Watts Link Question On My '09 GT

Discussion in '2005+ Mustang GT 4.6L Tech' started by OrangeKrate, May 24, 2023.

  1. OrangeKrate

    OrangeKrate Junior Member

    I have a 2009 GT with approximately 46k miles. When I purchased it four years ago, I replaced the stock wheels/tires with ShelbyGT500 wheels (18x9.5) with Goodyear Eagle F1 255/45/18s on the front and Goodyear Eagle F1 285/40/18s on the rear. Once I installed the wider wheel/tire set up, I noticed one of my rear tires poking out more on one side than the other. Aesthetically, this drove me nuts.

    In my research it appeared that common thought was that lowering the rear of the car would cause this "lack of balance." However, mine had not been lowered but it was quite obvious anyway.

    Understanding that an adjustable panhard bar would solve this, I installed a Ford Racing piece and "balanced" the rear end. It looks fine now (i.e., the tires show the same amount of rubber on the right and left rear of the car.)

    I'm considering a Watts Link suspension and was wondering how the install would affect the rear "balance" of the tires. Would the car go back to being out of balance with one tire protruding more than the other, or is this not an issue with the Watts Link? Or is it still an issue, but adjustable/correctible with a Watts Link just as it was correctible with the adjustable panhard bar? Thanks for taking the time to read and offering any experience.

  2. dark steed

    dark steed Resident noob

    My understanding is that the Watts link is centered on the car and lowering has no effect on the centering of the axle.
    That being said, if the rear was noticeably out of center on the stock panhard bar without being lowered, there may be other issues at play. Did you get a carfax report on it when you got it?

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  3. brasil

    brasil Junior Member

    ..my 08 Bullitt has the same issue. The rear left wheel is poking out a little more than the rear right wheel. The Suspension is bone stock. And the car never was involved in an accident. That is 100% confirmed. So I think, that the tolerances are - lets say " a little more on the "big side". My former 73 Chally had also a "off -center " rear axle...
  4. msvela448

    msvela448 forum member

    dark steed likes this.
  5. JC SSP

    JC SSP Member

    Doesn’t the watts link replace the factory panhard bar?

    I agree, if you were off center before you’re probably going to encounter a similar problem with the watt link. Contact the company that is selling it and ask for their input.
  6. OrangeKrate

    OrangeKrate Junior Member

    --Yes, Carfax was clean. Thanks.

    dark steed likes this.
  7. Midlife Crises

    Midlife Crises Senior Member

    A lot of S197s set with the rear end off to one side if you look close. An adjustable panhard bar makes it easy to get the same tire to fender gap on each side. I have run the Fays 2 watts Link for several years. It will hold the rear axle wherever it is when the link is installed. You must push or pull the rear axle to where you want it before mounting the arms and the arms have too be the same length on each side or it will bind. When the arms are the same length on each side the axle will move up and down without pulling or pushing too one side. It feels very solid when turning right or left. The adjustable panhard is much easier to deal with. Weighs less and takes up less space.
    brasil likes this.
  8. Pentalab

    Pentalab forum member

    I checked a bunch of 05-10 cars at several car shows, over the years and all of em stick out more on the driver's side....lowered or stock ride height.

    On my 2010 GT, with 275's on the rear, it was blatantly obvious. My fix was to install the BMR... 'on car, adjustable PHB + brace'. The adjustable portion is on the pass side, and inboard (towards the differential, by several inches) a bit, so it makes it a snap to adjust. Car body now centered on both sides. The axle stays put. What you are doing is moving the back end of the car body left /right.

    Later on I replaced the superb BMR adjustable PHB + brace with the whiteline watts link. Simple matter to get the axle centered. The big advantage of the watts link vs the PHB is.... when the suspension moves up/down, the axle stays centered, does not budge. This is readily apparent when flying around bumpy corners.

    Even with an adjustable PHB, pass side end of PHB is bonded to the car body...and driver's side end of PHB is bonded to the axle. The PHB is higher at pass side. When the suspension moves up /down, the 3rd side of the triangle is now outa wack, hence the car body shifts left / right.

    Having had both a PHB, and now the watts link, the adjustable PHB is more than adequate for a street car. On lowered cars, the PHB is now closer to the axle on the pass side...and less left/right movement of rear car body when rear suspension defects up / down. Typical lowered rear ends are also more stiffer.

    IMO, the watts link is the ultimate setup....albeit expensive.
    Midlife Crises likes this.
  9. kazman59

    kazman59 King of Kazmania

    Fays2 FTW
    Midlife Crises likes this.
  10. Gabe

    Gabe Whippled Coyote

    I installed a BMR Watts Link on my '13 GT and on my wife's '08 GT500 a few years ago, they're still on there.
    There's adjustments available that if done wrong will shift the axle to one way or the other.
    If done right, the axle will be centered.

    That being said, the Watts Link was an awesome handling improvement on both cars, I fully recommend it.
    QWKENUF and Midlife Crises like this.
  11. stevbd

    stevbd forum member


    QWKENUF Junior Member

    I have an 05 Saleen with their Gen I Watts links. I honestly think it's one of the best upgrades I have done to it. With a panhard bar while driving on the highway I'm pretty sure you rear-end kicks out each time you travel over an expansion joint. My watts link pivots at the diff. cover from a bar at approximately a 15 degree to the right. Each time I hit a exp. joint my back end travels up and down. Its as close to a independent rear end, yet still having a solid axle.
  13. Patrick Fanning

    Patrick Fanning Junior Member

    Watts linkage fixes it and it is completely adjustable, we use the race version from https://www.cortexracing.com/ but have installed the street version, great shop, good people.

    Will provide a picture if needed.
    Last edited: May 31, 2023
  14. Orange Krate

    Orange Krate Junior Member

    One Orange Krate to another, a watts link will center the rear axle regardless of how it was from the factory. When a live axle like ours moves up & down, the motion it travels in is an arc because of the solid panhard bar. The watts removes that arc motion and allows the axle to move up & down vs the arc with the OEM hardware. A Fays2 watts link would be my recommendation.
    kazman59 and QWKENUF like this.
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