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Cobra Handling

Discussion in 'Suspension Modifications' started by turnIN, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. turnIN

    turnIN New Member Established Member

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    Ok, let me start by saying I know if I want a great handling car, a Cobra is not the best place to start. But are there any guys that have made their terminators handle well? Anyone been on the track? (road course, not 1/4). I would love some input from you guys pertaining to modifications etc. that can be made to make this car handle!

    TIA
    Alex
     
  2. Taz

    Taz Active Member Established Member

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  3. mu22stang

    mu22stang [_==[_=_][_=_3[_=_< /_=_\ Established Member

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    It's a common misconception that modifications are needed to make a modern sports car enjoyable to drive on a track. This is especially true for a Mustang that comes from the factory with over 400 hp and an IRS.

    The most important mod for improving speed is YOU. You will shed lap times much faster than you can by throwing parts at the car.

    That said, there are some modifications that will make it handle "better" and more enjoyable to drive. The first modifications to the car - street driven, road course driven, even drag raced - should be full length subframe connectors. The front and rear suspension components are attached to subframes. Full length subframe connectors (essentially box steel tubing) attach the front and rear subframe to dramatically improve chassis rigidity. If you buy nothing else for the car, buy these! Maximum Motorsports makes a great set.

    The second would be aluminum steering rack bushings. These won't make the car faster, but it will improve steering feel which is crucial when trying to improve your skill. The more communication you get from the steering wheel, the more confident you become and the faster you will be. These are $40 from Maximum Motorsports and you won't find a better bang for the buck. Even on the street, these feel great.

    The third thing I would suggest would be caster camber plates. Once again, Maximum Motorsports are the best. You would not believe how different a stock suspension Cobra feels with an aggressive alignment for the road course.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2011
  4. 03 DSG Snake

    03 DSG Snake Unknown Cyborg Established Member

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    They do very well at the track. Mod as your skills increase.
     
  5. Jimmysidecarr

    Jimmysidecarr Semi user friendly Established Member

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    Unless you have been driving a Honda S2000 for years and years you will be pleasantly surprised at the handling capability of a ROCK STOCK 03/04 Cobra Mustang.

    If the car has replacement tires on it, take a look at the wear number of that model tire. If it is between 170 and 220 you will have significantly better grip and therefore handling than if it is 280 or 300 and beyond.

    Yet do not but R compound sticky track tires until you have enough events to be signed off for solo and are running in an intermediate run group, you will be cheating yourself out of critical car control skills, by eliminating nearly all of your slide and catch practice time.

    Slide and catch skills can only be perfected by actually doing slides and catches multiple times.

    If you have been driving in Syracuse, New York for the last 40 years, chances are your slide and catch skills are already above average.:-D:p
     
  6. turnIN

    turnIN New Member Established Member

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    Thanks for the tip :beer:
    I can not agree more with everything you have said. The way I modify a car is to drive it, decide it's shortcoming and then improve. Modifying is about improving parts, not just changing it. The most critical part of the car is the driver. I have a long, long way to go, but I have done skip barber driving school and had some great experience on the track in my old STi, and a couple of other cars. The steering rack bushings and camber plates are great suggestions, I swapped the bushings on my Suby and liked the change, but no doubt, an aggressive alignment was the best handling mod I did to that car. I really appreciate your advice man, thank you.

    Absolutely, modifications should be a process over time. Each thing catering to your style of drving etc.
    I have driven an 08 STi w/ some nice handling mods as well as a fixed back seat for the past 3 years, but I do have some experience w/ an s2k on the street, and tracked an exige 220. All of which were better cars than I am a driver! I will definitely enjoy the car stock for a while. Tires are the only contact point between you, the car and the road, they are beyond critical. I also agree that r comps are a hindrance on building driving skill. They just cover up mistakes. A good street/track tire is the way to go.



    Thanks guys, I really appreciate the help. Already there are some great responses and advice. What a great community!
     
  7. Teej281

    Teej281 Active Member Established Member

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    Yea, do everything I didnt do and you'll be fine. I am a novice driver, and thats pushing it to say that, and I've got a completely solid mounted IRS with delrin and aluminum bushings, bilstein HD's with MM coilovers on all 4 corners(325/525 respectively), and toyo RA1's on the rear of the car and awaiting funds to throw some 275/35-18's up front that will give me a bit better traction. I did all the modifications before I learned how to drive. Soon though I'll be going back to crappy(not too crappy though) street tires and learning how to drive and hopefully someday be able to handle everything that is my car and put it all to good use.

    Starting mods:
    Full Length Subframe Connectors(Maximum Motorsports are excellent!)
    Full Tilt Boogie Racing complete bushing kit(Just to free up the suspension bind)
    Caster/Camber plates(Maximum Motorsports is amazing, yet again!)
    Aluminum Rack bushings(which I still need to get...MM!)

    Everything else is perfectly fine to start out. The mods I listed above would just make you say "WOW!" alone, then you get into springs and new shocks and coilovers as you progress. And then theres brakes. Definitely get stainless braided brake lines and a good DOT-4(I believe) fluid and good pads. Those will go very far with the stock brakes in place.

    Good luck my friend! :beer:
     
  8. Crackerballer

    Crackerballer Oh baby! Established Member

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    That was exactly my problem, I had been. My choice? Solid rear, 3-link, braided lines, upgraded pads. Only thing installed is the solid rear, but by Christmas I will be:

    Solid Rear
    MM Panhard bar/Torque Arm setup
    MM LCAs
    MM FLSFCs
    MM Solid rack bushings
    Russell braided lines, all 4 corners
    Hawk HPS pads
    New Brembo/equivalent rotors

    Then I have close to the S2000 in handling and braking and triple the power.

    Tons of people on here will tell you don't swap the IRS and I agree, unless you can do it like I did (Free SRA for IRS trade, Free Bassani Catback for stock with flows trade, Brand new in box 3-link setup for $700, cheaper than the full tilt boogie bushings and an IRS brace.)
     
  9. KILRSVT

    KILRSVT Active Member Established Member

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    I have the MM FLSC and aluminum rack bushings car feels great at infineon my tires are sumi's htrz with a 160 treadwear and are pretty fair with grip when there hot..... The only thing I wanna do next is sway bars to reduce the body roll it just leans all over the place gets annoying .... Other than that it'd awesome I've auto cross and open track it great over all car... For sure this car it's a performance bargain .once again though the most important mod is your driver mod... You'll need seat time more than anything .. Then progress into modifying your car.:rockon:
     
  10. 346CamaroSS

    346CamaroSS Active Member Established Member

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    100% agree with your post sir. I have all 3 of these mods and the car feel's COMPLETELY different than it did bone stock. These should be the first 3 mods somebody does to there car IMO, before a pulley, etc.. :beer:
     
  11. ac427cobra

    ac427cobra FULLTILTBOOGIERACING.COM Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Alex:

    I can see you've received some good advice in this thread.

    One thing you need to understand about the Cobra IRS suspension is the fact that the front end of the car is only going to go as fast through a corner as the rear end can follow it! :read: The front suspension is DRASTICALLY different from the rear suspension. The front suspension has a SINGLE control arm per wheel with two rubber bushings for articulation. The rear suspension has TWO control arms per wheel with TWO rubber bushings per control arm and FOUR rubber bushings per wheel. This makes the rear suspension TWICE as inefficient as the front suspension. :idea:

    When you load the rubber bushings during cornering, (or 1/4 mi. launching for that matter) they deflect. The more grip you have in the tire you're running, the more the control arms will deflect which equates to poor handling.

    To add insult to injury, the IRS subframe, that the control arms are attached to, is mounted into the chassis in rubber bushings. :fart:

    If you'd like some more info regarding the Cobra IRS you can check out these two links:

    Mystery of IRS

    FTBR Frequently Asked Questions

    :thumbsup::coolman::beer:
     
  12. turnIN

    turnIN New Member Established Member

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    Hmm ok, I was unaware that there were 2 control arms. So your saying the rear of the car can benefit hugely by some polyurethane bushings or whatever you use on these mustangs?

    Edit: I really appreciate you chiming in btw.
     
  13. ac427cobra

    ac427cobra FULLTILTBOOGIERACING.COM Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Alex:

    If you've been to our site:

    Full Tilt Boogie Racing

    and read the FAQ there:

    FTBR Frequently Asked Questions

    you'll discover that I loathe poly almost as much as factory OEM rubber. :fart: If you want to fix a Cobra IRS I HIGHLY recommend you don't attempt to do it with poly! :dw:

    Our aluminum, UHMW and Delrin IRS kit is the best AND least expensive IRS 'fix' on the market today.


    FWIW

    :thumbsup::coolman::beer:
     
  14. cobracide

    cobracide Active Member Established Member

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    True.. Steeda poly IRS bushings.. still wheelhop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  15. turnIN

    turnIN New Member Established Member

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    I read a lot of your site. You seem to know your sh*t I guess :-D

    How much does your kit go for?
     
  16. ac427cobra

    ac427cobra FULLTILTBOOGIERACING.COM Staff Member Super Moderator

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    The basic IRS bushing kit, FT 5000, found on our order page:

    Full Tilt Boogie Racing Shopping Cart

    is $645 plus shipping. You can take advantage of a 5% discount by using the order form on that page and sending in a check with your order. This saves us credit card and Pay-Pal fees and we pass that savings onto our customers in the form of a discount.

    :thumbsup::coolman::beer:
     
  17. jrgoffin

    jrgoffin Been around... Established Member

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    That's because the Steeda bushings are of a softer poly and made by Energy Suspension. The MM bushings, made by Prothane, are much harder. There is quite the difference. No wheel hop here with the MM/Prothane set.
     
  18. cobracide

    cobracide Active Member Established Member

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    Good info.. I have the prothane kit from MM but also ordered the FTBR complete set afterward. I'll be going with the FTBR bushing set as soon as I can get them installed.
     
  19. Teej281

    Teej281 Active Member Established Member

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    Nvm
     
  20. Jroc

    Jroc Active Member Established Member

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    Here's my opinion if you really want to improve your cars handling you should upgrade the front suspensions geometry. I did most of the little handing mods other than upgrading to a MM or Griggs kmember/A-arms, and my car handled well I guess, but it really just handled like a stock Cobra with a little higher limits. People whine about the change in the wheel position with the MM/Griggs front suspension, but it's done for a reason, and it's not for improved weight distribution as .750"-1.500" won't dramatically improve weight distribution I don't think. What it does is it changes the caster on the car which always you to run much less negative camber to achieve the same results as with the stock setup. It also improve the steering geometry. -2 degree's camber with the stock setup might give you the same results as -0.5 degree's camber(guesstiment on my part) with an improved setup.

    Oddly enough I will be running a MM front suspension on my TermiFox, but I will be using their negative A-arms that keep the wheels in the factory location. I will be doing this for 2 reason. First the obvious is tire clear issues. A foxbody has a hard enough time fitting tires with the stock geometry much less one that the wheels are move forward. Second, and most imprtant is because I will be running a Steeda 5link,(the original 5link) and the 5link is designed to optimise the stock geometry and it's roll center doesn't work as well with the improve geometry. If I was to run a torque arm setup then I would run an improve front geometry. I won't run a 3link setup as you run pretty stiff rear setups with them, and MM doesn't won't you to run regular springs on them if you plan to run stiffer than about a 215 lb C/O setup up front. Well damn that, I don't want to run C/O on the rear because my fenders are cleared to work with 10.5" wide wheels and 315's and they barely clear the shocks so a coil spring sitting over the shocks would most defiantly hit so that is not an option.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011

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