There's no denying that the stock Ford suspensions from the '60s and '70s are full of compromises. Budgetary constraints, packaging limitations, and so forth were considerations Ford had to contend with when building vehicles for the masses. Today, owners often attempt Band-Aid fixes while running modern sticky tires, and the end result is a car that doesn't handle, doesn't steer, and doesn't stop. Fixing these issues is entirely possible and one of the best ways to tackle the mediocre handling, steering, and braking of these cars is with a full bolt-on independent front suspension (IFS) upgrade package. An aftermarket IFS kit that addresses these concerns as a systems approach will net you a better handling and safer ride in a weekend of wrenching.
Fatman Fabrications has offered full chassis and Mustang II conversions for the street rod market for nearly three decades, and when the company's engineers first investigated the growing unibody Ford market (Mustang, Falcon, Fairlane, and so on), it was agreed upon that the typical Mustang II crossmember conversion was not the way to go. Instead, Fatman Fabrications devised a trick bolt-in IFS coilover strut suspension cradle that used all Ford parts for ease of servicing. Their reasoning? The Ford unibody design uses the shock towers to support the vehicle and transfer suspension loads to the firewall and cowl. Removing the shock towers means the vehicle's weight is now on the front frame rails exclusively—a weaker proposition by their reasoning.
The popular '94-'04 Mustang spindle and strut assembly was the key part of making the cradle work, and with the enormous late-model Mustang market, the customer would be able to choose from literally dozens of strut and brake options—from stone stock budget parts to trick adjustable struts and multi-piston disc brakes. Buyers can pick and choose their struts, brakes, and other hardware as their budget allows or project needs dictate. They can also purchase everything they'll need including rack-and-pinion, tilt steering column, and more directly from Fatman Fabrications for one-stop-shopping.
The first IFS cradle system from Fatman Fabrications hit the market for first generation Mustangs in 2005 and we were one of the lucky few to actually drive that '68 Mustang with Fatman's IFS system, coming away quite impressed at how the system worked. However, as time marches on, so does a successful company and its innovations and Fatman Fabrications does not sit idle. The company's strut IFS system is now offered for other Ford models, with a full lower cradle and a true A-arm design (previous designs retained the strut rods) that improves the car's handling.