First of all let me say this; I know my post count is low but that is because my lap top recently went bye-bye on me and here at work the usual forums I frequent are blocked. So I decided to join mustangforms.com (not blocked!) So to start out I will give a review of my newest mod!
Last week I installed the watts linkage from Whiteline
on my 2011 Mustang GT.
This is the first and only
modification I have done (so far)
to the otherwise factory stock suspension.
Initial thoughts- Very
impressed with the packaging and care that Whiteline took for shipping this assembly. Very hard and sturdy cardboard boxes and LOTS of bubble wrap to keep the parts from getting damaged on the way to me. The quality of the parts is outstanding as well. The welds are superb and the finish is very nice and looks durable.
The main (well, only)
complaint I have: Terrible, vague, and confusing instructions. The instructions leave so much to be desired I don't even know where to begin. For one thing, the torque specs are very confusing; it’s hard to tell which bolts are being referred to with the various torque specs required. I ended up breaking off a bolt because I thought it required 129 lb-ft but it only needed 55 lb-ft! Luckily I was able to easily reach that particular bolt with a power-drill and then an easy-out. I went to a nearby Fastenal for a replacement bolt. The install itself is simple enough overall, but the directions actually make it confusing if you try to follow them 'step-by-step.'
The packet also includes a section with directions for adjusting the watts arms (after install is complete)
to get the axle centered. This part was so poorly written it made the rest of the instructions look almost decent! I ended up just getting the car on a level surface and hanging weighted fishing line from each fender, then squeezing under the car (good thing I am thin and ride-height is still at stock!!)
to make the adjustments until the tires were evenly close to the hanging string on each side.
What Whiteline should do is include a diagram with all parts labeled and the torque specs with a line for each bolt/nut. Rewriting the directions entirely would also probably not be a bad idea. I know they were probably written on the other side of the globe (Australia)
, but surely
there can't be that much lost in translation!!
Other than the terrible instructions, everything else was great. The parts fit perfectly and are far better quality then the OEM parts that they replace. Obviously the person who wrote the instruction sheet is not the same chap who designed this watts. Also, zero modification (drilling, cutting, etc.)
was required. Everything just bolted right into place.
Don't forget to pick up some gear oil and friction modifier, as the install requires you to drain and replace the differential fluid. You also might want to by a pump to get the fluid into the fill hole. You can't just poor it in with a funnel as when changing you engine oil. I used an $8 hand pump from AutoZone but be careful, the gear oil is somewhat thick and some hand pumps might night stand up to pumping it (many are only meant for gasoline and thin liquids like that)
It’s night and day! The rear suspension now feels as if it is working in unison with the front, instead of against it. Ride quality has dramatically improved when going over bumps and rough road. Hitting bumps mid corner no longer upsets the car the way it did before. If I didn't know better and drove the car, I would completely believe somebody if they told me they had replaced my LRA with a fully independent rear suspension... Coming out of turns hard, it is MUCH easier to evenly apply power and just zip out; NONE
of the sling-shot feeling that would wiggle the car’s rear around right when I am trying to straighten out after a hard fast turn.
It feels as if the rear shocks are now adapting to the road where before it felt like the rear wheels just bounced in reaction. It is most noticeable on uneven pavement. It just seemed like all of the suspension was working and adjusting in unison, I can't think of a better way to describe it.
Another good point; no noise, no increased NVH. If anything, NVH has actually decreased! The bushings are some of the best of this type I have seen. Impressive.
The improvement is so good that if I had it to do over again, I would have installed this Watts link the day I bought the car! It is really that much better.
Keep in mind that this GT is a daily driven car and the rest of the suspension is still factory. This one upgrade has done a LOT for the handling and ride quality.
The next suspension mod on my list is front & rear sway bars from Whiteline to cut down on body-roll and understeer. I can't wait!