2005-2010 Ford Mustang Alignment

2005-2010 Ford Mustang Alignment

The Mustang uses a live rear axle mounted on the vehicle with three links and a Panhard rod.

In 2005, Ford introduced a new Mustang with an all-new platform and clean-sheet design. While the formula of a live axle rear and MacPherson strut front end were the same from the previous model, Ford refined the design. These changes made for a vehicle that is easier to align and diagnose compared to the previous generation. 

Rear Suspension

This live axle rear suspension provides the benefits of reduced cost and weight over heavier, more expensive independent rear suspensions. 

The Mustang uses a live rear axle mounted on the vehicle with three links and a Panhard rod. None of the angles are adjustable, but this does not mean that this is a “two wheel” alignment. The thrust angle is critical to aligning the front suspension. Also, it is an indication of the health of the bushings in the control arms. 

Front Control Arms

Mustang makes use of an independent MacPherson-strut
 front suspension with reverse “L” lower control arms. On this generation of Mustang, the control and steering arms are designed to deform in the event of contact with a curb or other obstruction. Compare measurements like setback.

The ball joint on these Mustangs is non-serviceable and the entire control arm must be replaced. The ball joint has a deflection limit of 0.3 mm  (0.012”). These loaded ball joints can be tested by pulling up and down on the control arm while the suspension is loaded. If you can feel any movement, chances are the joint is worn out.

Control Arm Bushings

The front lower control arms also use a “Hydro” or hydraulic rubber bushing in the rear mount. Bushings in the front control arms can change the camber and caster by ± 1.0º or more if they are worn. Visually inspect the bushings, looking for any cracks or separation of the rubber from the shaft and shells.

Drivers may comment they hear a grunt, creak or chirp noise while driving over bumps. This is a sign of a bad lower control arm bushing. This noise is different than a noise caused by a worn sway bar or upper strut mount. Strut mounts and sway bars will make a clicking or popping noise on these Mustangs. 

Upper Strut Mounts

Stock upper strut mounts are non-adjustable, but there are aftermarket strut mounts that are adjustable. Some aftermarket mounts can give an additional ±2.0º of caster or camber. These parts are helpful when aligning vehicles that have been lowered up to 3”.

Camber Adjustment – Front

If camber adjustment is necessary to resolve an alignment issue, slotting the strut at the lower mounting hole and installing a cam bolt is recommended. This should give ±1.75º of adjustability.

Remove the wheel speed sensor bolt and brake line bracket bolt before pulling the strut.

Don’t enlarge the holes any more than indicated by the etchings on the strut mount, and clean and paint the exposed metal. The bolts should be tightened to 200 Nm (148 ft/lbs.) after the adjustment is made.

Caster Front

To adjust front caster, it is necessary to elongate the mounting holes in the front control arm mounting bracket on the subframe. Do not elongate the holes any more than indicated by the etchings on the subframe. This modification will yield about ±1.0º of caster. Tighten the nuts to 175 Nm (129 ft. lbs.). Adjustable upper strut mounts can be used to give ±2.00º of adjustability. But, this requires modification of the strut tower. 

You May Also Like

High-End Ride Control Rehab

Electronically adjustable shocks and struts use conventional mono-tube and twin-tube oil-filled dampeners.

On racecars, mechanics in the pit lane will tune the settings of the shocks and springs for the track. Some race shocks have six adjustments for compression and rebound, so they can be tuned for the exact amount and rate of suspension movement needed. But the moment they leave pit lane, the settings can’t be changed.

Toe Angles and Tie Rods

It is critical to remember that toe is not always zero or straight ahead.

ADAS Module Programming

Reflashing and reprogramming is a necessary service for repairing vehicles.

Buick Encore Alignment Service

Alignments are key to the health of the tires and some of the advanced safety systems like automatic emergency braking and lane keeping.

Live Axle Wheel Bearing Service

Replacing rear wheel bearings on a live axle rear suspension requires a few extra steps when compared to a unitized bearing.

Other Posts
Ride Control For Electric Vehicles

Replacement units are available from sources other than the dealer.

Brake Pad Edge Codes

The “Edge Code” can tell you information about a brake pad’s friction material.

Suspension Upgrades – Selling Shocks and Struts

The question customers fail to ask is, what is “best” for their vehicle?

Audi MLB Alignment

The alignment of these vehicles can be straightforward mechanically