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Old 10-21-2013, 05:47 PM   #1
guitarman376
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 1969 Mustang Coupe
Location: California
Posts: 541
OPR track roller control arms, track perches 1" 560lb springs 1/2 coil cut, 4.5 leafs reverse eye grab a trak 1.5" shelby drop, 70' spindles, baer bump. kit monte carlo bar, tinman conn. soon gas a just front, stock rear 1.125" front sway bar, 70" manual steering linkage
Default 1969 Coupe suspension build

Hi guys, in a few weeks I will begin my full suspension rebuild. I will be replacing the leaf springs with 4.5 reverse eye leafs grab a trak and replacing stock shackles, and I will be completely rebuilding the front end. I purchased an internal spring compressor that mounts to shock tower and spring perch so I'm covered there. Mods include:

ORP track roller upper and lower control arms
1.5" control arm drop
street or track strut rods
560lb 1" drop springs
curved monte carlo bar
tinman subframe connectors
1970' big bearing spindles
70' outer tie rods

If anyone has advice or experience with the following steps please do chime in: Drilling the new shock tower holes, removing original leaf spring setup (I have been dousing in penetrating lube already), pre-alignment shop alignment, and tinman connector install (specifically the metal cutting part).

A few specific concerns: I have heard to expect shims in certain places in the suspension system. With the monte carlo bar spreading the shock towers a bit after installation, and with all new parts I am unsure if I should note where the shims are and put them back on during install.
This also raises the question of whether or not I need shims for the pinion angle in the back? I am thinking I don't need to get them probably, but I read contradictory statements about this a lot. I have a decent magnetic angle finder. Also, I have read that you are not supposed to torque suspension components with the car in the air. Is this true? What is the proper torquing method for front and rear components?

Needless to say I'm ecstatic about this project. Bare with me, thanks in advance, and stay tuned!
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Old 10-22-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
67mustang302
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Get the Maier leaf springs if you're changing them out. They're more than worth the money. You get excellent spring rate with a WAY better ride and more control than any other spring out there since it actually lets the suspension move as intended.

For removing them, one side at a time and prop that end of the axle housing up with a jack stand. Car will have to be raised on jack stands supported under the jacking location and NOT the rear axle (or you may squish yourself).

There are instructions online for making a simple template for the drop, and you don't need to go more than 1". 1" drop gives you the proper camber gain on cornering if you have the right spring/shock combo. 1.5 won't hurt it (provided you don't have ball joint issues or run a realigned control arm) but is more than you need.

Shims under the rear housing depends on the setup, no one can say for certain until you have it together....and anyone who says they can is a moron. Every car sits slightly differently, transmission locations/mounts, height of the axle housing saddles etc. Generally speaking with certain springs and mostly stockish setups you can ballpark a starting point for a shim, but may need to change it.

Torquing suspension in the air is fine, it will settle. I like to use anti-seize on the front and rear bushings for the leaf springs so they can move freely.

If you want the car to have good handling and control, then seriously considering getting a spring/shock package from Maier Racing. At the very least get their shocks and rear leaf springs, it makes more difference than most people realize or can comprehend. FWIW my 67 handles and rides better than a buddy I worked with who had a 2007 Shelby Mustang GT with the track pack (but I also have a bunch of other stuff done beyond what you have). At the very least their rear spring and shocks will let your car ride like a new car and not get all nutty on bumpy roads.

Be careful about changing your strut rods, the factory ones were excellent quality, and some of the newer stuff changes the suspension geometry (for the worse).
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:54 AM   #3
guitarman376
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Vehicle: 1969 Mustang Coupe
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OPR track roller control arms, track perches 1" 560lb springs 1/2 coil cut, 4.5 leafs reverse eye grab a trak 1.5" shelby drop, 70' spindles, baer bump. kit monte carlo bar, tinman conn. soon gas a just front, stock rear 1.125" front sway bar, 70" manual steering linkage
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I have had brand new leafs waiting to be put on the car, so that's why I am using the ones I'm using. Also, the roller track arms ORP offers allows the ball joint angle to not cause bind with the said 1.5" drop so that's the direction I will be going. In years ahead I will get a more proper setup for the rear, but for the time being my money is better spent other places. I need new seats, exhaust, eventually a transmission, and also body work so funds are in limited supply. I appreciate your feedback.
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:53 PM   #4
67mustang302
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Yeah, it always comes down to money.

If you can weld, you might want to look into some bracing etc on the front of the car. you can buy Boss Mustang chassis modification manuals that show you some things you can do to reinforce the front end of the car, some welding and a bit of metal from the hardware store.

If you haven't gotten shocks yet, then get the Bilstiens from Maier at least, they're custom valved for the Classics (different valving setups depending on how aggressive the suspension is, come in 3 flavors). Good shocks make a HUGE difference, and will give you better ride quality, control and handling. Cheap shocks give a worse ride and worse handling/control, and tend to wear out. The Bilstiens last forever and are warrantied and can be rebuilt.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:04 PM   #5
boogerschnot
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Hey! The only issue I had was after the shelby drop I have had a hard time getting the alignment into spec. The wheels are pulled forward in the well due to the drop and is a normal, noted issue. Some folks use shims on the front bolt of the upper a arm to get the wheel back to the center of the well.

Where are you at in CA? Im in San Diego.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:01 AM   #6
guitarman376
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OPR track roller control arms, track perches 1" 560lb springs 1/2 coil cut, 4.5 leafs reverse eye grab a trak 1.5" shelby drop, 70' spindles, baer bump. kit monte carlo bar, tinman conn. soon gas a just front, stock rear 1.125" front sway bar, 70" manual steering linkage
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I'm in Santa Cruz Justin. I understand what you mean by the tire being more frontward, but specifically what part of the alignment won't go to spec? I have read that it is pretty common to shim upper control arms, and would like to prepare for any sorts of issues. I will have to google self alignment methods later and look through my ford manual so that I can hopefully ballpark it before having it done. If the upper control arm needs to be shimmed I'm assuming you have to remove the shock (for internal spring compressor), compress the spring so that force is not applied to the control arm anymore, remove upper c arm, add shim, then reverse...
67mustang302: Are you referring to the shock tower reinforcement plates that vendors sell? Eventually I will install something like that and probably a cross brace underneath the car, but like I said funds are limited. In the meantime I am certain that what I will have is much better than what's in the car now. Especially with subframe connectors and monte carlo car, which I have heard make a noticeable difference.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:08 AM   #7
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The Boss Chassis Modification Manual shows a few reinforcing pieces to fab/install, some mods to increase radiator air flow, and where to put some welds to increase strength. Most of it is pretty simple, some sheet metal from a hardware store and a welder.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:32 PM   #8
guitarman376
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 1969 Mustang Coupe
Location: California
Posts: 541
OPR track roller control arms, track perches 1" 560lb springs 1/2 coil cut, 4.5 leafs reverse eye grab a trak 1.5" shelby drop, 70' spindles, baer bump. kit monte carlo bar, tinman conn. soon gas a just front, stock rear 1.125" front sway bar, 70" manual steering linkage
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So I have been figuring out how I am going to do a rough alignment when assembly is done. Would a tool like the one below allow me to get a good first alignment?

I read a write up on how to do a rough alignment and the person used a tool like that one, it didn't seem like anything I couldn't handle with proper time. I would still go to a professional as soon as suspension is settled.
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:27 PM   #9
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Every time I have done an Arning (Shelby) 1" drop on the UCA, I have removed about half the shims that were in the UCA and it got it pretty close. I also counted threads/length on the tie rod ends to match what I removed.

That is a lot of money to spend on a tool just to go get a regular alignment anyway. I used an old gauge I bought from Harbor freight and placed the tires on two old floor tiles with oil between them so they could turn easily.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:10 PM   #10
guitarman376
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Vehicle: 1969 Mustang Coupe
Location: California
Posts: 541
OPR track roller control arms, track perches 1" 560lb springs 1/2 coil cut, 4.5 leafs reverse eye grab a trak 1.5" shelby drop, 70' spindles, baer bump. kit monte carlo bar, tinman conn. soon gas a just front, stock rear 1.125" front sway bar, 70" manual steering linkage
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I read that 69' models don't use shims on the upper control arms, adjustment comes from just strut rods and lower control arm eccentric. Is this true? Yea I planned on using something slippery under the tires.
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Old 10-28-2013, 11:10 PM
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