Drag Race Suspention Is All About Getting The Power To The Pavement
Horsepower, weight transfer and excellent traction are all part of winning at the dragstrip.
Good traction is critical to the success of any automotive racing endeavor, but it’s ultra critical in drag racing. There’s no next lap to make up lost time. Each time you come to the starting line you have to do your best. All the horsepower in the world is useless if you can’t get it to the pavement. That’s why traction aids are so important to Mustang drag racers.
Scott Boda, Assistant Director of Manufacturing at Steeda Autosports is a typical weekend warrior. His red 1990 Mustang is used for street and strip, although with 561 horsepower at the rear wheels it’s not a very practical street car. Even though Scott has 561 hp, he says any Mustang with 300 hp (at the tires) is going to have difficulty hooking up.
Although Scott is in the suspension business his number one drag racing traction advice is to get sticky tires. A drag radial or a full-on racing slick is the first step for getting good dragstrip traction. After tires improve the rear suspension.
The upper and lower trailing arms should be replaced. The soft factory bushings don’t allow for very good suspension compliance. Scott runs a Steeda billet aluminum trailing arm system with urethane bushings and a rear bearing for minimum suspension deflection. Adjustable upper control arms allow Scott to change the pinion angle, which helps plant the rear tires.
Besides getting the rearend planted, Scott recommends getting the frontend to rise up for better weight transfer. To that end he installed Steeda drag springs and a lighter coil-over setup. He uses a softer rear spring for better squat. To compensate for the massive torque transfer he runs a single airbag on the right rear. He uses Tokico 5-way adjustable front shocks.
Steeda offers Drag-Pak Kits in two stages. Stage 1 includes adjustable upper rear control arms, aluminum lower control arms and lightweight drag stabilizer bar (9 lbs. vs. 21 lbs. stock). Stage 2 includes Tokico adjustable front struts, drag racing coil springs and a single airbag. They also offer more hardcore drag racing parts such as competition aluminum lower drag arms, spherical control arm bushings, racing springs and even a lightweight tubular K-member. XM
Scott Boda recommends getting the stickiest tire possible if you want to drag race your Mustang. He has the wheelwells of his ’90 Mustang stuffed with strip-only racing slicks.
This is a Steeda Weight Jacker Control Arm and an adjustable upper rear control arm. The CNC-machined billet aluminum arm is both strong and light. The adjustment feature means you can raise or lower the rear of a Mustang one inch.
Here is a billet aluminum lower control arm as installed on the right rear of Scott’s drag race Mustang. Notice the red airbag inside the coil spring. The one side only airbag compensates for engine torque at the starting line.
This close-up shot shows large adjustable spring seat. A roller bearing under the spring seat means ride height can be adjusted in your driveway without jacking up the car. A half-inch socket and an adjustable wrench are the only tools needed.
Adjustment is even easier on a hoist. Notice that the lower spring seat is pushing the coil spring up and away from the control arm. That effectively raises the rear of the car.
Scott runs either 26-inch tall or 28-inch slicks. He marked the control arm “9 turns for 28” for easy reference. He uses the larger tires when he runs nitrous oxide and the shorter tires when he’s naturally aspirated.
Adjusting Tokico Illumina 5-way struts is quick and easy requiring only a screwdriver. Scott sets his shocks on the loosest setting for optimum weight transfer.
SOURCE: Steeda Autosports 1351 NW Steeda Way Pompano Beach, FL 33069 954-960-0774 www.steeda.com firstname.lastname@example.org