What Do I Need to Lower My Mustang?

Question: I want to lower my Mustang; do I need anything other than lowering springs?

Answer:

Lowering springs are one of our biggest sellers, and if you want to slam your Stang to the pavement and tighten up your handling they’re undoubtedly the way to go, but installing just springs could lead to a slew of other problems down the road.  Check out our article on suspension basics and terminology, it will help you visualize what’s going on with your suspension from stock to slammed.

A Shocking Revelation…

$200-$300 for a 1”-2” drop seems like a steal, but in a few thousand miles your OE shocks and struts will be crying for help – aftermarket shocks/struts are a must.  Lowering springs are shorter than factory, so they compress the factory shock/strut beyond what it’s designed to handle. The additional pressure will eventually break through the seals, resulting in a “blown” shock/strut.  Lowering a car over stock shocks/struts causes the suspension to react uncharacteristically and can result in bottoming out and/or loss of control of the vehicle.  Tokico HP shocks/struts are a great match for any aftermarket spring and would be my recommendation for a daily driver or non-track car.  Adjustable shocks struts are great for street/track use, but keep in mind that they do not change the ride height – they allow the dampening to be fine-tuned for race applications.


Back to Math Class…

Suspension geometry is extremely important, and changing or modifying one component will affect all of the suspension components.  In this case, lowering your car changes the angle of the control arms, resulting in abnormally negative camber.  This change in camber is often too far out of specification to be fixed with the stock camber adjustments and will cause excessive wear on the insides of the tires, drastically reducing their lifespan.  Aftermarket caster/camber plates give you much more adjustability than stock and are essential for any drop greater than 1.5”, but I strongly recommend them anytime you lower a vehicle.  Bump-steer is another issue you may encounter; it is also caused by the change in geometry.  Luckily, it can be easily corrected with aftermarket ball joints or a bump-steer kit.

Finishing Touches…

I get asked a lot of questions about spring isolators – what are they, what do they do, do you really need them?  Spring isolators are bushings that go between the spring and the control arm to prevent metal-on-metal contact.  There are two types of spring isolators – rubber isolators are softer and tend to settle over time, and urethane isolators, which are harder and do not settle.  I definitely recommend them – they cushion the springs and keep your new suspension setup from squeaking and creaking.  If you plan on lowering your Mustang, save up and purchase springs, struts/shocks, caster/camber plates, and isolators all at the same time.  This will simplify installation and keep your labor cost down, since you won’t have to take your car back to the shop to have each component installed.

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  • Wayland

    Heather, if I could get a full Eibach Pro-System-Plus and C/C plates for my ’94 V6 for under 1K (I can.), added a strut tower brace, subframe connectors, 18″ wheels, and upgraded to a big brake system do you think it would be a good idea? How much of a difference do you think I would notice in my everyday driver? Would I find more confidence behind the wheel because of the upgrade or would I just be throwing my money away?

  • 00R

    Wayland: A strut tower brace will do nothing but get in the way of working in your engine bay on a street car. The front and rear sways provide enough chassis stiffness in that regards on a street vehicle. Subframes are the same, unless you’re doing some serious performance driving you won’t feel a difference. The shocks, struts, c/c plates, tire brand, and tire width will all make a world of a difference though.

    Oh and another well written article. Heather 4 prez.

  • http://www.mustang-parts.org/news/ Charles

    Great run down for suspension, just wish I had the money for the upgrade.

  • Michael

    I don’t like that.

    • Say what?

      Could you be more specific?

  • Wayland

    Thanks 00R. That’s the kind of stuff that’s nice to know so that I don’t spend more money than necessary. We need more informative comments from the peanut gallery. Any takers?

  • Firedawg

    I’m so sick right now… I just found out about the 2012 Mustang… the GT will be a 5.0 and the v6… a wopping 309 HP! GT 400+

    • JDos1

      Thought that was the 2011??

      And they’re finally catching the Camaro!!! lol

      • PonyFan

        Definitely the 2011. And its more like, “blowing the doors off the camaro”.

  • Robert

    this may be a stupid question, but i dont see spring isolotors for 05-09 mustangs, i have an 07 gt. will the 2004 ones fit or do i have to look elsewhere?

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    You rock !

  • Ryan

    Hi. I lowered my car with the FRPP K-springs on the stock Shocks/Struts a while back. I didn’t think anything of it until now. Yesterday, I noticed a chattering in my front end, only when I go over continuous bumps (crap back roads). I’m just wondering if this could be my strut gone bad?? Anyone?

  • http://www.fagikillloo.com calvin frank

    Wow, suprisingly I never knew this. I have been reading your blog alot over the past few days and it has earned a place in my bookmarks.

  • Fernie

    Thanks for the info! I have a 2011 mustang v6 love the hp it has on it great car.