Stance & Stability: Lower Your S197 Mustang The Right Way with these 4 Upgrades - MustangForums.com



S197 Handling Section For everything suspension related, inlcuding brakes, tires, and wheels.

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Old 01-29-2014, 01:52 PM   #1  
ModBargains
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Default Stance & Stability: Lower Your S197 Mustang The Right Way with these 4 Upgrades



If you’ve got a Mustang, you probably bought it because there’s not a lot else on the road that’s quite like a Mustang. Of course, being enthusiasts, we like driving fast – and a low-slung profile. Unfortunately, the factory suspension of nearly every S197 Mustang – outside of a few Roush models and the Laguna Seca - need some suspension work to sit right and actually handle well. And just lowering the car doesn’t fix the problem – if you drop the car without the right supporting modifications, the car’s rear end will wander all over the place and your rear end’s traction will be anything but surefooted.



From the factory, the car suffers from brake hop and wheel hop and the rear end has an awful tendency to wander – handling really hasn’t been a priority on the Mustang since 1971 when Ford stopped caring about the SCCA Trans Am series. The following upgrades will help your Mustang sit lower for a more aggressive stance (as in the Musclecar sense, not 40*-of-negative-camber “stance”) and better handling performance.

Mind you, the type of setup we’re looking at here is ideal for street use- Track-Day Suspension for Mustang will be coming soon in a separate feature.

1. Get Low with Lowering Springs or Coilovers



From the factory, most Mustangs have enough wheel gap to be a 4×4 – that’s less than desirable for handling and leaves a lot of potential for body roll. You can clean up the wheel gap by dropping the car a few inches with either a set of Lowering Springs or a set of Coilovers. If you’re on a budget or want a milder drop, a set of Lowering Springs or Sport Springs will give you the drop you’re looking for as well as improve your handling. Eibach’s Sportline Lowering Springs are an incredibly popular option, but Hotchkis Sport Coil Springs are also a great choice. If you’re after a more aggressive drop, want a greater improvement in handling or just something better than springs, coilovers are the way to go. Eibach Street, R1 and R2 Coilovers are very popular choices for those opting for coilovers, but there are many choices available including options from BC Racing, KW Suspension, ST Suspension and Vogtland. Not sure which springs are best for the ride you’re after? You can always ask one of ModBargains’ Ford Modification Experts.

Lowering Springs
Eibach Sportline Lowering Springs – Front Drop: 1.4″ | Rear Drop: 1.5″

Hotchkis Sport Coil Springs – Front Drop: 1.1″ | Rear Drop: 1.6″

Coilovers
Eibach Street/R1/R2 Coilovers

BC Racing BR Series Coilovers

KW Suspension V3 Coilovers

ST Suspension Coilovers

Vogtland Coilovers

2. Get Centered with a Panhard Bar or Watts Linkage

This Animation of a Watt’s Linkage setup on a 1998 Ford Ranger EV’s DeDion rear axle best illustrates how it limits side-to-side axle movement
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watts_linkage



Diagram of Where A Panhard Bar Mounts. Courtesy of Whiteline

Named for the French Panhard company that invented it in the 1890′s rather than any sort of function, the Panhard bar (aka panhard rod) is designed to limit lateral movement. The height of the panhard bar determines the height of the rear roll center – the roll center being an imaginary point around which the racecar “rolls”. Here’s the thing, when you lower a car, the suspension needs to be adjusted to compensate – when you lower the panhard bar, the rear roll center drops, which tightens cornering handling by promoting side-bite. By keeping the axle from wandering around, your stability is improved. A Whiteline Panhard Rod is a great way to keep your rear axle centered.



A Watt’s Linkage does the same thing – it’s almost like two panhard rods facing each other – both methods are designed to prevent sideways motion of the axle relative to the car. Like a panhard bar on steroids,Popular in Australia’s V8 Supercars racing series, the Watt’s Linkage creates even lateral transfer, enhancing rear end stability. While more expensive than a panhard bar, it’s the superior method of keeping your axle centered. Whiteline offers a complete Watts Linkage for the Mustang that’s integrated cleanly into the diff cover – this upgrade alone will do wonders for your rear end stability.

Whiteline Panhard Rod For Mustang

Whiteline Watt’s Linkage For Mustang

3. Control Yourself – Rear Upper & Lower Control Arms
Wheel Hop is a BIG issue for Mustangs – for stock vehicles and even with modified suspension – it’ll continue to be a problem without replacing the upper and lower rear control arms to correct the rear end’s geometry. It’s worth noting that unfortunately, the improvement in handling comes at a loss – you will probably experience increased noise, vibration and harshness with these – but the thing to consider is that the OEM bushings are softer than a baby’s bottom and have all kind of give, allowing a ton of unwanted movement in the suspension’s geometry.

Whiteline Rear Upper Control Arms

Whiteline Rear Lower Control Arms

4. Get Geometric – Rear Control Arm Relocation Brackets


Once your Pony is prancing low, then Rear Control Arm Relocation Brackets are a must have. The lowered stance of the car skews the rear suspension geometry, leading to poor acceleration and wheel hop. By relocating the rear control arms, rear squat is improved, rear-dive under acceleration is drastically reduced and traction is enhanced.



By combining the upgrades listed above, you’ll have a lowered Mustang that will handle better than stock and let you really enjoy every curve the road can throw at you. Modifying your suspension will make every drive that much more rewarding and allow you to push into that corner harder. These upgrades are a general guide, and should you have any questions about the suspension or aren’t sure what the best suspension option for your build goals might be, you can always ask me!
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Old 02-23-2014, 12:33 AM   #2  
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Very informative thread; I'm new to this, so I appreciate the lesson!
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:48 AM   #3  
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I've got all these items sitting in my garage currently waiting for some decent weather to start installing. Makes me feel pretty good that I'm going at it the right way.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:37 PM   #4  
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Same here. I have the Whitline Watts and the koni yellows sitting in the boxes waiting to be installed. The PO already put sport lines on it without buying dampers
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:06 PM   #5  
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got a question. I have all upr products suspension stuff. non adjustable upper and lowers but I do have the adjustable pan hard bar. I just put the relocation brackets on, but where whiteline only has 1 hole to choose from. upr has 2. which would be the better choice to pick from being that I cant change pinion angle from the non adj. upper and lowers.

thanks
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Old 02-28-2014, 10:46 PM   #6  
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The more options you have to adjust based on other mods and such the better.
My BMR brackets have 3 holes each....a bit over kill...but why not.
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Old 02-28-2014, 11:29 PM   #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grogan View Post
got a question. I have all upr products suspension stuff. non adjustable upper and lowers but I do have the adjustable pan hard bar. I just put the relocation brackets on, but where whiteline only has 1 hole to choose from. upr has 2. which would be the better choice to pick from being that I cant change pinion angle from the non adj. upper and lowers.

thanks
If you're lowered, use the lower hole. If you're not, use the upper hole.
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Old 03-08-2014, 05:08 PM   #8  
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thanks sharad, gotta swap over to the lower hole then. I went with the top when I swapped everything over, but ill switch it out tomorrow
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Old 03-08-2014, 08:25 PM   #9  
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Lots of good information. I don't know a lot about cars but I'm trying to learn. Besides the lowering springs would you consider this a project that someone mechanically inclined with limited car knowledge could do in his garage. Would I need any special tools. I don't know if I am comfortable enough yet to do any drilling on frame. Is this just bolt ons
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Old 03-25-2014, 04:51 PM   #10  
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Thanks to all that have commented, we appreciate it!
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