Tech: 2015 Mustang Steeda Suspension

0 2015 Mustang Steeda Suspension Featured

Tighten Up

Installing a host of Steeda 2015 Mustang chassis and suspension upgrades

By Steve Turner

Knowing that Steeda Autosports is constantly releasing new products for the 2015 Mustang, we asked about stopping by the company’s campus in Pompano Beach, Florida, to see some of the gear installed on the latest Mustang. As it turned out, the company was about to have a few new items rolling hot off the production line at its Valdosta, Georgia, facility, so we loaded up and headed north to see the latest gear.

This is really just the beginning for Steeda’s lineup of S550 parts, as the company will soon turn its focus from the rear of the car to the front. However, at the time of our visit, this was the full repertoire of parts, save for the strut-tower brace (PN 555-5731; $204.95) and the Sport springs (PN 555-8208; $294.95).
This is really just the beginning for Steeda’s lineup of S550 parts, as the company will soon turn its focus from the rear of the car to the front. However, at the time of our visit, this was the full repertoire of parts, save for the strut-tower brace (PN 555-5731; $204.95) and the Sport springs (PN 555-8208; $294.95).

It turns out that the yellow 2015 Mustang GT you see here is a true workhorse for the company’s research and development efforts. The car has seen plenty of track time, in which the company tested several iterations of its products to arrive at a product that follows through on the Steeda ethos. That is to create bolt-on parts that push the envelope of performance without degrading the driveability of the vehicle.

While in Valdosta, we worked with Steeda technician Jamie Bell. He has removed and replaced numerous parts trackside to determine which one works best, and in anticipation of our visiting he removed most of those parts again. He returned the car to nearly stock condition, save for the Sport springs (PN 555-8208; $294.95) and the yet-to-be-release caster/camber plates.

Steeda built this beautiful display to show off all of its S550 IRS wares. On the left side are all the Steeda upgrades and on the right are all the stock parts. They even fused the stock and Steeda sway bars together for a more accurate comparison.
Steeda built this beautiful display to show off all of its S550 IRS wares. On the left side are all the Steeda upgrades and on the right are all the stock parts. They even fused the stock and Steeda sway bars together for a more accurate comparison.

That set the stage for us to document the installation of the cold-air intake, and a host of chassis and suspension parts from the company’s ever-growing product line. Those parts included the Mustang Front and Rear Sway Bar Kit (PN 555-1017; $389.95), S550 Billet Rear Sway Bar Mounts (PN 555-8147; $89.95), S550 Billet Front Sway Bar Mounts (PN 555-8148; $99.95), S550 Mustang IRS Subframe Bushing Support System (PN 555-4437; $144.95), S550 Mustang Adjustable Rear Toe Links (PN 555-4120; $269.95), S550 Mustang Billet Aluminum Vertical Links (PN 555-4121; $279.95), Mustang Strut Tower Brace (PN 555-5731; $204.95), S550 Mustang Extreme G-Trac K-Member Brace (PN 555-5532; $164.95), S550 Mustang Bumpsteer Kit (PN 555-8133; $194.95), and S550 Mustang Rear IRS Subframe Support Brace (PN 555-5754; $194.95).

Jamie Bell kicked things off with an impact and a long extension. Thanks to Steeda’s rigorous R&D program, he has become and expert in R&Ring S500 sway bars. He unbolts the brackets from up top and the raises the car to free the bar from the endlinks.
Jamie Bell kicked things off with an impact and a long extension. Thanks to Steeda’s rigorous R&D program, he has become and expert in R&Ring S550 sway bars. He unbolts the brackets from up top and the raises the car to free the bar from the endlinks.

Another part of the mission for many of these parts was creating effective performance upgrades that most anyone could install in their own garage. Having witnessed the work involved, we can definitely say they have achieved that goal. With a bit of mechanical acumen and a basic set of tools, you can really improve the performance of your new Mustang.

So, follow along as we document the installation of these parts, and stay tuned to the SVTP front page as we’ll bring you a little driving impression on this car in the near future.

After snaking out the stock bark, Jamie wiggled the new Steed bar into place and mounted it using Steeda’s optional Billet Front Sway Bar Mounts (PN 555-8148; $99.95), which also feature urethane bushings. The Steeda bar reduces body roll, and its rate can be dialed in using one of three mounting holes to adjust its stiffness. Using the billet mounts maximizes the bar’s efficacy, as these robust beauties won’t flex like the stockers do under hard cornering.
After snaking out the stock bar, Jamie wiggled the new Steeda bar into place and mounted it using Steeda’s optional Billet Front Sway Bar Mounts (PN 555-8148; $99.95), which also feature urethane bushings. The Steeda bar reduces body roll, and its rate can be dialed in using one of three mounting holes to adjust its stiffness. Using the billet mounts maximizes the bar’s efficacy, as these robust beauties won’t flex like the stockers do under hard cornering.
If you lower your new Mustang, you are likely going rev up the car’s bumpsteer, so named because changes in the road surface will try to change the steering angle. You can correct that by restoring the proper geometry with a bumpsteer kit. To do so, Jamie removes the factory tie-rod ends.
If you lower your new Mustang, you are likely going rev up the car’s bumpsteer, so named because changes in the road surface will try to change the steering angle. You can correct that by restoring the proper geometry with a bumpsteer kit. To do so, Jamie removes the factory tie-rod ends.
The adjustable tie-rod ends in the Steeda bumpsteer kit feature spherical ends and the necessary spacers to restore the steering rack geometry to minimize bumpsteer.
The adjustable tie-rod ends in the Steeda bumpsteer kit feature spherical ends and the necessary spacers to restore the steering rack geometry to minimize bumpsteer.
Working our way back, Jamie bolted on the Steeda Extreme G-Trac K-Member Brace (PN 555-5532; $164.95), which ties in control arm mounts and the rear of the subframe. The added rigidity offered by this brace is said to ensure consistent suspension geometry under hard cornering. Jamie installs it using the supplied hardware and torques the fasteners to 55 to 60 lb-ft of torque.
Working our way back, Jamie bolted on the Steeda Extreme G-Trac K-Member Brace (PN 555-5532; $164.95), which ties in control arm mounts and the rear of the subframe. The added rigidity offered by this brace is said to ensure consistent suspension geometry under hard cornering. Jamie installs it using the supplied hardware and torques the fasteners to 55 to 60 lb-ft of torque.
Turning our attention to the rear of the car, Jamie starts by removing the IRS subframe-to-chassis bolts to let one side of the subframe droop a bit so that he can install the Steeda IRS Subframe Bushing Support System (PN 555-4437; $144.95).
Turning our attention to the rear of the car, Jamie starts by removing the IRS subframe-to-chassis bolts to let one side of the subframe droop a bit so that he can install the Steeda IRS Subframe Bushing Support System (PN 555-4437; $144.95).
The front bushings just slip in above and below the factory bushing.
The front bushings just slip in above and below the factory bushing.
In back, the upper bushing support installs atop the stock bushing, while the lower support separates into two halves so you can install it around the bushing and tighten it down with an Allen wrench.
In back, the upper bushing support installs atop the stock bushing, while the lower support separates into two halves so you can install it around the bushing and tighten it down with an Allen wrench.
The factory toe links do offer limited adjustability via a camber bolt, but once you lower the car or get ready to set it up for the road course or autocross you will need more adjustability. To gain that additional adjustability and more, Jamie removed the stock toe link.
The factory toe links do offer limited adjustability via a camber bolt, but once you lower the car or get ready to set it up for the road course or autocross you will need more adjustability. To gain that additional adjustability and more, Jamie removed the stock toe link.
Which one would you rather have on your 2015 Mustang. The stock toe link is downright spindly. We know Ford engineers were trying to save weight, but this seems like an odd place to save it.
Which one would you rather have on your 2015 Mustang. The stock toe link is downright spindly. We know Ford engineers were trying to save weight, but this seems like an odd place to save it.
Not only is the Steeda unit more robust and less prone to flexing under load, but it offers a far greater range of adjustability—up to 1 inch. Even better, it can be adjusted on the car.
Not only is the Steeda unit more robust and less prone to flexing under load, but it offers a far greater range of adjustability—up to 1 inch. Even better, it can be adjusted on the car.
An important component in taming wheel hop is the vertical link, and the stock units are a bit spindly and are fitted with soft bushings. Jamie quickly removed the stock links with an impact.
An important component in taming wheel hop is the vertical link, and the stock units are a bit spindly and are fitted with soft bushings. Jamie quickly removed the stock links with an impact.
Again, which part would you want on your new Mustang? Clearly the beefy Steeda Billet Aluminum Vertical Links (PN 555-4121; $279.95) clearly won’t flex under load like the stocker might. They also feature higher-durometer urethane bushings that also give less that the rubber stock bushing. However, Steeda says they don’t introduce any NVH concerns.
Again, which part would you want on your new Mustang? Clearly the beefy Steeda Billet Aluminum Vertical Links (PN 555-4121; $279.95) clearly won’t flex under load like the stocker might. They also feature higher-durometer Delrin bushings that also give less that the rubber stock bushing. However, Steeda says they don’t introduce any NVH concerns.
The Steeda billet vertical links are a direct replacement for the stock parts, and it definitely looks like it will do a better job of controlling the undulations of the IRS under load.
The Steeda billet vertical links are a direct replacement for the stock parts, and it definitely looks like it will do a better job of controlling the undulations of the IRS under load.
After reducing compliance and adding adjustability to the IRS, Jamie moved to swap out the stock rear sway bar in favor of Steeda’s rear bar.
After reducing compliance and adding adjustability to the IRS, Jamie moved to swap out the stock rear sway bar in favor of Steeda’s rear bar.
Here’s a comparison of the stock and Steeda bars. The blue one is obviously the Steeda unit, and it is not only stiffer, but it features press-fit and welded billet ends, which are said to make these bars bulletproof.
Here’s a comparison of the stock and Steeda bars. The blue one is obviously the Steeda unit, and it is not only stiffer, but it features press-fit and welded billet ends, which are said to make these bars bulletproof.
Naturally, Jamie mounted the new bar with Steeda’s optional billet rear sway bar mounts. These units are clearly stronger and more resistant to flex than the sheetmetal stockers. They capture the bar in the urethane bushing that is standard with sway bar kit.
Naturally, Jamie mounted the new bar with Steeda’s optional billet rear sway bar mounts. These units are clearly stronger and more resistant to flex than the sheetmetal stockers. They capture the bar in the urethane bushing that is standard with sway bar kit.
Like the company’s front bar, the rear bar also includes three mounting holes, which allow you to dial in the stiffness of the bar to your liking.
Like the company’s front bar, the rear bar also includes three mounting holes, which allow you to dial in the stiffness of the bar to your liking.
One of the latest parts available from Steeda is this IRS Subframe Support Brace. It mounts using factory threaded holes to triangulate the front mounting location of the IRS subframe, the rear mount of the lower control arm, and the toe link. Obviously this well help secure the IRS subframe under load and ensure the suspension geometry remains intact.
One of the latest parts available from Steeda is this IRS Subframe Support Brace. It mounts using factory threaded holes to triangulate the front mounting location of the IRS subframe, the rear mount of the lower control arm, and the toe link. Obviously this well help secure the IRS subframe under load and ensure the suspension geometry remains intact.
When you are removing and replacing suspension parts, it is pretty important to give the car a performance alignment when you are done. As such, Jamie rolled the 2015 Mustang onto Steeda’s in-house alignment rack and set it up for autocrossing duty.
When you are removing and replacing suspension parts, it is pretty important to give the car a performance alignment when you are done. As such, Jamie rolled the 2015 Mustang onto Steeda’s in-house alignment rack and set it up for autocross duty.
Using Steeda’s soon to be released caster/camber plates and the bumpsteer kit we saw installed, Jamie aligned the front end.
Using Steeda’s soon-to-be-released caster/camber plates and the bumpsteer kit we saw installed, Jamie aligned the front end.
Out back we witnessed just how handy those adjustable toe links are when you are giving the car a four-wheel alignment. Being able to easily dial in the toe makes these links well worth the price of admission.
Out back we witnessed just how handy those adjustable toe links are when you are giving the car a four-wheel alignment. Being able to easily dial in the toe makes these links well worth the price of admission.
After Jamie completed the suspension mods, the Steeda Mustang was ready for a little test drive. Then it would receive a new set of wheels before heading back down to Steeda’s Pompano Beach, Florida, facilities. The car felt great with the mods, but that’s a story for another day…
After Jamie completed the suspension mods, the Steeda Mustang was ready for a little test drive. Then it would receive a new set of wheels before heading back down to Steeda’s Pompano Beach, Florida, facilities. The car felt great with the mods, but that’s a story for another day…

 

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