The new Steeda Chromoly Lower Control Arms are 6lbs lighter than stock and made up of 4130 chrome moly alloy which is twice as strong as many other brands which make their LCAs out of mild steel. Lighter weight means reduced unsprung weight and these arms also help to eliminate wheel hop.
With the stock arm removed, we installed the Steeda LCA. The arms and bushings are not parallel or symmetric, and are designed to be installed in one specific orientation. Be sure to follow the directions and install them correctly. Failing to do so and installing them backwards will cause the bushings to bind and make the ride quality terrible and feel ‘springy’, as well as greatly hurting handling and rear grip.
The LCAs are a quick and easy install, and an affordable upgrade. Plus they look a lot better, which is fairly low on this project’s priority list.
Next up we tackle the Panhard Bar (PHB). There is a lot of talk about the “need” for “upgrading” the PHB, especially an adjustable one. This is often an overstated need. The biggest reason to upgrade a PHB is to have one stronger than stock, since all of the lateral force on the car is transmitted through the PHB.
I’ve personally bent a stock PHB during the One Lap of America competition driving a 540hp Roush Stage 3 Mustang on R-compound tires. For hard track use, it’s highly recommended to upgrade to a stronger one. The adjustability is usually completely unnecessary.
With the stock PHB removed, we ensured the new adjustable Steeda PHB was the same length as stock. This is why having the adjustment is unnecessary, because there is only 0.1” of lateral axle movement in the operating range of the suspension’s travel. In almost all cases, you don’t need adjust the axle 0.1” for being centered perfectly.
Like the LCAs, the new Steeda Adjustable Panhard Bar is also made of 4130 chrome moly alloy steel and is 4lbs lighter than stock, which is over 30% lighter than other aftermarket PHBs. It also features a larger polyurethane bushing designed for durability and handling with no increase in Noise/Vibration/Harshness (NVH).
With the PHB and LCAs installed, we saved a total of 10lbs from the rear of our Mustang. Half of that weight is unsprung. If you take into consideration the rear axle weights, we made a noteworthy reduction of unsprung weight to the car.
In the next article, we will complete the suspension upgrades by tackling the springs, shocks, and swaybars. Stay tuned.
For those new to the platform, be sure to check out the community of track-focused Mustang enthusiasts at: TrackMustangsOnline.com
Page 1 – Panhard Bar vs Watts Link Pros & Cons
Page 2 – Analysis: Panhard Bar Geometry vs Watts Link
Page 3 – Overview & Front S197 Geometry vs Extended Ball Joint LCA
Page 4 – Front LCA Removal
Page 5 – Front LCA Install
Page 6 – Rear Axle Weight Removal
Page 7 – Rear Lower Control Arm & Panhard Bar Install