Converting the standard panhard bar rear suspension to a watts link-type on S197 Mustangs has been a hot topic on forums recently. Saleen included a watts link suspension on its Parnelli Jones special edition Mustangs with much success. Fays2 has their own system that is also getting positive reviews. Now, the engineering masterminds over at Steeda Autosports are throwing their hat into the ring.
A Watt’s Linkage replaces the Panhard Bar that was added when Ford re-designed the suspension and made the trailing arms parallel with the length of the chassis. When all of the trailing arms were made parallel, they no longer provided lateral (side-to-side) positioning by themselves (as they did on the Satchell Link of the Fox/SN95 Mustangs).
Steeda started with a “blank sheet” – doing extensive product evaluations and engineering simulations to form a basis for the current suspension dynamics on the Mustang. Steeda then combined their ISO Certified design process, engineering procedures, and computer animations along with real-world performance track driving sessions with the 2005-present Mustang to re-invent the best Watt’s Linkage upgrade possible for your vehicle.
In theory, the Steeda Watt’s Linkage is better than the rest because it is fully adjustable while maintaining proper geometry (that is, horizontal lateral links and vertical center link at ride height). On a Watt’s Link-equipped vehicle, the center pivot of the center link is the rear roll center. Moving the center pivot up or down moves the roll center up and down. Further, the lateral links should be horizontal and the center link vertical with the vehicle at ride height. When the links are not set up horizontal at ride height, there can be significant increases in scrub in one or both of the travel directions. Steeda’s design allows an adjustable roll center while maintaining proper geometry of the Watt’s Linkage to give minimal lateral movement. Steeda also uses polyurethane on both ends of the lateral links for decreased NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) over competitive designs.
The Steeda Mustang Watts Link Suspension is priced at $1,049.95.