October 1, 2005

The correct finish for the upper control arms, idler arm, pitman arm, steering box, strut rods, strut-rod washers, drag link, tie rods, and tie-rod connectors is bare metal. The upper control arms, strut rod, and strut washers are a shiny stamped-steel finish. The idler arm, pitman arm, drag link, and steering box housing are bare cast finish with some machined surfaces that are also shiny in appearance. The top of the steering box is often blacked out with semigloss black as part of the undercarriage black out. This was usually done with a brush application. The lower control arms were dipped in semigloss black, but the ball joint end was left natural. Usually about 3 to 4 inches on the end is bare, shiny metal. The tie rods and connectors are either shiny bare metal or a dark blue-black finish, depending on whether the heat-treating process was oil or water-cooled. Most '70s were the dark finish, while most '67-'69s were shiny bare steel. The idler arm, pitman arm, and drag link had pink paint codes for manual steering and yellow for power steering. The front strut rod washers had a yellow dab for most '70 Mustangs; '69 Boss 302s and very early '70s were blue. The '69 and '70 Boss used different strut-rod kits.

A detailed undercarriage and suspension-detail article is in the works for a future issue of Mustang Monthly.

Send restoration questions to: Resto Roundup, c/o Bob Perkins, Perkins Restoration, North 3123, Highway 16 & 26, Juneau, WI 53039. Send e-mail to: mustang.monthly@primedia.com.