Muscle Mustangs & Fast FordsHow To Chassis Suspension
Adding Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates are the key to finding the perfect alignment on your Ford Mustang
Maximum Angle Of Attack
Maximizing handling is the goal of many Mustang owners, and achieving truly improved cornering performance, without degrading ride quality, takes well-designed parts that are installed and set up properly. With the goal laid out, many Ford Mustang owners install aftermarket suspension components such as lowering springs and wider wheels and tires as their first modification.
“There is a couple of reasons why you may need caster/camber plates,” said Brian Gust sales manager at Maximum Motorsports. “Any time you lower the car the tires will tilt in at the top, so even if you’re not doing performance driving, the tires will wear quickly. With the stock plates there is no adjustment. Some people install camber bolts as a solution, but Caster/Camber plates are a much better way to achieve camber adjustment for proper alignment and more even tire wear,” he added.
This is a situation we encountered recently, which we remedied a set of Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber plates designed for the 2015-present S550 Mustang (PN MM6CC-10), which retail for about $247.
Maximum Motorsport’s caster/camber plates feature a main plate that is precision laser-cut from a very high-grade alloy steel, which is the same alloy used by Ford and other OEMs. They allow both caster and camber adjustment, which lets you to set proper front alignment on standard ride height and lowered Mustangs for best handling performance and tire wear.
The wide range of adjustment allows performance enthusiasts to increase negative camber for spirited driving or on-track competition events. “The plates also feature a PTFE-lined spherical bearing mount that eliminates deflection and precisely locates the strut shaft, while still allowing the articulation required for steering and suspension movement,” added Gust. “This improves steering response and dynamic alignment stability by eliminating deflection allowed by the stock rubber-bushed upper strut mount.”
And while the struts must be removed and disassembled, there is no cutting or fabrication required to install the kit. And according to Gust, the kit also retains stock strut dustcovers and all steel components are either zinc plated or powder coated for great looks and long lasting protection.
According to Maximum Motorsports, even Mustangs that are lowered as much as 2.5-inches can benefit from proper alignment using these Caster/Camber plates. Caster and camber can be adjusted separately and they provide 1.75-degrees continuous range of camber adjustment. Frankly, MM adjustable caster/camber plates have been widely used since the early 1990s, when the company first introduced them for the Fox-body Mustang; this is not just a road racing tool, they can be used to correctly align any lowered late-model Mustang or to increase caster, which is advantageous to drag racers. And like the earlier cars, you’ll notice improved tire wear, quicker steering response and better all-around handling on your S550 Mustang.
1. The factory design of the S550 Mustang does not allow for adjustment of caster or camber. Therefore it is necessary to install caster/camber plates to provide adjustment that’s necessary when lowering your Mustang.
2. Dennis Ramsey of Ramsey’s Performance in Lutz, Florida, got started by hoisting our 2015 Mustang into the air, removing the front wheels and then removing the brake calipers. It’s important to support the calipers to prevent them from hanging from the brake line.
3. He then removed the brake rotors along with the two lower 24mm strut bolts.
4. Ramsey disconnected the front anti roll bar where it mounts to the strut body.
5. Next he removed the three 15mm upper strut bolts. An extra hand is helpful to prevent the strut from falling out of the car.
6. With the bolts removed, the strut can was removed from the 2015 Mustang.
7. The spring must be separated from the strut at this point, which requires a spring compressor to do the job safely.
8. Ramsey compressed the spring and then removed the strut shaft nut that retains the upper strut plate. The strut was then pulled away from the spring so the Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plate could be installed.
9. Next the factory strut plate is separated from the bearing/bushing that will be reinstalled with the new caster/camber plates.
10. With the assembly ready to go, the strut was slipped back into the spring and the Maximum Motorsports caster/camber plate was installed.
11. Here’s a look into the strut tower where the top of the strut is mounted.
12. After tightening the strut shaft nut, he installed the assembly into the Ford Mustang.
13. Ramsey guided the studs into the strut tower and hand-tightened the upper strut nuts.
14. Next he reinstalled the lower strut bolts and torqued the bolts to 184 ft-lb.
15. The brake rotor and caliper was then bolted up. Ramsey used thread lock on the caliper bolts and tightened them to 85 ft-lb.
16. This view shows how the strut and spring sits in the strut tower.
17. Ramsey ensure that the top of the strut was centered in the opening and then he tightened the three nuts to 46 ft-lb.
18. While you can get the struts close by eye, it’s necessary to do a proper front-end alignment. We set the Mustang to the factory specs, but you can increase negative camber for improved handling.