First impressions of upgraded front suspension, front brakes and steering. - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:51 AM Thread Starter
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First impressions of upgraded front suspension, front brakes and steering.

I installed a number of upgrades to my 1969 Fastback and then embarked on repainting my car. So these upgrades took a long time before I was able to drive the car and see how well they worked.

Well, finally I have driven my car a few days ago. So this is not an extensive test, but just my initial impressions.

The upgrades are as follows.

Street Or Track full front suspension package. Everything is replaced with Sreet Or Track components and using coil over shocks.

Total Control Products front anti roll bar.

Steeroids rack and pinion steering. Using the original power steering pump, steering column and a Moto Lita 15" steering wheel.

SN-95 Cobra 13" front disk brakes. Using the Mustang Steve kit fitted to 1970 drum brake spindles, EBC RedStuff pads, a modern master cylinder and the 1969 brake servo.

Well, everything I have to say is positive.

The steering feels super precise now. It was pretty good before, as the old setup was all in good condition. But this just feels so much better now. I found with the old system, there was no road feeling through the steering wheel. It was as though the steering wheel is not really connected to the steering and just remotely telling the steering to work. This new system is very different. I can drive and feel the road through the steering wheel. The steering has a lot less turns lock to lock and just adds to the experience. And another big thing is the assistance is a lot less. With the old system, I could turn the steering wheel with my finger when the car is stationary. Now the assistance is a lot less but still enough. I have a Moto Lita 15" steering wheel and parking manoeuvres are fine. But driving along, it just feels great now. When driving at speed, the steering is heavier and not feather light. I know this is a big thing to say, but it steers like a much more modern car.

The front suspension feels really good. It is a fairly hard ride, but that was not to be unexpected. I have not done a lot of twisty roads, but ones that I have done, it handles great. And can corner at decent speeds and it handles great. The suspension coupled with the anti roll bar seem to be a really nice upgrade. And like the steering, my old suspension components were all in good health, so I am not comparing to an old worn out system. I need to drive the car more and on some twisty country roads to get a better impression, but initially it seems great.

The front brakes when I first got my car many decades ago were drums. After a year or so, I upgraded them to 1969 disk brakes and this was a big improvement. Now with the SN-95 brakes, it is another big improvement. I cannot believe how good they are. They really bite hard. As mentioned above, I need to get out onto some twisty country roads to really test them out. I did a lot of research on the EBC brake pads and finally settled on the red ones. They seem really good and work immediately from cold. Where some of their performance pads need to warm up before they work at their best. The modern master cylinder seems to work well and the braking effort seems just right. This is using the standard 1969 brake servo.

I did a 5 speed manual gearbox conversion a number of years ago with a hydraulic clutch and the above modifications seem to compliment it all really well.

I know I will probably get some flak because the old components work fine when in good condition. But I am very happy and that is all that matters to me. I have no connection to any of the companies involved and this is merely just my initial impressions. I am just writing this to hopefully help others who are considering such changes.

Jeremy.
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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I forgot to mention the following.

I did the conversion to remove the round camber eccentric washers with square plates so hopefully the adjustment can never move.

I replaced the standard under engine cross member with a heavy duty one that is super tough and also locates onto the lower control arm bolts. It really looks like it ties everything together down there.

I made a homemade engine brace modelled on the one by Total Control Products. It is the one that is an export brace and Monte Carlo bar and they connect together. This should really stiffen things up. It did not cost too much money if you are into a bit of fabrication work.

And even though I used the standard steering column on the rack and pinion conversion, I made a change from the supplied kit. The kit came with a solid bush to fit at the bottom of the steering column for the shaft to rotate in. And I did not use that and found a separate kit that used a large ball race bearing.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by JRFox View Post
SN-95 Cobra 13" front disk brakes. Using the Mustang Steve kit fitted to 1970 drum brake spindles, EBC RedStuff pads, a modern master cylinder and the 1969 brake servo.


The front brakes when I first got my car many decades ago were drums. After a year or so, I upgraded them to 1969 disk brakes and this was a big improvement. Now with the SN-95 brakes, it is another big improvement. I cannot believe how good they are. They really bite hard. As mentioned above, I need to get out onto some twisty country roads to really test them out. I did a lot of research on the EBC brake pads and finally settled on the red ones. They seem really good and work immediately from cold. Where some of their performance pads need to warm up before they work at their best. The modern master cylinder seems to work well and the braking effort seems just right. This is using the standard 1969 brake servo.



Jeremy.
Appreciate that report. I am also using SN95 Cobra pinchers and EBC Reds on my 65 build and occasionally second guess myself when I see guys bragging about their massive Wilwoods and such.

Coyote build in 65 GT Fastback in body work https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/b...e-powered.html and on Facebook @65gtmustang
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRFox View Post
I installed a number of upgrades to my 1969 Fastback and then embarked on repainting my car. So these upgrades took a long time before I was able to drive the car and see how well they worked.

Well, finally I have driven my car a few days ago. So this is not an extensive test, but just my initial impressions.

The upgrades are as follows.

Street Or Track full front suspension package. Everything is replaced with Sreet Or Track components and using coil over shocks.

Total Control Products front anti roll bar.



Jeremy.
What prompted your choice of the TCP anti roll bar, and what size did you get?

John

The Fauxstang. Dynacorn 67 fastback. Dart SHP 363, Close ratio Magnum 6 speed, 3.70 Eaton Truetrac in a fabricated full floater 9", SorT coil over suspension. Still in pieces.
'14 SHO with most all the bells and whistles. Stock for now.
F-150 SCab daily driver
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 09:48 AM
cgc
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Just out of curiosity - If you're using SN-95 spindles already, why not grab an adapter and move up to 2012 Boss302\GT500 brembos? Assuming wheel size being the issue, but was curious if there was a reason outside of this?

Thanks for the info on the suspension components.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Just out of curiosity - If you're using SN-95 spindles already, why not grab an adapter and move up to 2012 Boss302\GT500 brembos? Assuming wheel size being the issue, but was curious if there was a reason outside of this?

Thanks for the info on the suspension components.
He's using 1970 drum spindles with adapters for the SN95 calipers.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Just out of curiosity - If you're using SN-95 spindles already, why not grab an adapter and move up to 2012 Boss302\GT500 brembos? Assuming wheel size being the issue, but was curious if there was a reason outside of this?

Thanks for the info on the suspension components.
Bigger is not always better anyway...that's a 14" rotor...its a lot of rotating mass that will do little if anything to improve braking performance over what he has....the only time you can really make an argument for a rotor larger than 11.5" on a vintage mustang is if you are racing it in beyond a casual track day here and there. People buy overkill rotors all the time...but it doesn't mean they actually need them. The biggest contributor to braking performance is a good pad...the rotor size and it's heat dissipation factor is secondary. The question isn't why not...but why? Aside from the fact that he isnt even using SN95 spindles anyway(I am sure there are very few vintage mustangs running around with a McPherson strut setup(though there are some)
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-09-2019, 03:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc View Post
Just out of curiosity - If you're using SN-95 spindles already, why not grab an adapter and move up to 2012 Boss302\GT500 brembos? Assuming wheel size being the issue, but was curious if there was a reason outside of this?

Thanks for the info on the suspension components.
In my case, I AM using SN-95 spindles and wheel size definitely figured in. I am looking at both 17 and 18, have about settled on 17. Didn't want to go larger and the Cobra calipers were built to just fit inside the 17 inch wheels.

Coyote build in 65 GT Fastback in body work https://forums.vintage-mustang.com/b...e-powered.html and on Facebook @65gtmustang
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66 Emberglow Coupe first car,71 Torino GT, 82 Fastback slooooow 6 banger, 71 Boss 351, 85 GT all long gone
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old Yesterday, 07:18 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the delay getting back to this. Been really busy.

Regarding the above comments.

I really like the SN-95 conversion. It works really well and it is easy on the wallet. I initially liked the Wilwood brakes and they must work great and look flash, but they cost a small fortune. My conversion like most of them requires 17" wheels. I think they are about the most front braking you would need for public roads and anything bigger would only benefit you on track days, etc.

It was mentioned about using SN-95 spindles. As someone verified, I am using 1970 drum spindles with the Mustang Steve kit. So back to the SN-95 spindles, does this mean using the MacPherson struts? I did not know this was even possible on a classic Mustang.

The Total Control Products anti roll bar is 1 1/4" in diameter. I had no preference for it, but it showed up one day on eBay UK brand new and the price was right, so I jumped at it. A lot cheaper than importing one from the US. So regarding its diameter, I just got one that was available. It might be too much or not enough. But it is a lot thicker than the stock one.

The steering I am really pleased with. With the old system, it did not give me too much confidence driving down country roads which can be a bit narrow at speeds of 50 - 60MPH. With the new system, it just seems really precise and gives me much more confidence in the car.

And I can say that I have had no reduced turning circle. The parking in front of my house does not have much room and I can manoeuvre the car just as before. My dad lives on a road with a mini roundabout at the top of it and I can get around it with ease. So I am more than happy as I was worried it would need a lot more space to turn.

Last edited by JRFox; Yesterday at 07:21 AM.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 02:05 AM
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What front coil over calibration do you have, Street, Sport or Track? I've got the Street or Track street calibrated Bilstein coil overs and the ride is rather nice, not at all stiff. Also what are your thoughts on the moto lita 15" wheel? I also have that steering wheel but being used to modern cars Im really no so fond of the small diameter of the wood or the big 15" size. I'm considering replacing it with a 14" Lecarra Mark 4 Elegante over the winter.

65 coupe 5.0L/5 speed
2001 Lightning #1757

Last edited by Lightning; Today at 02:12 AM.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old Today, 03:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lightning View Post
What front coil over calibration do you have, Street, Sport or Track? I've got the Street or Track street calibrated Bilstein coil overs and the ride is rather nice, not at all stiff. Also what are your thoughts on the moto lita 15" wheel? I also have that steering wheel but being used to modern cars Im really no so fond of the small diameter of the wood or the big 15" size. I'm considering replacing it with a 14" Lecarra Mark 4 Elegante over the winter.
I need to dig out the paperwork to see what coil overs I have. I have done a lot more driving since my initial post and I must say it is not as harsh as I first made out. It drives really nicely over bumps in the road, drain covers, etc. So I am very happy with it.

I really like my 15" Moto Lita steering wheel. A lot of old British cars came with thin wooden steering wheels so I like that sort of thing. And the wood matches the fake wood in the car. With the power steering conversion I have, it all seems just right with the amount of effort when manoeuvring the car slowly ( parking, etc ). I don't think I would want to go to a smaller steering wheel. With the stock power steering which in my opinion is way too assisted a smaller steering wheel would probably be fine.

I am not familiar with the steering wheel you mentioned so I Googled it. It certainly has a thicker rim and looks nice. The ones I saw pictures of had what looks like a soft rim material. I am not sure how well that will hold up over time?
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