David Stribling
January 6, 2014

Coiled For Action

Q. I want to install a rear coilover suspension in my Mustang. I saw that you had installed two different brands in recent stories, but I am looking for the difference in ride quality between them, or which one has the better shocks. Can you fit tailpipes over the rearend with these rear suspensions? Thanks.

John Crass
Slinger, WI

A. Recommending suspensions without knowing what you want to do with the car could be a costly mistake. Leaf springs, four-bar, four-link, torque arm, IRS; they all have their pros and cons. For example, if you want to do a lot of drag racing, you really don't want an IRS—a live axle system launches better. But if you like to carve corners, the IRS works very well, though it is more expensive and a bit harder to package (and that includes your tailpipes you're asking about). I have had guys argue with me, "I can make a live axle handle as well as an IRS." Yes, that may be true, but it won't ride as nice as the IRS. I know of some race teams who are still racing and winning with nothing more than the right leaf springs and a Panhard rod—nothing exotic or fancy. Every system has its pros and cons that is certain.

You mention ride quality as an important aspect of your final decision. With that said, you just need to keep in mind that most aftermarket systems are designed to focus on the handling aspect of the suspension—not necessarily the ride quality. In general, ride quality diminishes as the ability to corner harder increases. Try to look for a system that has several levels of control—you'll probably find yourself looking at the cheaper options that have a cushy ride rather than billet goodies and 20-way adjustable shocks.

Picking Pumps

Q. I'm modifying the fuel system on my Maverick so I can run an electric fuel pump instead of a mechanical one. The carb that's on my engine is a 600-cfm Edelbrock (there's nothing wrong with a mechanical pump, it's just my personal preference). The problem that I'm running into is finding one that's reliable. I don't want to install it and have it leave me stranded out in the middle of nowhere. My first choice was a Holley Red pump, but a guy I know told me about how his Mr. Gasket 12S pump has fed his 331 stroker for six years with no problems (it's less expensive than the Holley, too). I've heard mixed reviews about the 12S. I've always been wary of buying "cheap" parts to install on my baby, but could the Mr. Gasket 12S really do the trick for my 302 with a four-barrel?

Marcus Baileye
Via the Internet

A. I think either pump will work just fine for your needs. I wouldn't hesitate to use the Mr. Gasket 12S. I would also look into the Carter universal pumps; they run a little more quietly in my opinion. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to run the Holley Blue pump or another high-flow "race" pump on a street car that is never being run hard. As per the Holley site, an engine at full power requires a half a pound of fuel per horsepower every hour. Holley notes that since a gallon of gas weighs 6 pounds, an engine making 350 hp requires 175 pounds of fuel per hour at full power, or 29 gallons per hour (gph). The Holley Red pump will flow 97 gph, and the Mr. Gasket 12S will flow 35 gph, both well more than what you need on a street engine. Running a Holley Blue on a street engine doesn't help you out; in fact the pump will run very hot. The Carter GP4602RV will flow 72 gph with less noise.

Drag Pack Springs

Q. Have you ever seen a spring pack like this? It looks homemade to me, but I thought I'd check with an expert. These springs are off of a 1970 Torino SCJ Drag Pack car that I am restoring for a customer.

Bob Roeder
KR Motorsports; Lincoln NE

A. These look like a pair of Cougar, Fairlane, Torino, or 1971-73 Mustang springs with an aftermarket set of under ride traction bars. The metal bracket and bushings right in the middle of the spring where it mounts to the axle were used for extra vibration absorption, I believe. They are shown in the Osborn chassis assembly manuals (sometimes marked S-77). They typically weren't used on pre-1971 Mustangs. The aftermarket under ride traction bars help on acceleration. When the front part of the spring wraps up the traction bar keeps it in place and the helper spring on the back keeps the spring from becoming S-shaped on hard launch. I believe the rear helper spring is aftermarket, as I didn't find anything like it in my books and the design looks aftermarket. (Nice shackles too!—Ed.)

These look like a pair of Cougar, Fairlane, Torino, or 1971-73 Mustang springs with an aftermarket set of under ride traction bars

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