Delightfully articulate, yet unrefined
Sometimes imperfections are beautiful. This isn't one of those times.
SVT_MAN - Aug 28, 2016
I'm not a father, but I imagine it might be similar to how parents view their children. They might know that their children have flaws, but they choose to ignore the flaws and focus on the positive characteristics.
And while I'll grant you that some car enthusiasts fully recognize, admit, and intentionally drive terrible cars just so they can work on them, that's not really what I'm talking about.
I'm talking about people who grow up, get a decent paying job, and buy their hero car - you know, that car you had a poster of on the wall - and then have to lie to their friends when they tell them how great the car is, never acknowledging whether their car has any degree of hamartia.
Since I was in high school in the early 2000s, my hero car was the 2003 Ford Mustang SVT Cobra.
While I haven't been lucky enough to acquire an SVT Cobra Mustang (they are still going for a pretty penny), I got the SVT Cobra's little brother, the GT model.
Now, a lot of GM F-body fans completely dismiss and mock the SN-95 Mustang GT because it wasn't as fast as the LS1 powered F-bodies at the drag strip. But Ford must have been doing something right with the car because it handily outsold the F-bodies without too much effort.
I'm the first to admit that the 94 - 04 Mustang GTs are not the fastest vehicles on the planet. But I can also say with all honesty that on the street, you never need more power than you have. (Unless you enjoy tickets that is.)
The real reason that F-body fans should have been mocking the Mustang wasn't because it was missing some ponies; but, rather, because it was missing something else entirely.
You see, I am now of the opinion that Ford forgot a part of the so-called "Fox" platform Mustang, which underpinned the Mustang from 1979 through 2004.
So now you're thinking that I'm going to say that they should have made the car with an independent rear suspension like the 03-04 Cobras. But that isn't where I'm going at all with this.
The actual part that made the rear suspension design terrible is this:
Ford neglected to put a torque arm or panhard rod underneath it.
For those of you in the know, you will know that Ford opted for a 4-link live axle setup on the Mustang, but it isn't entirely clear why. Although a 4-link setup has some merits, most of them are related to articulation - something you might expect from a rock-crawler setup, but not a "sporty" vehicle like a Mustang.
You almost wonder if Ford had a deal with the aftermarket to keep the rear end intentionally jiggly.
It's no joke that the axle setup, being a 4-link, has a tendency to move several inches laterally.
That might be desirable in an off-road vehicle that needs some articulation, but on a sports car - as Chuck Larabie would say, "NOT COOL!"
The fix? Well, the fix is a torque arm or panhard rod. Which sounds simple.
But probably isn't.
Even so, next year I plan to fix this problem on my Mustang. After welding on some subframe connectors, the plan is to weld a torque arm setup underneath the car.
I hear it does wonders.
Now, don't get my wrong: I love my car. And it's never going to be on the levels of a Porsche 911 refinement wise. But that wasn't what I was going for. I was looking to make my Mustang GT a true grand touring car. And for that, I'm trying to make it a comfortable, competent handler. And so far, the mods I've made have been successful.
And if you want to see my car, visit the link below:
SVT_MAN's 1999 Ford Mustang GT