Feedback on Lowering 99-2004 Stang?

GRIFF

Well-known member
Did you get the Pilots before, at same time or after the springs and struts.

Stiffer springs and original tires, you don’t feel so much difference.

New tires and original springs, you’ll appreciate tires but still not drastic difference.

Now combine Pilots with stiffer and lower springs, plus no more deflection of struts due to CC pates, and you have huge difference.

Stiffer sidewalls on Pilots do give slightly harsher ride than OE tires.
Because they don’t fold easily.

Everything affects something else.
I added a strut tower brace couple years ago too! Too many changes maybe!
 

67 AGAIN

Enthusiast
Strut tower brace stiffens chassis.
On a New Edge, likely good difference as chassis were not stiffest back then.

This would accentuate all the other stuff.
Steering response.
Harshness of springs.
Affect of tram lining, because where there may have been a bit of front end chassis flex before, to forgive tram lining, now there is less or none.

Like I state above, new tires on stock springs, you appreciate new tires but not huge difference.

Then add springs and now new ball game.
 

Ohtobbad

Administrator
Staff member
you can buy adjustable shocks and not crazy prices,
I did on my 08 and after playing with a bit and finding what I liked, never changed again
But can go soft to hard if so desired.

Many change cars and don't car for the rougher ride,
I always joked meaner the ride, faster the car,
but for many performance is not as bif a deal to others.
Understanding what you want helps, sometimes hard to know
what to expect when done, so many variables.

As for alignment, do your own research, figure out the settings you want.
find smaller shop with good rep and tell him your specs,
I did this, took two hours but go exactly what I wanted, with great results.
 

GRIFF

Well-known member
Strut tower brace stiffens chassis.
On a New Edge, likely good difference as chassis were not stiffest back then.

This would accentuate all the other stuff.
Steering response.
Harshness of springs.
Affect of tram lining, because where there may have been a bit of front end chassis flex before, to forgive tram lining, now there is less or none.

Like I state above, new tires on stock springs, you appreciate new tires but not huge difference.

Then add springs and now new ball game.
Think I might pull off the Strut Tower brace.....not that much work...and see if that makes things tamer.
 

67 AGAIN

Enthusiast
I read first page over.
I must have missed this thread when it was new.

Only difference I see is that Charlie used Steeda Sport springs and you used Ford Racing.

The Steeda Sport springs are popular in the hobby for having the reputation of being among the softest drop springs on the market.
Still stiffer than stock but softer within the drop spring universe.

However, the Ford Racing springs are made by Eibach under contract, so very good product.
They should pair well with Eibach dampers.

I would have agreed with everything the guys said.
I have two Mustangs and both have full suspension done.
Would do it again without hesitation.
Before big power even.

I have one on Ford Racing springs with Bilstein dampers and one on BMR springs with Ford Racing dampers.
I was going to use Bilstein for second car too but engineer at BMR said they use Ford Racing dampers and get excellent results.

I followed his advice and he was right.
Excellent result. Easily as good as Bilstein.
I think only difference is that Bilstein will last longer, but you pay a bit more at the front end.
 

GRIFF

Well-known member
Thinking maybe the lowering of the car is not the problem (at least on its own). In a previous discussion I started Sept 30th 2019 titled "Bump Steer Kit -- a Good Idea?" (previous to any lowering) I was asking input on bump steer kits as a way to address the same issue. The question I asked was "My '02 GT Convertible tries to take control of the steering on our bumpy Island roads and I am wondering if a kit would help?". The next Spring I went from there to lower my car as a way to try to get it to handle better. Previous to that (early Sept 2019) I had installed a BBK Strut tower brace to tighten the front end...so maybe that is the culprit!
 

67 AGAIN

Enthusiast
Thinking maybe the lowering of the car is not the problem (at least on its own). In a previous discussion I started Sept 30th 2019 titled "Bump Steer Kit -- a Good Idea?" (previous to any lowering) I was asking input on bump steer kits as a way to address the same issue. The question I asked was "My '02 GT Convertible tries to take control of the steering on our bumpy Island roads and I am wondering if a kit would help?". The next Spring I went from there to lower my car as a way to try to get it to handle better. Previous to that (early Sept 2019) I had installed a BBK Strut tower brace to tighten the front end...so maybe that is the culprit!

I mentioned bump steer as a possibility a few posts back.
That is usually an issue on aggressively low cars.
Check the angle of your tie rods when the car is on flat ground and suspension loaded with car’s weight. Refer to previous post for what to look for.

If it was acting up when car was still stock height, it likely isn’t bump steer.

General rule, a stiff chassis, plus stiff suspension and stiff tires is basically a race car, or the beginning of one.
It will be influenced by and follow the contours of the road more than a soft chassis, soft suspension and soft tires.
Like a roller coaster.
Will be influenced by more or less crown, more or less banking, more or less ruts, transitions and rough pavement.

Basically your car dates back to 1994 and the SN95. Chassis back then were not as stiff as today. Adding that strut brace likely contributed to stiffening it quite a bit.
Removing it would be an easy test.

Beyond that, we’re guessing.
So far, everyone that has posted has liked the changes from dropping their cars.
However, what is an improvement and acceptable for some may not be for others.
We all have varying degrees of acceptance or compromise.
I avoid rough roads too when I can.
From year to year, I make mental notes not to go back here or there.

It’s possible there’s nothing wrong and your car is behaving exactly the way it should with the changes you have made. Maybe the changes are too much for your liking.

Without driving your car to get a seat of the pants feeling, it’s hard to speculate any further.

I did notice on the first page of the thread you wrote you were happy with the changes after the lowering springs.
What changed between then and now?

Good luck with your search.
 

GRIFF

Well-known member
Thanks everyone for your input and suggestions! It helps when chasing ghosts in the machine! It will be a process of eliminating issues and maybe trying new things. Although I would rather just be having fun driving!
 

GRIFF

Well-known member
UPDATE: After getting input on this forum I went back to my alignment guy (same shop that did the lowering springs for me 2 years ago) and discussed the problems I was having. He suggested doing a realignment but using a less aggressive tow than recommended (but still within the specs). In checking he found that the alignment on the right side had gone quite a ways out causing more outward tow on that side. In checking he found that the caster/camber places we installed had become loose enough to move on the right side causing the problem. He re-did the fastening of the plates on both side (using lock-tight) and realigned with less aggressive tow. Bonus..Anderson Automotive didn't charge for it as he had done the original work! Major difference in the road handling! Actually don't have to be fighting with the steering wheel to hold her on the road! A lot more fun to drive! Thanks again everyone!
 

67 AGAIN

Enthusiast
That’s great news. Glad you got it sorted out.

To avoid things like that, I get my alignment checked every year, regardless.

Open tow does make a car more skittish.
When you think about it, the wheels, or in this case one, are going down the road pointing outward, so it wants to pull the car to the side.

There is a concept of total tow.
This means in order for the car to go down the road straight, whatever combined tow there is between both sides gets shared equally 50/50 by the steering input of the driver.
The driver does this without knowing or having to think about it just to keep the car going straight.
So, if you had one side out bad, as you say, or more towed out than the amount of tow in on the other side, this may have been enough to cause both front wheels to be pointing outward as you drove straight.
This would have made the car prone to darting left or right as you described.

Tow out is a trick for race cars to make them turn in quickly in corners but not so great for road going cars.
With any amount of negative camber, tow out will eat the inside of front tires very quickly.
That’s also acceptable expense for race cars but not so good for the rest of us.
 
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GRIFF

Well-known member
That’s great news. Glad you got it sorted out.

To avoid things like that, I get my alignment checked every year, regardless.

Open tow does make a car more skittish.
When you think about it, the wheels, or in this case one, are going down the road pointing outward, so it wants to pull the car to the side.

There is a concept of total tow.
This means in order for the car to go down the road straight, whatever combined tow there is between both sides gets shared equally 50/50 by the steering input of the driver.
The driver does this without knowing or having to think about it just to keep the car going straight.
So, if you had one side out bad, as you say, or more towed out than the amount of tow in on the other side, this may have been enough to cause both front wheels to be pointing outward as you drove straight.
This would have made the car prone to darting left or right as you described.

Tow out is a trick for race cars to make them turn in quickly in corners but not so great for road going cars.
With any amount of negative camber, tow out will eat the inside of front tires very quickly.
That’s also acceptable expense for race cars but not so good for the rest of us.
Also usually get an alignment every year. However most techs seem to just worry about everything being in the green and not with how the car actually drives! This time i was able to get the alignment tech to listen to my problems and he was creative in addressing it.
 

67 AGAIN

Enthusiast
Yes, a lot of techs focus on readings being in the green and call it good enough.

So, like Trevor says, this is good reading for everyone.
Then we have to stand our ground at alignment shops and sometimes insist we get what we want.

Example of techs looking for green.
The tech that does my car each year does great job for me because he knows I won’t settle, and I stand by the whole time.

So back this summer a different client came in with a 11-14 GT S197 looking to have his alignment checked after getting 4 new wheels and tires.
Reason he got new tires is that his previous tires had worn prematurely on the inside edge of the fronts.
He came to us because he wanted to use the same tech I use.

After the job was done, out of curiosity I asked the service writer if I could see the printout.

At first glance everything looked great because it was green.
I noticed the factory recommended specs were different numbers than my early run S197 from 05 to 10.
I almost bought the fact that all was good.

But I took the time to evaluate the numbers and saw that although all was green, the total tow was towed out slightly.

He also had some negative camber as most cars do. I knew that the client would still get premature inside front tire wear if we let him leave like that.

So I discretely explained the issue to the service writer and insisted we needed to put the car back on the rack to close his front end a bit so the total tow would be closed, not open.

This did not fit well in the schedule but they carved out some time and re-did the alignment to close it.

So as to not frustrate the tech, I insisted the service writer go explain to him first in private. Then I went over it quickly with him to show the numbers weren’t the same as my car but the total tow needed to be closed. The tech took it pretty good and did a bang up job the second time.

The tech knew all of this but was probably under scheduling pressures to get to his next job and did not evaluate the numbers properly. Saw the green and called it good.

I then explained what we did to the client and he was 100% satisfied.
Between the two printouts, he was able to understand the corrections that we did.
 
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GRIFF

Well-known member
Yes, a lot of techs focus on readings being in the green and call it good enough.

So, like Trevor says, this is good reading for everyone.
Then we have to stand our ground at alignment shops and sometimes insist we get what we want.

Example of techs looking for green.
The tech that does my car each year does great job for me because he knows I won’t settle, and I stand by the whole time.

So back this summer a different client came in with a 11-14 GT S197 looking to have his alignment checked after getting 4 new wheels and tires.
Reason he got new tires is that his previous tires had worn prematurely on the inside edge of the fronts.
He came to us because he wanted to use the same tech I use.

After the job was done, out of curiosity I asked the service writer if I could see the printout.

At first glance everything looked great because it was green.
I noticed the factory recommended specs were different numbers than my early run S197 from 05 to 10.
I almost bought the fact that all was good.

But I took the time to evaluate the numbers and saw that although all was green, the total tow was towed out slightly.

He also had some negative camber as most cars do. I knew that the client would still get premature inside front tire wear if we let him leave like that.

So I discretely explained the issue to the service writer and insisted we needed to put the car back on the rack to close his front end a bit so the total tow would be closed, not open.

This did not fit well in the schedule but they carved out some time and re-did the alignment to close it.

So as to not frustrate the tech, I insisted the service writer go explain to him first in private. Then I went over it quickly with him to show the numbers weren’t the same as my car but the total tow needed to be closed. The tech took it pretty good and did a bang up job the second time.

The tech knew all of this but was probably under scheduling pressures to get to his next job and did not evaluate the numbers properly. Saw the green and called it good.

I then explained what we did to the client and he was 100% satisfied.
Between the two printouts, he was able to understand the corrections that we did.
Yeas ago I lived in a small town in Manitoba. the local alignment guy would take your car for a highway run before and after the alignment to be sure he resolved any issues. He took the time to check his work!
 

GRIFF

Well-known member
Yeas ago I lived in a small town in Manitoba. the local alignment guy would take your car for a highway run before and after the alignment to be sure he resolved any issues. He took the time to check his work!
I understand that if he was tracking down a high speed vibration problem for a customer he would call the local RCMP to let them know he was going for a rip! :)
 
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