At the track, suspension and set up can truly make or break your performance, plus a point comes where the OEM shock absorbers, struts, and springs outstay their own usefulness. This is particularly true should you be trying to put a considerable amount of horsepower plus torque to the ground, and with a lot potential on tap with the five. 0-liter Coyote engines in the current late-model Ford Mustangs, this is more the case for true enthusiasts, that are consistently wringing far more power off their pony cars than they emerged stock with.
Along with on-track performance, the well-tuned suspension can also make all of the difference in the feel and handling on the highway. That said, with fully double-adjustable struts out there on the market for the Mustang, you could have the best of all worlds at the convert of a dial, allowing you to dial-in the particular suspension to any given environment or even type of use in short order.
The team at QA1 Precision Items offers just that using their double-adjustable Mustang shocks and struts that are not just entirely user-adjustable, but are immediate bolt-in replacements for the OEM items on the 2005 and later S197 Mustangs, making them easily user-installable, too. In this text, we’ll be having a closer look at the Mustang offering through QA1 and guiding you with the installation and setup processes, with the aid of QA1’s own Dave Goldie.
The QA1 Deal In-Depth
The particular S197 Mustangs come from the manufacturer with coilover-type MacPherson front struts, with a three-link system out back employing a non-coilover shock with independently-mounted suspension springs on the axle housing, similar to the method to the 1979-04 Fox body vehicles that preceded them were constructed.
What the QA1 providing for the Mustang presents is a quantity of performance-minded features, not the least which is the option for a true coilover front side strut setup, with height flexibility.
The model we are using is QA1’s twin-tube, double-adjustable shock that has a complete coilover transformation using a coil, which is designed with top rated use, both on and off the monitor, in mind. They feature a lightweight metal construction, are re-buildable and re-valvable, and present a staggering 324 various valving options. The struts could be optioned with different springs depending on your requirements, and in our case, we chosen a 10-inch, 250 lb. springtime to give us a nice solid trip.
In the rear, we are going to continue utilizing the existing reducing springs that we have in the car, plus combine them with QA1’s lightweight aluminium, double-adjustable twin-tube Stocker Star shock absorbers, which feature deflective-disc valving plus 18 levels of damping, all managed through the use of the two accessible dials around the shock body.
The main feature of these shocks and struts, of course , could be the double-adjustability, which allows one to independently manage both the compression and rebound, therefore whether you’re tuning for the pull strip, a track day on the road course, or simply for freeway driving, the ride is right when you need it.
“The factory struts are non-adjustable, so they basically are usually what they are, ” says Goldie. “If it works for you, so be it, however in situations where someone wants to replace the performance of their vehicle’s suspension, a good adjustable shock or strut is among the easiest ways to increase the performance. ”
“The adjustable valving allows you to change the settings, to move through something like a street performance environment, or to something more suited to pull racing, where you might have a smoother rebound and a firmer compression, because drag racing-style cars typically have, ” explains Goldie.
As well, the coilover system in advance offers some advantages over the non-adjustable spring on the OEM struts through Ford.
Says Goldie, “With our front strut coilover package, it allows the user to change the ride height on the front side. For some, the stock ride elevation is acceptable, but for others, they will like to change the height as they require. Lowering the cars is the most popular path, and not many people raise their automobiles, of course , but the coilover allows you to replace the ride height and get a position that you like. You can also pick out a springtime rate that’s suited to your mixture. ”
Compression And Rebound
The compression damping of a surprise or strut is the controlling from the energy absorption when being compacted, in effect, controlling how the shock absorber compresses when the tire is being loaded or even hits a bump. Rebound, in the meantime, controls the extension of the suspension as well as the rate at which is returns in order to its normal position after data compresion takes place. By adjusting the ‘C’ and ‘R’ knobs, the essential oil flow inside the unit is changed to allow or inhibit the movement of the shock absorber.
As Goldie shares, the much softer spring that we’re using on this car is a boon to the general weight transfer, and is also a great springtime for every day driving.
Furthermore, the caster/camber plate that’s utilized in conjunction with our new struts permits a means of a more precise positioning, with a solid bearing on top vs a COM isolater-type bushing contained in the factory, giving a more strong feel going down the road. By style, the bearing gives an improved submission of load and reduces put on and “sloppy” bearings that trigger road noise and poor dealing with. QA1 has tig-welded the keeping housing to give the plates strength plus longevity, which is what you’d anticipate from a quality aftermarket part.
Like the front struts, the trunk, non-coilover shocks allow you to adjust the particular valving, using the clearly-marked knobs, for various purposes, be they street, remove, or road course. As Goldie tell us, ” everyone has a different efficiency level, so the adjustable shocks enables the owner to adjust the setting functions for their situation. Whether it’s the stick car or an automatic vehicle, you can adjust the rebound to match to your type of combination and the hp rating. ”
The Installation And Setup Procedure
Our set up process begins at the front of the vehicle, which is a little more tedious than in the trunk, with the spindle, the strut, the particular caster/camber plates, and of course, the position all part of it.
After removing the wheels since the obvious first step, we unbolt the strut from the spindle, all of supported with a jack so it does not fall to the ground. With the swagger hanging loose, you can then unbolt the particular caster/camber plate assembly and fall the entire strut assembly out. To set up the QA1 components, we initial mate the spindle and the brand new strut, secured using two nut products and bolts, just as with the share struts. We then utilize a jack port to help us lift the swagger up into place and shrink it so that we can bolt this to the newly-installed, QA1 caster/camber china. Once you’ve got the brakes, tires and wheels back on the car, you’ll wish to perform an alignment job right now there on the lift, or dial this in close and then take the vehicle to a local service shop to get this done.
In the back, the panhard relocation bracket needs to be disconnected first, as it sits when it comes to the shock bolt. From there, all of us use a jack to support the rear finish and unbolt the factory shock absorbers — one bolt on every side of the axle and an enthusiast that goes on the strut base on the topside, inside the trunk. Following that, it’s a matter of installing the new QA1 shocks in the reverse process.
QA1 provides a couple of baseline settings for the shocks and struts to truly get you off the ground and running, but since Goldie tells us, trial and error is the best medication to find just the right valving. In general, the larger horsepower cars require strong data compresion and rebound settings, particularly around the rear, which affects how hard the vehicle hits the tire at release. If the shock is too soft (in essence, the suspension moves easier) this can tend to drive the car tire down into the pavement much too difficult and ‘flatten’ out the car tire, taking it out of round. Also, if the setting is too high, producing the suspension a bit on the rigid side, the tire won’t hit the pavement hard enough to make it vegetable.
Around the front, higher rebound settings (extension of the strut) is often needed to manage how much lift the front of the vehicle is getting, and also may be needed to manage how the vehicle comes down from a wheelstand, as Goldie shared with us.
“A single adjustable swagger works as a 50/50 valving, so you can replace the valving at the softest setting to some real soft, simultaneous compression plus rebound, and then as you dial the particular valving up, it goes through say a 10/10, to a 20/20, and so on, “ Goldie Explains. “But the double-adjustable is for the more serious guy or gal that might need firmer compression and a softer come back. You can run the rebound among 0 and 6 and the compression setting higher, maybe between 6 plus 12, as an example. ”
From there, you can go out and create a pass, and if the cars wheelstands or even picks the wheels up, you will want to add a little more rebound plus compression, ” Goldie continues. “Whether you’re going out there with a three hundred horsepower car or one producing 800, there are enough valving choices to accommodate the different horsepower levels and exactly how they’ll respond on the starting collection. There’s really no need to get put up on the adjustments — you simply make a run, you see what it will, and adjust from there. ”
Whether you are going out there with a 300 hp car or one making eight hundred, there are enough valving options to support the different horsepower levels. – Sawzag Goldie
A stay shift car, as Goldie told us, will generally require a lot more rebound in the shock to a handle the torque and horsepower dealing with the drivetrain from what’s generally a harder-leaving car. An automatic will not leave as hard in an automobile with similar horsepower, unless it is running a high-stall converter, thus needing a little less rebound. Likewise, the slick tire will often necessitate a bit more rebound, as you don’t have to hit the tires as hard to seed them compared to a radial wheel.
We began the track testing with two ticks on the rebound and five around the compression up front, with opposite configurations in the rear (five rebound plus two compression). After a couple of strikes, we ended up tightening up the data compresion in the rear, as the car has been striking the tires too hard plus spinning them right at the strike. At eight clicks, the car do a much better job of transferring the without hitting the tires.
We went a best of eleven. 15 in the quarter-mile, with a sixty-foot clocking of 1. 67. The best sixty-foot time we ever ran within the Mustang before was a 1 . 69, one time. Typically our 2011 Mustang averaged in the 1 . 73-1. seventy five range, so with a reduction associated with. 07 for our first time out with all the new QA1 suspension, we were amazed. Typically, a reduction in one tenth from the sixty-foot time will net a rise of 1. 5 to 2-tenths at the top end. We are fairly certain that which includes more seat time with the particular suspension that we can easily dip to the 1 . 50s.
We left things alone from your initial settings on the front, exactly where we simply wanted the surprise to extend enough to allow for optimal bodyweight transfer to the rear tires whenever we dumped the clutch. If the come back were set too loose, it might allow the car to run down the monitor with the nose in the air, so there is a delicate balance there to help make the car transfer weight at an sufficient rate on the starting line with no rebound being so tight how the nose drops too quickly at start and doesn’t help to plant the particular tires.
What a set of double-adjustable shocks and struts offers is unparalleled control over the performance of your vehicle, whatever the horsepower, the tire, or the atmosphere — something that your stock Mustang suspension simply does not provide. Not just can you dial the performance set for a given use — perhaps contending at a local street night in the drag strip — but you can effortlessly switch back to settings more suited to a Sunday drive with the change of a dial. And what QA1 has been doing is deliver a high quality, long-lasting, simple to tune set of products that will possess your Mustang riding smoother, growing the tire better, or turning it’s way around corners from speed better than you ever could’ve imagined with your stock suspension components.