autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 
How To Make Your Mustang More Predictable in 2022
Ford fans face the wrath of popular culture when it comes to car control. Mustangs losing control has become a sad stereotype for their owners, so let's find a way to make a great car even better.

How To Make Your Mustang More Predictable in 2022

Detroit Drifting Co makes great suspension partsTubular front suspensionFord Performance DifferentialSubframe ConnectorsFront End Geometry
Nothing compares to the iconic sounds and styling of the Ford Mustang. But for all its praises, many are quick to deride them as unsafe thanks to social media compilations. With so many cars cut down in their prime, it's up to us to get to the bottom of this dilemma. Vaughn Gittin Jr. makes it look easy, so what's the big deal?

In order to solve this crisis, we need to identify it. When the back of your car is happier than the front, the condition is known as oversteer. The normal way to maintain control is to throw the steering wheel hard over in the direction of the drift. This requires fast hands and the spatial awareness of a superhero. That’s because every Mustang since 1974 has used roughly the same front suspension geometry.

From the front tires to the steering wheel, Ford has optimized comfort by eliminating feedback to the driver. I.E., when drifting or even having fun on wet pavement, the wheel has no intention of telling you where the tires are pointed. You need consistency when entering and exiting a drift, and it all starts with alignment.

Looking at a side profile of your suspension, you might notice the spindles are nearly vertical. Much like a shopping cart, leaning them a bit forward helps the steering wheel return to center when leaving a corner. The problem is that Ford has been very conservative with their caster angle. That’s why caster/camber plates have been popular for decades.

Once installed, you won’t be able to resist refining your Ford even further. Being unibody its entire life, any Mustang expected to perform needs more steel. This comes in the form of strut tower braces and subframe connectors. By triangulating each suspension point, your input becomes much more efficient. Now you can invest in track-day suspension with true coil-overs without fear of killing the ride quality.

After a matched set of anti-roll bars (sway bars) we can address why the rear tires don’t want to stop spinning. Ford’s flavor of limited slip makes use of springs and clutches to apply power equally. The problem here is that they are ancient technology. Any form of locker would be an improvement, especially a Torsen style. This would allow the driver to recover traction within a few degrees left or right of the steering wheel’s center line by backing off the accelerator slightly.

Power is the next factor. The 5.0-liter Coyote has been capable of 480 reliable horsepower for years, and its simply too much for a novice driver. Your only real options are to dial it back are running cheap gas along with a poverty-style paper air filter. Because the gas pedal is electric, you need to treat it with respect. Should you be going a bit slide-ways, don’t panic. Abruptly lifting the accelerator will exacerbate the problem in a condition known as snap-oversteer. When this happens, the driver is forced to anticipate the car’s direction by leading the steering in the direction of the turn.

What was once a common procedure when all cars were rear-wheel-drive has been lost by generations forced to abide FWD. Once you have mastered such self-discipline, your car deserves an award. Decades of Mustangs have suffered from skinny tires, with 235mm rubber trying to handle a V8 Pony Car. Order the widest wheels and tires that your budget will allow, and we won’t be seeing you on the next crash compilation. Stay with us for more Mustang motivation.



 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories