How to Install 1979-2004 Ford Mustang Upper & Lower Rear Control Arms

Adding a set of rear upper & lower control arms for your 1979-04 Mustang is a quick way to improve the performance of your Mustang's suspension!

Ford Mustang Upper & Lower Rear Control Arm Installation Instructions

Step 1: Start by lifting your car up on a lift, or jack stands Step 2: Remove your rear wheels
Step 3: Start by removing the sway bar hardware, if equipped by removing the 2 bolts on each rear control arm



Step 4: Remove the sway bar from the car
Step 5: Support the rear end with a jack, or a pole jack



Step 6: Remove the lower shock hardware on both the driver, and passenger side with a 15mm ratchet wrench on the bolt, and an 18mm socket on the nut


Step 7: Now you can lower the rear end, and remove the springs from the car



Step 8: Remove the lower control arm bolts on the axle side with a 15mm open end wrench, and an 18mm socket


Step 9: Remove the lower control arm bolts on the chassis side with the same combo, and remove the control arm from the car



Step 10: Repeat the last two steps for the other side
Step 11: To prep the bushings, sleeves, and new control arms for installation, apply a decent amount of the included grease. Completely cover all areas of the bushing, the outside of the sleeves, and the inside of the control arms where the bushing will be installed



Step 12: Install the bushings into both lower control arms
Step 13: Do the same for the rear upper control arms as well
Step 14: There will be 4 bushings that are shorter than the rest, those are for the upper arms



Step 15: Before installing the new rear lower control arms, thoroughly clean the mounting area with brake clean



Step 16: Be sure, and apply extra grease to the outside of the bushings



Step 17: Slide the SVE lower control arm into place, and then install the hardware



Step 18: If you own a 1999-2004 Mustang, the be sure to use larger sleeves, and hardware for the lower control arms



Step 19: Slide a washer over the bolt, and then place it through the control arm, and chassis
Step 20: Slide another washer over the bolt, and then finger tighten the nut
Step 21: Swing the arm up, and into the axle



Step 22: Install the hardware just like the chassis side, and finger tighten the nut



Step 23: Snug down the hardware, and then repeat for the other side



Step 24: Moving to the rear upper control arms, remove the hardware securing the control arm to the axle, and the chassis



Step 25: Remove the control arm from the car, and clean the inside of the upper torque box with brake clean
Step 26: Again, apply extra grease to the outside of each of the bushings
Step 27: Position the upper arm into place, with the open part on the axle side, facing down toward the axle bushing



Step 28: Install the hardware the same way as the lower arms, and finger tighten the nut



Step 29: Line up the holes in the upper arm, and the axle bushing (a screwdriver will be helpful when doing this)
Step 30: Install the hardware, and snug it down, but do not fully tighten
Step 31: Do the same for the other side
Step 32: Re-install the springs, and the isolators



Step 33: Be sure the lower pigtail of the spring is facing toward the rear of the car, and centered on the spring perch



Step 34: Preload the suspension with your jack, or pole jack, and torque the upper control arms to 60 lb ft
Step 35: Torque the chassis side lower control arm hardware to 60 lb ft if you own a 79-98 Mustang, and 90 lb ft if you own a 1999-2004 Mustang
Step 36: Reinstall the lower shock hardware, but do not fully tighten



Step 37: If you still have a factory sway bar, reverse the orientation of the speed clips



Step 38: Re-position the sway bar, and torque the bolts to 41 lb ft (be sure and push up on the sway bar before you tighten it down)
Step 39: Re-install your wheels, and lower your car to the ground, and fully tighten the lower shock hardware



Step 40: Torque the lower control arm axle side hardware to 60 lb ft for 1979-98 Mustangs, and 90 lb ft for 1999-04 Mustangs



We used our SVE Upper and Lower Control arms for this installation. Individual results may vary depending on manufacture.

About the Video

How To Install Mustang Rear Control Arms (79-04)

Check out our YouTube channel for even more tech tips, installation videos, how-tos, and more. The best place to go for anything Mustang related!

Published on 2015-10-19
SVE's rear control arms are back and better than ever! They have recently been updated to feature stronger welds and bushings that respond better to axle movement. These kits are still offered in a black and red powder coat, will help provide a firmer launch and are strong enough to allow for removal of the quad shock. These control arms are a perfect budget friendly upgrade for those that are looking for an improvement over the stock, stamped arms. Keep in mind, these rear control arms are designed to support cars with up to four hundred horsepower.

Mustang Fitment: 1979 (79), 1980 (80), 1981 (81), 1982 (82), 1983 (83), 1984 (84), 1985 (85), 1986 (86), 1987 (87), 1988 (88), 1989 (89), 1990 (90), 1991 (91), 1992 (92), 1993 (93), 1994 (94), 1995 (95), 1996 (96), 1997 (97), 1998 (98), 1999 (99), 2000 (00), 2001 (01), 2002 (02), 2003 (03), 2004 (04) All (Excludes 99-04 Cobra w/ IRS)
Transcript
What’s happening guys? Landan here with Late Model Restoration. Today I’m going to breaking down and installing SVE’s redesigned rear control arms fitting your 1979-2004 solid axle equipped Mustang.

SVE’s tubular rear upper and lower control arms have recently been updated to feature stronger welds and bushings that respond better to axle movement. These kits are still offered in a black and red powder coat, will help provide a firmer launch and are strong enough to allow for removal of the quad shock. These control arms are a perfect budget friendly upgrade for those that are looking for an improvement over the stock, stamped arms. Keep in mind, these rear control arms are designed to support cars with up to four hundred horsepower.

The bushings are now made from a natural rubber compound to perform great, yet still retain a smooth ride versus the previously used poly bushings. The material is stiffer than stock and the best part, they don’t require any additional grease which is why these rear control arms no longer have grease fittings. Prior to installation of these SVE rear control arms, the bushings must be fully coated with the included grease and that grease only. The use of any other grease or lubricant will void any bushing related warranty.

All of the needed hardware is included in the box along with the larger bolts, nuts, washers, and sleeves for use in 99-04 Mustangs. You’re probably wandering, well what’s the difference? 79-98 cars used a smaller diameter bolt for the rear lower control arm than the 99-04 cars. However, the rear upper control arm was the same for all 79-04 solid axle Mustangs.

If you guys want to check out some of the frequently asked questions on these SVE rear control arms, click one of the links in the video description to get you over to LMR.com if you’re not already there.

Well fellas, I’m going to get this 1990 convertible Fox in the air and show you the detailed steps on installing a set of SVE rear control arms. One other important detail before we begin, like I stated previously, 99-04 Mustangs used a 14mm bolt in the lower control arm. With that being said, those bolts will have a torque spec of 90 lb/ft. Now, since the 99-04 upper and 79-98 upper and lower rear control arms utilize a 12mm bolt, those will have a torque spec of 60 lb/ft.

To begin installation, place the car on a lift or jack stands. Remove the rear wheels. Start by removing the sway bar hardware if equipped. There will be two bolts on each rear control arm. Remove the sway bar from the car. Support the rear end with a jack or pole jack. Remove the lower shock hardware on both the driver and passenger side with a 15mm ratchet wrench on the bolt and an 18mm socket on the nut. Now you can lower the rear end and remove the springs from the car. Remove the lower control arm bolts on the axle side with an 18mm open end wrench and 18mm socket.

Remove the lower control arm bolts on the chassis side with the same combo and then remove the control arm from the car. Do the same for the other side. To prep the bushings, sleeves and new control arms for installation, begin by applying a decent amount of the included grease. Completely cover all areas of the bushing, the outside of the sleeves and the inside of the control arm where the bushings will be installed. Install the bushings into both lower control arms. Do the same for the rear upper control arms as well. Except, there will be four bushings that are shorter than the rest; these are for the upper arms.

Before installing the new rear lower control arm, thoroughly clean the mounting areas with brake clean. Be sure and apply enough grease to the outside of the bushings. Slide the SVE lower control arm into place and then install the hardware. If you own a 99-04 Mustang, be sure and use the larger sleeves and hardware for the lower control arms. Slide a washer over the bolt and then place it through the control arm and chassis. Slide another washer over the bolt and then finger tighten the nut. Swing the arm up and into the axle.

A dead blow or pry bar may be helpful when positioning the lower arm into place. Install the hardware just like you did for the chassis side and finger tighten. Snug down the hardware and then do the same for the other side. Moving to the rear upper control arms; remove the hardware securing the control arm to the axle and chassis. Remove the arm from the car and clean the inside of the upper torque box with brake clean. Again, be sure you applied enough grease to the outside of the bushings. Position the upper arm into place with the open part on the axle side facing down toward the axle bushing.

Install the hardware the same way as the lower arms and snug it down, but do not fully tighten. Line up the holes in the upper arm and axle bushing. A screw driver will be helpful when doing this. Install the hardware and snug it down, but do not fully tighten. Do the same for the other side. Reinstall the springs and isolators. Be sure the lower pigtail on the spring is facing toward the rear of the car and centered on the perch. Pre-load the suspension with your jack or pole jack and torque the upper control arms to 60 lb/ft. Torque the chassis side lower control arm hardware to 60 lb/ft if you own a 79-98 Mustang and 90 lb/ft if you own a 99-04 Mustang.

Reinstall the lower shock hardware, but do not fully tighten. If you still have a factory sway bar, reverse the orientation of the speed clips. Re-position the sway bar and torque the bolts to 41 lb/ft. Be sure and push up on the sway bar before you tighten it down. Reinstall your wheels and get the car on the ground. Fully tighten the lower shock hardware. Torque the lower control arm axle side hardware to 60 lb/ft for 79-98 Mustangs and 90 lb/ft for 99-04 Mustangs. Double check everything and you’re all done!

As far as installation goes guys, allow yourself around four hours from start to finish. I would recommend the assistance from a buddy just to make things a lot easier on yourself. Remember, don’t overtighten the control arm hardware and use the provided grease, and that grease only!
If you would like to see more install videos like this one for your Mustang, then hit the subscribe button so you can receive all of the latest video updates from us here at LMR. And as always guys, go ahead and pick up a set of SVE rear control arms for your 79-04 Mustang at LMR.com!