Feb 28, 2002 update to the Ford Mustang GT project car

Steeda

During our car's suspension redo, the mushy original suspension bushings were replaced with urethane ones from the Steeda catalog.

Project Mustang is well on its way to legitimacy after several recent developments. A couple of trips to Body Werkes now has it looking rather respectable in its two-tone pewter splendor, and a trip to Steeda Autosports in Pompano Beach, Florida has done wonders for the chassis.

Two words for you Fox-body Mustang enthusiasts out there: subframe connectors. Of all the pieces that Steeda bolted on, none made a bigger overall difference than the stiffening braces that they place at various points around the body. They transformed the once floppy Mustang into a car that was actually rather rigid feeling and solid.

Which is not to downplay the quality of the suspension pieces that Steeda makes. Indeed, after touring their production facility, it’s no secret why Steeda is one of the leaders in the Mustang aftermarket. Their suspension pieces are elegantly simple, strong and light. Steeda’s stated goal is not to use super exotic materials or trendy parts just to be cool, rather they prefer to make parts that work and don’t require the entire car to be reengineered to use. We were impressed.

Our Mustang also visited the dyno recently for some baseline runs and some minor tweaking. Our baseline runs were performed in third gear, since we didn’t feel our junky tires could hold up to 150 mph dyno runs in fourth gear. According to our dyno operator, third gear runs generally read a little lower than runs performed in a 1:1 gear, although they’re fine for comparing changes.

Our baseline runs grabbed us just over 200 horsepower and 255 lb.-ft. of torque at the rear wheels. According to our dyno guy, this equates to about 240-245 horsepower and 300-310 lb.-ft. of torque at the flywheel. That’s right where we felt our car should be, considering the modifications it has had already.

Unfortunately, minor tweaking such as air filter replacement and timing adjustment showed little change in the dyno curves. This probably means that some other restriction is limiting power. Most likely, that restriction is the balky factory exhaust with its four cats and crappy bends. That will be fixed soon.

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