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How 1994-2004 Mustang Lower Control Arms Work

Written By: Stanley Sadowski

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Tighten up your 1994-2004 Mustang's rear suspension and gain the grip you need to launch off the line faster with a set of rear lower control arms.

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Your 1994-2004 Mustang's rear lower control arms play a huge role in how well your Mustang grips during hard launches and around turns. Upgrading your stock lower control arms is an instantly noticeable mod that's going to reduce 60 foot times and get you off the line much faster.

American Muscle

What Purpose do Lower Control Arms Serve on 1994-2004 Mustangs? 

  • Connects the rear axle to the chassis and supports the up and down movement of the axle
  • Aftermarket lower control arms provide better traction, times off the line, and less wheel hop
  • Aftermarket models are made up of tubular design or rectangular boxed steel construction
  • Polyurethane bushings are ideal for street and occasional drag strip use

The lower control arm (aka LCA) connects the rear axle to the chassis and supports the up and down movement of the axle. This is also where the rear spring is mounted. The factory design of the lower control arm is far from superior, which was why Ford added quad shocks to the rear axle. The stock lower control arms offer a little more lateral movement of the rear than we would like. Is there way to solve this? Yes! Think of investing in an aftermarket set of lower control arms

Aftermarket J&M Control Arm Versus Stock Mustang Control Arm
Aftermarket (top) vs Stock (bottom) Control Arm

Types of Aftermarket Lower Control Arms

All aftermarket Mustang lower control arms are either made up of a tubular design or a rectangular boxed steel construction. Both of these are a significant improvement over factory. The tubular designs are generally stronger then the boxed designs, but they usually do cost more. If tracks days are everyday for your Mustang, consider tubular arms but if your Mustang is a daily, a boxed design will do just fine. Depending on what you use your vehicle for would determine which bushing setup you should get.

Steeda Aluminum Rear Control Arm Installed on a Mustang

Lower Control Arm Bushings

Polyurethane bushings are ideal for street and occasional drag strip use, but if you truly want a rock solid lower control arm than I would suggest something with a spherical bearing on the axle side. While this will further improve your launching abilities it will also make the ride quality a little stiffer than a poly bushing would. This might cause some comfort issues on the street.

A couple of products also offer an adjustable spring perch. This allows you to adjust the ride height in the rear of the car with ease. It allows you to lower the rear of the car up to 1 inch or raise it by 2 inches. Having this adjustment lets you further fine tune your suspension for perfect launches and will even allow you to fit in a taller tire for certain applications.

Aftermarket J&M Lower Mustang Control Arms with Separate Bushings
Lower Control Arms and Bushings

Should I Replace my Mustang's Lower Control Arms? 

An aftermarket set of lower control arms is recommended for all 1994-2004 Mustangs, even if you strictly daily drive you Mustang and especially if it sees the track every other weekend. Aftermarket LCAs greatly improve your ability to launch the car and provide added grip when stabbing the gas. They give you better traction, faster times off the line, and less wheel hop while also improving your SN95’s cornering ability by adjusting the geometry of the car’s rear end. It’s not that stock control arms don’t work well, they do. They were just build too weakly to handle the load bearing forces put on them, especially by a performance-minded driver.

Installed Mustang Lower Control Arms

Control Arm Installation Information

When you order your lower control arms they will come with everything needed to install them. No other parts or pieces will be required for you to purchase in order to complete the installation. While the job calls for 3 hours, the procedure is not too difficult. However I would recommend having a mechanic or someone with decent knowledge of the part install it for you. Changing any part that affects the spring can be extremely dangerous if it is not done properly.

Aftermarket J&M Control Arm Installed with View of Mustang Spring

Your Mustang & Your Budget

There are control arm kits for the 1994-2004 Mustang that include both lower and upper control arms. Some of these kits are extremely affordable and start at only $169. Lower control arms are mainly sold separate from upper control arms and range from $160 to $380 depending on the design. There are a few things that affect the price of an LCA. The overall quality of the design, which type of bushings it uses, and whether or not the control arm is adjustable all affect what it sells for. Use these features to help decide which style or design would be best for your application.

J&M Aftermarket Rear Upper Control Arm Installed on a Mustang
Fitment includes: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, GT, V6, Bullitt, Mach1