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05-18-2013, 10:03 AM #1
Retrofitting '13/'14 GT500 Bilstein Damp-Tronic's to any '07-'12 GT500
The goal here is to update my 2009 GT500 struts/shocks to those of the 2013/2014 GT500 that is equipped with the optional Bilstein Damp-Tronic's, part of the optional Track Package suspension. They are electronically adjustable (two positions available) which will require a custom harness of sorts to provide power. I had hoped that FRPP would have released a comprehensive kit but to date I've seen or heard nothing to indicate that it may be forthcoming - but who knows, maybe its right around the corner.
Anyway, as I mentioned in another thread, the Bilstein hardware is not stand alone when factory equipped on a '13/'14 GT500. It's integration is a bit complicated from a simple bolt-on perspective. As 5.0 Magazine put it...
...selecting the GT500's Sport shock setting does more than crank up the compression and rebound. It also changes the brake bias a little rearward to help turn-in, retunes the ABS, mutes the Advance Track stability control for less intervention, turns off nibble control in the EPAS electric steering assist, automatically selects the Sport steering setting...
I received the struts/shocks yesterday afternoon. They are supposed to be ~10 mile take-off's. I believe they came from Henderson, Nevada, which has me wondering if they originated at Shelby's nearby facility as the result of an upgrade or conversion to something else. To begin with, the rear shocks.
I'm not sure how many channels there are to allow fluid to flow between the external reservoir and the shock or how the seal between the two is in place.
I'm going to need a pair of upper bushings (or upper insulator's as Ford Parts calls them). I'm not sure if that is the upper and lower bushing atop the shock or not.
I currently have factory Ford KR springs/shocks/struts on the car (and have been on it since almost new) but wanted to compare these to the factory rear shock. My original 2009 rear shocks are longer as well as being larger in diameter (the outer shock body anyway) than the Bilstein units.
I hope that the lower bushings are available through Ford as they were not included with everything else.
You can clearly see a larger diameter upper shaft with finer threads on the Bilstein. The following photo shows the two prongs inside that no doubt necessitated the difference. I'll have to procure the appropriate plug in pigtail(s).
Current retail price from Ford....$384.40 each!
Moving to the front, the struts...
They have markings to identify a left and a right but look to be the same.
The harness and connector exit through the bottom of the strut.
Problem for me, someone didn't take very good care of the left strut during the removal and damaged the wiring. It is severed right at the bottom of the shaft with only a tiny bit of sheathing intact. Both wires are cut and as it stands there isn't enough wire protruding through the tube to reattach them...
I'll notify the seller and we'll see what he can do. The struts don't come cheap new at $515.10 each.
Either way, I'll also need a pigtail(s) to plug into the struts as well.
I'm considering using some FRPP springs as well as a pair of MM c/c plates so that I can have more freedom come alignment time. But first I have to procure the appropriate bolts/nuts, rubber bushings, and connectors/pigtails. I see the connectors as part of a main harness when scouring through parts diagrams but am hoping they are available individually (especially for the rear shocks). Sam, can you help me out here?
Most importantly, I have to find out how they are powered and what it takes to switch between regular and sport mode. I don't plan on attempting to hack or somehow utilize the electronic suspension control module that the factory uses with this arrangement.
So lots of details to attend to. Hopefully I can overcome each obstacle that currently stands in the way.2009 Vista Blue GT500
- FRPP/Whipple 2.9, PHRP H-pipe, Boss 302 quads, AFCO H/E
Suspension and Brakes
-SVT Bilstein Damptronic retrofit, MM LCA's/Roush upper, KR/H&R suspension, modified STB , FRPP Relocation Brackets, FTBR Brakes, FRPP Hubs/ARP Studs
- Ford CF driveshaft, FRPP 3.73 assembly, KR style axle cover, KR axle reservoir
Car also sports
FRPP 'X' Brace , FRPP Recaro's in leather, SRP Pedals
05-18-2013, 10:18 AM #2
- Join Date
- October 2008
You are brave, Trendsetter! Very cool you're going to tackle this. It will be interesting to follow to say the least. I can't wait to see how it turns out. This is a cool mod, my favorite of your projects yet. Go man, go!
05-18-2013, 11:23 AM #3
I've been wondering about this... as well as hacking the 4.2" LCD screen into a pre-'13 GT500...
CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT [TEXAS]
Current Truck: 2012 F-150 Ecoboost FX-4 Super Crew 5.5' Bed
Current Car: 2010 Shelby GT500 Kona Blue
Previous Car: 2010 Camaro 2SS/RS M6
Two Back: 2007 Shelby GT500 M6
Three Back: 2003 Lexus IS 300 A5
Mods: Borla ATAK XR-1 Exhaust, Offroad X-Pipe, ARH 1 7/8" Long Tube Headers, 10% Lower, Whipple Mono-blade TB, JLT 127MM CAI, DSS Aluminum driveshaft, AFCO Heat Exchanger, VMP TVS w/ 2.4" Pulley, Port matched Elbow, I.D. 72# Injectors, Dual VMP BAP, Tune by VMP Tuning
05-18-2013, 12:41 PM #4
Tob, tob, tob, tob, tob!!!!!!
2014 Shelby GT500 SVTP PP, TP, SGM with Sonic Blue Stripes
2013 Shelby GT500 SVT Peformance Pack and Track Pack #357 NASA Time Trial Vehicle and Daily Driver SOLD
2007 Shelby GT500 Alloy Metallic # 357 NASA Time Trial Unlimited Competition Vehicle SOLD
Fastest Mustang/GT500 in the World 220.8 MPH October 27, 2012 at The Texas Mile Kenne Bell 4.2 LC NO NITROUS
Revan Racing Exclusively Distributes Kenne Bell Superchargers World Wide!!
05-18-2013, 12:52 PM #5
Sucky situation with the severed harness04 Redfire Coupe, #187
09 GT500 Vista Blue/white stripe Coupe
11 SVT Raptor 6.2 SCAB
05-18-2013, 02:09 PM #6
Can't wait to see how this turns out. Go Tob!2013 GB/B Shelby GT500
Jon Lund Tuned (E85)
Kenne Bell Superchargers
London Chassis Dyno
BES Racing Engines
1416 WHP 1089 WT 4.7L KB BES Built 5.8L
Best 1/4 mile ET: 8.80 sec 164.23 MPH (6 Speed Shelby Record)
6 Speed Shelby Record Video
05-18-2013, 02:14 PM #7
I think 5.0 made a mistake. AdvanceTrac does all that stuff not hitting sport mode for the suspension.2010 Camaro SS Inferno Orange Metallic
Ordered 2013 GT500 Grabber Blue with Glass Roof, Electronics Package, Shaker Pro, SVT Performance Package, Black Recaro's, No Stripes
05-18-2013, 04:38 PM #8
- Join Date
- November 2009
- Colorado Springs, CO
My best bet is that the PCM supplies a signal to the shock when put into "Sport Mode" and that one of the electronic/electric terminals is power with the other being ground. And my thinking is that the PCM doesn't supply ANY signal when in "Comfort" mode (basically, goes into 'default' mode).
The *easiest* way to check what the PCM does is with a 10M ohm minimum impedance Digital Volt Ohm Meter (any *GOOD* DVOM will suffice), set to DC Volts, connected to the wiring harness plug for a shock/strut and then toggle between Sport/Comfort mode.
It is *rare* that a PCM supplies a full 12v to a output device but there are a couple of exceptions (Fuel pump, FP relay, power up relay, etc.). Most of the time, 12v is supplied to the output via a fused circuit and the PCM supplies the ground (-) for it (injectors, for example). That is because the transistor used to switch it on/off is only able to handle a low level of current (1.75a, If I recall correctly). The output device provides a voltage drop and allows the PCM to control it without frying the diode/transistor (semi-conductor) because the voltage drop reduces the current flow (amps) in the circuit.
*Typically* the PCM supplies a 5v reference signal but that is on input devices. Some older Fords had a 9v reference voltage but they gave that up when they figured out a car would still run on <9v and the ECM was still trying to operate, hence the univeraally accepted 5v reference voltage signal.
Be very careful if you're going to probe someone's PCM harness. DO NOT use a 12v test lamp on it because they do not provide enough resistence and you WILL kill a PCM with one. A "Noid" light will work fine though.
I'm interested in seeing what you find out,
05-18-2013, 08:01 PM #9
Ill be keeping an eye on this
2008 Shelby GT500
2921 out of 6513 coupes
132 of 314 Alloy Metallic
Shelby Dash Plaque,FRPP TVS Super power pack ,Drag Pack,SVT handling pack,FRPP Cobra Jet TB/MAF/80lb injectors,J&M UCA,LCA,Adj.PHB,SFC,PH A/D,O/R H, DynoMax 3in,CHE, Shelby Rad/HE,VMP 2.59,KB BAP,L&M plenum,BMR KMEMEBER,AED CUSTOM RETURN STYLE FUEL SYSTEM.
91/E85 tune by SHAUN AT AED
700HP/700TQ ON E85
10.78 @ 129MPH 1.644 60FT
2014 Fiesta ST Green Envy Tricoat
2014 Tuxedo Black Fusion
05-18-2013, 08:11 PM #10Originally Posted by Phill
Originally Posted by me32
Originally Posted by birdoc
05-19-2013, 11:47 AM #11
Wow, just when I think you can't get any more innovative you out do yourself Tob. Again and again and again and again......
2008 GT500 - SOLD
2004 Cobra - SOLD
2007 GT - SOLD
@baggedcobra @bobsautosports @the_raptor_project
05-21-2013, 06:30 PM #12
- Join Date
- June 2008
My eyes are on this..
05-21-2013, 07:02 PM #13
- Join Date
- March 2011
Again with excessively complex mods?? I don't think this one's gonna work. I'm betting you're gonna need a new computer or Body Control Module along with some way to interface with the dampeners.'11 GT500 - Kona Blue/Silver (Modded)
'13 Audi S4 - Phantom Black Pearl Effect (Premium Plus Pkg, Stock; dreaming of Revo Technic tuning.)
'06 Subaru Forester XT - Obsidian Black (Modded)
05-21-2013, 07:33 PM #14
Shame about the wiring, other than that....
2003 DSG Cobra Coupe
Borla Catback, Bassani catted X, Bassani mid-length headers, Spec Stage 3+, Fidanza aluminum flywheel, 26 spline upgrade, Accufab TB, PHP Intake, Tri-Ax, 2.80" Upper, XCal 3 - RET Custom Tune
484 rwhp/479 rwtq
Suspension: 00R Brembos, Maximum Motorsports 375/575 Coil Overs, C/C Plates, STB, Tubular A-Arms, IRS Urethane, Alum Rack Bushings, Alum Diff Bushings, MM tuned Struts/Shocks, K Member Brace, Full Length Subs, Steeda IRS brackets/diff brace, CCW 550s - 18x9.5, 18x11
2007 Tungsten Grey Shelby GT500 Coupe
2.65" Pulley, FRPP Intake, FRPP Handling Pack, Steeda LCAs, MM Panhard Bar, C/C plates, Alum DS, RET Tune
2013 Focus ST
05-21-2013, 08:40 PM #15
05-21-2013, 08:49 PM #16
Starting to wonder if your car spends more time with its tires off the ground vs on the ground.
Good luck on the modSold - 06 Vert GT - Vortech H.O. S/C, Tuned by Realspeed - 1320 -11.49 @ 121.45 - Gone but not forgotten
2008 Shelby GT500 - L&M Built Motor - 4.0L Whipple - Lund Racing Tuned - E85 Powered
05-21-2013, 09:53 PM #17
Seems like a pretty cool project. my guess is the wires are power and ground. Probably .5 volts as you mentioned and act as on/off. On being performance mode. should be easy to wire something up.
On the other hand when reading this the big question I had was why go this route and not just get a set of adjustable shocks?2010 Shelby GT500 - Red with White Stripes, Nav, HIDs, Car Cover
Mods: VMP 2.59 pulley & 90mm Idler, L&M 66mm TB, Revan Racing Heat Exchanger, Spohn UCA & LCA's, Reische 170 t-stat, Lund Tune
Best ET & MPH: 11.74 @ 122 on a 1.87 60'
05-21-2013, 10:40 PM #18
sub'ing for another sweet Tob retrofit.
#1652 of 3545 2010 Shelby GT500 Performance White / Grabber Blue
True Forged Wheels MADE IN THE USA!!!
The D.D.- 2013 FX4 F150 Ecoboost The Mommy Mobile- 2014 Explorer Sport
So if we're counting that's 3 cars, 4 turbos, 1 supercharger and countless destroyed tires...
05-21-2013, 10:59 PM #19
05-22-2013, 08:03 PM #20
05-27-2013, 10:17 PM #21
I decided to take a closer look at the damaged strut I purchased so I delivered it to the operating table.
I decided to snip the little bit of sheathing that was still intact. The wires were 100% severed.
Looks like at most I now have a spare Bilstein strut body. The harness is severed at a critical juncture and can't be repaired.
Looks like I'll be ordering a new right side strut.
I've studied other Bilstein electronic struts and noticed that in other applications that Bilstein better protected the pigtail than how Ford asked them to do in this application. Note the harness exiting the bottom of the silver strut via a slot in the following picture...
The above hardware was going in this car by the way...
I've noticed that the Damp-Tronics are being used on some serious machinery. The pricing for full kits is out there. Bilstein does sell a wiring kit (I haven't seen one for GT500's though) along with a control unit and switch...
I'm starting to think that Ford engineers were using portions of readily available parts from Bilstein on their development vehicles (photos are from the Nurburgring cars). The illuminated button comes from Bilstein kits for other cars...
Then look at the connectors at the zip tie in the following photo. They mirror what Bilstein uses in their other kits and are not what Ford uses on production '13/'14 GT500 vehicles...
That's all I have for now. This one may take a bit, which is fine by me. But I'll keep digging for a workable solution for retrofit.
05-27-2013, 11:46 PM #22
- Join Date
- October 2011
Tob - would you happen to know what the spring rates are?
05-28-2013, 06:42 AM #23
I don't. I'm sure you're aware that Ford doesn't publish them either. Maybe Terry at Vorshlag has. I know he had put together a list of spring rates as he has spring tester at his business...
05-28-2013, 06:49 AM #24
Well done, looking forward to end result.-----------current SVT's-----------
14 SVT Tuxedo Black SE Raptor
14 SVT OW GT500 SVT TP, Recaros
68 RoadRunner 505 CI MOPAR
12 SVT Race Red Scab Raptor - sold
08 SVT Ebony GT500 kenne bell'd - sold
04 SVT Comp Orange Cobra Whippled 2.3- sold
04 SVT Comp Orange Focus eap - deer gifter
03 SVT Sonic Blue Cobra - sold
03 SVT Sonic Blue Lightning - sold
02 SVT Pitch Black Focus - sold
05-28-2013, 12:50 PM #25
Awesome TOB! I wish I was as smart as you!
Watching with fascination!Mike K
98 Cobra Chrome Yellow....GONE!
04 Cobra VERT SY...GONE!
09 Ford Shelby GT500 Vapor w/Black...GONE!
11 Ford Shelby GT500 Vert Kona Blue w/white stripes!
MODS: Bob's Autosport LCA, BMR Adj UCA, BMR Mounts for UCA and LCA, FRPP Springs, BMR Adj. PH Bar, BMR PHB Brace, Revan Racing HE w/Dual Fan, 3x reservoir, 170* T-Stat, 2.50 Pulley with 90mm idler, Jon Lund Tune on SCT X Cal 3, Aeroforce CNF Dual Gauges in SOS Dual A Pillar Pod, DSS Alum 1 Piece DS, MBRP Headers, MBRP Catless H-Pipe, FR 65mm TB, JLT Kona Blue 123mm CAI, Bob's Oil Separator, IW 10%, Ceramic Tint, complete front done with Paint Protection Film and TF Mach 6 brushed aluminum w/ chrome lips 20x9 20x11 with Nittos
Thanks to Van at Revan Racing and Bill Wise at BAP for parts and installation!
Proud Member of the Mid-Atlantic Cobra Association Member #15