Suspension Upgrade Review - Vintage Mustang Forums

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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Suspension Upgrade Review

I spent the weekend rebuilding the suspension on my 1965 Mustang Fastback. Below is a list of add-ons/modifications:

Front:
Grab-A-Trak 620 Coil Springs
Street or Track Billstein Street Valved Shocks
Opentracker Roller Spring Perches
Street or Track Adjustable Strut Rods
Shelby Drop (used Street or Track template)
Opentracker roller idler arm (steering upgrade)
(I already have a 1" Front sway bar)

Rear:
Street or Track Billstein Street Valved shocks
Street or Track 4.5 Mid Eye leaf Springs
(I already have traction master bars)

I aligned the car to +5 degrees caster (4.5 on driver side) 1/2 degree of negative camber, and 1/16" toe in.

First impressions:
In limited street driving, the car handles great. Compared to before, it handles like it's on rails. I don't have a lot of body roll and my car tracks significantly better. Mission accomplished. However, these upgrades came at some expense. I can hear everything on the road. From lines in the road, to cracks and bumps. It's noticeable, which I figured it would be despite some peoples insistence that it wouldn't increase road noise. Trust me, it does. However, this isn't my wife's soccer-mobile. It's a performance machine and it's about time it started acting like one. These modifications truly do transform the handling characteristics of the car.

I want to give a shout out to Shaun at Street or Track. He's a good guy who helped me decide on the direction I wanted to go. Also to John at Opentracker. He answered all of the questions I had and was willing to help anywhere he could. I highly recommend the services of these two companies. They're top notch.

I've also got a couple of videos that shows the stock spring perch vs. the roller spring perch. I may post them up to YouTube if anyone is interested. Let me know.
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1965 Mustang Fastback. Ivy Green
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Last edited by RAGEman; 03-20-2017 at 04:31 PM.
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:50 PM
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Did you cut coils off the front springs?

Larry

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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grabber Blu View Post
Did you cut coils off the front springs?
No. I'll take some pictures and post them up soon, but I don't think it needs to be any lower. It's got a nice, ever-so-slight rake.

EDIT: If I had my rear fenders rolled, I think a 4.5 reverse eye would level the car and give it the perfect stance.

1965 Mustang Fastback. Ivy Green
Supercharged 331, 4 speed Toploader

Last edited by RAGEman; 03-20-2017 at 05:04 PM.
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:04 PM
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That's odd. I have a full SoT front suspension. No rubber bushings anyplace. I honestly can say it's not any noisier then before. I have th roller bearing idler arm too. Next, get rid of the bushing in the lower arm.

Tom

I'm not a complete idiot, pieces are missing.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Huskinhano View Post
That's odd. I have a full SoT front suspension. No rubber bushings anyplace. I honestly can say it's not any noisier then before. I have th roller bearing idler arm too. Next, get rid of the bushing in the lower arm.
Was there any bushing left in your stock perches? To be honest, it's not even close. I noticed it backing down my driveway for the first test drive. That's not to say I'm not pleased, but it's definitely louder.

Can you replace the bushing without replacing the LCA? I don't see that SoT offers just the bearing.

1965 Mustang Fastback. Ivy Green
Supercharged 331, 4 speed Toploader

Last edited by RAGEman; 03-20-2017 at 05:24 PM.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:16 PM
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Nice job, that took me about a year to rebuild all my suspension and brakes. I pretty much used the same parts except I bought Eibach Progressive Rate Coil Springs and a roller lower arm. I don't have traction bars in the rear. My car rides great, no complaints here. It is much smoother and responsive then the stock suspension because I drove that for a while before I rebuilt.

david

69 Winter Blue 302 Fastback w/ Original Paint

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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:51 PM
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Was there any bushing left in your stock perches? To be honest, it's not even close. I noticed it backing down my driveway for the first test drive. That's not to say I'm not pleased, but it's definitely louder.

Can you replace the bushing without replacing the LCA? I don't see that SoT offers just the bearing.
To be honest I don't remember. But I think they looked OK. I still have them and the upper arms. I was doing a upgrade on the suspension for better handling and not because of wear. All the parts were Ford service replacement the PO had installed. They all looked good, the upper arms still had the mylar tags. I'd say they definitely didn't look high mileage. I was going to leave the lower arms since i thught they were good. I should back up a little. The reason I was replacing the upper arms was I wanted a set that were adjustable for more caster. Anyway I had the uppers in and was going to send it out for alignment. It hit me, why should I pay to have a alignment done when I did all this work? Plus I read enough horror stories. I bought a caster/camber gauge. THAT was the best thing I ever did! I discovered I had a camber problem which lead me to discover my lower arms were wasted.

This is what I found that was hidden from view. If I had not decided to do my own alignment I never would have found this. I don't think a shop would have either. No matter what I had for a alignment it never would have performed right and I never would have known. This is why I say a mono bearing. It will far outlast any rubber bushing and it will always work like new and it will work consistently the same time after time no matter what. Opentracker Racing makes a kit to install a roller bearing kit in your stock arm. I chose to go with a purpose built part since I wasn't racing in any vintage class. Once these bushings go bad your car will be all over the road. my car was so bad I literally could not drive along side another car for fear my car would dart. I thought it was crappy alignment not worn parts. If you got that 5* by cranking on the lower strut you're going to kill the lower bushing. It won't make any difference to a bearing. Oh, I do have roller spring perches too.




Tom

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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAGEman View Post
I spent the weekend rebuilding the suspension on my 1965 Mustang Fastback. Below is a list of add-ons/modifications:

Front:
Grab-A-Trak 620 Coil Springs
Street or Track Billstein Street Valved Shocks
Opentracker Roller Spring Perches
Street or Track Adjustable Strut Rods
Shelby Drop (used Street or Track template)
Opentracker roller idler arm (steering upgrade)
(I already have a 1" Front sway bar)

Rear:
Street or Track Billstein Street Valved shocks
Street or Track 4.5 Mid Eye leaf Springs
(I already have traction master bars)

I aligned the car to +5 degrees caster (4.5 on driver side) 1/2 degree of negative camber, and 1/16" toe in.

First impressions:
In limited street driving, the car handles great. Compared to before, it handles like it's on rails. I don't have a lot of body roll and my car tracks significantly better. Mission accomplished. However, these upgrades came at some expense. I can hear everything on the road. From lines in the road, to cracks and bumps. It's noticeable, which I figured it would be despite some peoples insistence that it wouldn't increase road noise. Trust me, it does. However, this isn't my wife's soccer-mobile. It's a performance machine and it's about time it started acting like one. These modifications truly do transform the handling characteristics of the car.

I want to give a shout out to Shaun at Street or Track. He's a good guy who helped me decide on the direction I wanted to go. Also to John at Opentracker. He answered all of the questions I had and was willing to help anywhere he could. I highly recommend the services of these two companies. They're top notch.

I've also got a couple of videos that shows the stock spring perch vs. the roller spring perch. I may post them up to YouTube if anyone is interested. Let me know.
This baffles me what you say about the noise.
Is the noise coming from the tires or the suspension?

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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 08:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAGEman View Post
Was there any bushing left in your stock perches? To be honest, it's not even close. I noticed it backing down my driveway for the first test drive. That's not to say I'm not pleased, but it's definitely louder.

Can you replace the bushing without replacing the LCA? I don't see that SoT offers just the bearing.
some people are more sensitive to NVH than others. one question i do have, did you opt for poly bushings? if so then that is likely where your noise is coming from.

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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-20-2017, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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some people are more sensitive to NVH than others. one question i do have, did you opt for poly bushings? if so then that is likely where your noise is coming from.
Nope. Stock rubbers.

The only thing I didn't do is repair/replace the control arm bushings. Maybe my stock perches were absorbing some of that impact that is now being put on my control arm bushings? Not sure, but I'll do some more investigating.

I don't want this thread to turn into a bash-fest for the parts I installed. I am VERY happy with the upgrades. No regrets with the parts or the companies involved.

1965 Mustang Fastback. Ivy Green
Supercharged 331, 4 speed Toploader
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 04:03 AM
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Nope. Stock rubbers.

The only thing I didn't do is repair/replace the control arm bushings. Maybe my stock perches were absorbing some of that impact that is now being put on my control arm bushings? Not sure, but I'll do some more investigating.

I don't want this thread to turn into a bash-fest for the parts I installed. I am VERY happy with the upgrades. No regrets with the parts or the companies involved.
no bashing intended. as long as you are happy with your build, then the parts you selected are just fine. another question, did you lube the metal part of the bushings before you installed them? also did you want until the car was on the ground and the weight on the suspension before torquing the lower control arm bolts? sometimes little things like these make a difference as well.

in the end it might just be that mustangs plus used a harder rubber bushing than what came from the factory, and that can cause NVH issues as well.

all i want to do is help you troubleshoot the increase in NVH and perhaps figure a way to solve it.
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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I wasn't referring to your post as bashing. I just didn't want anyone to think I was complaining about the parts installed as being of bad quality. Sorry for the confusion.

As for the LCA torqueing, I never removed it. I didn't do LCA bushings. Just the Shelby drop with the UCA.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 08:35 AM
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Looks like you have short sidewall tires, maybe 17". What about air pressure, what are you runnin?

Larry

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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 09:37 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like you have short sidewall tires, maybe 17". What about air pressure, what are you runnin?
32# all around.

The noise isn't unbearable or even annoying. It's just louder than before.

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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-21-2017, 11:06 AM
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I've got 215/60/15 all around on my 66. It could be the taller sidewalls absorb some of that noise. I do notice slightly more road imperfections but it's something I have to focus on to notice. Otherwise the car has a much more supple ride.

Tom

I'm not a complete idiot, pieces are missing.
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