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Vorshlag 2022 Ford Maverick - Smol Truck Development Thread

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  • Vorshlag 2022 Ford Maverick - Smol Truck Development Thread

    Project Introduction - November 4, 2022 : Welcome to our Forum Build Thread for the 2022 Ford Maverick "trucklet" that we bought in late 2021 - with the first post only 10 months after purchasing this truck! I have been meaning to start this "development" thread for the last year but wasn't sure what all we would to with this chassis. Turns our we did more than I had originally planned - MCS coilovers and camber plates being the big items - and these mods made this truck even better, not worse.

    Why so slow to share? Several reasons. I got busy in 2022 managing and winding down several customer car builds, and three long term cars have wrapped up and left the shop this year. We also had an enormous uptick in suspension part orders over the past 2 years, additions to our CNC machines, employee turnover, and other pandemic related "fun".

    In this thread I will show many things - what is a Maverick, why did we order one, how are we using it, what mods can you do, and what products have we installed and/or developed for this chassis. This was supposed to be my "cheap daily" but some of the mods have gotten a little out of control, but hey, its Vorshlag - what did you expect?

    Other forums this thread is posted in:

    Being an "extremely online" gear head, it still startles me when fellow car peeps don't know what this new-for-'22 model even is. I took an old racing buddy to dinner last night in the Mav, and as he climbed in he said that he had never seen one or even heard of it. We then did an AWD launch and acceleration run up through 3 gears, and he was all "Wait... what just happened!?!" Then I had to explain...

    The Ford Maverick is a four-door, five-passenger, compact crew cab pickup truck manufactured by Ford Motor Company. It was unveiled on June 8, 2021 as Ford's smallest truck. Using a front-wheel drive-based unibody platform - Ford's C2 platform used by the 4th gen Ford Focus, Escape and Bronco Sport - the pickup's powertrain offerings include a standard full hybrid 2.5L engine with CVT or an optional 250 hp 2.0L Ecoboost turbo inline-4 cylinder engine and 8 speed auto, the latter also available with all-wheel drive. The Maverick went on sale in late 2021 for the 2022 model year with a starting price of $19,995 for the 2022, and all models get at least 30 mpg...

    I then showed him my real street mileage of 26.8 mpg, which is all driving around town (with 6000+ miles on that trip odometer), and I drive this thing like a sports car. On the highway it gets 30+, and remember - this is the lowest MPG version of this model (AWD 2.0L with towing package gearing). The hybrid versions get 34 mpg city, and you can (and we regularly do) carry 5 adults + a 4-1/2' bed full of stuff.

    Of the two engines, obviously it wasn't hard for me to pick the turbocharged 250 hp / 277 tq version. I joke about it, but the reality is - this truck is just a Focus ST with a truck bed, but with the AWD option it is more like a Focus RS Truck. Well OK, it doesn't have the 2.3L turbo from the RS with 300 hp, but its still got a lot of pep for a smol truck.

    At 3595 lbs empty our AWD 2.0L Ecoboost Maverick was exactly 150 pounds heavier than this 2016 Focus RS with a similar fuel load. We had a lot of fun modding that RS for track and autocross use, so who knows what is in store for our little trucklet? To be honest, the 8F35 8-speed automatic transmission will limit a bit of the fun we could potentially have on track or especially in an autocross with the Mav, but it is still a blast to drive around on the street. If there was a manual transmission we would have paid extra for that!

    As all other truck models continue to get bigger and heavier, someone at Ford saw an opening for another variation of their popular C2 chassis SUVs, but in tiny truck form. Just like how BMW saw their 3 series get bigger and fatter, then created the 1 / 2 series to slot in underneath in size and weight. Look above at the current Ford Ranger next to the Maverick - it is HUGE. The F150 is even more massive, and the current F250-350 is simply gargantuan.

    As a large segment of buyers strive to make their trucks taller, wider, and less fuel efficient, I'm over here in my economical truck that can haul 5 people plus a pallet of parts all over town.

    As soon as we mentioned we were ordering a Maverick, the haters started coming out in droves. "That's not a REAL truck!" and "What a cute car!" And you know what? I leaned into it and had the mocking decal above made for mine. Who cares what the haters think, anyway? I've taken a few of them for rides in this "hot hatch turned truck" and most of them are then quickly asking "wait, how much was this?" It is a fun little turbo AWD truck to run around in.


    Let's start with the "why". It may seem odd to order a small "car based" truck when I already have a 1 ton F350 and 1/2 ton truck, but my white Silverado has been modded a bit too much for true daily driver / parts hauling use, and our big F350 crew cab long bed is enormously large. I had been "daily driving" the F350 a lot before the Maverick arrived, and racked up a lot of miles on our tow vehicle, just driving around town. Nightmare to park, cannot go through drive-thrus, etc. I wanted a more economical 4 door truck that was SMALLER to drive around with.

    As for the when, I ordered the truck from Five Star Ford in Plano, TX on 8/16/21 and received it 12/23/21, just in time for the holidays. During this crazy time of no vehicles being available for any price, I paid MSRP and did so with a smile. You just have to order one, get the dealership to have a contract, then not try to raise the price when it arrives, and then be patient. An early screenshot from the configurator is below, showing a FWD Ecoboost XL at $23K, but I ended up adding the AWD (+$2200) option.

    When this truck was announced, I suspected - correctly - that this would be a huge hit and outsell their capacity by a large margin. I ordered this Maverick without ever seeing one in person - they were announced in June and I got my order in by August of 2021. It was scheduled to be built the first week of November 2021, but "supply chain delays" pushed the delivery until late December. Not bad considering how FUBAR everything was in the world in 2021.

    The base price was $19,995 for the base model XL Maverick. I added the only options that I felt I absolutely needed: the 2.0L Ecoboost engine ($1085), the AWD option ($2200), the towing package ($745), and a spray in bed liner ($495). That pushed the price from $20K to $24.5K, and $26K with delivery charges. There are more expensive options with the XLT and Lariat trim levels, but I was trying to keep costs down on this thing.

    For the first few months I just used this little unibody truck in bone stock form to haul parts to and from vendors - like taking pallets of CNC machined parts to our plating shop, picking up laser cut parts, hauling around tires and wheels, etc. We also quickly realized that the Maverick was by far our most fuel efficient of our 6 street legal vehicles, so with gas at $4/gal we took the Mav to lunch every day (with 5 adults), to all of our store runs, and even on trips out of town - all on cheap 87 octane fuel. A vacation to Colorado in the heat of the summer led to big fun on some windy mountain roads and a big speeding ticket, too.

    It is also a great little vehicle in a "snow storm" - the Mav plowed through some snow and ice in our February '22 Snowpocalypse with ease. You snow belt folks have no idea how few cars / trucks / drivers in Texas have any capabilities in this white stuff - the roads clear out when snow falls or ice forms, and we have essentially zero de-icing or sand trucks. We had a lot of fun hooning around on nearly empty streets, driving around folks doing a shaky 10mph in the snow.


    As mentioned before, the 2022 Maverick XL started at $19,995 (the '23 model now starts at $22,195 - and Ford stopped taking more orders after only FIVE DAYS). There are three trim packages for the Maverick: XL, XLT and Lariat. Each trim level comes with exactly ONE interior color, no matter what the exterior color was that you picked. The base "XL" model comes with a basic black and gray cloth interior (Black Onyx / Medium Dark Slate), as shown in our truck's two interior pics below.

    The one thing the XL was missing in 2022 that mattered to me: cruise control. I actually use that quite a lot, even around town, to keep me from driving too fast or too slow. To get cruise you had to up the ante and get either the XLT or Lariat trim levels. The XLT is +$2300 and the Lariat is +$5760. That's a lot of coin for cruise control, plus the XLT and Lariat interior colors are totally wack.

    The XLT (above left) has a tweed inserted BLUE AND ORANGE interior. I can't make this shiz up! The Lariat is a sort of blue/grey with brown insert leather interior. That's it - that is what you get to choose from for +$2300 or +$5760 over the more pleasing XL black interior. Sure, there are some small upgrades to the wheels and lights on those trim levels, but the interior colors you get stuck with on the XLT and Lariat got a big "NO THANKS" from me. We will add cruise control later (there are hacks for this already) and cruise now comes standard on the XL for 2023.


    The day I picked up the Mav we had it up on the lift and I was taking pictures of the suspension. I knew we would do something with the suspension, as virtually every vehicle that we buy ends up being a suspension test vehicle for us to potentially have for future product development. It is just part of my DNA - we have to test something on every car we buy!

    The front was standard C2 Focus McPherson strut front suspension with a strut top mount buried under a tower that was half buried behind some plastic covers. The strut tower opening is very small, which looked like it would greatly limit camber travel with the stock struts or potential coilovers. At least the strut towers are made of steel, which is a good thing - the cast aluminum towers we keep seeing in new vehicles limit spring travel and/or can break.

    The front lower control arms are aluminum and the struts feature a fairly big OEM diameter spring, which could limit camber travel within the stock towers - like the 3rd gen Focus RS did, so we likely will never release a camber plate for the Maverick for use with the stock style springs (see more below).

    The rear suspension on this AWD version is a fully independent multi-link semi-trailing arm design, with aluminum lower arms and an aluminum center differential, with a driveshaft inside the tunnel above the exhaust.

    The rear shock had a "blind" top mount that looked a lot like the S550 Mustang version (but it is different). And this AWD model had a coil spring mounted inboard on the lateral lower arms with a swaybar.

    A couple of weeks later, on January 17th of 2022 we had a little more time free on a lift, so we got the truck in again and took everything apart. The first things we needed to see were the front strut and rear shock top mounts. Jason also wanted to model the strut towers then rate the springs, so we could see if we wanted to help design a prototype MCS coilover.

    As Jason was taking measurements for the tower and top mount, to begin the camber plate design, I grabbed an MCS front strut for an S550 (2015-up) Mustang. I also looked at all of our upper spring perches we machine for the ~40 models we cover.

    Sure enough, the S550 strut mounting flange was a match for the Maverick spindle (thank goodness for "platform sharing"). And one of our BMW upper spring perches fit the Mav front springs perfectly. We rarely get this lucky, but after 17 years of designing more and more top mounts and shocks, it was about dang time we had some luck!

    Next up we checked the stock springs (on our AWD + towing package truck) on our digital spring rater. We don't do any tricks like take them to coil bind, like virtually all "lowering spring" suppliers do, but rate them over a usable range of real suspension travel for an accurate spring rate that is not fake.

    Other than some dead coils in the first part of the rear, both springs are linear rated springs. The front rate averages 157 #/in and the rear is 224#/in, but with a worse motion ratio since it is mounted so far inboard. That helps us decide on coilover spring rates, with some math on the rear if we move the spring outboard for coilover mounting on the shock.

    The rear suspension, sporting 3 arms per side, still has this nasty "twist bracket" semi-trailing arm that reeked of the 3rd gen Focus RS suspension. Not how you want to design a compliant rear suspension, but it is all based on a cheap car (Focus), so it is what it is.

    We had a lot of data after a few hours of disassembly, measuring, then reassembly. Mostly just terrible options for a camber plate with stock springs and what looked like "just enough" room in the tower to move inboard to get some real camber adjustment. We'll see. Lots of good data to share with MCS about a potential strut design, rear shock mount information to make a spherical version, and more. We had a LOT on our plate and it was several months before we got back to this.


    This seems pretty minor, but these were our first two real "mods" to this truck - both very useful and functional, just not very sexy. In June of 2022 I couldn't stand the janky cup holder phone mount that I had added and had to move forward with a proper RAM 1" ball mount bolted to the dash with a RAM XL phone holder, which secures a large platform smart phone in all 3 axis. I've been in a crash with one of these and the phone stayed put.

    It also keeps the phone handy and in my field of view, and even though the Apple Car Play enabled 8" LCD screen mirrors my phone and can display as many as 4 apps / notifications at once, its still handy to have the smart phone screen nearby. I got one of these "3 bolt" aluminum RAM bases and Brad got it bolted to the removable top plastic section above the on board flat screen display.

    continued below
    Last edited by Fair!; 11-26-2022, 02:48 PM.
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev

  • #2
    continued from above

    This whole plastic "dash trash" holder above the 8" screen pops in and out, so it doesn't make the best place to put a phone holder that you lever against to install or remove your phone - but after 5 months its still working fine, plus it is easily replaced if we need to remove this mod later. If or when there is a better solution for a phone holder mount, we'll show it.

    Next up was a mod I did in April of 2022 - adding more factory tie down hooks to the truck bed using additional, unused pre-threaded holes in the bed. Again, this wasn't an exotic upgrade, but one that I use every week when transporting big bins of heavy parts in the truck bed.

    I found these 2" spacing tie down hooks 4 for ten bucks on Amazon, which look nearly identical to the 4 factory hooks that came in this truck. There were threaded spots for adding 4 more, but two of these would be in the actual bed near the cab and I wasn't sure I wanted to lose floor space in the very short 4-1/2 foot bed. I only added 2 of these at the rear / upper holes.

    I will say here that the factory spray-in bed liner I optioned made this upgrade a lot harder than it should have been. I was impatient and couldn't find the M6-1.0 tap, so I took the factory bolts out (which had a tapered start) and used them for the new hook locations, then replaced those bolts with some stainless M6-1.0 button head bolts we had in stock.

    I use these tow hooks all the time when hauling things, like that arcade cabinet above. The upper rear hooks added get used when hauling big loads of parts that I need to keep from moving around on my cross town drives.


    Before the truck even arrived, before I had even ever seen one in person, I was getting the question - "Will you LS swap it??" And these people were serious, which was baffling to me - so I kept the illusion alive with a photo chopped pic! (see below left)

    Just in case you are not getting it - WE ARE NOT LS SWAPPING A MAVERICK. That pic was a 60 second photo hack, not even well done when you see it in full size, but it still fooled more than a few folks! Above right is the engine bay of a customer's CTS-V in our shop, which is what I hastily hacked into a photo of a Maverick engine bay I found on a pre-production journalist's review. #FakeNews #ItsCalledAjoke

    Seriously, this FWD transverse engine bay is NOT going to work with a V8 longitudinal engine swap. Maybe think more along the lines of a 2.3L Ecoboost swap from another AWD/FWD Ford model, and I have seen folks on forums dreaming about this - that could be attainable, and a manual swapped 2.3L Ecoboost Maverick would be pretty dang cool (and I've explored that idea casually). But an LS V8 is not going to happen!


    So I hesitate to even show this, because we do NOT have plans on releasing the camber plate for the Maverick and the OEM springs, for several reasons - which I will cover below. The OEM style spring perch solution doesn't always work on every chassis, and I can list a half dozen cars we have no OEM spring camber plate solution for: most Subarus, Gen 3 Focus, Mk6 Golf, and many others. It usually comes down to some geometric constraint of the chassis, either a super thin factory top mount upper perch that we cannot replicate (or risk raising the front ride height, which is a big NO-NO), or a large OEM spring diameter and small strut tower (which limits any effective camber travel inboard with the strut), or a weird strut tower top / opening (which would require cutting to get access for the strut shaft). Again, not something that we can just design around for some cars.

    The 3rd gen Focus (shown above) was one of those "We cannot make a camber plate for the stock spring" victims, in two ways (see above). The strut tower and spring diameter wouldn't allow .25" of travel so that killed it, then this raised lip on the underside of the tower made even more problems.

    We fixed that situation for the Focus (shown above) with coilover spring use by adding a .250" thick "top pointer ring" (to clear the lip of the weird reinforcement under the tower) plus the smaller diameter of 2.25" / 60mm / 2.5" coilover springs allowed for ample camber travel. The thicker top ring would have raised the ride height with stock springs, plus we still had the giant stock spring slamming into the tower.

    The Maverick has some of these similar issues, but we tried to make a camber plate for it anyway. In March of 2022 we came up with a new design for the Maverick made for the stock spring diameter, with that BMW upper perch we already made. We had to cut the strut towers to make it all fit. Cutting the towers is too invasive for basic camber plate use, and you cannot go back to stock once you cut the towers. It is a one way trip that is too much of a compromise, so we're looking at another design to handle this. With the shape of the strut tower and the small size of the stock tower opening, it might never happen. And this could be one of our least requested camber plate designs, since this is a TRUCK.

    But to prove out this design, the towers on my Maverick were cut to a massive 3" diameter opening, which Brad handled cleanly with a hole saw and a strut tower cutting fixture we made for this purpose - but again, we might never make another of this tool. For coilover use only we could have changed the camber plate design, to make room for hardware protrusions and the strut stem to fit under the tower. Doing that would raise the ride height on a stock spring application, which is a no-go.

    Anyway, our cut towers allowed this camber plate to fit and have camber adjustment with the stock springs without changing ride height. And we got about a degree of camber travel, which is "not great, not terrible". The large diameter of the stock spring and the small-ish tower sill limit camber travel a lot.

    I drove the truck around with these camber plates for about 6 months, and sure, it turned-in better on corners and evened out some front tire shoulder wear that happened in the first 3 months of driving. But again, not enough camber to notice a big change, and a big compromise to get there. Don't hold your breath for this camber plate design to ever be released, at least for use with the stock style springs.


    As I mentioned above, there was one option package that jumped out at me when we were working with the Ford online configuirator - the 4K Towing Package.

    This option package required the 2.0L Ecoboost AWD and included:
    • "Better tires" (225/65R17 with a higher load rating)
    • Trailer Hitch Receiver with 7-pin and 4 pin connections
    • Transmission oil cooler
    • Higher capacity radiator
    • Upgraded cooling fan
    • Upgraded final drive ratio
    • Trailer brake controller
    And if you have ever towed with any truck, getting all of these upgrades for only $745 is a huge win. Even if we NEVER tow with the Maverick, I'm getting a trans cooler, bigger radiator, bigger fan, and a deeper final drive ratio for less than a G - that sounds like a cheap Track Package to me!

    You better believe I ordered that towing package (track package!) on this Mav, and I also ordered the towing package on our 2024 Bronco Wildtrack Sasquatch with the 2.7L twin turbo V6 and 10 speed automatic, too! #RickJamesLogic

    Now if you think about it, a 4000 pound towing capacity isn't very much. Maybe an aluminum open trailer with a Miata would fall into that range. Of course people exceed towing capacities and do more than they should, like this guy above. That looks like a steel 2500 pound trailer and 3500 pound 300Z, so he's easily 1000 pounds over his truck's rated capacity. This is NOT my endorsement of towing beyond your vehicle's limits! But yea, people do it...


    Another easy mod that I really wanted to work was a factory based, bolt-on Big Brake Upgrade for the front. Big, meaty 4 piston calipers and a 14" rotor would do wonders on a similar weight Maverick.

    The front brakes on the Maverick are pretty standard fare for plebeian cars and trucks: some cast iron 2 piston sliding calipers on some smallish vented front rotors.

    Back in January of '22 I had Maverick on the brain, and was theorizing that maybe the 3rd gen Focus RS' front Brembo brakes would fit the C2 chassis, which is based on the 4th gen Focus (which was for Europe only - we didn't get the 4th gen Focus).

    I was so excited that I convinced myself this HAD to work, so I ordered a new Focus RS front rotor and caliper. Yea... no, not even close to bolting on. The caliper bracket mount spacing is all wrong. We would have to do some pretty ugly mods to make this work, bah! Sometimes you don't get lucky. Wanted to share in case someone else had the same bad idea.


    Pretty early on the usual suspects jumped on the Maverick bandwagon. HP Tuners released support for tuning, Holley showed some renderings, and all of the exhaust companies made cat-back systems. I've seen some shops that have run low 13 sec quarter mile times with exhaust and tuning, but that's not really what we are looking to get into. Suspension is our game.

    To be honest, I haven't been tuned in to the Maverick forums to know what is available now. Wheels are 5x108 PCD which is the same as a Focus, so a bunch of pretty narrow 18x8" to 20x9" wheels exist, and there's more ugly looking mods shown at the 2022 SEMA show for these trucks than I care to show. No "legit suspension" offerings yet.


    We can tell this car ... I mean truck ... would benefit from tires wider than the little 225mm junk that our XL came with. And I cannot be seen rocking the 17x7" steelies forever. So wheels and tires are in store. But what about... more?

    Someone got their hands on a '22 Maverick in time to take it to the 2021 SEMA show, and they 3D printed some flares, put some pokey wheels on it, and chopped the springs. The Maverick community went nuts, and the "mini-truck world is reborn!" statements were flying. But nobody had a '22 Maverick until late in 2021 - our Dec 23rd 2021 delivery was one of the first at the dealership where we ordered it.

    It took me a whole six days before I started mocking up flares on our Mav. On Dec 29th I slapped these fiberglass flares made for a 2010-14 Mustang.

    We had these on hand for use on a customer's 2010 Mustang which eventually got 18x13" front and 18x14" rear Jongbloed 3-piece wheels and 335mm front and 345mm rear Hoosier R7s (above left). But the contours of these flares also fit this 1st gen CTS-V on the front, which now has 18x11" wheels and 315mm tires. So, naturally, I slapped the same flares onto the Mav...

    This was done in jest, but they fit pretty dang well. Sure, it would take some trimming and tricks during mounting to make them match the fender contours of the Mav, but they could fit. Well, if you needed an absolutely monstrous tire on this little AWD truck. The pic above got noticed, and an article written by The DRIVE featured that pic front and center.

    We plan on a 265mm tire under the stock fenders (with camber and coilovers), but if you wanted another 70mm of tire - these flares would do it! That's right - a 335mm tire would fit under these flares. Now, who would be silly enough to slap 335s on a Maverick?


    By July 5th I had already racked up 10,000 miles on the Maverick - in only 6 months! Even with no commute we still took the Maverick everywhere all the time. It was time to choose an oil and filter and get the stock fluids changed.

    For filters we tend to use Wix branded units, and the Wix 51348 was the right part number for the 2.0L Ecoboost engine in the Maverick. The oil we chose was more for intended abuse later, if and when we took the Maverick on track.

    When it comes to lubricants we switched to Motul many years ago and have had excellent results for our track and autocross abused builds. So we went with the 5W30 Motul 8100 synthetic oil for the 5.5 quart capacity needed in the Maverick. Does it help? Who knows! We don't monitor oil temps and haven't driven the truck on track to even need to worry yet. But this is relatively cheap insurance for a daily driver that we don't WANT to worry about.

    continued below
    Terry Fair -
    2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
    EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev


    • #3
      continued from above


      In stone stock form the Maverick rides like, well, a car. It has more suspension travel than the C2 Focus it is based on, and if you want a utilitarian vehicle that handles pretty car-like yet can crawl over a curb, then look no further. The steel wheels and 225/65R17 tires can take a beating on bad roads, and in a car chase, one of these with a power bump would be a great, inconspicuous getaway vehicle! It is quiet, unremarkable looking, and you can zip through town without causing a stir.

      You can haul 4-5 people, bikes, or whatever 1500 pounds of junk you need to haul in the 4-1/2' bed and never change a thing. But if you know me, you know I cannot leave anything "stock". And I always felt like the Maverick had a bit too much fender gap, the steel wheels were super boring, and the 225mm A/S tires had VERY low grip. And yes, I drive the Mav a little too much like an AWD hot hatch. With all of the renders, chopped springs, and bagged Mavericks, we had to do something... more.

      Even though the OEM spring camber plate solution was mostly a bust, I still wanted to try to make coilovers for the Maverick. I know, MCS coilovers on a truck sounds pretty nuts. We might not ever sell a single set. But when we sent all of our data to MCS in January, in March of '22 we got a shipment from MCS, and inside was a 3D printed strut that had a working piston and main 22mm shaft, which we could use for mockup. Pretty cool part they sent us, the first they had done with their new 3D printer. The shaft moves up and down and everything!

      We mocked this up on the Maverick the day it arrived and got some very valuable information on fitment, which we used to tweak the design of the struts in several dimensions.

      This being a plastic strut we couldn't put almost any load on it, for fear of breaking this time consuming 3D printed part - which they will show off at trade shows. Without a spring installed we did mock up the camber plate and strut, checked droop and bump travel, and came up with a ride height goal.

      So we still learned a lot with this 3D printed tool, and sent our revised dimensions to MCS. Once they came up with a final prototype drawing we signed off and they said it could take "a few months" to get the housings made, due to the typical supply chain constraints and lead times everyone is still fighting.

      Fast forward 5 months later and the prototype MCS strut and shock combo for the Maverick was ready! I washed the truck and at 15K miles on the odometer, then brought it into the shop for a few days of development work before installing the finished coilover setup.

      Once the Mav was on the lift the rear shock and spring were removed and it was time to design the rear shock mount. We had some rough dimensions from earlier measurements but those were quickly thrown out the window once the shock was installed with the spring package and Rebound adjustment knob installed.

      Three revisions later we had a production ready spherical rear shock mount for the Maverick. Not nearly as much room as the S550 Mustang, but Jason got it all to package well in the blind pocket back there, with the double nut upper + Rebound now installed and accessible.

      On the rear we ran a 400 #/in main spring with a tender spring, as there was room for this long spring package. On some vehicles the rear axle shafts get in the way and we often have to invert the shock and spring to clear that, but that wasn't the case on the Maverick. You can just reach your hand in and turn the rebound knob, no muss no fuss.

      While the rear shock mount design and fabrication iterations were still ongoing Brad was working on the front strut install. We used the camber camber plate design but with coilover perches for the front MCS single adjustable monotubes.

      We picked a 300 #/in front spring with no tender up front, for maximum inboard wheel room. Immediately we noted a few issues that needed to be addressed - the "dual swaybar mounts" from the S550 Mustang strut design - which clear that chassis - do not clear some things on the Maverick. The brake flex line would be interfering on the bracket, so that extra tab will need to be removed on each strut housing. The OEM front swaybar endlink is also inches too long.

      Brad did some minor surgery on the prototype struts and made room for the brake flex line. Then he built this side-specific aluminum bracket to secure the brake hose to the strut, similar to the OEM design. This will be something we would need to replicate for production, if there is anyone who wants these coilovers for their Maverick.

      At long last the Whiteline adjustable front swaybar endlink we needed arrived. I actually drove around in the Maverick with the MCS coilovers on for a week with no swaybar ("weird!") waiting for this to arrive, but it was the perfect length and Brad got that adjusted and installed. He had to drill another hole inboard on the bracket as well, to clear the end of the endlink when steering. All things we will transfer over to MCS for a production strut housing for the Maverick.

      Brad setup the ride heights with the 2.5" front and rear drop we had designed into the strut and shock lengths and it looks a lot better. This drop does come with some loss of suspension travel but the OEM bits had an excessive amount, and we gained some front travel back by pushing the bottom of the strut down below the front spindle bracket. I have driven this setup for almost 2 months and 2000 miles and haven't bottomed the suspension once.

      The steel wheels belie what is behind them - a real deal Motorsports damper system with proper spring rates. This isn't "bagged", these aren't chopped lowering springs (which lead to a complete loss of suspension travel for every inch dropped), but a properly designed system. I can still haul 5 people (above right) and not have any significant loss of suspension travel, like a lowering spring would - because we have REAL spring rates in here. We can dial in as little or as much front camber as we want, and that is what happened next...


      It was time for a laser alignment to see what we had. Now I will preface this with the fact that we pushed the spindle-to-strut mount as far outboard as possible, which minimizes camber at the wheels. We did this to see how much inboard wheel room we can make, and honestly I can say we overshot that.

      The folks at BSP dialed in the front camber at -1.9 deg and the rear at -1.7, with zero front toe and a touch of rear toe in, based on our request. After coming back and checking wheel fitment we have decided to dial in more front camber at the spindle, which we can do here and string align the car after (the tricky bit is aligning a multi-link rear and keeping the front and rear toe matched up).

      WHAT'S NEXT?

      Wheels... wheels, wheels, wheels! Some folks like the steelies, but the 226/65R17 tires just ain't cutting something I can call mine. It took ages but we found 20x11" wheels and were able to stuff 315mm tires under the stock fenders of my 2000 Silverado, so we have to push for the max fitment on the Mav also.

      Our engineer Jason has already come up with a tire section width envelope that can fit the front and back of this truck with these coilovers, but we are still exploring the options. I am adamant about keeping the stock tire height, to avoid the need to retune the truck to keep speedometer and odometer accurate. The stock height is pretty tall (28.5") and that both limits tire options and pushes us into a 19" diameter wheel - I had hoped for an 18" diameter wheel, to keep as much sidewall for a better ride, but we cannot find the right height in any 18" tires that exist in the right widths we need.

      Tom Suddard of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine sent me pictures of every Mavericks' wheel and tire fitments from SEMA last week, and they were all 20-22" wheels and 245-255mm tires, with one sporting 265mm tires under flares (below left). We will pick wheels in the next week and get those and the right tires inbound, then alter out front camber at the spindle junction to fit - hopefully without the need for any spacers or long wheel studs to rotate the same offset wheel front to back.

      Wheel styles are all over the place but the steel wheel look-alikes from Rotiform look pretty slick, but we cannot get them in the right sizes nor in a timely manner. We will find something that looks good, is lighter than the 17x7 steelies on the Mav now, with a max fitment very soon. Then we will post an update to this thread.

      Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for the next entry!
      Terry Fair -
      2018 GT / S550 Dev + 2013 FR-S / 86 Dev + 2011 GT / S197 Dev + C4 Corvette Dev
      EVO X Dev + 2007 Z06 / C6 Dev + BMW E46 Dev + C5 Corvette Dev