Watch 2005-2009 Ford Mustang Handling Upgrades: Video
The new Mustang is widely lauded as one of the best-handling large-scale production pony cars ever made. A big part of that newfound turning prowess comes from the redesigned rear suspension, which finally ditches the 50-year-old log of a solid live axle and gets a legitimate independent set-up.
But what about the previous generations? Why should the older cars be relegated to just burnouts and quarter miles? They should get their turn too, right?
Well, Hot Rod Garage is here to the rescue. In this episode, the boys bolt a complete Ford Performance Racing handling pack onto their 2005 Mustang GT, including full front strut assemblies, sway bars, a panhard bar, and more. Cost for the pack is around $1,500. They also throw in caster/camber plates and a strut tower brace, all with clear explanations of each part’s function along the way.
To test the new upgrades, the Mustang makes an appearance at a true crucible of cornering agility – the autocross course. This is the place where horsepower must yield to lateral grip, where brute force is meaningless without control.
In previous episodes, Hot Rod Garage upgraded the wheels, tires and brakes, plus added a few extra horsepower with engine breathing mods. However, with the new suspension package, it seems like the car is substantially improved, especially considering the mildness of the upgrades.
Overall, the video does a good job breaking down how all those hard bits work together to make the car turn better, plus there’s a few good tips for anyone looking to wield their own wrenches. At the end there’s even a Q&A session in a Challenger Hellcat hooning on some dirt. Because… reasons?
The fifth generation Mustang was built between 2005 and 2014, available in both a convertible and two-door coupe bodystyles. Between 2005 and 2010, engine choices included a cast-iron block 4.0-liter SOHC V-6 or a more powerful aluminum block 4.6-liter SOHC V-8. Putting the power to the rear wheels was either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Engine output gradually increased over time, while later models also enjoyed an updated six-speed gearbox. In 2011, Ford unveiled a new 3.7-liter aluminum block V-6, plus a 32-valve 5.0-liter “Coyote” V-8.
Read our full review here.