Choosing the best suspension components for your Mustang from the all the available choices can be a daunting task. Fortunately, many suspension companies offer their components in kits or stages. Since they’re highly experienced, they know exactly how to progressively build a suspension system. Their knowledge insures that the components are well matched. That avoids the problem of an inexperienced person ordering “ala cart” and getting incompatible components.
Stage designations start at one and rise as their complexity increases. Typically, companies offer stages 1 through 3, but some go higher for the more competition-oriented parts. The best stage kits are ones that allow the buyer to build on past purchases as they continue to improve their car’s handling prowess. Stage kits typically offer package savings compared to buying individual parts.
Steeda Autosports has what they call G-Trac Suspension Kits. Stages 2 and 3 build on the components of Stage 1. It’s sort of like upgrading your suspension on an installment plan.
The Steeda G-Trac Stage 1 kit consists of sport springs to lower the car and reduce body roll; a strut tower and G-Trac braces to stiffen the body structure; and caster camber plates to improve suspension geometry.
Moving on to Stage 2 adds high performance adjustable Tokico shock absorbers; heavy duty reinforced upper rear control arms; and an adjustable rear sway bar. Stage 3 adds aluminum lower control arms, a tubular front sway bar, offset front A-arm bushings, and chrome-moly subframe connectors with cross braces. Steeda also has an extensive range of G-Trac suspension kits for 1999-2004 Cobra Mustangs plus a couple drag racing suspension stage kits.
Tires aren’t included in suspension kits, but they’re critical components of any suspension system. Your tires should be in excellent shape before you start adding suspension pieces. Changing to larger wheels and tires can be beneficial, but it can also be quite expensive. Go for good tires first. The temptation is to buy trick wheels for their cosmetic appeal, but it’s tires that hold your car to the road.
Beyond good tires and proper suspension alignment, key upgrade goals are to control chassis and suspension deflection, suspension geometry, spring rates and shock absorber tuning. In general, that means replacing weaker factory parts with stronger, high performance components. Doing so reduces flex (or deflection) in the body and the suspension. The car becomes much more solid, which improves traction. Better traction equals faster cornering, shorter braking distances, greater overall safety and a very fun car to drive.
The first place to start when considering any suspension upgrade is with your Mustang’s tires. You can’t maintain adequate traction without good tires. Keeping frontend alignment up to spec is another simple, but very important aspect of superior handling.
Performance or sport springs are a major part of most stage 1 suspension kits. Springs are the foundation of good handling. Sport springs drop most Mustangs an inch or slightly more. This lowers the car’s center of gravity and reduces body roll.
Mustangs from 1979 to 2004 respond very well to adjustable caster camber plates. Besides all their adjustability benefits caster camber plates have stainless steel bearings instead of the overly flexible factory bushings.
Strut tower braces come in a variety of designs, but their purpose is all the same—to reduce frontend body flex. This single bar late model Steeda strut tower brace has spherical rod ends for fine-tuning. There are also non-adjustable double bar braces.
Heavy duty front and rear sway bars are often stage 2 components. Replacing the soft factory bushings with harder urethane ones is a simple, but effective addition to any sway bar upgrade.
Stronger, lighter rear control arms with high performance urethane bushings are a mainstay of improving the rear suspension of any 1979 or newer Mustang. Rear control arms are available in a variety of designs including adjustable ones such as this Steeda Weight Jacker control arm.
Several suspension upgrades are visible in the rear view of a late model Mustang including sport springs, chrome moly lower control arms, urethane bushings, adjustable shock absorbers, a heavy duty rear sway bar with billet end links, and an adjustable Panhard bar.
1351 NW Steeda Way
Pompano Beach, FL 33069