Car Life>>dropping The Pony

As you might know, back in April I got rid of my NC Mazda MX-5 and became the proud owner of a 2006 Ford Mustang GT. I've since put a few thousand miles on the Mustang, and found that even while bone stock the car was a blast to drive.

Still, all stock things must come to an end sometime. Last month, I finally got around to to upgrading the suspension on my car.

The great thing about owning a Mustang is that there's a massive selection of parts available, and I spent months researching what suspension to go with. I wanted something that was affordable, and would be bearable for a daily driver on crumbling California roads. After all of the debating, I ended up ordering a set of Tein S-Tech springs, and hit up a certain Vaughn Gittin Jr. for a set of RTR/Ford Racing dampers.

The first weekend in October, I loaded the new parts in the trunk and drove up to my parents' house in the Fresno area. Before the car had even cooled off, my dad and I got to work on swapping the suspension.

It certainly felt good. This was the first time I'd done any sort of a modification to a car in over a year. I've promised myself not to let that much time pass until the next mod…

There's the springs and dampers looking nice and shiny before being installed.

So long, stock suspension. We've had some good times, but I can't say that I'll miss you a whole lot.

There's pops assembling the new struts and springs, while I "help out" with my camera.

We've done quite a few suspension swaps, and I think this one was the smoothest install of any. There's the front struts and springs all ready to go.

You can say what you want about live axle rear suspension, but you can't beat the ease of swapping the shocks and springs on these things. In and out!

Rear suspension done! Now comes the moments of anticipation as the the wheels are put back on and the car comes off the jack stands.

A quick photo of the car at stock ride height, just for reference.

And the final result. I'm quite happy with way she sits. It's not slammed or anything, but there's a very noticeable difference from the stock ride height.

The new setup would get a good workout the following day when I drove the 250 + miles back to Los Angeles. Of course the car rides stiffer than the stock, but the ride quality is not bad at all.

I was curious how the Tein springs would match up with the RTR shocks, and it seems like a good combo so far. Based on street driving the car feels noticeably more responsive, and body roll has been greatly reduced. There's a few more things I want to install to tighten the chassis, but I think this a good start.

Now that the car is sitting properly, comes the much harder task of figuring out what wheels to go with….

Time to break out the MSPaint "renderings".

I'll keep you updated!

-Mike Garrett



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Good job Mike. I wish I could do similar things with my dad, but he's completely useless with the spanners. What tyres were you thinking of getting? Lightweight wheels with properly sized high-performance tyres (that is, not hella-super-stretch-dope-flush-poke ones) should help your Mustang's handling and not ruin the driving comfort. TE37s + Star Specs on a Mustang anyone?


Could you make a write-up about the suspension install? Your Mustang GT looks good! Keep us posted on this project!


it looks nice.. but i'm sure you could achieve that minimal drop with coilovers (or maybe i'm missing the point!) love the colour of the car by the way..


Looks much better, but my god, please get some new wheels ASAP! One of my favorite things to do when looking for a good set of wheels is to hop on Forza and tool around on there.


CCW Classics! dishhhh


drop looks good, Mike!


Great work, looks so much better!

I am a fan of all makes,however, I am curious as to what made you down-grade from the MX5 to a Mustang?

Im assuming perhaps it may be a business relationship between NFS/RTR/Ford?



am i the only one who cares about the drop less than the performance increase?


Genaric muscle car rims and you can hardly tell it's lowered. Get original.


You got rid of an NC Miata and got a Mustang? Why?


Not exactly a post I'd expect on speedhunters

I mean it's not exactly an RTR

Definitely looks better

Now you just gotta get those 20x12 ssr professors


i just realized, mike, your the one who runned auto otaku????


I am sure the first stop you made was to the alignment shop right? ;)


I love that car, It look and sit well on those rim. just leave it :D


much more aggressive. I love it man:)


What was the reason of switching from the NC to the Mustang? Did you do it for more practicality and if that is not the reason, please, do share it with us?


soooo this IS a speedhunters car right? Why on earth does this car not have coilovers?


That's a good start, it no longer look like a 4x4, but now it's time to get some new wheels and start playing with what's under the hood! Oh, I love the Windveil Blue too, but then I am a little biased! ;)


you searched for months and ended up with tein ? - lol. When they have finished sagging give eibach a call.

Ride height looks good though


I still can't help the fact that they didn't put a more modern rear suspension/drivetrain setup in that car.


now you NEED an adjustable panhard bar so the ass end is centered. and please cram as much TIRE under that as you can, not rim. hella functional> hellaflush


Having owned over 15 Stangs I would highly recommend the Tokico D Specs on H&R springs or Maximum Motorsports Coilovers. The MM coilovers with work with the D Specs, add in their Caster/Camber plates, Rear upper/lower control arms and sub frame connectors. With that setup you can go S2000, 911, Cayman S or M3 hunting on any road course or canyon road.

Next up you'll want more power and rpm's. Add in the FRPP Hot Rod cams, 3.73 gears and a Procharger P1SC supercharger. Serious power and handling...

Get with AP Racing for the brakes and a set of CCW 20" classics and some sticky tires....

Copngrats on the mods and I hope to see you step it up and show American Muscle does more than go straight. They can and do handle turns when you set them up correctly...


BBS LM's!!!


Good job with the new suspension kit . what kind of style for the wheels are you pretending to put in the car ?


Can you post a more in-depth review? I'm now looking at this as a budget upgrade for my 07 GT.




Mustang looks waaaaay better man! I am looking at getting a Mach 1 or GTO, really torn by the two. I know it may be a popular rim design, but I think some FR500's would do that GT justice.


Mustangs are gay.


Looks great!!!!! Cant wait to see what wheels you choose.


hmm deffo a better stance with the new shocks! nice work....looking forward see what shoe you buy for her!


Enkei RPF1s! Do it! You won't!


Yep, I made the switch from the NC mostly for practicality reasons (lots of freeway miles!), and also because it had been quite a while since I owned a "muscle car".


Why is this on speed hunters and not on Auto Otaku? I'm really disappointed that you ignore that site.


I think those stock wheels are the best OEM wheel goihg.please leave them on


It will sit lower once those Spring settle in a bit... S.Tech always do


WOW, the car takes a whole different attitude by just lowering it a few. thats amazing! A few how-to stories like this every now and then will be definitely welcomed by me!


I know grassroots motorsports had a project mustang and the biggest improvements they saw was from switching to a lightweight set of wheels and upgrading the tires.


Great job Mike!

Now you just need some new wheels and tires! :)


S-Techs lol. It took you months to decide on those?


Nice to see some american muscle, decent gas mileage, good performance @ 300 hp to the wheels depending on which day the car was built. I can't wait to see what you do with it.


NC Miata? Really? Shoulda gone for a good NA or NB. However, the mustang's pretty nice, despite my misgivings about live rear axles. Next should come a sway bar, I personally feel those give a much more useful jump in performance for their price than shocks and springs do.


Advan RS-D's in black. Hands-down the most beautiful modern wheel.

Stick with 18's and fill the arches with wide r-comp rubber.


could i get more info on those RTR shocks? i can't find them for sale anywhere... maybe just because this article was written two years ago