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Global West Rear Lower Control Arms

Article by: GTRaptor Profile | E-Mail

Summary:

The 4 link rear Mustang suspension, is a simple, low cost and effective street suspension, but it is not good at all from a performance standpoint.

Equipped with sheetmetal arms with rubber bushings, the 4 link Mustang suspension is at best a relatively good performer on the street, but when it comes to deliver performance at the Drag strip or road course it really sucks.

The sheetmetal arms and soft rubber bushings deliver a soft ride and low noise combination but they also allow the rear axle to move side to side, which is felt as an unpredictable "rear steering" on hard cornering. On the Drag strip, the soft bushings allow front-to rear axle movement which translates into low tire-to-ground hook and bad E/Ts at the 1/4 mile.

Installing aftermarket rear control arms is one of the most popular suspension modifications available. Most performance control arms are made of tubular steel sections with harder urethane or rubber bushings which allow for a more precise and predictable handling.

Details:

Global West lower control arms utilizes spherical aircraft bearings on frame side and DEL-A-LUM (pronounced della-loom) Bushings on axle to control rear end lateral movement as well as fore and aft location. They allow full rear end articulation without much bind, making them superior over most polyurethane based control arms. GW arms also partially eliminate the need for a panhard rod because lateral location is already provided by it's unique control arm design.

This control arm will work in all applications. They allow the suspension to pivot without much bind and provide zero fore and aft defection. This type of control arm will provide stable straight line accelerate, reduced corner exit oversteer, and immediate load transfer.

These arms will not allow lateral movement. This is achieved through the design of the control arm and because the factory control arms are opposing.

At $325 retail a set, these arms are the some of the most expensive , but they do provide what other brands only promise: Exceptional Drag, RoadRace and Street handling at a reasonable cost. Global West also sells their "Traclink" a "front-aft" location device which mostly works as a Torque Arm.
This one coupled to the LCAs will improve acceleration and reduce nose dive while eliminating the need of the stock upper control arm, which only adds more complexity and pivot points to the already weak mustang rear end.

For dedicated Road Racing we advice to get a better setup, probably using a Panhard Rod or an Independant Rear Suspension (IRS).

 

About the Car:

Our 95GT "Raptor" already has a set of Linear rate MRP Racing Indy Springs with 1.5" drop, the struts and shocks are TOKICO non adjustable units.
The linear springs have a rating of 700/170 pounds front and rear and are just what GW recommends to use with their LCAs.
The LCA's we bought USED for $200, in pretty good condition, we only needed to repaint cause they had a bit of rust.

Install:

Steps:

Place car on jackstands, the car should be lifted from the frame so that the axle is free to hang down. Remove the rear wheels. Remove the quad shocks and the 4 bolts securing the rear stabilizer bar. Detach the ABS lead on the rear lower control arms. Remove the parking brake cable clips and the pinion snubber. (discard)

Place another jack on the rear axle differential housing and raise it. Now remove the axle side shock bolts and nuts. Loosen the upper arms differential side bolts and remove, this will allow the differential to drop completely and makes it easier to remove the lower arms and springs.

Lower the jack at the differential and remove the springs. Be careful not to lower the rear too much or you can break the rear brake line that sits at top of the differential case. Remove the lower arm-to-axle pivot bolt and nut and remove the springs. Now remove the arms from the frame side.

Install the GW lower arms frame side bolts, do not tighten them yet, install the lower arm spring isolator pad and put the springs back in place. Now raise the differential to align the lower arms to the axle mounting points. Use a small floor jack to raise the lower arms into position.

With the lowers in place, reinstall the uppers, stabilizer bar and all brake and ABS lines. Raise the car by the axle until the suspension is fully loaded as if it was on the ground. Tighten all control arms nuts and bolts.

Final Comments

The complete install took me and a friend mechanic about 2.5 hours, the hardest part was to reinstall the lower control arms but the whole process is easy if you have all the tools which consist of a good set of wrenches and sockets (long and short) one large floor jack, jackstands and a small jack. (or a ramp and jack)

2 people will work faster as each can do one side at the same time, but a loner can do it probably in 4 hours. Total install price for me was $20 which consisted of lots of sodas and some beer to celebrate. Expect to pay about $250 from a good shop.

Now about the handling.....i have to say that the car now feels completely different, the rear wont fishtail anymore, it feels more predictable and even softer. Wheelhop is now gone and brake nose dive has been reduced a lot.

I still have to ride the car under more aggressive conditions, but im expecting lots of improvement.

The noise levels have increased about 25%, you can hear the rear whine a bit on 1st and second gear, but once you are rolling the noise is gonne. Potholes and bumps also transmit more noise inside the cockpit, but it is not annoying at all, and with time i think you can get used to it.

Overall i will rate this modification as a 100% improvement over stock, the GWest arms are just terrific, their quality delivers what is promised.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 4 link rear Mustang suspension, is a simple, low cost and effective street suspension, but it is not good at all from a performance standpoint.

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