Suspension & Chassis
Modification History and Notes:
- Car was purchased with 97,000 miles on it.
- Upgraded brakes to the Cobra spec. After driving my '98 and '01 Cobra's the GT brakes really left a lot to be desired.
- Installed rollbar. Did this for safety, but noticed a considerable improvement in chassis rigidity. Particularly in the back half of the car.
- Replaced stock 17x8 wheels shod with Yokohama ?? with 17x9 R58s shod with Bridgestone RE71's (came with the wheels) in 255/40R17. A definate improvement, but that mainly had to do with the high mileage and really hard tires that were on the car previouly.
- Changed the springs to H&R race springs, and installed Bilsteins, MM caster-camber plates and rack bushings. Biggest single improvement made.
- Upgraded brake pads to Hawk HPS+. Really nice gain in braking performance. Dusty, but who cares, it's a track car.
- Changed the steering shaft. Nice improvement in steering feel, more responsive, and steering actually feels lighter.
- Instsalled Griggs rear LCA's. Frankly I didn't notice any improvement, but these will come into their own when the panhard bar and torque arm go on later.
- Added brake ducts. Another noticeable gain in brake performance. No more fried caliper dust boots...at least not very often anymore.
- Installed panhard bar. I noticed this more than I thought I would. Definately can feel what's happening back there moreso that before, and it's easier to control where the rear end is going.
- Installed torque arm and subframe connectors. Replaced rear springs with H&R 390-430 TA springs. Wow, next to the shock/spring change this is the single biggest improvement. I can actually put power down and know where the car will be going.
- Nitto 555RII's, 275/40R17. Wore out the old tires and these seemed to be a good compromise for a tire that I could drive to the track on and be fun on the track. I like them alot. They give good feedback, are easy to read, and stayed sticky through their lifetime.
- Swapped the conventional springs to coil-overs. Kept the front struts and replaced the rear shocks with MM's raced valved shocks. After getting better at driving the car, the springs were really limiting going faster. Too much brake dive and body roll. I did a lot of research and settled on the 425f-300r springs. I'm really happy with the improvement, though I wouldn't want to drive this car to work everyday. On smooth pavement it's really awesome to drive though.
- Moved battery and installed aluminum heads. This made a noticeable improvement in handling getting about 75lbs off the front of the car. There was a good reduction in understeer.
- After 1 year the Nitto's were worn out so they were replaced with Falken 615's, 275/40R17. I put 4 days of opentrack days on them, and a whole bunch of autocross events so they had a pretty good life. The Falken's are not as sticky as the Nitto's unfortunately, but those weren't legal in the SCCA street tire class. I don't want to go to slicks and swap tire at events, let along haul them to events. The seem to like lower tire pressures than the Nitto's. I'll have more to add as I have a chance to drive them more.
- Swapped to a smaller front sway bar. Noticebly reduced understeer a bit more. I figured it was better to reduce the front bar size than add bar I the rear. My thought is to fix the end of the car that needs fixing, and the front needs more grip. I'm not concerned about body roll as the fron t springs as so firm they seem to be doing a good job in that area.
- Russell (front) and Goodrich (rear) stainless steel brake lines.
- Speedbleeders. Makes bleeding the brakes easy.
- PBR "Cobra" front calipers - Ford Racing M2300Q kit. Kit also includes a new Cobra master cylinder.
- Rear "Cobra" brake upgrade (Ford now has a kit to do this conversion, they didn't when I did this):
- rear cobra vented disks.
- adapter, caliper to axle R&L, Ford part # F4ZZ-2C101-B, F4ZZ-2C100-B.
- anti-moan brace R&L, Ford part # F4ZZ-2C366-A, F4ZZ-2C367-A.
- caliper brackets, Ford part # F4ZZ-2B511-B (you'll need 2).
- The GT calipers are reused.
- Cobra specific pads (or reuse your GT pads).
- Baer front 2-pc. or Brembo 1-pc.
- Hawk HPS+ pads front and rear.
- Bilstein struts, and Maximum Motorsports specially valved rear Bilstein shocks.
- Griggs rear lower control arms, adjustable length with front heim joints, MCA-4500S.
- Maximum Motorsports caster-camber plates, AL rack bushings, steering shaft, panhard bar, torque arm, full-length subframe connectors, front & rear coil-over kits (springs: 425lb. front, 300lb. rear), front offset A-Arms with urethane bushings. Why urethane vs. delrin, because I got them used and that's the way they were.
- Autopower 4pt. road race rollbar, DOM tubing.
- Energy Suspension front sway bar bushings and end-links.
- 2004 Mach1 front sway bar. The diameter is 26.5mm, vs. 30mm for the stock GT bar.
- Alignment and Tires.
Falken Azenis RT-615's 275/40/17.
Total Toe: -.125"
- Brake Duct mount. The tubing is a short piece of 3" exhaust pipe. See Interior/Exterior page for how I mounted the bumper side of the duct.