Steeda offers an easy way to sharpen the shifting of your S550
By Steve Turner
Photos by Steve Turner and courtesy of Steeda Autosports
Unless you have been around Mustangs for a really long time, you might not realize just how tight and quiet the modern Mustangs are. The chassis are stiffer, the suspensions are more refined, and the engineering isolates the driver from all those bumps and buzzes. Most people see this isolation as a great thing. However, everything has a trade-off.
Cases in point are those squishy hydro engine mounts, soft rubber driveline bushings, and that remote shifter. Yes, they isolate the driver and passenger from all those mechanical noises. That’s fine if you car is a commuting appliance, but if you happen to enjoy some spirited driving, then all that give can cost you some precision.
Now if you have tried to power-shift a high-horsepower ’05 or newer Mustang, you might not understand the loss of precision we are talking about. However, those squishy bushing and the remote-mount shifter on these cars move around when the engine is under load. That means that the next gear isn’t always where you thought it would be.
Yours truly learned the hard way about all this movement when trying to power-shift a 2008 Cobra Jet. “Don’t power shift,” they said. Your author didn’t listen. Things moved around. A shift was missed. A really cool pass ended prematurely. Granted the remote shifters have gotten better over the years, but there’s always room for improvement.
We know that an aftermarket shifter is a sure way to sharpen the shifts, but there are some other ways take slack out of the driveline and improve that shift feel. While we were up at Steeda Autosports’ Valdosta, Georgia, campus documenting the company’s suspension gear for the 2015 Mustang, we also photographed the installation of three parts that do just that—the company’s adjustable engine mounts (PN 555-4039; $209.95), a transmission-mount bushing insert (PN 555-4037; $29.95), and a shifter base bushing and bracket (PN 555-7092; $74.95).
If you are one of those that are concerned about NVH, the engine mounts do introduce the slightest of vibrations, but the other bushings are said to be pretty innocuous on that front. Having driven Steeda’s 2015 with these in place, we will say that the stock shifter does seem more precise when you are hard on the gas. The company has since released a new Tri-Ax shifter for the 2015 Mustang, and we are looking forward to seeing how much that improves the shift feel.
For now, follow along and see how some easy bushing bolt-ons can add precision to your S550 shifting.