Category Archives: Product Info

New Product Release: Steeda Focus ST Ram Air Intake Scoop (13-14)

We’ve been busy here at Steeda Autosports developing new parts for your 2013 to 2014 Focus ST! Steeda’s Ram Air Intake Scoop allows your intake to receive the most direct and non-turbulent air straight from the front of the car. The more direct induction of air creates lower air inlet temperatures, resulting in horsepower and torque increase.

Unlike our competitors’ products, the Steeda Ram Air Intake Scoop is far superior in that it allows for a more natural “velocity effect,” in which air flows from a large opening to a smaller entrance in the intake – resulting in direct, free flowing, and cooler air. This part is also made right here in the USA!

Check out our detailed installation video for a more in-depth look, especially if you’re planning on installing this part yourself:

Here’s a link directly to the product: http://www.steedafocus.com/parts/steeda-focus-st-ram-air-intake-scoop-555-3196 – Steeda, Speed Matters

Steeda Developing 2015 Mustang Parts

Steeda Autosports – the largest independent manufacturer of performance parts for Ford vehicles is actively involved in the ongoing development of performance parts and accessories for the all-new 2015 Ford Mustang. For this all-new platform, we are developing comprehensive suspension system enhancements, chassis stiffening components, and engine upgrade components (tunes and cold air intakes) that will further enhance the overall vehicle ‘s performance without compromising the vehicle dynamics. All of our development work is being done under strict ISO 9001:2008 Globally Certified Processes – ensuring that purchasers of our parts get the highest quality level possible with the maximum amount of performance gain.

2015 Mustang Parts

Our plan is to have a complete array of parts available when the 2015 Mustang is available for initial sale – so that way those lucky individuals that get the first cars will not have to wait for a 2015 Mustang Cold Air Intake or a 2015 Mustang Performance Tune. If your desire is for handling enhancements, no need to worry because we will have your back covered with a complete array of 2015 Mustang Suspension upgrades including 2015 Mustang Lowering Springs, 2015 Mustang Chassis Stiffening components, 2015 Mustang Bumpsteer Kits, and much more. For those that are more inclined to track or drag race their car, rest assured that we will have the most complete product offerings to beef up the 2015 Mustang independent rear suspension (IRS) so that no matter how much power your 5.0 makes, nothing will break.

For 2015 Mustang wheels we are working on a complete line of fitments that will allow you to run wider Nitto tires for improved traction and grip. Want a 2015 Mustang exhaust kit with reduced back pressure and enhanced sound, we will have that too! From 2015 Mustang Brakes, 2015 Mustang Shifters, to 2015 Mustang Power Packs, you can count on Steeda to be YOUR source for all 2015 Mustang Performance Parts.

Track Tested Focus ST Parts

South Georgia Motorsports Park was the site for the season kickoff for the SCCA Dixie Region Auto X time trials. Cold and wet weather in the morning eventually cleared for sunny and near perfect conditions the rest of the day – an excellent opportunity for our Steeda Autosports specially prepared 2013 Focus ST to show exactly what it can do on a tight and extremely challenging autocross circuit.

At Steeda Autosports, we are continually testing the products we design, engineer, and manufacture under a wide variety of conditions – on the street, on the race track, at the drag strip, and even on autocross circuits. “Real World” testing like this at a variety of different venues provides us the opportunity to further validate the performance of our products, to do valuable durability testing, and also to ensure that the products we offer live up to our expectations as well as the expectations of our customers.

Our core DNA dictates that we continually push the boundaries of performance everyday because our customers expect nothing less. While plenty of aggressive testing has been done to some of these components we know we need to push it even further. “We needed to really hammer some of these parts,” explained Scott Boda, Steeda’s Director of Manufacturing. “While most of our customers will never put their cars through some of the testing we do, we know that somewhere, there are die-hard gear heads that will push performance limits and we want them to have confidence in their Steeda performance parts”.

At the event we were testing several new motor mounts and a couple other new key suspension components that have great promise for raising the bar of Focus ST performance even higher. With just 3 passes on the Steeda Focus ST we were able to cover the track in a blistering time of just 52 seconds, allowing the ST to win its class out of the 71 cars attending the event! While many people might think we had a professional autocross driver at the wheels for this specific test, we purposely opted to put Scott Boda behind the wheel to see what a seasoned drag racer could do when the road in front of him had many challenging turns. Suffice to say, the Steeda Focus ST carried the mail and made an autocross hero out of Scott!

Director of Manufacturing, Scott Boda, with Steeda's Development Focus ST

Director of Manufacturing, Scott Boda, with Steeda's Development Focus ST

Overall, it was a fun and very exciting day at the event and our test results provided us some key and very valuable information. The next validation we will be performing will be at the drag strip where we will push the Steeda Focus ST harder than we ever have before down the quarter mile – all in the quest of validating our parts and ensuring that they are the very best that they can be. Stay tuned – we will keep you posted!!

SteedaSpeed Matters

Setting the Bar – Steeda’s Improved Panhard Bar

If your Mustang is lowered or if you plan on lowering it in the future, the Steeda adjustable panhard bar is a necessary must have. Don’t take our word for it… stand behind a friend’s car that has lowering springs on it with no other modifications. Even with stock tires, you’ll notice that the rear is pushed out to the left. If you have wide tires and upgraded wheels, you’re almost guaranteed to rub without the use of a panhard bar.

Mustang Panhard Bar

Mustang Panhard Bar

The main function of the panhard bar is to provide the ability to adjust rear end offset. Our larger urethane bushings on the street model reduce flex and improve the panhard bar’s control resulting in better steering response and handling balance while maintaining low NVH (noise, vibration and harshness). If you’re a road race aficionado we also carry our track tested race version bar with spherical rod end bushings for the ultimate in rigidity and hard cornering capability.

The Steeda adjustable panhard bar is 40% lighter than its stock replacement and is 31% lighter than our closest competitor. We make our bar out of 4130 chrome moly steel which is stronger than the stock mild steel piece. This improved design over our original one allows for center adjustability using a CNC machined chrome moly steel adjuster and CNC chrome moly threaded inserts, precisely engineered to provide an easy adjustment while also allowing for an extremely high quality fit. The new center adjustment point also means no wrench fitment or installation issues.

Click Here to View Panhard Bar Product Page

Lighter. Stronger. Engineered to win.

SteedaSpeed Matters

Not All Swaybars Are Created Equal

It is no secret that if you want to take your vehicle’s handling to a higher level of performance, you have to upgrade its key suspension components. Most everyone automatically thinks that changing springs and shocks is the answer for ultimate handling, but one often overlooked and critical components are your vehicle’s swaybars. While the stock swaybars on most vehicles are fine for everyday driving conditions, performance/spirited driving, or driving on a race track or gymkhana course requires a much higher level of swaybar performance if you want to maximize your vehicles road holding and your overall driving experience. From a safety perspective, stock swaybars can fail when pushed over their limits, exposing you and your vehicle to potentially dangerous and uncontrolled driving conditions. As part of our continuing documentaries on performance parts, in the ensuing paragraphs, we will define how a swaybar performs, and expose the major differences in swaybars that you need to be aware of before you purchase this easy to install upgrade.

Background Swaybars (aka: anti-roll bars, stabilizer bars, stay-bars) are a critical part of a vehicles suspension system that helps reduce the body roll of a vehicle during fast cornering or over road irregularities. It connects opposite wheels together (left side / right side) through lever arms linked usually by a tubular structure that functions as a torsion spring, leveraging cornering forces to assist maintaining the vehicle level during turns. A swaybar increases the overall suspension’s roll stiffness – that is its resistance of your vehicle to roll in turns during normal and aggressive driving conditions. Note that roll stiffness is different and independent of the vertical movements that your suspension springs provide – however both need to work in complete harmony together so as to maximize your vehicle’s drivability, safety, and performance characteristics. A swaybar is made from a specially constructed and bent U-shaped piece of steel that connects to the vehicle’s body at two key mounting points, and then is also connected to the appropriate left and right hand portions of the lower suspension member. If the left and right wheels move together, the bar just rotates about it’s mounting points and does not bend. If the wheels movement is not relative to each other, the bar is subjected to torsion and is forced to twist. It is this twisting motion that the bar resists through its stiffness and acts to reduce the amount of lean by the vehicle.

Steeda's 2005 & Newer Mustang Front Swaybar

Steeda's 2005 & Newer Mustang Front Swaybar

Many factors affect how a sway bar performs, including:

  • The specific metal selected for the swaybar (type and composition of steel, it’s thickness, etc).
  • The inverse of the length of the lever arms (i.e., the shorter the lever arm, the stiffer the bar)
  • The geometry of the mounting points
  • The swaybar’s mounting and isolation points

Aggressive street and racing sway bars provide for individual adjustment of the lever arms, allowing the stiffness of the swaybar assembly to be modified by adjustments that increase or reduce the length of the lever arms. This adjustment permits the roll stiffness to be tuned for different race or competition situations without replacing the entire bar. The stiffer the bar, the more force required to move the left and right wheels relative to each other. The end result is that this increases the amount of force required to make the body roll and the force that was going to be used for body roll is now being placed on the tire that needs traction.

What are the primary differences in Swaybars? Not all swaybars available in the market today are the same – as there are many different ways to construct a swaybar, different materials that may be used, and different ways to engineer a swaybar. As a matter of fact there are even some aftermarket swaybars that can dramatically cause a negative affect on your vehicle’s handling or not deliver the desired outcome you desire… so it is important that you make an informed decision before purchasing any swaybar for your vehicle. Following is a discussion that identifies some of the key differences that you need to be aware of:

Solid vs Tubular Bar Construction

Most swaybars supplied on vehicles today and available in the aftermarket are made from heavy solid steel bar stock. To the novice, the thought of a solid bar has the implication of strength and superior construction due to it’s sheer mass, however there are many misconceptions and major disadvantages to solid bar stock that you need to be aware of before you consider a bar of this type. One of the primary deficiencies of solid bar construction is the overall weight of the bar and the effect it has on your cars un-sprung mass. Suspension designers and racers alike, all strive to reduce the un-sprung mass as much as possible so that maximum performance can be obtained.

Steeda's Hollow Swaybars Help Reduce Unsprung Weight

Steeda's Hollow Swaybars Help Reduce Unsprung Weight

Remember: Weight is the enemy of performance, and a solid bar easily outweighs one of our comparable tubular bars by a substantial margin – sometimes as much as 65%. At Steeda, we strategically design and engineer our swaybars from tubular stock using a far superior and proprietary alloy of our own specifications. This alloy provides exceptional yield strengths that are substantially within any foreseen/projected failure points, ensuring that it will never fail under the most sever street or race conditions you could ever subject it to. And the lighter weight of our tubular bar dramatically reduces un-sprung weight – further enhancing your vehicles performance. After all of the computer analysis and simulations our engineers perform, we then bolt the swaybar into one of our test vehicles and then torture test it on some of the most harsh race conditions possible at some of the harshest tracks – all in an effort to guarantee the very best swaybar possible for you.

Swaybar Ends

Most swaybars available today are made from a solid round bar whose ends are coined or smashed flat and punched for mounting holes. The drastic change to the cold-formed material during the “smashing process” creates many small microscopic stress fractures. Experienced metallurgists will tell you that whenever you do that, you effectively destroy the structural integrity of the material thereby creating a potentially weaker / stress spot for a potential future point of failure. The Steeda solution: Steeda Autosport’s Swaybars are designed and made in the USA in our facility under strict ISO 9001-2008 quality control process using the very best materials available – we take absolutely no shortcuts when it comes to the quality level of manufacturing we utilize.

Steeda Billet Swabyar Ends

Steeda Billet Swaybar Ends

Rather than taking a shortcut and smashing the ends of the bar, our swaybar ends are precision machined out of an exceptionally strong proprietary material and then are mated to the tubular bar with a weld joint that structurally bonds the two parts together at the molecular level. When joined together, the welded joint is actually the strongest part of the bar – stronger than a solid or tubular bar. The end result is the portion of the bar that has the greatest level of stress is actually the strongest part of the bar – ensuring that it will not fail no matter the forces and stress you may subject it to.

Manufacturing Process

Most swaybars manufactured by aftermarket companies are made from heavy, solid steel stock and are bent on a tubing bender. Oftentimes the material they choose for the bar is dictated by the type of bending machine they utilize for the manufacturing process – this is not the way you want your swaybars manufactured! Some manufacturers may use a more costly mandrel bender for their manufacturing process, but they lack the overall Computer Aided Manufacturing process that would ensure a consistent level of manufacturing that are certified by ISO.

At Steeda, we take suspension systems very seriously, and we invested an insane amount of capital in developing a swaybar manufacturing machine to our own unique specifications. Creation of this machine incorporated the most advanced and most costly computer controlled manufacturing processes and a hydraulic system that is not only extremely powerful, but is also exceptionally accurate – guaranteeing a consistent manufacturing quality and resulting in the very best product that can be made.

Warranty

Many manufacturers guarantee their swaybar for only one or two years, and oftentimes their warranty is voided if the vehicle is raced or subjected to untold abuse that the vehicle may be subjected to. And others do not even mention any warranty provisions – instead they hope and pray that nothing ever happens to their products. They purposely limit their liability because they do not have the confidence in their finished product because they are fully aware that it can be manufactured to a higher quality level.

Lifetime Warranty

At Steeda, we are so confident that our swaybars are manufactured to the highest quality levels that we put a free unconditional lifetime guarantee on every one we manufacture. Our warranty is further reinforced by our ISO 9001-2008 manufacturing process that strategically monitors all phases of manufacturing – ensuring that the quality level of the finished product is never compromised. With a lifetime warranty and strict ISO 9001-2008 certified standards, we have complete confidence in our products so you can also can have complete confidence in what you have purchased. Advantage: Steeda .

The final word When Ford performance enthusiasts discuss chassis dynamics, it will not take long for the name Steeda Autosports to come into the conversation – and with very good reason. If you want the ultimate in suspension upgrades for the street, track, or strip – look no further than Steeda Autosports. We are the Number One in Ford performance parts and vehicles with our parts have won more races and set more track records than all of our competitors combined. At Steeda Autosports, we take the development and refinement of a vehicle’s suspension system very seriously and have spent countless engineering and development hours to bring to market the very best swaybars available today. ‘Track Tested and Street Smart’, our swaybars are equally at home on your street driven vehicle or on the racetrack, they simply have no equal in the industry today. Designed and manufactured exclusively by Steeda Autosports in the USA under strict ISO 9001-2008 standards, they withstand the rigors of high performance racing and yet exhibit excellent NVH characteristics, so you get the performance and handling benefits you want without degrading your ride quality.

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

Not All Control Arms Are Created Equal

The problem most consumers face when purchasing suspension upgrade components for their vehicle is often whether or not they are purchasing the right product and will it live up to their performance expectations. Oftentimes, faced with cost and brand considerations, consumers may inadvertently purchase a product from a source that they think is a quality supplier/manufacturer, only to find out that the part they purchased for their American pony car lacked proper engineering and performance/safety validation, was built with substandard materials and with inferior quality processes. As a result, the “deal” they thought they had ends up being a disaster. In the ensuing paragraphs and pictures, we are going to expose a HUGE quality difference that you must consider when purchasing ANY performance part for your vehicle. Like the proverb says: “Let the Buyer Beware”…

Steeda Versus Brand X

Steeda Versus Brand X - Click to Supersize Image

To the average person there is probably little perceivable difference in the various suspension components that are available for a Mustang today. From an casual observation perspective, they share common mounting points – but there are an untold multitude of differences that are related to their inherent design, engineering, and materials used in fabrication that result in substantial handling, NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), performances gains, and durability… Differences that you need to be aware of so as to maximize performance and ensure safe operation of your vehicle.

On The Right, Brand X's Super Thin Material is Failing Under Normal Use

On The Right, Brand X's Super Thin Material is Failing Under Normal Use

The photo above compares the two different upper control arms for a 2005 – 2014 Ford Mustang. The upper control arm is a critical part of a Mustang’s rear suspension – properly selected and installed it reduces wheel hop and improves traction under hard acceleration. The picture with the red bushing is our regular production upper control arm (#555-4112) with our upper chassis link (#555-4027) and the part with the yellow bushing is a typical competitive part from Brand X. To the casual observer, they look somewhat similar – but there are HUGE differences in how they are engineered, constructed and how they will hold up under demanding street and track use. For one, the Steeda part is fully adjustable, allowing you to dial in the appropriate pinion angle without removing the arm from the vehicle.

Welding

Note that the material on the Steeda part is painstakingly TIG welded in the optimum locations with the exact level of weld penetration and heat application for fusing the parts together – this ensures an exceptionally strong finished component structure. Additionally, the Steeda part is stitch-welded to ensure that no warping occurs during fabrication. Sure this takes more time and cost more to construct, but the end result is a solid finished product that is structurally sound and still true to engineering specifications.

Steeda Welds

Superior TIG Steeda Welds

Note that the welds on the Brand X product have indication of less than ideal weld penetration with weld material sitting on top of the material, rather than being integrated and fusing the material together – this results in inferior strength and structural durability of the completed product as the weld lacked the heat to properly bond the parts together for maximum strength. Furthermore, the weld appearance is indicative of a quickened welding process where cost is the prime consideration verses strength. Remember, with any weld, it is the degree of weld penetration and fusion of metal that occurs that matters most – verses – the amount of weld material sitting on top of the parts being joined.

Inferior Welding

Inferior MIG Brand X Welding

Material Strength

The Brand X product lacks the heavy-duty construction of the Steeda part, with material in some key areas less than 50% of the thickness of the same area on the Steeda part. In the photos below, the Steeda bracket has a dimensional thickness of 6.39mm and the Brand X dimension is a meager 3.21mm – with the tremendous forces this part is subjected to, it is only a matter of time before the part will flex, bend, and ultimately have a catastrophic failure when the vehicle launches exceptionally hard or is subjected to the tremendous forces of track and aggressive street driving.

Brand X Uses Inferior, Thin Materials

Steeda's Materials are TWICE as Thick as Brand X

Bushings

From a busing perspective, the Brand X products synthetic bushing employs a pinhole voiding feature and lacks a thrust washer to properly retain the bushing within the structural housing. The construction technique results in reduced structural durability and integrity in the long-term and is prone to excessive NVH (Noise, Vibration, Harshness) characteristics as it wears because it lacks overall structural durability and integrity.

Brand X Lacks Trust Washing, Inducing Unwanted Lateral Movement

Brand X Lacks Thrust Washers, Inducing Unwanted Lateral Movement

The Steeda bushings we use in our upper control arm are a special proprietary three-piece design (see image below) we engineered and competition tested to enhance performance and reduce NVH over other inferior competitive designs. We strategically integrate a thrust washer to secure the bushing, further increasing structural integrity and providing reduced slop. Designed for demanding use on both the street and track, our part has been extensively tested on our race cars under the most severe conditions possible – all without failure and compromise!

Steeda's Thrust Washing, Eliminate Unwanted Lateral Movement

Steeda's Thrust Washers, Eliminate Unwanted Lateral Movement

As an additional example of the vast hidden differences in control arms today, look at the cut-away photo below in which we expose the differences in a typical non-adjustable upper rear control arm for the 1979 – 2004 Mustang in the market today. The non-Steeda control arm in this picture was installed on a street Mustang and after installation, it quickly deteriorated to the point where there was a serious “slop” in the rear suspension as the bushing in the control arm suffered wear under the stress it is subjected to. Suffice to say, with this component part, the vehicles handling capabilities and the NVH characteristics diminished ever further as the bushing prematurely failed due to its design and construction.

In the picture below, you can see how we cutaway the upper control arms to expose exactly what went wrong for everyone to see. In this case, the durometer (the measure of the hardness of the bushing) was too stiff – and this stiffness caused dramatically increased noise, vibration, and harshness to be transferred to the vehicles chassis, and in addition, with the tremendous stress the control arm is subject to, premature wear of the busing occurred that resulted in adverse handling and essentially a failure of the suspension assembly.

Steeda's Three Piece Bushing (left) Eliminates Bind Unlike Other Brands, Which are Known to Fail

Steeda's Three Piece Bushing (left) Eliminates Bind Unlike Other Brands, Which are Known to Fail

In this picture, you can see just how much more thought and engineering went into what we designed, engineered, and manufactured under our strict ISO 9001-2008 manufacturing processes. We specifically designed the control arm out of lightweight aluminum, and provided increased reinforcement in key critical areas where it is subjected to extreme stress. In addition, we employ an industry exclusive design of incorporating three busing materials into one – the outer bushings (red in color) have a specific durometer rating so as to limit NVH and provide the flexibility required for suspension movement, and the center bushing (black in color) has a much higher durometer rating so that it provides the tight travel and control a reduction in lateral movement that is desired for maximum control and traction.

In addition to the obvious differences in bushings, we purposely constructed this Steeda upper control arm out of 6061 aerospace grade aluminum alloy – an alloy that affords tremendous strength and one that also dramatically reduces the un-sprung weight of the suspension. TIG welded, our control arm in this instance is 25% lighter than the factory control arm and is less than one-third the weight of competitive steel control arms. Remember, un-sprung weight is “the enemy” when it comes to suspensions as it has a negative effect on how your suspension system reacts as it encounters uneven road surfaces and in addition, it results on harsher riding conditions as the increased mass is being moved around.

In summary – not all suspension components are created alike – there are major differences in engineering, manufacturing, and material quality. So – when you set out to enhance the performance of your vehicle, remember “The Steeda Difference”.

Designed, Engineered, and manufactured under strict ISO 9001-2008 Standards and competition tested under the most grueling race conditions on the planet, the Steeda name is your GUARANTEE of quality. Made in the USA and with a lifetime guarantee – you simply cannot buy any better performance part.

SteedaSpeed Matters

You Ask, We Listen. Steeda’s New No-Compromise Rear X-Brace

Vehicle engineers around the world all know that chassis torsional rigidity is a critical factor in ensuring the optimum cornering ability of your car and how much you can accelerate into, through, and out of a turn. A stiffened chassis has a direct affect on how well your vehicle will handle when it is driven aggressively on the road, track, or at the dragstrip. The reason for this is because if your chassis is a “big wet noodle”, all the suspension tuning and roll stiffness adjustment in the world won’t function properly because your car is flexing so much. Now – Steeda Autosports is proud to announce that we have a newly engineered and hugely impactful rear X-Brace that dramatically stiffens the rear chassis area AND it allows for full retention of your rear seat!

Steeda Mustang Rear X-Brace

Contrary to common belief, there is no such thing as a chassis that doesn’t flex. When put under a load under aggressive driving on the street or the track, every vehicle chassis has a variable amount of flex – and this flexibility if left unchecked, can have a hugely detrimental effect on your ride quality, handling abilities, and your overall vehicle performance.

In essence, chassis stiffness is what separates a great car to drive from one that is merely just an OK. Lets dig into the some of the specifics about chassis stiffening and also the facts and features of the new Steeda X-Brace for the ’05 – ’14 Ford Mustang.

Steeda Mustang X-Brace Installed

Steeda Mustang X-Brace

The chassis of a car is the most important structural part of your vehicle. The more rigid it is, the better chance that all of the wheels will point in the desired direction. This is a good thing for control, safety, comfort, and maximum performance. If the vehicle’s body/frame flexes too much, the wheels (and therefore the vehicle itself), will move in directions other than the one in which the driver is intending it to go in. This movement doesn’t have to be large to be noticeable or have a negative effect on overall vehicle performance. The need for constant steering corrections while driving may be due to frame flex (among many other possible causes). This can be tiring at best, and can make a car’s cornering abilities far less than optimum – another very negative performance factor. In the past, when automobile frames were less rigid than today, sports cars often had very stiff suspensions. This reduced unwanted wheel movement –but– it also reduced comfort, and, seemingly paradoxically, sometimes reduced handling abilities as well. Remember, your vehicle’s tires must be in constant contact with the ground in order to transmit acceleration, braking, or cornering forces. A suspension that is too stiff will have wheels rebounding into the air, adversely affecting road grip, handling, and performance. The speed gurus at Steeda Autosports set out to tackle this issue and with the mission to design a solution that improved chassis rigidity and also did not impact the rear seat area of a Mustang. The solution: The all-new Steeda X-Brace made for the 2005 – 2014 Ford Mustang.

Steeda Mustang X-Brace

Strategically designed, engineered, and manufactured under our strict ISO 9001:2008 Certified Standards, this chassis enhancement is designed to be mounted to the rear shock towers and offers a dramatic improvement over current competitive designs which only attach to the sheet metal behind the rear seat. The design of the Steeda X-Brace is such that the loads between the rear shocks, springs and the chassis are part of a more unified and substantial vehicle structure – not just the sheet metal of the car. Since it is mounted to the shock towers, the reaction time it has on correcting the loads at the rear of the car are dramatically reduced.

The Steeda X-Brace brace installs in the chassis area between the rear wheel wells behind the rear seat – effectively coupling this part of the rear structure together for increased chassis rigidity. Manufactured in the USA in our Valdosta Georgia facility, this X-Brace is designed for the street, track, and dragstrip.

Some Features & Benefits

  • 4130 Chrome Moly tubular steel for “HARDCORE” structural area support
  • Structural steel mounting brackets
  • A beautiful baked powder coated finish
  • Easy bolt-in or welded-in installation
  • Provides the retention of full functionality of the rear seat

Steeda’s Mustang rear x-brace is available from Steeda and in-stock. Click Here to order your own x-brace.

Remember – When it comes to enhancing the performance of your Ford vehicle, you can rely on Steeda Autosports to provide the highest quality performance parts that are designed, engineered, and manufactured here in in the USA. Our mission is to constantly push the boundaries of performance and offer our customers the performance parts they want and need – all at the highest level of quality and value for you hard earned dollar.

SteedaSpeed Matters

Steeda Leading The Way in Focus ST Tuning

Ford has hit a home run when they brought the 2013 Focus ST with the 2.0L EcoBoost to market as it provides enthusiasts looking for increased performance and handling in a compact package the added bonus of great fuel economy. With this platform we saw the outstanding potential to take it to the next level of overall engine performance. After months of dedicated research and development, Steeda Autosports is proud to formally announce our Steeda Certified Custom Tune services for the 2.0L EcoBoost powered Focus ST.

Focus ST Custom Tuning

With the stock calibration from Ford Motor Company, we found there is a substantial amount of torque and throttle limiting pre-programmedinto the stock calibration. . In certain instances, we found that programming the PCM to open the throttle all the way could actually hurt power in the low end and midrange. So while we can make the system give us full throttle sooner, we purposely have delayed it ever so slightly – which results in higher power loads and torque production in the low end and mid-range of the power band.

With our Steeda Certified Tune Programs we provide additional horsepower and torque while providing the utmost in engine safety and reliability. Steeda Certified Custom tunes are available for 87, 91, 92, and 93 octane fuel versions.. The dyno gains shown in our graph is our tune for 92 octane or higher fuel, note that gains will be less with lower octanes tunes. As the graph below shows we achieved horsepower and torque gains throughout the entire powerband.

Focus ST Dyno Graph

Focus ST Dyno Graph - Click Image to Enlarge

Breaking down the actual peak numbers, the torque peak numbers are the result of spikes from the initial hit, so we will break down the numbers to properly illustrate the gains achieved.

Focus ST Dyno Graph Showing Torque Curve

Focus ST Dyno Graph Showing Torque Curve - Click Image to Enlarge

Looking at the peak torque shown of 318, that is a false peak due to a spike from the initial boost hit. Reading the highlighted point in the run at 3100rpm, a point where measurements have now stabilized and you are getting true readings, you can see we’ve gained over 52 ft/lbs of torque and carry large torque gains through another 1,800rpm, torque stays above stock the entire run all the way through 7,000 rpm.

Focus ST Dyno Graph at Higher RPM

Focus ST Dyno Graph at Higher RPM - Click Image to Enlarge

With no spikes to worry about for horsepower readings here we have clean, easy to understand numbers. Peak-to-peak gains were just shy of 15 horsepower, but point-to-point gains are much higher. At 5,100 we see an 18+ horsepower gain, at the highlighted point at 5,700, we see over 27 horsepower. At other points lower in the powerband we have gains of over 25 horsepower. In fact the average gain between 4,000 and 6,000 is well over 20 horsepower. Gains you will feel and enjoy everytime you mash the gas pedal.

Ready to take your Focus ST to the next level? Steeda Certified Custom Tunes will take you there reliably and safely.

SteedaSpeed Matters