Has anyone purchased or used Steeda's ball joints for lowered Mustangs? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-23-2002, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Question Has anyone purchased or used Steeda's ball joints for lowered Mustangs?

I was just looking at some of thier products and notied that they offer special ball joints for Mustang that are lowered 1.5-2 inches.

Supposedly it corrects the tie rod angles back to a "stock" location and corrects bump steer, etc...

I am thinking of getting these for my Cobra. I'm lowered 2", plus have the Maximum Motorsports CC plates & Bilsteins... but, I still get bumpsteer.

I also have a set of the offset rack bushings, but have never installed them..

I'm wondering if these Steeda ball joints will work?

Any thoughts?

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post #2 of 27 Old 03-15-2002, 07:44 AM
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Re: Has anyone purchased or used Steeda's ball joints for lowered Mustangs?

Quote:
Originally posted by Cobra Jet NJ
I also have a set of the offset rack bushings, but have never installed them..

I'm wondering if these Steeda ball joints will work?

Any thoughts?
Cobra,

I had to install shorter sway bar end-links after I installed the Bils/H&R from MM. The stock bushings were binding so badly that the steering was very tight and there was also a noticable amount of bump-steer. Both went away with the Saleen end-links.

I would also appreciate any feedback on the Steeda ball joints.

Anyone???

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post #3 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 11:08 AM
 
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Just got mine in tha mail today will be installing them on Saturday I'll post back with impressions.
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post #4 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 12:18 PM
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My 01 Cobra is at the garage getting shocks, springs, and the Steeda balljoints. I'll let you guys know when I get it back.

As far as the sway bar end links... do you think I'll have to get some of those when I get my car back? I'm using H&R sports with Bilsteins.
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post #5 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 02:13 PM
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I'll be interested in knowing since I have terrible bumpsteer and wandering on uneven surfaces. My X2 ball joints are still in the box but will be installing them sometime later this month. Never heard about changing the sway bar end-links. How did you figure that was the problem??

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post #6 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Bimmer & Bone -

POst back and let us know how the Steeda ball joints work out. Also, post of any modifications needed, or what parts you did or did not use. I know when I was looking into these, it seemed like there were certain parts that you coudl use, or did not have to use, such as spring spacers or something... can't recall off hand.

Let us know if it improved your bump steer and how it handles with the new set up.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bimmerboy
My 01 Cobra is at the garage getting shocks, springs, and the Steeda balljoints. I'll let you guys know when I get it back.

As far as the sway bar end links... do you think I'll have to get some of those when I get my car back? I'm using H&R sports with Bilsteins.
If your H&R Sports slam your car as much as mine, yes you will definitely need shorter sway bar end links.

I went back to the stock sway bar end links when I ditched the H&R Sports. They tend to lower the 99/01 Cobra (with IRS) way too much.

Here are the "before" pix:

http://community.webshots.com/user/badbud

Last edited by BadBud; 04-04-2002 at 02:43 PM.
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post #8 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rammer
Never heard about changing the sway bar end-links. How did you figure that was the problem??
It's one way to correct bump steer. And, the bump steer went away when I went to the shorter end links.

Park your car on level ground and check the angle of the sway bar as it connects to the end links. It should be pretty close to level. The sway bar will be pointing up, to the rear, on a lowered car with stock end links.
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post #9 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 02:54 PM
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I've never seen a Cobra or let alone any other car lowered with a 1.6" H&R spring kit show a final drop of 2-3 inches!

Looks as if you weren't happy with the stock drop whish is more like 1.25" all the way around and cut out a coil. Good thing you got rid of those springs.
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post #10 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bimmerboy
Looks as if you weren't happy with the stock drop whish is more like 1.25" all the way around and cut out a coil. Good thing you got rid of those springs.
I changed to the Steeda "Cobra R" spring set. Very well managed 1.25" drop all the way around. Looks and handles sooo much better now.

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post #11 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 05:40 PM
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That's looks messed up badbud! You sure you didn't get the live axel H&R spring instead?

Anyway, this is how the Steeda ball joints should work. Mounted in the end of the a-arm the taller ball-joint raises the spindle in relation to the ball joint pivot point. This has the effect of moving the wheels UP in relation to the body and control arms (thus lowering the car to the ground). The benefit of this compared to springs is that you wouldn't be changing the control arm angle to achieve this drop.

How is this beneficial? Take a look at the drawing:



The green lines are finding the instant center of each suspension side, the point where both green lines meet is the instant center. For a McPherson strut the suspension instant center lines are 1) The line parallel to the control arm and 2) the line perpendicular to the kingpin line at the upper mount.

Once we have the instant centers of both sides we can draw a line from the instant center to the center of the tire contact patch that is furthest away. Where the two lines meet is the car's roll center. This is the point that the body will roll around as weight transfers from one side to the other. You want the height of your roll center to be as high as possible to keep the amount of body roll down. Although other considerations will limit you from getting the roll center really high; too much downward pitch will likely never be a problem for a Mustang. More often the Mustang suffers from too much upward pitch in the control arms (and IMHO I would consider anything over parallel to be too much).

As you can see in the drawing, figures one and two have a nice downward inclination of the a-arms, these drawing aren’t to scale or indicative of the Mustang but they can still illustrate the point. The roll center heights for both figures (which are where the two red lines intersect) are almost identical in relation to the body of the vehicle. But as you can see the upward offset of the wheels has resulted in a lowering of the body to the ground (which means a lower center of gravity (COG) - good).

In figure three we have lowering springs that are pulling the a-arms in an upward inclination to lower the body; this is actually much like how my GT’s a-arms currently rest. The COG is lowered a good deal, which is nice, but the roll center is almost sitting on the ground. That means when this car goes around a corner it will have a much more obvious pitch to its body roll, and that will more than likely result in some nasty camber loss - which is detrimental to traction.

So should the Steeda joints work? Yes, as far as I can tell, although I would worry about their strength in the new geometry (they’re putting a lot more stress on the new joint <that's a guess>). You still would want a heavy spring rate to combat some of the nastier aspects of Mustang body roll, but these could help things along.

Thanks, Bryan

BTW: Let me know if you think I messed something up or left something out. The above is the best that I can do at my current level of understanding (without hitting too much detail). I am welcome to some critical review.

Last edited by BryanGT; 04-04-2002 at 05:46 PM.
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post #12 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 08:27 PM
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Bryan, I think you're implying that lowering might be accomplished by the change in ball joints alone? Or do you mean in conjunction with lowering springs? For instance, I already have the Steeda Sport springs and the car is about 1-1/2" lower with stock ball joints. Should I add the Steeda ball joints with the already lower springs or switch back to stock springs?


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post #13 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 09:02 PM
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Yes, they'll further lower (the front) of the car by raising the wheels up in relation to the rest of the body/suspension (struts will ride a bit deeper). I don't know how much lower we’re talking about here. I was more interested in looking at the idea behind the product.

But I heard something about some spacers/shims that they sold with them? Best bet is to call Steeda and get the low down. I might be picking up a set of these too so would you post back if you get any data from them?

Thanks, Bryan
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post #14 of 27 Old 04-04-2002, 10:40 PM
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interested

I wanna know the results too.

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post #15 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 01:44 AM
 
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can you use the ball joints and a bumpsteer kit? or do you just use one or the other?
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post #16 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 07:27 AM
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The balljoints are about 1/2" longer so they will lower the front end alone by that much. Also included are optional spring spacers to bring the vehicle height back up to spec.

Brian, I agree with the drawings you have put up. I also agree that the roll center will be lowered as you have shown. However, I don't agree that having the roll center that low will make the rest of the vehicle roll more. Having the roll center below the axle is different than having it above or equal to the axle. Having the roll center below the axle will give you only the vehicles mass up the control arms... as anything above the control arms will have another roll center.

Do you see what I'm talking about though? I don't believe that more body roll will be exhibited through the chasis with the Steeda balljoints. Rather, yes, the roll center is now far lower but there is much more support above the roll center... cross member, sway bar, strut brace,, etc. When the roll center was higher the sway bar and cross member did not have as much affect as they do now.
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post #17 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 08:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up

The thread is finally getting some good exposure - and has some very good responses!!!!

I currently have the Eibach Pro Kit (progressive rate - lowers car 1.5"). I was happy somewhat with the drop, but what I have noticed is that the Pro Kit is, or feels very "bouncy" to me while driving every day... What I mean is, once I hit an imprefection in the road, the rebound seems to be "bouncy".

Now, here's my full suspension set up to date:

Eibach Pro's

Bilsteins @ all four corners

Maximum Motorsports CC plates (installed to their exact specs)

ProThane urethane spring isolators (bought these which have a longer life than the stock rubber ones)

Energy Suspension urethane sway bar end links

Energy Suspension urethane steering rack bushings

Steeda rear upper control arms (excellent for my application)

Stock lower rear control arms

Stock a-arms up front with stock bushings

Now - I just recently bought the H&R Sport Springs, which are not progressive rate, these are linear rate from what I understand. I also understand that most production vehicles, including the stock springs on the Ford Cobra's & GT's are linear rate as well.

The reason I am changing out the Eibach's is because I want a firmer ride, without the excessive rebounds. The H&R's should be a perfect match for the Bilsteins and for what I want, so I don't see any "comfort" conditions resulting from changing the Eibach's out.

I also will not experience excessive drop, because the ProThane urethane spring isolators are about 1/8" thicker over the stock rubber ones, giving almost a total height of 1/4" over the stock rubber ones. These spring isoltors also do not compress as much (if not at all) as the rubber ones do. Over time, the rubber isolators become squished and also get worn through due to the conditions they are put through. So with this in mind, I won't get a full 2" drop from the H&R's, probably more like 1 3/4" total drop (my guesstimate).

But, my current ride now, I am getting bumpsteer, which I am sure will not go away after the H&R's are installed. This is why I had brought up this topic of Steeda's new balljoints for lowered Stangs....

And this discussion is getting good...

It seems like, from the concensus so far, that the Steeda units will be a good solution. I still have a question remaining though -

Do you still need offset steering rack bushings if using the Steeda ball joints & their shims? I have a set of the offsets, but have not even thought about installing them (yet).

Oh one more thing, where do you get or find the shorter sway bar end links as was mentioned above by some folks?

Bryan - your diagrams are excellent and you've added alot to this thread (as have others). It's really helping me out, as well as others.

Everyone should feel free to enter ito this discussion, as I am sure that many have experienced bump steer or problems when lowering their Stangs... not all, but most probably...

Thanks all!
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post #18 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 11:21 AM
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shorter sway bar end links

I have the H&R super sports and am waiting to buy c/c plates and new struts/shocks to install them, So i'm interested in this topic.
Maximum Motorsports has the shorter sway bar end links. For $20 I guess I just put those on when I do the drop.

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post #19 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 11:51 AM
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What's the consensus on short sway bar end links? Do you think I will need them? I didn't include any with the stuff I gave my mechanic. I hope all goes well for now and maybe swap them out later on.
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post #20 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 12:03 PM
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This information is interesting, thanks!

1994 Cobra- A big hairdryer and 83lb injectors-SOLD
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post #21 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bimmerboy
The balljoints are about 1/2" longer so they will lower the front end alone by that much. Also included are optional spring spacers to bring the vehicle height back up to spec.

Brian, I agree with the drawings you have put up. I also agree that the roll center will be lowered as you have shown. However, I don't agree that having the roll center that low will make the rest of the vehicle roll more. Having the roll center below the axle is different than having it above or equal to the axle. Having the roll center below the axle will give you only the vehicles mass up the control arms... as anything above the control arms will have another roll center.

Do you see what I'm talking about though? I don't believe that more body roll will be exhibited through the chasis with the Steeda balljoints. Rather, yes, the roll center is now far lower but there is much more support above the roll center... cross member, sway bar, strut brace,, etc. When the roll center was higher the sway bar and cross member did not have as much affect as they do now.

You're right, it won't roll any more than you make it roll, but your suspension geometry will determine HOW it rolls (my apologies for the miss-use of the word "pitch"). With the roll center closer to the center of the body mass you get more ideal camber curves. The height of the roll center in relation to the ground means almost nothing; the height of the roll center in relation to the body is what you want to look at.


Cobra Jet NJ

I had the Eibach pro springs on my 96 GT, and it the same problems that you've described. They're just a ****ty spring (progressive, soft and saggy). You'll really enjoy the H&R Super Sports (I like them).

What is your application? Street?

Bump steer:
You'll probably see an instant improvement in your bump-steer problems right after installing the new springs (from the heavier/ and linear rate). One thing you can also try is to pull your caster angle more towards zero, this is how I have mine setup and bumpsteer is not at all very noticeable (especially compared to the 96 GT). The downside to this would be stiffer steering (as a result of some tire scrubbing with the bad Ackerman angle). Ackerman angle can be attacked (the simple way) with some MM aluminum rack bushings, I don't have them but people who do have them love them (for the most part).

BTW, your drop might even be less obvious with the H&R springs versus the Eibachs (regardless of what the specs say ).

EDIT: Here's a link to the MM rack bushings. Notice the note about "offset rack bushing." These guys put a lot of reasarch into thier work, I would be inclined to believe them.

http://www.maximummotorsports.com/rbd.html

Last edited by BryanGT; 04-05-2002 at 01:26 PM.
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post #22 of 27 Old 04-05-2002, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1fstcbr
can you use the ball joints and a bumpsteer kit? or do you just use one or the other?
There's no reason why you couldn't.
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post #23 of 27 Old 04-07-2002, 03:09 PM
 
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Hey CobraJetNJ,
Can you post some pics when you are done with the installation. I have been looking into getting the MM starter package with the H&R Super Sports but am afraid that it would be too low. I would like to see how yours turns out with the poly isolators and how much total drop you get when its done. thanks alot
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post #24 of 27 Old 04-07-2002, 05:01 PM
 
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Well I just installed my Steeda ball joints and did an alignment. I found that they really moved my geometry around. They added almost a degree of toe to each side, brought my camber back positive about 1 degree and stole a degree of caster. Haven't figured out the reason for the loss of caster ( maybe not remembering correctly last time I aligned it).
Anyway, I redid the alignment and went for a test drive. I was totally impressed with the way the car handles now. It digs in better through the turns (even with less camber now) NO more bumpsteer problems! Still have the 275/35/18's so I still track pretty good over uneven pavement or crowns in the road.
Highly recommend these ball joints! Quality peices.

Note: the instructions say that the spacers give back the half inch of drop the ball joints take away..... I found this is not the case... on mine the spacers only gave back about 1/4 inch or so. My front is even lower than before. They gave my car a little more rake which helps keep my nose down at 160mph here on tha bahn.
Hope this helps some folks get a better ride out of their stang without robbing banks and sh&%
Later
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post #25 of 27 Old 04-08-2002, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by BoneDaddy
Well I just installed my Steeda ball joints and did an alignment. I found that they really moved my geometry around.
Hey Bone,

Good report, very positive. My only concern now is losing any more than 0.25" ride height. My front drop is now about 1.25", with the Steeda Competition springs.

Was your car lowered to begin with? I would hope that with the Steeda X2 ball-joints, plus spacers, I would end up at about 1.50" drop.

Does that sound about right?


Thanks,

/bud
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post #26 of 27 Old 04-08-2002, 01:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Now - I just recently bought the H&R Sport Springs, which are not progressive rate, these are linear rate from what I understand. I also understand that most production vehicles, including the stock springs on the Ford Cobra's & GT's are linear rate as well.
Sorry, off-topic, but the H&R Sport springs for 96-98 Mustangs are progressive rate. I forgot their rates. The stock springs for a 96 Cobra are also progressive.
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post #27 of 27 Old 04-17-2002, 09:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by BadBud

Hey Bone,

Good report, very positive. My only concern now is losing any more than 0.25" ride height. My front drop is now about 1.25", with the Steeda Competition springs.

Was your car lowered to begin with? I would hope that with the Steeda X2 ball-joints, plus spacers, I would end up at about 1.50" drop.

Does that sound about right?


Thanks,

/bud
Yes mine was already lowered with Steeda springs. I measured before and after the install of the ball joints. I ended up being 1/4 inch lower.
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