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Watts Link or panhard bar replacement?


Sargie

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Anybody have any feed back on the lakewood watts link set up? I had planned to replace my stock Mustang panhard bar with an adjustable bar to center the rear in my SGT.

I stumbled on the lakewood watts link kit and it looks like a nice set up.

 

TIA

 

Rich

 

 

I went with the Fays2 watts link and I know some others here have as well. They move the pivot off of the pumpkin which may have some advantages and the price is relatively reasonable.

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I've done some Watts link experimenting with heavy cars, and didn't find it a critical suspension component. Important yes, but not critical.

 

I would suggest you spend a few dollars on the upper and lower control arms first, as these components are very critical to suspension geometry and keeping the car true on it's path. Firm them up to your liking, then evaluate your Watts link/Panhard bar performance. You may find that you already own exactly what you need, IMHO.

 

BTW, the SGT has the GT500 Up/Low control arm already, so don't waste you coin, it's not an upgrade.

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I'm glad that this question was asked because I was wondering the same thing.

 

So from what LuLu said, then the only thing that would be a nice to have would be the Watts link since the SGT already has the GT500 upper/lower control arms? That saves you enough money to buy the watts link. I did notice that there was a substantial price difference between the Fays and the Lakewood kits. If you plan on putting larger wheels/tires on the car, then I am assuming that this is still a good choice correct?

 

Thanks.

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I'm glad that this question was asked because I was wondering the same thing.

 

So from what LuLu said, then the only thing that would be a nice to have would be the Watts link since the SGT already has the GT500 upper/lower control arms? That saves you enough money to buy the watts link. I did notice that there was a substantial price difference between the Fays and the Lakewood kits. If you plan on putting larger wheels/tires on the car, then I am assuming that this is still a good choice correct?

 

Thanks.

 

 

 

The kit's ( Fay's & lakewood) are st up differently but get you to the same end. I'm running 10" rear wheels with 285 40's. With the wider tires & wheels the offset rear is really noticable (Surprising Shelby let these cars out this way). That was my primary reason for the adjustable panhard change. From my road racing experience the watts link when properly set up works very well.

I am hoping somebody that has the Lakewod set up and what they think of it.

Rich

http://autorazzi.com//showPic.php?album_id...me=DSC00017.JPG

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The kit's ( Fay's & lakewood) are st up differently but get you to the same end. I'm running 10" rear wheels with 285 40's. With the wider tires & wheels the offset rear is really noticable (Surprising Shelby let these cars out this way). That was my primary reason for the adjustable panhard change. From my road racing experience the watts link when properly set up works very well.

I am hoping somebody that has the Lakewod set up and what they think of it.

Rich

http://autorazzi.com//showPic.php?album_id...me=DSC00017.JPG

 

 

Love the wheels. Are they Redline American Racing? They look great. As far as the watts link I am going with one and looked at the Lakewood set up. Socal has the Fays setup and is pretty happy with it. I have not decided on which setup yet. Looks like I'm leaning towards the Saleen gen 2 watts link and having it powdercoated blue to match the Ford Racing pieces.

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The kit's ( Fay's & lakewood) are st up differently but get you to the same end. I'm running 10" rear wheels with 285 40's. With the wider tires & wheels the offset rear is really noticable (Surprising Shelby let these cars out this way). That was my primary reason for the adjustable panhard change. From my road racing experience the watts link when properly set up works very well.

I am hoping somebody that has the Lakewod set up and what they think of it.

Rich

http://autorazzi.com//showPic.php?album_id...me=DSC00017.JPG

 

 

Car looks great love the wheels...

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Love the wheels. Are they Redline American Racing? They look great. As far as the watts link I am going with one and looked at the Lakewood set up. Socal has the Fays setup and is pretty happy with it. I have not decided on which setup yet. Looks like I'm leaning towards the Saleen gen 2 watts link and having it powdercoated blue to match the Ford Racing pieces.

 

 

The new SPP catalogue has a few in it now and I may get one of those later. I want to hear more of what you guys decide on first.

 

:)

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I am happy with my Fays2 watts link.

 

There are some who believe the Saleen style is more effective since it moves the pivot point to the axle as opposed to the chasis. I received some serious criticism and didn't know how to answer. So I asked. I was told yes the Saleen style with the center link on the differential is more effective but only at the extreme range of travel. For my use, I could not justify the extra coin for the Saleen style. Plus I have concerns about the centerlink being attached to the differential cover.

 

I know your the thread was for the Lakewood but in case somebody reads through this for advice and orders a Fays2, be sure to tell Jim Fay you are ordering for a Shelby GT. The frame is different then all other Mustangs because of the Ford Racing design sway bar.

 

On the topic of control arms. If we have the same control arms as the GT500 then that means the GT500s came with the same control arms as every other Mustang. I don't ever reme,ber reading our cars came with different control arms. However, that is neither here nor there because the most common complaint I have heard about the GT500s is the wheel hop which is usually cured by aftermarket control arms. I would also recommend control arm upgrades in your suspension package. Especially if you have a supercharged or heavily modded normally aspirated engine. I would also suggest only doing one thing at a time. That way you will see the differences for each upgrade and more easily troubleshoot any problems. I am speking from bad experience.

 

Wow that was my longest post in awhile. Sorry.

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I don't believe our control arms are any different then the Mustange GT. They are a notorious weak link especially if you have a power adder. That Saleen setup looks nice very clean but expensive as hell as usual for Saleen.

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Love the wheels. Are they Redline American Racing? They look great. As far as the watts link I am going with one and looked at the Lakewood set up. Socal has the Fays setup and is pretty happy with it. I have not decided on which setup yet. Looks like I'm leaning towards the Saleen gen 2 watts link and having it powdercoated blue to match the Ford Racing pieces.

 

 

 

Ross,

Thank you for the compliment on the wheels. Yes they are AR Shelby Redlines. 18X9 fronts & 18X10's on the rear. I went with BFG TAKDW's. 285/ 40's on the back.

As far as the watts link I guess I have some work ahead of me figuring this out. The Sallen stuff as noted can be pretty pricey. A big reason for considering the Lakewood.

 

Rich

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I don't believe our control arms are any different then the Mustange GT. They are a notorious weak link especially if you have a power adder. That Saleen setup looks nice very clean but expensive as hell as usual for Saleen.

 

I agree, which may be why the GT 500 suspension has been considered "soft" under that much HP/TQ.

 

I never inspected the stock Mustang GT control arms, I only compared the SGT arms to the GT 500 arms, and there is no difference. Thus, upgrading to GT 500 arms is wasted money and effort, it's not an upgrade.

 

Page 17 of the 2008 SPP catalogue offers an adjustable upper and lower control arm upgrade, promised for the spring of 2008. Prices range from 159.00 to 379.00, depending on your selections.

 

I know these arms will be an improvement because I developed almost identical components for the 2003/2004 Mercury Marauder. They were very successful in restoring control in high speed manuevering. Imagine if you will, a 4500 pound tank taking on/off ramps at 3X the posted limit.

 

Again, I suggest you examine and consider a control arm upgrade before you spend any other money on rear suspension. As I see it, the control arms are the weakest link (no pun intended) at the present time, and you can not/will not know the value of a Watts link/Panhard bar upgrade if softer components are in play.

 

IMHO, carry on gents.

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Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not going to take my car to the track and thus don't need to spend a lot of dough for the optimum track setup.

 

What I'm looking for is something that will rectify the problem of the driver's side rear wheel sticking out noticebly further than the passenger side (caused by the car has been lowered with a panhard bar).

 

Is the watts link the only option to rectify this problem?

 

Also it appears in many pix that watts links hangs lower than anything else on the bottom of the car. Is this a problem (scraping speed bumps for example)

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Wow, so many choices and questions are raised by this topic!

 

I am with AFBLUE on this one. I won't be taking this vehicle to the track anytime soon, yet I would like to upgrade to larger wheels. It sounds like a panhard bar will not correct the issue of the rear drivers side wheel from sticking out without some sort of Watts link (if you go to larger wheels)? I was definitely considering upgrading the control arms, but it sounds like by the time you change control arms and add the Watts link (whichever brand you go with) will dramatically increase the price of the mods!

 

So many choices and so little money...

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An adjustable pan hard rod will rectify the problem you guys are talking about and considerably cheaper.

 

I am unclear at this point. If the adjustable pan hard rod will deal with the uneven rear tire spacing, will a Watts Link do that as well, plus give handling enhancements? Jim

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I am unclear at this point. If the adjustable pan hard rod will deal with the uneven rear tire spacing, will a Watts Link do that as well, plus give handling enhancements? Jim

 

 

They attempt to do the same thing but design limitations of the panhard rod make it a little less precise. The rod travels in an arc so the rear end is not totally consistent with alignment to the body. The watts link design allows a perfectly aligned rear end through out its range of travel. I don't think the difference is all that much.

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An adjustable pan hard rod will rectify the problem you guys are talking about and considerably cheaper.

 

Thanks for info. Just did a search on adjustable panhard bars (APB) and found many choices out there from:

 

Steeda $160 http://www.steeda.com/products/panhard_bar_brace.php

Steeda $310 and $380 versions http://www.steeda.com/products/comp_adjust...panhard_bar.php

Lackwood $199 http://www.rpmoutlet.com/musv6lth.htm

Unknown maker $145 http://www.buickgn.com/mustangpanhard3.htm

Spohn $125 http://www.lmperformance.com/5283/73.html

CH Engineering 2 versions $131 to $150 http://www.cheperformance.com/cartgenie/pr...&products_id=56

S&W $130 http://www.evoperform.com/shop/index.php?m...&products_id=66

Roush $310 http://www.stillen.com/product.asp?id=RSHPANHD01&c=SU&m=all

Roush $260 http://www.mossmustang.com/Shop/ViewProduc...teIndexID=58304

BMR $135 http://www.stangsuspension.com/store/comer...?idproduct=1102

MRT $180 http://mrt-direct.com/concept/Suspension/2005.php

Hotchkis $175 http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/serv...10002_460284_-1

Ingalls $200 http://www.newedgeperformance.com/index.as...PROD&ProdID=429

UPR $150 http://www.uprproducts.com/shopping/shopexd.asp?id=835

Edlebrock $113 http://www.jegs.com/webapp/wcs/stores/serv...759689_-1_11319

 

Wow that's a lot of choices.

 

Saw this link posted on stangsunleashed. http://www.miracerros.com/mustang/t_suspension.htm

 

Shows an animiation of a watts link vs a panhard bar (scroll to the bottom)

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I risk sounding pushy here, but I believe in what I know to be true and believe it enough to address this point once again. Bear with me gents, this won't be a short post.

Forgive my ignorance, but I'm not going to take my car to the track and thus don't need to spend a lot of dough for the optimum track setup. What I'm looking for is something that will rectify the problem of the driver's side rear wheel sticking out noticebly further than the passenger side (caused by the car has been lowered with a panhard bar). Is the watts link the only option to rectify this problem? Also it appears in many pix that watts links hangs lower than anything else on the bottom of the car. Is this a problem (scraping speed bumps for example)

Your request for forgiveness is denied (sound of gavel slamming on a judge's bench) because you are not ignorant. You are actually very sharp to point out the deficincies of the rear suspension. No, there will be no scraping of this suspension over speed bumps. In fact, if your front air dam (the lowest point of the car) doesn't scrape anything, you're good to go.

 

The root deficiency here is the upper and lower control arms. Stock/OEM control arms have rubber bushings connected to mountings larger than the control arm, which allows the entire differential to "walk" left to riight (and right to left) after hard cornering. This can occur just backing down your driverway, and steering to an opposite and hard (lock to lock) direction. Yes, race track performance will improve, but improvement is not limited to high performance driving. Rear control arm "walking" will throw your rear end out of alignment with the front end and the car will "dog track" in either left or right directions if not corrected.

I am unclear at this point. If the adjustable pan hard rod will deal with the uneven rear tire spacing, will a Watts Link do that as well, plus give handling enhancements? Jim

Not with a weak spot such as I have explained, in place. My experience is mostly with the Mercury Marauder, a 4500 pound luxo-barge with a 4.6L-4V engine. Marauders didn't get Panhard bars, but we got Watts links, and I learned a lot about them while troubleshooting suspension deficiencies. Having a Watts link center the differential is exactly where it belongs, and it's doing exactly what is should be doing. Panhard bars? I'm still learning...

 

Panhard bars and Watts links (adjustable, or, not) can only help by centering the rear end under deflection, but they cannot correct the left/right "walking" of control arms due to inefficient rubber bushings and hollow stamped and flexible control arms. The only cure for "walking", is fortified control arms, i.e. heat treated 35mm OD, .125 wall 4130 chromoly steel, with adjustability for specific applications.

 

Set them up for your style of driving, or leave them at stock adjustment, your choice. But, it's nice to have a choice.

They attempt to do the same thing but design limitations of the panhard rod make it a little less precise. The rod travels in an arc so the rear end is not totally consistent with alignment to the body. The watts link design allows a perfectly aligned rear end through out its range of travel. I don't think the difference is all that much.
But, it is all that much.

 

Take four hard right hand turns at any speed, and measure. Then take four hard left hand turns at any speed, and measure again.

 

What you will find is evidence of control arm "walking" and Panhard bars as well as Watts links cannot deflect this. Yes, give your SGT enough highway road time, like an hour at 65 MPH, and things will straighten out. But, meanwhile, you're going to be off center, which applies a lot of abusive friction against the universal joints and your front end alignment will be waaaaay out of whack, which result in excessive front tire wear.

Thanks for info. Just did a search on adjustable panhard bars (APB) and found many choices out there.
Yes, AF, there are a lot of companies out there who make a lot of money selling guys like us stuff we don't need...Yet.

 

Remember that we bought SGTs, special cars with some suspension modifications already in place. Some of the links you provide are directed towards stock Mustangs in need of these improvements. We are not cut from that cloth.

 

Here's my suggestions from SPP:

Rear Lower Control Arms;

solid arm with Delrin and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-ADS...219.95

solid arm with polyurethane and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-APS...219.95

solid arm with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-APP...199.95

adjustable arm with Delrin and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BDS...239.95

adjustable arm with polyurethane and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BPS...239.95

adjustable arm with polyurethane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BPP...219.95

adjustable arm with race rod ends, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BRRE...239.95

Billet arm with Delrin and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BLDS...369.95

Billet arm with polyurthane and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BLPS...369.95

Billet arm with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BLPP...349.95

 

Rear Upper Control Arms

solid arm with spherical end, P/N 5S3Z-5500-AS...154.95

solid arm with polyurthane bushing, P/N 5S3Z-5500-AP...154.95

adjustable arm with spherical end, P/N 5S3Z-5500-BS...199.95

adjustable arm with polyurthane bushing, P/N 5S3Z-5500-BP...179.95

adjustable arm with race rod ends, P/N 5S3Z-5500-BRRE...199.95

 

Rear Upper Control Arm Bracket

P/N 5S3Z-5500-MNT...94.95

 

Panhard Bar

solid with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-4264-AP...104.95

adjustable with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-4264-BPP...169.95

adjustable with race rod ends, P/N 5S3Z4264-BRRE...189.95

Panhard bar body brace, P/N 5S3Z-4264-B...74.95

 

Bump Steer Tie Rod adjusters

P/N 5S3Z3A130-SL...159.99 each

 

Strut Camber Adjusters

P/N 5S3Z-3B226-8SL...199.95 pair

 

Everything I have listed here will be black powercoated and engraved with the genuine Shelby logo.

 

For those of y'all expressing concern about long term value in your SGT, I suggest you give Shelby and Ford Racing products some consideration. These brands will be consistent with the SGT heritage. Mixing Steeda and Roush aftermarket products will not.

 

This SPP/FRP stuff will be as good (if not better) that other aftermarket products mentioned here, and keep everything under the Shelby/FRP umbrella as it was intended for the SGT.

 

Again, just my .02c. Happy Motoring!

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Good info LuLu...your posts always have a lot of good info.

 

Now, I know I will probably sound ignorant here, but I notice that the prices for the Lower and Upper Control Arms don't say anything about whether you get a pair or if they are being sold separately. Same thing for the Rear Upper Control Arm Bracket. If they are not being sold as pairs, then once again the price jumps dramatically (not that it wouldn't be worth it)!

 

How about the Bump Steer Tie Rod Adjusters and Strut Camber Adjusters? How many of those would you need? The Strut Camber Adjusters are sold as a pair, so would you need two sets? Tie Rod Adjusters are sold individually, does that mean you need four? Or is most of this only for the rear suspension? Thanks.

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I risk sounding pushy here, but I believe in what I know to be true and believe it enough to address this point once again. Bear with me gents, this won't be a short post.

Your request for forgiveness is denied (sound of gavel slamming on a judge's bench) because you are not ignorant. You are actually very sharp to point out the deficincies of the rear suspension. No, there will be no scraping of this suspension over speed bumps. In fact, if your front air dam (the lowest point of the car) doesn't scrape anything, you're good to go.

 

The root deficiency here is the upper and lower control arms. Stock/OEM control arms have rubber bushings connected to mountings larger than the control arm, which allows the entire differential to "walk" left to riight (and right to left), in and after hard cornering. This can occur just backing down your driverway, and steering to an opposite and hard (lock to lock) direction. Yes, track performance will improve, but improvement is not limited to high performance driving. Rear control arm "walking" will throw your rear end out of alignment with the front end and the car will "dog track" in either left or right directions if not corrected.

Not with a weak spot such as I have explained, in place. My experience is mostly with the Mercury Marauder, a 4500 pound luxo-barge with a 4.6L-4V engine. Marauders didn't get Panhard bars, but we got Watts links, and I learned a lot about them in troubleshooting suspension deficiencies. Having a Watts link center the pumpkin is exactly where it belongs, and it's doing exactly what is should be doing. Panhard bars? I'm still learning...

 

Panhard bars and Watts links (adjustable, or, not) can only help by centering the rear end under deflection. But, they cannot correct the left/right "walking" of control arms due to inefficient rubber bushings and hollow stamped and flexible control arms. The only cure for "walking", are fortified control arms, i.e. heat treated 35mm OD, .125 wall 4130 chromoly steel, with adjustability for specific applications. Set them up for your style of driving, or leave them at stock adjustment, your choice. But, it's nice to have a choice.

But, it is. Take four hard right hand turns at any speed, and measure. Then take four hard left hand turns at any speed, and measure again. What you will find, is evidence of control arm "walking", and Panhard bars as well as Watts links cannot deflect this. Yes, give your SGT enough highway road time, like an hour at 65 MPH, and things will straighten out. But, meanwhile, you're going to be off center which applies a lot of abusive friction against the universal joints and your front end alignment will be waaaaay out of whack which causees/result in excessive front tire wear. Yes, AF, there are a lot of companies out there who make a lot of money selling guys like us stuff we don't need...Yet.

 

Remember that we bought SGTs, cars with some suspension modifications already in place. Some of the links you provide, are intended to improve stock Mustangs. We are not cut from that cloth.

 

Here's my suggestions from SPP:

Rear Lower Control Arms;

solid arm with Delrin and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-ADS...219.95

solid arm with polyurethane and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-APS...219.95

solid arm with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-APP...199.95

adjustable arm with Delrin and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BDS...239.95

adjustable arm with polyurethane and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BPS...239.95

adjustable arm with polyurethane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BPP...219.95

adjustable arm with race rod ends, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BRRE...239.95

Billet arm with Delrin and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BLDS...369.95

Billet arm with polyurthane and spherical bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BLPS...369.95

Billet arm with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-5A649-BLPP...349.95

 

Rear Upper Control Arms

solid arm with spherical end, P/N 5S3Z-5500-AS...154.95

solid arm with polyurthane bushing, P/N 5S3Z-5500-AP...154.95

adjustable arm with spherical end, P/N 5S3Z-5500-BS...199.95

adjustable arm with polyurthane bushing, P/N 5S3Z-5500-BP...179.95

adjustable arm with race rod ends, P/N 5S3Z-5500-BRRE...199.95

 

Rear Upper Control Arm Bracket

P/N 5S3Z-5500-MNT...94.95

 

Panhard Bar

solid with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-4264-AP...104.95

adjustable with polyurthane bushings, P/N 5S3Z-4264-BPP...169.95

adjustable with race rod ends, P/N 5S3Z4264-BRRE...189.95

Panhard bar body brace, P/N 5S3Z-4264-B...74.95

 

Bump Steer Tie Rod adjusters

P/N 5S3Z3A130-SL...159.99 each

 

Strut Camber Adjusters

P/N 5S3Z-3B226-8SL...199.95 pair

 

Everything I have listed here will be black powercoated, and engraved with the genuine Shelby logo. For those of y'all expressing concern about long term value in your SGT, I suggest you give Shelby and Ford Racing products some consideration. This stuff will be as good (if not better) that other aftermarket products mentioned here, and keep everything under the Shelby/FRP, as it was intended for the SGT.

 

Again, just my .02c. Happy Motoring!

 

 

One of the sites Steeda i believe said they were able to get -1.3 camber out of their car with no add on's. I haven't attempted it yet but my plan is to run -1.3 which looks to be a pretty aggressive street setting. So I was hoping to avoid these.

 

Strut Camber Adjusters

P/N 5S3Z-3B226-8SL...199.95 pair

 

We are only down an inch and I haven't noticed any issues with bump steer so hoping to skip these.

 

Bump Steer Tie Rod adjusters

P/N 5S3Z3A130-SL...159.99 each

 

I totally agree that upper and lower control arms should be beneficial especially for power adders. I think the milder builds not wishing to get to carried away might find great improvement from just instaling urethanee bushings and an adjustable pan hard bar so they can center the rear end.

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OK, all this has led me to ask the questions, if money were no option, what suspension components would you get? Now, if you had a budget, what would you get and what is a nice to have but not needed? I do plan on putting on larger wheels (18x9F, 18x10R...or 20's haven't completely decided yet), so I am thinking the panhard bar is a must (or the Watts Link, but it doesn't sound like something you need), not sure if I need adjustable or fixed, race ends or polyurethane bushings etc.

 

Thanks for the help!

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OK, all this has led me to ask the questions, if money were no option, what suspension components would you get? Now, if you had a budget, what would you get and what is a nice to have but not needed? I do plan on putting on larger wheels (18x9F, 18x10R...or 20's haven't completely decided yet), so I am thinking the panhard bar is a must (or the Watts Link, but it doesn't sound like something you need), not sure if I need adjustable or fixed, race ends or polyurethane bushings etc.

 

Thanks for the help!

 

 

If you are trying to correct your rear end off to one side then you will need an adjustable pan hard rod. If money were no object I would lean toward the Griggs GR40 setup look for the video of him pulling 1.5g's on a hill climb at a Ferrari club race, he claims none of the Ferarris were able to hang with him. If I were on a budget lol which I am, I went with Steeda Billet LCA with Spherical bearings, Steeda Chromoly adjustable Upper control arm with urethane bushings, Fays2 Watts link and a Steeda bushing kit for the front lower control arms.

 

From what I've been reading I'm hoping to get -1.3 camber out of my car without buying adjusters. I'm a little more insterested in the Castor and I haven't found anyone who sells adjusters. In 98 I built a Cobra using Steeda's caster camber plates and their front end set up specs and it made a world of difference on turn in and eliminating understeer. I don't think there are any easy answers on this subject I'm sure many of the products out there work very well.

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WOW, 1.5G's in a Mustang! That would be impressive, but then again I doubt I will be trying to pull that hard in my car.

 

Thanks for the advice. It sounds like you have a the set up that I was contemplating. Of course, keeping it all Shelby has its appeal too. Just so many things to choose from! Being that my car will be a DD and used mostly on the street, I guess I don't need to get too carried away. Of course there is always the saying "Buy quality, cry once. Buy cheap, cry everyday."

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