If you’ve been watching our blog, you’ve been introduced to our new 2013 Deep Impact Blue Project Mustang GT. Our car came handsomely equipped with the premium package, and the new-for-2013 Track Apps, and Recaro seating. Our GT also sports the Track Package, featuring 19x9” wheels with Pirelli tires, Brembo front brakes, as well as a Torsen rear differential, Boss 302 radiator, and Boss 302 oil cooler borrowed from the 2012-2013 Boss 302. As-is, the car is a competent street performer that would be loads of fun on track. You know, though, that we can’t just leave the car as-is.
As with any new production car, no matter how good, there are improvements to be made in the name of performance. Ford builds a fantastic car in stock form, but they have to sacrifice a little body roll and brake dive in the name of comfort, and a stealthy stance for performance on varying road conditions. Not everyone buys a new Mustang to drive as spiritedly as we do, with the occasional open track outing.
Because of our intentions for this 2013 Mustang, we felt we could sacrifice a bit of ride quality for better braking and handling, and we could muster slowing down for the occasional speed bump to get the car lowered on a better stance. Of course the stock wheels, although nice, wouldn't do.
We looked to Ford Racing Performance Parts to solve our handling and appearance woes in our first stage of what’s been coined here as project “High Impact”.
We’d had experience with their M-5300-P, 1” lowering springs on Scott’s Race Red 2011 5.0, and their M-FR3-MGTA handling pack on Shannon’s Kona blue RTR track car. On Shannon’s car, we swapped the M-5300-P springs in the kit with the more aggressive M-5300-Ksprings. Both of those cars perform very well. The red 2011 has stock dampeners, though, which seem a bit soft for the increased spring rates we used. It works well, but has a bit of unsavory bounce to its ride. Shannon’s blue car, on the other hand, rides a bit harsher with its Ford Racing sway bars and lower, 1.5” drop.
For the 13 Mustang, we wanted a compromise between the under-dampened feel of our 2011 5.0, and the racier feel of Shannon’s 2011 RTR. For this, we opted for Ford Racing’s M-18000-C adjustable dampeners, and loaded them with the venerable M-5300-P 1” drop springs. We kept the stock sway bars. We felt this combination would give us options as to adjusting our ride to suit our needs, as well as keeping with the 1” drop of the M-5300-P springs to better suit street use. To button the deal up, we installed a set of M-18183-C front upper strut mounts. These mounts are borrowed off the GT500, and are required when running the FRPP adjustable struts on your 2011-2013 Mustang GT. Ford Racing also recommends their jounce bumper kit when using these struts and springs, but a side-by-side comparison of our factory bumpers and the ones in Ford’s kit didn’t convince us they were needed. They looked virtually identical to our factory bumpers.
We’ve walked you through a detailed spring install on Scott’s 2011. The process was the same for installing the new springs and dampeners on our 2013, short of saving a step from not disassembling the factory strut and spring combo. As usual, Ford Racing‘s parts bolted right on, just as factory parts should. Basic hand tools and a couple of hours of labor had our 2013 back on its new wheels in style.
For wheels, we turned; once again, to Ford Racing and chose the M-1007-SA199 19x9” forged front wheels and M-1007-SA1910 19x10” forged rear wheels. Wrapped in Nitto Invo tires, these GT500-inspired wheels look killer, and compliment the Deep Impact Blue paint perfectly. We sell this wheel and tire package as part number WTK-1007SA191. Tires measure in at 255/40/19 on the front, and 285/35/19 on the rear. The staggered look really fills up the rear fender wells. We completed our wheel and tire kit with a shot of nitrogen for better pressure regulation, and new TPMS sensors in all four wheels.
Our first test drive confirmed that we chose the right parts. Our GT looks great, and rides almost as smoothly as it did with its factory suspension parts. Body roll has been drastically reduced, as has brake dive. We haven’t had a chance to get it on track, but we’re convinced the result will be a more grip and better control. The M-18000-C adjustable struts were designed specifically for Dynamic by Tokico, and they’re offered only through Ford Racing Performance Parts. The team did their homework in producing a strut and shock package that would dampen a stiffer spring without a jarring ride. High Impact’s ride is firm, but it’s not uncomfortable, and it feels much sportier. We were so pleased with the results, we created a package including the Ford Racing Adjustable Strut and Shock kit, along with the M-5300-P springsand GT500 strut mounts. This kit is a great option for the daily driver/weekend warrior looking for an adjustable suspension, plus, the kit will save you a few coin!
For now, we’re calling our suspension done. We will see how it performs once we start adding more power, but for that, you’ll have to keep watching our blog!
Parts used on this installation: