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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I am not a suspension and/or steering guru....what I want for my car is a good handling daily driver...nothing competitive, but fun for the street. The plan is to use Street or Track's coilover setups front and rear....but due to my planned engine swap, the stock drag link requires unfortunate oil pan modifications(I am currently piecing together an oil pan that will hopefully work). I had the the thought though...what will be the practical effect of converting to front steer? I am talking converting to front steer while retaining the rest of the stock-style(or in this case SoT) suspension pieces. Is this theoretically possible? Say by flipping the spindles side to side and making a custom crossmember maybe using a foxbody rack?(I would say chop down an AJE crossmember and use that, but I am sure that piece uses foxbody spindles). Obviously there would be other issues like the front sway bar location...but with the change in Ackerman, what would be the real effect on handling?
 

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Flipping the spindles wrong-way round would make your car pretty unsafe. Ackerman angles being what they are, you effectively draw a line from the spindle's pivot point, through the pivot on the spindle's arm to the center of the rear driveshaft. That means when the arms are on the rear of the spindle, they need to point inward. On the front, they need to point outward. This does create some fitment issues with wheels and brakes, but it's certainly been done a lot.


Functionally, Ackerman angle takes into account how fast the front of your car swings round, matching both front wheels to the arc your car's describing, so they're both at different parts of the circle but tracking parallel to each other in regard to that circle.


If you get it wrong, as you turn, one wheel will be fighting to steer a different course than the other, both taking different arcs and scrubbing the tires, but also making your grip and handling absolute garbage - sort of like trying to drive with too much toe-out or toe-in.
 

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There are some front end kits that use front steer spindles, but I would avoid the ones that use MII steering components. Fox Mustangs can be modified to use upper A arms with a bolt on adapter but I'm not aware of anyone that has a kit that has been properly engineered as a bolt in.


I knew a guy in CA that did reverse the spindles, but that was on a drag race car. Never saw it run so can't comment on how it worked.
 

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There's a few things that "rear their head" when you do this.
Swapping spindles side-for-side, placing the tie rod in front, used to be done on early Fords for frame clearance.
Lovely, you now have toe-in on turns..... outside tire turns sharper than the inside and what results is that one
tire gets dragged sideways.

Another thing pops into my mind- Bump Steer would also be interesting, but you can address that (maybe)
when fooling with the rack install.

Bottom line is this is not a mod I think you'll easily pull off.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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That is quite the rabbit hole you're in with the V6 swap. Wilwood makes their Pro Spindle with front steer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is quite the rabbit hole you're in with the V6 swap. Wilwood makes their Pro Spindle with front steer.
Well, a custom oil pan is not that big a deal(I have the materials and a TIG welder). I am just looking at all available options...(I would rather have a stock oil pan for this) especially if an option lets me come away with rack and pinion steering that kinda kills two birds with one stone. Fabricate an oil pan...fabricate a crossmember...6 of one, half a dozen of the other to me.

This is all just a theoretical discussion at the moment, I have no intention of doing it unless it seems possible. There are plenty of front steer applications around so it has to be possible...but if the vintage mustang spindle is designed in such a way as to make it impossible to use in this way then that is something else entirely.

I will look at those Wilwood spindles though, maybe there is a possibility there.
 

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I haven't seen any front-steer conversions that use vintage spindles. Griggs ( $$$ ) uses late model Mustang spindles and rack. The problem with aftermarket spindles is you'd have to design your own custom front suspension and geometry.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would just use the entire AJE front suspension and be done with it if I wasn't worried that handling wouldn't be as good as the SoT setup(McPherson strut may be simple and compact, but it isn't known for great handling...who knows though, maybe it handles wonderfully, one of those things its hard to find feedback on)
 

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I wasn't suggesting a strut suspension, I wouldn't use one on a vintage Mustang either. Grigg's does an SLA suspension. Modern cars designed around a strut suspension can be fantastic, Porsche for one, but I have my doubts about the retro-fits.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sadly Griggs is out of my budget for this build(not to mention more project creep than I would want at this late stage)
 

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I like R&C stuff, but I think they're just as expensive as Griggs.
Having looked at R&C and ultimately settling on Griggs, I can tell you that the R&C stuff I looked at was MUCH less than Griggs.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Why reinvent the wheel for less or barely equal performance ? Put a nice small block in do the suspension right drive happy
Less? the 3.7L makes 305HP and 280ft/lb of torque...somewhat more power(and somewhat less torque) than a K-code 289. But you are 100% right...I would definitely go with a SBF if it wasn't for 1 factor...weight...the 3.7L saves me 200lbs up front...the 6 speed trans is nice, but if it wasn't for the weight I would go SBF and a T5...a little bit of work to make it fit isn't that big a price to pay for a car that will handle better at the same power level...the car is being built with the focus on handling...hence, this engine choice(also I already have this engine and tranny sitting around, so that is less money spent on drivetrain). In the end though I am not trying to re-engineer anything, just discussing this to see if its a viable option vs. making a custom oil pan(the only reason it would be is the potential to gain rack and pinion steering). As I said earlier, I am working on fabricating a custom oil pan already(I have in fact started modifications to the factory piece...but I am going to fab one from scratch instead simply because the stupidly complex shape of the factory pan does not lend itself very well to modification, way to many curves and angles will just increase the time spent tracing down pinhole leaks, might as well fab from scratch...I also go from 1/8" wall thickness cast to 3/8" wall thickness alloy...far easier to work with than a casting and less likely to crack)

You have a point but for those that want the shock towers to go away it’s necessary. And you can’t drop in a coyote with the shock towers there
The 3.7L v6 I am using is able to retain the factory shock towers...its just the drag link that either requires a steering modification or a custom oil pan.


On another note: I saw that Livernois Motorsport used a dry sump system on their Ecoboost 3.5L which shares the same block(hence the same oil pan bolt pattern) as the 3.7L...so that is now an official(albeit expensive) option.
 

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This may be rolling a bit off-topic, but the 3.7 does have some significant shortcomings in comparison to any SBF. It makes all its power waaay up at about 6500 RPMs, with peak torque coming on at 4k. It has always had trouble with the cam phasers, which are very expensive to replace, and being a mod motor, this is compounded by copious sludge production. The early ones all had problems with their water pumps too, eagerly leaking water into the oil pan and churning things into mayonnaise.


It is true that in stock form it's a bit lighter than a 289/302, but the superior torque delivery, simplicity and ease of maintenance, and much higher power potential for a Windsor really defeat all the added fuss and expense of making one work with an early Mustang in my opinion. With aluminum heads and intake, you can get a SBF down below 400 lbs, and the average power is MUCH better. Granted, if you have a 7 speed gearbox going in too, the deficiencies of the V6 would be mitigated, allowing you to stay in your power band and take advantage of its peak output better. But those transmissions would absolutely negate any weight advantage that the engine itself has over a Windsor, and again, there would be a lot of fabrication and expense to make it work.


Speaking directly and simply about the spindles though: The stock Ford spindles cannot be safely made to work. You'd have to ditch your front brakes, cut off the arms, and weld them back on at a weird new angle to make them work right. Probably not the best setup.
 
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