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Discussion Starter #1
So I recently am coming from a modified 2004 SVT COBRA with 490rwhp to my 2007 GT500 (bone stock), and have been driving it for only 2 weeks now...I have noticed a lack in handling. While the GT500 (I feel) is a lot better overall over the terminator (engine, looks, styling, etc), I can't help but miss the stock suspension and IRS I had on my 04 terminator.

I realize I'm comparing a MODIFIED car to a stock one...but the terminator had a stock suspension (aside from the IRS brace and Qa1 rear shocks).

Have any of you coming from a terminator to a GT500 noticed this as well? I mean the GT500 just is a boat and doesn't take the corners as nicely as the 2004 did. What have you GT500 owners done about this (if you are having the same problem I am).

Sadly, I'm just not as comfortable in the high speed turns heal-to-toe down shifting as I was in the terminator. I feel a very harsh body roll and almost always feel like the back end is going to come around if I dont ease off the throttle. Turns I EASILY could have done in the terminator.

Now before you go ahead thinking I'm doing 95 into a 35mph turn, thats not the case. I have very LONG and windy on and off-ramps (most about 1/4mile long) on the highways I drive, which allow for some very nice spirited driving leading into long straight aways (which I really dont accelerate into for obvious speed and high police traffic reasons).

Anyway, I'm thinking about checking out the FRPP suspension lowering KIT or the Steeda Lowering complete Kit also.

What have you GT500 owners done?

Is it JUST the factory ride height that is the problem? Or really its the whole suspension?


The stock GT500 suspension JUST ISN'T CUTTING IT. The handling really....sucks to be honest.
 

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FFRP handling kit plus J & M uca and lca's (go to hotparts.com for the J & M stuff)....you will be amazed at the difference.
 

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I, too, much preferred the IRS in my 2001 and 2004 Cobras to the Stone Age stick axle on my Shelby. I loved the Shelby over the Terminator in pretty much every other way. I installed a Fays2 Watts link on my Shelby as my very first suspension mod, and I was really happy with the way it improved the rear end's manners. It is now probably 90% as good as the IRS was - for all practical purposes you'd never feel the difference driving sanely on the street.
The Watts link all but cured the ass-hopping of the rear end, and, because of its lower roll center, it felt as though I'd put stiffer sway bars on the car. I posted on my impressions just after I installed it - do a search on 'watts link' and 'three cobras' on this site and you'll find it. I don't have the link handy - sorry.
After over two years with the setup, I would still recommend it as the first suspension mod for anyone. There are other Watts links by Steeda and Saleen. I don't own stock in Fays, but I think it was the right choice.
 

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FFRP handling kit plus J & M uca and lca's (go to hotparts.com for the J & M stuff)....you will be amazed at the difference.
+1...i run this kit as well....awesome difference. and great performance for the price. if you want to really get serious in the suspense...go with griggs.

but when lowering, you'll want adj caster/camber plates from J&M also. easier to re-align the front end with when done.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
do you HAVE to get cast/camber plates when lowering the car with the FRPP kit?

Did you have to remove your strut tower brace, since you got the cast/camber plates? Or you still had room to leave both installed?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
After looking at that Frays2 set up, I must say I DO like it. Although his website is a little hard to navigate to actually purchase one lol. I guess you have to call Frays2 Direct?

To those of you that have the Frays installed, does the kit being bolted to the diff cover act as a problem for drag racing? I remember the Terminators were known to snap diff covers...wondering if an upgraded diff cover is in order for the shelby with a hefty suspension set up like that also being attatched to the diff (for launching hard at the track)
 

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do you HAVE to get cast/camber plates when lowering the car with the FRPP kit?

Did you have to remove your strut tower brace, since you got the cast/camber plates? Or you still had room to leave both installed?
if you get the complete FRPP Handling package, it comes with a new strut tower brace. The stocker won't work unless you modify the moutning holes. The studs are bigger. You dont have to get the plates, but they are more practical, as you can re-align the front end easier or change angle for what you want (street, road racing). The cheaper way is using camber bolts, but you dont have the flexibility as you do with plates.

After looking at that Frays2 set up, I must say I DO like it. Although his website is a little hard to navigate to actually purchase one lol. I guess you have to call Frays2 Direct?

To those of you that have the Frays installed, does the kit being bolted to the diff cover act as a problem for drag racing? I remember the Terminators were known to snap diff covers...wondering if an upgraded diff cover is in order for the shelby with a hefty suspension set up like that also being attatched to the diff (for launching hard at the track)
Calling Jim direct is best. Plus you can ask all the questions you want. The kit DOES NOT bolt to the diff cover, like other kits do. If you use his kit, there is minimal clearance if you ever upgrade the diff cover to the new frpp cover.
 

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+1 to what Milez says. Whether we like it or not, whether we think it's fair or not, Ford made several compromises that we'd have preferred they did not. The good news is that there are fixes in hand, and knowledgeable people on this forum who have tried them all. My Shelby's handling does not suck. It will not suck even more when I put on the Steeda springs, Tokico D specs, and related parts (bearing plates / bumpsteer kit / ball joints) this week.
 

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Uh....a couple of things. First of all, "different" isn't necessarily "worse". The IRS on Termies was MARGINALLY better if you're talking about turning. The solid rear axle is significantly superior if you're talking about drag racing. Heard of one giving it up while drag racing? No, you haven't because it hasn't happened. On the other hand, there have been tons of instances where the IRS has gone belly up at the strip.

Like it or not, this is a muscle car, not an autocrosser. Everyone that bought one would know if had they done their homework.

I've raced everything from Spec-Miatas to anything I could throw down drag strip. I can tell you a couple of things with at least some level of authority; The lowering will assist in making your center of gravity better- It will, with the proper struts, assist in minimizing roll- It will require a 4 wheel alignment thus adjustable caster/camber ability.

As for the upper and lower control arms, the type that 90% of us have put on our cars will actually hinder your handling, not help it. You'll lose the vast majority of the flex you need to allow weight to transfer laterally. Replacing the neoprene with poly will do nothing more than help you diminish the flex that contributes to the wheel hop exhibited on most solid axle vehicles.

So, if you want to go north-south, try the poly bushings on aftermarket upper and lower control arms and a good, adjustable set of struts. I can vouch for the J&Ms. They're awesome.

If you want to go fast and make turns, talk to Griggs. It's expensive and it works. Watts Link is a compromise if that's the direction you're looking for.

bj
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Uh....a couple of things. First of all, "different" isn't necessarily "worse". The IRS on Termies was MARGINALLY better if you're talking about turning. The solid rear axle is significantly superior if you're talking about drag racing. Heard of one giving it up while drag racing? No, you haven't because it hasn't happened. On the other hand, there have been tons of instances where the IRS has gone belly up at the strip.

Like it or not, this is a muscle car, not an autocrosser. Everyone that bought one would know if had they done their homework.

I've raced everything from Spec-Miatas to anything I could throw down drag strip. I can tell you a couple of things with at least some level of authority; The lowering will assist in making your center of gravity better- It will, with the proper struts, assist in minimizing roll- It will require a 4 wheel alignment thus adjustable caster/camber ability.

As for the upper and lower control arms, the type that 90% of us have put on our cars will actually hinder your handling, not help it. You'll lose the vast majority of the flex you need to allow weight to transfer laterally. Replacing the neoprene with poly will do nothing more than help you diminish the flex that contributes to the wheel hop exhibited on most solid axle vehicles.

So, if you want to go north-south, try the poly bushings on aftermarket upper and lower control arms and a good, adjustable set of struts. I can vouch for the J&Ms. They're awesome.

If you want to go fast and make turns, talk to Griggs. It's expensive and it works. Watts Link is a compromise if that's the direction you're looking for.

bj
I agree with most of what you posted, and appreciate the input. I while I agree that 'different' isn't necessarily 'worse', I would argue that the IRS is more than marginally better than in handling over the solid axle. And I wasn't just comparing the IRS to live axel, I was also comparing a 2004 cobra to the 07 shelby. The shelby is higher and heavier, as well as having the handling 'disadvantage' of the solid axle. SO much so, that my 10 years of driving experience (or inexperience as some of you may poke fun at, since i'm 26) INSTANTLY noticed the difference. While I have been to the drag strip multiple times for the past 5 years, and autocross events, I wouldn't by any means say I'm a pro-driver. But I DID notice the lack of handling that the shelby has in its stock form. There is much room for improvement.

Now, what I would like is an even compromise of handling improvement AND drag strip performance. The complete suspension kit from FRPP or STEEDA is on my to-do list. I'm debating on a watts-link/fray2 link rear. I'm not sure how that would affect handling or drag strip performance fully (be it negative or positively)..but thats only me talking from my inexperience with using such links before.

Not to get off topic here, but BJ, there are many level 5 IRS cobras that are JUST AS GOOD at drag racing as live axels, some even better. Now I'm not saying you'd take your live axle out of your shelby to use an IRS at the drag strip....i'm just saying there are many improvements to make the IRS awesome at the strip too. Does it take more (ie modding) for an IRS to compete at the drag strip over a live-axle, yeah absolutely.

Now here perhaps you can educate me. Why do you say some of the...or 90% of the upper and lower rear control arms you guys run are WORSE for handling. Which ones do you guys use? the J&M seem to be very popular here.

I'd like to lower the center of gravity in the shelby with springs and suspension work and improve the chassis roll when throwing it into turns. BUT at the same time I DO drag race in the summers...and don't want an all out handling machine, just to lose at the 1/4mile, ya know?


I am thinking about 1 or 2 auto-cross events this summer. But my main focus is on daily driving and drag racing and being comfortable doing both...WELL and enjoyably
 

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GT500 Handling

"Search" this forum; Team Shelby; and svtperformance - the topic has been discussed ad naseum.

After having done the searching, I have decided that when I upgrade the suspension on my '09, it will be with components engineered by Griggs Racing - as I have now started open tracking my Cobra.

With respect to the comment that your modified terminator "handled" better than your GT500. . . that has been argued to death as well - probably on svtperformance more thany anywhere else.

But, just to add my opinion, my modified terminator (2003) did not handle better than my stock GT500 (2009). And my terminator didnt handle better than my SRA Roush (2002) (full Roush suspension).
:silly:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Re: GT500 Handling

But, just to add my opinion, my modified terminator (2003) did not handle better than my stock GT500 (2009). And my terminator didnt handle better than my SRA Roush (2002) (full Roush suspension).
:silly:
Well now that's an interesting comment, and/or turn of events. I'm not so sure how that's even possible lol
 

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Re: GT500 Handling

Well now that's an interesting comment, and/or turn of events. I'm not so sure how that's even possible lol
When you consider that the chassis is the true starting point in the "handling" aspect of any vehicle, and the undeniable fact that the S197 chassis is light years better than the chassis on any prior mustang, the only possible conclusion is that the S197 mustang will "handle" better than any prior mustang - without modification.

Moreover, with respect to the superior handling of the 03-04 IRS suspension:
Look at the myriad threads concerning "wheel hop" on the 03-04 IRS cobras. Look at the "Red Pill" and the "Blue Pill" threads - there are literally thousands of post on how to correct the problems with the 03-04 IRS. . . .:grinbiginvert:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Re: GT500 Handling

When you consider that the chassis is the true starting point in the "handling" aspect of any vehicle, and the undeniable fact that the S197 chassis is light years better than the chassis on any prior mustang, the only possible conclusion is that the S197 mustang will "handle" better than any prior mustang - without modification.

Moreover, with respect to the superior handling of the 03-04 IRS suspension:
Look at the myriad threads concerning "wheel hop" on the 03-04 IRS cobras. Look at the "Red Pill" and the "Blue Pill" threads - there are literally thousands of post on how to correct the problems with the 03-04 IRS. . . .:grinbiginvert:
I've already read it, thats one of the posts I was referring to on page 1 of this post where i talked about the IRS and drag racing.
 

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Re: GT500 Handling

This is an interesting thread. I have not driven the Cobra, but sometimes the car that 'feels' faster is not always faster. I enjoyed this video with the guy in the Mopar suit.....

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah I remember that video. The mopar guy is funny lol
 

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I was on a limited budget so what I did to my GT 500 was possibly not the best set up but for what I had $$$ I was able to make a significant difference in my handling and the wheel hop was also corrected. The car may get some additional suspension mods but for now I am satisfied. There are other performance mods to consentrate on.

Steeda adjustable UCA, Hotpart LCA"s, Eibach 185 springs ( lowered 1 inch, added 3/8 spacer above spring ) Fays 2 Watts link was a turning point- The best way I can describe it is that I know where the suspension sets as it is predictable where before the watts link you didn't know where the limit and breaking point was. Jim Fay @ Fays 2 is a interesting guy to talk to. Great customer service also. He called me on the week end when I was installing to see how it was going. Now if our Doctors would only do that!!!
 

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I must say, I didn't expect the terminator to beat the gt500 in the quarter mile
It was'nt stock. I read on another site that it had a pulley redo.

:zlurking:
 
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