Classic Ford Mustang Notchback Gets Coilover Makeover
College student single-handedly installs a coilover upgrade on his vintage Mustang for a massive improvement in ride quality.
When you go to college, you learn a lot more than just what’s in the expensive textbooks you have to get. You encounter people from different cultures, some from the other side of the planet. You try new foods. If you go to school out of state, you figure out how to function in a completely different world than the one you once knew. You also get valuable experience in budgeting your time for studying, working, and pursuing your hobbies. Film student and Four Speed Films founder Ben Kahan seems to have figured out how to do that. He spent the only time he had available, the weekends, installing a coilover suspension in his 1965 Ford Mustang notchback.
In his video documenting the process, he gets right to work on his car, which seems to be a tribute to Steve McQueen’s 1968 “Bullitt” Mustang. Swapping out the old-school suspension hardware for fresh coilovers took him two weekends, so Kahan speeds up the footage to show what the procedure involved in a viewer-friendly amount of time.
Here’s the gist of it: Jack car up, take front wheels off, pop the hood, pull the front shocks up and out, yank the springs from below, drill through the strut tower brace mounts, install plastic washers, torque down the brace, put the coilovers in, insert and tighten the top hardware, repeat on the bottom end, re-mount the wheels, lower the car.
The rear end requires its own set of steps. The biggest difference is the fact that its new hardware doesn’t have the external spring around it.
The only way Kahan can truly determine if his time was well spent is to drive his car. Luckily, he soon discovers that sacrificing two of his weekends made a big improvement. “Oh my God, it’s like a new car.”
Kahan wanted to take his Mustang’s handling to the next level, so he chose a stiffer, performance-oriented setting for the coilovers. “It’s a little bumpy, but I don’t want … a normal ride.”
Kahan’s solo project is a success. It causes a problem, though. Kahan says, “The suspension really makes me want to upgrade my tires,” which don’t allow him to put as much power down as he’d like.
Once Kahan eventually finds the set he likes, he’ll have to make time to go get them mounted on his wheels. We’re confident he will. Clearly, he’s already learned how to fit upgrading his Mustang into his busy schedule.