Mark Houlahan
Brand Manager, Mustang Monthly
February 1, 2013

Today, most everything you can think of for your home or garage is offered in package form. From home theater systems to oil-and-filter kits, packages offer several benefits to the end consumer. First, packaged items are designed to work together harmoniously. There's no hunting for the right A/V cable or wondering what lifters will work properly with a certain camshaft. The parts are picked by the manufacturer to ensure that when you open the box, you've got everything you need. You won't be fighting to fit things together, either. Oftentimes the package concept will save the consumer a few bucks as well.

In our Oct. '12 issue, we installed a Total Control Products (TCP) coilover package on the front of our '70 Mustang, dubbed the High School Hauler. Now, we're rolling the car back into the Source Interlink Media tech center to wrap up our suspension upgrades with TCP's rear leaf-spring suspension package, chassis-stiffening package, and torque-arm kit. It's a complete solution that'll keep our rear tires planted with maximum traction and the coupe heading wherever we point it.

TCP's leaf springs are made from alloy steel and formed to TCP's own specs with a standard rear eye; mid- and reverse-eye springs are optional to achieve the desired ride height. TCP also offers 4-, 4½-, and 5-leaf spring setups to provide an increase in ride firmness while resisting spring wrap up, which causes wheelhop. Included in the package are VariShock adjustable shocks, beefy shackles with polyurethane bushings, spring mounting plates with new hardware, and replacement front eye bushings, also in polyurethane.

Complementing the leaf-spring kit is TCP's optional torque arm. This unit takes the twisting torque of the rear axle and converts it into a downward force that keeps the tires in contact with the road surface for maximum traction. Although similar in function to a traction bar, a torque-arm suspension will also keep the tires planted when cornering forces come into play. This makes it a great all-round suspension aid, no matter what type of driving you do. While the easiest way to install the TCP torque arm is with one of the company's Fab9 axle housings, TCP also offers a bracket kit for traditional 9-inch and 8-inch Ford axle housings. In our case, our 8-inch had already been beefed up with gears, a differential, 31-spline axles, and more, so we opted for the weld-on configuration. The final piece of the rear-suspension puzzle is TCP's chassis-bracing package. The kit consists of 2x2-inch, square-tube subframe connectors, a bolt-in tubular subframe-connector support, and an adjustable driveshaft safety loop. TCP's subframe connectors feature 7-gauge steel endplates and a weld-in design for the utmost in chassis strengthening. The tubular connector support is fastened to the connectors to further tie the front and rear subframes together. It also includes the forward mounting point for the torque-arm system and a gusseted mounting plate for the driveshaft loop. We've got quite a bit of work ahead of us, but when we're done, the High School Hauler should be able to firmly plant its 275-series drag radials and move out with authority.

TCP Rear Suspension Components Used
TCP-RLSS-MU Rear Leaf-Spring Suspension $875
TCP-LSM-M45 4½-leaf Mid-Eye Option $20
VAS 14244-715 QuickSet 2 VariShock Option $200
TCP TA2F9-33 Torque Arm $389
TCP TABKT-4 Torque Arm Axle Brackets $50
TCP PKG-SFC-01 Subframe/Support/Loop Kit $498
Total $2,032

Photo Gallery

View Photo Gallery