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Any Reviews/Experience w/ Maximum Motorsports Suspension Package

I have a 'cheap mans boss' (GT w/ Track Pack). I'm researching suspension packages to reduce nose dive and eliminate the 4x4 look. I do track the car so my main goal is performance. I prefer a package deal that's been tested and proven rather than piecing together one through trial / error. From what I have gathered, the options are FRPP, MM, Kenny Brown, Cortex, and Steeda.

MM reputation is great and their kit looks promising, especially considering the price (Cortex is mulah!). But I can't find really any reviews of their kit for the S197 platform (yes I did a search on the forum). Anybody have any experience with them?

Also, I plan on getting the 18x10 Team Dynamic wheels and using 295/35R18 rubber on all 4 corners. Wondering if bumpsteer will be an issue with the kit (will a bumpsteer kit be required) and would spacers in the front be required to prevent rubbing?

All input is appreciated!
 
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You will want bumpsteer correction at that ride height (the mm kit is an aggressive drop). Plus roll center correction (front and rear) if you are doing it properly.
A car's suspension is designed to work within a range of motion...and at stock ride height, bump steer is not an issue and actually baked into the design of the car. However, drop the car and you are suddenly in a much more aggressive phase of the bump steer characteristics (because it's deeper in the range of movement). So you'll want to correct that.

Roll center will be huge also....esp at that drop. The rear will be really stiff otherwise, and the front roll center will be quite compromised. I think it's for this reason that mm actually recommends to remove the rear sway bar with this kit--because the rear end will be so geometrically stiff without roll center correction (shorter roll couple).
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
dsm3383 said:
I do track the car so my main goal is performance. I prefer a package deal that's been tested and proven rather than piecing together one through trial / error.

All input is appreciated!

I read this a lot on forums, so I don't mean to pick on you...but no suspension setup is truly plug and play. Sure, there are components that are 'designed to work together', but that doesn't guarantee that they will work together given all the other things that *don't* come with the 'system'. Like boro notes above...you'll need/want the bumpsteer and roll center adjustments and some of those don't come with the 'systems' you've listed.

Not unlike the 'system' thinking is the 'I wan't adjustable suspension parts even though I have no idea how to adjust them'. Ever notice how all of those systems have lots of adjustable parts?

Sorry for the rant, but I'll use cobbled together parts based on performance, function and price. Then make adjustments based on my own testing and info.

Pretty sure Blowfish racings TD will need a spacer up front with the 295s and may also need the end link bolt cut or spaced back with washers.

cosm3os said:
I prefer the term "Boss Lite" especially now that I have the side pipes!

Side pipes *do* make a GT so much more Boss-like than any other mod. Best faux Boss mod for me so far.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
I run my "boss lite" with h&r race springs, which have an aggressive drop and have not felt a need to address bump steer. These springs have also greatly reduced brake dive even with factory struts!

295 wide street tires on TD wheels will get close to the sway bar link stud. You can cut the hex off the end of the stud or run 5mm spacers.

As for MM stuff, no experience here with s197's but have used their stuff on the sn95 with very good results. When it comes to springs and dampers, they just piece together stuff to make their kits, so mix and match isn't abnormal. They may have started to private label, but it's still made by suspension manufacturers. Now, control arms and whatnot are their product and it has always been top notch.
 
That's great info pufferfish! I suspected a bumpsteer kit was not needed. Haven't heard anyone state they had issues after lowering the S197. I'll have to add spacers to the list. Thanks for the post.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
koni yellows are great and the spring rates they have are right on. you can't go wrong with this setup, however, i suggest adding an adjustable 3rd link as well. the stock one is VERY mushy. the trade off is you will get more gear noise in the cabin.
 
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pufferfish said:
I run my "boss lite" with h&r race springs, ...

Do you drive it on the street? The reason I ask is I swapped my H&R race springs out for the Ford Racing "P" springs. I LOVED the look of the H&R's, but hated the ride on the street. I don't really notice any difference on the track though I suspect there's less dive on the H&R's.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
I drive them every day! Like I said before, I added spacers in the back to keep them off the bump stops and level the ride out. This made a huge difference in harshness.
 

Domestic Product

Big fat tires and everything !
dsm3383 said:
I'm looking at the 2011-2014 Road and Track Grip Box. See link below:

http://www.maximummotorsports.com/2011-2014-Mustang-Road-and-Track-Grip-Box-P1443.aspx
Excellent choice, I would ask what the up grade to Bilsteins is, if its a couple hundred bucks go for it.
As good as the Konis are the Bilsteins are better. I would get the package installed and dialed in with a good track day alignment. Wheels and tires is a whole other discussion, several going on BMO at any time. Look at the Vorshlag site for wheels and tires. I do not think any one has done more fitting and testing. Call them up and talk about your car.
Anyways good luck with your mods
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
dsm3383 said:
That's great info pufferfish! I suspected a bumpsteer kit was not needed. Haven't heard anyone state they had issues after lowering the S197. I'll have to add spacers to the list. Thanks for the post.

With the MM springs, you'd be lowered almost 2 inches all around. MM even lists the bumpsteer kit as one of the options on the grip box page. 'Need' is relative...lowering without making geometry corrections is more about looks than performance.
 

pufferfish

Supporting Vendor
1,094
66
Maryland
i disagree. i have never added a bump steer kit to any of my cars and they have all been very competitive and had good street manners. bump steer kits are only needed when aftermarket parts change the geometry (lowering does not) or a spring is too soft to keep the suspension travel within the factory range. its too softly sprung lowering springs that are usually the main culprit, as they will operate outside of the factory suspension travel range.

say a spring exerts 200lbs per inch and travels 4 inches. thats 800lbs at the end of travel. a suspension that has been lowered 2 inches only has 2 inches left to work with, so the desired rate should be 400lbs per inch (400lbs x 2 inches = 800lbs). there are, of course, other benefits to a stiffer spring, but for keeping the suspension within its designed range, this is what must be considered to maintain good bump steer characteristics.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Hey, you can disagree, but if you like having the front roll center underground then that's up to you. ???

Not knowing there's a problem or issue is different from not thinking it's a problem. ;)

If you think lowering does not change the geometry...I'll just agree to disagree and chalk it up to different suspension tuning philosophies.


pufferfish said:
i disagree. i have never added a bump steer kit to any of my cars and they have all been very competitive and had good street manners. bump steer kits are only needed when aftermarket parts change the geometry (lowering does not) or a spring is too soft to keep the suspension travel within the factory range. its too softly sprung lowering springs that are usually the main culprit, as they will operate outside of the factory suspension travel range.

say a spring exerts 200lbs per inch and travels 4 inches. thats 800lbs at the end of travel. a suspension that has been lowered 2 inches only has 2 inches left to work with, so the desired rate should be 400lbs per inch (400lbs x 2 inches = 800lbs). there are, of course, other benefits to a stiffer spring, but for keeping the suspension within its designed range, this is what must be considered to maintain good bump steer characteristics.
 
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Grant 302 said:
Hey, you can disagree, but if you like having the front roll center underground then that's up to you. ???

Not knowing there's a problem or issue is different from not thinking it's a problem. ;)

If you think lowering does not change the geometry...I'll just agree to disagree and chalk it up to different suspension tuning philosophies.

Grant has this 100% right.
Though I am not arguing with Puffer's findings either. If it is not a big enough issue to bug or hamper the driver, then it's unnecessary.

Though that being said, and coming from experience, it is needed. My E36 has the same front end suspension design as the Mustang does (ok, geo differs, but still). It had bump steer issues when lowered the amount that MM lowers it. I corrected this by raising the car back up 1inch. It is something you *will* feel mid corner. Both roll center and bump steer are big plays in this (though bump steer is what is going to cause an effect mid corner, and roll center on corner entry if we're talking front end only).

For the E36, the suspension toes in as it compresses. On entry, this is not a big deal because the suspension hasn't taken a full set yet. But come mid corner when you are at a point where the suspension has "finished all travel", then bumpsteer comes into play. So on my old car's setup, you felt the push increase mid corner--this is despite what the driver is doing: on throttle, off throttle, modulating the throttle etc. No matter the situation, you feel the car develop more push after it has taken a set. This is due to the front tires fighting each other from the bump steer.

I'm still of the opinion that the MM kit over lowers the car too greatly if no geometric corrections are made. This will be the case for the front and rear of the car.
At the same time, I'm also not belittling anyone when I say "if you can't feel it, then it doesn't matter". There is a line to be drawn w/regards to theory vs real life application. That is, on paper there will be dramatic geometric alterations when a car is lowered that much. But if it doesn't bother the driver, and the driver can still perform at a high level...then it is not something to worry about.

Though I will say that it is fact that as one becomes more and more in tune with the car, you will pick out the differences...and those little things will begin to bug you. At least for me, that was the case with my M3.

Another thing to take note of: there are racing classes where geometric alterations are limited or completely not allowed. You'll find the production based cars competing in those series at near factory ride heights. It's because of all these reasons...

Look at the ride height of the Honda ILX race car:

JEF_8727-L.jpg

Oh and all that spring rate mumbo jumbo... Is true (referencing Puffer's post about spring rates being able to compensate). Though this doesn't take into account roll center.
The dramatically dropped roll center effectively softens the springs (I know you know this already, but posting for info), so it's not an apples to apples comparison. The roll center is farther from the CG--increasing the roll couple...which acts like a lever upon the suspension.

I don't know about mustangs, but on many cars running H&R race springs, you'll see good drivers having the car ride on bump stops mid corner. Yes, they drive fast, but also it's because it's too softly spring for the uncorrected geometry. I had this experience when I ran H&R race spring on yet another one of my track cars. My PSS9 when lowered 2+ inches had the same issue (and that was 460lb/in on a 3200lb car!)

Oh and not to toot my own horn but I wrote about this very topic as it relates to Mustangs. So for people needing visuals and wanting to noodle more on the matter, check it out here: http://dreamingin302ci.blogspot.com/2013/06/flckle-roll-center.html (though this is strictly about roll center--which is problem enough!)
 
I talked with MM and they even agree a bumpsteer kit is not required and that's coming from their driver. Second, a 2" drop is not that much for a GT. Remember that the Boss is 1" lower than the GT in stock form. Add FRPP P springs and you drop another 1/2".
 
Also, I agree with all the talk about roll center and geometric changes to the suspension in regards to how it will effect the dynamics of the vehicle. Roll center can be corrected or adjusted by softening or stiffening either roll center (front and back suspensions). MM states their kit results in a neutral balance to the car. My point is that MM most likely considered this when they developed the kit. The selection of parts and changes to the vehicle should have been considered. I'll ask MM since I'm interested in how they developed this kit.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
dsm3383 said:
I talked with MM and they even agree a bumpsteer kit is not required and that's coming from their driver. Second, a 2" drop is not that much for a GT. Remember that the Boss is 1" lower than the GT in stock form. Add FRPP P springs and you drop another 1/2".

As an owner of a Brembo GT and a Boss, the front of the Boss is about 1/2" lower and the P springs (which I have on my GT) only drop you about 1/2" from there. The back isn't even lowered at all. I know that even dropping the GT ~1" from stock that there are a lot of unwanted suspension geometry changes both front and rear.

I'm probably not making myself clear about the bumpsteer kit. I believe that at that drop it is good to adjust the ROLL CENTER with tall ball joints (like the 302S/R or FR500 cars). IF you change the ROLL CENTER, you should also get a bumpsteer kit.

Also want to add that I recommend LCA brackets for the rear with any drop over 1/2". But I'm sure there will be some disagreement about that too! While I understood the benefits on paper, I didn't know how bad I needed them until after I put them on.
 

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