Before you lower your Bullit-Love the one you've got. - IMBOC
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Post Before you lower your Bullit-Love the one you've got.

Continuing our Bullit Studies, or BS for short, today's topic is; "Love the one you've got." The Bullits we drive are already ~3/4" lower than a GT. How can we optimize what we've got without re-inventing the wheel. (literally)
Chassis dynamics: Make it stiffer, upgrade your sub frame connectors (01) or add jacking rails or SFC 2008.
Add a strut brace. (01) An adjustable panhard bar is a nice addition. If you measure from edge of fender to outside of tire you will find that one side is quite a bit further in than the other. With an adjustable bar you can yank the suspension straight so the front and back wheels line up. At the road course, more right turns than left, you pull the rear end left 1/4 to 1/2" to help the car turn right. The Nascar boys used this to the extreme, pulling rear ends far right. Car's were called "twisted sisters."
Alignment: Set of camber bolts for bottom of strut mounts. ($60) Will allow you to dial in more negative camber. Very cheap way to get noticeable improvement and minimize understeer.
Adjustable shocks: Another great tool for chassis tuning (cheap MagneRide) The Adjustable shock can give you a nice cruising ride and with the twist of a wrist, you are in race mode. Bilstein, Tokico, Koni, all good. If your shocks are toast upgrade to adjustable.
Tires: In the past 20 years there has been no bigger improvement in car handling than with tires. My first car had bias ply tires, they were awful. When radial tires became popular in Europe in the late 60's, "Dunlops" were the hot set up. Today, there are a lot of great tires both domestic and off shore. Read the literature, a softer compound tire can transform your car. And, like on the track you can achieve handling gains by tweeking your air pressures for better balance.
Other tricks: Adjustable sway bar end links. Allow you to get the sway bars parallel with the control arms and remove the pre-load. (Energy suspension) Just find the length you need and dial it in.
Rear gear swap: This is a secret weapon for road course improvement. Get those 3.27's out of your 01 and put a set of 3.73's. You'll think you've got another 50 HP. You'll be in the power band coming off the corner without having to rev in the low millions. In Trans Am we used to have about 5 different diffs. depending on the track.
Lighter wheels: Lighter wheels have a number of positive effects. They relieve some strain from your brakes. Slightly better acceleration, and quicker suspension reaction due to reduced unsprung weight. (weight not cushioned by the spring and shock)
Move your seat closer to the pedals: Most drivers sit back too far and you tire yourself wrestling the steering and pedals. Sitting in the driver's seat, put your left foot on the floor behind the clutch pedal. Your leg should not be straight out, but with a good bend at the knee. If you track with standard seat belts, buy yourself a "CG-lock." It's a little clip that allows you to snug up your belts and slide the clip to hold you there.
Next time; To hell with it, let's lower this sucker!


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Last edited by bullit4404; 03-20-2018 at 09:53 PM.
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 01:57 PM
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Thanks for passing on your know-how...Guys, since I have no plans to mod, I hope those who do want to play in the twisties are reading this. Doing it right is obviously more complicated than just shorter springs.

I'll confess to having looked into this, since I corner carved via track days & autocross back in my younger years. Today, I only use the car for street & highway driving and not much of that, so I decided to be a cheapskate.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 04:26 PM


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It was my understanding that the '08/'09s were .25" lower than the stock '08-'09 GT, while the '01s were 3/4" lower than the GT of that time.

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2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt - dark highland green, K1254, VIN 1FA6P8K06K5500726
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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I was counting on you to show up Tony. The 01 is 3/4" lower. There has been some argument about the 08/09. The literature says they are only 1/4", but mine actually measures closer to 3/4" in the rear and 1/4" in the front. Maybe our rough Canadian roads??
By the way, do the 01's have a lower control arm brace under the oil pan? Wasn't sure.


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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 05:26 PM


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Quote:
Originally Posted by bullit4404 View Post
I was counting on you to show up Tony. The 01 is 3/4" lower. There has been some argument about the 08/09. The literature says they are only 1/4", but mine actually measures closer to 3/4" in the rear and 1/4" in the front. Maybe our rough Canadian roads??
By the way, do the 01's have a lower control arm brace under the oil pan? Wasn't sure.
You are probably special in Canada

Actually, I had often wondered about the rear's lowering, as it had seemed to me to be noticeable enough when I looked at a stock '08 Bullitt compared to my stock '07 GT when I had it back in the day. It seemed like it was more than just 1/4" but my eyeballs are not the most accurate measurement tool in the shed

For the record, I had always appreciated the stock '08/'09 tuning for daily driver duties, and it felt a little "crisper" than my '07 GT of the time. The '09 Bullitt I have now was lowered, and I can definitely feel the bumps more firmly than stock. Trying to keep that live axle tamed was engineering exercise for sure, albeit much better than the stock '01 GT. The '01 Bullitt in stock form definitely felt more sophisticated with its ride height drop. They had some room to play with on that car!
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2001 Ford Mustang Bullitt - black, #1118, VIN 1FAFP42X21F213026
2009 Ford Mustang Bullitt - highland green, #6323, VIN 1ZVHT82H995129122
2019 Ford Mustang Bullitt - dark highland green, K1254, VIN 1FA6P8K06K5500726
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 07:23 PM

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When I had my '08 Bullitt, I felt the car got floaty, especially when traveling at supra-legal speeds. I believe some of that had to do w/the car's height, the lack of hood venting, and absent front/rear splitters. I installed Steeda sport springs, as I've done on my last 3 Stangs, and that simple 1" drop front & rear truly helped out the car w/both cornering and the float issuse.

My '14 GT Track pack was well equipped in the handling/suspenion/braking aspects but the simple addition of Steeda sport lowering springs made it all the better and didn't ruin ride quality one iota, just like they didn't negatively impact the Bullitt's ride either. By the way, I didn't even add a panhard bar on either car. But I do believe the front splitter & hood vents also helped eliminate the aforementioned squirminess & float.

And now, w/my '09 GT500, the Steeda sport springs were a perfect match for the car's suspension, and, like the other cars, improved the car's appearance too. Again, I'm also convinced the hood vents and front/rear splitter helped contribute to the car's overall stability. There's no float w/this car now! She just grabs and goes and the only mods to the suspension were the springs and panhard bar.

IMHO, springs are an inexpensive fix to some really basic suspension issues that all S197's experience, that is, so long as you don't go crazy and drop the car more than 1.5".

Yeah, tires are a big deal and you can go crazy adding all the other handling add-ons but I've never felt the need, especially since my cars are daily drivers, not garage queens or racers.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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I hear you Lee. It has also been my experience that a 1" drop has little down side for street cars. A lot of it has to do with reducing air packing under the hood and car. As you say, it's when you go lower that things get complicated. In my next thread we will discuss some of those issues. The Steeda springs seem to work well. Thanks for your input!


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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-20-2018, 09:49 PM
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Pat, the 01 did have a brace between the control arms from the factory for the front. it mounts behind the pan.
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