By Huw Evans
One area where the 2005-2013 Mustang was hugely improved over its Fox and SN95 predecessors concerned the rear suspension. Although it still retained a solid rear axle, the three-link setup and Panhard rod offered a tremendous improvement in handling over the old four-link, reducing the tendency for the car to skitter through corners when power was applied. It also provided better traction under acceleration, eliminating the need for the quad shock system, that had been a staple part of every high performance Ford pony car since 1984. That said, in some cases, specifically if you're planning on building a street/strip Mustang, there are always improvements to be made. And one area concerns the control arms themselves.
Most of us in Mustang land probably know Lakewood Industries for its bellhousing, clutch components, drag shocks and traction bars among other things. Recently, Lakewood announced a new line of heavy-duty control arms designed for S197 Mustangs (2005-2011).
Some three times stronger than the factory pieces, they use thick wall tubing to prevent bending or deflection under hard acceleration or cornering. In addition, the Lakewood arms sport polyurethane (instead of rubber) bushings and are able to harness torque from axle rotation; directly forcing it downward; planting the tires on the pavement and ensuring maximum traction and grip.
Lakewood has many years of experience developing chassis and suspension parts designed to eliminate wheel hop and improve off the line traction and quartermile performance. In fact, Lakewood drag shocks and traction bars are utilized by many well-known drag racers.
These new Mustang Lakewood control arms are designed as a direct bolt-in replacement for the factory arms and boast an estimated retail price of $140-$170.
A full list of dealers can be found at: www.lakewood-industries.com/FindADealer.aspx.