Vintage Mustang Forums banner

1 - 20 of 120 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys from a pure safety perspective which of these three is the best mod to a classic mustang.

1.brakes (front discs)
2.steering (rack and pinion)
3.suspension (front coil overs)

If there is something else other than these three feel free to throw it out there. I’m choosing these because I feel they can be the most expensive upgrades you can make. Obviously from a performance perspective all three are a good idea however from a safety perspective which would have a great effect?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,703 Posts
Disc brakes keep YOU from hitting stuff and made the biggest improvement for me. A tight steering box, especially one of the quick-ratio ones, and good steering components helps with handling without spending a lot adding complicated steering stuff. Also 3-point seat belts are biggie to help you in case someone hits YOU (or you hit something).

My brother always says, "It's not the fall. It's that darned sudden stop..."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Disc brakes keep YOU from hitting stuff and made the biggest improvement for me. A tight steering box, especially one of the quick-ratio ones, and good steering components helps with handling without spending a lot adding complicated steering stuff. Also 3-point seat belts are biggie to help you in case someone hits YOU (or you hit something).

My brother always says, "It's not the fall. It's that darned sudden stop..."
Makes sense. I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop as fast as a late model car. Do people add rear discs too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
Assuming one is upgrading parts that are in good condition, I think it is hard to argue brakes is the biggest area for improvement.

One could argue radial tires are a vast improvement, but bias really are not an option these days.

I like the improvement LED tail lights make.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
205 Posts
Brakes and seat belts. When these cars were designed, built, and sold, there was a very small fraction of the number of cars on the road that there are today. So, brakes and seat belts.

And lasers. Don't forget the lasers. And maybe a .50 cal mounted in a discreet spot, like a roof ring mount or something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
Makes sense. I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop as fast as a late model car. Do people add rear discs too?
Some add rear discs but the back end of a Mustang is so light that added braking power there is not as critical. It is not hard for me to lock my rear drums with a little twist of the proportioning valve.

You are justified to feel you will not stop as fast as a late model car. The cheapest solution is to just give a little more room.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,703 Posts
Makes sense. I have been afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop as fast as a late model car. Do people add rear discs too?
Rear discs are not much of a stopping improvement on vintage Mustangs except for track cars, some just do it 'because'.

@66coupe289 is right about LED tail lights. I added those to help people see me sooner, as well as LED front signal bulbs and halogen headlights. The relay kit for headlights makes them a little brighter still and removes a lot of the load on the headlight switch and harness.

Keep a fire extinguisher in the car, just in case, too. It may save the car, or you may save someone else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,140 Posts
For safety? I would say 3+ point seat belts to be honest...they will keep you alive in the event of a crash that even the best brakes or handling in the world might not be able to prevent. As an example...a few winters ago, driving home...in my neighborhood in my 05 Mazda 6...going about 15mph I come down this slight hill around a curve...and keep going right into the ditch due to the street having iced over. No input on the brakes, manual transmission or anything else had any effect whatsoever. No injury to myself or any real damage to the car(other than having to get an alignment) but the point is, it was a situation over which no input had an effect at all...I just misjudged and thought 15mph would be a safe speed coming down that curved hill. I was wrong for that particular condition that particular day. While its true you probably wont be driving in icy conditions, a similar situation could happen on an unfamiliar road in which a storm a couple days past could have washed out gravel from a driveway onto a similar hill
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
452 Posts
LED rear brake lights. The single bulb rear brake lights are really feeble. I got mine from gonavy.
3 point belts.
Head rests.
Good working brakes. Depending on your driving, drums can be enough if properly working.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Got it so as long as most mechanical parts are in good working order it’s safe to say I should throw discs in the front, upgrade the seat belts (I believe I’ll be going with 4 point harness attached to a roll cage. And lights! Makes sense for sure.

And of course common sense;)

Thanks guys
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,840 Posts
Rebuilt 50 year old suspension and steering assys are fine!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,065 Posts
I'm no expert, but I've read that disc brakes (oem vs oem) do not stop any quicker. The advantage of disc brakes is in the dissapation of heat. Disc or drum will over come the tires ability to grip the road.

Three point belts and a firewall behind the rear seat are nice upgrades from a safety stand point (not to mention I've read the firewall behind the rear seat really adds strength to the car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
139 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
I'm no expert, but I've read that disc brakes (oem vs oem) do not stop any quicker. The advantage of disc brakes is in the dissapation of heat. Disc or drum will over come the tires ability to grip the road.

Three point belts and a firewall behind the rear seat are nice upgrades from a safety stand point (not to mention I've read the firewall behind the rear seat really adds strength to the car.
Yes I would be using bigger wildwood brakes.

I like the rear firewall idea a lot. Just Incase the tank caught blew up or something. Even if you got rear ended it might help the passengers stay safer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,447 Posts
Then why use them for competitive racing?
You will not find 4 point belts for competitive racing, at least not SCCA or NHRA. The submarine belt is necessary. Also, 4 or 5 belts make movement restrictive for movements required for safe street driving, like checking one's blind spots. (unless you have the neck of an owl. ;) )
 
1 - 20 of 120 Posts
Top