Suspension definitions
#1
Swaybars- Swaybars are nothing more than springs. What they do is borrow spring rate from the inside spring (unloaded) and lend it to the outside spring because it is under more load. In theory you can run big swaybars and light springs or small swaybars and heavy springs and get almost identical handling traits. You don't need swaybars to support the new springs and it sounds like you will not be pushing the car hard enough to want them. Also keep in mind the thicker the swaybar the worse the ride gets. And like most suspension parts swaybars increase NVH.

Adjustable Panhard rod- You already have a panhard rod but it's not adjustable and not as stiff as the aftermarket ones. Not being stiff is not an issue if you are not pushing the car hard. And unless you have some very sticky tires you can't load the bar enough to make it flex. Now you may need an adjustable one to re-center the axle after you lower the car. But you won't know that until you lower it and have it on the ground. If you want to spend some money get one. But if you have other stuff you would rather buy wait till you know if you need it to center the axle. Aftermarket panhard rods increase NVH.

Camber bolts-Once lowered you may not have enough camber adjustment to replicate the suggested stock alignment specs. Some cars do, some don't. If you can't replicate the alignment specs most of the time a set of camber bolts (special bolts with little cams built in) will get you to the numbers you need. Again you won't know if you need them until it’s on the ground and measured. They are super cheap though and you probably will need them so having a set on hand for doing the alignment isn't a bad idea.

Caster/Camber plates-These can be used instead of camber bolts and also allow for caster adjustment which you don't get with the stock hardware. CC plates are nice to have because you can set your geometry up over a bigger range but again if you are not running the car hard you don't need them. They are not inexpensive either. CC plates also increase NVH.

Shocks-Shocks are a support mechanism for springs. What they do is control the springs rebound and to a lesser degree the compression of the spring. You only need/want enough shock to control the spring. Shocks will only control a spring with a matching rate. For example, if you go with springs that are double the rate the shocks will not be able to control the spring correctly and the car will misbehave. It works the other way too. If the springs are very light and the shocks are set up for stiff ones the suspension will not behave correctly. For aggressive setups shocks need to be matched to spring rates. This is one of the least understood and prevalent problem with the way car suspensions are sold. Buying brand "X" springs and brand "Y" shocks will most likely net you a less than ideal setup because they were not spec'd out to work together. This is why I always suggest people buy their suspensions as a kit that has been designed to work as a system. That being said if you go with a set of light rate "lowering" springs the stock shocks will be able to control them correctly until they wear out.

LCA relocation brackets- Like everything else a modification should be done to fulfill a need or fix a problem. The LCA relocation brackets are best suited to cars with lots of power, lots of traction and sees the strip a lot. In my opinion they are not needed for the street at all unless you have a ton of power and traction and plan on doing a lot of street racing. The jury is still out on if the relocation brackets offer an advantage to cars that are set up for attacking corners. On paper it looks like they could provide an advantage. But on paper an argument can be made that they will cause the premature loss of traction because roadrace rubber has far less traction than drag tires and when the power is being put down the "corner" car is at a completely different angle than a drag car. An interesting bit of fact is that the FR500 race cars do not run relocation brackets even though it is not against the rules. I like to think the Ford Motorsport designers know what they are doing. I have my own theory about the use of relocation brackets on a "corner" car and that is I think the car would be set up best if the brackets where somewhere near the middle of where the OEM brackets and the aftermarket relocation brackets go. And going along with the theme of my post in my opinion you don't want/need relocation brackets unless you are pushing the car to its limits or drag racing a lot. And if you did want to use them in a cornering application they may not give you any advantage and could possibly make things worse. You would need to do a lot of testing.

Bump Steer Kits- Lowered cars sometimes suffer from bump steer after being lowered depending on the specific car and how much the car is lowered. Bump steer is when you hit a bump mid corner and as that wheels suspension is compressed the toe of the wheel changes as it goes through its stroke which has the possibility of "steering" the car a little and for a split second the front tires will not be pointed in the same direction. In my opinion I wouldn't mess with bump steer unless I lowered the car quite a bit and planned on driving the car hard. That being said my car is lowered a lot, has VERY wide tires and suffers from some bump steer. I have had a bump steer kit in a box for almost two years now that I have not put in. I know its there, what it will do when I hit a bump, etc but it has not bothered me enough to take the time to put the kit on. I will be doing it this winter but that is because the entire car is torn down to almost nothing.

Strut tower brace- I have done a lot of chassis flex testing and unless you are running wide slicks up front and pushing the car to its limits you will never flex the strut towers in relation to each other. On the other hand the car has a ton of flex between the strut towers and the fire wall. I have not seen a brace on the market that will solve this problem correctly. The FR500 race cars don't have strut tower braces.

Tires- Tires will effect you cars handling, feel, limits, etc more than any other suspension component and in most cases just about all of them combined. The biggest/least expensive suspension mod you will ever do is to mount up a quality set of tires.
Each of my posts is a sincere attempt to correlate & compound the collective knowledge of this community for the benefit of myself & all Mach1 owners who read these pages today, and in the future!
Welcome all Mach1 enthusiasts were glad your here! Jump on in and spread all the knowledge you can.Rockxtreme


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Mike AKA "Rare Pony"  & "Ole Pony"

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