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My Watts Link Install (Whiteline)


UKGT500
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I thought I had decent handling with my FRPP parts (2011/2012 GT500 Performance Package shocks/struts/springs) and billet LCAs. I also just bought some Toyo Proxes to replace the 7 year old factory original tyres. However I was getting really tired of the rear end skipping over some bumps, dangerously so sometimes.

 

Time to give a Watts Link a try. I am in the UK so unfortunately anything I but is a while lot more expensive after it is shipped and duty is added so TBH I had put this out of my mind until I could take the rear end behaviour no longer.

 

Time to man up and spend the dough!

 

Aside from the manufacturer's instructions I found a good link here: http://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums/2005-2010/294619-dimoras-whiteline-watts-link-install-thread.html

 

The instructions are OK but not 100% specifically there's at least one incorrect torque reading (as noted in the above link). I also found it easier to assemble the bracket on the diff cover before bolting it to the car.

 

The numbers you see on any parts, especially bolts are me marking stuff beforehand. There are so many bolts and some spacers and I wanted to make sure everything went ion the correct place! I removed the marks afterwards.

 

First stage of course is to raise the musclecar and support with stands: Whiteline recommended supporting the body: I did this with sturdy (6 ton!) stands supporting the frame in front of the mufflers. I also had stands positioned under the axle as a precautionary measure and I did this install with the wheels still on the car.

 

Then I drained the differential, leaving 2 bolts loose at the top and one on the bottom to ease the draining, keeping it controlled so I didn't get covered in smelly diff oil! The car hadn't been driven so the oil was thick and took an age to drain. I also lowered the back of the car briefly to get more oil out.

 

While this was going on I removed the panhard and brace. I had a BMR adjustable one and matching brace that will now be for sale...

 

Then I added RTV (Ford Blue RTV.....ha ha), making sure it went around the bolt holes, left it a couple of minutes then assembled the cover to the car, tightening the bolts in order according to Whiteline, then going around again to torque them to the required 20 ft/lbs. One little mistake was I didn't get a "fast-curing RTV". As I didn't want to get everything all on then find I had a diff leak I decided to leave the RTV 24 hours to cure. I clearly have a lot more patience than I used to have.....

 

15147147727_cc218d13aa.jpgIMG_1163 by malc350, on Flickr

 

(Axle has now been painted....)

 

15166294479_531774e512.jpgdrive_left by malc350, on Flickr

 

Next day I filled the diff with 2 quarts of Red Line 80W140 fully synthetic that apparently doesn't need the Ford Friction Modifier additive (?) So nice to now have diff fill and drain plugs. Whiteline supply a magnetic one for the drain. Thanks.

 

I unbolted the sway bar links and swung the bar down out of the way. It doesn't have to be completely removed for this install.

 

After installing the Driver's side body mount and the Watts brace (similar to the panhard brace really) this actually looks like a simple job, replacing the panhard bar with the Watts arms. As usual though it was a bit trickier in reality as is anything when you're lying down under a car.

 

Note: I thought the Driver's side mount is quite clever in that it ties in to the sway bar link using the original bolt for more stability.

 

15333675455_867c3998d8.jpgIMG_1168 by malc350, on Flickr

 

The Passenger side mount uses the original panhard mount plus a spacer supplied by Whiteline. The whole thing is very well made and fits exactly.

 

15333915085_54828ef56c.jpgpass_side by malc350, on Flickr

 

Any moving parts were greased to high Heaven and assembled. I lowered the car onto the axle stands for final tightening of the suspension bolts to keep any awkward sqweeks away...

 

15147141457_5cb02fdeed.jpgIMG_1167 by malc350, on Flickr

 

Alignment: like an adjustable panhard the axle has to be aligned centrally. The added "problem" comes in that the central pivot (sometimes called a "propeller" for obvious reasons) should be kept vertical or cocked slightly counter-clockwise. There isn't much adjustment on the Whiteline, basically only the arms can be adjusted for length (one reason I chose it so I wouldn't get in too much trouble...)

 

It was looking like I couldn't keep the propeller correctly oriented so I emailed Whiteline in the US (they are Australian and have contacts in the US, UK Australia but I figured the US office would have the most Mustang experience). I received mega speedy replies. Basically they said the priority is to centre the axle while keeping the propeller as close to vertical as possible. There is not a requirement to keep both arms equal length on this kit.

 

15330524041_fb2fc9920c.jpgIMG_1177 by malc350, on Flickr

 

I aligned mine as best I could (measured) perfectly central but after a drive where the suspension had cycled properly it was revealed to be a few mm to the Passenger's side. This is very easy to adjust so I got under the car, adjusted a few mm over to the Driver's side and it looks OK now.

 

This mod has totally transformed the car. I don't have to be afraid of one rear wheel hitting a bump or dip any more absolutely amazing...

 

Malc

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I thought I had decent handling with my FRPP parts (2011/2012 GT500 Performance Package shocks/struts/springs) and billet LCAs. I also just bought some Toyo Proxes to replace the 7 year old factory original tyres. However I was getting really tired of the rear end skipping over some bumps, dangerously so sometimes.

 

Time to give a Watts Link a try. I am in the UK so unfortunately anything I but is a while lot more expensive after it is shipped and duty is added so TBH I had put this out of my mind until I could take the rear end behaviour no longer.

 

 

This mod has totally transformed the car. I don't have to be afraid of one rear wheel hitting a bump or dip any more absolutely amazing...

 

Malc

Hi Malc,

Do you have black bushings on your Whiteline kit?

I need to make it OEM looking and the yellow I have just does not do...

Do you have the Whiteline contact as well?

Thx a lot!

Patrick

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yeah, I just had the Shelby Watts link installed a couple of weeks ago. I also have the Proxy R888s outback and I thought my rear was finally grippy enough with the suspension upgrades I had already made, but the Watts link changed all that. This thing is seriously planted around turns and uneven surfaces now. It inspires a ton of confidence that I didn't have before. I highly recommend it to anybody with a panhard bar who wants to up the ante.

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