Ultimately, it was decided that Bailout would need 7 inches of suspension travel (3.5 up and 3.5 down) in order to realize its amazing handling characteristics. Control arms and VariShock coilovers from the Chassisworks Total Control Products line were relocated, as were the tie-rod ends. Jim added, "We even mini-tubbed the front of the car, so it would turn with the proper camber. Ninety percent of the shock towers were refabricated, but we felt it was very important to retain the OE-style Mustang look by keeping the tower structures in place." Perhaps the most commanding sight underhood is the beefy shock tower braces, which are preloadable and available for purchase at Ringbrothers.com. Aside from that system, tasteful panels conceal the core support, the Be Cool radiator, and the void in front of the engine, which was more pronounced due to the aforementioned setback. Those artful panels were created using various sized flaring punches in a carefully planned pattern with bead-rolled accents.
Since handling won't happen without ample stopping power, Baer Pro Plus brakes with six-piston calipers and 14-inch rotors were used all around for precise deceleration. Jim says: "We used a set of comp-style Hawk pads with our Baer brakes because they require less temperature to deliver maximum stopping power. They wear quickly and give off lots of dust, but a harder compound pad would need preheating in order to give the proper bite required when running it in the Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational and other events this year. In the end, this turned out to be one of the top-handling Mustangs I've ever driven. And I've driven hundreds."
Under the belly of this beast, a complete Flowmaster 3-inch exhaust system with 44-Series mufflers helps the engine breathe. And though it's still a Unibody platform, the top and bottom floorpans are connected with 2x3 rectangular tubing that's been lightened via dimple dies with sections of tubing welded between each side. Jim chose to fabricate a "false bottom" floorpan, which features upper and lower sections on either side of the drive tunnel. Dynamat sound deadening is used extensively to dampen the road noise in the cockpit, while further detailing includes custom panels made with material from Heat Shield Products, which reduces the heat transfer from the powertrain to the car's occupants. Above all, the substructure is a complete rollcage, though very little of it is visible. It's tucked tightly into the A-pillars and roof rails with the only giveaway being the diagonal crossbrace that extends under the backlight. The 'cage ties the entire body structure together while offering a high degree of driver (and passenger) protection.
Another cool twist is evident directly above the rollcage-namely, a carbon-fiber roof panel that was created after making a mold from another donor car. Jim explained, "We pulled the windshield and backlight out, drilled the factory spot welds in the channels, and cut the roof on both sides after measuring to be sure the old and new panel dimensions matched. Then, the roof skin came right off, revealing the frame work." He continued, "The carbon panel sits right in place and is bonded using a substance called Fuser. Then any remaining gaps were filled using gasket material that gives a genuine factory appearance." Additionally, the BASF "Stimulus Blue" Base/Clear paint system on this particular car allows the carbon roof panel and the adjacent painted surfaces to almost blend together. Another car they're building is destined to be orange, which will make the carbon really pop, due to the much stronger contrast from paint to roof panel.