Does a 2005-2014 Mustang Need Subframe Connectors?
Do All S197 Mustangs Need Subframe Connectors?
Mustang drivers who love the sheer power and feel of the S-197 Mustang know that adding a set of subframe connectors can play a big role in enhancing your suspension and chassis performance. Some say they are not needed and for some reason subframe connectors are a very contentious subject. However, adding them to your chassis allows for more power and greater g-forces to be applied to the chassis before its flex hinders the cars performance. Even though many will argue subframe connectors do not have as great of an effect when compared to adding them on the SN95 Mustangs, saying they are a must-have mod for anyone in search of a tight, highly responsive suspension is rarely contested.
Advantages of Subframe Connectors
Reducing Chassis Flex for allows for enhanced performance. The addition of subframe connectors results in a stiffer, more rigid chassis that resists body torque. When this happens, power is transferred to the ground and the car is launched forward much better. Reducing Chassis Flex for allows for enhanced performance. Even if you don’t use your Mustang for racing, taking care of chassis flex may be in your best interest since it improves your automobile’s longevity because hard launches on the street over the years will begin to twist that spot welded uni-body. Also, when drag racing, the stiffer chassis results in lower ET and a quicker launch that makes a dramatic difference. Many drag racers will swear by them.
Subframe connectors also enhance road racing handling because more of the load is retained in the suspension components. The difference is particularly evident when cornering since there is less load being distributed onto one tire. Better stability for the car as a whole during high speed turns. Plus additional for the confidence for the driver because of the full frame feel. Both of these will improve your lap times.
Different Subframe Connector Options That Work Well on Mustangs
Many aftermarket manufactures make subframe connectors for your S-197 mustang, including a top Mustang chassis expert Kenny Brown. He claims his chassis and suspension designs are to “fix the geometry” just like in the previous three iterations of the Mustang. The S-197 unibody is about 30% stronger but yet it is spot welded versus seam welded, and because of that it will still flex. This is the primary reason for installing subframes in the first place—reducing body and chassis flex.
Let’s take a more detailed look at what the subframe connector does for the S-197 Ford Mustang. First, keep in mind they can be bolted in or most often welded in. Subframe connectors connect the front and rear of the S-197 Uni-body using an additional piece of metal triangulating key structural points together to make for a more rigid framework. Typically, the rear connector is attached to the rear lower control arm mount. A fun fact to note is that welding of the subframes can take place without removing the interior carpet. A pair of these connectors will dramatically reduce the overall chassis flex, add steering responsiveness and overall rigidly to your Mustang.
Convertible 2005-2014 Mustangs
All convertible Mustang owners should install full-length subframe connectors. A convertible Mustang naturally losses stiffness by lacking a solid roof. Even though they come from the factory with connectors, the factory installed subframe connectors do not connect the front and rear of the unibody, thus, the effects are minimal compared with full length connectors. It should be noted that convertible S-197 Mustangs will not accept typical subframe connectors. You will need to select a set that is specifically built for your convertible’s chassis.