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1965 mustang A code 4spd
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working the bugs out of my 65 since it's been put back on the road and was wondering how other people's mustang handle. With stock suspension she seems a bit old truck ish. I have replaced the upper ball joints and lower control arms all stock. Sway bar bushings and links. I have not done the strut rod bushing but those are next. Short of the full open tracker or some other complete suspension kit that would make it handle like it's on rails I bet.
I wish I would have had chock rebuild the steering box while the motor was out. I also I have not done the arning drop. Any other ideas or thoughts.
 

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I have following on my 65 coupe:

stock style upper control arms with control shaft offset to add additional caster

stock style lower control arms with Energy Suspension inner poly bushings

stock strut rods with poly bushings

More recent change to the front is switch to Vi-King coil overs

Also have 1-1/8” front sway bar

Perhaps the thing that helped start the changes…Arning/Shelby upper control arm relocation.

A couple of years ago, rebuilt/reconditioned front suspension, steering, and brakes..even some maintenance/inspection of gear box.

BTW, even with a flared oil pan at bottom I was able to get the gear box out of the car…removing driver seat helps too…plenty of tips if you search VMF.

Opentracker has some nice suspension pieces that you could do in steps as well.
 
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When I first got my car, it was stock, and in excellent shape. It drove like a boat, with huge amounts of body roll, not much grip, very little road feel. It was slightly 'wandery' at highway speeds, but not bad, and ride was very smooth.

After doing the Shelby mod, a modern alignment, 15" rims, 1" swaybar, KYB shocks (from 2000), the car no longer rolled into corners. It has lots of grip, good return-to-center, even better ride quality, and handles vastly better.
 

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Do the Arning drop with a good performance alignment. You'll be amazed at the difference. I have a car with Global West suspension, one with Opentracker's level 2 suspension kit with GT coil springs, and another basically stock convertible with essentially only the Arning drop (crappy KYB gas-a-just shocks & moved the coil spring perch further out on the UCA effectively increasing the spring rate). Doing the drop & alignment made it handle noticeablely better; almost as good as the others on the street.
 

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I have been working the bugs out of my 65 since it's been put back on the road and was wondering how other people's mustang handle. With stock suspension she seems a bit old truck ish. I have replaced the upper ball joints and lower control arms all stock. Sway bar bushings and links. I have not done the strut rod bushing but those are next. Short of the full open tracker or some other complete suspension kit that would make it handle like it's on rails I bet.
I wish I would have had chock rebuild the steering box while the motor was out. I also I have not done the arning drop. Any other ideas or thoughts.
Minimum do Arning Drop conversion. This should be #1 on your list. It's not difficult task. a couple of drill bits and a template. The pre-drilled metal templates are the best. Oh, and a center punch too.
 
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Back in the day, these were inexpensive cars that borrowed many of their parts from the Falcon, another inexpensive car. Even with brand new stock level equipment, the Mustang won’t handle like a modern car.

Now, if you replace all of the suspension and steering parts with parts as mentioned above, the Mustang can take advantage of modern tires and handle great.

So, do you want a simple daily driver, a reasonably smooth sporty car, or a hardcore track machine? All of those are possible with an old Mustang, but you have to select the parts that will provide your desired results.
 

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1965 mustang A code 4spd
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I have the export brace and monte carlo bar. After the strut rods I will look into the arning drop. I keep thinking the steering box re build is were i would see the most improvement. I just don't want to fight the removal
 

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Pretty much this, but 16" on Michelin Pilot Sports. Night and day from mostly stock years ago, I can comfortably accelerate doing 60 in a sweeper, where before I would be tapping the brakes at 45.


When I first got my car, it was stock, and in excellent shape. It drove like a boat, with huge amounts of body roll, not much grip, very little road feel. It was slightly 'wandery' at highway speeds, but not bad, and ride was very smooth.

After doing the Shelby mod, a modern alignment, 15" rims, 1" swaybar, KYB shocks (from 2000), the car no longer rolled into corners. It has lots of grip, good return-to-center, even better ride quality, and handles vastly better.
 

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1965 Mustang GT. 11.898 @ 113.646, all motor, three pedals
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A gnat’s ass alignment is critical. I cannot overstate that. The shiniest parts in the world won’t do squat without a dead-nuts alignment, that takes a lot of time and work.
 

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1965 Mustang GT. 11.898 @ 113.646, all motor, three pedals
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But to answer your question… my car handles pretty darn good but, my deal isn’t a Nurburgring car. OE uppers and lowers, standard GT coil springs, 13/16 bar. Shocks are for drag racing; for street use I just set the fronts to 50/50 and soften the rears some. About the only ‘trick’ parts on the front suspension are roller spring perches, traction devices on the rears. I have lightened the nose a good bit for better weight distribution. An export brace is the cheapest/easiest (usually)/most effective bolt-on bang for the buck you’ll find. My car tracks true, doesn’t wander or dart around at all, and accelerates like a scalded dog. Straight as an arrow.

All that said… my alignment is dead on the numbers. I mean identical on both sides. Which is very difficult and time consuming to do, especially with 60 year old unibody cars.
 

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You are going to be sorry if you don't pull the steering box and hand over to "Chock". It'll be so much easier now, as later, down the road when you "wish you did"!
Also, I know it's easy to spend other peoples money, but, you might consider changing the UCAs to tubular adjustable. No more laborious fiddling with shims. Your alignment guy will thank you and he'll more easily agree to perform it. I did this and have no regrets.
 

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My 67 base model vert drives like it's on rails now, before it sucked big time.
After changeing everything oem out except the springs it's like day & night. A lot of the guys like oem parts but me I think the Shelby drop,an export brace,bigger sway bar, improved strut rod bushings & as many rollerized parts such as control arms& spring pearches as you can afford. I purchased a rollerized idler from a member for another car project. Boy hold that thing up & spin it around with a flick of the wrist. Last but not least is a good set of shocks. When I first got The Money pit I put new KBG shocks on her against what everybody said because of how much money I was spending. Found a set of new Adjustable Koni shocks cheap for the front,boy what a difference.

Open tracker has great parts separately & in kits. So do several other vendors .If you want your old car to handle anywhere close to a modern car ,be prepared to buy quality parts other than oem .

I say choose your parts & spend your money one time. Remember if you don't like the whatever somebody on here will allways buy it.
 

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No issues using the poly bushings on the stock strut rods? I've heard of and seen pictures of broken strut rods because of the use of poly bushings that don't flex, unlike the rubber ones.
I have had this setup for about 30 years (about 7 in hibernation).

My car is setup for the street and I probably don’t push its limits like a track car.

I plan to build a set of adjustable struts in near future.

The most important thing many are probably not aware of is the centering of thefront sway bar.

I have had the same 1-1/8” sway bar for same amount of time and it is fairly close to the strut rods. If not centered, it will bend/break your strut rods.

I was aware of this the very first time I installed the sway bar.

I have always used a molybdenum grease/paste on my bushings (Prothane as I recall…it wasn’t Energy Suspension).
 

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Mine was the exact same way before I did all the work to it, felt sloppy and the car swayed and rolled badly on turns. I did a complete rebuild with TCI stuff though and never been happier.
 

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I have the export brace and monte carlo bar. After the strut rods I will look into the arning drop. I keep thinking the steering box re build is were i would see the most improvement. I just don't want to fight the removal
Those are easy bolt on parts. Put them on. As mentioned above, the export brace makes a big improvement in handling.

The steering box doesn't affect handling, but can improve sloppy steering if it is worn (which it likely is) and you can upgrade to a quick ratio box in you have the base slow to one ratio.
 

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Roller spring perches will allow you to run a stiffer spring rate while keeping a comfortable compliant ride. Personally I would rate them as in the top 5 handling improvements. I have .720 wire diameter springs and my ride is very smooth.
I made my own ball bearing style, but I'm pretty sure the Scott Drake bushing design is probably about as effective as the ball bearing ones if cost is an issue. I also moved the lower perch mount on the upper control arm out 1" which improves the motion ratio. Arning drop done also, along with most of the Boss 302 chassis mods, adjustable strut rods and all the other typical mods. 245/40×17 Nitto tires up front doesn't hurt either.
My car handles quite well.
 
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