I already have Steeda aluminum(billet) lower control arms with urethane bushings on and it did nothing to stop wheel hop. I spoke to Gus at Steeda a month or so ago and he said they were coming out with a new upper control arm designed specifically for the 2011. I emailed Gus, but he is away until next week I believe. I sure hope the upper control arm will help or cure the wheel hop problem. Some guys are saying it will, others say you have to lower the car. I don't know what to believe at this point, just want to get the car working right, without tearing it apart to do it.
I am back
Wheel hop is not a one size fits all situation and can be approached in different ways to be resolved.
Depending on your horsepower
level and how you drive you car, you may get wheel hop or you might not.
The most common cause of wheel hop is typically the deflection that occurs from soft bushings and flexing of the trailing arms themselves. However some of you have reported just doing springs and having wheel hop go away. The reason for that is the change in geometry that occurs when you lower the car.
In simple terms, lowering the car changes your rear suspension
geometry and reduces weight transfer. If you have stock control arms and you are reducing weight transfer you are reducing the loads on the suspension that produce the suspension deflection associated with wheel hop, hence wheel hop tends to go away.
However the underlying cause is really the rear trailing arms and their soft bushings. Whenever I get a customer on the phone trying to resolve a wheel hop issue I immediately suggest a set of rear lower arms. For most people this alone will take care of 90 to 100% of their wheel hop issues.
Higher horsepower and aggressive driving styles can still leave room for some wheel hop if you still have the stock upper 3rd link and bushings. Replacing the upper 3rd link after the lowers are done or doing both at the same time will eliminate wheel hop completely at any power
level for a street car on street tires/drag radials. If you regularly drive on slicks you will have to compromise on your bushing choice and move away from full urethane to a urethane/spherical bushing combination if you want longevity. Bushing failure can become an issue with slicks/high rpm launches and you will also introduce significant NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) into the vehicle
Now concerning NVH, that is also a common issue that makes customers hesistant to change their arms and simply live with the wheel hop. There are several sources of noises that can come up from a rear control arm swap. Most are driveline related.
The most common driveline related noises are rear end noise in the form of whines and groans, or actual driveline clunks. Ford allows for a pretty wide production variance in rear end setup knowing the stock control arms will do good job of soaking up any noise if the rear end is slightly out of spec. Put a set of control arms on and if you have a car with a gearset on the outer edge of setup you may hear a gear whine or groaning that wasnt there before.
The other noise you get in an actual driveline clunking. Usually occuring during low speed driving where you are engaging and disengaging the clutch, but also can occur during shifting at speed. This noise is driveshaft related.
The rear shaft where it connects to the rear end does not use a U-joint, it uses a rotating coupling. If you were to take the driveshaft and disconnect it from the car, then put your hand on the rear joint and try to rotate it by hand, you would be able to feel the slop that is there with your hand alone. That is the cause of the noise.
To solve this issue I don't recommend taking a step backwards and installing the stock arms back into the car, but to actually replace the driveshaft with a 1 piece unit.
A 1 piece shaft will typically get rid of 85 to 95% of those noises, plus its worth 20+lbs of weight reduction and will improve acceleration times by 2 tenths of a second through the 1/4 mile. Any remaining noise will depend on how tight the rear end was set up from the factory. It makes a huge difference and I had customers call me back just to tell me how the driveshaft made their car feel better than new with all the noises gone.
Speaking for our trailing arms specifically, we have both our chrome moly alloy steel arms and billet trailing arms. Both use similar bushing packages and we claim that both will not increase NVH when installed in the vehicle.
However we also have our billet rear trailing arms. The billet aluminum construction vs chrome moly alloy steel has a significant advantage when in comes to NVH control. Best way I can describe it is the aluminum acts like a tuning fork and helps soak up the frequencies that produce NVH.
Our billet aluminum arms despite their urethane bushing package are the closest to O.E. when it comes to being quiet and noise free. You may still get the drivetrain
clunk I mentioned above with any aftermarket control arm including ours, but gear whine/groan should be virtually non-existent on our billet trailing arms unless you have some serious issues inside the rear end.
Also, on the comments on using rear relocation brackets, we do not recommend using relocation brackets on a car at stock ride height. We only recommend them on lowered vehicles. Too much relocation and you can introduce control issues under hard braking. Specifially, wheel hop under braking.
So if you want to control wheel hop and are afraid of noise, our billet arms are your best bet for near O.E smoothness and quiet operation. Just also be aware of the drivetrain clunks that could occur as mentioned earlier and the driveshaft solution. I know that may be out of budget for some, but if you can save up and do it right, you will be rewarded with a noise free vehicle that accelerates harder and is more responsive as well making your vehicle a joy to drive hard and a pleasure to just cruise around in.