Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
June 1, 2013
Photos By: Source Interlink Media Archives

Taking your vintage Mustang to the next level and making it a capable, road hugging machine that can stay with the pack on the street or track and have braking that inspires confidence and not a change of underwear means having to open your wallet. Plain and simple, there's just no bargain fix for getting your Mustang to handle better. Sure, some experienced drivers have been able to use the classic tricks of the '60s Trans-Am era with some success, but tuning your suspension's ride height, shock compression/rebound, and spring rates means you can dial your ride in to the exact road feel you want for daily driving or be able to tune your suspension for any track condition.

We know you're thinking, Do I really need a coilover suspension for my Mustang to handle well? The short answer is no—if you are running stock 14-inch tires and only drive to cruise nights and Saturday ice cream runs with the grandkids. However, if you drive your vintage Mustang daily, have any interest in weekend autocross or road course/HPDE events, and plan a modern wheel and rubber combo...well then it is a resounding yes to that question. An adjustable coilover suspension will help your Mustang use every bit of that modern, low-profile, sticky rubber. Not to mention several of these systems are designed to work with aftermarket or late-model Mustang brakes and you now have great stopping power with discs up front.

Each of these systems we're outlining in our buyer's guide has been designed to improve handling, reduce or eliminate bumpsteer, allow easy ride height and spring rate adjustments, and many include adjustable shocks or have an option for the adjustment. We've included coilover kits that encompass the basic conversion (retaining the stock control arms) for our readers on a budget, as well as the more involved systems that utilize tubular control arms and often eliminate the strut rod assembly on the vintage Mustang. We've even found a few strut-based systems as well that eliminate the upper arm altogether (like a '79-'13 Mustang) and use a cradle-based system. Finally, we added a sidebar on weld-in systems for those that truly need the engine bay room for big-block or modular engine swaps as well. Check out these offerings and then contact the manufacturers for more details, options, and current pricing.

Anthony Jones Engineering

AJE is well known for their '79-'04 Mustang drag suspensions and engine crossmembers and only just a few years ago entered the vintage Mustang suspension arena with their Colt-65 starter kit. The Colt-65 uses similar coilover strut and crossmember features of their late-model Mustang product line redesigned to work with the vintage Mustang shock tower. The Colt-65 kit does not include spindles or steering rack, but allows you to build with the Colt-65 as a foundation. If you're looking for one-stop shopping, AJE's complete kits include everything but the disc brake hardware. Choose from either Fox or SN95 spindle applications and manual or power rack-and-pinion steering.

Application: 1965-1970 Mustang
Shock/Strut: coilover strut assembly
Adjustable: single adjustable for both compression and rebound
Kit Contents: crossmember with engine mounts (choice of small-block, big-block, modular, 2.3L four-cylinder, or 3.8L V-6), lower A-arms, manual or power steering rack, steering shaft, bumpsteer kit, caster/camber plates, coilover struts with springs, Fox or SN95 Mustang spindles
Pricing: $1,549-$2,599

Classic Performance Products

The folks at Classic Performance Products (CPP) have introduced their own vintage Mustang coilover conversion for '65-'70 Mustangs that keeps things really simple. The coilover shock bolts to the original or stock-replacement style upper control arm and utilizes a conical spring that sits in the shock tower in the original coil spring retaining pocket. Simply remove the stock coil spring and shock absorber and replace with the CPP coilover kit and you have a fully adjustable front suspension setup. Shocks are available in single and double adjustable configurations.

Application: 1965-1970 Mustang
Shock/Strut: coilover shock assembly
Adjustable: single adjustable for both compression and rebound via external knob, optional double adjustable for separate compression and rebound settings via external knobs
Kit Contents: coilover shock body with single or double adjustable control knobs, conical coilover springs, mounting hardware
Pricing: $569-$828

Control Freak Suspensions

You probably know a few control freaks in your office, but in this case it is a good thing! Control Freak Suspensions designed a direct replacement coilover shock assembly that bolts in place of the stock coil spring and damper. You can use your stock control arms, but the Control Freak DOM steel tubing control arms that are offered along with their coilover kits is the perfect addition. The upper arms feature built-in negative roll with relocated ball joints, and both upper and lower arms feature impregnated graphite poly bushings for crisp handling with low noise. Best of all its control arms are stronger and lighter than stock and don't flex like stock stamped parts.

Application: 1965-1970 Mustang
Shock/Strut: coilover shock assembly
Adjustable: adjustable for compression with external knob, double adjustable is an option
Kit Contents: upper and lower DOM tubular control arms, upper control arm relocation template, spring perch replacement brackets, upper shock mount brackets, coilover shocks, conical coilover springs
Pricing: $949-$1,899