By on December 22, 2011

The video above, which has been circulating through the Mustang community, shows what can happen when you pull the speed limiter from a stock Mustang V6 and run it to 135MPH: the driveshaft takes a hike and chews up everything around it. Obviously there are some compromises involved in delivering a 305-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive sporting car for the price of a loaded Chevrolet Cruze, and this is one of them.

On the plus side for Ford, the other famously fragile part of the current ‘Stang — the manual transmission fitted to all non-GT500 models — has just passed an NHTSA investigation with flying colors.

Of the three reported issues with Mustang manual transmissions — hard shifting, slow clutch re-engagement, and synchro grinding — Ford has released TSBs for the first two and is working on one for the third. The six-speed Tremec Getrag, which is apparently made in China, has been the subject of vociferous criticism since its release.

The NHTSA preliminary investigation into these problems has concluded with the statement that there is “no indication of loss of motive power or unreasonable safety risk associated with the alleged defect in the subject vehicles.” Although your humble author hasn’t seen any problems during multiple racetrack sessions in Mustangs with this transmissions, other people haven’t been so lucky. We will keep you posted on further developments.

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147 Comments on “Here’s All Your Recent Mustang Driveline News...”


  • avatar
    Austin Greene

    Epic fail.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Epic fail times two… proving, once again, that it is better to OVER-DESIGN a part, then to under-design it… after all, the customer will not be upset, if a car lasts TOO long or is built TOO well!!! Oh, and a note to Ford: there IS a difference between parts made in China versus the rest of the world– glad to hear you saved 50 bucks on every drive shaft… Was that the same attitude that made the exploding Pinto possible? How little has actually changed…

    • 0 avatar
      westcoastsc

      There seems to be a lot of confusion concerning these V6 drive shaft failures. There are two different scenarios whereby these drive shafts are failing.

      1. OEM (steel) drive shafts are failing at high MPHs on the street. This is probably due to modification of ride height, without correcting pinion angle or re-centering the rear end with an adjustable panhard bar. This off center force is multiplying the normal harmonic forces in a rotating drive shaft. The Ford drive shaft tube in the automatic V6 is the longest drive shaft in the mustang series at almost 39 inches long. This is almost 4″ longer than the V8 manual drive shaft tube. The longer the tube portion of a drive shaft, the lower the critical RPMs that the drive shaft can be subjected to, without catastrophic failure. The transmission end shaft that the drive shaft bolts to can also contribute to the harmonic stresses if these is excessive end play in the shaft. This is however, a very rare occurrence. Failures are occurring in the tube portion of the drive shaft.

      2, The second failure involves aluminum drive shafts where the car is on a dyno, and the engine is being subjected to high rpms (7200 RPMS and up) for extended periods. The V6 Mustang is very capable of this high RPM without reaching the peak Horse power “hump” shown in classic dyno test results. this tempts tuners to try higher and higher RPMs to find the peak. Several 6061-T6 3-1/2″ aluminum drive shafts have failed on dynos. In the 2011+ mustang, the exhaust tubes are located very close to the drive shaft, and in a position to trap lots of heat in the hump area. When 6061-T6 is exposed to sustained temperatures of 350F and above, the ultimate tensile strength drops to 65% of its room temperature value, resulting in a drop of the critical RPM that one can expose the aluminum drive shaft to. This would not be an issue on the road, since air passing under the car would reduce the heat the drive shaft is exposed to.

      I’m a metallurgical engineer and have been following this issue closely, as I’m an owner of a supercharged 2011 V6 Mustang that makes 430 HP at the rear wheels. I’m also working with some folks in the business to resolve the aftermarket drive shaft issue.

      In every case, the number of drive shaft failures are a small percentage of the 2011 + V6 mustangs on the road today. Lets make sure we do some basic digging for the facts before we start spouting our theories and bashing Ford. There have been some good comments in this thread, especially from udham. The writer of this piece could have done more research, however.

      There is an article I wrote on v6mustangperformance.com that tries to explain the reasons for the aluminum drive shaft problems.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Ha ha ha! They just don’t make them like they used to, do they? I’m relieved the driver didn’t crash his Mustang on top of his drivetrain flying apart.

    Actually, regardless of the speed, this car or any car that is a ‘performance’ model should be able to handle this with with the proverbial “one arm tied behind its back”. How does a Camaro compare if one did the same “test”? Would it fly apart as well?

    There is no excuse for the lack of durability of a perceived high-performance car no matter who makes it or how it is optioned. Maybe they need to go back to cast-iron components – at least they seemed more durable. I’d like to know exactly what occurred here. Any more info?

    135 mph isn’t exactly the sound barrier, but is this too great a speed for “normal” components? My MX5 purred like a kitten at 105 mph/5000 rpm recently (I won’t try that again, either), but is there a ‘barrier’ of some sort at a higher speed?

    A 1968 250 cu. in. powerglide Camaro would work for me, but…

    • 0 avatar
      VanillaDude

      Cars are engineered to a degree previously unknown. Today, we can create an engine with parts that have been made to an exacting standard based on a specific design.

      In the old days, this couldn’t be done to the same degree. Consequently, the engine parts were made not to break, so many engines could take some customizing and take the abuse. You can’t do that anymore.

      The engine above was not engineered to exceed what the limiter prevents. It isn’t a bad engine, it isn’t a flaw, it is the oppose – it is what happens when the parts have been engineered to a degree where the system will fail if it is abused. This car’s engine is fully capable of running for many years if you don’t F it up like this guy did.

      This isn’t just for cars. You can’t just blast through your house without weakening it. You can’t just decide to add an extra cup of flour to a recipe. You can’t just customize something without knowing how it was made.

      This was a stock vehicle. It may be a Mustang, but it was not a Mustang designed to be jacked with. It was made to deliver the right speed with the right parts within the right price spread, delivering the right profit margins. This car flew apart because the integrity of the design was fooled with.

      Welcome to 21st Century engineering -too precise to F with.

      You guys are assuming that this engine failed because it wasn’t built right, and that is not correct. This engine failed because it was compromised at a point where speed was exceeded beyond the specifics it was designed to handle. So, please don’t use some obsolete thinking here that claims that this engine failed because it wasn’t manufactured correctly. Don’t assume it was because it was made with parts crafted in China. Don’t assume that it was because it was this, or that, brand.

      Don’t think this car wasn’t made right. It was. It was made so correctly that it wasn’t couldn’t be messed with. That is what we are seeing here.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Unfortunately, I believe you are correct…

      • 0 avatar
        Quentin

        The engine didn’t fail. The drive shaft failed.

      • 0 avatar
        docrock

        So very true – try messing with an Apple product . . . made to specs that “we didn’t know we wanted” ala Steve Jobs.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        +1. Case in point, how many guys do you see modding Ferrari or Lambos these days (except the factory with an army of engineers)?

        It’s getting to the point nowadays if you want a faster car and don’t want any issues, just buy a faster one.

      • 0 avatar
        Duncan

        I like that line – “Welcome to 21st Century engineering -too precise to F with.”

        I disagree with the conclusion though. While manufacturers *could* design components to catastrophically fail after a 10% over-run, they shouldn’t. Computer modeling allows designers to simulate a test of their hardware given various inputs. I expect someone has modeled the maximum rotation speed and maximum torque and maximum shock at speed the driveline can take. I guarantee they didn’t determine that it would fail at 135 mph and then decide that setting an electronic speed limit at 116 mph would be a safe fix.

        As others have mentioned – this is likely a case of previous damage/manufacturer defect in the driveline or the real world presenting some error stack-up that computer models didn’t account for.

      • 0 avatar
        eCurmudgeon

        Don’t think this car wasn’t made right. It was. It was made so correctly that it wasn’t couldn’t be messed with.

        Which is why I’ve predicted the death of the “Tuner” market for quite some time…

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        This isn’t the first Ford with a cheap driveshaft and a governor to cover it up. Remembering the 117 mph Marauders, the $35,000 insult where they couldn’t find $100 for the composite driveshaft off a $22,000 P71.

      • 0 avatar
        Toucan

        Sorry, VanillaDude, but you generalisation goes by a mile too far.

        Every new turbocharged model coming from the VW AG, be it diesel or gasoline, an Audi, VW, Skoda, Seat or whatever else, gets immediate aftermarket chip option. Power, and, most importantly, torque, rises some 25-30% easily and everything works just fine without any other modifications at all.

        Similar applies to other manufacturers introducing turbocharging on large scale, like Ford, Renault, GM/Opel etc.

        How does this comply with your theory?

        As for the Mustang, there is nothing in it NOT to justify its low price. In basic form it comes with cheapest possible rear suspension, simplest available gearbox, two doors only (yes, it does drive the costs down as well) and is very low on advanced technology. It’s only real asset is the engine.

        And the failure? Driveshafts are typically destroyed by too high transferred torque, which happens to be lowest possible at high speed, courtesy of the tallest gear engaged. I’d call poor material quality as responsible for the recorded misfortune, and not the whole industry cutting corners on specifications.

      • 0 avatar
        Toad

        Hey, it’s not my fault that my car broke after I disabled the speed governor then drove it far faster than it was designed to go! Ford F’d up the design/built it too cheap/cannot build a decent car and that’s why I am sitting on the side of the road.

        They better fix this POS under warranty! Sh*t, they had better compensate me for the PTSD I am suffering from the shock of the driveshaft coming apart while I was doing twice the speed limit. In fact, they also better upgrade me to a GT at no cost to me or my attorney will make sure I own the company!

        None of this is my fault!

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        I suggest you look at the following.
        Some stuff isn’t engineered so close.`
        HRM took a junkyard GM LS, screwed on a big turbo, and kept upping the boost til they got to 1200hp.
        http://www.hotrod.com/techarticles/hrdp_1109_stock_gm_ls_engine_big_bang_theory/

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        @VanillaDude: Spot on!!

        And it will get worse as the uncertainty involved is reduced and the costs squeeze even more.

      • 0 avatar
        jeffzekas

        True, you can’t “blast through your house”… but, if one truss breaks, there are 30 other trusses to prevent the roof from falling in! My thought: I hope Ford doesn’t design parts for the space shuttle!

    • 0 avatar

      The car is sold with a speed limiter. The Mustang in the video had that limiter disabled.

    • 0 avatar

      Zackman,

      I wouldn’t worry about doing 105 in your MX5. I did that in my first-gen Saturn on several occasions. The only bad thing that ever happened was a blowout. I’m sure I could have pushed the Saturn well beyond that, and I’m also sure it didn’t have near the quality of your MX5. Heck, they use Mazda3s at Skip Barber as pace cars.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    Funny, I suppose, to everyone who doesn’t work at Ford.

  • avatar
    dejal1

    I don’t know why when something is a piece of crap and it is made in China, it’s a “Chinese piece of crap, what did you expect?”.

    The Chinese like anyone else, will build something to YOUR specs.

    I know that engineering nowadays on parts and components are more the supposed responsibility of the component maker, but at the end of the day, whoevers nameplate on the product is responsible. If the transmission was made to the same specs in Ohio, it would most likely have the same issues.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert.Walter

      No matter who your supplier is, or where they are located, one needs to keep an eye on them.

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        Right, why should the Chinese be any different?

        To people on this site who are in the know, how much testing does Ford (or anyone else) do these days when buying components?

        Is it 100% trust or is there a rigourus durablity protocol for something as important as a transmission?

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        Your argument against cheapskate Ford buying from the Chinese falls flat here.

        Ford driveshafts are made in house at the Ford Sterling Axle plant by UAW crews.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        ‘Your argument against cheapskate Ford buying from the Chinese falls flat here.

        Ford driveshafts are made in house at the Ford Sterling Axle plant by UAW crews.’

        Then they need either an American produced transmission/driveshaft or Chinese produced transmission/driveshaft.

        Something in the build specs seems to have been lost in translation.

      • 0 avatar
        stottpie

        chinese quality is terrible, to be sure, but i’m not so sure the UAW is any better.

    • 0 avatar
      arun

      @ dejal1
      What you say is theoretically true but not in real life as the success of QA in any industry depends not just on processes but also on the mindset of the people involved. The meticulous nature of the Japanese lends itself to organized QA processes, the Chinese – probably not so much.
      I obviously have only anecdotal evidence at best for what I said above but there is an underlying reason as to why the same item made in China breaks down quicker than the ones made in other countries. Sony walkmans of yesteryear readily come to mind..

      • 0 avatar
        dejal1

        But again, Ford and everyone else is aware of this. After awhile it ceases to be the components maker with the problem but the buyer of the component. If you don’t care, why should they as you keep coming back for more?

        I guess X% amount of parts that are bad is acceptable for savings to be made. And it has to be, because perfection cost way too much to achieve. But sometimes X% is a much larger amount than I think I could ever be comfortable with.

      • 0 avatar
        arun

        @ dejal1

        I agree. Ultimately it becomes a cost versus benefit tradeoff. People at Ford decided a long time ago that the cost of buying stuff in China (i.e. reduced reliability) were far outweighed by the benefits (i.e. increased profits).
        So to your inital post, Chinese made stuff is more often than not, crap. Ford knowing so, does not make it disappear in any way.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert.Walter

        @ arum,

        Your argument against cheapskate Ford buying from the Chinese falls flat here.

        Ford driveshafts are made in house at the Ford Sterling Axle plant by UAW crews.

        (the same reply from me above is in the wrong place, but I couldn’t delete it.)

    • 0 avatar
      Slow_Joe_Crow

      I think the “Chinese piece of crap” reputation comes form the tendency of Chinese contractors to cut corners and build below specs. Infant formula recipes don’t include melamine, and that 10 micron plating you spec may be 5 micron on the finished part or they may skip the Magnaflux test on the weld.

  • avatar
    GS650G

    Unless this can be reliably reproduced it’s a one off failure.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    I’m gonna have to defend Ford on this one. The speed limiter is there for a reason, is it not? A V6 Mustang driven under normal conditions would likely last for many years and many miles with nothing more than standard maintenace. If I’m not mistaken the original Mustang was marketed to women as a sporty vehicle. I don’t think it had orgins of being a “performance” vehicle.

    When I was growing up Mustangs (an Camaros) were a bit of a joke. They were cheap and thus anyone under 35 would buy them as their hoon-mobiles. The joke was they were penis extension vehicles…and still are to this day. Go to any red neck 1/4 mile drag strip in N. America and you’ll see hundreds of Mustangs where the owners dumped more $$$ into them than they were ever worth.

    If you want to drive like you’re on the Autobahn buy a real super car, i.e. the Corvette (poor mans super car) or Ferarri, et. al. Buy a Mustang or Camaro and you get what you pay for.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      I agree. The car broke because it was modified to do something it wasn’t designed to do. I also heard on another site this car may have been lowered, putting additional unexpected stress on the driveshaft. This is no different from the WRX owners who whine about fried clutches after an ECU reflash.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        It was modified incorrectly. The lesson here is that if you want to mod this car, your first mods are the driveshaft and perhaps the trans. The trans is a pricey mod for sure but many front drivers require cv joint and axle shaft mods for power but no one is calling those Civics junk. Incidentally my Toyota requires a damn front axle rebuild every 60,000 miles or so. And if 2 Youtube videos substantiate this I suppose we can quit bitching about the government witch hunt of Toyota and lay off 60 minutes over that Audi mess in the 80’s.

    • 0 avatar
      GS650G

      I installed a custom built and balanced drive shaft on one of my cars with heavy duty u joints. It was made from oversized tubing to resist flex and vibration. If Joe Mustang modifies his car he has to cover all the bases. And maybe check his U joints for grease.

    • 0 avatar
      tced2

      One failure is not a trend. It is a single datapoint. Or it could be called an anecdote.
      Do not operate the car in excess of what it was designed (with the speed limiter). Failures will result.

  • avatar
    dougjp

    Do you have links for the TSBs?

  • avatar
    grzydj

    Some forum dwellers are saying that the propshaft on the V6 ‘Rustang is the same as the V8 equipped cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      Are they using at least part numbers to back that up?

      No need for a manual, the part themselves usually have a sticker with that, a bar code and some other info.

      If they’re not, we can suspect that bovine anal secretions are making a Thailand-grade flood there.

  • avatar
    Feds

    The more I think about this, the more I have to conclude this is a manufacturing defect or a previously damaged part.

    I believe this Mustang had its speed limiter removed, but there is no way the designed harmonic frequency of the driveshaft would be so close to the limited speed.

    Then you get into Aluminium as a material… No fatigue limit, so a nick or something like that is going to cause you a problem eventually.

    Finally, on the driver: This thing has got to be shaking like the dickens for some time before the driveshaft exploded. Is it Ford’s responsibility that the driver didn’t know to lift when he was in trouble? Should Ford be blamed every time a driver gets target lock and steers their car into a tree?

  • avatar
    JCraig

    We can’t draw conclusions from a 44 second video. This really sucks for the driver but who knows if this is more his fault or Ford’s?

  • avatar
    udham

    It is not a Tremec unit, it is a Getrag unit (MT-82) made in China under a Joint Venture. I own a Tremec T-56, and while the shifter is like a big piece of farm machinery, it is not an utter (udder?) POS like the MT-82.

    I worked at what is left of the design group that bought you the Neon SRT-4 five speed (T-850) for a few years. It is sad that the last manual transmission (for cars and pickups) has been designed in this country while Ford is busy buying junk from China.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Ugh. I knew that, too, I just had “Tremec” on the brain. Fixed. Thanks!

    • 0 avatar
      udham

      @autojim

      I am still here in metro detroit (northern suburbs). Not sure what the future holds, but things are OK right now.

      I do not understand dampers either. But I do suspect that people who “engineer” dampers are people who could not make it as real engineers :)

      Most of what I do is die cast A380, so the yield is ~ 24 ksi. I did not realize that welded 6061-T6 was that low! I know as much about welding as I do about dampers, but I would guess that Ford is probably not doing much by the way of heat treatment post weld.

      The center bearing is elastomer mounted on every application I have ever worked on, so it is more than likely the case.

      I tend to view the camera ass-hattery as self-nominations for the Darwin Award. At least he was doing it in no traffic area, but it would be nice if there was an easy way of identifying such idiots.

      One potential fix : ban automatics for anyone below 30 years of age (exemptions for people with physical disabilities).

  • avatar
    340-4

    Huh.

    Well, take ten Mustangs like the one in the video, remove speed limiters, take up to 135.

    If every driveshaft fails, well, then let’s talk.

    One car is not an accurate data sample.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      I’m willing to be the test pilot for that.

      • 0 avatar

        With or without a scattershield on the tunnel?

      • 0 avatar
        Athos Nobile

        “I’m willing to be the test pilot for that.”

        I’d prefer to volunteer for some block ventilation / rod spitting test.

        I used to work with a guy that survived an accident involving the falling of the driveshaft from a big truck. And the mechanics I worked with before that weren’t exactly happy when the driveshaft fell.

        “With or without a scattershield on the tunnel?”

        No scattershield is going to save your bacon when said shaft decides to sink itself into the ground… and what happens after that.

      • 0 avatar
        udham

        @autojim

        I am still here in metro detroit (northern suburbs). Not sure what the future holds, but things are OK right now.

        I do not understand dampers either. But I do suspect that people who “engineer” dampers are people who could not make it as real engineers :)

        Most of what I do is die cast A380, so the yield is ~ 24 ksi. I did not realize that welded 6061-T6 was that low! I know as much about welding as I do about dampers, but I would guess that Ford is probably not doing much by the way of heat treatment post weld.

        The center bearing is elastomer mounted on every application I have ever worked on, so it is more than likely the case.

        I tend to view the camera ass-hattery as self-nominations for the Darwin Award. At least he was doing it in no traffic area, but it would be nice if there was an easy way of identifying such idiots.

        One potential fix : ban automatics for anyone below 30 years of age (exemptions for people with physical disabilities).

    • 0 avatar
      udham

      At 135 mph, there is not a whole lot of torque going through the driveline. This sort of thing happens when you hit the first resonant frequency of your driveline.

      V = 135 mph ~ 60 m/s
      Tire radius = 0.35 m (225/60 R17)
      Tire speed @ V = 1637 rpm
      Driveshaft speed @ V ~ 5400 rpm (assuming worst case axle ratio of 3.31)

      If resonant frequency = 90 Hz (typical number for RWD driveline), then you are going to hit that at 5400 rpm (90 cycles/second times 60 seconds per minute). If at resonance, the parts have stresses induced above a certain limit (say 12 ksi stress for aluminum) – you are screwed, 8 times out of 10.

      • 0 avatar
        arun

        I didn’t understand one bit of your maths but boy did it make me look like an ‘idjit’!

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I’m no math whiz, but that’s true – resonant and/or harmonic frequency is a very real force to be reckoned with.

        Off the top of my head, I recall many years ago when an OEM (Chrysler?) had to increase the wheelbase of a car by only an inch or so due to that little factor as to handling. Sorry, but I’ll try to get more info on this…

      • 0 avatar
        DaveDFW

        Thanks for the explanation. We’re probably not talking about an unbalanced driveshaft, but one that is in its destructive resonant frequency range–no amount of balancing can correct for the material flexing. The usual result is ruined tailshaft bearings or pinion seals, but u-joint failures are possible too.

        There are good reasons for two-piece driveshafts with center bearings. There is also a healthy aftermarket for high-performance driveshafts, made of lighter and stiffer materials to move the resonant frequency higher.

      • 0 avatar
        philadlj

        I’m no physicist, but all three explosion videos don’t rule out your scenario. There must have been a reason to place the speed limiter at the speed Ford placed it. Remove that limiter without beefing up the components to take the punishment, and you’re messing with Ford’s engineering…at your own risk.

      • 0 avatar
        autojim

        Nicely done, @udham.

        There is, in fact, a variety of reasons why this car has a speed limiter. Driveline resonance is one of them. Tire speed rating is another.

        The other two videos I’ve seen were on inertial chassis dynos at roller speeds in excess of 160 mph.

        WTF were these asshats thinking? (Let’s not even go into the complete dumbassery of the video Jack embedded with the driver apparently doing a Vmax run on a public road and VIDEOING HIMSELF DOING IT WITH A HANDHELD CAMERA.)

        If anyone wants to see resonance-induced-vibration-to-failure in action, just look for videos of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. “Galloping Gertie” shook itself apart due to the span’s resonant frequency corresponding neatly to the excitation of the prevailing winds in the Narrows. Oops.

        Ford, like other OEMs, knows the resonant frequency of its driveline parts through thorough engineering and testing, put a speed limiter on the car to keep the propshaft from getting close enough to said resonant frequency to cause problems.

        And I could predict commenters throwing Ford on the fire for this as soon as I saw the first reference to it on Jalopnik. It’s the same mindset that blames the OEM when the bottom end of the engine goes “pop” after the user has modded the thing to double its originally-rated output without beefing the components that have to handle that loading. How many times have I seen “The engine made 235 hp at the crank from the factory, but it scattered the rods after I tuned it to make 450 hp at the wheels [in other words, 500+ hp at the crank]. [Insert OEM here] sucks” on a forum? (Answer: more times than I can recall accurately.)

        Guys, THINK before you mod. With all the aftermarket support for Mustangs, replacing the propshaft if you’re going to mod the car is a piece of cake. Hell, Ford Racing Parts has a one-piece propshaft for high-performance applications in the catalog.

        But of course, the kind of user who will just dyke out the speed limiter is also the kind of user who is convinced that the OEMs could sell things that make MOAR POWER, but choose not to simply to piss the users off, ignoring reality-based items like emissions standards (can’t sell it if it doesn’t pass), fuel economy standards (pay a fine if your fleet average isn’t at or above a certain level), durability requirements (customers won’t buy stuff that falls apart on the drive home from the dealer), price-point requirements (customers won’t buy stuff they can’t afford), etc.

        Yeah, the OEMs *can* make that car go faster, have more power, etc. But there’s a price for that: severely compromise durability/emissions/economy at the same cost or severely increase cost to meet durability/emissions/economy at the higher performance level.

        The V6 Mustang, even though it’s only 2 hp shy of the 4.6L 4V in my ’99 Cobra, is still considered the “entry level” car. It doesn’t get all the go-fast parts from the GT, Boss, GT500. Which have noticeably higher price points. I have no doubt that the V6-specific driveline pieces are less expensive to produce than the V8’s pieces.

      • 0 avatar
        udham

        Thanks @autojim

        I do this for a living, so I better know a thing or two about it :)

        Without going into the specifics (because the director of engineering here is a TTAC reader) this is how front engine rear wheel drive based vehicles get engineered

        1. Identify critical speed from testing or analysis (varies from 85 mph to 160 mph based on tire size, axle ratio, $ spent on driveline etc)
        2. Put entire driveline on dyno and run at critical speed for X hours (X ranges from few hours to 200 hours based on OEM). In some cases this is run with worst case imbalance by design.
        3. If something fails, stiffen it up or damp it out!
        4. Repeat steps 2-3 till you pass the test with no failures

        Most OEMs are not stupid and make sure that the vehicle can operate at critical speed for several hours safely.

        What I have seen in this video leads me to believe that this is a resonant failure with undamped resonance taking over. It may have been made worse by an unbalanced or bent prop shaft. But if this is happening on multiple vehicles on chassis dyno, I would put it down as a design oops or MBA management.

        The first resonant frequency ranges from 70 Hz to 120 Hz for most drivelines I am familiar with. It needs to be stressed though, that is a driveline frequency, since flex in rear axle housing and transmission housing also plays a big role in determining what the resonant frequency is.

        (100 Hz = 6000 rpm prop speed)

      • 0 avatar

        “Without going into the specifics (because the director of engineering here is a TTAC reader)…”

        This made my day.

      • 0 avatar
        udham

        If you guys are doing the thing at NSAIS in Detroit this year as well, I will try harder than last time to make it :)

      • 0 avatar

        This made my day.

        More than being mentioned by name in the Kaus Files?

      • 0 avatar
        indi500fan

        You beat me to it. Good work.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_speed

      • 0 avatar
        70Cougar

        I can’t argue with that (because I can’t understand it).

      • 0 avatar
        autojim

        @udham –

        I was in the Motor City for 18+ years in various engineering capacities before leaving the tundra behind for greener pastures in Houston at the end of ’08, so yeah, I know the drill. :) One of my former employers did crank and driveline dampers. I learned about them in a “cultural exchange” in which I in turn taught the damper guys some stuff about centrifugal pumps, which they thought were as much witchcraft as I thought damper construction was. :)

        Haven’t seen much in the way of post-mortem shots of the broken shafts, but it looks like the slip yoke at the mid-span carrier bearing joint is where the failure happened in the one dyno run that had some post-failure shots.

        My sneaking suspicion is thus that either the car was running lower than standard ride height via spring change or via tight strap-down to keep traction on the dyno rollers, which would tend to shove the rear half of the shaft forward (more slip yoke engagement). Which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing until you get into a resonance mode… which may well have driven the rear shaft *into* the carrier bearing with enough frequency to cause bearing failure (while it can some axial loading, getting the inner race effectively hit with a large hammer 90-100 times a second probably didn’t do it any favors).

        If that shaft is 6061T6, yield is about 36000 psi for most of it, except in the heat-affected zones around the welds, which are effectively T0 with a yield of about 7000 psi (which is, in terms of structural metals, basically “butter”). I seriously doubt SHAP is re-heat-treating aluminum shafts post-weld. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. If it’s 1018 mild steel, you’re looking at about 24 ksi yield, IIRC.

        In any event, I suspect gaining the full truth of the 3 known incidents will require additional information that is not likely going to be forthcoming from the guys who have dyked out their speed limiters and then grenaded their propshafts at elevated speeds.

        I wonder if the carrier bearing is rubber-mounted? It would pretty much have to be, wouldn’t it? Additional wibbly-wobbly bit once excited. And rubber mount bushings don’t like that kind of excitement: in additional to being a springing medium, internal friction between the long-chain polymers serves a self-damping function, converting kinetic energy to heat. At resonance, it would generate more heat than could be easily dissipated and effective cook itself from within. Carrier bearing mount failure would pretty much lead directly to propshaft failure.

        But I may be over-analyzing this.

        (Still mad about the douchecanoe hand-helding his public road speed run. FFS, guy, if you’re gonna be that stupid, get yourself a 3rd- or 4th-Gen Camarobird or Fox Mustang with mismatched paint. Then we can easily spot/avoid you on the street to keep from being collateral damage to your asshattery.)

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    He can lie all he wants when he takes it to the dealer, but if he doesn’t erase the black box, he’s ****ed. He might be ****ed anyway. I hope he’s not married. Wives don’t like paying for the same car twice.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    I don’t see how this is any different from a situation where a shadetree hotrodder removes a rev limiter and then blows his engine when he attempts to spin it 1000 rpm over designed redline.

    That said, I think most people assume that speed limiters built into engine management systems are there to allow car manufacturers to supply lower speed-rated tires, i.e. not supplying Z-rated tires. So, I guess the thinking goes, “if I fit my car with higher speed rated tires, I’m good to go if I defeat the speed limiter in the ECU.”

    Guess what?

    In the modern era of “value engineering, that’s not a reasonable expectation on a car “built to a price” like the Mustang, any more than one should expect to put a ton of cargo in a 1/2 ton pickup without having some major suspension failure.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      I don’t see how this is any different from a situation where a shadetree hotrodder removes a rev limiter and then blows his engine when he attempts to spin it 1000 rpm over designed redline.

      +1 That’s exacttly what I thought.

    • 0 avatar
      FromaBuick6

      I don’t see how this is any different from a situation where a shadetree hotrodder removes a rev limiter and then blows his engine when he attempts to spin it 1000 rpm over designed redline.

      No. Any idiot knows not to over rev their engine.

      Most people would assume that a 305 horsepower vehicle, that is capable of at least 155 with the optional V8 and the same transmission, should be capable of of going above the pedestrian 118 mph limiter up to redline.

      No one expects the Spanish Inquisition a cheapo driveshaft that blows up seconds after hitting 130 mph in a “muscle” car.

  • avatar
    rodface

    I was surprised to learn that the most American of American cars is “burdened” with that most un-American of things, a speed limiter. I understand that the 155-mph limiter on German cars is commonly de-activated at the dealership (though it’s not as if anyone’s going to be reaching those speeds on this side of the Atlantic). It never occurred to me, though it seems quite obvious now, that those limiters are not necessarily in place due to government regulation, but due to the car’s components not being capable of withstanding sustained operation at or near those speeds. The engineering arguments given above ring very true; with all the variables of the design so carefully defined, what seems like a single adjustment will profoundly upset the balance of the whole arrangement of parts, somtimes to a destructive degree.

    I conclude that the Mustang is an American muscle car in the truest sense; cheap, fast off the line, and not capable of nor interested in exploring speeds that cannot be reached between stoplights without risking a felony conviction. To each their own.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      It never occurred to me, though it seems quite obvious now, that those limiters are not necessarily in place due to government regulation, but due to the car’s components not being capable of withstanding sustained operation at or near those speeds.

      The German speed limiters on high end cars are there as part of a gentleman’s agreement that was meant to discourage horsepower wars. (Obviously, that didn’t work out so well…) But those cars are engineered to handle the higher speeds, as if there was no limiter.

      I don’t know what happened here, and a sample of one proves nothing. However, if I was an owner of this type of car, then I would assume that the limiter is there for a reason and I would leave it alone unless I could prove otherwise. You can bet that Ford will likely refuse any warranty claims from this, regardless of the cause of the problem.

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      So in your opinion any speed under 135 is only good for stoplight racing?
      I wouldn’t consider this v6 Mustang a muscle car anyway. I’ve yet to see any V6 car labelled as such.

    • 0 avatar
      chuckrs

      You’ll certainly encounter much indignation in the perceived failings of more expensive cars too. Porsche spent 35 years perfecting the old flat six and then threw it all away with the relatively short lived M96 engine (IMS shaft, oiling issues). No speed limiter, but a stated position that for CayBoxsters – don’t track them. Kind of goes against the grain of Porsche’s image. The same gen 911s suffered (somewhat less) from the same problems. If you wanted to track a contemporary Porsche, there was a GT3. Guess what – it used the old engine design with water cooling.

      Cost and fuel efficiency militate against over-designing components. The equivalent to my now sold 1991 Carrera 4 today would be an absolutely stripped 2012 Carrera 4 and even then it would have many more features. Escalating MSRP by inflation alone, that car should sticker at $135K. Stripped, its $85K. Manufacturing improvements probably can’t explain all of that. Same applies at lower price points too.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      I don’t know…I remember an article where it was quite an ordeal to turn it off on a Benz and when they finally did, the encountered another one.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    What is the current speed limiter on a V6 Mustang? If the computer limits you to 120mph, fine, but if the limit is something stupid like 100mph then I might mess with it.

    What this reminds me of though is that modification and performance guys were building new driveshafts for Crown Victorias at one point because of a high speed vibration. Sounds like a similar issue all over again.

    • 0 avatar
      DaveDFW

      IIRC, the V6 is set at a low 113mph. A pretty unimpressive top speed for a 300hp car.

      I agree with you–it sounds like the Panthers all over again. Someone in the comments has already mentioned the 117mph-limited Marauder, due to driveshaft issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Patrickj

        I suspect the speed limiter has as much to do with making a performance distinction for marketing between the V6 and the V8 as with saving money. The V6 engine certainly had no problem getting the car to 135 mph, it went from 80 to 135 and trashed in 25 seconds.

        Once Ford made that marketing decision, it was easy to save a few bucks and use a driveshaft suitable only for the lower speed.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Seems like we can’t escape from inferior Chinese crap, no matter if you buy “American”. No wonder we’re going to hell in a hand basket.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    That is what you get for breaking the law and putting lives in danger.

  • avatar
    igve2shtz

    I’m excited that TTAC commenters are much smarter than the forum members in realizing stupidity over engineering.

    This owner obviously removed the speed limiter (a SAFETY device), and wondered why his car blew chunks.

    The same analogy can be made if the owner removed their seatbelt and crashed into a wall. I’d like to see the commenters on that video “Well, FORD should have designed the car to handle a crash better and protect its occupant”.

    The car does 99% of what it was designed to do. Once an owner starts screwing around with cars, they need to take the responsibility for their actions and not blame the manufacturer for failing to realize their own stupidity

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    you know what? I’m taking my 14 yr old, 300k mile 3 speed Corolla at 120 mph and then when the freaking engine blows up, I’ll blame Toyota for selling me an unsafe car, after all the speedo does go up to 120

    • 0 avatar
      srogers

      The only way that you’re getting that Corolla up to 120 is off a cliff.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      @JCraig: My kid has a Saturn Aura that has a speedo that goes to 240. Highly doubtful that a five year-old Saturn will go that fast, except off a cliff.

      Or if you recalibrate the speedo to KMH, where 240 is approx 125 MPH.

      Most cars these days come with speedos that can be reset at the push of a button to read out in Kilometers Per Hour.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Geozinger I was not being serious, more making a point about how absurd modern speedometers are. I’d much rather mine only go up to 120 and actually use more of the space and spread the numbers out. I can’t imagine you ever go past the halfway mark on ones that show 160. So you use half a speedo with small cramped numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @JCraig: My apologies. It’s tough to know when folks are being serious or not.

        What’s tough for me to do is to go from the Aura to my G6 (which only reads to 160). Most regular driving speeds are at much different placements on the speedos of the two cars. It can cause a bit of momentary confusion.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        Well, sarcasm is hard to detect in the text of a stranger. I’m assuming you mean 140 in the Aura, still extremely optimistic. I’ve had my Elantra at a hair over 100 without drama and feel like i could hit 110 easily enough, but showing 140 is just inappropriate haha.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @JCraig: No worries. But yes, the car’s speedo really does read 240, it was a Canadian-market car. There is no second scale with KMH units on the speedometer like the older cars.

        Many of the labels on the car in French and English. There’s an extra sticker on the inside of the passenger front door window that reads the standard “objects may be closer…” in French.

        In the menus on the Driver Information Center, you can change all of your units of measurements to metric. I have the same feature in my US spec Pontiac.

        I guess it will come in handy the next time I drive in Canada.

        I doubt the car would hit 125 MPH or 240 KPH, but I’m sure it’s speed limited, just like the Mustang in the original post.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Most cars these days come with speedos that can be reset at the push of a button to read out in Kilometers Per Hour.

        This is common to GM cars, and to some cars with digital speedometers. I can’t think of anyone else who does this.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        geozinger – Got it, I didn’t get the part about pushing a button to change to KMH. I rented a Pontiac once that did that, but that was the only car I’ve seen with that set up. The rest I’ve owned or rented all had the speedo with kmh in smaller numbers. My current car is an ’08.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      For what it’s worth, my ’92 Jetta was rock steady at an indicated 120 MPH. The day I sold it with 160k miles on the clock, it could still maintain 115. I’ve said this before: VW even put a specific set of tire pressure specs on the door jamb for when you expected to exceed 100 MPH.

      There’s no reason that a 300 hp pony car, designed 2 decades later, shouldn’t be able to handle the same speed of an 80s-designed economy car. You say that there’s no need to exceed 100 MPH on North American roads. Selling Mustangs abroad aside, by that logic there’s also no reason to produce a 300 hp car.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      On “optimistic” speedometers: the manufacturers put the high numbers not to suggest performance that isn’t there, but in fact to make it easier to read your speed at a glance at the speeds you travel most commonly. It’s easier to see the numbers near the top of the speedo, so they set it up to have your highway cruising speed in that region. If you look at high performance sports bikes and some cars, the instruments are set with 0 being at the 6 o’clock position, so that the red line on the tach, and track speeds on the speedo are near the 12 o’clock position. Owners of old Porsches who track their cars will sometimes even turn their (conventionally delineated) tachs nearly 90 degrees counter-clockwise to achieve the same result.

      • 0 avatar
        JCraig

        It seems like it would be easier to tell your speed at a glance if the needle had a wide range of movement instead of cramming all the usable speeds into half the space.

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        @JCraig
        Exactly my argument. I’ll take a stab in the dark and say that a majority of cars probably spend most of their life driving below 70mph… so why is that 0-70 part of the dial either half or less than half of the whole dial? I just don’t get why you need a speedo to read all the way up to 140mph (or more) if there isn’t a rats chance in hell of the car ever going that fast.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        why is that 0-70 part of the dial either half or less than half of the whole dial?

        An optimistic speedometer allows us to feel a bit better about our cars.

        It also allows for the ability to measure one’s speed under extraordinary circumstances, such as moving down a steep grade at a high rate of speed.* (*Not recommended, of course.)

        And it better suits the practical everyday need for a speedometer, which is to quickly determine one’s approximate speed within a range, not to provide a precise measurement.

        You’ll be able to determine your speed more quickly at a glance if there is a smaller range at which to look. A large speedo with a narrow speed range makes more use of the extremes of the gauge, which increases the amount of time that must be spent looking at it in order to use it.

        For the sake of safety, you want to spend most of your time looking out of the windshield, not trying to locate the needle on your speedo. That additional bit of time needed to locate it is best avoided.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Any idea if this applies to the 5.0?

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    ****Sigh**** I guess someone needs to ‘splain to me why ANYONE in the world needs a 113mph-capable stock Mustang, let alone a 135mph death machine. We don’t have an Autobahn in the US. Speed is regulated. Maybe they rely are external penises for the small-dicked.

    On a related note….the ‘Most American of American cars’ has a tranny made in China.

    That is too fucking sad for words….

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      You don’t do it on public roads.

      However, there are plenty of private roads, race tracks, drag strips, and airport runways. There is no need to go that fast but it can be fun.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      For your own sake, I suggest never looking at the world of sport motorcycles, where a <$15,000 vehicle can be bought off the showroom floor and exceed 100 MPH in FIRST gear (of six).

      To be fair, in 2000 the big 4 Japanese motorcycle companies did conclude it was to everyone's benefit to come to a gentlemen's agreement about limiting top speed, in the interest of pre-empting government regulation. They agreed on 186 MPH / 300 km/h.

    • 0 avatar

      Does the tranny have an external penis too?

  • avatar
    ajla

    I don’t necessarily blame Ford for building a car that needs an upgraded driveshaft to exceed its speed limiter.

    I do blame Ford for releasing a 305hp Mustang that can only go 112mph in the first place though.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      Thank you! I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who thinks it’s silly to provide ~3x the power needed to achieve the intended top speed.

      • 0 avatar
        DaveDFW

        Like someone else mentioned, this could be just simple marketing protection for the V8 model. The current V6 is plenty fast enough for most people, so it has to be compromised in some way to encourage people to spend more for the V8.

        With the lower top end mandated on the V6, someone made a decision to downgrade the driveshaft to a point where it was only sufficient at the lower speed, probably with some miniscule cost saving that is only significant when aggregated.

        As a counterexample, the V6 and V8 Camaros are both limited to the same 157mph, according to C&D.

        http://media.caranddriver.com/files/2011-ford-mustang-v6-vs-2010-chevrolet-camaro-rspony-car-twin-bill.pdf

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Then don’t buy one

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    He defeated the speed limiter and then proceeded to destroy the driveline?

    That idiot gets the same sympathy from me I gave everyone who installed carburetor air jets into their Chrysler Turbo’s MAP line.

    /point
    /laugh

  • avatar
    azmtbkr81

    I suspect a manufacturing defect. This drive-train has only been around for a few years so I suspect Ford will quietly fix this issue. Ford would be foolish to engineer such a critical part with only a 15% margin between the limited speed and the speed at which failure occurs. Furthermore what is special about 135mph? In theory couldn’t you achieve the same rotational speed and torque on the driveshaft by driving at a lower speed in a lower gear?

    While Ford can’t officially bless shade-tree ham-fisted modifications durability and ease of modification have long been part of the Mustang’s heritage – a heritage Ford would be foolish to throw away. Fair or not using the speed limiter as an excuse for the failure will not fly with the Mustang’s target market.

    • 0 avatar
      DaveDFW

      No, you can’t achieve the same driveshaft rotational speed simply by choosing another gear–the driveshaft speed is directly related to wheel speed in a fixed ratio.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      The Mustang V6 market is the stereotypical young female, and they are not doing mods to their cars (or driving 135 mph). That is why they can build it and price it in the low/mid $20’s.

      You want big speeds, you step up to the big engine (and matching powertrain) with the price to match.

      40 years ago nobody confused the base Mustang with the Boss (or the base Camaro with the SS); the fact that some idiot(s) cannot figure that out today is just sad. The only defect in this equation is the mental defective that took out the limiting chip.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        40 years ago that may have been the case but but 300 HP is no joke. Hell, it is only 15 less HP than the 2010 GT. If I am buying any car with 300 HP I would expect it to be able to cruise along at 135 MPH without too much drama. If Ford wanted to market this car primarily to young females and secretaries they would have put a 4 cylinder in it.

        Ford has a golden opportunity to pull young buyers away from import performance cars; if they screw it up Subaru or Mazda will be happy to sell these buyers an easy to modify WRX or 3 Speed.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I dunno on this one. I can’t put all the blame on the owner for this one. Sure disconnecting the speed limiter may have consequences, but doesn’t that speedo say that the car can go up to 160mph? If a car cannot do that speed, why install a speedo that suggests it can?
    I work with a variety of heavy duty equipment in my shipping job. All this equipment is certified and ‘rated’ to do a certain work load. Take our cranes for example. They are ‘rated’ at 30 tons, and are tested at 15% above that limit – but there are no signs ANYWHERE suggesting that they are capable of more than that. Likewise, the diesel generators are rated for a certain RPM, are tested above their ‘max’ RPM, and there is nothing to suggest that they are capable of more.
    Slapping a 160mph speedo in a car which can only do 135mph before major mechanical failure – regardless of whether it has a limiter – is just stupid, and inviting trouble.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Cool, so you want to come for a 120mph jaunt in my old Land Cruiser? The speedo says its good for it. I doubt the tires are rated for that speed but what the hell. Most limiters are installed so they can put cheap tires on a car. If you want to go 135 but the car keeps shutting off at 107 or so it might be trying to tell you something.

      Maybe I’ll take the rev limiter off my Miata too. The tach goes up to 9500 or so in it so it should be good for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Sinistermisterman

        Sure, lets go 120mph in your old Landcruiser! Just don’t sneeze.
        Seriously though, it is one of my gripes about cars in general. If the vehicle absolutely, positively cannot reach those speeds, WHY the hell are they labeled? If an engine redlines at 8000rpm, WHY does the tach go up to 9500? And in both instances, if there is a speed limiter/governor to stop the vehicle ever reaching those speeds/rpm, why are these numbers even included on the dials? Surely it’s just inviting someone to try getting the needle to point there. I once owned a Ford Sierra XR4, and the speedo read up to 180mph! According to the speedo I once got the thing up to 140mph (more like 110mph on my GPS) but why the hell even put a number so stupid on the dial in the first place? An old Massey Ferguson tractor I used to drive had a tach showing its RPM where the upper limit was marked in red and if you revved the engine into that red area the governor swiftly kicked in – but beyond that red mark on the dial there was nothing. Nothing at all to indicate the machine was capable of more.
        In the case of this Mustang if the speed limiter is at 117/120mph – then end the speedo there. No more numbers. Then it will be patently obvious that the vehicle is not capable of more.

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      Someone can correct me but I thought that vehicle speedometers aren’t made/designed to be used at the upper part of the scale. Rather, the design is such that as speed increases past a given point, the speedometer’s reading becomes more inaccurate.

      IOW, the speedometer’s reading at lower speeds (up to around the midpoint) will be relatively accurate, but then deteriorates as speed increases past that point. It’s the reason the old 85-mph speedometers at the height of the national 55 mph speed limit were such an idiotic idea – their most accurate reading would be around 42.5-mph (half of 85). A car with an 160-mph speedometer isn’t necessarily designed to go that fast. It’s more designed to safely cruise no faster than the most accurate part of the speedometer, which should be somewhere around 80 mph.

      I’m a little concerned about the idea of someone (anyone) actually wanting or needing a car (especially a relatively cheap one that’s easily accessable) that can go 135 mph. Seems like 113 mph would be just about as fast as anyone really needs to be able to go anywhere in the US.

      Then there’s the issue of what other components aren’t up to snuff at 135 mph. Besides the tires and driveshaft, the OEM braking capacity of base V6 Mustangs hasn’t really been known to be particularly stout, either.

      • 0 avatar
        Felis Concolor

        That might have held true for the older style mechanical speedometer with its whirling cup and magnet arrangement powered by a flexible shaft from a worm gear on the transmission’s tail shaft, but today’s digital speedometers take their signal from a wired or wireless sending unit attached to the transmission.

        Having adjusted an aftermarket gauge package for the project car I can attest to their accuracy down to 4 steps of significance for the new digital gear (variations of a few inches per mile), and it’ll maintain that accuracy all the way to the end of its 120 mph sweep. Sadly Auto Meter’s MCX kit won’t register any higher, so next project I’ll try out Dakota Digital’s VHX units, which boast a 160 mph sweep.

        And for some amusing speedometer trivia, VW Bugs didn’t bother using the transmission to gauge speed, and instead ran their cable to a squared off hole in the front wheel hub where it was secured at the end with a C-clip.

  • avatar
    Contrarian

    Not sure about nowadays, but not too long ago the OEMs put a speed limiter in the PCM to match the worst-case (lowest) OEM tire speed ratings (a liability issue). It may have nothing to do with the driveshaft, and in fact I suspect that is the case.

  • avatar
    mcs

    How fast was the car actually going? I know the speedometer is reading 135, but I’d be surprised if the speedometer wasn’t significantly off. In my experience, speedometers are extremely optimistic when in the triple digits. That Mustang was probably a lot closer to the factory set limit than the video would lead us to believe.

  • avatar
    obbop

    Never heard of a 225 slant-six with three-on-the-tree EVER breaking a drive shaft.

    And it was based on 1972 and earlier technology.

    Nyah nah nah nah nah.

    And I had a flat front bench seat so the babe could scootch up against my lithe adorable Adonis-like body.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    A failure like that is unacceptable. If a failure occurs like that at 135, statistically I would expect one could occur at a lower speed. But, just like the transmission problem in the same vehicle, NHTSA will not recall the vehicle because it is a Detroit company with UAW ties. Welcome to America.

    Your best choice is Toyota or Honda. If Toyota or Honda had transmission problems or a drive shaft issue, you can bet NHTSA would have Toyota or Honda fix it.

  • avatar
    mkirk

    If you want to go fast pony up for the damn GT or do the required mods. You can’t screw with it, break it, and complain. If they are flying apart in unmolested cars then we have a problem.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    I don’t know why when something is a piece of crap and it is made in China, it’s a “Chinese piece of crap, what did you expect?”.

    When I was a kid (late 60’s), it was that “Japanese made crap”, especially toys.

    Chances are 100% you’re read this on Chinese made crap.

  • avatar
    Ion

    This isn’t anything new. The SN-95 V6’s have governors because their drive shafts and factory tires aren’t meant to go past 125. Yeah the new model has 300+hp but you can’t legally reach 135 on any road in the US and if your tracking the car you can get a drive shaft safety loop for around 50 bucks.

  • avatar
    FromaBuick6

    Excuses, excuses, excuses. That’s all I hear on the interweb when it comes to Fords, especially the Mustang. Doesn’t matter if it’s this, the bad MT-82s, the 5.0 engine ticking, the bad PowerShifts in Focuses and Fiestas, bending Raptor frames, glitchy MyTouch/SYNC, etc. It’s never, ever Ford’s fault.

    I owned one of these cars. Yeah, it was cool. It was fun. It was way better than Mustangs and Ford overall used to be just a few years ago. But it also stunk of bean counting and cut-rate engineering from bumper to bumper.

    I have no interest in removing the governor and trying to drive 130+. But it’s not unreasonable to think that a substantial number of buyers of this “performance” car would try to. The engine and chassis are certainly capable, and I don’t that even an intelligent person immediately assumes that “catastrophic driveshaft failure” is one of the reasons a manufacturer installs a governor.

    Individually, these problems are minor and isolated, but they add up and say a lot about Ford’s commitment to quality. They shouldn’t be stubbornly ignored as the fanboys insist. Stop making excuses.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      I wondered about these low governor speeds. It used to be that many US market cars had H rated tires, so 130 mph governors made sense. Then there are certain cars that appeal to potentially irresponsible market segments, so selling 130 mph GTIs instead of 150 mph ones might serve to prevent sales-potential killing insurance rates. Now it turns out that Ford is selling cars to numbers geeks that are too low quality to allow someone to actually use their advertised performance. Anyone that buys a Ford and doesn’t feel warned because of the apologists is probably beyond help anyway.

  • avatar
    beefmalone

    “some compromises involved”? If this was a Camaro issue, you would be shouting it to the masses daily.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Not sure where you get that idea. I prefer the current Mustang to the current Camaro, but I was a big fan of the 3rd and 4th gen cars:

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2009/06/review-chevrolet-camaro-ls1/

      • 0 avatar
        beefmalone

        Just off the general hate-GM sentiment that seems to be prevalent although not nearly in such quantity as a couple years ago. Most of that daily diatribe has been mercifully transferred to Saab. However, my original thought still stands…the idea of driveshaft failure happening with this much regularity being written off as part of some type of compromise is ludicrous. Unless you were just being sarcastic in which case I retract my previous statement.

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    I remember how the door handles of my ’58 VW lasted forever, whereas the door handles (plastic) constantly broke on our ’68 VW van… my son’s ’68 Ford Galaxie had no problems with the gas gauge (even though it was over 40 years old) but my ’96 Bronco gas gauge broke at 100,000 miles… and on and on… fact is, as my brother the engineer said, “In the old days, cars were designed with an indefinite life-span for parts– now they are designed to wear out at prescribed intervals.” Which is why there will continue to be lots of old trucks, still purring along, long after all the new Fords and Hyundais have gone to the crusher!

    • 0 avatar
      rudiger

      It’s hard to say, “They don’t build ’em like they used to” when the vast majority of modern cars don’t seem to have much problem going well over a hundred thousand miles with little maintenance.

      Back in ‘the good ‘ole days’, vehicles were almost universally shot by 50k miles (with some of the worst built/engineered barely able to make it into five figures).

      OTOH, I don’t know how far a 305hp, V6 Mustangs will be able to make if the driveshafts are of such low quality, though.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    So a Ford Mustang V6 (allegedly a “sports car”) disintegrates at speed.

    My problem with all of this wasn’t that it was some ridiculous 199mph top speed that can only be attained by regearing the car and several miles of lake bed, but that it happened at 140, a speed the car obviously can reach quite easily before it explodes into scrap.

    If you market something as a sports car, then it should be engineered like a sports car. Ford obviously knows its market and realizes that most Mustangs, especially those with a V6, will probably never see any performance applications besides one or two red light burnouts before the dental hygienist who bought one wishes she had spent the money on a pair of fake boobs.

    I’m guessing if I wanted to sleep on the couch for the rest of my life, and I tried the same stunt in the wife’s WRX (a similarly priced vehicle but one intended for a market that appreciates bad weather handling and lateral g’s), not a single part of the car would try to liberate itself and go running back to China.

  • avatar
    troyohchatter

    To this day one can buy a small Toyota pickup of any year and do a V8 swap with no other modifications whatsoever. If the Mustang V6 has almost as much grunt as the previous gen’s V8, the Ford had to underengineer the driveshaft at the request of a beancounter because there is no WAY this driveshaft came off of a previous gen GT. Anyone that owned a mid 90’s anything from Ford would not be surprised by this “process” by where if Ford can save a half a penny per car by making a part just a wee little bit weaker and get away with it, they will.

    All of that being said, who’s to say the dude that pulled the speed chip didn’t also do some other modification to the driveline that caused the failure. I have a hard time believing that Ford would take the time to underengineer something as a driveshaft to something with “only” 315HP.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      All of that being said, who’s to say the dude that pulled the speed chip didn’t also do some other modification to the driveline that caused the failure.

      Yep. Posters on this thread seem to enjoy holding rather strong opinions, even though none of them know what happened.

      That being said, I would be very careful about modifying or buying a modified car. That speed limiter may have been there for a good reason.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Ford still builds cars to Ford standards. People still defend them. Buy a Ford, get what you know you deserve.

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