Ford has really come a long way with their suspension over the years. This new Mustang is a blast to drive, right out of the box. It handles well enough for me to confidently throw it into almost any corner, or crowd of people. It’s a surprisingly smooth ride too, which is perfect for the typical daily driver. You don’t feel most of the bumps in the road, but you do have enough control to avoid them, if needed. Here lies the problem. The suspension is good, but it’s a bit too much Cadillac, and not enough angry race car. Especially when you consider how much power these things make now. Anything that makes over 400HP on the street is going to be respectable and fun……..and dangerous. As you can plainly see from all of the hilarious videos and memes, the new Mustang makes a bit more power and tire spin than the average Joe can handle. So, how do we save lives?! One coilover kit install at a time.
Our friends over at KW Suspension hooked us up with a brand new set of KW Variant 3 coilovers, as well as front and rear anti-sway bars. The new 2017 Mustang is a rocket in a straight line, but it still leaves something to be desired in the twisties. Like most American muscle cars, it’s a bit too heavy, sloppy, and prone to tire smoke for aggressive driving. So we decided to stiffen it up to help her hug the road a little harder. We want to hit that apex hard, and get out of the corner quick! It’s pretty safe to say that the Mustang’s brute power is definitely its strong suite, so I wanted my first mod to help out one of the weaker assets. This way we end up with a much more well-rounded car in the end.
Drop the Back
This install seems like a decently daunting task on paper, but it’s really not that bad. First, make sure you have all of the proper tools. A jack, jacks stands, full metric socket kit with ratchets, a hammer, and an impact gun goes a really long way to knocking this out fast. Next, I really don’t recommend doing this one alone. Not only do you need someone to make the beer runs and to find misplaced tools, but Ford also designed this car so you have to drop the sub frame in order to swap out the rear springs. Yep, it’s about as much fun as Easter brunch with the in-laws, but alas, it has to be done. Like I said, this looks worse on paper than it actually is. I won’t go through the step-by-step here, but you basically get the car up on jack stands, get everything loose and out of the way of the springs, disconnect the sub frame bolts, gently lower the sub frame with your jack, then wrestle those springs out of there. That’s honestly the most difficult and nerve racking part of the whole install and I just told you how to do it in one sentence. How hard could it be? The rest of the rear suspension is easy, especially the anti-sway bar.
Baby Got Front!
The front suspension is pretty easy and self-explanatory. You have to work a bit to get the brakes out of the way, but it’s not that bad. One thing that did trip me up though was that the bolts holding the brake knuckle are actually spindle bolts. At first I just thought that they were over-tightened or frozen, but then I realized that I’m an idiot and they have to be tapped out with a hammer. The coilovers fit very well and go in easily once you clear up the space. Next is the front anti-sway bar. I need to take a moment to talk about how much of a monster this thing is. It is wayyyy stronger, heavier, and stiffer than the stock bar. After it was installed, we noticed that the passenger tire now comes off of the ground when you jack up the driver’s side. Just based off of that, you can tell that it is doing a hell of a job. This is another spot where you will want to put your buddy to work. There is a lot to navigate through when getting the old bar out and the new one in there, so it’s best to have an extra set of hands.
All in all, this was a massive upgrade that fixed our Mustang’s weakest point. The car is in desperate need of an alignment now, but the coilovers and anti-sway bars have made a huge difference in the overall handling. It’s difficult to explain, but the car handles so much better now, it actually feels lighter and more nimble. It reminds me a bit of the responsive/twitchy feeling of an S2000, but with a hell of a lot more torque. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I did this install with Wooley’s little Fiesta in mind. I heard that little brother was throwing some go-fast goodies at the red Skittle, so I need to keep my edge. There is a lot more to come in the very near future, so stay tuned!
Written by Mike Sanders