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-   -   Steering/Suspension Replacement? (http://mustangforums.com/forum/classic-mustangs-tech/711469-steering-suspension-replacement.html)

thesambox 06-29-2014 10:04 PM

Steering/Suspension Replacement?
 
This is my first post, however I've been researching restoration and mods for the last year and a half.

I am working on a '67 coupe restoration. I'm not doing concours or high performance, just daily driver quality. I pulled all the steering and suspension off yesterday and am trying to decide what to replace and what to reuse. I've browsed this and other forums and I don't get a clear opinion either way.

My original plan was to pull it all off, clean and paint and reinstall. However, after pulling everything off, I see that the rubber boots on all of the ball joints have rotted away. This lead me to believe that the ball joints themselves would be in questionable shape and that I should just replace everything, from the tie rods, to the control arms.

Some people have said just replace the rubber throughout (Boots and bushings) and keep the original steel since new steel is likely foreign made and of lower quality. Others say to replace it all and start fresh.

I need a clear direction because this will end up being a 500 dollar purchase to replace everything. What are your thoughts folks?

Starfury 06-30-2014 12:03 AM

If the boots are disintegrating, I'd suspect the ball joints are toast too. Unfortunately, the only real way to tell is if you put everything back together and check it on the vehicle. If it were me and I had the budget, I'd replace everything.

New parts are likely foreign steel, but you shouldn't really be worried about the castings breaking. It's the ball joints themselves that wear. Moog components would be ideal, although might cost quite a bit more than alternatives. Mevotech makes good stuff as well. Spicer/Raybestos (same company) is the next step down, but still pretty good.

Since you have everything apart, here are a couple deviations from factory replacement that I'd recommend:

1) Roller spring perches from OpenTracker Racing Products. Worth every penny, they allow the springs to operate without binding the factory perch bushings. Makes for a smoother, more responsive ride, and puts less lateral stress on the shocks (I broke a brand new shock due to this problem before I installed roller perches)

2) UCA's from ORP as well. They're quality control arms with deburred shafts and with the caps tacked into proper position. On my list of things to do.

3) Shelby drop for the UCA mounting holes. Relocating the UCA mounting holes 1" lower changes the suspension geometry, giving you more negative camber at the outside wheel while cornering, keeping modern radial tires flatter on the road. From the driver seat, it feels like installing a thicker sway bar, but without the drawback of increased suspension stiffness. If you ask around, someone on the forum probably has a steel template they can ship you (sorry, I donated mine a while back).

4) Bilstein shocks from Maier Racing. Quality shocks will go a long way towards improving ride quality and suspension response. Sure, you can drive the car with a cheap set of Monroe's or KYB GR-2's, but a high end shock like custom valved Bilsteins will make a world of difference.

thesambox 06-30-2014 12:19 AM

Yeah, I failed to check the components while on the vehicle.

I was planning on doing the UCA drop. It seems real simple, just need the template. Anyone have it lying around?

I was debating the roller spring perches as well. As you say, it seems like it could be a good buy. I never drove this car before the resto so I don't have a comparison. I will trust you on this mod.

If I decide to just replace all the rubber, can I get that through NPD or others? I've been looking at RockAuto.com (used them before) and they have MOOG parts real cheap, but not just the rubber, I'd have to buy the whole LCA, tie rod, etc.

I really am stuck on the fence with this one. I want to do the front disk brake conversion. Will this affect my decision?

Al Newman 06-30-2014 06:01 AM

If your goal is truly to build a daily driver, clean up the tie rods and put new boots on. Don't worry about drops, roller perches, fancy UCA's, high dollar shocks, etc. These Mustangs did not become classics because they were made out of junk, so, in the main, as a daily driver, OEM replacement stuff will suffice. Once you have replaced the boots and have driven the car a bit, you will better know what needs to be replaced. If your goals change with time and you want to build a world beater or find that you really like the alternative engineering that is so often practiced on these wonderful cars today, then go for the popular replacement "upgrades".
Best,
Al

Starfury 06-30-2014 11:56 AM

I disagree, partially. If you want to put the steering back together and only replace what needs to be replaced, there's nothing wrong with that (aside from requiring some extra effort on your part). But the modifications I recommended are good for ANY classic Mustang, especially a daily driver. This is when you're really going to notice a difference. Roller perches, Shelby drop, and better shocks are going to make a world of difference when it comes to ride quality and overall driveability. The roller perches, shelby drop, and UCA's are also things that require much more effort to replace once everything is put back together, so it makes more sense to do them now while you have the car torn apart.

Having done these things on my '67 when it was still my daily driver, I can tell you that the benefits are instantly noticeable. The car stays more level and has more grip when cornering, and soaks up bumps in the road much more smoothly. I'm not recommending you put heavy duty springs on the car (although a set of GT springs might be appreciated), just update the front end to maximize your bang for the buck while you have it all apart. If you have to shave money off somewhere, save up and do the shocks later. Those are the easiest to replace down the road.

Generic suspension boots can be had at any chain parts store. Sometimes you can get replacement boots for a specific manufacturer's part, but who's to know what part on the car came from what manufacturer?

Disc brakes are a fantastic upgrade from factory drums. I'd recommend the Swap.1 Kit from CSRP. It's the same kit I used on my '67, and I'm very happy with it. It is a bolt-on kit that doesn't require you to change your spindles, which is excellent. And unlike many other disc brake kits, it's OE for '65-67. This means you can walk into any parts store and ask for replacement pads, hoses, calipers, etc for your car, rather than pads/calipers off an S10, rotors from a Ranger, etc. In addition, the 4-piston K-H style brake system is superior performance-wise to the later single-piston setups.

If you want a power booster, CSRP can add that into the kit. I opted to go without, knowing that I could upgrade later if I wanted to. After driving it for 6 months with no booster, I decided that I didn't need it. The manual discs are just that much better than manual drums. That said, alternative drivers (wife, daughter, etc) might affect your decision:)

creaky 06-30-2014 04:29 PM

Depends on what you want. My '65 has OEM original front suspension and after I got the alignment right, I'm very pleased with how it drives....I had forgotten how well these cars did handle right out of the box.

thesambox 06-30-2014 05:48 PM

I think I am going to clean up the steering/suspension and only replace the rubber boots and bushings as needed. I will put it all back together and try it out. I plan on doing the UCA drop, the disc brake conversion and will consider the roller perches. If things are okay after all this, I will leave it.

I do appreciate the advice. It helps a lot.

Starfury 06-30-2014 06:27 PM

Great, let us know how it turns out:)

Seadog 08-08-2014 10:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Starfury (Post 8404506)
I disagree, partially. If you want to put the steering back together and only replace what needs to be replaced, there's nothing wrong with that (aside from requiring some extra effort on your part). But the modifications I recommended are good for ANY classic Mustang, especially a daily driver. This is when you're really going to notice a difference. Roller perches, Shelby drop, and better shocks are going to make a world of difference when it comes to ride quality and overall driveability. The roller perches, shelby drop, and UCA's are also things that require much more effort to replace once everything is put back together, so it makes more sense to do them now while you have the car torn apart.

Having done these things on my '67 when it was still my daily driver, I can tell you that the benefits are instantly noticeable. The car stays more level and has more grip when cornering, and soaks up bumps in the road much more smoothly. I'm not recommending you put heavy duty springs on the car (although a set of GT springs might be appreciated), just update the front end to maximize your bang for the buck while you have it all apart. If you have to shave money off somewhere, save up and do the shocks later. Those are the easiest to replace down the road.

Generic suspension boots can be had at any chain parts store. Sometimes you can get replacement boots for a specific manufacturer's part, but who's to know what part on the car came from what manufacturer?

Disc brakes are a fantastic upgrade from factory drums. I'd recommend the Swap.1 Kit from CSRP. It's the same kit I used on my '67, and I'm very happy with it. It is a bolt-on kit that doesn't require you to change your spindles, which is excellent. And unlike many other disc brake kits, it's OE for '65-67. This means you can walk into any parts store and ask for replacement pads, hoses, calipers, etc for your car, rather than pads/calipers off an S10, rotors from a Ranger, etc. In addition, the 4-piston K-H style brake system is superior performance-wise to the later single-piston setups.

If you want a power booster, CSRP can add that into the kit. I opted to go without, knowing that I could upgrade later if I wanted to. After driving it for 6 months with no booster, I decided that I didn't need it. The manual discs are just that much better than manual drums. That said, alternative drivers (wife, daughter, etc) might affect your decision:)

I'm also looking for a way to improve the ride of my 64 1/2 - it's a driver. What about the LCA setup? Have you made any changes there, or see the need to? I see so many coil-over bolt-on kits and also the Mustang II kits. Lots of money! I just want to do what works.

I have manual steering and I'm happy with it. I will definitely be replacing the drums for discs.

Thanks for your input!

Starfury 08-08-2014 10:59 AM

I believe you can upgrade pre-67 LCA's to the '67+ style LCA's and adjustable strut rods to allow you to set camber from the bottom, but don't expect any performance gain from it. Really, the control arms aren't the weak points, just the 40yr old suspension geometry and parts.

If you want ride quality to improve, I'd recommend new factory style coils (or GT coils for a slightly firmer ride), replacement rubber coil spring insulators, roller spring perches (makes a big difference), and a good set of shocks. KYB GR-2's will ride smooth enough, but won't be very sporty. A set of the afore-mentioned Bilsteins would probably be a better bet if you can afford them.

Unless you resort to some drastic suspension modifications, don't expect modern car ride quality. But you can get it to ride smooth enough if all of the suspension parts are in good shape.


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