I finally got around to installing the Ford Performance rear lower control arms today. It turned out to be an easier install than I expected - much easier than the shifter install. AM has a great
step by step installation guide:
I think it took me 1 1/2 hours from start to finish.
I was not really expecting a significant difference in normal driving with the control arm upgrade but was pleasantly surprised by the noticeable improvements....
1) My car had been making an annoying squeaking/squealing noise every time I pulled away in 1st gear and when shifting into 2nd. I had my mechanic check it out and he thought it was a small amount of play in the rear driveshaft CV joint (nothing to worry about he assured me). It must have been caused by the old brittle bushings in my old control arms, because the noise is now GONE
2) Pulling away from a stop in 1st gear even at very low speeds is now much more direct
(for lack of a better term) I now realize that there was a noticeable amount of shunting or movement of the suspension/axle previously that made pulling away slowly and smoothly in traffic or doing a hill start slightly annoying - these issues are now GONE
3) The rear suspension feels slightly firmer. I drove a road I take frequently that has a series of large speed bumps. I can now drive slightly faster over the speed bumps without bottoming out the suspension. I also noticed that there is a slight increase in oversteer when applying throttle in a hard corner (don't worry, nothing bad happened - I just noticed a slight increase in rotation on throttle application).
4) Axle Hop.. the main reason I upgraded... I was enjoying the other improvements so much (1-3 above) I forgot to even check this. However I'm pretty sure there is going to be some benefit.
That's it for now