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Mustang Vertical Links: What are They?

Shop Mustang IRS

With the S550 independent rear suspension is standard on the Mustangs. This brings a whole new slew of issues as well as bonuses. Vertical links are a go to upgrade to make the new IRS even more impressive while eliminating known problems like wheel hop.

Shop Vertical Links

Vertical links are a part of the rear suspension on IRS equipped S550 Mustangs. They connect the lower control arm and the knuckle. Their primary purpose is to reduce knuckle deflection under load, limiting the fore and aft movement of the knuckle. This prevents the knuckle from winding up as the axles turn, allowing you to put your power to the pavement more efficiently. You may also see these referred to as integral links.

American Muscle

How Do Vertical Links Work?

Vertical links work by limiting the range of movement at the spindle. As an axle shaft rotates forwards or backwards, that force is also applied to the spindle that it's bolted to. Vertical links are bolted perpendicular to the plane the axle rotates about, so as the axles acts on the spindle, the spindle has to also act on the vertical link. The vertical link is also bolted to the lower control arm as well, so as the spindle tries to rotate, the link and lower control arm limit the amount of movement. This rotational movement doesn't only apply when you're accelerating, but also during braking.

s550 Mustang Steeda Billet Vertical Link
Billet Vertical Link

When Should I Upgrade My Vertical Links?

Anyone who is planning on doing performance driving with their Mustang should replace their vertical links with an upgraded set. Having a more robust set of vertical links will help to reduce knuckle oscillation, deflection, and provide you with more consistent rear suspension characteristics. With the reduction in deflection also comes more consistent geometry changes, a more predictable rear suspension, and a reduction in wheel hop. Wheel hop is the enemy of traction and performance, so anything you can do to reduce it will help your Mustang have more consistent traction. Eliminating wheel hop will also prevent axle shafts from snapping and causing damage to your Mustang.

s550 Mustang BMR Billet Vertical Link
Mustang Vertical Link Installed

Types of Vertical Links

Vertical links come in three different types, bearing/bearing, Delrin/bearing, and Delrin/Delrin. Bearing/bearing vertical links have spherical bearings on both ends and allow articulation while eliminating deflection. These are a popular choice for street cars because they still allow for movement over uneven surfaces. Delrin/bearing arms are also a popular choice for the street since they reduce knuckle wrap further, but still allow some articulation. The Delrin may be more prone to squeaking than a bearing/bearing link. Delrin/Delrin vertical links should be reserved for race applications only. They completely eliminate knuckle wrap, but increase the chance of damaging your suspension on the street. The solid nature of Delrin also will lead to more noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) over a bearing/bearing arm.

s550 Mustang Full Tilt Boogie Adjustable Vertical Links
Adjustable Spherical Vertical Links

The Final Link

While vertical links may not be the first mod you’ll need to do to rid yourself wheel hop, they are definitely necessary. Maintaining consistent and smooth suspension operation is the key to performance on any vehicle. There is no point in ramping the power up on your Mustang if you aren’t able to get that power to the ground effectively. Having a composed suspension setup should be a priority for any performance enthusiast!

Vertical Links improve performance by:

  • Reducing deflection
  • Prevent knuckle rotation fore and aft
  • Consistent geometry changes
  • Smoother operation with no oscillation
s550 Mustang Full Tilt Boogie Adjustable End Link
The Final Adjustable Vertical End Link
Fitment includes: 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, GT, V6, EcoBoost, ShelbyGT350