Looking to improve handling without lowering the car

betenoire23

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Hello everyone. I need your experience and ideas. I have a 2007 Mustang GT convertible with 85,000 km / 52,816 mi.

My car is used for family outings on sunny days but also for inspired sporty driving on small roads with a lot of curves (when I am alone on board). It's comfortable for gentle family hikes but I find that the car behaves like a trampoline and is not reassuring when cornering. The roads are not very good in my area and to get out of my garage I cannot lower the car. My goal is to find a compromise that allows me to maintain a certain comfort and at the same time have much better handling. All this without lowering the car. Is it possible?

I thought of :

1- Change the original dampers (which are surely tired due to age) for KONI Special Active (which seem to promise comfort and handling. OR Koni SRT.T

2- Install Eiback or FRPP anti-roll/sway bars (they are the same I think) for convertible.

What do you think?

Has anyone tried the Special Active vs SRT.T?

Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions!
 

Samos3

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I have the Koni Str.ts on my car. Decent upgrade from stock, probably not a very sophisticated strut, maybe like a KYB Excel G. I also installed FRPP springs (P, I think, not K), so it's hard to say how much difference the Koni's make on their own. The springs lowered mine about .75" to 1" (18-25mm). Doesn't seem like much, but you do notice it.

If you do your struts, replace the upper strut mounts at the same time. The originals didn't last that long. You can use the GT500 strut mounts.

I'm still running oem swaybars, so no comment there.
 

DieHarder

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Replace your shocks/struts w/Bilstein B-6's and GT500 strut mounts. You'll still be stock but handling will be much improved. If that isn't enough then start looking at sway bars, front/rear lower control arms, etc.
 

Miker

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I replaced my stock shocks and struts at 150K with Koni STR-T using the stock springs. I could barely make my roll curb at stock height due to the low hanging Roush bumper so springs were a no go. I also replaced front and rear LCAs and upper strut mounts. All GT500 stuff. New 275 width tires all around on 10 inch rims. Handles like a slot car.
Afterwards I read up on mono tube vs twin tube and I guess the twin tube STR-T Konis are sub par to the next Koni yellows or Bilstein B6. I am thinking you have to be pushing it hard for an extended period before that difference would show up. And since I don't track my car the STR-Ts work fine and were a great upgrade from the worn out stockers. They also have a lifetime warranty.
 

Dino Dino Bambino

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Hello everyone. I need your experience and ideas. I have a 2007 Mustang GT convertible with 85,000 km / 52,816 mi.

My car is used for family outings on sunny days but also for inspired sporty driving on small roads with a lot of curves (when I am alone on board). It's comfortable for gentle family hikes but I find that the car behaves like a trampoline and is not reassuring when cornering. The roads are not very good in my area and to get out of my garage I cannot lower the car. My goal is to find a compromise that allows me to maintain a certain comfort and at the same time have much better handling. All this without lowering the car. Is it possible?

I thought of :

1- Change the original dampers (which are surely tired due to age) for KONI Special Active (which seem to promise comfort and handling. OR Koni SRT.T

2- Install Eiback or FRPP anti-roll/sway bars (they are the same I think) for convertible.

What do you think?

Has anyone tried the Special Active vs SRT.T?

Thank you in advance for your comments and suggestions!

You could replicate most of the suspension upgrades I've done to mine:

BMR rear lower control arms & relocation brackets
Prothane rear sway bar & end link bushings
Energy Suspension rear track bar bushings

Energy Suspension front control arm bushings
Energy Suspension front sway bar bushings
GT500 front strut mounts
Ford Performance A-arm brace

My car is entirely street driven and I have to negotiate speed humps, so lowering isn't an option for me either. I'm still running the stock anti-sway bars, shocks/struts, springs, and rear Panhard bar so ride comfort isn't compromised while my upgrades considerably reduced body roll and sharpened the steering response. I'm a very happy camper.
The only thing I might change in the future is fit slightly firmer rear shocks. The OEM units are a little soft for my liking despite being low mileage.
 
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I would go with an adjustable rear sway bar first and start with the middle setting. You will notice a difference right away. It's my understanding that the shocks should be built/tuned to match the spring rate, so not sure how much difference shocks will make. Should help if they are old/worn though.

I would use the GT500 front lower control arms when it's time to replace your existing ones. Don't think it's worth replacing them just for better handling.
 

JC SSP

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I had an 06’ GT convertible and didn’t want it lowered that much. Unfortunately she was totaled last year and all performance parts removed.

Here are the parts I had on it:

Boss front strut tower brace.

Kenny Brown K-frame brace.

Front Tokico struts with convertible GT500 coil springs and GT500 mounts & Ford performance bump stops.

Rear Tokico adjustable shocks with convertible GT500 springs.

BMR rear lower control arms.

Steeda frame rails supports. These worked more like subframe connectors, very important on a convertible.

Granatelli front and rear sway bars.

Rear end brace and panhard bar.

The car road very nice and had no front cowl shake or body roll. Tracked beautifully and responded well to driver input. No bouncing either. With the GT500 springs she was about 1/8-1/4” lower than stock which was ok for me.

IMG_0605.jpeg
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Midlife Crises

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If I wasn’t going to replace all the soft bushings and wanted to keep the stock ride hight I would go with Strano Sport adjustable sway bars front and rear. Koni adjustable struts and shocks might follow.
 
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I like the adjustability of the Koni Yellows for autocross, but they do ride rough. Not sure I would choose them for a daily driver.
 

GriffX

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Cannot recommend the Tokico D-spec. Way too firm compression damping for my taste and because you adjust both compression and rebound with one screw I didn't find a good compromise.
 

Forty61

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Any new shock/strut should be a noticeable improvement over worn factory ones but any aftermarket option will also be an improvement overall.

I’d do a set of sway bars, adjustable if you want to tinker, static if you don’t. I’ve always liked Eibachs stuff but I recently put on the Whiteline adjustable set and they’re pretty slick.
 

JC SSP

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You can actually go with stock front sway bar and quality end links and replace the bushings with poly but if you want significant reduced body roll and be able to adjust them, then aftermarket F/R sway bars are the best way to achieve this.

My 05’ GT is set up a little more aggressive (stiffer) but being that I had a convertible I want to make the suspension a little more rigid without sacrificing ride comfort. Also didn’t want to lower it too much.
 

Forty61

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Why all the sway bar recommendations? Are the stock sway bars not adequate?
Define ‘adequate’.. for most people they certainly are but if you’re wanting to have a noticeable change to the feel of the car they’re a great upgrade.
 

GriffX

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Why all the sway bar recommendations? Are the stock sway bars not adequate?
The 2007 has the 20 mm rear and 34x5.1 front bars, the 2014 has 24 and 34.6x5.8 and with better bushings in the front.

And, the basic rule is, as soft as possible, as hard as necessary. A stiffer sway bar reduces rolling but doesn't affect the pothole "performance" much, so you are on the softer side and you can drive softer damping and springs.

And the softer FordPerf bump stops are a great addition, too.
 

JC SSP

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Good point, some years GT and GT500 might have thicker F/R sway bars, so a cheaper upgrade is possible.

FYI I did that on my 96" GT with a Cobra 28mm rear sway bar. cost me $20.00!
 

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