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Saw this on Autoblog...


REPORT: S197 Ford Mustang could have had independent rear suspension for $100 per car

by Drew Phillips on Jun 22nd 2009 at 4:57PM



It seems that any discussion about a modern Ford Mustang inevitably turns into a debate about its solid rear axle. While Ford has done an incredible job of optimizing the pony car's suspension, many still find it unacceptable that such an antiquated technology is used on a modern day performance car. Motor Trend boss Angus MacKenzie, however, says that the S197 Mustang platform almost received an independent rear suspension a while back – and for a lot less than you might think.


According to MacKenzie, the 2005 Mustang was set to get an independent suspension shared with the BA-series Falcon sedan built in Australia. Even when it was decided that the two cars would use different platforms, Ford designers set about designing an independent suspension specific to the Mustang. So why did it still end up with a solid rear axle? According to MacKenzie, product development executive Phil Martens convinced Bill Ford Jr. that they could save $100 per car if they dropped the IRS and went with the solid axle. For all of you non drag-racing types that wish the Mustang had an independently suspended rear, this news probably makes you sick to the stomach.

But wait... there's more! MacKenzie's sources say that the cost of sorting out the current Mustang's suspension actually cost $98 more per car than the IRS that could have gone in the car. Like Angus, we love the current Mustang but have to wonder if it could have been that much better.
 

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Onward and upward, no looking back.
 

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Loop said:
Mustang is and always should be a solid axle car. IMHO
Absolutely!! It is an integral part of the fun that other car makers have engineered right out of other once proud marques in the name of refinement or trying to make the car appealing to the European market.
 

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I agree, with both Grgg and Lambo. LOL
 

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Well, when you need your rear end worked on, you'll be glad that it has such "antiquated technology"....IRS seems like an excuse to add another 500 bucks to the job...
 

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Hey, lets face it....
Performance cars have IRS
Muscle cars have a solid rear axles!
That is my opinion :)
 

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Ya know... Im sick of the IRS debate... I had a 2001 cobra with IRS and i remember all the bad mouthing the car got for not having a soild rear axle... Now people keep talking about IRS in these cars being their downfall. Make up your minds! Solid rear ends always keep the tires flat and in square contact with the road. Sure irs offers slightly better corner carving but now you have half shafts to worry about...

Be happy we have a simple, tried and true rear end.
 

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BlackPony said:
Hey, lets face it....
Performance cars have IRS
Muscle cars have a solid rear axles!
That is my opinion :)
I'm so glad FORD did not go with the IRS!! The new Camaro has IRS and I might be mistaken but I think the SRT Challenger has it also.Get on u-tube and watch the new Camaro do an embarassing wheelhop burnout and launch,any of the videos!! In my opinion and they are like as******'s everyone's got one,GM and Mopar are just trying to play catch-up to us. which they are turning out some high-horsepower retro looking cars,but in reality not going back retro as they should like FORD did with the BULLITTS and the GT500's.I grew up with the string quartet so maybe I don't appreciate them haha! Yeah Right! Nope I'm just a hard-core FORD man.:cool: :dhg08:
 

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You get what you pay for.... $100 wouldn't have been a quality IRS...
 

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In my case, I do not have the ability to push what we got to its limit. I would rather have the tried and true solid axle so when I do something stupid (which I do quite often) I don't break things. Just my humble opinion.
 

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The solid axle makes me feel like ,I am driving the real deal..
 

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Rz79 said:
Be happy we have a simple, tried and true rear end.
Yeah! What he said.^^.^^.^^.
 

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I have a Terminator with the IRS. Didn't like it much until I changed to the Steeda aluminum bushings and diff brace which stiffened the feel up enough for some proper, well controlled tail hanging (on rare occasions only of course). It's cool now though!

With the Bullitt I have been seriously struggling with the lump of a live axle back there jumping around on me. Love the car, don't like the axle.

BUT NOW I AM SAVED!!

I put the Fays II watts link in to replace the panhard rod and the car is absolutely transformed. If you are like me and looking for the better ride and controlability of a good IRS for your Bullitt, you will be happy with this mod. Yes, works best on smooth surfaces, but way better on bumps that stock!

And now the IRS argument, In My Humble Mind, is a dead issue.
 

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Save a $100.00 bucks on how many cars....... That is BUNCH of money!
Plus how much more does an IRS weight over a solid axle.....

Hey for any one with a solid axle Mustang GT or Shelby that has to have IRS.... I have IRS in a 98 Lincoln LSC THEY can swap out for FREE..... Rather have the solid axle for racing strenght, reliablity, wieght and cost much less to up grade.
 
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