Choosing struts? Bushing material?

maillemaker

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So my 95 GT vert with 103K miles on it already has a "harsh" ride that highlights how crappy Huntsville roads are. Every pothole is bone-jarring. I play slalom driving around town.

I'd like to rebuild the front suspension with quality components but don't want to make the suspension even harder.

I'm going to replace lower ball joints, rack and pinion (it leaks), sway bar linkage bushings, sway bar bushings, and struts.

What material should I choose for bushings?

I'd like some quality struts but am not looking for something that makes the suspension even more harsh. I see Koni makes several series of struts but I don't know what to choose.

What do you suggest?

Edit to add: I am not looking to build a race car. I just cruise and occasionally floor it to see how fast I can hit the speed limit. I have a stock ride height and don't plan to change that. So basically, I want to rebuild the OEM suspension with better-than-stock quality parts.
 
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shovel

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I'm with you on stock height, I like them stock too for general touring/pleasure driving. I have no intention of going on a race track.

For strut brand/quality I really think the best answer for anyone not actually driving competitively is KYB - they ride awesome, last forever and they're inexpensive relative to "high performance" options . I don't even see the point in the adjustable KYB's for a non competitive street driven car, just the regular ones are great who wants to fool around with a knob (four knobs) on a regular basis under the car? Don't forget to replace the quad shocks too. KYB makes monotubes for both rear shock types, which are much more affordable than Bilstein and ride a little smoother in my experience.

You'll probably want new upper strut mounts. Every time I replace those on newly acquired, old Mustangs they're like hockey pucks and a new set (also from KYB, though I don't know how much brand matters here) always brings down a bit of the road rumble.
 

cobrajeff96

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If you don't plan to change ride quality or ride height, just get the cheapest replacement parts you can find and that'll be just fine.
 

Tillerman77

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So my 95 GT vert with 103K miles on it already has a "harsh" ride that highlights how crappy Huntsville roads are. Every pothole is bone-jarring. I play slalom driving around town.

I'd like to rebuild the front suspension with quality components but don't want to make the suspension even harder.

I'm going to replace lower ball joints, rack and pinion (it leaks), sway bar linkage bushings, sway bar bushings, and struts.

What material should I choose for bushings?

I'd like some quality struts but am not looking for something that makes the suspension even more harsh. I see Koni makes several series of struts but I don't know what to choose.

What do you suggest?

Edit to add: I am not looking to build a race car. I just cruise and occasionally floor it to see how fast I can hit the speed limit. I have a stock ride height and don't plan to change that. So basically, I want to rebuild the OEM suspension with better-than-stock quality parts.
Even with your refresh using OEM spec parts, I am pretty sure that you will still have a bone jarring ride on poor roads. This era chassis is not the most sophisticated when it comes to a comfortable ride.
 
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maillemaker

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Even with your refresh using OEM spec parts, I am pretty sure that you will still have a bone jarring ride on poor roads. This era chassis is not the most sophisticated when it comes to a comfortable ride.
So I'm discovering. Even my little Mazda 2 rides better than this thing. I had forgotten how harsh they were.
 

shovel

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I must've lucked out three times, 'cause all three 4th-gen Mustangs in my household ride nice and smooth on rough country roads
 

Tillerman77

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Agreed. My 97 Cobra was completely stock when I got it in 2016 with about 68K. While nice on smooth roads, it felt/sounded like a truck on washboard and other rough paved roads.
Different folks have various perceptions about ride quality in the same car - that is just the nature of things.

Regarding materials for the refresh, I would use OEM style rubber for all bushing replacements versus Prothane or similar. I have nothing against PU bushings, but for your stated goals, rubber will be preferable. That would include control arm bushings. NPD, Moog and others have rubber bushings available.
 

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