I've read things here and there about the IFS kits for classic mustangs and I've heard from some people that they are wonderful, others say they handle terrible. Does anyone know of anyone who did a comparison between a stock/aftermarket front end and an IFS setup? I looked at the Total Control Products stuff and its not cheap by any means, but is it actually better than an IFS setup? I looked through my mustang mags and haven't even seen a buildup let alone a comparison. I need to decide what I want to do with the front end of my 66FB. It's going to be mainly street use, but I'd like to be able to use it on a road course if I wanted to. Any and all constructive feedback is appreciated.
Todd Dietrich - '66 T-Code Fastback, '14 GT Premium Track Pack w/Recaros VMF Facebook Group
I've been thinking about the same thing. I used to have an 88 GT and I'm giving serious consideration to installing an EFI 5.0, T-5 and MII into my 66FB to recreate (kinda) the driving experience of the GT with the classic styling of the 66.
Think about this. The MII design is over 30 years old, why do we think this set up is the cutting edge set up for vintage Mustangs What advancements do you see for the MII set up? What is the aftermarket doing for the MII? Look at Global West or TCP components, they ARE the lastest upgrades, they do advancements in designs. Personally, if I were going to replace the whole front suspension, it would be off a 2000's car with modern design, not one from 1974! One front suspension that I find interesting is the one used on Jags/Lincoln platform. The over all dimensions from an eyeball point of view look to be close enough to fit under the Mustangs sheetmetal. With this set up you'd get HUGE disc brakes, R&P, coil over and all the good stuff that we try to do to the Vintage Mustang suspension. One last thing, go to corner carvers and mention the words Mustang II and handling in the same sentence.
Mustang II front suspension is only used because it's a fairly compact & adaptable package. It's not used for handling improvement... BTW, any Mustang front suspension system (including stock) is "IFS".
Global West, TCP, RRS, Fatman, etc are all improvements over stock - the biggest limiting factor you'll find on an early Mustang is front tire width - just not enough fenderwell there to get a tire wide enough to take full advantage.
I used to have an 88 GT and I'm giving serious consideration to installing an EFI 5.0, T-5 and MII into my 66FB to recreate (kinda) the driving experience of the GT with the classic styling of the 66.
The 88 GT used a Mcpherson strut front suspension, not Mustang II.
I looked through my mustang mags and haven't even seen a buildup let alone a comparison.
I need to decide what I want to do with the front end of my 66FB. It's going to be mainly street use, but I'd like to be able to use it on a road course if I wanted to.
:track: first. Just use good pads (I was happy with EBC Redstuff), use DOT 5.1 fluid and make sure rear shoes are close enough to drums and check that your rubber brake hoses and brake lines are good and then go. You'll find that your lap times will drop 2-3 seconds between each track day for the first four or five track days even if you don't do anything to car.
Good news is that you don't need a IFS, you already have one. From thereon
Mustangs mags are not up to the level of discussing virtues of different suspension setups. They can run often decent infomercials about those products that are advertised in the mag. You have to either pay a pretty penny to well known race shops to get it trackworthy or learn and share here with the rest of us. Use search about
rack and pinion
anti-roll bars or sway bars
For mainly street use I would
1) install 1" front bar with 5/8" rear bar
2) Koni shocks
3) no stiffer than 480lbs (and cut to desired ride height) front springs
4) rear spring stiffness should have more choices than standard vendors generic 4 leaf, 4˝leaf or 5 leaf packs, haven't found mine yet, call Eaton Springs when you know or decide that whatever is fine in the meantime since you are going IRS or three link or torque arm eventually.
5) good 225/55/15 tires (difficult to find but 225/60 is tad too tall and 225/50 is too low, may have to go for 225/50/16), they are the only thing to connect any fansy-pansy suspension to ground
6) decide (after reading a lot) whether you're are satisfied with Arning (often miscredited to Shelby) drop (upper control arms lowered 1", see template) or whether you need more camber gain
7) get heim jointed strut rods
8) get roller perches (I'll do this winter)
9) steering, TCP, Griggs or whether design your own with Coleman custom spindles, weight, rear suspension, aero, etc the list goes on until you have build yourself a McLaren.
Oversized sig pics nobis delenda est. No need for that anymore, I found Hide avatar choice.
MII just gets you space in the engine compartment. It was designed for a car with significantly different weight and wheelbase, therefore it is not going to handle anywhere close to optimally for a classic Mustang.
When speaking of the Heidt's version, the only thing MII on that set-up is the spindle. The rest is just products based loosely on the design. I have driven several cars that have had the set-up from 351w to big blocks and feel the performance is comparable. You can definately make this suspension do what you want with the right adjustments. You can also pick track width, spring rate, tubular arms, etc, etc.
Most don't think it's necessary unless you need the room. If you are going for something big enough that needs the room, you are heavy in the front. So your handling will be hampered by the weight, not necessarily the suspension.
Personally, if I were going to replace the whole front suspension, it would be off a 2000's car with modern design, not one from 1974!
Tom, while I agree, generally, with your opinion, let's bear in mind that the "modern" designs use struts because they're lighter and simpler in overall design (= cheaper to produce), NOT because they have inherently better handling geometry; actually, quite the opposite. In fact, there are high-end aftermarket suspension systems for late-model Mustangs that convert from the struts to a dual a-arm suspension. Except in modified production classes, you won't find too many race cars with struts.
One thing I'm curious about: I don't understand why one of the larger M-II conversion companies doesn't do a redesign to improve the (apparently) poor geometry. The end cost should be pretty much the same... needing different tubular a-arms, likely a litle longer, and relocated mounts. Or is it the small spindle that's the limiting factor? Use something else! I know the vast majority of these conversions are destined for Rods and occasional drivers, but even these builders would likely choose the setup the promises "excellent handling geomotry." fwiw...
a 5.0 will fit between the factory shock towers on a 65/6 FB. so why waste the energy doing a mustang II front suspension if you don't have to? besides, my experience with the global west control arms (w/ shelby drop) tells me that you're not going to get any improvement with a II front end.
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