Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
January 14, 2011
Photos By: Courtesy Total Control Products

Last month, we embarked on an "over the shoulder" project with Total Control Products (TCP). They're building up Patti Rieger's '65 Mustang coupe with a plethora of TCP, VariShock, and Chassisworks items to give Patti, who is Chassisworks' general manager, one fine handling Mustang when the dust settles. For those of you who didn't see last month's story, we watched as the techs at TCP installed their excellent power rack-and-pinion steering setup on Patti's coupe. This month we're moving forward with the installation of TCP's front coilover suspension kit. The front suspension kit is a complete bolt-in suspension upgrade that features tubular control arms, coilover shocks for adjustable ride height and handling, lower center of gravity, and more.

So why use the TCP coilover kit? Well, you can start with the fact that the whole kit bolts to existing suspension mounting points. What this means is basic handtools will get the job done and not a single hole needs to be drilled in the body anywhere (though a few holes do get enlarged for stronger fasteners). The coilover kit allows for more precise suspension travel via spherical-bearing ends, versus the stock pliable rubber bushings or even aftermarket urethane bushings.

Of course we can't ignore the most important part of the namesake product, and that's the coilover shocks themselves. With a coilover shock, you combine the shock and spring into one component where you can easily adjust ride height, spring rate, shock jounce and rebound to dial the car in for the best handling no matter vehicle weight, engine output, tire width, or traction. While the coilover setup shipped with the kit is a great baseline, if you really want your Mustang to shine, you'll take the time to properly tune the suspension. Take lots of notes and make one change at a time and see what it does for the handling of the car. With a little track time, or even a favorite twisty road, you'll soon be able to dial in your suspension to best use all of that horsepower and tire you've got under your classic Mustang.

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Project Cost

In keeping with our first story that we published in our Jan. '11 issue, we're tracking the total cost of this Mustang's suspension and braking upgrades. To date, the investment has been $2,966 for the power rack-and-pinion conversion and associated options/upgrades. This month we add on our front suspension installation:

ProductPart NumberCost
TCP Coilover SuspensionTCP COLVF-08$2,485
Dropped "no-drill" Pivot Shaft Option$60
Antisway BarOption$269
Quickset 2 Double Adjustable ShocksOption$200
Bumpsteer Inner and Outer KitTCP TIER-14$269
Subtotal$3,283
Previous Total$2,966
Total$6,249

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