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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve got a 68 coupe with a 351c and room just sucks.


I don’t want to spend 5k on a new front end.
I’d love to do it in stages like using whatever parts I can while going ahead and putting the cradle in, uppers and lowers, coil overs etc and the towers out.


Any ideas or thoughts, tips or tricks?
Thanks.

Mike



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Discussion Starter #3
I guess I was wondering or thinking if I could use my current spindles, brakes, etc.
Probably not.



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There is another thread that talks about trimming the stock shock towers while retaining the stock suspension. If you can weld this is an option to allow better header clearance while retaining the stock suspension. It's also waaaaaaay cheaper.
 

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Mike, think hard about this, and then think some more. Cutting the towers out is an all or nothing kinda thing. And you end up with a weaker car, and a car that will never handle as nicely, no matter what you do to it, the geometry just isn't there in the MII style front end kits. Look at the notched towers that several of our membership has done, if you got some arms from Global or somebody, you could lower the UCA about 1 & 1/2 inch, and your notches could be deeper than some who didn't lower the UCA. Think this over carefully. LSG
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Been thinking about it a ton.
So much so I’ve though about getting rid of the brand new Cleveland all together and go to a dart based 347 or something.
I’m getting frustrated with lack of availability of parts and no room to work on it.



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Disclaimer: I am not a Cleveland guy. What in particular is so hard to "work on" that you want to butcher up the entire front of the car?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Changing spark plugs I basically have to take the valve covers off.

And the headers are literally touching the steering box.

I just love the idea of having all that room freed up.


My disclaimer:
My coupe is already been chopped up by the previous owner, it is already back halfed with 37” of tires underneath the fenders.




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My solution was to first do the Arning drop then notch the shock tower. I filled the notch with an lazy "L" shaped section of 1/8" plate. If you can weld it will cost you next to nothing from start to finish. The arning drop is optional but it improves front end tracking plus give you an extra inch of notched clearance. You won't ever need to remove the valve covers to change spark plugs again

I have pics of doing mine all over the web (including this site) BUT Photobucket is holding them hostage again by blurring the photos. If interested I'll search for some clearer pics.
 

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My solution was to first do the Arning drop then notch the shock tower. I filled the notch with an lazy "L" shaped section of 1/8" plate. If you can weld it will cost you next to nothing from start to finish. The arning drop is optional but it improves front end tracking plus give you an extra inch of notched clearance. You won't ever need to remove the valve covers to change spark plugs again

I have pics of doing mine all over the web (including this site) BUT Photobucket is holding them hostage again by blurring the photos. If interested I'll search for some clearer pics.
I’ve got a 68 coupe with a 351c and room just sucks.


I don’t want to spend 5k on a new front end.
I’d love to do it in stages like using whatever parts I can while going ahead and putting the cradle in, uppers and lowers, coil overs etc and the towers out.


Any ideas or thoughts, tips or tricks?
Thanks.

Mike



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Trim the shock towers, Made a huge difference in mine. 351w stroker with 1 7/8 headers. Cost me 10 bucks in metal and after 3 years track duty, no problems. I wish I had done it earlier. Lots of write ups and history, Probably one of the first mods done to early mustangs,
 

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I found decent pics on the computer of how I notched my 68' shock towers. Here's just a few:







Rather than seeing the flat plate metal I wanted to do something different by adding a sectioned part of the discarded shock tower:





Although I have a big Windsor in my car, I can see and change every spark plug with a socket, 2" extension and a ratchet. I did this 5 years ago and have zero (yes, zero) regrets.
 

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That sectioned tower is the shizzle. I'm so copying this. Thanks for the post.
 

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I like the personal styling spin on the trimmed towers for sure.

I feel like I'm missing info here. As stated earlier I've not had hands-on with Clevelands, so certainly there. But I put a 351W in my '67 with long tube headers and don't quite see the space issues. You guys must change spark plugs a LOT for some reason.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I like the personal styling spin on the trimmed towers for sure.

I feel like I'm missing info here. As stated earlier I've not had hands-on with Clevelands, so certainly there. But I put a 351W in my '67 with long tube headers and don't quite see the space issues. You guys must change spark plugs a LOT for some reason.
That’s fair....
I’m probably looking at them more than the average guy.
New 500hp+ Cleveland.



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Discussion Starter #17
Dennis- those look amazing.
I think that’s my ticket.
Did you Tig or mig those back together.

I’m curious do you have any measurements of how much you took out?



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I migged all the parts.

Before I started the project I studied other 67-70 Mustangs (on the web) that had been notched and found a recommended spring to tower clearance and based my cuts off of that. Thanks to taking lots of pics, I do have the driver's side lower measurement from when I mirrored the completed passenger side:





I used cardboard as a template for the new shock tower shape:





I didn't like the sharp, nearly 90* angle in the middle, so I created a radius when I made the plate:



Basic plate shape is below:



The upper strap helps with final fit of the A section:





From the wheel side you can see that the A frame was used for the filler of the open groove. Since it is welded on both the inner and outer sides of the A frame it is quite strong.



The A frame is optional as you could cut a larger plate to fill in the open area which would result in more clearance. I didn't like the flat look and that is why I incorporated the discarded A frame.

I also added all the Boss 302 reinforcements to the inner and outer shock tower frame (also homemade):



One thing I wish I had done was to do the Arning drop BEFORE I finished notching the towers. That would have gave me an additional 1" more lower clearance for the headers. DO IT as there is no negatives to doing the 1" Arning drop, IMHO.
 

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That’s fair....
I’m probably looking at them more than the average guy.
New 500hp+ Cleveland.



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FWIW (& Maybe info for others intending 351C Swap into early Falcon Bay too) even though you say you already have headers ( not sure if Headers by Ed is still going too) BUT possibly as an aside header wise to help others (351W & 351C) - 302C/351C Block into Early Falcon [similar suspension/shock towers clearance as 'stang] has been a not uncommon swap in RHD AUSTRALIA for decades & you can or could get various close to heads & block routed headers , with ground clearance to match: 1 brand being Sydney's Hurricane brand in both 2V & 4V exh Ports, some in Try-Y & 4 Tube with decent collectors, be prepared for some left hand drive tube clearance mods for std steering box, if procured, but at least you have Exchange Rate & Surface AU post mail rates working in your favor.
I could dig up a phn # for anyone wishing that option, (PM me) especially clone Falcon sprint V8 OR 6 cyl Swap, at a non clifford perf type price for daring to be different.
Goodluck with swap.
BTW "500 HP 351C" in std sheet metal front 'stang is going to need a torque strap & add-on frame connectors or inner cage to beef up body or take it from me: it will start moving around - better get out the mig & seam weld ala Rally guys.
(Hears the 'incoming flaming already)
Cheers.HRT..
 
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