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Whiteline Watts Link install comments, helpful inputs

drano38

Wayne
1,130
318
I had some issues installing mine, so here's a thread to help others. Good news is some tools on hand and a couple calls to the company got everything figured out. Jan at Whiteline was very receptive to my inputs, which goes a long way in today's world, and helped reduce my frustrations.

Sorry, no pics as I was doing the install.

The instructions are on this webpage, scroll down to the Watts, and install is on the right.
http://www.whiteline.com.au/do_segue4.php?make=FORD&model=MUSTANG&model_final=MUSTANG+COUPE+S197+INCL+GT+%26+SHELBY+GT500&vehicle=2005-10
edited to add url

Tools Required List on instructions--
Don't need:
1 1/8" wrench (may have been previous jam nut size)
18 mm wrench (I got all 18 mm fasteners on and off with a ratchet)
24 mm socket for diff cover plugs - Crescent wrench works if you have one as long as you install the top plug before you install the cover. And I cheated and used a 1" socket instead.

Do need (but not listed)
1/4" and 10 mm hex drive sockets (allen wrench tips mounted in ratchet sockets) for socket head bolts that hold diff cover on, and main brace assembly onto the diff cover so they can be torqued to spec
1 1/16" wrench for arm jam nuts
Good to have--slim head ratchet to install the drop bracket to car body

Install instructions have several errors/omissions--tools listed above, assembly steps in an order that physically won't work, unclear wording for torque specs. I called the US office and they said the instructions are being re-written, so hopefully they'll be better on the next version. One of the fuel line clamps in the pic is different than our Boss, so not sure I did them correct.

I had issues with several threads not cut well for the mating bolts, and a couple holes didn't line up properly so I had to elongate them with a file.

Here's some pre-install checks to prevent lots of frustration--check that all bolts will easily turn into their threaded holes so you can clean them up if needed before doing the install. I had to clean up several of the threads with a tap.
- Clean the diff cover with brake fluid per directions, then run the swivel foot bolts into the diff cover--one of mine wouldn't turn in easy, so I cleaned up the diff cover threads with a tap.
- Turn the grub screw into the hole not used per directions--mine wouldn't screw in flush, so I didn't install
- Check that all the screws that go into the diff cover and center pivot turn into them properly
- Ensure the 2 M10 x 20 bolts will turn into the drop bracket (nuts welded to inside of bracket)--I had to run a tap into them to get the bolts started--the tap literally cut threads into the steel plate

Here's some deviations that will help the install.
- One drain plug is magnetic, other is not. I put the magnetic one in the bottom hole
- Put the top diff plug in before installing the diff cover
- I didn't refill the diff until I was completely done with the install
- Drop bracket on driver side. I had to elongate the hole for the sway bar bolt with a file. I did not use locktite on the bracket to car bolts--the bolt holes are close to the the bracket sides, so getting a ratchet in there is tough. If I ever want to remove it, I don't want to fight locktite. Also, leave the bolts loose until the chassis support brace is installed to help get all the bolts aligned and started.
- Apply grease to the sides of the yellow bushings (instructions aren't specific, but call to company said grease them)
- Install the passenger arm first--can't get passenger arm in with driver arm installed
- I had to elongate one of the holes in the cross chassis brace to get the bolts thru them and into the drop bracket nuts

Torque settings--some are clear, some unclear, some have changed. Here's current specs from company.
Diff cover bolts, 20 ft/lb
Main brace to diff cover - 4 long bolts are 60 ft/lb, one short bolt is 40 ft/lb
Driver side Drop Bracket to car body, 46 ft/lb
Chassis brace on passenger side, 95 ft/lb, uses stock panhard bar bolt and attaching point
Chassis brace to Drop Bracket, 46 ft/lb
Watts Arms to Main Brace, and center pivot bolt, 55 ft/lb
Watts Arms to passenger body and driver side drop bracket, 85 ft/lb

Centering axle:
First, turn both arms the same direction until the pivot arm is vertical
Then measure fender gap and start adjusting
When centering axle, turn one arm one direction, the other arm the other direction (shortening one, lengthening the other).
Turning the passenger arm, with the top of the arm going to the rear of car, will move the passenger end of axle further under car, with one full turn about 1/16".
Tighten jam nuts with 1 1/16" wrench--all nuts tighten by turning the top of the nut toward the front of the car.

How well does it work? No idea. Since I also installed Koni yellow struts, Steeda Sport springs, UMI LCAs, and FRPP LCA relo brackets, too much changed to know what really did what. I do get more NVH, but overall, its not too bad. And the benefit is I feel a lot more connected to the road.

Sorry for the long post, but hopefully you can now install this in 1/2 the time it took me.

Here's some pics after the install.
Passenger side with chassis brace and Watts arm
img20130605194945635.jpg


Diff cover area
img20130605194915049.jpg


Driver side
img20130605194510679.jpg
 
Nice writeup Wayne and congrats on the install. I am still trying to get enough time in with mine to make an assessment of its benefits. It seemed to work pretty well at the Corvette autox yesterday on a very rough parking lot.
 

drano38

Wayne
1,130
318
Justin,
Yes, mine had some issues, but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt since Jan at the company was very helpful, and wanted to hear my inputs. But checking to ensure bolts can turn into the welded nut or threaded diff cover would be a nice manufacturing process. And making sure holes are big/slotted enough for varying manufacturing tolerances would be great also.

The drop brace welded nuts are 10 mm 1.5 pitch.
Edit: swivel foot bolts are 12 mm 1.5 pitch.
Sorry, but I'll have to get back to you on the tap size for the swivel foot bolt--after spending 12 hours under the Boss over the last few days, I don't really want to crawl under there today. ;)
Luckily several years ago I bought a Hanson SAE and Metric tap/die set. Came in handy for this install.
A couple hours into evening #3, I was almost ready to remove and return it (which is why I recommend not adding the diff fluid until completing the install--luckily I waited to add the fluid until the end).
Hopefully its performance will make the frustration go away after the first track session.
 

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