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Discussion Starter #1
Which handles better, underride traction bars, override, or caltracs?
Seems like the caltrac is the best for drag racing but which is the best option for road racing? And why?
 

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Which handles better, underride traction bars, override, or caltracs?
Seems like the caltrac is the best for drag racing but which is the best option for road racing? And why?
I would think override links, done properly, will provide the best axle location, essentially a parallel four-link with the front half of the leaf acting as a lower link but still using the springs for axle lateral location (unless you add a Panhard or a Watts too.)

From there you've got anti-windup leaves on top of the springs, Traction Masters (underride) and Cal-Tracs and I couldn't tell you how to choose between them.

A Panhard or a Watts is probably going to be more important than any of them in terms of high-speed cornering behavior.
 

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All I can say is after running the under rider bars is that they do some things well but are a compromise. At the drag strip my street car can bump into the 1.5's short time which for its hp level is just about its potential. In the corners they tend to restrict roll and therefore cause some bind. They do impact ride also do to this bind. They are close but not exactly in same arch of travel as rear springs and do make the ride more harsh. Cal trac's advantage is that they move at the end and don't bind. Cal trac's do nothing for braking and pinion dive from what I can see. I've also wondered about them for road course work to help put power down out of corner.

Cobra Automotive take an interesting approach from the circle track world and uses a sliding link that may help reduce this binding issue.
 

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Opposing angles. Anything that "provides" conflicting angles
in the rear geometry is a no-no from a handling standpoint.
If the spring setup is properly designed you don't usually
need anything more. Cobra Automotive's rear setup is
the type of traction device that would be a plus on a
high horsepower application and wouldn't have the same
penalty of the under/over ride stuff.
 

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Call Maier Racing (Maier Racing Enterprises - Suspension Fiberglass - Hayward, CA 94541). They recommend against traction bars (except maybe caltracs) because they bind the springs (opposing angles as GT289 said). They have forward biased leafs that reduce (or eliminate) wheel hop while providing good handling. They do serious SCCA racing with their suspensions.

I have Maier Racing 165# leaf springs with Bilstein shocks, poly front bushings and have no wheel hop (with drag radials). They hook up well, have smooth ride, and handle well. Not cheap though. I have about $400 in springs, bushings and shipping, plus another $200 in the rear shocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
A panhard or watts makes sense. Thoughts on which is better?
Any point in boxing the stock control arms?

Basically looking for the best handling, based off of the stock setup, ovr very close to stock.
 

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There are as many opinions as there are options on this topic. Sadly, there is no real absolute answer in the rear. Watt's vs. pahnard vs CAT5's vs three link. poly vs solid vs articulating sph bearings vs. rubber. Narrow springs, flat springs, mono leafs, and fiberglass springs. Offset springs, extra leafs, raised rate, extra bindings and traction devices.

Then there is the question of anti roll bars and whether they are needed. Do you want OEM mounting vs. Shelby inverted styling. Do we want this in a plyable poly bushing end link or an adjustable solid spherical bearing endlink?

After much debate to reduce weight and find what in my application "might" be ideal I've decided on the CAT5's from Global West. Then again I'm going to considerable trouble to lighten up the whole car and unspung weight.

The front of these cars seems to have a more general consensus than what appears to be the simpler rear end.

For "stock" I'd strongly recommend Opentracker Racing Products if your trying to resist the temptation to go all tubular/coilover after market setup.

I've probably confused you more than answered your question. It just isnt that simple sadly. You must not only look into your cars goals but also your driving style and the type of experience your wanting. Just to go fast, dig deap and call Griggs. All other answers aren't black and white. Search and keep reading :D
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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I'll be willing to bet it's "6 of one and 1/2 a dozen of the other."

Option #1 offers a drop (slowing the rate of when you're going to see the
bad positive camber but not eliminating it) but doesn't fix the issue by
shortening the upper arm.
Option #2 is crippled as well because you can't generate a camber curve.
(what you got on the alignment rack is all you'll ever see on the track)


ex-Global West GM
1991-1994
 

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I totally agree with what gt289 said. Here's some more food for thought. Not all springs and shocks are the same. So you could have a well thought out system that rides/handles poorly because of cheap parts.

Option 3 is something like this that uses a UCA for camber gain and a coilover. Street or Track Front Bilstein Coilover System
 

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When I was there (@ GW) you'd always have a customer that would
buy EVERYTHING but 1 item. Springs or shocks usually.
As Maxwell Smart would say- "missed it by that much."
In the back especially, even the wrong shock valving can literally
obliterate what would otherwise be a perfect (and fast) suspension
setup.

Or here's another one- get a front setup that works perfectly and
then put a coil spring in there that's so stiff you never see the
results of the good suspension geometry because the arms can't move.

I'd always think of it as shooting yourself in the foot and the bullet
ricocheting off the concrete and hitting you in the forehead.....
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Option #1 offers a drop (slowing the rate of when you're going to see the bad positive camber but not eliminating it) but doesn't fix the issue by shortening the upper arm.
Sounds like roller perches are the way to go then, cheaper, easier, and about the same difference. But can you expand more on the shorter UCA thought?

Also if there are any really comprehensive books/sites on mustang suspension I'd love to hear about them. Especially comparing all the options mentioned with pros and cons.
 

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The factory upper arm isn't the "right" length to generate a negative
camber gain. Without a shorter arm all you'll get (even in the lower
mounting position) is a positive camber gain. As a result, your
effective tire contact patch will be lessened and your cornering ability
will suffer.

A slightly shorter tubular upper arm, in terms of length, isn't much-
typical of mathematical stuff, a small amount can yield a big difference.
 

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Also if there are any really comprehensive books/sites on mustang suspension I'd love to hear about them. Especially comparing all the options mentioned with pros and cons.
Wouldn't that be nice? And easy....
Suspension is still viewed as a black art. Frequently "I got a secret" comes into play.
The only con in suspension is money. It's largely the old addage, "how much do you
have to spend/how fast do you want to go." Finding something that works really well
isn't that hard once you separate the BS from the truth. It's largely detail work.
Particularly on the Mustang, where an incorrect shock value in the rear is the difference
between night and day.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Boy this is frustrating. The deeper I dig the more the answer is it's all wrong. Automotive "engineers" have been added to the list with lawyers, politicians, environmentalists, and activist judges... what do you call 100 of them at the bottom of an ocean.. a good start! :pirate:

The basic answer seems to be nothing that handles at high speed uses leaf springs. But IF you do use leafs, the right spring rate, spherical ends, a watts link, a torque arm, and the right shocks seems to be the optimum setup. Allows free movement throughout range and precise control for repeatable predictable handling. Main downside then is huge unsprung weight.

Front is just as bad. Different arms to eliminate deflection, new locations to fix the camber curve. Springs and shocks mounted outboard on lower arm for control. Roller and spherical bearings all around to reduce friction and increase response. Bind cannot be eliminated totally as there are too many conflicting arcs.
 

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You should talk to (in no particular order):

Maier Racing
Global west
Street or Track
Open Tracker

Each can set you up with a very good handling coupe. If you do stick with leafs, I like the Maier units Ozarks06 pointed out earlier.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That's what I'm talking about!


Great video, 65 mustang vs Porsche Caymans.
The Caymans are a little faster and more controlled through the corners, watch the mustangs drift angle!
The Caymans just eat him alive under hard breaking.
But as soon as the road straightens out the mustang walks away.
The street version of that is what I'm looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The more videos I find the more often i see that drift angle. I thought mustangs had under steer, and I know I've read here that it was bad enough we'd be better of with fatter tires on front than rear. Most of these cars seem to have same front and rear or wider rear. Why are they not pushing into every corner?
 
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