Project Ford Mustang 5.0 - Installing KW Clubsports!

by Mike Kojima

With our last installment of Project 5.0 Mustang covering the correction of our Mustang's rear suspension geometry and the addition of larger adjustable anti sway bars by Whiteline, to complete our suspension, we badly needed a good set of dampers.  Like a lot of other MotoIQ project cars, we turned to KW Suspension to provide us with a set of their Clubsport coilovers with front camber plates.

If it seems like we use a lot of KW here at MotoIQ, it's for a reason.  The coilover market is flooded with a lot of inferior made in Asia coilovers.  We have had plenty of experience with these and often they are so bad we cannot write about them.  We are always looking for a low cost suspension to cover that really works but unfortunately we have only found a few examples to write about so far.

At MotoIQ we are more keyed into making cars really handle than other media outlets and we appreciate decent dampers.  In our search for affordable dampers that really work, we keep coming back to KW.  No one has as wide of an application range as KW.  KW has dampers ranging from the fixed damping Variant I, the single adjustable Variant II and the Double adjustable Variant III.  For track day enthusiasts that still drive on the street, KW has the Clubsports with Camber plates and heavier springs and valving.  For some high end enthusiasts KW has a few 3-way Clubsport applications.  For racers KW has two and three way adjustable Motorsports dampers.  The V3 and Clubsport lines fill out the upper middle end of the market and the Motosrport dampers fill out the top and racing side.  No one has anything close to as many fitments in these segments right off the shelf as KW and as a result we use a lot of KW.

Read more about Project Mustang!

The front KW Clubsport for the Mustang is a McPherson strut.  Like Most KW street dampers the Clubsports have a corrosion resistant stainless steel body.  The spring seat is stainless overmolded with a tough self lubricating plastic.  This stuff was designed to weather harsh German winters and have KW's limited lifetime guarantee.  These suckers won't seize up and are a true East Coast winter capable coilover.  I don't think any other coilover on the market can hold up to salted roads for long.

The camber plate has stainless fasteners and the steel hardware is zinc chromated for corrosion resistance.  The spherical bearing is sealed.  You can see the rebound damping adjuster at the top of the shaft.

The bottom part of the camber plate has a rubber dust and moisture seal for the bearing.  The shaft has a nice progressive microcellular urethane bump stop with an OEM like dust shield.  The coilovers have a tender spring which helps inside wheel traction while cornering.  The tender spring also keeps tension on everything under droop.  The black spacer under the bumpstop is a packer.  It vents air out from under the bump stop when the suspension bottoms.  This helps prevents dirt from being blown past the seals.

The compression adjuster is found at the bottom of the shock tube.  KW's body also has all the proper brackets for brake lines and wheel sensors welded right in.  No zip ties and dangerous chafing or hyper extended lines.   Note the upper strut mount bolt hole is ovalized for some camber adjustment.  I like adjusting camber at the bottom and setting the kingpin inclination angle with the plates.  By adjusting KPA,  The scrub radius can be adjusted as well as stuff like self steer and caster sensitivity.  The KW strut body is shorter so the suspension won't lose bump travel when the car is lowered.
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Tuesday, February 04, 2014 5:32 AM
Nice car! Do you plan to add roll center and bumpsteer correction in a near future? In other words: does the Mustang really needs those parts once lowered?
Dusty Duster
Dusty Dusterlink
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 8:16 AM
The rear axle is a type of steel designed to form a layer of surface rust. It's known as "weathering steel." It looks ugly as sin, though.
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 10:20 AM
I usually recommend either cutting the axle-mounted bump rubber in half or removing it all together for increased bump travel.
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, February 04, 2014 1:44 PM
Whiteline doesn't make the roll center correctors for this year Mustang but we are looking for other manufactures at the moment.
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 11:32 AM
Is roll center correction a big deal for a Mustang for a mild lowering job? 1" or less?
Wednesday, February 05, 2014 7:46 PM
Not really. Look at the Mustangs racing in the IMSA Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Series, they have stock suspension geometry and are lower than 1" from stock.
Friday, February 07, 2014 1:28 PM
^I'm pretty sure those run the 302R or 302S (not sure on the name, Ford Racing stuff) LCA's which include a longer ball joint...
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