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Discussion Starter #1
First off I'm new to the mustang thing, I have only really built early Camaros and other GM's, so I am not new to rebuilding classic cars, but please excuse some of my ignorance on the subject, I have taken my time to do search's on many questions I have already, and have also run across the Alex saga. So, i recently purchased a 65 fastback, with all of the body work replaced and primered, but it has no suspension components whatsoever (front or rear), it still has all of the stock mounting points though (from what I can tell from the shop manuals). My question is what do you guys suggest as far as a suspension, a coilover, stock, MII, strut, there's alot of options out there. It also has no motor, I am planning on installing a 2v 4.6l (I realize i need to modify the shock towers)that I have that has 3 miles on it and some mods (300hp) along with an 8.8 rear, and have looked up many threads about that and plan on contacting mustangsurfer when the time comes to install the engine. I also plan on driving it alot, and maybe take it to the track just for fun. I have also planned to spend some money on it, just not obscene amounts, so I'm not just looking for the budget way out. So knowing all that what are your suggestions.
thanks, wes
 

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Well, you already have the rear end so a set of springs for the rate you want and a front suspension should fill in the gaps. If you are planning on having to modify the shock towers anyway, and you have none of the front suspension parts, I'd probably go with the Heidts set-up. This will give you all of your front suspension, front discs, front rack and pinnion, coil overs and it eliminates the shock towers. Sounds like a perfect match.
 

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Current plans for my '65 are a Mustang II / airbag suspension. Probably go with Heidts for the front conversion with an AirRide Shockwave system, and an AirRide AirBar four link rear. That 4.6 is probably too wide to keep the stock shock towers so a MII setup is your best route (IMHO). The 8.8 rear will need to be modified to mount to the '65 - - cut off the mounts that are on it and weld on new ones.
 

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I'd go with a Fatman SN95-style front suspension or better yet Griggs GR35 system. I'd look into a correctly built 9" Vs a correctly built 8.8". Heck, why not use the mod motor? I think I'd run it with Megasquirt and a 5spd or 6spd, but I like the idea of building my own ECM.
HTH
--Kyle
 

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I suggest contacting Chris Alston's Chassisworks in Sacramento and Griggs Racing out of the Bay Area and see what they advise/offer for sale (including or excluding their efforts at installation). These outfits are pricey, but are generally regarded as the best in the business for suspensions.

Shocks - Koni adjustable or Tomiko (spelling?) are regarded as top of the line, although Edelbrock has a new offering which is interesting which, along with KYB, might be considered the next step down. Some folks would include Bilstein in this group as well. For coil-overs, QA-1 is re reputed to have a good shock.

Generally, traditional classic mustang suspension mod companies are thought to be Global West and Total Control (total control has ceased doing business and its product line has been taken over and being sold by Chassisworks).

Flaming River is entering into the rack and pinion steering game to compete with Total Control rack and pinion. Some regard the Flaming River R&P as decent for the 65--66 model years, but folks don't seem to be happy with the 67 and up applications.

Generally, suspension mods fall into two categories, stiffening the body and suspension components. The former would include subframe connectors (minimum - connecting the front and rear frame rails, more exotic methods would include adding the crossbracing to the front to rear connectors), export brace, monte carlo bar. Some folks will take Ford's unibody bracing for a convertible and weld it into a non-convertible. Front and rear sway bars flatten out body roll. The rule is front bar is to have a larger diameter than the rear sway bar. A beefy 1 18th inch front and 3/4 rear is a nice setup. Ford installed the rear sway bar using a special shock plate under the leaf springs. This plate has a mounting hole for sway bar end links. Add staggered shocks also, which involves a weld-in upper shock mount which relocates the mounting holes. You can fabricate one from 4x4 angle iron and weld it between the rear frame rails for added rigidity to the body. Also, eliminating rubber bushings tightens the body. Polygraphite will be more rigid, yet avoid squeaks. Some can be greased by drilling into the metal housing the bushing and adding a zerk fitting. another trick is to wrap the metal which goes through the bushing in teflon tape before installing the bushing.

These are just some of the starting points. If you are going with a 8.8 inch rear, you can fabricate an independent 4-link rear end, although there are kits offered for this.

Just my 2 cents worth.

good luck.
 

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The Griggs setup is sweet, but at twice the price is it really worth it for a street car? If I ever get to the suspension, it might be a toss up between Heidt's and Fatman. Fatman is probably better on the track. Cost looks the same until you find out the Fatman system doesn't have struts, spindles or brakes. Does the Fatman setup give as much engine room as the MII setup? With the MII the shock tower can be completely removed, while Fatman just says they can be "trimmed." And there is also the Martz unit.

By the time I get to the suspension on mine there will probably be an excellent bolt-on anti gravity unit...... :joker:
 

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You definitely need to talk to mustangsurfer. His "Mustang in Black" was the subject of a series of articles in Mustang & Fords a couple years back. The project started as an experiment in shock tower trimming to fit a mod motor. I'm not sure why they changed directions and eliminated the shock towers and installed a Mustang II kit instead. M & F dropped the series before it went in that direction.

Personally I wouldn't even consider a mod motor conversion -- all that work to install a 281 ci, 700 lb motor, that's bigger externally than a 385 series -- but a man's gotta do what he's gotta do. You will definitely need to make room between the shock towers, but I strongly recommend against the Mustang II if you have plans for any kind of open track use. (What's this "bring you car into the 21st century stuff? The shock tower setup was designed circa 1960 (for the Falcon) and the M II circa 1970 (for the Pinto). So one design's 45 years old and the other's 35.)

Anyway (and please excuse the ranting), one way to gain clearance while retaining the strength of the OE shock towers is the Revelation Racing Supplies shock tower notching kit:

http://www.rrs-online.com/images/notching%20sequencelarge.jpg

RRS designed this kit for use with their MacPherson strut conversions. That's what you'd have to use, too -- you couldn't use a two-arm OE or coil-over setup -- because the kit eliminates the mounting point for an upper control arm.

The problem with the OE springs is that their outside diamater is so great that you can't trim the shock towers all that much. You might be able to trim the towers enough to fit a mod motor and OE springs, by just free-handing it and fabbing your own patch panels, but I don't know. (Mustangsurer would know.) If you measure it and find that there just isn't enough room, then a coil-over kit is the way to go. They use a much smaller diameter spring, which will give you an extra inch or so on each side to play with.

As far as which coil-over kit to get, the Griggs setup requires its own set of shock tower mods and I do not know if it is compatible with a mod motor. It's also hyper expensive ($6000 for the "street" version!!!).

The Total Control Products setup eyeballs as weak, both in terms of the upper coil-over mount and the upper control arms, and it also has adjustable upper control arms which I don't think would be a good idea -- you want symmetry side-to-side.

That leaves the Global West, and that's the one I'd go with. It has an extra brace across the "U" on the upper control arms, and they're not adjustable. The upper mount for the coil-over is a cast piece and eyeballs as stronger than the TCP.

For the rear there are exotic coil-over kits from TCP and RRS. More on the OE side is just the usual 4-leaf springs and Del-a-Lum bushings. Get Koni shocks. I am also installing a Fays2 Watts link in my kids' '65 fb. I have no road test results to report, but those who have tried them swear by them.

The other big handling tip is that these cars need torsional stiffening big time. Get some frame connectors at a minimum. A roll cage is a big plus, but kind of hard core if you're only thinking of occasional open track use.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I was leaning towards the RRS setup anyway, it is a complete kit unlike the fatman one and even though it is kind of expensive, i haven't found anyhing bad about it yet, i have read a few bad things about the fatman rack and pinion. i just wanted to know what others thought on the subject. and i am using the mod motor because i have one, its brand new, and it was cheap! please post about the fays2 watts link when u get a chance, i was thinking of using that, i was not sure about exhaust routing issues though. thanks for the advice
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The griggs website actually has a pricing notice that states that prices may be 5%-25% more on your invoice and they list as a seperate line item, due to material costs, and they do not have to show it on the price qoute they give you. 25% of $6000 is $1500, thats alot extra to casually add to an ivoice, sounds fishy to me, i worked at a body shop that did something similiar, but i don't know the guys so i can't say, but it looks like they have a great product, just wish i could get a straight up price quote. thanks for your advice
 

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I wouldn't do anything in haste, because many of said mods are rather radical so you want it right first time.

At rear I would look at something like TCP torque arm system or three link. Since you know F-bodies, torque arm might be more familiar to you. In any case, don't do Fox-body rear quadra-bind system.

Although MacStrut is not anybody's favourite, it can be reasonable, think BMW. Direct MII is not good, not so sure about these other MII inspired vendors, either.

I pm'd you about some stuff, you might find interesting.
 

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Here's a '67 Cyclone with a 385 series 460 innit. Notice the trimmed shock towers.

http://mustangsandmore.50megs.com/Butch_a.jpg

That's how to do it homestyle. A Mustang would be no different.
 
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