectangular tubing. https://www.bmrsuspension.com/?page=products&productid=191&desktop=1 Talk to anybody who has welded in these BMR units or better yet, take it for a rip. One helluva lot more rigid. Per the BMR install info, suspension has to be loaded..via a drive on, 4 post lift. That or car driven onto front ramps, then a pair of jack stands used on rear axle. On my old Honda, whether front or rear was jacked up, the entire side came off the ground ! I call that a 2 for 1 pizza deal, but it was lighter..and shorter wheel base.

    Steeda makes a rear X brace... that does not require a rear seat delete. It can also be used in conjunction with the steeda rear STB..and both are welded in.
     
  12. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    As I mentioned above and Pentalab reiterated, Matrix brace may not look mike much but it makes a huge difference in the stiffness of the car.
    I pull up a banked driveway approach at an angle to clear my front fascia from hitting, where my car used to flex as I came up it, after the Matrix brace the car no longer flexes and it actually lift's my right rear tire off the ground as I come over it.

    Looks to me like an X Brace and Matrix Brace are the next pieces for Vorshlag-Fair to test on track and post some info on..... I guarantee they will be surprised by the results....
     
  13. Norm Peterson

    Norm Peterson corner barstool sitter

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    No question you're going to feel the difference. You might even see it. But that doesn't mean it'll make a comparable difference in the corners.

    When you look at things like torsional deflection of the chassis over the length of the wheelbase during a cornering situation, there really isn't all that much difference in how far the two ends of the car want to roll - specifically for the S197 I think this is ends up being on the order of a quarter of a degree difference at 1g. There just isn't much room for improvement there, and you're already well into the realm of diminishing returns.

    Your existing suspension tuning does get slightly more effective, but since you can get to the same place with slightly different spring/bar/damping choices this isn't an improvement exclusive to the added chassis stiffness. (Most likely without the added stiffness you'd add a little more front stiffness - maybe this is why more front bar can work to advantage at autocross when chassis stiffening and other suspension tuning options are off the table per class rules).


    Norm
     
  14. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    Here is Kenny Brown Matrix Brace and Jacking Rails.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  15. Norm Peterson

    Norm Peterson corner barstool sitter

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    I've seen the installation video. Looks like 1" tubing, and it's all contained in a plane that doesn't look very effective at reducing general chassis warping torsion (what you want to make suspension tuning effective).

    I'm not trying to say that it doesn't add any stiffness at all, just that most of the stiffness that it does add isn't in the direction you really want it to be added in if you're truly interested in improving suspension function.


    But to go back to what I said in post #7, don't underestimate the 'driver composure' effect. Gaining 2 seconds on a 2.5 mile track means you only have to consistently be about 1.5 mph faster, which is well within the matter of driver confidence.


    Norm
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
  16. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    Unless you've driven with them you should not guess or speculate on what they can or can't do. For a few hundred bucks their cheap enough to try so throw em on, if you don't think they work pull em off again, it's that simple. Believe me they do way more than they appear. I've also had guys who follow me on track with other mustangs say how little my car rolls over in corners compared to most. My suspension is the Roush Sport suspension so I don't attribute it to that. The only change I've made to my suspension/frame is the Matrix brace and jacking rails.

    As I've mentioned before I am paraplegic and drive with hand controls, I have no "rear in the seat" feel so to speak, all of my feeling or control of the car is in my hands/arms. I noticed a huge difference in the feel of the car, especially in corners and I decreased my lap times considerably. I've got a few years of track time now and like to think I've picked up a few things and know a little about what I'm talking about. Yes I like to improve my lap times as well so when I notice an immediate decrease in my times I like to think it's all me, but with this I'm putting a lot of the credit to the Matrix brace.
     
  17. AndrewNagle

    AndrewNagle forum member

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    Thanks for sharing, I am not at the Vorshlag level of driving but have found that the KB jacking rails and Steeda Trunk X brace have given me better feel in my mountain curves

    So plan on adding the Matrix brace next.

    Did you buy directly from KB ?

    Andrew
     
  18. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    Yes, I got it directly from KB. I'm not at Vorshlag level either, but I have enough track days I do understand the concept of a good handling car on the track... :) KB has 40+ years of track experience....
    Let us know when you get the Matrix brace in and your thoughts of it.....

    Too bad we can't get someone from BMR or Steeda to chime in on their thoughts of it since they make them as well...
    That's 3 manufacturers, if they didn't work or do anything but add extra weight, I can't see these guys trying to sell em...
     
  19. Norm Peterson

    Norm Peterson corner barstool sitter

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    Just so you know, I spent nearly 40 years doing structural analysis for a living, and I've done a bit of automotive structural stuff (analysis and fabrication both) on my own time. Over that time I've also learned to avoid taking advertising copy at face value (everything of much importance gets a sanity check) . . . or jumping to conclusions (hopefully, anyway).

    The thoughts I'm giving you are mine, completely independent of anybody else's, lest you think I'm just parroting some party line here.


    Norm
     
  20. JJ427R

    JJ427R forum member

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    Norm I don't mean to disrespect you and I'm not discrediting what you know, but as I stated and you just said "These are your thoughts"
    You have not had one on your car have you? I have it and I've driven both with and without it, I'm just giving my analysis of it, you can take what you want from it, I just don't like unjustified opinions of a product based on peoples thoughts….