Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 19, 2012

As we've slowly improved our High School Hauler '70 Mustang coupe project, we've kept a fairly narrow focus on dragstrip performance with the ability to maintain the car's streetability (no trailers here, just a nice 45-minute ride to the track, burn some tire, and then a 45-minute ride home). Over the last year, we've dropped the gear ratio, added stronger axles, sticky tires out back, full dual exhaust with long tube headers, a new transmission, front disc brakes, and gave the 302 a serious shot in the arm with a Summit top-end kit. The Mustang is more fun to drive, sounds better, stops better, and really moves out nicely now. The one last piece of the performance puzzle is the coupe's aging stock suspension.

Adding horsepower to the car means the car wants to spin the tires now, as the unibody flexes and the rear leaf springs wrap up, also causing wheelhop. Lord only knows how old the shocks are, and when we upgraded the front discs a couple of issues back, we didn't like what we saw in the front suspension either (shot ball joints, an idler arm about to fall apart, and upper control arm shafts full of slop). To get our Hauler to hook and go down the track straight--not to mention just getting to the track safely in the first place--we need to completely overhaul the car's suspension.

This month, we're going to tackle the Hauler's front suspension with Total Control Products' coilover shock conversion kit, shock tower export bracing, fender mount Monte Carlo brace, and truss brace system. TCP's coilover shock kit is a nice budget alternative to a full-on replacement front suspension system. The TCP coilover simply replaces your Mustang's (or Falcon, Comet, Cougar, Maverick, Torino, and more) shock absorber, coil spring, and spring perch, bolting into the upper control arm and secured by a special tower adapter at the top. The lightweight billet aluminum coilover shock features easy adjustments for ride quality with 7-1/2-inches of suspension travel. Adding TCP's full complement of engine compartment bracing will help keep the shock towers in place during hard acceleration and braking and we'll also drop a new set of stock control arms in place just so the whole front suspension is up to the task.

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31 The finished installation of our brace kits adds form and function to the High School Hauler's engine bay, while the coilover mount plates offer a hint that the front suspension is no longer stock. In an upcoming issue, we'll tackle the rear suspension upgrades from TCP and then hit the track. Stay tuned!