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Rear Suspension Upgrades


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I picked up Precious today after she got some new rear end support installed. First I had the stock upper and lower control arms replaced with a set of Granatelli Street control arms. The are adjustable, lighter and stronger. The shop had to fabricate a bracket to attach the brake ducts.


Next I had a Fays2 Watts link installed in place of the panhard rod. I did this for a couple of reasons. First, with our cars being lowered without a proper length panhard rod installed the rear end is slightly offet to the driver side. It was visually noticeable on my car with 10.5" wheels pushing right out to the fenders. The left rear was a little outside of the fender and the right side was just inside the fender. Now they look pretty even. I may have to measure tomorrow.


The second reason, a watts links setup came highly recommended by fellow owners of Shelby GTs and GT500s. Especially for open track and autocross events. Both of which I hope to start enjoying soon. The owners report a watts link makes the car handle almost like it has an independent rear suspension. I didn't get a chance to find some twisties after picking up Precious but I will soon and report back. One thing I did experience, I came across a California typical uneven and angled surface change on the freeway. Asphalt to concrete. With the stock setup, I had become use to the rear end jumping a little bit. That didn't happen. The car just absorbed the bump and didn't move an inch.


As far as the choice of the Fays2 system. There are plenty of vendors (Saleen, Fays2, Lakewood, others) and price points out there. I picked the Fays2 because it wasn't too exspensive ($615) and I prefered their design of a frame attachment for the center link. The other typical design is having the center link attached on a replacement differential cover. To me that isn't what the differntial cover is designed to do and could cause possible problems of leaking and what not when you crack open the rear end.


All is not perfect with Fays2 product. One problem, a customer service issue, was fixed and the other I have an idea but am going to run it by some people. First, the customer service issue. Apparently, the FRPP sway bar installed on our Shelby GTs is the only one that bends toward the differential cover. The other aftermarket sway bars apparently bend a different direction. This caused a clearance issue and Fays2 had to send a different frame. They knew about the issue with the FRPP sway bar but didn't have it on the website and didn't ask when I ordered. It then took a week to get the new part sent. All the while my car sat in an unhappy installer's shop. If you choose to do this make sure you tell them you have the Shelby GT. That might go for any of the vendors.


The second thing is the Fays2 watts link control arms have heims joints on the ends. My installer predicted and I discovered that at slow speeds over speed bumps, driveways and drainage gutters the suspension articulates, the heims move and make contact with bolts or bracketts. Of course their is a banging noise. I haven't heard it while driving on the street or freeways. I am going to check into a rubber or plastic type washer (thoughts?). I'll report back.


Sorry the post is long but I hope there is some useful information. Pictures below:





....yes I have to do something about the rust.

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Do you happen to know how much weight the watts link system adds to the car?


...let me research and get back to you


It looks good but have you had a chance to break it in yet?

Hows she drive under a full load of horses? :)


...unfortunately no, I was barely able to find time to pick it up yesterday and had to drive straight home. Also, I don't have my mirrors which makes me a little apprehensive driving. Back to work today (grr), I'll find time soon to take it to some curves. Just getting to curves takes about 30 minutes worth of city driving.

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Sorry there was a bit of delay on the follow up. Being a single dad for the momoent I have trouble finding enough time to get to a good drive. SoCal sucks for that. However, I drove to work the other day, Sunday with light traffic and then out to my Mom's in Riverside County to pick up my son. The last bit should have been a good 10 minutes over a country road but I got stuck behind a Prius of all things (SoCal sucks sometimes). A good 200 miles round trip and have been driving around town everyday since.


A freeway may not be the perfect place to test but what the heck. The 5 Fwy to LA from Anaheim is a mess. Orange County is finishing reconstruction on its portion and well the LA portion is full of uneven pavement and poorly engineered curves. Through the construction zones in OC there is a few of the dog leg curves from old lanes to new lanes and back. Going through those at 80 MPH the car was wonderful. Before it was flat but seemed like the rear would want to step out. Now it feels like the rear tracks perfectly behind the fronts.


In the LA portion over broken and uneven pavement the rear never felt like it was trying to jump. I had become use to that feeling. Again the rear tracked great and just seemed to roll over the uneven pavement.


I would say that it was never the tires or suspension trying to leave the ground. In my uneducated and "not professional" opinion it was more likely the suspension doing its job keeping the tires on the ground but the pan hard rod pushing the body laterally as everything articulated.


All in all I am happy. There is a bit of noise under slow driving. Especially when you go over something like a speed bump or driveway on an angle. However, a GT500 with the same product says he doesn't experience that. So I am still researching it. I have also had a couple of hard bangs at speed and found nicks on the frame from one of the lateral control arms. I am researching that also.

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How far are you from coastal highway 1? That would be a good test as far as turns,and accelerating/decelerating.


I am about 4 hours or more from that portion of PCH. In SoCal, PCH is mostly just another street with a few signs here and there to remind you that you are actually on PCH.

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