Do the benefits outweight the costs? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 06:10 PM Thread Starter
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Do the benefits outweight the costs?

Allow me to quote Mr Strano here:

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Originally Posted by Sam Strano View Post
The car's camber curve SUCKS. The fact it's lowered makes it worse because lowering causes a loss of static camber. And the more the car rolls, the more into positive camber is rolls, and the less contact patch you have in front (you don't lose any on the rear being a solid axle). Plainly the harder you push, the more camber you lose, the less tire is on the ground while cornering.

Most everyone knows the car loves roll stiffness and needs it to work. Many do it with really stiff springs, I prefer to do it with stiffer bars because the springs can be softer and the car works bumps better. And you already have springs, that aren't super stiff anyway.
I realize I'm a n00b and all, but I would like to pose this question since I've never seen it come up before (via searching).

As far as it relates to Fox chassis mustangs, particularly the pre-94 cars, are the benefits of lowering the car (i.e., lower center of gravity) truely worth the costs of screwing up the already sub-optimal suspension geometry?

It seems like after lowering your car, you have to band-aid it with a bumpsteer kit and/or offset rack bushings just to get it back where it was to start with (sub-optimal).

It would be nice to see some real data on it and not just "it lowers the center of gravity so yes, it's worth it" opinions.

And if this *has* been answered before, please don't flame me too bad

Thanks
Mark

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post #2 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 07:10 PM
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Road Racing/Auto X FAQ
Post #3

Primer on the horribleness that is the Fox suspension system. (shiver)
http://www.miracerros.com/mustang/t_suspension.htm


Moi? Flame?

The short answer is: No, it's not worth it.


Last edited by Moving Target; 08-04-2009 at 07:13 PM.
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post #3 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 07:27 PM
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It's worth lowering it a little, but 1) every bit you lower it hurts the camber curve more, because the front suspension gains less and less negative camber as it compresses, and the more compressed you start out, the less negative camber you get with the rest of the compression, and 2) past a certain point (generally considered to be about an inch, but somebody's got the specifics somewhere), you lower the roll center more than you lower the center of gravity, increasing the roll couple, actually increasing the amount the body wants to roll...beyond what it can, thanks to available travel, so bam, you get a nice insta-load on the outside tire for a net decrease in front traction.

Or something like that

Years ago I used to kick the autocross snot out of a guy with a 94 Cobra in my stock suspension 92 coupe. He went lower, lower, lower, stiffer, stiffer, stiffer...and slower, slower, slower....and accused me of cheating. Not much you can do with stock springs, bushings, control arms, K-member, and a set of KYB's, right?

And now, I take my bling-tastic MM-equipped car to an occasional autocross and get slaughtered by a guy in a rattle-trap 4x4 ride-height 83 GT. Seems maybe my skills have lost their shine
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 07:55 PM
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And now, I take my bling-tastic MM-equipped car to an occasional autocross and get slaughtered by a guy in a rattle-trap 4x4 ride-height 83 GT. Seems maybe my skills have lost their shine
Mind if I plagiarize you?
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 08:23 PM
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What sort of difference time-wise are we talking here?
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 08:28 PM
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Ehhh, for me....I have too many variables that have changed. I've changed the whole front suspension over, redone some of the rear suspension, gone to STREET tires and ADDED about 200lbs of stereo crap in the back.

I'm roughly 2 seconds off of the same guys that I used to run with(or beat by like .2) on R-compounds...and they're TOP 5 RAW cars back then and currently. So who knows. I personally think I could be a contender on 315 Hoosiers and all the weight back out of the car. I'm still in a learning curve, but honestly I just enjoy driving the car more than trying to find that next .003 seconds(making me NOT a "true racer")

These rough stat's are based on 40-50 second courses.
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 08:42 PM
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If you lower it you'll need 12" wide slicks to keep up with the stock Honda Civics on street tires.

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post #8 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 09:09 PM
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post #9 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 09:13 PM
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If you lower it you'll need 12" wide slicks to keep up with the stock Honda Civics on street tires.
Don't forget about the aluminum wing.

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post #10 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 09:29 PM
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I thought I read somewhere that ideally the suspension shouldn't be lowered more than about 1.5" from stock. I will try to see if I can find this again. The same source also stated that any lower than and you really make the already bad suspension geometry worse. I have mine a little lower than that but I'm also running the Steeda x2s which restores some of the roll center. Beyond the recommended drop, you would need raised balljoints or drop spindles in order to go lower without hurting the geometry. That or a new K Member setup.


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post #11 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the informative responses (and for not flaming the n00b)

I was asking because my 'local' track is not exactly the smoothest track around (I've watched many in-car videos that show just how rough some of the corners can be) and I was thinking of just keeping my stock ride height and working from there. I can't remember where I read this, but, I read that if the track is rough, having the car sit higher than "normal" (relative to a lowered car) is best since it will give you more suspension travel to handle going over the bumps.
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post #12 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 10:21 PM
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Oh yeah I almost forgot......


GTFO NOOB!

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post #13 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 10:22 PM
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Are you running NPR?

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post #14 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Hopefully in September ....I'm doing an aod to t-5 swap right now and am getting ready to fabricate and weld in some subframe connectors before I button the car up from the swap.
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post #15 of 22 Old 08-04-2009, 10:34 PM
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could the difference in autox performance be related to a better setup for open track?

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post #16 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlanoux View Post
Thanks for all the informative responses (and for not flaming the n00b)

I was asking because my 'local' track is not exactly the smoothest track around (I've watched many in-car videos that show just how rough some of the corners can be) and I was thinking of just keeping my stock ride height and working from there.
If I remember correctly,when NASA ran out there a few years back, none of the drivers complained about not having enough bump travel. I'd say go ahead and run whatever ride height you want, but lowering it 1" shouldn't hurt anything because of reduced bump travel.

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post #17 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 12:10 PM
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A stock ride heigh spring with higher rates would be ideal.

I think the only way you could do this is with adjustable coilovers.

Just my opinion, though!

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post #18 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt40mkII View Post
If I remember correctly,when NASA ran out there a few years back, none of the drivers complained about not having enough bump travel. I'd say go ahead and run whatever ride height you want, but lowering it 1" shouldn't hurt anything because of reduced bump travel.
The track isn't all that old, if they ran an event when the track was new(er), it was indeed smooth. However, I understand that it has gotten progressively worse over the years...not the whole thing, mind you, there were like 3-4 turns that looked quite bumpy (from the in-car vids). And yeah, it's probably not so bad that you'd run out of suspension travel, it just appears to upset the car by a noticeable amount.
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post #19 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by mlanoux View Post
And yeah, it's probably not so bad that you'd run out of suspension travel, it just appears to upset the car by a noticeable amount.
That would make it a damper issue or a driving issue (i.e. try to avoid the bumpy bits,) not a ride height issue.

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post #20 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gt40mkII View Post
That would make it a damper issue or a driving issue (i.e. try to avoid the bumpy bits,) not a ride height issue.
True...but some seem to be at the apex
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post #21 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 04:30 PM
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True...but some seem to be at the apex
What? There's some rule that says you have to drive over the apex? If there's a section of the track that pisses your car off and its on line, adjust your line so it isn't.

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post #22 of 22 Old 08-05-2009, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gt40mkII View Post
What? There's some rule that says you have to drive over the apex? If there's a section of the track that pisses your car off and its on line, adjust your line so it isn't.
of course... my point was simply that the bumps weren't exactly in the most desirable spot (not that there really is a good spot for bumps)
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