suspension upgrades - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
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suspension upgrades

Hi all,

I just picked up my 65' coupe from the local mustang shop to find out that ALL my suspension is worn out and needs replacement. This car is being built to be a budget minded daily driver so I don't need racing/track pieces. I want quality handling parts, but nothing overboard. So I am now shopping suspension parts from sway bar to brushings. Just wanted to get opinions on what pieces I should spend money on? Where should I spend money and where can I save money? What parts are most important, etc.?

Thanks all,
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post #2 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:14 AM
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You should probably buy yourself some new rear leaf springs and front coil overs. Those parts are essential if you at least want a smooth riding car.

The more you work on something, the more familiar you become with it.

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post #3 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:17 AM
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What parts are “worn out?” Are the control arms okay? Assuming the steel is fine on these, may just need new bushings? If you are staying with stock suspension style, best place you can probably spend money in the front will be decent shocks (bilstein or koni), springs and roller spring perches from Open Tracker, and adjustable strut rods from Open Tracker or Street or Track. Rear end would be shocks and leaf springs, maybe a panhard bar if budget allows...

I would recommend checking out Open Tracker and giving them a call for sure!

Good luck!


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post #4 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Everything is worn out. I need new upper control arms, bushings, sway bar, leaf springs, struts, coils, shock absorbers, you name it. The only thing that has been replaced on my car is the idler arm. Everything out is extremely worn out and stock. I'm not planning on going totally stock on this car. I was things are at least heavy duty or progressive rated.
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post #5 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:24 AM
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I just put Street or Track's Stage 4 kit on my '64.5, and I'm quite happy. I also added Zray's crossmember to further tighten up the front end. Monte Carlo bar and export brace and Shelby drop if those aren't already done. And probably a rebuild of the steering box. That will take care of the front end. New leaf springs in the rear if those are worn out.
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post #6 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:29 AM
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If you don’t care about staying stock design and the budget allows, I would definitely consider a coilover option up front. THere are a lot of choices out there, personally think the Street or Track and Mike Maier Inc options are great options.

This is probably also a good time to consider some steering upgrades...

Maier: https://mikemaierinc.com/product/mus...nsion-package/

Street or Track: http://www.streetortrack.com/Street-...-pr-24491.html




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post #7 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Hi all,
thanks for the advice so far. Just wanted to clarify incase I didn't articulate it well in my first post - but I'm looking for actual part recommendations (brands, part numbers, etc.) Interested to know what others have used and how they like it. That sort of thing.

Thanks!
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post #8 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:34 AM
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Open Tracker has this down to a science. a lot of folks on this forum are running similar systems with great success. You can achieve real good handling with modified stock parts. I'm sure many would give their input as to order of importance
1. Shelby drop
2. new CAs
3. plenty of caster

4. camber correction
3. roller spring perches

4. heavier springs in front
5. heavier front sway bar
6. 4 leaf mideye rear springs
7. shocks
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post #9 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabseattle View Post
Hi all,
thanks for the advice so far. Just wanted to clarify incase I didn't articulate it well in my first post - but I'm looking for actual part recommendations (brands, part numbers, etc.) Interested to know what others have used and how they like it. That sort of thing.

Thanks!
Street or Track, or OpenTracker are the companies. I just went to get the link for the system I bought last year, but all I'm finding is the Stage 5 kit. Shaun, did things change recently?
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post #10 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by DrHawkeye View Post
I just put Street or Track's Stage 4 kit on my '64.5, and I'm quite happy. I also added Zray's crossmember to further tighten up the front end. Monte Carlo bar and export brace and Shelby drop if those aren't already done. And probably a rebuild of the steering box. That will take care of the front end. New leaf springs in the rear if those are worn out.
Everyone on the forums say to do the Shelby drop, but then the mustang shop guys say not to? Any ideas on that?
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post #11 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seabseattle View Post
Everyone on the forums say to do the Shelby drop, but then the mustang shop guys say not to? Any ideas on that?


I’m becoming concerned about the guys at your “mustang shop”... first “everything is worn out” and now the Shelby drop... I think this depends on what system your installing. I believe Some of the high end coilover options correct for some of the geometry problems in the stock suspension and therefore won’t need the Shelby drop, but if your staying with stock style control arms, I think the Shelby drop is a good idea.

There are some other folks on this forum that are MUCH more knowledgeable about suspension than I am. I think they have had long, detailed treads discussing all of this - I would highly recommend a little searching through the forum.


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post #12 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Seabseattle View Post
Everyone on the forums say to do the Shelby drop, but then the mustang shop guys say not to? Any ideas on that?
What reasons do they give for not doing it? The reasons for doing it are numerous. Only reason I can think not to would be it requires drilling holes, and therefore it's not gonna be concours/original anymore.
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post #13 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:53 AM
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Everyone on the forums say to do the Shelby drop, but then the mustang shop guys say not to? Any ideas on that?
I would hesitate to say why anyone would say that. I would say you should avoid using the services of someone who says not to do that.

If you were to go full stock GT, with GT springs and shocks, do the Arning drop, add a 1" front bar, and an export brace, you would be amazed at the improvement.
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post #14 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 11:55 AM
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The people recommending coil overs aren't paying attention. The guy is asking for budget solutions for a driver. Also, coil overs aren't "essential for a smooth riding car". Don't get me wrong, with the right parts, that would be the dream, but I wouldn't describe them as budget friendly.

As far as a shop recommending against the Shelby/Arning drop: time to find a new shop. That's just bad advice. The drop improves the suspension geometry and makes for a better handling car. Period.

Disclaimer: if you can afford to work with Street or Track/Opentracker, do that. Great guys that shoot you straight and have taken a lot of the guesswork out of things. I'm a fan of the blueprinted upper control arms if you don't trust yourself to set them up.

I did exactly what you are describing. In my case, staying within budget meant doing a little leg work myself and sourcing parts from multiple places.

Front:
Upper and lower control arms: Moog brand parts from Rock Auto
Sway bar and bushings: Stay with rubber bushings, not a bad time to upgrade to a thicker sway bar.
Buy the best shocks you can afford. I make KYB's work, but they are crap compared to Bilstiens. Easy to upgrade later though, so that's my plan.
Spring perch: I went with the "improved" Scott Drake perch that isn't a roller bearing, but does move much more freely. I'm sure roller bearing is better, but going from stock to this version was like night and day. Not bad for half the price of a roller solution.
Strut Rods: Adjustable would be great if you can afford it. I couldn't at the time, and just put fresh rubber bushings on and it's still a vast improvement with the other parts.
Springs: your milage may vary here depending on desired firmness and ride height. A set of GT spec springs would probably be a good idea.

Rear: it all comes down to the right kind of steel, and the consensus is that Eaton is the end-all, be-all for springs but you pay for it. Might be worth it to you to get some new budget friendly springs just to keep it from bottoming out on you and plan to upgrade later. I have some 20 year old Mustangs Plus springs and they kind of suck. Very firm and bouncy. But they work.

Last bit of advice: Do this work yourself if you can. This is an easy weekend job if you take your time and you'll learn a lot about your car and how things work.

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post #15 of 132 (permalink) Old 05-24-2019, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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I would hesitate to say why anyone would say that. I would say you should avoid using the services of someone who says not to do that.

If you were to go full stock GT, with GT springs and shocks, do the Arning drop, add a 1" front bar, and an export brace, you would be amazed at the improvement.
Thank you
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