Category Archives: Product Info

Why Steeda Cold Air Intakes Blow Away The ‘Competition’

Shopping for a Mustang Cold Air Intake and a Mustang Performance Tune should be easy – you want to purchase the best performing intake system that delivers maximum horsepower, offers great reliability, all with the highest level of quality available for your hard earned dollar. Unfortunately, the market today is full of various manufacturers and retailers that are promoting products that have inferior quality and design, do not maximize “safe” horsepower and torque, and may potentially cause more harm than good. With many retailers making claims that are often under fulfilled, the consumer today is often more challenged then they may realize in their decision making selection.

In the automotive business, you get what you pay for. If you want a cheap underperforming intake and tune – there are plenty available to choose from. But if you want a serious CAI that is designed, engineered, and manufactured under strict ISO 9001-2008 Certified standards and one that will stand up to the test of time on the track, dragstrip, or on the street – the solution is really simple – let us explain the simple truth about Mustang Cold Air Intakes and Performance Tunes:

Construction

For purposes of this review, we are comparing two very popular Cold Air Intakes (CAI) that are available in the market today: The Steeda ProFlow Cold Air Intake and another CAI from a manufacturer we will politely refer to as being from “J”. The “J” CAI is often blogged about as being a good intake for the money. But when you do a detailed engineering review of the intake and explore their inner elements – you will be shocked by what you will discover and how you have been mislead by marketing hype and salesmanship.

The photo above is of the Steeda ProFlow CAI. Note the stainless steel construction of the housing that separates the incoming air from the engine compartment. This extremely durable housing is topped off with a soft/pliable yet tough neoprene synthetic rubber that forms a tight seal against the vehicle hood – effectively stopping unwanted hot engine compartment air from entering the air box. The air filter is a special composite nano-particle element that is extremely effective at stopping ambient debris and dirt – yet it also allows for maximum air-flow by being less restrictive than most other filters on the market. This filter incorporates a special inner pleating design that affords maximum surface area – key for ensuring a smooth and uninterrupted flow of incoming air.

A design element we have incorporated into this CAI is our exclusive aluminum velocity stack component that we developed directly from feedback and tests from our factory sponsored Mustang racing program.

This velocity stack serves multiple purposes – primarily to ensure a smooth airflow across the Mass Air sensor so that its readings are not compromised, and also to provide a denser flow of fresh incoming air. Sure it costs much-much more to include a part of this design, yet alone a part made of aircraft grade aluminum, but when you set out to design and engineer the best CAI possible, this is an example of the key details and expense you include in your product. Securely fitted to the velocity stack is a durable silicone connector with dual stainless steel band clamps that attaches our roto-molded inlet tube with our proprietary cool-tube technology. Together these components provide an extremely smooth transition for incoming air to enter the engine’s intake manifold.

To the novice, the Cold Air Intake from “J” is superficially similar in appearance – being comprised of an airbox, filter media, and an inlet tube. However, that is where the similarities end. When you look real close at the design of the airbox housing, note that there is an inherent design flaw that does not completely seal the airbox from the engine compartment – a flaw that will certainly allow unwanted hot engine compartment heat to enter the airbox. When you cutaway the various components, note the connection between the air filter and the intake tube….this slip on connection has the inlet tube sticking out directly into the path of the incoming air – forming a pronounced step that is essentially a built-in turbulence generator. This will precipitate an increase in turbulence of the flow of the incoming air.

This turbulence occurs at one of the most critical areas of the CAI – just upstream of the Mass Air Flow sensor….not a good thing for maximizing efficiency or performance.

In addition, there is the strong likelihood for a mistake to occur during installation in that this design has no real built in “stops” provided to set the two pieces in the optimum position. The potential exists where the pieces could be slid too close together causing the inlet tube to protrude even further into the incoming airflow causing an even more turbulence into the incoming airflow.

From a design, engineering and construction perspective you can readily see that there indeed is a substantial difference in Cold Air Intakes in their engineering. These differences can and will have a dramatic affect on your vehicles performance.

Now – lets test these two Cold Air Intakes and document the actual differences under real world testing:

Testing Performance

Most people think the intention of a Cold Air Intake is to feed your engine with a clean fresh and cool supply of air for peak performance, and they are partially right. Everyone knows that cooler – denser incoming air is a key ingredient for maximizing horsepower and overall performance of your engine. However no one thinks about maximizing airflow AND velocity for the best overall performance. This is a key factor Steeda Autosports does not overlook.

Bigger is not always better. It takes careful design and understanding of airflow to design a performance intake. Just throwing the largest mass air housing you can put on a car isn’t going to automatically produce the best power under the curve. In many cases it can actually hurt power. Precisely matching MAF size along with our velocity stack helps preserve velocity, which avoids negatively affecting throttle response and low end torque. This means better low end power production and better overall response and feel.

In an effort to test the effectiveness of both the Steeda and the ‘J’ CAI, we embarked on a series of tests including dyno testing and real world thermo tests that would effectively and accurately provide quantitative data that would reveal the performance of each intake. Our research for each CAI was performed on the same 2011 Mustang GT and under as identical conditions as possible (e.g. driven over the same routes, same traffic conditions, same car and dyno on the same day for all dyno testing, etc.) using temperature data collected from the vehicle’s ECU as well as our own temperature gathering equipment.

First up is the dyno testing. Testing was done at a full operating temperature. The Steeda Cold Air is shown in run number one. We then immediately removed the Steeda cold air, installed the competitor ‘J’ cold air and installed a new tune that only accounted for the airflow curve of the competitors cold air, all other parameters including ignition and camshaft timing remained the same.

As you can see, the oversized housing of the ‘J’ cold air suffers from a serious lack of low end torque compared to our optimally designed system. From 2200 all the way to 3500 we make more low end torque. You will feel this extra low end torque when driving the vehicle and throttle response will be noticeably better as well. You can also see the extra size did not provide any kind of top end horsepower advantage whatsoever. In fact we averaged more horsepower over the last 1400rpm even through our MAF size is smaller than brand ‘J’. Bigger is not always better, and in this case it is not better in any way.

Now we are going to move on to the thermal tests where we compared inlet air temperatures under real world conditions. Here are the results we discovered:

TEST 1 – IDLE TESTING

For the Steeda Cold Air Intake outside ambient temp was 82 degrees – average coolant temperature was 192.48 degrees. Our air charge temperature for this test with a 30 second data log, was 86 degrees. The Air temperature differential was a mere 4 degrees above ambient air temperatures.

For the “J” CAI test outside ambient temperature rose only slightly to 83 degrees (a 1 degree increase) and average coolant temperature was 193.22. Air charge temperature for this test for the 30 second log was 100.4 degrees. The end result was staggering with the air temperature differential was an alarming 17.4 degrees above ambient air temperatures.

Result summary: Test #1 won by Steeda with only 4 degree increase – “J” looses with a 17 degree increase.

TEST 2 – CITY TRAFFIC

For this test we did our best to keep coolant temps as close to each other as possible by driving the exact route in the same level of traffic. Ambient air temperatures were a constant 83 degrees for both tests.

For the Steeda ProFlow CAI test after driving the car for some simulated city traffic heat soak we initiated the test. Average coolant temp on this test 190.05. At the start of the test air charge temp had risen to a max of 114.8. Speed was brought up to 45mph. The temperature dropped to a low point of 89.6 degrees in 45 seconds and remained there. A 25.2 degree drop and a temperature of only 6.6 degrees above ambient air temperatures.

For the “J” Cold Air test, we proceeded to duplicate the identical test procedure as the Steeda CAI was put through. Average coolant temp was 192.28. At the start of the test air charge temp had risen to a max of 122.00. – a net of 7.2 degrees hotter than our Steeda ProFlow CAI. Vehicle speed was brought up to 45mph and the incoming air temperature dropped to a low point of 96.8 degrees in 54 seconds. Also, a 25.2 degree drop, but still 7.2 degrees hotter than the Steeda ProFlow intake, and 13.8 degrees above ambient temperature.

Result summary: Test #2 won by Steeda with only 6.6 degree increase – “J” looses with a 13.8 degree increase.

Overall the “J” CAI consistently exhibited higher air charge temperatures across the board in all of our tests. With an outside ambient temperature differential of only 1 degree throughout the test and relatively comparable coolant temps at speed and nearly identical coolant temps at idle, the difference in intake performance was substantial with the Steeda ProFlow Air Intake consistently outperformed the “J” CAI under ALL conditions.

Warranty

Our warranty program is comprehensive and complete. We have a LIFETIME Warranty on our Cold Air Intakes. If anything fails, we stand behind it completely. PERIOD. No fine print, no red tape, no bul#$%^, just a complete full manufacturers warranty that you can go to the bank with!

Remember, the Steeda Design, Engineering and Manufacturing Teams stand behind all of the products and services that they provide. In the unlikely event that a customer has an issue with any of our products, we are fully committed to work with them to resolve their concerns to their and our mutual satisfaction. We have built our rock-solid reputation over the years on superb design, comprehensive engineering, quality manufacturing and on customer service — the result is our products just don’t cause issues – PERIOD.

We purposely go the extra lengths to ensure that our products do not compromise the OEM reliability elements and we pay particular attention not only to NVH factors, but also to how the parts/tune integrate into the Ford vehicle they are engineered for. Few – if any – of the other aftermarket companies do the same degree of engineering that we do…and none of this group are ISO 9001-2008 Certified like we are.

Performance Tunes

Much can be said about performance tuning and the amount of torque and horsepower that they develop. Inevitably, the discussion always ends up being about will the consumer need to purchase additional tunes as additional modifications are made –or– the discussion is about warranty implications and what would happen if a catastrophic failure occurs….and rightfully so. Shamefully, there are plenty of self-taught tuners, tuners that rely on trial and error, and others that profess to be skilled at tuning based on using customers cars as their test fleet, acquiring information and “perfecting” their abilities as they conduct business. Professional tuning is much more than just passion of a novice in the industry – rather it is a dedicated and extremely complicated science where there is no room for error.

At Steeda Autosports, we do not experiment with customer cars or learn as we go practicing a “trial and error” methodology. While other tuners may “shut off” engine key sensor inputs or purposely trick sensor readings that the ECU reads, we work with the existing Ford ECU logic and all of the OEM sensors in an extremely complicated and very technical manner so that the integrity of the vehicle is not compromised – but at the same time your power is maximized. There are plenty of tunes available from various sources that compromise the integrity of the mustang powertrain, and as a result, can cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle. Proper tuning is not only an art form, but it is also a highly technical science that requires much more than a simple handheld tuner and sloppy guesswork. In our shops we have corrected untold numbers of tunes from others – but when have you ever heard of a problem with a Steeda tune?

Our performance tunes have a dialed in safety factor – one that is intended to ensure that maximum power is provided and also to ensure that your engine is not endangered or put to the point where damage may occur. A Steeda performance tune is not done with guesswork or by trial and error – rather with our outstanding relationship with Ford Motor Company as well a with SCT, we have been able to develop a comprehensive array of tunes that are failsafe.

Check our performance history both on and off the racetrack, check the forums and see what people say about us, and lastly, check with Ford Motor Company – you will see that there is an exceptionally high level of trust in what we do and in our reputation for enhancing the performance of Ford vehicles.

Summary

Steeda Autosports is not just some new company that has appeared on the scene recently, or is a store front for mass merchandising products that others produce overseas. Rather, we have worked for over 24 years in the aftermarket industry dedicated solely to enhancing the performance level of Ford Motor Company vehicles. We have collaborated extensively with Ford, worked on programs for the Ford Special Vehicle Team and mainstream Ford Product Development, and supply performance parts to Ford Racing. We stand on our reputation, past and current successes, and our ongoing commitment to produce the highest quality parts and tunes possible. Being an ISO 9001-2008 Company is not just a trophy given to anyone that applies for it. For Steeda it means we have demonstrated our commitment to making performance parts at the highest quality level possible and for exceeding our customers’ expectations. ISO 9001-2008 Certification represents not only a significant financial investment we have made, but it is also an investment we have made so our customers can have the assurance and piece of mind when they purchase our products that they will perform the way they were intended to do so, and without causing harm to the vehicle.

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Steeda Performance Vehicle Program

Strategically engineered modifications, aggressive road-gripping suspensions, addictive driving dynamics, menacing good looks, gut-wrenching power, and precision powertrain tuning for optimum performance are the essential ingredients for pure hardcore driving excitement.   This is the no-holds-barred guiding philosophy that drives the passionate Steeda Autosports Team and it shows in every performance vehicle we design and build.

We know that today’s demanding drivers accept no limits when it comes to performance. The entire Steeda performance vehicle line-up offers the ultimate evolution of performance engineering for the rabid community of enthusiasts who demand matchless muscle, uncompromised handling capabilities, and a handcrafted level of quality from master trained engineers and certified technicians.

The comprehensive portfolio of vehicles offered through this program provides a wide selection for different driver needs and desires.  The following performance icons will be available exclusively from select Steeda Authorized and Certified Ford dealers nationwide:

2013 Steeda Q Series Mustangs

2013 Steeda Q600 StreetFighter - The Ultimate

The Steeda StreetFighter is a modern legend ready and eager to take on any challenge.   A complement of strategic performance modifications elevate the iconic Mustang to a completely different level.  The exclusive Steeda G-Trac Suspension System with its fully adjustable damping and specially-tuned components provides an exhilarating driving experience with outstanding driving dynamics. Conceived as the ultimate performance Mustang destined to reign supreme in the Pony Wars, the StreetFighter can be comfortably driven daily, but has all the necessary equipment to be a weekend warrior on the racetrack or drag-strip.

The Steeda StreetFighter is a total package that represents the ultimate evolution of expertise over 25-years Mustang performance engineering by Steeda Autosports.  It is available with the most extensive suspension upgrades we have ever included on a production vehicle – including our Watt’s Link Suspension system. There is simply no other serialized Mustang available today that offers the aggressive styling and performance attitude of this ultimate competitor.

Click Here to learn more

2013 Steeda Q450 – Enforcer - The Iconic 5.0 Reborn

The Steeda Q450 was designed for hardcore, power-hungry performance enthusiasts who want the most Mustang muscle for their money, period.   It starts with the 5.0-liter aluminum block V8 that’s a modern interpretation of the legendary Ford power plant.  With a bevy of Steeda performance upgrades, this naturally-aspirated beast will churn out plenty of pure pony power to humble the competition.  Power means nothing without control, so the Q450 precision-engineered suspension and chassis modifications keep the driver in command and deliver the level of performance that make it an unbeatable combination delivering pure driving excitement.

Click Here to learn more

Steeda Q350 Sport - Pure Adrenaline

When it comes to performance, the Steeda Q350 has been engineered to deliver the kind of gut-wrenching power you expect from Steeda Autosports in an affordable V6 Mustang package. The naturally aspirated 3.7L V6 features a variety of proprietary Steeda powertrain components and when combined with the many standard suspension modifications, they make the Q350 a total package that delivers on the Steeda promise that Speed Matters!  Overall, the Steeda Q350 has a distinctive design from front to back and delivers performance engineering that will help you blow the doors off the competition.

Click Here to learn more

2012 Steeda Fusion Sport - A Stealth Road Warrior

The 2012 Steeda Fusion Sport is conceived for the enthusiast who wants an all-American four-door alternative to European performance sedans. The Steeda Autosports transformation of the 2012 Ford Fusion platform is nothing short of dramatic. The Steeda Fusion Sport incorporates strategic modifications and precision tuning that turn it into a true high performance sedan with an aggressive look that will turn heads even when standing still. This domestic road warrior is ready to challenge the imports with the kind of increased power, assertive handling, and taut suspension that serious drivers have come to expect from a Steeda Autosports creation.

Click Here to learn more

2012 Steeda Focus Sport - Highly Addictive

With European heritage and a global design, every Ford Focus offers addictive driving dynamics, but the Steeda Focus Sport delivers an exhilarating experience that will satisfy even the most demanding performance junkies. On the street or on the track, the Steeda Focus Sport is a unique package with increased performance, improved handling, aggressive looks and competitive feel to make a true automotive enthusiast want to climb behind the wheel and stay there.

Click Here to learn more

2012 Steeda Fiesta Sport - Fun to drive


The Steeda Fiesta Sport comes standard with handling and performance upgrades to excite the most uncompromising compact car enthusiasts.  Specially tuned for the kind of road-gripping handling that small car fanatics demand, we have equipped this vehicle with a variety of specially tuned performance enhancements that deliver an even sportier ride to enhance your driving  qaffordable high-performance sport compact that delivers plenty of driving thrills and pays off on the Steeda promise that “Speed Matters”!

Click Here to learn more

And Much More…

In addition to the above stable of performance vehicles, we also will be announcing and subsequently producing a series of specially modified, limited edition vehicles that will include:

  • Raceskinz Limited Edition Mustang – a bespoke limited edition that provides all the performance elements you expect from Steeda with all of the unique luxury and cosmetic enhancements that Raceskinz is famous for
  • Steeda Certified GT500 – Elevates the GT500 to an entirely different level of world-class handling and performance- Steeda Certified Boss 302 – Include extensive suspension and powertrain enhancements that transform the Boss 302 into a terror on the asphalt
  • Steeda Police Pursuit – Specially modified vehicles for Law Enforcement and Homeland Security operations – available in stealth and marked versions.  Sales restricted to Police/Government use only.

For more detailed information and specific pricing you may check out our new vehicle section by, clicking here.  For dealer and purchase information, please contact Rob Lefrancois, Steeda Performance Vehicles Global Manager of Serialized Vehicles at vehicles@steeda.com or call him directly at 954-629-1233.

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Take Your 2005 thru 2012 Mustang Handling To The Next Level

The 2005 through 2012 Mustang is a phenomenal automobile in stock form.  But when it comes to improving their handling, most Mustang enthusiasts automatically think about installing a set of mustang lowering springs and mustang swaybars, and also swapping out their mustang upper and mustang lower control arms.  While these items will have a measurable affect on your Mustang’s performance – there is one other key element that is often overlooked that can provide huge gains in handling, performance, and ride quality: your shocks and struts.

Mustang shocks and struts are a critical element in your mustang suspension system.  When they are specifically tuned for maximum street/track/strip performance, the shocks/struts help your tires maintain a consistent contact patch on the pavement and reduce the amount of bounce and rebound – all without jarring the car and it’s occupants.  This tuning is far more complex than just having a set of shocks that are “stiff” – rather, there is a tremendous amount of tuning required to create just the right level of suspension shock damping, and to dissipate the unwanted kinetic energy that is created whenever you encounter an uneven road surface.

In general terms, a shock/strut help to cushion your vehicle – but at Steeda, we realize that they can provide an unparalleled level of improvement in your vehicles handling and provide a definite edge when it comes to performance.

The Steeda line of Pro-Action Shocks are designed and engineered by us to outperform the stock shock/struts that are on the Mustang and exceed the OE standards for durability and build quality.   There is no doubt in the aftermarket that Steeda Autosports is the leader in suspension technology for Ford vehicles.   We earned this reputation by being committed to do everything possible to enhance the performance and handling of stock suspensions and to create a comprehensive line of performance parts that individually and together take the handling of the Mustang to an entirely new level that enthusiasts demand.

Click Here to view our Pro-Action Mustang Shocks and Struts

We literally tested hundreds of different shock/strut combinations with our extensive computer analysis, and then road tested them on the track, street, and dragstrip until we were 100% satisfied that we perfected their performance.    Specifically designed to provide outstanding control and handling characteristics, and well as a ride quality that is very complacent, the Steeda Pro-Action Shocks are one of the very first items that should be installed on a Mustang to enhance it’s overall handling.   Even if you do not swap out your springs or do any other suspension enhancements, replacing your shocks/struts will dramatically improve your handling to the level you dream about.

SteedaSpeed Matters

The Hidden Difference in Control Arms

To the average person there is probably little perceivable difference in the various control arms that are available for a Mustang today. From an exterior perspective, they share common mounting points on the chassis and rear differential of the vehicle – but from that singular point of view, there are an untold multitude of differences that are related to their design, engineering, as well as materials used in fabrication that result in substantial handling and NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) performances changes… changes that you need to be aware of…

As an example of the vast hidden differences in control arms today, look at the following picture in which we expose the differences in a typical upper rear control arm that is available for the 1979 – 2004 Mustang in the market today. Recently a customer came to our Steeda Performance Center with some obvious rear suspension issues. Previously, with the hope of improving his rear suspension dynamics, he installed a set of non-Steeda upper rear control arms with the desire to improve his vehicles handling. After a period of time of a mixture of spirited street driving and daily commuting, the car developed serious “slop” in its suspension as the bushing in his control arm began to suffer wear under the tremendous stress it is subjected to. Suffice to say, his vehicle handling capabilities and the car’s NVH characteristics diminished ever further as the bushing prematurely failed due to it’s design and construction.

In the picture below on the left, you can see how we cutaway the upper control arm 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.

In the photo on the right is the Steeda Upper Control Arm. 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 major 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 NVA and provide for the flexibility required under suspension movement, and the center bushing (black in color) has a much higher durometer rating so that it provide the tight travel control and reduction in lateral movement that is desired for maximum control and handling.

In addition to the obvious differences in bushings, we purposely constructed our Steeda upper control arms out of a special aluminum alloy – an alloy that affords tremendous strength and one that also dramatically reduces the un-sprung weight of the suspension. Heat-treated and 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 control arms are created alike – there indeed are major differences in products that are available in the market today. So – which set would you rather have on your Mustang? With easy bolt-on installation, superior engineering, and a lifetime guarantee, make Steeda your choice for suspension components – because there is a difference!

Click Here to see our selection of Mustang Control Arms

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Steeda Offers a Full Line of Boss 302 Performance Products

The new Ford Mustang Boss 302 is viewed by many as the best overall Mustang Ford has ever produced. As good as it is in original form Steeda has found ways to improve it and take it to the next level.

Starting  with the suspension, the Steeda Boss springs are designed to slightly lower the vehicle in the front and lower the rear approximately 3/4”. With the front height remaining largely unchanged, the front roll center geometry remains optimal.  However, by substantially increasing spring rates, body roll is reduced as is nose diving during heavy braking. Thanks to our years of experience with Mustangs, we are able to do this and still maintain near stock ride quality characteristics.

2012 Boss 302 Laguna Seca

We have also designed several levels of suspension packages that include our awesome Boss springs, adjustable front and rear swaybars , adjustable upper strut mounts and more to achieve the maximum handling potential of the Boss 302 Mustang.With the new Boss 302 Mustang comes the new Boss 302 engine. We took our years of experience building performance proven cold air induction kits and designed a kit tailor made for this heavy breathing new engine. Starting with a high flow filter we added our “race tested” velocity stack” entry, this is located within a stainless steel heat shield with a rubber gasket to seal it against the hood. We also retain the factory cold air feed duct from the front bumper. We then added a 101mm MAF housing which is coupled to a new high flow inlet tube with our Cool-Tube technology.  All of this adds up to 30 plus horsepower when combined with the required custom tune that compensates for the increased airflow.

So if you are looking to get the most out of your Boss 302 Mustang, look no further than Steeda Autosports!

An Often Overlooked Handling Secret

One often-overlooked modification that you can make to a Mustang is to increase the amount of negative camber in the front-end geometry so that you have more corning grip and improved steering response.  Unfortunately, the stock Mustang front geometry does not provide a high enough degree of adjustability for the settings that the true performance enthusiast requires.  At Steeda Autosports, we have developed an array of Camber-Caster Plates and Upper Strut Mounts that provide every Mustang owner from 1979 to 2012 increased level of adjustability needed for optimal handling.

Would you like to correct your camber to eliminate excessive tire wear or dial in more negative camber for better cornering? Our adjustable caster camber plates/strut mounts give you the ability to create the perfect caster camber settings whether you are drag racing, road racing, or for your street driving needs. Adjusting the caster and camber is easy, and the end result is simply amazing. Let us explain…

Camber/Caster 101: So just what is camber and how does it effect driving and tire wear? What is caster, and can I have too much with a Mustang? These alignment settings affect tire wear and the tracking of your vehicle.   Following is a simple summary that takes the confusion away:

Camber: Is the tilt of the tire relative to vertical. If the top of the tire leans inward (towards the engine) the car has Negative-Camber. If it leans outward, that is Positive-Camber. Negative-Camber gives the car more cornering grip and improves steering response. 
- A car without enough negative-camber will understeer and wear the tread off of the outside-corner of the front tire. 
- Too much Negative-Camber will wear the tread off of the inside corner of the tire 
Camber should be adjusted to suit the use of the car.

Type of Driving CamberSpecific to Mustang

  • Drag racing-no street use -.2° to -.5°
  • General street use -.7° to -1.1°
  • Aggressive street handling -1.2° to -1.7°
  • Road race / Autocross -1.8° to -2.5°

Observe your tire wear (street) or tire temperature (race conditions) and adjust camber as necessary: 
- More Negative-Camber (-2.0º) gives better cornering grip and more wear on the inside edge of the tire. 
- Less Negative-Camber (-0.5º) gives less cornering grip and more wear on the outside edge of the tire.

Caster: is the how far the contact patch of the tire follows behind the imaginary line where the steering axis of the wheel intersects the ground. (Think of the front wheel of a shopping cart, where the wheel follows behind the steering axis.

More Caster gives you straighter highway tracking with less “wander” and better self centering steering feel. It also makes the tires lean into the corner when turned, in effect producing more negative camber when the wheels are turned. This allows you to use less aggressive Negative-Camber settings, thereby improving the tire contact patch for better braking and reduced tire wear when the wheels are straight.

It is theoretically possible to have too much Caster, but to do so in a Mustang would require extensive sheet metal modifications. So for our purposes, we recommend the Maximum Positive Caster that can be achieved with our Caster/Camber plates. To get the most caster, push the top of the struts as far towards the rear of the car as possible when setting the alignment.

Note that the amount of Caster that can be attained varies with the year of the vehicle.

Year of Car 1986-89 1990-93 1994-2004
Factory Specification (Caster is not adjustable without C/C plates) 1.27° 1.75° 3.6°
Typical Maximum Caster with Steeda C/C Plates 3.1° 3.4° 5.0° to 6.0°

Toe Settings. Toe-in or Toe-out describes the alignment of the front wheels relative to each other the same way you would describe your feet. Toe-in means they are closer together at the front than the rear. 
We recommend factory Ford toe settings for all situations except track-only racing, where toe may be adjusted by the crew chief as needed. Factory toe settings are given in degrees. When setting the alignment with a tape measure (the way we do it at the racetrack) set toe to 3/32″ total Toe-in.

To take advantage of tuning your car for optimum handling, see the full range of Steeda Mustang Caster Camber Plates and Mustang Upper Strut Mounts, click here.

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Steeda Performance Vehicle Program

With over 22 years of uninterrupted racing and performance part design, engineering and manufacturing experience we know how tough it is to keep a secret in our business.   So, rather than wait, we decided to announce that Steeda Autosports is launching a new Steeda Performance Vehicle Program that will appeal to the most discerning enthusiasts.  It has been created for the sole purpose of offering completed vehicles to the niche performance enthusiasts who demand dramatic performance, uncompromised handling capabilities, and a handcrafted level of quality by master trained mechanics.

This officially serialized program will initially offer the following vehicles via a network of specially selected Ford Dealers:

  • Steeda Q650 StreetFighter (supercharged 5.0L)
  • Steeda Q450 SuperSport (naturally aspirated 5.0L)
  • Steeda Q350 Sport(3.7L V6)
  • Raceskinz Edition (available in all powertrain configurations)

In addition to the above vehicle lines, we will also be producing a series of other special edition vehicles with unique appeal – to be followed by other vehicle lines in the future that will provide the fully comprehensive product line-up so many enthusiasts have asked for.

At Steeda, our DNA underscores our philosophy that Speed Matters® and we leave nothing on the table when we produce these vehicles.   Each vehicle will offer the purchaser complete individual customization for their specific performance needs, and will proudly carry the Steeda badge – providing your assurance of quality, performance, and value.

Our rich history of racing is a tradition that started when Dario Orlando first hit the racetrack at Sebring, and it continues today in everything that we do.  At Steeda, second place is never good enough, so we always push the envelope to provide performance enthusiasts the best products that meet the needs of the most demanding drivers.   More races have been won, more records set, and more championships won with Steeda – than with all of our competitors combined.  As impressive as our record is, we don’t intend to stand on it. Instead, we plan to build on it and continue to strive for new level of achievement with everything we do.

In the coming weeks we will be updating our website to incorporate all of our vehicle specifics and our list of select dealers plus complete vehicle pricing and images.   In the interim, if you have any specific questions, or want to be added to our initial product mailing list, please email our Global Manager of Serialized Vehicles – Rob Lefrancois at:  vehicles@steeda.com

Steeda – Speed Matters

2011 Mustang Breaks 11 Second Barrier With Cold Air Intake

Recently one of our 2011 Steeda Mustangs equipped with our proprietary Steeda Cold Air Intake, a Steeda Performance Tune, and Nitto 275/40/17 NT05 Drag Radials blasted down the quarter mile at the South Georgia Motorsports Park with an unbelievable time of 11.96 seconds at over 115 mph !

The Mustang GT 5.0 was driven by our own Scott Boda, Steeda’s Director of Manufacturing, and was running a stock exhaust system, 3.73 gears from the factory, and all of the other stock Mustang equipment.  The Steeda performance tune that made the engine sing was part of our Cold Air Intake/Tune package that provides better throttle response so the rpms do not hang up between shifts, a slightly increased RPM range, and increased power that ensured the ‘Stang would trip the lights at the quarter at a stout 7600 rpm in 4th gear.    The result was simply amazing and shows how with a simple and relatively small investment, a stock 2011 Mustang can be transformed into a sub 12 second performance machine.

Sure there are some faster cars out there – but most of those cars are heavily modified and are running nitrous oxide or have an expensive blower system installed – this was a 2011 5.0L Mustang transformed with simple – yet effective Steeda Autosport modifications that made the already quick 2011 Mustang into a complete asphalt ripping Mustang!

The principal modification that enabled this feat was the Steeda Cold Air Intake developed exclusively for the 2011 5.0L Mustang.  Readers of these releases in the past already know that we take engineering and development of our performance parts and equipment very seriously.  That is why Steeda Autosports, the world’s largest aftermarket manufacturer of Ford performance equipment, is so highly regarded on the track, strip and on the street.  Once again we are leading the performance market with our High Velocity Cold Air Intake (CAI) which was engineered and designed, under our ISO Certified engineering and manufacturing processes.

This high performance CAI effectively opens up the intake system of Ford’s new five-liter power plant and allows it to breath much more freely than the stock intake system allows – effectively taking the 2011 5.0L Mustang to the next level of muscle car performance.

How did we do it?  Well to ensure the densest air charge possible we retained the factory cold air feed ducting from the front bumper and sealed the stainless steel shield to the hood to prevent any hot air from being sucked in from around the engine compartment.  Other manufacturers have chosen to ignore the factory cold air ducting which is key to keeping the lowest air charge temperatures possible. Also, we added a billet aluminum velocity stack and high flow air filter ensure a clean, cool, streamlined air charge straight to the engine. The new high flow “ProFlow” intake tube provides the necessary ports to retain the factory noise tube and PCV tubes.

This Cold Air Intake is so effective at improving airflow into the five-liter engine that a performance tune is not just recommended, it is required for maximum performance. In an effort to maximize performance and provide our customers with only the very best products we have partnered with the leader in automotive tuning – SCT Performance.

Combined with the required custom tune using an SCT X3 Flash programming device we have achieved dramatic power increases of up to 44hp and 52ft/lbs of torque! While these are peak numbers, the actual power increase is spread throughout the entire rpm range so your increased performance is available on demand in any gear at virtually any rpm!

With easy bolt in installation, 44 additional horsepower, and 53 additional ft/lbs of torque, this is one performance add on that provides increased power throughout the entire RPM range.

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All Lowering Springs Are NOT Created Equal

There are two primary reasons most people install lowering springs on their vehicle – they want to improve the overall handling and performance of their vehicle or they want that “just right” appearance that a lowered vehicle always seems to provide.

What most people do not know is that all springs are not created equal and that there is a right way and a wrong way to lower a vehicle.  Oftentimes vehicles are lowered to such a degree that the overall performance and handling of their vehicle is not optimized, or substandard springs are used that deliver performance that is not maximized or which results in a rough, bone-jarring ride.

At Steeda Autosports we take suspension systems very seriously and take absolutely no shortcuts in the design, development, tuning, and manufacturing of our spring sets.  We are the ONLY aftermarket company to have partnered with one of the largest OEM spring manufacturers in the world to deliver to the discerning performance enthusiast the best performance product available.

This Tier 1 Supplier manufacturers their springs in the USA, has been in business 4 times longer than Brand “E” or Brand “H”  — and — they supply more Formula 1, Indianapolis, and NASCAR Teams than all other spring manufacturers combined!  Think about it – would you really want springs made for your American performance vehicle by an offshore supplier or by a supplier whose main business is centered on supporting foreign vehicles? At Steeda, we are an American owned company dedicated to enhancing the performance of Ford vehicles – your guarantee of an undying commitment to excellence.

Before you buy any springs, it is important that you understand just some of the technology and engineering that goes into their creation.   Following are highlights of some of the engineering criteria and efforts that go into every set of springs that we put our name on:

  • All Steeda suspension springs are designed to properly fit the original configuration and location of the OEM suspension coil and we pay particular attention to how the spring fits into the O.E. spring seat.  In addition we look to precisely reproduce the loading characteristics of the O.E. spring both laterally and longitudinal with the use of a Wolpert 7 axis / load coil scale testing equipment.  This type of testing is usually only performed by O.E. Manufacturers.
  • Both hot and cold forming CNC controlled equipment is utilized.  This gives  the flexibility necessary to produce nearly any suspension coil configuration.  On the late model Mustangs for example, our design incorporates a pigtail configuration that matches the O. E. spring whereas many other aftermarket manufacturers use a cold-formed part that does not match the rear trailering arm properly.  This is caused by the cut-off process on a cold coiler and causes the spring to bow when installed in the vehicle.
  • Due to our HOT forming process our materials are “centerless ground” so the optimum material size is within .001 of an inch.  Currently our competitors have material increments of .010 of an inch.  This tighter tolerance allows us to produce the lightest part for a given spring package.
  • In the design/engineering process we pay particular attention to the proper amount of loads at rebound, static height, and jounce (bump).  This is why we favor producing a progressive spring to achieve the appropriate load characteristics.  The initial rate is designed to provide the O. E. pre-load, while the final rate provides the necessary bump load characteristics.
  • We use proprietary spring materials that have higher silicon content than our competitors.  While others use a lesser grade of spring wire to reduce their costs and improve their profit – we insist on only the best spring wire available.  Better spring wire makes for a better coil spring!
  • All of our springs are employ MICS (Mass Inertia Control System) technology to provide non-compromising ride characteristics.  By using this technology the un-sprung mass of the vehicle is controlled and the inertia of the suspension component does not exceed the springs capacity to control the jounce loads, hence eliminating the requirement for excessive spring rates.    The progressive spring characteristics permit the ride frequencies to stay within acceptable limits, but provide the added spring rate to achieve bump load capacities equivalent to the O. E. springs.
  • The optimized spring calibration of our springs reduces the pitch of the vehicle under heavy acceleration or braking.  The reduced longitudinal pitch of the vehicle during heavy braking improves the overall braking efficiency because the higher rate of the front springs reduces the amount of load transfer to the front tires.  This causes the load on all four tires to be more evenly distributed providing additional traction to the rear tires.  The additional gain in rear traction usually results in reduced braking distances.
  • The proportionate increase in spring rate also reduces body roll, which limits adverse suspension movement.  This confines the suspension geometry to stay within parameters that enhance the tires contact patch with the road.  The result is improved vehicle cornering and handling, because front and rear tire loading is more evenly distributed.  Therefore, higher cornering limits can be achieved because the built-in understeer characteristics are reduced and provide for a more neutral yet safe handling vehicle.

To the novice performance enthusiast all of the above engineering elements can be very confusing – especially when you consider that there is much more to creating a proper set of springs for your car than chopping off 1” from their length.   Rest assured that at Steeda Autosports we go the extra mile to instill superior engineering into every spring set we offer so you can be assured and have confidence that we provide the finest products available for your Ford vehicle.

While some manufacturers brag that their products are made according to certain standard levels, the performance springs sold by Steeda Autosports are made under the highest, latest and most stringent ISO and TUV Standards in the world today using only the finest materials available anywhere – absolutely no shortcuts are taken because our performance heritage and DNA demands that our springs are the best money can buy.

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Your New Car Warranty is SAFE with Steeda Parts

Some owners of new model vehicles are a bit timid when it comes to modifying their vehicles for enhanced performance – oftentimes they have the notion that if they were to modify their vehicle with aftermarket parts their new car warranty would be voided and that they would be financially liable for any future repairs to their vehicle.  At Steeda Autosports we take extra steps to ensure that the performance parts we design, engineer, and manufacture WILL NOT adversely affect your new car warranty.

The reason is really quite simple – Steeda Autosports has a long-term partnership with Ford Motor Company and we actively participate in the Ford/SEMA Technology Initiative Sharing Program ensuring a robust exchange of technical and testing information related to Ford vehicles.  Before we sell any new part, we take extra steps to ensure that our parts will not cause a related or unrelated component failure where your new car warranty could potentially be jeopardized. Whenever you see the Steeda name on a product it is your guarantee that that part is the highest quality available and that it has been made with specific intent to ensure that the integrity and value of your new car is not compromised. Designed, engineered, and manufactured under exceptionally strict ISO 9001:2008 guidelines, our parts exceed most new car warranty requirements.

One should have caution however when dealing with other aftermarket parts and accessories manufacturers.  You want to make sure that whatever part you are buying indeed is made under strict certified guidelines to ensure their quality.   Question to see that if their part fails and subsequently causes a Ford warranted part to fail they will stand behind and warrant the Ford part on your behalf.  Do some investigation and make sure that the aftermarket company you are considering purchasing from has a current ISO 9001:2008 certification.  Question whether their parts are manufactured offshore in developing countries or in substandard facilities.  Ask them why are their parts made overseas.  The real answer is readily apparent – because it is perceived to be cheaper.  Remember the old saying, “You get what you pay for.” Is a foreign-made substandard part what you really want to put on your American performance vehicle?

At Steeda Autosports, we have ISO 9001:2008 certified, state of the art manufacturing facilities in Pompano Beach Florida and also Valdosta Georgia and are committed to ensuring that your new car warranty will never compromised.  The Steeda name is your guarantee of quality and no warranty issues!

For all of you technical types that can appreciate the applicable legal verbiage, the Magnuson-Moss Warranty – Federal Trade Commission Improvement Act of 1975, protects consumers from being wrongfully denied warranty coverage by new car dealers and manufacturers.

Specifically the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act states, in part, in Title 15, United States Code, Section 2302, subdivision (c): No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumer’s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the [Federal Trade] Commission if – (1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and – (2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest. The Commission shall identify in the Federal Register, and permit public comment on, all applications for waiver of the prohibition of this subsection, and shall publish in the Federal Register its disposition of any such application, including the reasons therefore.

Under this act, aftermarket equipment that improves performance does not automatically void a vehicle manufacturer’s original warranty, unless the warranty clearly states the addition of aftermarket equipment automatically voids your vehicle’s warranty (which Ford Motor Company does not), or if it can be proven that the aftermarket device is the direct cause of the failure. In addition, Ford Motor Company or its dealer must prove that aftermarket equipment caused the need for repairs before it can deny warranty coverage. If the manufacturer or dealer cannot prove such a claim – or it proffers a questionable explanation – it is your legal right to demand compliance with the warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Act.

Complicated? It can be a real headache unless your car is enhanced with authentic Steeda performance parts and accessories. We are your guarantee of quality and compliance with the Ford new car warranty. As a matter of fact, there has NEVER been a failure of a Steeda performance part that has cause a new car warranty to be denied….proof of the quality we build into every performance part we sell.

SteedaWhere Speed Matters!