When Ford set out to update the S197 in 2011, they zeroed in on handling performance and competence on a road course as being as important as the car’s quarter mile time, setting off a whole paradigm shift within FoMoCo about what a Mustang “should be”. Taking cues from the renewed interest in the corner carving ability of the Mustang, Paul set off on a Boss 302-style build for his Mustang GT with a bit of help from Mod Expert Sean.
Already sitting low on BC Coilovers and boasting a full suite of Whiteline Suspension goodies to keep that wild live rear axle of the Mustang in check, the only thing Paul’s Mustang GT needed desperately was a set of wheels – and given that the S197 looks best on 20’s, Sean knew just what to recommend. A set of Flow Form FF01 Wheels for Mustang from HRE Performance Wheels.
Spec’d out at 20×9 up front with a 20×10.5 in back, Paul needed adequately beefy tires to match the HRE FF01s. A set of Nitto Tires NT555s were just what the doctor ordered in a meaty 285/30-20 / 305/30-20 setup. The BC Coilovers are set to allow just the right amount of wheelgap, making the car look as good as it performs.
The rear suspension has been worked over considerably with Whiteline goodies. Keeping that live axle in check is a Whiteline Panhard Rod for Mustang GT – as we’ve previously explained, the panhard bar has an important job, and the height of the panhard bar determines the height of the rear roll center – the roll center being an imaginary point around which the racecar “rolls”.
As we explained in our guide to how to properly lower an S197 Ford Mustang GT so it doesn’t handle like garbage, it doesn’t just stop with a panhard bar – and Paul hasn’t overlooked the important stuff.
When you lower a car like Paul has with his S197 Mustang, the suspension needs to be adjusted to compensate – when you lower the panhard bar, the rear roll center drops, which tightens cornering handling by promoting side-bite. By keeping the axle from wandering around, the S197 Mustang GT’s stability is improved dramatically.
Fitted with beefy 285-series up front, Paul’s Mustang is as competent in the corners as is it in a straight line.
The overall look it creates is both purposeful and aggressive.
The exhaust system sports a Boss 302 Side Exhaust setup with a Borla Atak Exhaust for Ford Mustang GT. The rear bumper has been converted to a Boss 302 Style Rear Bumper Valance/Diffuser for a more aggressive look.
Borla ATAK Exhaust with Boss 302 Bumper Valance/Diffuser
The polished tips of the ATAK Exhaust works brilliantly with the Boss 302 rear end, filling out the exhaust cutouts almost completely.
Check out the side profile.
Enhancing the output of the Coyote 5.0L V8 further is a Ford Racing Pro-Cal Tune /Power Pack, and since this is a manual transmission car, it’s been upgraded with an MGW Short Throw Shifter and a Whiteline Transmission Mount Insert Bushing.
Want to know more about how to make your S197 Ford Mustang faster? Talk to a Mod Expert today to find out how.
Tired of driving around a boring, stock car? We can fix that! Talk to the Mod Experts like Sean– call us at 714-582-3330 (x8009 for Sean) to see how we can help enhance your Mustang Motoring experience. Our Mod Experts can help you make your ponycar faster, sound beefier, sit lower, corner harder and look more badass – so talk to us today online or stop by the ModAuto showroom during business hours in La Habra, CA.
Story & Photos Nick Gregson