Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsHow To Chassis Suspension
Solid Sway Control
Installing Steeda's billet-aluminum antiroll-bar brackets.
Every day, Mustang owners purchase parts with the hopes of finding improved performance. Those into cor-ner carving are likely to add lowering springs, aftermarket shocks and struts, wider tires, and big antiroll bars. If designed and installed properly, these basic suspension parts can greatly enhance cornering and make your Mustang much more fun to drive.
But still, there are some who want or need to extract every single ounce of performance. They look deeper into the package, analyzing and scrutinizing each part of the vehicle to maximize its potential. By race day they will have chosen parts and made modifications that complement the package as a whole. This includes parts as big as a cylinder head and as small as a bolt holding the steering column.
According to Steeda Autosports in Pom-pano Beach, Florida, one area often overlooked is the mounting system for the front antiroll bar. "A common suspension upgrade is a high-performance antiroll bar," says Dario Orlando, president of Steeda. "Yet when you reuse the factory stamped, strap-type brackets to attach that beefy bar, you never get the full benefit of that upgrade due to excessive flex."
The remedy is this set of billet-aluminum antiroll bar brackets from Steeda.
In stock form, the front antiroll bar in a late-model Mustang is connected to the chassis rails with stamped-steel straps and to the front lower A-arms with end links and rubber bushings. This is a fine setup for everyday driving, but it can easily be improved if you're after better handling.We know that when the vehicle is turned in one direction or the other, the body will roll away from the direction the car is turning. But excessive body roll can cause suspension geometry to change. This causes grip to deteriorate because it reduces the ability of the tires to remain in compliance with the road. To improve handling, we try to keep the body flat, as this keeps the geometry in check and the vehicle's weight more evenly distributed over the four tires. It also keeps the contact patches of the tires square with the road surface.
One method of keeping the car flat is by adding stiffer antiroll bars. In a corner, the antiroll bar is loaded or twisted due to the body of the car rolling. For instance, in a left turn the body rolls to the right, which causes the left lower A-arm to lift up at the attachment point to the chassis.Meanwhile, the right A-arm moves the opposite way, dropping at the chassis mounting point. Because the antiroll bar is connected between the A-arms and the body, it resists movement of the A-arms, thus fighting to keep the body and the A-arms flat.
The stock bar is designed to work with the stock springs and dampers and to provide a smooth ride with good handling. Adding lowering springs and a stiffer antiroll bar helps resist body roll. The performance of this system can also be improved with polyurethane antiroll bar bushings that replace the stock rubber bushings.
But, if you plan to improve the bar and bushings, you should also improve the mounting system. Quite simply, the robust Steeda brackets provide a much more solid foundation to mount the antiroll bar.
This is especially important if you plan on pushing your Stang to the limit in turns. As you drive harder into a corner or brake deeper, the loads placed on the suspension are increased. This means greater loads on the antiroll bar, as well as on the brackets and bushings that hold it in place. Adding the Steeda aluminum brackets are a great way to reduce or eliminate flex and get the most out of your suspension system.