How to go straight - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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How to go straight

My mustang does not come back to center very well at all. Now that I have done a tone of performance mods to the motor and street racing it, it scares the crap out of me because when i hit the next gear and jerk a bit, I've got to fight to keep it straight. It has always centered very poorly but now its a problem I need to fix. The a shop put a new rack in and they say the ball joints check out. Now they are telling me I should "try" caster / camber plates.

Has anyone worked through this issue before and what did you do to fix it?

Thanks.


1989 Mustang convertible GT, stock 302 bottom end, AFR 165 heads, Edelbrock RPM II intake, Anderson N41 cam, BBK long tubes, Accufab 70mm TB, Anderson powerpipe.
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post #2 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 04:18 AM
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Any chassis work ? Even a stock 302 stick car with some miles on it will be all over the place.(mine was) At the very least,full length weld in sub frame connectors. Welded in torque box reinforcements,and aftermarket upper and lower rear control arms. Also confirm the car is not one legging it as that just adds to the trouble.


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post #3 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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I did the sub frames, torque boxes and upper / lower rear control arms and that stabilized my convertible a lot. I have not done A Frame bushings, ball joints, CC plates or other front bushings yet.

It is very stable overall. No slack in the steering. It just stays where the wheel is and does not come back on its own. One person told me it could be the rack. I replace the rack with a NAPA / Cardon rack which seems to work fine.

The car was in an accident a while back but went up on a frame machine. It took only a slight tweak to get one side back to spec.

I'm wondering if this is just how these cars drive. Either way, I need to try something.
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post #4 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 10:50 AM
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You're describing "memory steer" which is a primary symptom of a bad balljoint.
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post #5 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE View Post
You're describing "memory steer" which is a primary symptom of a bad balljoint.
So even though there is no "slack" in the ball joint that is discernaible, somehow the ball joints lock into some kind of pattern?

1989 Mustang convertible GT, stock 302 bottom end, AFR 165 heads, Edelbrock RPM II intake, Anderson N41 cam, BBK long tubes, Accufab 70mm TB, Anderson powerpipe.
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post #6 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 05:32 PM
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When they wear badly, they bind instead of moving (relatively) freely and cause exactly the problem you're describing, if I'm reading you right.

Say you're just driving down the road and you change lanes. Do you have to steer the car straight again, or does it steer itself straight? If it doesn't steer itself straight, it's 99% likely to be a balljoint problem.

If it DOES steer itself straight again under normal conditions, but gets hard to control when racing, I'd look for a problem with the rear suspension, e.g. torn torque boxes.

Last edited by MFE; 03-15-2016 at 05:36 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 06:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MFE View Post
When they wear badly, they bind instead of moving (relatively) freely and cause exactly the problem you're describing, if I'm reading you right.

Say you're just driving down the road and you change lanes. Do you have to steer the car straight again, or does it steer itself straight? If it doesn't steer itself straight, it's 99% likely to be a balljoint problem.

If it DOES steer itself straight again under normal conditions, but gets hard to control when racing, I'd look for a problem with the rear suspension, e.g. torn torque boxes.
Ok....I need to do ball joints. I see Late Model Restoration has a Ford Racing Lower A Frame kit for $250. The higher end ball joints like Steeda or Mood don't seem to come in such kits. A Frame bushing have a 130,000 miles on them just like the ball joints. Should I have the A Frames rebuilt with the premium ball joints and incur the extra cost or just get the Ford Racing?

1989 Mustang convertible GT, stock 302 bottom end, AFR 165 heads, Edelbrock RPM II intake, Anderson N41 cam, BBK long tubes, Accufab 70mm TB, Anderson powerpipe.
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post #8 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 08:57 PM
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The FRPP ones should be updated premium low-friction units.
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post #9 of 13 Old 03-15-2016, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
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The FRPP ones should be updated premium low-friction units.
Yes....MFE is once again correct. I had this exact same issue with my '93 LX. Conventional wisdom told me to lift the wheels off of the ground, jack under the control arm, and then try to wiggle the tire to check for ball joint slack. I had zero wiggle. But when changing lanes, it did not return to center...similar to a steering box that is adjusted too tight. So anyway later on I put new balljoints in just for the challenge....cause I've never done them before on a fox body. I got them in but let me tell you it's not that much fun. The control arm is more or less just sheet metal, so you can't just press it out and the new ones in as easily as other vehicles (trucks). Anyway, I got them in and the car drove 1000x better, like it should. Bad part is, the control arm bushings were junk, worn out, garbage. Car drove ok but I could see the bushing sag when I jacked the car up. So ok, ordered new poly bushings and installed them. What a pain! They are NOT easy to put in, again just sheet metal, so you have to usually cut the old ones out with a sawzall or hack saw blade, then press the new ones in-but pressing them into sheet metal is challenging to say the least. I drove it several years like that, then the ball joints began to seize again. Ok, so let's put some new low-friction joints in. They FELL into the holes that they are supposed to be PRESSED into. The control arm swells when you press new ones in, as usually new ones are slightly larger and it appears to me that some are larger than others. Only choice I had was to tack weld them so they wouldn't fall out.

If I had to do it all over again, I'd replace the control arms as a set, complete-and be done with it. Once you figure in the cost of the replacement joints, and consider that once they're installed, the control arms could very well be junk from that point on, then the cost of the worn out bushing replacement, that $250 is a pretty good value, IMO. I'd like to put some new arms on mine but I'm stuck at whether to put stock style arms on or do the K and tube arms while the car is in a million pieces. May end up being a money issue, or lack of it. These things get expensive quick.

'92GT, 427" and '93 "LXVO" coupe
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post #10 of 13 Old 03-16-2016, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Great feedback everyone. I will do the full Ford Racing control arms.

Thank you


1989 Mustang convertible GT, stock 302 bottom end, AFR 165 heads, Edelbrock RPM II intake, Anderson N41 cam, BBK long tubes, Accufab 70mm TB, Anderson powerpipe.
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post #11 of 13 Old 03-16-2016, 06:21 PM
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Sorry i misinterpreted the issue you were describing. Seems they have your trouble figured out. I did the ford loaded control arms and everything else up front,a year ago in my fox. Night and day difference.

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post #12 of 13 Old 03-17-2016, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry i misinterpreted the issue you were describing. Seems they have your trouble figured out. I did the ford loaded control arms and everything else up front,a year ago in my fox. Night and day difference.
Thanks....mine are on order from LMR.

1989 Mustang convertible GT, stock 302 bottom end, AFR 165 heads, Edelbrock RPM II intake, Anderson N41 cam, BBK long tubes, Accufab 70mm TB, Anderson powerpipe.
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post #13 of 13 Old 03-25-2016, 09:32 PM
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do not forget rear sway bar to stabilize takeoff and go straight bigger is better
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