arsine None
Feb. 8, 2013 10:08 p.m.

i'm planning on buying a mustang gt in the near future and i've been reading up on the suspension of the car and it's not especially sophisticated and is often criticised by the import community. so while having a few beers and watching initial d i remembered that the ae86 has a 4 link solid axle and macpherson struts too and it's considered to be a great handling car. so what's the big difference other than weight?

forzav12 HalfDork
Feb. 8, 2013 11:46 p.m.

the only reason its criticized by the import crew, is that it regularly beats them like a stubborn mule

sethmeister4 Reader
Feb. 9, 2013 7:22 a.m.

For it's time I think it was normal/reasonable for the AE86 (and the 'stang) to have that suspension. I think the reason that the Mustang gets joked is because they are still using that setup and haven't "advanced" into something else over the past 20+ years.

I get your point though, since the Corolla is seen as a great handling car (or at least a great drifting car).

ultraclyde Dork
Feb. 9, 2013 8:16 a.m.

Ahhh, that's the difference. A great drifting car is different than a great handling car. And the GT fox body makes a great drifting car as well. The rednecks I grew up with just never called it drifting and didn't draw cartoons about it.

bravenrace PowerDork
Feb. 9, 2013 8:32 a.m.

It's like anything else on the internet. Yes, the Mustang's suspension design and handling could be better, but it's no where near as bad as you'd think it was based on what people say about it. My advice would be that if you are going to race it competitively, then compare it with the cars it will compete with. If it's a street car, base it on how it feels to you. Numbers don't tell the whole story, and internet opinions tell you even less.

mad_machine MegaDork
Feb. 9, 2013 8:46 a.m.

I drove my fiat for years on a 5 link (4 plus a panhard) rear.. except for bumpy corners, the solid axle never gave me any issues. Bumpy corners would upset it some, but no where near enough to make the car skitterish or dangerous

arsine New Reader
Feb. 9, 2013 9:43 a.m.

most of my cars have been nissans (280zx, 240sx & g35) and a (convertible) rx7 so they've all handled pretty well. the running costs on the g have gotten to be too much for me so i was looking for something fun and cheap (yes ive thought about a miata) and the 302 sn95's seemed to fit the bill. i guess the money you save in hooking up the engine will have to go into suspension.

ultraclyde wrote: Ahhh, that's the difference. A great drifting car is different than a great handling car. And the GT fox body makes a great drifting car as well. The rednecks I grew up with just never called it drifting and didn't draw cartoons about it.

i hope that makes the next issue's "say what?"

pres589 SuperDork
Feb. 9, 2013 11:47 a.m.

What are you wanting, a drift car or nice ride on the street, something else?

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
Feb. 9, 2013 12:02 p.m.

The AE86 can be a great drifting OR great handling car, and it takes a lot less work than making an old Mustang a great-handling car. Which one makes sense depends on what you want though.

arsine New Reader
Feb. 9, 2013 12:28 p.m.

street car mostly, i thought about trying it in autocrossing, stx rules seem to be broadening. from what ive read it wouldnt be the most competitive car but i'm not trying to win a national championship, just looking to have fun in a relatively cheap car

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
Feb. 9, 2013 2:21 p.m.

The AE86 will easily be a better street car, much better MPG and more compact.

fast_eddie_72 UltraDork
Feb. 9, 2013 2:54 p.m.

RA64 Celica is near as makes no difference exactly the same suspension with no drift tax. Just sayin'.

I don't think there's a thing wrong with a four link and panhard bar. Beats the heck out of a "more sophisticated" semi-trailing arm, if you ask me. At least the toe doesn't change every time the suspension moves.

bravenrace PowerDork
Feb. 9, 2013 5:32 p.m.

In reply to arsine:

What year Mustang are you talking about?

Feb. 9, 2013 5:45 p.m.

it all has to do with the ratio of its track to its wheel base. The AE86's "nimble feel" is based on this, its track to wheel base ratio is considered to be less stable, or easier to change direction.

It doesn't help much either when the Mustang weighs #300 to #500 more

The Celica's of the same period use VERY similar suspension pieces... but the track to wheelbase ratio is closer to 1 to 1, so the Celica doesn't respond as nimbly.

arsine New Reader
Feb. 9, 2013 6:20 p.m.

makes sense, shortwheel base cars are usually considered twitchy but never thought of factoring the track into it also. considering everything i figured weight was probably a big factor too.

bravenrace -> '94-'95 gt

ae86andkp61 Reader
Feb. 9, 2013 9:24 p.m.

I should start off by saying that I am biased and haven't owned a Mustang. I love the AE86 and have owned several of them. In my somewhat limited experience with other cars often compared to the AE86 (Mustang (it was actually a Fox-body Capri,) first-gen RX-7, S12 Nissan 200SX) the main thing the AE86 has going for it is that it is pretty well developed for the type of driving we like when compared to some of the others. Toyota basically mass-produced a car like the modified Mk2 Escorts being roadraced and rallied around Europe. It has an optional multivalve twincam, steering rack positioned well to minimize compromises, similar suspension layout, similar size, weight, track, and wheelbase to the Escort.

The Corolla isn't super-stiff, especially by modern standards, but it took me a combo of sticky tires, aggressive driving, and bumpy surfaces before I started thinking about chassis reinforcement. AFAIK, chassis flex is a concern with Mustangs, especially when you take extra torque, and bigger tires into account. I'd give the Corolla a nod here unless the Ford faithful want to correct me.

The Corolla has a solid rear axle located by four parallel trailing arms (two upper, two lower) and a panhard rod. The Mustang has a solid axle located by two parallel lower trailing arms and two angled upper arms. The Mustang design has a higher roll center, and a more steeply inclined roll axis than the Corolla, and roll bind becomes a problem with the Mustang design sooner than the Corolla design, particularly when both cars have stiffer-than-stock suspension bushings, and the result is snap oversteer. Short of bind, the Mustang rear design also tends to overload the outer tire under cornering sooner, increasing understeer.

Both cars need roll-center correction at the front if lowered, because lowering either one will drop the front roll center too low, and makes bump-steer issues worse. AFAIK, Corollas don't have the same Ackerman problems that Mustangs do out-of-the-box.

To make a long story short, neither car is has perfect handling out of the box, but the Corolla offers a slightly better executed solid rear axle suspension setup and lighter weight than a Mustang. The Corolla has good handling and is fun to drive in stock form. I'm sure the Mustang could offer a similar driving experience with a bit of work on the suspension.

The Mustang aftermarket is huuuuuge and offers all kinds of help with the rear suspension, with some solutions as simple as careful bushing selection on the stock rear arms, to some that are as involved as ditching the angled upper arms and going to a three-link plus Panhard or three-link plus Watts linkage setup. There are front suspension upgrades as simple as springs and shocks, or as involved as a new front subframe with improved geometry, better adjustability, and repositioned steering.

Get a Corolla if you can; they are fun, fun cars and can grip well or go sideways well. They respond well to skilled driver input, whatever your preferred driving style. They are good in stock form and great when lightly and sensibly modified. If you end up getting a Mustang, I am sure it will be a fine project car, and will also be a lot of fun. Don't let the import community get you down, and don't get so hung up on suspension theory that you don't ever get out there and enjoy it! It will probably show a bigger percentage improvement than the Corolla with light tuning, and should have better parts availability, bigger aftermarket support, and you don't have to worry about how to fit tires under it as much. (My 195/50-15s rub on my lowered Corolla!)

arsine New Reader
Feb. 10, 2013 3:00 p.m.

the huge aftermarket is the big mustang selling point as well as the parts interchange. pretty much looking to grab explorer heads and intake, 99+ brakes (and hydroboost), and some of maximum motorsports suspension catalog and see what i end up with.

pres589 SuperDork
Feb. 10, 2013 3:08 p.m.

In reply to arsine:

No need for hydroboost on a 5.0 SN95.

midniteson New Reader
Feb. 11, 2013 1:08 a.m.

Find a1986 SVO mustang, fairly light,4cyl ,turbo, with 200hp and just as good if not better handling stock vs a stock 1986 GTS corolla.

Apexcarver UberDork
Feb. 11, 2013 8:27 a.m.

The mustangs engine (the V8) has much better power vs the corolla. As well, with the aftermarket support the 5.0 can be made really evil.

Mustang= POWERRRR with potential for more power at low low prices. Finding parts is like falling off a log, a wet, slimy, oily log... Minus... Fuel economy, expect 20mpgish

Corolla= Light weight car with lower power. It would take a good amount of work to get the mustangs stock power out of it.

The Mustang swallows large rubber, this makes the power really work.

To me, the question is more if you want a scalpel or a hammer.

I have a mustang, a little play with springs/shocks/swaybars and it handels well. That said, tires are more expensive, but your not looking at an Rcomp crack habit.

forzav12 HalfDork
Feb. 11, 2013 9:29 a.m.
ae86andkp61 wrote: I should start off by saying that I am biased and haven't owned a Mustang. I love the AE86 and have owned several of them. In my somewhat limited experience with other cars often compared to the AE86 (Mustang (it was actually a Fox-body Capri,) first-gen RX-7, S12 Nissan 200SX) the main thing the AE86 has going for it is that it is pretty well developed for the type of driving we like when compared to some of the others. Toyota basically mass-produced a car like the modified Mk2 Escorts being roadraced and rallied around Europe. It has an optional multivalve twincam, steering rack positioned well to minimize compromises, similar suspension layout, similar size, weight, track, and wheelbase to the Escort. The Corolla isn't super-stiff, especially by modern standards, but it took me a combo of sticky tires, aggressive driving, and bumpy surfaces before I started thinking about chassis reinforcement. AFAIK, chassis flex is a concern with Mustangs, especially when you take extra torque, and bigger tires into account. I'd give the Corolla a nod here unless the Ford faithful want to correct me. The Corolla has a solid rear axle located by four parallel trailing arms (two upper, two lower) and a panhard rod. The Mustang has a solid axle located by two parallel lower trailing arms and two angled upper arms. The Mustang design has a higher roll center, and a more steeply inclined roll axis than the Corolla, and roll bind becomes a problem with the Mustang design sooner than the Corolla design, particularly when both cars have stiffer-than-stock suspension bushings, and the result is snap oversteer. Short of bind, the Mustang rear design also tends to overload the outer tire under cornering sooner, increasing understeer. Both cars need roll-center correction at the front if lowered, because lowering either one will drop the front roll center too low, and makes bump-steer issues worse. AFAIK, Corollas don't have the same Ackerman problems that Mustangs do out-of-the-box. To make a long story short, neither car is has perfect handling out of the box, but the Corolla offers a slightly better executed solid rear axle suspension setup and lighter weight than a Mustang. The Corolla has good handling and is fun to drive in stock form. I'm sure the Mustang could offer a similar driving experience with a bit of work on the suspension. The Mustang aftermarket is huuuuuge and offers all kinds of help with the rear suspension, with some solutions as simple as careful bushing selection on the stock rear arms, to some that are as involved as ditching the angled upper arms and going to a three-link plus Panhard or three-link plus Watts linkage setup. There are front suspension upgrades as simple as springs and shocks, or as involved as a new front subframe with improved geometry, better adjustability, and repositioned steering. Get a Corolla if you can; they are fun, fun cars and can grip well or go sideways well. They respond well to skilled driver input, whatever your preferred driving style. They are good in stock form and great when lightly and sensibly modified. If you end up getting a Mustang, I am sure it will be a fine project car, and will also be a lot of fun. Don't let the import community get you down, and don't get so hung up on suspension theory that you don't ever get out there and enjoy it! It will probably show a bigger percentage improvement than the Corolla with light tuning, and should have better parts availability, bigger aftermarket support, and you don't have to worry about how to fit tires under it as much. (My 195/50-15s rub on my lowered Corolla!)

very good post

DaveEstey SuperDork
Feb. 11, 2013 11:08 a.m.
Apexcarver wrote: To me, the question is more if you want a scalpel or a hammer.

I want a hammer made out of scalpels.

Sky_Render HalfDork
Feb. 11, 2013 11:24 a.m.

Torque + Solid Rear Axle = Fun

bravenrace PowerDork
Feb. 11, 2013 11:39 a.m.
Sky_Render wrote: Torque + Solid Rear Axle = Fun

QFT

fidelity101 HalfDork
Feb. 11, 2013 11:49 a.m.
pres589 wrote: In reply to arsine: No need for hydroboost on a 5.0 SN95.

Unless you do some bizzare cam setup

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