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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking to lower my 2008 Bullitt, but while doing so I am looking to increase the handling of the car. If I put lowering springs on the car will I need to replace the shocks and struts and if so what shocks and struts would I need for a lowered car. For example if I go with steeda ultralite springs or equivalent would I need Koni STR.T shocks or steeda pro action shocks.
 

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comes down to preference and what you plan to do with it. there is a ton of info on here about suspension mods. don't forget the adjustable pan hard bar when you take it down.
 

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First my disclaimer. I'm by no means a suspension expert, so my response is based solely on my personal experience.

1. I'd ask "how low do you want to go? More than 1.5" and I'd say 'yes' address the shocks and struts too. I went with Koni Street's on all 4 corners.
2. I know you didn't ask this, but again based on my personal experience. I dropped HG313 about 1.5" with some Roush springs. There's a relationship between the chasis and rear axle. So as you lower the car, you affect this relationship and the car appears to shift a bit to one side. Again, depending on how low you go, you may want to consider an adjustable pan hard bar too.

hth/

chip
 

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Well....

I'm pleased with Frpp springs that lower 1.5" and adjustable Tokico shocks. I also have an adjustable panhard bar.

I've done many cross country trips in comfort with this set up, including the most recent 3600 mile round trip to Colorado springs.

When adjusted to a more firm setting, the car does well at AX and track events too.
 

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Stephen, don't forget when you lower more than an inch you change the geometry of the following:

- axle moves left because the stock panhard bar is now too long.
+ fix: adjustable panhard bar or watts link.

- pinion angle changes because now the driveshaft is at a slightly different angle.
+ fix: adjustable upper and/or lower control arms.

- the lower control arms body attachment point in now lower than the axle attachment point.
+ fix: lower control arm relocation brackets.

- the front and rear antisway bar arms are now not parallel to the lower control arms.
+ fix: adjustable end links.

I have lowered and played around with a bunch of S197 suspensions. I continue to change parts. I get tired of a firm ride, try other stuff, get tired of the mushy ride, re-adjust, etc.

My suggestion for overall satisfaction is the following(or similar):

http://www.americanmuscle.com/frpp-adjust-handlingpack-0514gt-assembled.html

These shocks and struts are an improvement over the adjustable Tokico's of the past which are just excellent. You can adjust as you will. You can get away with not having to do the LCA relocation brackets, adjustable LCAs, end links. I would still get the adjustable panhard bar:

http://www.americanmuscle.com/jm-adj-panhard-0512.html

However! after all that, if you REALLY want handling you MUST get a watts link. In my opinion it is better than all the lowering, etc. Really changes your car. Read the reviews, they are right on. Probably the closest thing to IRS.
 

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John
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Like many others, I also do not claim to be a suspension "expert". I have however, gone through some of the same considerations that you are currently. IF I had to do it all over again, here is what I would do:

1. There are several spring packages that you can purchase. I chose Eibach. I have been very happy with the springs.

2. Change the shocks and struts when you do the springs. I didn't and as a result, I was not happy with the ride quality. I went later went with a Koni Str.T so I had to go back and pull the suspension apart again. If you are doing it yourself, it will save time. If you are paying someone to do it, you will save money

3. Do the camber/caster plates NOW. Yes, it is more money. And yes, you may not technically need them to get the car aligned properly. BUT, a good suspension technician can use the camber/caster plates to position the wheel properly for ride quality and handling. Again, after the springs and struts, I went back in a third time to do the CC plates, so I had to go back and pull the suspension apart again. Once again, If you are doing it yourself, it will save time. If you are paying someone to do it, you will save money


4. Definitely do the adjustable pan hard bar now. Again, as mentioned in other posts, setting the axle geometry is very important. Keeping that geometry as the axle goes up and down is equally important.

5. While you are in there, do the lower control arms now. It will save you time of doing them later. If I was looking to "defer costs" this would be the area where I would wait until later.

FWIW.... I would look at some of the suspension packages that are available. There are several vendors that offer all of the parts in a package. Saves you time and possibly money.

Most importantly, drive the car! The Bullitts are a great vehicle and a blast to tinker with.

Enjoy
 

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Bob & John both made great posts...they explained well what I meant about one thing leading to another. In other words, to do it properly, lowering springs alone won't cut it.
 

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I can't speak for the '08/9 Bullitt's, but based on a wise man's input to me a couple of years ago, I kept it simple with my '01.

The Bullitt's are great handling cars stock. You really don't need to do a lot for better handling, especially if you're on a budget. Sure, you can spend big $ and make it an awesome track car, but for daily driving and some time on the track, keep it simple.

I went with:

Koni Sports (I only adjust the fronts when on the track)
H&R Race Springs (they won't lower your car as much as other springs, but lowering too far actually takes away performance...very glad I went with the Race Springs)
Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates
Eibach Sway Bars
EBC Yellowstuff Brake Pads
TSW Nurburgring 18x9s w/Dunlop Direzza ZIIs (275/35R18s)

For less than $3,000 in mods over the past 14 years, I have a car that I can drive comfortably on the street and take to the track and do extremely well. (I had the fastest car at the '15 Nationals last week, and took first in my class at Steamboat running against 18 other Mustangs, and 8th overall out of 195 Mustangs, include newer GT-500's, Shelby GT's, Cobra's, 5.0's, etc.)

Good luck, have fun and remember, you don't need to drop the car all the way down and spend thousands to get a great handling car. Enjoy the mods you make and get to know your car, especially it's limitations. You're gonna have a blast!
 

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Steve, you left out your skill.

Driving is a skill you have mastered well. That is worth a lot. More often than not more than the parts or the car...
 

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Steve, you left out your skill.

Driving is a skill you have mastered well. That is worth a lot. More often than not more than the parts or the car...
Thanks Bob, but I still have a lot to learn...a lot. (I've only had the car on autocross courses a total of 6 times) It's been fun talking to the experienced guys who have been more than willing to give me some great feedback. I still struggle to understand the physics and geometry of it all, but that's ok.
I've found that getting to know my car and its limitations is extremely important. With the few mods I've done, I'm now very comfortable in the car pushing it as hard as I can, each and every lap...and making adjustments accordingly.
 

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There are lots of ways to answer this, so I'll go over some of your options.

Q: "If I put lowering springs on the car will I need to replace the shocks and struts?"
A: The short answer is no. No, you do not NEED to replace the shocks and struts in order to install lowering springs. HOWEVER, I would HIGHLY recommend doing so. If you ONLY add lowering springs, your car will be lower, but it will ride like a dump truck and you will wear out the stock dampers more quickly. More often than not, a specific lowering spring is developed to work with a specific set of dampers. If you install the springs in concert with the dampers you will get the lowered ride height you're looking for AND you will retain the ride quality (probably).

This ride quality also depends on how low you want to go. I went with Ford Racing for my suspension and I installed the 1" springs with the adjustable dampers, and when set to the softer end of the spectrum, the ride quality is even better than stock. However, if I had gone with the 1.5" springs on the same dampers, it would greatly deteriorate the ride quality. So you need to do some thinking and decide exactly what you want. Is having a low stance more important to you than ride quality? If so, perhaps the 1.5s are the way to go. If you want to actually enjoy driving your car, I'd go with the 1.0" ones.

Some people will combine a spring from one manufacturer with a damper from another and depending on the quality of the roads where you live, you may be fine with that, but in Michigan where I live, we have very bad roads, and I wanted as complete a setup as I could get.

Also keep in mind that many aftermarket dampers will also require an aftermarket strut mount in order to correctly fit the front struts to your car. You can go without them, but you will run into unwanted noise and vibration (which you definitely don't want). You will also want to think about upgraded jounce bumpers as well to keep the body from bottoming out so harshly on the axle when heavily loaded. And as previous posters mentioned, you will want to think about an adjustable panhard bar, too, as your axle is likely to shift a bit to the left or right after you lower the car.

I'd also highly suggest some upgraded rear lower control arms. There are lots of adjustable ones out there, but I went with the Ford Racing ones (which are actually GT500 units) and just making this mod, alone, makes a HUGE difference in how well the car can put its power down.

I hope that helps. Really the answer comes down to what are you looking to do and how much are you looking to spend. If all you care about is lowering the car as inexpensively as possible, you could just put on lowering springs and call it a day. If you want the car to actually handle better and last longer, you should do a comprehensive setup as I outline above.

If you have some money to spend, I'd recommend the Ford Racing Adjustable Handling Pack in the link below. It includes everything you need and is a really impressive setup. The adjustable shocks and struts feature 8 turns of adjustability - all the way left is soft (and is very comparable to stock), all the way right is firm and is excellent for track days and autocross sessions. The sway bars are adjustable three ways, depending on how much roll stiffness you want (or don't), and the panhard bar is fully adjustable to allow you to center the rear axle after the car has been lowered.

http://fordperformanceracingparts.com/parts/part_details.asp?PartKeyField=23040

I've included photos of my car, before and after and also how my axle looked after being lowered, before the adjustable panhard bar.



 

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I can't speak for the '08/9 Bullitt's, but based on a wise man's input to me a couple of years ago, I kept it simple with my '01.

The Bullitt's are great handling cars stock. You really don't need to do a lot for better handling, especially if you're on a budget. Sure, you can spend big $ and make it an awesome track car, but for daily driving and some time on the track, keep it simple.

I went with:

Koni Sports (I only adjust the fronts when on the track)
H&R Race Springs (they won't lower your car as much as other springs, but lowering too far actually takes away performance...very glad I went with the Race Springs)
Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates
Eibach Sway Bars
EBC Yellowstuff Brake Pads
TSW Nurburgring 18x9s w/Dunlop Direzza ZIIs (275/35R18s)

For less than $3,000 in mods over the past 14 years, I have a car that I can drive comfortably on the street and take to the track and do extremely well. (I had the fastest car at the '15 Nationals last week, and took first in my class at Steamboat running against 18 other Mustangs, and 8th overall out of 195 Mustangs, include newer GT-500's, Shelby GT's, Cobra's, 5.0's, etc.)

Good luck, have fun and remember, you don't need to drop the car all the way down and spend thousands to get a great handling car. Enjoy the mods you make and get to know your car, especially it's limitations. You're gonna have a blast!
Definitely a good driver! Steve's setup works really well for his '01. I am really happy with my setup, and was able to get within about half a second of Steve's best run. I have the Ford Racing adjustable setup that Bob and Mike shared links to. I did a few other things that Bob mentioned along the way, too - control arms and lower relocation brackets. The ride is more crisp than the OEM setup, but still very comfortable. I drove 7 hours to Colorado to the Nationals and have no hesitation to drive it 11 hours to Lufkin in September. I got my kit last December during the HoonDog group buy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the advice everyone. Right now I am just toying with the idea of lowering my car. I think when I do I will go with the eibach pro system along with supporting mods such as, caster camber plates and adjustable pan hard bar.
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone. Right now I am just toying with the idea of lowering my car. I think when I do I will go with the eibach pro system along with supporting mods such as, caster camber plates and adjustable pan hard bar.
Sounds like a good start!
 

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Definitely a good driver! Steve's setup works really well for his '01. I am really happy with my setup, and was able to get within about half a second of Steve's best run. I have the Ford Racing adjustable setup that Bob and Mike shared links to. I did a few other things that Bob mentioned along the way, too - control arms and lower relocation brackets. The ride is more crisp than the OEM setup, but still very comfortable. I drove 7 hours to Colorado to the Nationals and have no hesitation to drive it 11 hours to Lufkin in September. I got my kit last December during the HoonDog group buy.
Thanks for the kind words Steve. It was fun watching you and your Bullitt out there. I just so happened to have nailed that last run...lady luck was on my side that day.

Your setup is awesome. What size/brand tires and wheels are you running???
 

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Thanks for the kind words Steve. It was fun watching you and your Bullitt out there. I just so happened to have nailed that last run...lady luck was on my side that day.

Your setup is awesome. What size/brand tires and wheels are you running???
Thanks. The car is really fun to drive, especially with the new setup. I've got stock sized Michelin Pilot Super Sports. They're 235/50-18 on the factory 18x8.5's. I think the hot lapping was a little hard on them. They showed virtually no wear after the morning session, but the afternoon rounds with basically no stopping got them a little hot. I'll probably try to get some new ones next year.
 
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