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As much as I would love to spend the money like my dad (98 SHO) on my 97 SHO
and get brand new sarc struts, I would rather not spend the money if their are
better alternatives that will make the car even better handling and end up with
some more money to spend on the car.
Im new to the world of Gen 3 suspension, so I'm looking for advice, setups, and most of all price.
Or is the semi ride control struts something that one must stay with on the car.
The GENII 2 I had would have been easy eibachs, tockicos, a few other parts, and I would be out the door and installed for less than 1,000 bucks.
You can use the regular SLO struts and just do without SARC if you so
desire. There aren't really any "tuner" or high performance struts
available for the Gen 3, so SARCs really *may* be your best bet.
However, some people around here have had good results with the KYB
GR-2 struts and the Gabriel Ultra struts spec'ed for the SLO. They
are dimensionally the same as our OEM struts, they just lack the SARC
action. I say the SARCs *may* be your best bet because some of the
people who have replaced them with "regular" struts say they don't
miss the SARCs at all.
Well, you donít have many alternatives. The í99 SHO non-SARC struts are nice, but cost-wise, they seem to cost the same as SARC struts (based on what someone posted here recently).
There really arenít even any springs for the SHO. The Eibachs are for the SLO and will work, although they do drop the car quite a bit, and donít appear to have a spring rate any better than the stock springs.
If you stay with the stock springs, the KYB GR-2s are a much cheaper alternative.
If you are interested in handling, this is what I would do:
Get new factory springs, and struts of your choice (SARC, í99, or GR-2)
Wider wheels (7.5Ē or 8Ē) and quality summer tires If you live in the snow belt, run separate sets.
Ant roll bars to your tastes. Stock do OK, stock/22MM rear, no more than 24/26MM
New bushings everywhere, ad aluminum SFBs in the sub frame.
Quality brake pads, fresh brake fluid, and bias plugs I the rear.
For more serious road/track work:
Getting stiffer rear control arms, welding up the H-box, and an H-brace would be nice if serious track work is planned, especially with track tires.
Getting some full-length SFCs (sub frame connectors) welded in would help. Due to the one-piece side body panel, the Gen 3 as a stiffer body structure, which helps things overall.
Swapping in stiffer springs, struts, and bigger bars do not automatically make for better handling. They may change the feel of the car, but that doesnít always translate into better performance. The car has a lot of capability from the start. The biggest factor are good tires on adequate rims, then freshen up the suspension to be as tight as new.
I will add one point to this. The SHO Shop had specific linear Intrax springs made for the Gen 3 that they used to sell. These were not available on the regular Intrax site (SS had an exclusive on them), which, IIRC, offered a set of springs for the SLO, much like Eibach.
I just tried to go to the Intrax site, but itís not coming up for me: http://www.intraxsuspension.com/
If these linear Intrax springs that the SHO Shop used to sell became available through other outlets they would be a nice choice. Only problem is that using one of the stock Ford struts would be your only choice to keep them dampened.