BMR Suspension Control Arm Bracket and Lower Control Arm Installation

If you’ve lowered your 2010+ S197 Mustang, you may want to look into BMR Suspension’s Control Arm Relocation Brackets (CABs) and Spherical Bearing Lower Control Arms (LCAs). This combination and others like it might just be the cure to any wheel hop woes you may be experiencing with your Mustang’s altered ride height. Additionally, it is one of the simplest, cheapest combination of modifications known to help cut into drag race ET’s. Regardless of ride height, they can help your rear wheels hold traction, by replacing the flimsy stock arms and rubber bushings.

Throughout this process, I made use of 15mm, 18mm, and 22mm sockets and wrenches, a small prybar and a mallet. Additionally, I used two jacks (no low-profile jack) and a family of jackstands. The 18mm sizes are used for removal and reinstallation of the stock bolts. The 22mm sizes are used on the new large bolts and nuts, while the 15mm’s are used for only on thin pair of bolts used to reinforce the inboard side of the Control Arm Brackets.

Here are the parts in arrival condition. BMR zipties their QA1-born spherical bearings/rod-ends for shipping. Be sure to actually check when signing for car parts – It’s your responsibility. Hardware needs to be accounted for. Also check the parts for botched welds. Even with the best quality vendors, there’s still a chance a part can slip past quality assurance.
Another look. Between the two images, you can make out the marbling of the Black Hammertone. Note the thickness of the steel used to reinforce the Control Arm Brackets – They mean business.

Start by jacking your car up. Always observe some common sense safety and block your front wheels. Since my car is facing forward on a downgrade, I did not chock the aft ends. Once your car is placed on jackstands, remove the rear wheels.

BMR’s instructions called for placing the rear axle on jackstands. This didn’t help me during the install. Instead, I relied on the jackstands I’d placed on the frame, and used the jack to position and adjust the axle during part removal/installation. If you do not have access to more than 2 jackstands, I would use them for supporting the frame, while never pushing the axle up to the point it pulls the weight off the jackstands.

Since I am replacing my control arms, I took this moment to release the parking brake and disconnect the cables from the rear brakes.

To do this, you’ll need to remove the retaining clip on the parking brakes. This little guy (a). BMR’s instructions call for using a screwdriver; It came off with a solid grip and a little wiggling.
Once you’ve removed the clip, support and lift the line while twisting the end so it falls through it’s retainer (b). Then, feed the line through, over or under your control arm to get it out of the way (c).
Start removing the bolts holding the LCAs to the axle (d). Here I have the left bolt backed out most of the way. With the weight on the axles, I couldn’t extract the bolt without damaging it. At this point I started using the jack to shift the axle, this made quick work of getting the bolts in/out.

To finish removing the Lower Control Arms, remove the bolts connecting them to the frame mounts. These can be accessed from near the wheel well, with the bolt head towards the exterior of the car. (Visible two images back) Like many of the nuts on the S197, the forward nuts are clipped for easy bolt installation, but they are also self-retaining, so they’ll stay in place once you remove the Lower Control Arms.

One control arm out. If your axle has the same amount of rust mine had, you’ll want to start sanding the surface of the axle mount for the CAB install. You’ll want to get the entire area that the CAB hugs the mount, as well as the inside where the spacer can fight placement.
From the left side of the axle, remove the bolt retaining the panhard bar (e). Once the surfaces have been sanded, slide the CAB into position (f). This can require a lot of muscle and a mallet will help.
Maneuver the Control Arm Bracket until a bolt will fit through on the inboard side (g). Once you can get a bolt through this side, line up one of the spacers and push the bolt through it (h). Lastly, wiggle the CAB until the bolt will pass through the outboard side (i), and place a nut on it (but do not tighten).
Now, you can wiggle the Control Arm Bracket into position so that the panhard bar’s bolt will pass through it (j). Though it looks tight, the clipped nut on the inside of the CAB is still loose. At this point, I installed the forward end of the left Control Arm to check fitment (k).
There is a slight gap on the left Control Arm Bracket due to the shape of the axle mount. Insert the small spacer here (l). Then, fit in the one of the small, thin bolts at (m). Again, place them but do not tighten. I have the control arm bolt and nut in place for safe keeping.

Repeat this process for the right side.

Different on the right side, you will have the short thick bolt, washer and nut to install (n), as well as another thin bolt (o). At this point, you can install your LCAs with the remaining bolts and nuts and begin tightening everything (p). My CABs were a bit tight, but a little brainstorming later, and my friend and accomplice (Felix) supplied the materials necessary for an improvised reverse-vise we used to spread the CABs to insert the LCAs (?).
With everything in place, tighten it all down. Refer to your specific install guide for torque values.
Here you can see where my stock 2011 V6 PP (GT500) Control Arm was chafing into the brake line. Felix had a moderate amount of wire loom tubing lying about, so I threw some at the brake lines before securing them with a zipties.

Installation of the Control Arm Brackets and Lower Control Arms is complete at this point. Throw on your wheels, drop your car to the ground, and feel out your suspension changes. (?) In case anyone else experiences the same tightness issues, our improvised reverse-vise consisted of all used hardware: a long-threaded bolt, a dozen washers and two nuts. Good luck, enjoy, and JOIN THE FORUMS!

-J. “FiK” Smathers