Mustang Line Locks Explained

Mustang Line Locks Explained

Last Updated November 20, 2023 | Bill Tumas

How Does a Line Lock Work?

The basic explanation is that a line lock works by locking the front brakes while allowing the rear wheels to spin freely. By locking the front brakes you can safely do a burnout in your Mustang while keeping it in one spot. This is great for warming up the tires in the burnout box before heading down the drag strip.

In Mustangs with the Hurst Line Lock or another aftermarket line lock installed, a device is controlled by a button which allows the front and rear brakes to be controlled individually. When the button is pressed, an electric solenoid that controls the valve will allow the rear brakes to remain open and the front brakes to remain locked.

On the new S550 Mustang GTs, the same ideology applies, except with the factory Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS). Since ABS has been used in vehicles, it has the ability to fully lock any of the wheels at any time in order to manage braking in skidding conditions. This is nothing new. However, you can use the ABS module through a computer-controlled program, Track Apps, to lock just the front wheels for a burnout or brake stand. This was a genius move on Ford’s part because it didn’t require any additional hardware to be installed, just proper programming and enough lawyers to okay it.

Using Line Lock on a 2015-2023 Mustang GT

The only major difference across Mustang GTs using line lock is whether or not you have the optional 12” LCD Instrument Cluster. Regardless, the step-by-step process is relatively similar across the board. Except, you get a cool spinning tire graphic on the LCD Cluster!

First off, make sure you aren’t on a public road. We all know that burnouts are for track use only, hence the warning when you enter the Track Apps screen in the center screen of your gauge cluster. Once you're in Track Apps, work your way over to the Line Lock Function and you will see a bar with two arrows on either side.

How To Use Mustang Line Lock:

  1. Prompt: “Hold OK to Initialize” - Hold the “OK” button on the steering wheel until the bar fills up completely. It will then say “Initialization Complete.”
    Mustang Line Locks Step One
  2. Prompt: “To Engage, Firmly Apply Brake And Hold” - Push the brake pedal hard and hold it until the screen changes to a 15 second timer.Mustang Line Locks Step Two
  3. Prompt: “Engaged. Press OK to Begin” - You are now ready to roast some tires!Mustang Line Locks Step Three
  4. Press OK on the steering wheel again. You will then hear a noise and see the traction control light come on. Once you begin your burnout, you will have up to 15 seconds to heat your tires up before your drag run!Mustang Line Locks Step Four
  5. Once the the session is complete (or you push “OK”), the system will disengage and normal vehicle function will resume.Mustang Line Locks Step Five

These conditions must be met in order for the Line Lock function to work correctly:

  • The vehicle is on a level surface.
  • The engine is running.
  • The vehicle is stopped.
  • The parking brake is not applied.
  • The driver door is closed.
  • The transmission is in a forward gear.
  • The steering wheel must be in the straight ahead position.
  • Selectable Drive Mode is not in snow/wet mode (if equipped).
  • There are no AdvanceTrac faults.

What’s The Point Of Line Lock?

There are two main advantages to having a line lock on your Mustang. The first would be what’s involved in doing a brake stand or standing burnout on a manual transmission vehicle. It’s pretty difficult for someone who may not be as skilled with a clutch. On a vehicle that isn’t equipped with a line lock, you’ll need to rev up the engine and pop the clutch to get the rear wheels spinning. You’ll then need to take your left foot and hop on the brake pedal and apply just enough pressure to lock the front brakes while keeping the rear wheels moving. All of this needs to be done almost simultaneously, too. Doesn’t it sound much easier to just use a line lock? We thought so, too!

The other plus is rear brake pad life. If you frequently do brake stands or standing burnouts using the process that’s listed in the above paragraph, then you’ll likely eat through your rear brake pads quickly. Using a line lock completely releases your rear brakes so you won’t burn through them when doing a brake stand!

Line Locks Are Awesome

Let’s be real… burnouts are indeed awesome. The sound of a screaming V8 engine and tire smoke everywhere, it’s definitely a unique sight to behold. Now that you know how to properly achieve the perfect burnout, get out there and try it for yourself! Whether you have an S550 with the option standard or an aftermarket unit installed on your older Mustang, the concept is the same. Just remember, be safe and don’t forget that CJ Pony Parts is your #1 source for line locks and everything Mustang!

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This article was researched, written, edited, and reviewed following the steps outlined in our editorial process. Learn more about CJ's editorial standards and guidelines.