1. slagman5's Avatar
    Ok, first of all, any discussion over car brands, or "Mustangs suck" or "Ford sucks" or "I prefer xxx" posts will be ignored by me, and I recommend every one who is here to discuss the topic do the same. Don't give the trolls the attention they so desperately seek and they will go elsewhere.

    Anyway, here is what I'm asking. Hopefully there are some other motorheads out there. As some of you may know, the new 2015 Ford Mustang is going to have an independent rear suspension. Before they used a live rear axle, aka a solid rear axle. I know to the semi-motoheads or the casual car enthusiasts out there, there's no argument that an independent rear suspension is better. But here are the facts.

    Independent suspension:
    Pros:
    -Typically better track performance since it results in less wheel hop and more even traction and weight-distribution during turns.
    -Smoother ride

    Cons:
    -More drivetrain power loss. It's simple physics. Every time the rotational power is transferred through a driveshaft, changed direction through a differential, or a universal joint, none of those are "free." There is always a loss of energy. In a live or solid rear axle, you lose some power at the first universal joint before the driveshaft, a little bit at the driveshaft, a little at the rear universal joint, then a significant amount through the rear differential, and then a little bit in the rear axles. With an independent rear suspension, you have all of those losses but add FOUR more universal joints, 2 at each rear axle (one before and one after each rear axle). So you end up with less power to the wheels.
    -While it is better for track racing, it is worse for drag racing. Solid axles typically perform better on the straight.

    So given these pros and cons, this is how I see it affects the Ford Mustang. If you're a fan of the car, you'd be familiar with the fact that the latest version of the Mustang with the live rear axle actually performed very well on the track. The 2013 Mustang GT matches a $80k BMW M3 on the track. A 2013 Mustang Boss 302 BEATS a $100k Audi R8 on the track.

    So in my opinion, Ford managed to make a solid rear axle car with the track performance of an independent rear axle car but maintaining the power of a solid rear axle. Basically almost the best of both worlds. And then as an icing on the cake, it maintained the straight drag racing performance as well. And honestly, you get to use straight line acceleration a whole lot more in your every day driving than track driving.

    So basically, while the world is generally praising the idea of the Mustang gaining an independent rear suspension, I am on the other side of the fence. I feel that it will give only a marginal improvement on the track but could have a detrimental effect on drag racing and on overall power transfer from the engine to the wheels.

    So if there are any other car enthusiasts out there, what are your opinions?

    ?Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10
    08-04-14 02:28 PM
  2. BlackBerry Guy's Avatar
    Would really depend on how the car is used. The solid rear axle is great for drag racing as you said, but I'm guessing the majority of Mustang GTs sold are going to be enthusiast street cars, where the independent suspension would be better suited. I've grown to really like the Mustang over the years. In whatever trim version, it represents a great bang for buck in terms of "cheap" speed.
    slagman5 likes this.
    08-04-14 08:00 PM
  3. slagman5's Avatar
    Would really depend on how the car is used. The solid rear axle is great for drag racing as you said, but I'm guessing the majority of Mustang GTs sold are going to be enthusiast street cars, where the independent suspension would be better suited. I've grown to really like the Mustang over the years. In whatever trim version, it represents a great bang for buck in terms of "cheap" speed.
    Where on the streets do you find an opportunity to use that? But in between every stop light is a drag strip, lol.

    But anyway, the point I was making is that they've managed to tune their live axle to perform on the track almost as well as a car with independent suspension. So it had the benefit of both in my opinion...

    ?Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10
    08-04-14 08:10 PM
  4. AnimalPak200's Avatar
    Sounds like it's more of a (1) sharing parts/development with the fusion, and (2) improving ride and performance on America's degrading roads.

    I drive a Focus ST with whatever stiffened "control blade" independent rear suspension and it handles like a beauty around less-than-perfect mountain roads. Of course, it's front wheel drive, so the "efficiency loss" you mentioned doesn't come into play. But if my power came from the rear, I'd want those tires to be able to stay planted on the road surface as much as possible... otherwise you also have an "efficiency loss" (and probably control issues too).

    If you're just accelerating in a straight line on perfect pavement... then sure, it doesn't sound as good. But I really hope that's not what people do to determine a car is good... lol

    Posted via CB10
    08-04-14 08:37 PM
  5. howarmat's Avatar
    i dont have a problem with the change. im sure the car will still perform very well in straight line performance now with the new rear it should gain some in other areas where it lacked with the s197 platform. i love my 05 but the 15 is looking to be the best model ever released.
    08-04-14 08:51 PM
  6. ibpluto's Avatar
    Thumbs up to the next gen having IRS across the board... about freaking time!! Current cars back suspension is utter crap IMO. The chatter from the back on a 2014 is not any better than a 1987 fox body.

    CB10'n it via da Z...30
    08-04-14 09:52 PM
  7. anon5759238's Avatar
    Cause I'm old school I prefer solid rear axel. Less moving parts. Solid and strong. I was always under the impression that the major benefit of independent rear axel is a smoother ride rather then performance

    Swordsmanship & Western Martial Arts Channel C000C9AF6
    08-04-14 09:57 PM
  8. slagman5's Avatar
    Sounds like it's more of a (1) sharing parts/development with the fusion, and (2) improving ride and performance on America's degrading roads.

    I drive a Focus ST with whatever stiffened "control blade" independent rear suspension and it handles like a beauty around less-than-perfect mountain roads. Of course, it's front wheel drive, so the "efficiency loss" you mentioned doesn't come into play. But if my power came from the rear, I'd want those tires to be able to stay planted on the road surface as much as possible... otherwise you also have an "efficiency loss" (and probably control issues too).

    If you're just accelerating in a straight line on perfect pavement... then sure, it doesn't sound as good. But I really hope that's not what people do to determine a car is good... lol

    Posted via CB10
    Fusion is front wheel drive. Don't think there is much, if any, parts sharing between them. Maybe radio antennas? Lol.

    Anyway, front wheel drive has drivetrain loss just like anything else bud. Sorry to tell you that. First, you have a differential too, except it's inside your transmission (also why they sometimes call it a transaxle). So there's loss there. Then since you also steer with your drive wheels, you have something called a constant velocity joint, aka CV joint. 4 of them to be exact. So you have losses there. And you also have a drifeshaft, albeit a short one, and is usually called a midshaft, since the transmission is off to one side, there is a shaft from that side to the opposite side wheel...

    And lastly, I know I typed a lot, but please try to read my post. The modern Mustangs with the solid rear axles are not suffering from "control issues" or issues with traction. I did just tell you that the Mustang GT matches the BMW M3 on the track. I said ON THE TRACK. Notice I didn't say on the drag strip. And the Boss 302 is also on a solid rear axle and it's beating up on the likes of $100k Audi R8's... also on the track, not the strip...

    "But I really hope that's not what people do to determine a car is good... lol" Nope, those of us who know what we're talking about wouldn't use just one thing to determine if a car is good. I prefer a car that's good on the track and the drag strip...

    ?Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10
    08-04-14 10:08 PM
  9. slagman5's Avatar
    i dont have a problem with the change. im sure the car will still perform very well in straight line performance now with the new rear it should gain some in other areas where it lacked with the s197 platform. i love my 05 but the 15 is looking to be the best model ever released.
    I'm not at all comparing it to the '05. No offense. I'm talking about the 2012-2014's. Even if they can get the new 2015 to perform on the track, it'll still suffer from more power loss to the wheels than if they had stuck with the solid axle. So there has to be some great benefit for it to justify that, and I don't think it would be that much better on the track since they seemed to have tuned their solid axles to almost perfection as it is...

    ?Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10
    08-04-14 10:11 PM
  10. slagman5's Avatar
    Cause I'm old school I prefer solid rear axel. Less moving parts. Solid and strong. I was always under the impression that the major benefit of independent rear axel is a smoother ride rather then performance

    Swordsmanship & Western Martial Arts Channel C000C9AF6
    From my experience the number 1 thing that fails in vehicle suspensions are always to do with one of the universal joints or CV joints, so yes, I agree. There's nothing more bullet proof than a 8.8" or 9" Ford rear-end and a solid axle...

    ?Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10
    08-04-14 10:14 PM
  11. slagman5's Avatar
    But don't get me wrong, I do agree with some of you guys when it comes to perception. The general public perception is that independent rear suspension is always better with no exceptions. I just don't feel the Ford Mustang really needs that kind of perceived benefit to gain attention. It's already pretty much the best selling sports car in the USA...

    ?Posted without the aid of AutoCorrect with my physical keyboard via CB10
    08-04-14 11:25 PM

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