2020 GT500 - swapping Base springs for CFTP springs, etc.

Discussion in 'Shelby GT500 Mustang' started by Epiphany, Apr 6, 2020.

  1. Epiphany

    Epiphany Well-Known Member

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    #1 Epiphany, Apr 6, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2020
    We've discussed this for some time elsewhere in another thread but I wanted to share my experience in its own thread. I planned on making suspension changes since before I ever took delivery of the car and made the decision to take advantage of the CFTP's increased spring rates and slightly shorter ride height by ordering the requisite hardware from my good friend Bryan, a guy I consider to be one of the best within the Ford parts network.

    I ordered everything shown in the following chart, save for the mat (the CFTP/R rear seat delete).

    zz 20200206_142729.jpg


    The spring rates are slightly higher in the CFTP and you can compare them with Base rates shown below. I also ordered the CFTP rear sway bar (and bushings/insulators) to go along with the springs.

    zz 2020 GT500 bar and spring rates-M.jpg


    The hardware trickled in with the last item (a front spring) finally showing up last week. I started work a few days ago and planned to address a few other items along the way. I like to knock out more difficult tasks first and finish with the easier ones so I began by disassembling the front suspension first.

    Because I planned on changing front caliper fasteners from bolts to studs I removed the calipers and tied them up so as to not strain the brake lines.

    20200401_124156-XL.jpg


    To anyone doing brake service on these cars be forewarned, the threads cut into the knuckles are rough and Ford loaded up on thread locker during assembly. Regardless of the fasteners you use when reassembling, be sure to clean out the debris inside in order to attain accurate torque readings.

    20200401_124301-X2.jpg


    Whatever method you choose to use, be sure to finish up by blowing the debris out with compressed air.

    20200401_125621-X2.jpg

    20200401_125712-XL.jpg


    I then disconnected relevant harnesses, the ride height sensor arm, and the sway bar link. Since the strut has to come out to change the springs you have to remove the two bolts at the spindle as well as at the three at the top of the strut tower. Not a fan of beating the bolts out, I press them as far as I can with a ball joint removal tool. Then a light tap or two knocks them completely out.

    20200401_135001-XL.jpg


    I use an oversize socket (on the left) to allow the press to push the bolt head in that direction.

    20200401_135027-XL.jpg


    These need to be pushed straight through and not turned due to the knurls that Ford switched to a few years ago. Once past the knurl they come right out the rest of the way. Now is a great time to address any corrosion you may have on your hubs.

    20200401_135205-XL.jpg

    20200401_140907-X3.jpg


    After removing the three bolts atop the strut tower the strut will come right out. Be sure not to sever the harness coming out near the bottom.

    20200401_142159-X3.jpg


    I used a spring compressor along with the appropriate socket for the nut just above the plate at the top.

    20200401_145657-XL.jpg

    20200401_145832-XL.jpg

    With the plate off you can back off on the spring compression and set the spring aside.

    I measured the free height of the CFTP front springs and found the CFTP to be ~1/2" shorter. Interestingly enough, it also has a slightly smaller wire diameter but the exact same number of coils. I also seized the moment and decided to install the factory camber plates that were shipped out to me from my dealer (thanks again Nick!). To compare, the non-adjustable GT500 plate on the left and the adjustable camber plate on the right...

    20200401_154631-XL.jpg

    20200401_154803-XL.jpg


    Installing the plates and springs is simply the reverse of disassembly.

    20200401_160034-X3.jpg

    20200401_160318-X3.jpg


    The orientation as it will be installed...

    20200401_163541-X3.jpg


    Struts pulled outward for street setting (alignment will be done post install) and torqued at the top and at the knuckle, caliper studs installed (thanks Jaime for the motivation), and I cleaned up the rusty scale at the hubs.

    Before...

    20200402_152812-X3.jpg


    After...

    20200402_182257-X3.jpg

    20200401_172545-X3.jpg


    IMG_6472-X3.jpg


    While I wanted to finish the rear in quick order I decided to pull the under tray and exhaust system. More corrosion to address out back and with the exhaust system and tray gone I would have much better access. Because I wanted to weld the joint created when I cut in for the Lethal resonator delete, this was the perfect time to kill two birds with one stone.

    Note that somebody numbered my tray where the rivets go (new trainee being shown how to do it?).

    IMG_6491-XL.jpg

    IMG_6486-X2.jpg

    IMG_6487-XL.jpg

    IMG_6492-XL.jpg


    Dropping the exhaust system requires a careful look. Ford did a great job designing it for service. It's heavy, yes. But you can remove all the fasteners and the hangers will keep it in place which allows you to carefully lower it down by yourself.

    20200404_172609-X2.jpg


    The clamps in the middle of the system are what I'll be able to remove once welded up. This will return the system back to the same level of integrity as originally.

    20200404_173621-X3.jpg

    20200404_180939-X3.jpg

    20200404_182019-X2.jpg


    I tig welded everything because I didn't have any stainless wire for my mig or the proper gas. I "tigged" without filler around the pipe and used filler rod to fill the relief cuts/segments in the Lethal pipe. Tig keeps the heat down and is so much cleaner and quieter than any other process.

    20200404_183800-X3.jpg


    I then cleaned up all the oxidation I saw from one end to the other.

    20200405_130423-XL.jpg

    20200405_131747-X2.jpg


    Once cleaned up, I set the exhaust system off to the side and moved onto the rear springs. I used some blocks on a motorcycle jack to support one side of the subframe at a time and removed the bolts that held that side in place.

    20200405_135526-XL.jpg

    IMG_6512-XL.jpg

    IMG_6513-L.jpg


    With the necessary harnesses/hoses relieved to allow lowering that side down, the two upper shock mount bolts can be removed and the subframe lowered down a bit. You can then pull the spring out.

    20200405_135821-XL.jpg


    I found this interesting - the Base rear spring has the exact same free height as the CFTP rear spring. Coil count and diameter placement differs by quite a bit too. Base on the left and CFTP on the right...

    20200405_141027-X3.jpg


    Before installing, I cleaned/treated everything. The sheetmetal, fasteners, hoses, the subframe, etc. I probably spent three hours doing this. Installation of the rear springs is simple, much easier than the front of the car.

    IMG_6539-X2.jpg


    Some of what I cleaned, starting with the diff cover. Before and after...

    20200405_162907-XL.jpg

    20200406_155257-X2.jpg

    20200406_155511-X2.jpg

    20200406_155728-X2.jpg


    Rear of driveshaft...

    20200405_162845-XL.jpg

    20200406_155418-X2.jpg


    Done cleaning, I swapped in the CFTP rear sway bar (orange tag). Here it is next to the smaller diameter Base sway bar...

    20200404_155556-XL.jpg

    20200404_155609-XL.jpg

    20200404_155635-L.jpg

    20200406_161059-X3.jpg

    20200406_161336-X2.jpg


    I then placed the exhaust system on the motorcycle jack at the rear and on a small dolly up front. This allowed me to slide it into the approximate area it needed to be in such that I could slide the front pipes into their respective clamps and then raise and attach the rear of the system.

    20200406_164955-X3.jpg

    20200406_185418-X2.jpg


    With the clamps necessary for the delete pipe now gone and the joints welded up the system looks 100% factory.

    20200406_185606-X3.jpg


    I know, a bit winded:). I took the long road out back (having already cleaned everything up front when I did my first oil change) but here is the completed spring and bar install out back. The way the "Handling Package" should have been.

    20200406_185350-X3.jpg


    I'll clean up the tray and reinstall it in short order. I'm also going to pull off the rear calipers and rotors to allow access to the rear hubs. They are the last item on my corrosion kill list. I didn't take any before "height" dimensions as mine should have been the same as every other Base car with the same tire pressure. I'll measure what I have now when I'm done out back and can get the wheels back on and the car down on the ground.
     
  2. marklboris

    marklboris Well-Known Member

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    Great write up and photos. I probably should have done mine all at once like you did but I got tired after replacing the front springs and rear bar. My hands don't work like they use to. I really like how you clean all the parts up. They look better than when they were new. How many miles on the car now that you changed your oil?
     
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  3. Jmeo

    Jmeo You said member ;)

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    Excellent write up, and even better attention to detail. I can’t lie, you make me feel bad about not cleaning my car like you did.............I’m not going to be able sleep now. I guess it leaves me something to do on a rainy day, lol.
     
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  4. Tomster

    Tomster Beware of idiots

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    Holy coronavirus stay at home quarantined carfest batman.... wow.
     
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  5. OP
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    Epiphany

    Epiphany Well-Known Member

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    I'm a bit beat up too Mark - thank God for surgery, meds and Frosted Flakes. I've only driven the car once and have just over 1,000 miles. This was why I was going nuts when the car sat at Flat Rock and then another month outside at the railyard in Missouri. It killed me knowing that the underside would be corroding. You know what though, I enjoyed taking my time and addressing each area of the car. As you well know, it really puts you in touch with the car.

    And when you do it you'll do better than I did. Of this I have no doubt.

    Yeah, the timing kinda worked out well. I should be ready for my Jaime-inspired steering wheel to arrive this week and get that one done too. This social distancing stuff was already part of my repertoire as I generally dislike being around other humans - aside from a few good ones here and there.:)
     
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  6. obspsd

    obspsd Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive!
     
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  7. 50 Deep

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    Excellent work T. I also had a set of the CFTP springs on order, only to find the front of the car will still sit higher than the rear. I am thinking I will wait to find something that will level the car out or provide a slight rake.

    Can you confirm if the front camber plates are different than the GT350? I want to dial in some more front camber but maxed out at -1.3 on the stock ones.
     
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    Epiphany

    Epiphany Well-Known Member

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    Factory adjustable camber plates supplied for certain GT350/GT500's are identical.

    When you say stock, you are talking about the factory adjustable plates, yes?
     
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  9. marklboris

    marklboris Well-Known Member

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    This is the only reason I installed the front CFTP springs (and not the rears), to level out the car. I have had the springs on the car now for about two weeks and the front has dropped 9/16". I know that is not much but enough to have the front slightly lower than the rear.
     
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  10. 50 Deep

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    Stock meaning the factory non-adjustable pieces. You wouldn’t happen to have the part # for those adjustable ones would ya?
    Good move. That’s exactly what I am after from the car. I just don’t want to do the spring swap twice if/when Ford Performance releases some springs. Decisions decisions
     
  11. Caballus

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    #11 Caballus, Apr 7, 2020
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2020
    @50deep the Performance Packages on the 2020 GT500 and the 2019+ GT350 come with the same adjustable strut mounts (camber plates). The are considered dealer-installed items. Some folks (including me) had a bit of a challenge getting them from the dealer, because they were not in the trunk next to the Gurney flap, where they belonged. Dealer ultimately "found" them.

    Assuming that's what you're referencing, the part number is KR3Z-3D008-A (edit).

    Individual items within the kit follow:
    KR3V-1813-AC: Adjustable Top Mount RH
    KR3V-1814-AC: Adjustable Top Mount LH
    W715135-S450: Mount to Body Fastener (6)
    W7520215-S440: Mount to Strut Fastener (2)
    W715932-S439: Strut to Knuckle Bolt (4)
    W520517-S450: Strut to Knuckle Nut (4)
    W712503-S440: Stabilizer Bar Link Upper Nut (2)

    Link below speaks to the limitations of the adjustable plates:
    https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/ford-adjustable-strut-mount-camber-limits.131400/
     
  12. marklboris

    marklboris Well-Known Member

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    Terrance, the spring swap is actually very easy to do in my opinion. Compared to my F150, RS and Escape, it was the easiest and fastest of them. I posted a side view of the car before and after here:#124 but later today, I will take another couple of photos of the car now that it has been a couple of weeks since the front springs have been installed.
     
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  13. btown93

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    all the above items can be purchased in this one kit:

    https://accessories.ford.com/kit-suspension-12374.html

    KR3Z-3D008-A
     
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  14. marklboris

    marklboris Well-Known Member

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  15. OH3Cobra

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    That was an amazing write up. Love your attention to detail and your "detailing" skills. I noticed a box of Adams products in one of the pics. I've Ceramic coated three of my cars and love their products. The new CS3 spray even beats their current detail spray. Interested in your thoughts/usage of their products.
     
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