Wayne Cook
October 1, 2007
Photos By: The Manufacturers

As their classic-Ford projects move forward, people often make performance improvements in the power and braking departments. Once these worthwhile upgrades are in place, many discover that the original-equipment suspension isn't up to the task.

Once it has fuel injection, overdrive, and all-wheel disc brakes, the performance window of a '65 Mustang will be so large that a '64 Falcon suspension won't be able to comfortably handle the demands. While the OE hardware is OK for cruising around town or doing 65 mph on the freeway, you'll begin to feel the original suspension's limitations as the speed rises. To safely keep pace with modern traffic, some suspension improvements are in order.

One of the great things about classic Mustangs, as well as many other special-interest Fords, is that they can be made to handle as well as a modern car. Aftermarket upgrades abound for these cars, ranging from the simple upgrading of the original suspension with improved standard configuration parts to an all-out coilover front suspension backed by a modern three-link or IRS rear. With the right preparation, a '65 Mustang can give a Corvette all sorts of headaches on the road or at the track.

Join us in this guide to some of the best suspension replacement and improvement hardware available. While the list doesn't include everything these manufacturers offer, all products featured here give excellent results.

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Air Ride Technologies
Air Ride Technologies offers an air-suspension system that fits classic Mustangs and works at all four corners of the vehicle. The whole suspension can be adjusted from inside the car at the touch of a button. Dual on-board compressors and an air-storage tank make it possible.

Air Ride Technologies
350 S. St. Charles St.
Jasper, IN 47546
(812) 482-2932
www.ridetech.com.

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Chris Alston Chassisworks
Chris Alston Chassisworks offers the Total Control Products rear pushrod suspension system. It offers greatly improved handling performance for classic Mustangs and other Fords. The original leaf-spring suspension uses the springs themselves to handle rearend housing movement in all directions. The system replaces the leaf springs with double-adjustable coilover shocks, tubular trailing arms, a Watt's linkage assembly, and a heavy-duty torque arm. This separation of control to individual components results in consistent, predictable handling. Additional benefits include significant improvement to chassis rigidity and exact tuning adjustments, including ride height, wheel base, housing alignment, and pinion angle. Shock valving is also adjustable, and there's a choice of available spring rates. The MSRP for the kit is $4,889. Total Control offers a wide variety of performance suspension products for classic Mustangs, including a coilover independent front suspension system.

Total Control Products at Chris Alston Chassisworks
8661 Younger Creek Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95828
(916) 388-0295
www.totalcontrolproducts.com

Anthony Jones Engineering
AJE is well known for its late-model Mustang tubular-replacement engine cradles-or K-members-and other suspension upgrades, including tubular control arms, coilover shocks, and struts. For years, the company's products have been used successfully in drag racing and street performance. Now you can have the same quality hardware as your late-model friends with AJE's new tubular front suspension kits for '64-'70 Mustangs. Available in manual or power steering (using the Fox Mustang rack-and-pinion), and for use with Fox or SN-95 spindles, these systems are a complete bolt-in and allow for numerous engine installation options, from small-block and modular Fords to even Brand X, if you so desire. Fox spindle kits run $2,377, while SN-95 spindle kits cost $2,477.

AJE Racing
6235 N. Co. Rd. 275 W.
North Vernon, IN 47265
(800) 877-7233
www.ajeracing.com

Blue Moon Motorsports
Blue Moon's line of Control Freak suspension components includes these tubular upper and lower control arms for '65-'73 Mustangs. The upper control arms incorporate the negative-wedge mounting of the ball joint, making them ideal for the 1-inch upper-control-arm drop as used on early Shelby GT350 Mustangs. The upper control arms are available powdercoated for $599 per pair, and a stainless steel version is priced at $799 per pair. Lower control arms are priced at $399 and $599, respectively.

Blue Moon Motorsports
240 Old Sanford-Oviedo Rd.
Winter Springs, FL 32708
(888) 325-6462
www.bluemooncars.com

DVS Restorations
Enjoy late-model ride and handling in your classic Mustang. The DVS IRS kit installs the '99-up Mustang Cobra independent rear suspension into the '67-'70 Ford Mustang and Cougar. The base kit retails for $1,599 and comes complete with Koni coilover shocks, coil springs, laser-cut brackets, and stainless steel frame inserts. High-grade hardware and a 23-page installation manual are also included. Easy bolt-in installation means no welding is required. Normal-wear items are available from your local Ford dealer, and the shock absorbers can be rebuilt. Choose from a wide selection of aftermarket parts, including axle ratios and brake assemblies.

DVS Restorations
910 S. Louise Ave.
Crawfordsville, IN 47933
(765) 362-1967
www.dvsrestorations.com

Fat Man Fabrications
In addition to its extensive suspension lineup, Fatman Fabrications now offers the Wonderbar rear suspension for '62-'67 Fairlanes. It's a new concept in classic-Fairlane rear suspension. This kit helps your car hook up and handle great, and allows for a 2-3 inch drop, which helps lower your car's roll center. You may decide to choose either Pro coilover or Air Ride Technologies shocks, in which case the ride height is fully adjustable. The half-leaf springs carry no weight but serve to control the axle position and pinion angle, while their twisting action helps to resist body roll. Unlike the four-link suspensions, this kit can be installed without any floor cutting. The Wonderbar kit for the '62-'67 Fairlane is $1,595 with coilover shocks and $1,995 with Air Ride Technologies Shock Wave air suspension.

Fatman Fabrications
8621-C Fairview Rd., Hwy. 218
Charlotte, NC 28227
(704) 545-0369
www.fatmanfab.com

Full Tilt Street Rods
Full Tilt Street Rods adds these new coil-spring tubular lower-control arms for the Mustang II IFS to its extensive line of street-rod performance parts. Constructed of 1-inch-diameter, 3/16-inch-wall DOM steel, the control arms feature aircraft-aluminum spring risers and fit all aftermarket Mustang II crossmembers. Full Tilt's design eliminates strut rods, and the arms come complete with new screw-in-type ball joints for Mustang II spindles, polyurethane bushings, and all hardware and instructions needed for installation. The control arms cost $199.95 in bare steel or $244.95 for black powdercoat.

Full Tilt Street Rods
2944 I-70 Business Loop, Unit 313
Grand Junction, CO 81504
(970) 255-8890
www.fulltiltstreetrods.com

Heidt's Hot Rod Shop
New from Heidt's Hot Rod Shop is the Superide II IFS, an independent front suspension kit for '65-'70 Mustangs. Based on the Mustang II front end, this coilover front-suspension system provides excellent performance for a smooth ride and precise handling. The kit features front-frame boxing plates, tubular arms, dropped spindles, and rack-and-pinion steering. Also included are front-disc brakes with 11-inch rotors. Coilover shocks with chrome springs are standard. Your kit can be special ordered to include polished control arms; 11-, 12-, or 13-inch brakes with polished hubs; and your choice of polished, black, or red calipers. Power steering is also optionally available. Kits start at $2,659. Heidt's has a wide array of suspension offerings suitable for classic Fords.

Heidt's Hot Rod Shop
111 Kerry Ln.
Wauconda, IL 60084
(800) 841-8188
www.heidts.com

Global West
For dramatic improvement in your classic Mustang's handling characteristics, move beyond the stock components to this negative roll system from Global West. The included template is for lowering the position of the new tubular control arms exactly 1 inch. It's the same trick used by Shelby on the GT350 Mustang, and it improves the tire-contact patch during cornering. The tubular upper-control arms feature billet cross-shafts and are far stronger and more resistant to flexing than the original-equipment, stamped-steel arms. These tubular control arms have corrected ball-joint angles to eliminate binding near the end of suspension travel. The available lower-control arms show the same stout construction as the uppers and also feature Del-a-lum bushings for minimal deflection. Upper tubular control arms have a limited life-time warranty for as long as you own your car, racing or not. Arms are pre-assembled and powdercoated gloss black. Alignment information is included. We found the negative roll kit for classic Fords for $599.

Global West
655 S. Lincoln Ave.
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(877) 470-2975
www.globalwest.net

Griggs Racing Products
Griggs Racing has an extensive line of suspension products under the GR-350 name for classic Mustangs. The GR-350 chassis systems deliver the same precision handling and hookup potential as the famous GR-40 suspensions, which are made for the newer Mustangs. GR-350 components are modular in design, and the combined front and rear systems substantially improve cornering ability. The front GR-350 suspension system allows removal of spring towers in the engine bay for increased room in the engine compartment, while the rear system eliminates heavy leaf springs and uses a torque arm and Panhard bar or Watts linkage. The complete front and rear suspension kit for a '67-'70 Mustang with a Windsor engine and a 9-inch axle is PN GR350 SP-L-W9. The kit cost is $10,054.05. Griggs has many suspension offerings, including modular engine K-members, coilover kits, and more.

Griggs Racing Products
29175 Arnold Dr.
Sonoma, CA 95476
(707) 939-2244
www.griggsracing.com

National Parts Depot
If you're in the final stages of your classic-Ford suspension-upgrade project, one of the last things to do is to lower the back end of the car. The vehicle roll center will be effectively lowered, which reduces weight transfer in turns and enhances overall handling. It will also look great and help put just the right rake on your car. The 1-inch lowering kit for '65-'66 Mustangs is PN 55001A, while '67-'73 Mustangs use PN 55002A. Each costs only $28.95. For a more complete handling upgrade, choose the NPD Street Bandit handling kit for $409.95. In addition to lowering blocks, the Street Bandit kit includes four KYB Gas-a-Just shocks, front and rear antisway bars, and front coil springs.

National Parts Depot
900 SW 38th Ave.
Ocala, FL 34474
(800) 874-7595
California (800) 235-3445
Michigan (800) 521-6104
North Carolina (800) 368-6451
www.npd.link.com

Mustangs Plus
This Grab-A-Trak performance suspension rebuild kit from Mustangs Plus is a great front-suspension refurbishment value. The kit's upper and lower control arms and new coil springs with the spring rate of your choice, will have your front end at better-than-factory specs and ready for the alignment shop. The control arms come ready to go with new ball joints, cross-shafts, and bushings. Included in the kit but not shown are new spring perches, rubber upper-spring cushions, and new antisway-bar links. The kit for '65-'66 and '67-'73 Mustangs costs just $329.95 each.

Mustangs Plus
2353 N. Wilson Way
Stockton, CA 95205
(800) 999-4289
www.mustangsplus.com

Performance Online
New from the folks at Performance Online is this four-link rear suspension for '64-'70 Mustangs. Designed to help get the maximum performance from your first-generation Mustang, the kit includes everything you need to complete the four-link conversion-chassis and axle brackets, adjustable links, a full upper coilover crossmember, a Panhard bar, adjustable coilover shocks, and all hardware. The Performance Online four-link rear suspension kit is completely bolt-on, requiring no cutting or floor modifications. The adjustable four-link mounts allow for precise rear-suspension tuning. Also available is an axlehousing with brackets already installed. The list price for the kit is $995.10.

Performance Online
2572 E. Fender Ave.
Fullerton, CA 92831
(800) 638-1703
www.performanceonline.com

Paul's Automotive Engineering
Paul's Automotive Engineering has yet to announce pricing on its advanced three-link rear suspension system for Mustangs. The system is nearing the end of development, and preliminary information has it using an equal-length Watt's linkage to center the rear axle, in addition to a centrally located pivoting bracket that attaches the rear axlehousing to the car body. Lower trailing arms locate the axle leading from the stock spring attachment points to the bottom of the axlehousing. Coilover spring and shock assemblies carry the weight of the car.

Paul's Automotive Engineering
9750 Conklin Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45242
(513) 791-1087
www.paulsautomotiveengineering.com

Pro Motorsports Engineering
If you're planning on the modification started by Carroll Shelby of lowering the vehicle's upper control arms, then you should know that Pro-Motorsports Engineering has eliminated the ball-joint binding and breakage problem by adding a wedge-shaped spacer between the control arm and ball joint. The use of this kit allows you to lower the arm on '65-'73 Mustangs without binding problems to further optimize the camber curve as the suspension moves through its travel. Fastener sizes have been increased and strengthened, and the upper ball joints included in the kit are modified to accommodate the heavier bolts. The negative wedge kit fits both Mustangs and Falcons and is an effective and economical way to correct the factory-backwards camber curve. The result is reduced understeer and tire rollover. The ride height is reduced by 111/42 inches, and installation requires front-suspension disassembly, drilling, and then realignment. An internal spring compressor is also required. The cost of the kit is $249.95.

Pro Motorsports Engineering
9479 S. Sandy Pkwy.
Sandy, UT 84070
(801) 563-1111
www.pro-motorsports.com

Revelation Racing Supply
Revelation Racing Supply of Australia offers a state-of-the-art, three-link rear suspension to fit classic Mustangs. From acceleration and handling standpoints, it's a far better arrangement than the stock leaf-spring suspension as it controls axle movement precisely in all three planes of motion. An equal-length Watt's linkage assembly locates the axle in the center of the car, while firmly controlling any sideways movement. A center torque arm or traction bar attaches to the front of the differential case and prevents axle windup with its long moment of leverage. Dual trailing arms locate the axle in the front-to-rear plane, while coil springs installed over Koni shocks support the weight of the car. The OE leaf springs are eliminated entirely. RRS' three-link rear suspension retails for $3,500. Also available is a MacPherson strut front suspension for classic Mustangs, with prices ranging from $2,650 to $4,495.

RRS USA
P.O. Box 5849
Aiken, SC 29803
(866) 805-1878
www.rrs-online.com

Rod & Custom Motorsports
Rod & Custom Motorsports' coilover front suspension is available for '65-'70 Mustangs, '62-'70 Fairlanes, '60-'70 Comets and Falcons, and '67-'70 Cougars. It replaces the entire front suspension of the car and completely eliminates the shock towers, making it a perfect choice if your plans include a larger engine. The Rod & Custom suspension incorporates a new main structural crossmember and uses tubular control arms, Mustang II-type spindles and disc brakes, and rack-and-pinion steering. The retail price for the coilover front-end kit is $2,495. New from R&C is the triangulated four-bar rear coilover kit. No welding is needed for installation, and the kit uses a slide-adjust mounting system to bolt the coilover shocks and lower links to the axle. The upper two links are adjustable for fine-tuning on pinion angle, if necessary. The kit comes with all grade-eight hardware, instructions, and a coilover spanner wrench. The retail price is $1,695.

Rod & Custom Motorsports
448 Green Acres Rd.
Florence, SC 29505
(843) 629-1273
www.rcmotorsports.net

Total Cost Involved
TCI introduces its all-new front-suspension package for '65-'70 Mustangs. Designed to lower the stance and dramatically improve both handling and braking, the kit opens up the engine-compartment area for header clearance and big-block engine installation. The weld-in kit comes with frame-reinforcing plates, inner fender panels, a crossmember, upper A-arms, and shock mounting towers. The tubular control arms are urethane-bushed, and the Total Cost Involved custom spindles are controlled by power rack-and-pinion steering. The photo shown includes the options of polished stainless A-arms, chrome spindles, chrome antiroll bar, and polished billet coilovers. Also available are custom 11-inch disc brakes with polished billet calipers and backing plates. The photo shows the available air-spring suspension on one side and the coilover shock arrangement on the other. Larger brake-rotor sizes will also be available, however, as of this writing, the pricing has yet to be announced.

Total Cost Involved Engineering
1416 W. Brooks St.
Ontario, CA 91762
(800) 984-6259
www.totalcostinvolved.com

Ron Morris Performance
The new Ron Morris Performance "Street Force" tubular coilover front suspension system improves the handling and ride of your Mustang over the factory stock suspension. One great aspect of the Ron Morris system is that the threaded body of the shock absorber allows for 3-4 inches of travel for ride-height adjustment. Because of improved suspension geometry, lighter-rate coil springs and softer shock settings can be used. The result is more suspension travel and better ride quality. The RMP frontend equipment is far stronger than the stock components, and because spherical ends are used instead of rubber bushings, a more precise alignment is possible. The kit costs $2,250.

Ron Morris Performance
1001 Reno Ave., Ste. 2F
Modesto, CA 95351
(209) 605-1590
www.ronmorrisperformance.com

Align In Time
Many of us will choose to do our suspension-upgrade project in the home garage with a floor jack and a set of jackstands. Keep in mind that once a front-suspension swap is completed, you'll need an alignment no matter how careful you've been to retain the old settings.

Also, remember that the drive to the alignment shop should be a short one and done right away. If that's not possible, make arrangements to trailer the car. Even a few miles on a set of tires with the front end out of whack can be enough to ruin them. Usually, an aftermarket-suspension company will also provide you with new alignment settings, so be sure your shop of choice is willing to go "off the book" and use the settings you provide them. A four-wheel, laser-guided alignment and high-speed, on-car tire balancing will give you the best ride and handling, and the longest tire life.