MM News

New! MM Technical Services: MM’s Engineering Team will provide setup recommendations specifically tailored for your Mustang. Get help choosing options for a Maximum Grip Box, deciding on coil-over spring rates, selecting a brake master cylinder, and advice on converting your Fox to Hydroboost.

New! Swapping a Coyote into a Fox Mustang? MM's Hydroboost Conversion Kits allow easy installation of a 1996-2004 Mustang Hydroboost power brake assist unit into a 1979-1993 Mustang.

New! Swapping an IRS into your Fox Mustang? MM makes it easier with a brake line kit made just for this conversion. Bolts-in, with no cutting or flaring of brake lines. Designed to fit standard IRS brake hoses.

New! MM now offers a tool for the giant nut securing a Mustang Hydroboost. This MM socket fits the 1-7/8" nut holding the Hydroboost to the firewall mount. Required when changing a Hydroboost unit.

New! MM's billet aluminum Pedal Box Spacer for Fox Mustangs. Replace the breakage-prone OEM plastic spacer when converting to manual brakes or Hydroboost.

Canadians! Please read the latest about ordering from Canada/shipping to Canada.

/DRIVE
We've posted the parts list and link to the video of MM's Mustang in /DRIVE Tuner car Shootout

Each hyperlinked question below takes you to the answered question further down the page.

What is a camber plate?
Is a "caster/camber plate" something different?
What does a caster/camber plate do?
Why would I want to adjust camber?
Why would I want to adjust caster?
Why do I need camber plates?
What's wrong with my stock upper strut mount?
I am going to be lowering my Mustang. Do I really need caster/camber plates?
Do caster/camber plates cause noise?
Why does MM use a spherical bearing instead of a urethane bushing?
Will MM camber plates work with any struts?
Why does the year of my car matter when ordering camber plates?
Will MM camber plates work with coil-overs?
Is any drilling or cutting required for installation?
Should I lubricate the spherical bearings?
What should I set my alignment to?
If I adjust my Mustang's camber for autocrossing or open tracking, do I need to also readjust the toe setting?
Why not use "crash bolts" to adjust camber?
How long does it take to install Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates?
Can I install them myself?
What is a "front end alignment"?
Can I do my own alignment?
Does alignment affect bumpsteer?
What is the difference between "static alignment" and "dynamic alignment"?
Which plates do I need for my GT500?
Got a question not answered here? Please email your question to us.

What is a camber plate?

  • "Camber plate" is the generic term used to describe the upper mount for a MacPherson strut that attaches the strut to the chassis. The word "camber" implies that a specific mount provides a means to adjust the camber setting of the front wheel.
  • " Ford has had two design generations of the stock Mustang upper strut mount for the 2005-2014 S197 Mustangs.
  • The 2005 to 2014 stock Mustang strut mounts have no provision for adjustments.

Is a "caster/camber plate" something different?

  • MM coined this term in the early 1990s to effectively describe our newly designed Mustang upper strut mounts that offered adjustment for both camber and caster. These were the first double-adjustable strut mounts for late model Mustangs.

What does a caster/camber plate do?

  • MM caster/camber plates allow the top of the strut to be moved fore/aft and side to side. Those are the movements required to adjust camber and caster. Most other manufacturer's plates only provide adjustment for camber. These adjustments are done as part of a front end alignment.
  • Camber adjustment is needed to align a lowered Mustang, or provide camber settings suitable for open-tracking.
  • The MM caster/camber plates use a spherical bearing instead of rubber, like the OEM strut mount uses. The spherical bearing does not deflect under load, as the stock rubber does. Rubber allows the dynamic alignment to change in unwanted directions while driving, which adversely affects handling.

Why would I want to adjust camber?

  • Even on a completely stock Mustang, camber may need to be adjusted to achieve proper alignment. An incorrect camber setting can lead to uneven tire wear.
  • When a Mustang is lowered, the ride height change causes the camber to become more negative. Being able to adjust camber allows setting it for best tire wear.
  • When cornering, the outside front tire traction can be increased with more negative camber. Increased front grip allows a higher cornering speed.
  • The stock Mustang camber settings are optimal for an average driver and driving conditions, as determined by Ford. If you are more interested in vehicle performance, then they are probably not optimal for you.

Why would I want to adjust caster?

  • A difference in the caster setting from one side of the car to the other will cause the car to pull (self-steer) towards the side with less positive caster. Being able to adjust caster allows correcting that problem. Tolerances between many different parts can create a significant caster split between the left and right side of the car, even on a stock, unmodified Mustang.
  • The S197 Mustangs were designed by Ford with much more positive caster than the Fox and SN95 generations. The amount of positive caster provides a handling benefit by causing the negative camber of the outside front tire in a corner to "increase" (become more negative). The amount of negative camber will increase only when the tire is steered into the corner, which is when the extra camber is most needed to increase front tire grip.
  • Positive caster aids straight-line stability. It helps the steering to return to center. It increases steering effort slightly, which aids straight-line stability. This is very beneficial on the drag strip.

Why do I need camber plates?

  • Whatever your driving situation is, whether a daily-driven Mustang, drag racing, autocrossing, open-tracking, or road racing, caster/camber plates allow you to align the front of your car to your desired settings.
  • When you lower your Mustang it is necessary to use camber plates to get the alignment back within factory specifications, to ensure best tire life. The S197 Mustangs have no provision to adjust camber after lowering..
  • Any type of driving can be enhanced by having camber settings adjusted to best suit your car and driving habits. Luckily, the optimum camber setting will deliver both the best performance and the most even tire wear.
  • Camber plates allow aligning your street-driven Mustang for autocrossing or open-tracking, and then back to your street setting for best tire wear.

What's wrong with my stock upper strut mount?

  • The original mount uses rubber to retain the strut. Ford uses rubber to reduce NVH (noise, vibration, harshness). Rubber deflects, and is incapable of maintaining the alignment when dynamically loaded. That is not good a good characteristic for a high performance car.
  • The original mount does not provide any adjustment to restore the alignment on a lowered Mustang, let alone one destined for the track.

I am going to be lowering my Mustang. Do I really need caster/camber plates?

  • In a word - yes. After lowering your Mustang, you will need to have an alignment done. There is no adjustment in the stock upper strut mount, which will result in poor tire wear and handling after lowering. MM Caster/Camber Plates provide the ability to adjust camber and caster, making a proper alignment possible.

Do caster/camber plates cause noise?

  • No. MM Caster/Camber plates themselves do not cause any noise.
  • They do transmit other suspension and brake related noises more readily than the stock rubber-bushed upper strut mount. Ford used rubber to reduce NVH, so replacing rubber with a spherical bearing will increase NVH. In this application, most people do not notice any change in noise, and very few people notice any additional vibration or harshness. You may notice a slight increase in road noise from the tires, and slightly increased noise from the brakes.
  • Installing tires with a lower profile than stock tires causes a greater change in NVH than installing MM caster/Camber Plates does.
  • The slight change in NVH is a change in noise transmitted through the camber plate. In some cases, the rubber upper strut mount masked noise from rattling brake pads, bad wheel bearings, etc., and the noise became noticeable only after installation of the camber plates. That does not indicate of a problem with the camber plate bearing.

Why does MM use a spherical bearing instead of a urethane bushing?

  • A spherical bearing allows the motion required for the strut to move with suspension travel and steering input.
  • As the suspension compresses and rebounds the angle of the strut relative to the chassis changes. A spherical bearing is designed to allow a change in angularity while also precisely locating the strut shaft. A urethane bushing must compress and deflect to allow the angle to change. That deflection means the strut shaft is not precisely located.
  • As the car is steered the angle of the strut relative to the chassis changes because the steering axis is not the same as the strut axis. As stated previously, a urethane bushing must compress and deflect to allow the angle to change.
  • The urethane does not easily deflect, that causes binding of the strut shaft (prevents the angularity from changing freely), which in turn puts a bending load on the top of the strut shaft. The hollow strut shafts used with adjustable struts have been known to break off from this load.

Will MM camber plates work with any struts?

  • Yes, as long as the struts are listed as being a direct replacement for the appropriate Mustang application.
  • Struts with threaded bodies for ride height adjustment, and struts using 2.5: coil-over springs, often require custom spacers to fit with camber plates. MM engineers have developed different camber plate versions, as well as installation kits, to aid in installation. See the S197 camber plate section for availability.
  • Got a non-standard strut, and don't see an installation kit? Contact us; we may have one in the works.

Why does the year of my car matter when ordering camber plates?

  • It matters because Ford changed certain aspects of the upper strut mounts in specific years, and for specific models.
  • MM offers two camber plates for the 2005-2014 Mustangs, plus special versions for various aftermarket high performance struts.

Will MM camber plates work with coil-overs?

  • Yes; all 2005-2014 Mustang come from Ford with "coil-overs" as original equipment. They simply do not offer ride height adjustment as do some aftermarket struts (those with threaded bodies).

Is any drilling or cutting required for installation?

  • 2005-14 (S197) Mustangs do not require any drilling or cutting for installation.

Should I lubricate the spherical bearings?

  • No. The spherical bearings are lined with Teflon for low friction movement and elimination of unwanted looseness.
  • Lubricating the spherical bearings will attract dirt into the bearing, damaging the Teflon.
  • Lubricating the spherical bearings will void any MM warranty on the c/c plates.

What should I set my alignment to?

  • You can always simply adjust the alignment to Ford's specification for your model year Mustang.
  • For improved performance, there are several deviations from the factory settings that will provide a benefit.
  • Increasing negative camber will keep the tire footprint flatter on the ground during cornering, which will increase front grip.
  • For improved performance when autocrossing or open-tracking, setting the toe to toe-out rather than tie-in will improve turn-in response and reduce understeer.
  • Setting the alignment for a track-driven Mustang is often done by trial and error. Camber and toe settings are often changed from one track to the next, and even from one track session to the next.
  • Lowered Mustangs that are only street-driven usually have camber and toe set to stock or near-stock settings.
  • Caster for competition use is usually set so each side is even 9the same setting).
  • Caster for street use is usually set to a slightly less amount of positive caster on the passenger side to counteract the effect of road crown trying to steer the car to the right.

If I adjust my Mustang's camber for autocrossing or open tracking, do I need to also readjust the toe setting?

  • Yes
  • Any adjustment to camber will cause the toe setting to change. For example, if you adjusted your normal street setting of .75 degrees negative to a setting of 2.0 degrees negative, the toe setting will change, moving in the toe-out direction. This toe change is due to the inward movement of the top of the strut when negative camber is increased. Since the tie rod length remains constant, and the relative position of the spindle is moved inward, the tire toes out.

Why not use "crash bolts" to adjust camber?

  • Crash bolts are only able to offer a limited range of adjustment. You may find yourself unable to get the right specs for your car.
  • Crash bolts are always smaller in diameter than the stock spindle to strut bolts. On the S197 Mustangs in particular, that can be a significant problem. Ford upgraded the bolts, increased the tightening torque along with other changes in 2010 as the inadequate clamp load was leading to broken spindles. Ford also specifies that the bolts are for one-time use only. We think reducing the diameter of this mission-critical fastener is a bad idea. If the strut-to-spindle bolts loosen, at the very least the camber will change, and that in turn will alter the toe setting.

How long does it take to install Maximum Motorsports Caster/Camber Plates?

  • The typical installation time is under 2 hours (not including a front end alignment).

Can I install them myself?

  • Yes, MM Caster/Camber Plates can be installed by a novice. We provide detailed instructions with photos for each series of camber plates that we make. Only basic tools are needed in order to perform the task.
  • Any professional mechanic can install MM caster/camber plates, assuming the professional can read, and follows the installation instructions. MM installation instructions can be found here.

What is a "front end alignment"?

  • It is aligning the front wheels to specific angles. Camber is the angle from vertical, when viewed from the front. Toe is the angle relative to the centerline of the car, as viewed from above. Caster is the angle of the axis the wheel rotates around when steered, as viewed from the side.
  • A proper alignment will provide the best performance, as well as the most even tire wear.
  • The alignment is usually quite different for different driving situations. A daily driven Mustang will require different settings than a Mustang that is open-tracked.

Can I do my own alignment?

  • Yes. An MM Camber Gauge makes it easy to adjust camber and caster.
  • There are several methods to adjust the toe setting. An Internet search will reveal several different techniques for measuring toe.

Does alignment affect bumpsteer?

  • In general, alignment changes do not have a significant effect on bumpsteer.

What is the difference between "static alignment" and "dynamic alignment"?

  • Static alignment refers to the alignment when the car is in place, and not moving.
  • Dynamic alignment refers to the alignment when the car is actually moving, and parts are possibly deflecting under load.

Which plates do I need for my GT500?

  • You will need our MM5CC-1 plates. All Shelby GT500 (2007-2014) use the earlier 2005-10 S197 mount style.

Got a question not answered here? Please email your question to us.