Jim Smart
January 28, 2014
Photos By: David Vaughan

This Total Control Products suspension install article begins with a little background. We’re installing a complete TCP suspension system on a ’71 Mustang convertible, the centerpiece of an effort called “Rebuilding Generations.” Created by Kevin Keep of My Deals LLC and the Calvary Chapel of Eagle, Idaho, Rebuilding Generations consists of a group of students who bridge the generations by enabling older, more experienced enthusiasts to teach young people about auto repair and restoration.

For this project, Rebuilding Generations is building a ’71 Mustang convertible restomod for display at the 2013 SEMA Show. Optima Batteries has jumped on-board along with Strange Engineering, Modern Driveline, Total Control Products, West Coast Kustoms, Wilwood Brakes, TMI Products, and others. Bruce Couture of Modern Driveline opened up his Boise shop for our TCP suspension installation, along with a five-speed/cable clutch conversion as well.

We’re going to show you how to improve the ’71-’73 Mustang’s plowing mentality with TCP suspension components that will weave crispness into these great road-going cruisers. If you install enough power in a ’71-’73 Mustang and team it up with an excellent handling and braking system, you have a Mustang ready for both the interstates and the canyons.

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Rack & Pinion for Mustang Classics

If you have the budget, wrap up your Mustang suspension with power rack and pinion from Total Control Products. We’ve installed this system on a number of classic Mustangs. It bolts in without special modifications and cutting. And once it is installed, you will wonder how you ever got along without it. Rack and pinion makes your steering crisp and spot-on accurate. TCP provides everything you’ll need for the weekend installation.

1. Begin installation with coil-over shock mounts topside, then the upper control arms. Upper control arms are fixed, yet adjustable and don’t require shims.
2. Because Rebuilding Generations is a teaching exercise, Bruce Couture had students torque each and every fastener to TCP specifications. Here, the upper control arm nuts are torqued to 75-100 ft-lb.
3. Lower control arms get eccentric eliminators from TCP, which lock the lower control arms into a permanent camber setting. You have a choice of several camber settings.
4. Coil-over VariShocks get beveled spacers on each side before installation at the top.
5. Throughout this article you will see two spindle types—drum (in black) and disc (in gray). This is the final installation with the disc brake spindle intended for Wilwood disc brakes, which will be installed later. The spindle is secured to the upper and lower ball joints.
6. Lower shock mounts are torqued to TCP specifications, which are provided in the instructions.
7. The lower VariShock mounts get two beveled spacers just like the top mounts, with the fastener torqued to TCP specifications.
8. The appropriate ’70-up disc brake spindle is tied to the lower control arm. You may have to shim the castle nuts in order to get the cotter pin hole lined up once the castle nut is tightened.
9. The articulating strut rod ball joint is installed here in place of the factory strut rod bushings. The hole must be slightly enlarged with a grinder to accommodate the fine thread pin, which is 1.45-inches in diameter.
10. The sway bar urethane bushings get generous amounts of silicone lubricant to keep them quiet.