Mustang Restomod Guide : Suspension
Want to upgrade your vintage Mustang's suspension? In today's restomod market, you can go from mild to wild.
In the March '07 issue, we looked at some of the popular exterior modifications for Mustang restomods. Last month, we focused on drivetrain upgrades from stroker engines to overdrive transmissions. This month, suspension components have our attention. There are plenty of options vailable for upgrading a vintage Mustang's suspension. You can go mild with a traditional spring and shock package, or you can go wild with tubular arms and coilover shocks.
The Eyes Have It
For lowering the rear of your Mustang without lowering blocks or de-arching factory-spec springs, check into rear leaf springs with repositioned eyes, available from Mustangs Plus. A reverse-eye spring puts the mounting eye on the other side of the leaves to lower the car about 1-1/2-inches below the stock ride height. A mid-eye spring, which positions the eye at the end of the spring, drops the Mustang approximately 1 inch.
Rod & Custom Motorsports offers a pair of Mustang II-style tubular front A-arm suspension systems for '65-'70 Mustangs: one with standard shocks (RC-106) and the other with coilover shocks (RC-107). Both include a crossmember, motor mounts, spindles, 11-inch disc brakes, tubular upper and lower arms, and either manual or power rack-and-pinion steering. Because the factory shock towers are eliminated with the Rod & Custom kit, fender repair panels are also included. Six-way adjustable coilover shocks are included with kit RC-107 (pictured).
When Cinema Vehicles Services was instructed to modify several '67 Mustang fastbacks for high-speed action in the movie Gone in 60 Seconds, the company looked to Total Control Products for its adjustable coilover front-suspension kit. The kit includes TCP's tubular control arms and coilover shocks. It's significantly upgraded compared to the factory stamped-steel control arms and coil springs, yet it uses the stock mounting points for a simple installation.
The TCP upper and lower control arms are made from TIG-welded tubular steel to offer reduced deflection and improved ball-joint angles. Unique adjustment couplers allow precise setting of caster and camber. Because shims aren't used to align the frontend, the control-arm pivot shaft remains in full contact with the shock tower to further strengthen the suspension. Spherical ends, as opposed to the factory rubber bushings, eliminate unwanted deflection and movement at attaching points. Suspension geometry improvements include a lower center of gravity, higher roll center, reduced vehicle roll rate, quicker negative camber gain, and increased compression travel.
TCP's Vari-Shock coilover shocks provide adjustment for compression and rebound dampening. By rotating the spring seat ring, spring rate and ride height can be adjusted. Although the coilover springs are smaller than the factory's coil springs, they're more than strong enough to handle the weight of a Mustang.
To further take advantage of the coilover front suspension, TCP also offers a rack-and-pinion steering kit, precision adjustable strut rods, and forged spindles.
The original stamped-steel control arms on vintage Mustangs served their purpose in the '60s. Today, the Control Freak tubular arms from Blue Moon provide a huge step up from the original components. They offer additional strength, improved geometry, and more adjustability. Available from National Parts Depot, the control arms are made from 1.050x0.154-inch-wall seamless tubing, available in black powdercoat or a polished stainless steel finish. Also included is Grade 8 hardware for installation. Although not a coilover system, the Control Freak tubular A-arms are about as good as it gets without using more expensive coilovers.