Monthly Archives: August 2013

Steeda at the 2013 Woodward Dream Cruise

The annual Woodward Dream Cruise takes place on the third Saturday of every August and is the world’s largest one-day automotive event drawing over 1.5 million people all celebrating the American automotive culture. The event takes place on legendary Woodward Avenue where automotive engineers street-tested vehicles in the 60’s and 70’s (and even today!) from stop light to stop light. This year, Steeda Autosports was at the center of it all with an ultra-prime display of our legendary automotive hardware at Woodward and 14 Mile Roads. In addition to displaying our race and production vehicles, we also proudly revealed our newest performance vehicle offering – the Steeda certified GT500 Wide-body (more on that in our next release).

Steeda at Woodward Dream Cruise

Steeda at Woodward Dream Cruise

While the Dream Cruise takes place officially on just one day, the excitement actually builds up to that day with over 50,000 vehicles parading along Woodward in the days and evenings prior to the official day. There is simply nothing else that compares to this event in the world and if you have never attended it before, you need to put this on your bucket list for sure!

Steeda at Woodward Dream Cruise

Steeda at Woodward Dream Cruise

At our corporate display we were proudly featuring a collection of our race and production vehicles including:

  • The all new Steeda certified GT500 Wide-body – where we took the stock GT500 and dramatically crafted a new wide-body performance package
  • Steeda Boss 302 Laguna Seca – where we took the best handling Ford Mustang that Ford makes and made it better by adding our proprietary suspension and powertrain enhancements
  • Steeda Q650 StreetFighter – Our legendary Street and Track performance beast that gets everyone’s heart pumping
  • Steeda Q450 R (race) – Driven by Regional and National American Iron champion Robin Burnett, this 2010 Steeda Q450 regularly competes in the American Iron Series
  • Steeda Q450 RS (Race/Street) – Driven by champion Anders Sjoblom, this 2005 Steeda Q450 RS has competed in the NASA Camaro Mustang Challenge Series.
  • Steeda Ford GT – This Steeda modified Ford GT is a perennial crowd favorite as it represents pure iconic Steeda American power

At Steeda, we always “push the limits” in everything we do and this Dream Cruise was no exception. On Saturday, during the busiest time of the cruise, we proudly took our production & race cars for a “quiet” cruise down Woodward. The sight of six Steeda vehicles with a combined total of 3681 heart pounding horsepower cruising down Woodward was a pure sight to behold! Needless to say, we attracted quite a bit of attention.

Steeda at Woodward Dream Cruise

Steeda at Woodward Dream Cruise

Suffice to say, we are already making plans for next years Dream Cruise. So mark your calendar for the third Saturday in August and meet with us in the Motor City!

SteedaSpeed Matters

Debut of the Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

At the Woodward Dream Cruise we proudly pulled the cover off of an exciting new performance vehicle from our Performance Speedshop – the Steeda certified GT500 Wide-body. Designed, engineered, and handcrafted to up the ante in the world of Mustang performance, this 2014 Steeda certified GT500 Wide-Body is the latest offering from the Design and Engineering Teams at Steeda Autosports. Providing an extremely aggressive yet smooth overall appearance, this wide-body conversion is not only extremely sinister looking in it’s overall appearance, but it also provides the opportunity to increase the wheel/tire size so as to provide dramatically increased traction – something desperately needed when it’s 725hp is unleashed on the unsuspecting asphalt.

Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

From a design perspective we purposely integrated features to improve the vehicles appearance – from major styling cues to minor ones. This is the type of vehicle modification that the more you look at it…..the more you see of the various changes we integrated into this stunning final design.

Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

Modification features (standard and optional) included in this wide-body conversion include the following custom designed features:

  • Uniquely designed front facia for a sinister looking appearance
  • Front fenders smoothly widened 6” to provide room for 22” wheels and the massive 285x30x22 tires
  • Rear fenders crafted to provide an additional 7” overall for the more massive 335x25x22 tires enhancing traction when you need it most
  • Shaved door handles with electronic door opening mechanism for a smooth-clean side aero appearance
  • Unique rear decklid treatment that subscribes to the theory: “Less is More” by featuring a clean appearance with the Cobra Snake proudly on display

This wide-body conversion can be performed on Mustang GT, Boss 302, and GT500 models and can be custom tailored to our customer wants, needs and budget. Naturally, we include in conversion the proprietary Steeda suspension and powertrain components to ensure that the finished product exceeds your performance expectations on the street and on the track.

While “Speed Matters” has been the official motto of Steeda Autosports for over 25 years and it aptly describes the rich DNA of this performance bred stallion. From the racetrack to the open road, the Steeda Q Series Wide-body never fails to reward and amaze drivers. In a single integrated high performance package, this exceptional creation combines the dynamics and agility of a sports racer with the everyday practicality and comfort of America’s original pony car. A complete package that includes serious performance mods and dynamic styling.

Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

Steeda Certified GT500 Widebody

The Steeda Certified GT500 Wide-Body is just one of the many serialized performance vehicle offerings available from Steeda Autosports – the leader in Ford Performance Vehicles.

SteedaSpeed Matters

All Watt’s Linkages are Not Created Equal

Steeda Autosports has the most technologically advanced and best performing suspension upgrade you can provide for your 2005 through current Mustangs – The Steeda Watt’s Linkage. Designed, engineered, and manufactured under strict ISO 9001-2008 Certified Procedures, it sets the benchmark for Watt’s Linkage suspension systems. When you consider purchasing a Watt’s Linkage, do not be fooled by advertising hype into thinking that all Watt’s Linkage systems are the same – because they are not. As part of our continuing documentaries on Mustang performance parts, we are going to expose the differences between the Steeda and Brand “X” Watt’s Linkages so you, the consumer, can make an intelligent purchase decision.

Steeda's Mustang Watt's Linkage

Background

First – the background on why a Watt’s Linkage is far superior to a Panhard Bar suspension. A Watt’s Linkage is used as the lateral positioning element in a multi-link suspension where the other links do not provide any (or minimal) lateral positioning. It replaces the Panhard Bar that was added when Ford re-designed the suspension with the 2005 model year and made the trailing arms parallel with the length of the chassis. When all of the trailing arms were made parallel, they no longer provided lateral (side-to-side) positioning by themselves (as they did on the Satchell Link design of the Fox/SN95).
What is wrong with a Panhard Bar?

As the axle mount position of a Panhard Bar rises and falls with suspension motion, the axle moves laterally with respect to the chassis due to the arc described by the Panhard Bar’s rotation. This, in effect, binds the suspension; preventing it from moving to where load transfer and geometry would like it to be. Therefore, the lower the amount of movement, the better. A perfectly set up Panhard Bar (that is, horizontal at ride height) with a length of 42.5″ (about what the S197 is) has a lateral motion of about 0.189″ (roughly 3/16″) toward the passenger side for 4″ of travel in both bump and rebound. When the Panhard Bar cannot be set up perfectly, the amount of lateral movement increases in either bump or rebound (depending on which end of the Panhard Bar is lower). Further, since the axle moves toward the passenger side in both bump and rebound, there is a different cornering characteristic when turning left vs. right.

Why is a Watt’s Linkage better?

A Watt’s Linkage nearly eliminates lateral motion in the middle of its operating range. With the lateral and center link lengths that Steeda uses, the lateral motion for 4″ of bump travel is about 0.018″ (roughly 1/64″ or 1/10 of the Panhard bar amount). At 4″ of rebound it is about 0.017″ (again, about 1/64″ or 1/10 of the Panhard bar). At 2″ of bump/rebound travel, the Watt’s Linkage is even more impressive. The Panhard Bar has moved 0.047″ while the Watt’s Linkage has moved less than 0.001″. This reduced amount of lateral motion allows the suspension to react to cornering forces in a more consistent manner. The wheels will be able to track the road more consistently. From a driver’s view, the axle will feel better controlled when encountering a bump or dip during a turn. The rear end will feel more connected and stable to the chassis. Because the lateral movement is near zero, the left vs. right turn dynamics are effectively the same. Another minor point is that since the axle locates consistently between the wheel wells, a slightly larger tire can be used without fear of rubbing the tire.

Mustang Watt's Linkage

Why should I buy a Watt’s Linkage for my Mustang?

This product is for the most discerning street performance enthusiast and also for those tracking their car. The inherent loose axle feeling with the Panhard Bar (due to lateral axle movement) doesn’t always inspire confidence when tossing the car around. The more stable feeling with a Watt’s Linkage should allow a typical driver to control the car closer to the vehicle’s limit.

Now…The Showdown: Steeda vs. Brand “X”

Now, lets compare the differences – this gets a bit technical at times, but in the details are the key substantial differences between the Steeda and the Brand “X” Watt’s Linkages:

1). Axle Mounted versus Chassis Mounted

Simply stated, the Steeda’s Watt’s link is chassis mounted whereas Brand “X”’ is axle mounted. In all Watt’s Linkages, the center pivot is the roll center.Chassis-mounted pivots have a consistent distance from the sprung mass to the roll center because the pivot (roll center) moves up and down with thesprung mass. Axle-mounted center pivots have a roll center height that is fixed at some point above the ground. So, as the body moves up and down,the distance between the sprung mass and the roll center will change. The reason that a consistent distance from sprung mass to roll center isimportant is that the sprung mass acts on the suspension through that distance. So, a consistent distance means consistent suspension loading,which leads to consistent tire loading and better overall vehicle handling.

ADVANTAGE: Steeda

2). Adjustability

The Brand “X” unit has 2 positions for the center pivot height and they are approximately less than 3/4″ apart. The SteedaWatt’s Linkage is continuously
adjustable allowing for an infinite amount of tuning adjustment to match your car’s setup, your driving skills, road/course conditions, and the type of driving you are doing.

ADVANTAGE: Steeda

3). Center Pivot Bushing

Mustang Watt's Linkage

The Brand “X” uses a synthetic elastomer bushing for the centerpivot. The type of busing they use will, over a prolong period, will deteriorate and show signs of wear due to the extreme forces subjected to it, but more importantly, a bushing of this type it is not as consistent in it’s retention characteristics because of it’s inherent physical nature (e.g. inherent flexing). The SteedaWatt’s linkage uses a pair of expensive rolling-element bearings that are pre-lubricated for extra long-life, and a bearing of this type provides for a consistent level of rotational movement – far superior to just a lower-grade and far less expensive synthetic elastomer bushing.

ADVANTAGE: Steeda

4). Lateral Load Transfer

The Brand “X” unit transfers the lateral loads through the Ford differential housing which was never designed by Ford for this purpose. Brand “X” attaches their Watt’s linkage using a purpose built differential cover to the existing mounting points with a gasket between them for sealing. With the gasket between the housing and the cover, and that fact that the attachment bolts cannot be torqued overly tight (usually only 24 – 35 ft. lbs. depending upon model year), the end result is that the differential gasket ends up transferring the load and in time, may be prone to leakage. In the Steeda Watt’s Linkage, the transfer of lateral load forces are accomplished into the chassis through a strategically engineered ultra-strong tubular chromoly structure that was purposely designed and engineered for this purpose. Purpose built, ultra-strong, and designed and engineered under strict ISO 9001-2008 certified standards, this is the best methodology one could engineer for the Mustang – bar none!

ADVANTAGE: Steeda

5). Vertical Path

A Watt’s link is said, generally, to provide a vertical path for the roll center rather than the C-shaped path of a Panhard bar. This is more-or-less true when, at nominal ride height, the center link is perfectly vertical and the linkage arms are perfectly horizontal. From this position,the roll center path is very, very close to straight-line vertical for some amount of axle travel up and down. In reality, when the entire travel rangeof a Watt’s link is plotted, the path that the center pivot takes is actually S-shaped. The length of the center pivot “propeller” and the linkage arms determines how much of the total travel will be vertical. A shorter “propeller” and/or shorter arms cause less vertical travel before the path starts looking S-shaped. The Brand “X” unit has fairly short centerpivot “propeller” which results in fairly short vertical travel capabilities. Whereas the Steeda Watt’s linkage has a much longer pivot propeller which inherently provides for the capability of longer vertical travel while still offering vertical roll center location.

ADVANTAGE: Steeda

Why is Steeda’s Watt’s Linkage better than others?

Mustang Watt's Linkage

We started with a “blank sheet”….doing extensive product evaluations and engineering simulations to form a basis for the current suspension dynamics on the Mustang. Then we combined our ISO Certified design process, engineering procedures, and computer animations along with real-world performance track driving sessions with the 2005-present Mustang to re-invent the best Watt’s Linkage upgrade possible for your vehicle. The Steeda Watt’s Linkage suspension upgrade, the BEST performing suspension upgrade for 2005-current Mustangs – PERIOD.

SteedaSpeed Matters