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65 Mustang Convertible, 289, 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter #1
So I have completely removed my suspension and steering assemblies from my 65, 289 Convertible and I'm in the process of installing the new components. Nothing fancy here as everything is stock style. My problem is the strut rod mounting holes aligning with the holes in the lower control arm; they don't. I can get one to line up but not two. With the strut and control arm off the car the holes are slightly miss-aligned but I can get the bolts in, but doing so on the car with the strut bushing removed the strut angle is off center, regardless of the angle of the arm as changed by the amount of weight I put on the wheel by transferring the weight of the car to the springs with a jack. Clearly the holes are far from perfect.

I took these pictures after putting in the rear bolt and clamping the strut down to the control arm so there was no gap, with the full weight of the car on the springs. From the second picture you can see the degree of offset more clearly. My question is, what do I need to do to correct this? Is grinding the offset out of one hole on the control arm an acceptable solution? Also, given I have to pull the control arm rearward to get either hole to align, am I better off using the back hole as the reference or the front which forces the arm back even further? I have not yet torqued the strut rod to frame mounting nut and I am using polyurethane strut rod bushings which seem firmer than the rubber ones I pulled out. I'm thinking the rod will likely move backwards when I torque them to the suggested 40-55 ft/lbs.

The struts are stock from 65. The lower control arm is from Scott Drake. The strut bushings are Energy Suspension urethane.

767255


767256
 

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Move the lower ball joint forward until the holes line up. And get rid of those urethane bushings.
 

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Is the LCA tightened all the way up? I had to loosen up mine to get everything to fit up correctly and then tighten everything up. Also, don't tighten up the LCA bolts when the car is still in the air, wait until it's back down on the ground to fully tighten them. And I agree with what 22GT said, don't use polyurethane bushings on the front half of the suspension. I used Moog brand rubber bushings for everything up front.
 

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Moog K-8122..... those are the good ones.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
 

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65 Mustang Convertible, 289, 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter #7
Move the lower ball joint forward until the holes line up. And get rid of those urethane bushings.
I did move it into position but they don't line up. I don't believe it is the bushings as when I take them out the strut is pressed up against one side of the larger bushing holes, and the bolts still aren't square.
 

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65 Mustang Convertible, 289, 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter #8
Moog K-8122..... those are the good ones.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
I bought the moog upper control arms but I couldn't find the lowers anywhere; NPD (who have them in the catalog), Rock Auto, or CJPP.
 

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65 Mustang Convertible, 289, 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter #9
Is the LCA tightened all the way up? I had to loosen up mine to get everything to fit up correctly and then tighten everything up. Also, don't tighten up the LCA bolts when the car is still in the air, wait until it's back down on the ground to fully tighten them. And I agree with what 22GT said, don't use polyurethane bushings on the front half of the suspension. I used Moog brand rubber bushings for everything up front.
Yes, the LCA was loose. I read not to torque anything until the car is on the ground.
 

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I did move it into position but they don't line up. I don't believe it is the bushings as when I take them out the strut is pressed up against one side of the larger bushing holes, and the bolts still aren't square.
I wasn't blaming the bushings, just trying to keep you alive.

If as you describe, they are simply not made right, get different lower arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I wasn't blaming the bushings, just trying to keep you alive.

If as you describe, they are simply not made right, get different lower arms.
Appreciate the wisdom. Will do.
 

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That is not a 65-66 stock strut rod either.

I’ve had poly bushings on my 65 for over 25 years.

I use moly paste/lube on them.

The thing to watch out for is interference with the sway bar.

I purchased Mustangs Plus suspension kit in mid 90’s.

I have a 1-1/8” front sway bar.

If the sway bar isn’t centered correctly (poly bushings with moly paste/lube as well), it could hit the strut rod and bend/break it.

As for design strength (I’m not an engineer) the threads are a weak point on those adjustable strut rods.

I used Moog lower control arms on my most recent rebuild.

I also have Energy Suspension poly inner bushings on lower control arm.
Better design than pressed in rubber which binds.
The sleeve floats inside of the poly bushing allowing the control arm to rotate much easier.

If possible, I would replace the lower control arm(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That is not a 65-66 stock strut rod either.

I’ve had poly bushings on my 65 for over 25 years.

I use moly paste/lube on them.

The thing to watch out for is interference with the sway bar.

I purchased Mustangs Plus suspension kit in mid 90’s.

I have a 1-1/8” front sway bar.

If the sway bar isn’t centered correctly (poly bushings with moly paste/lube as well), it could hit the strut rod and bend/break it.

As for design strength (I’m not an engineer) the threads are a weak point on those adjustable strut rods.

I used Moog lower control arms on my most recent rebuild.

I also have Energy Suspension poly inner bushings on lower control arm.
Better design than pressed in rubber which binds.
The sleeve floats inside of the poly bushing allowing the control arm to rotate much easier.

If possible, I would replace the lower control arm(s).
The strut arm you reference as "not a stock 65-66" is in the picture with the broken poly bushing right? Not the picture I included in my two photos.
 

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65 Mustang Convertible, 289, 4 spd.
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Discussion Starter #17

Odd. Looks like they've since discontinued them. I wonder why?
So before ditching the Scott Drake units I went back and did a bit of an unscientific test, cleaning off the grease on the old lowers (which were different and one appears to be an old Moog) I used a pencil to scribe the holes on a piece of paper. The two I removed are identical, but the Drake didn't match up. Going back and looking at the reviews of the Drakes they are either 5 star or 1 star. There were several one star that said the ball joints failed after a few months. Rather than mess around I pulled the trigger on the Moogs on Ebay, as much as I hate Ebay. From what I can tell they are the last two in the country given Moog discontinued them.
 

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That is not a 65-66 stock strut rod either.

I’ve had poly bushings on my 65 for over 25 years.

I use moly paste/lube on them.

The thing to watch out for is interference with the sway bar.

I purchased Mustangs Plus suspension kit in mid 90’s.

I have a 1-1/8” front sway bar.

If the sway bar isn’t centered correctly (poly bushings with moly paste/lube as well), it could hit the strut rod and bend/break it.

As for design strength (I’m not an engineer) the threads are a weak point on those adjustable strut rods.

I used Moog lower control arms on my most recent rebuild.

I also have Energy Suspension poly inner bushings on lower control arm.
Better design than pressed in rubber which binds.
The sleeve floats inside of the poly bushing allowing the control arm to rotate much easier.

If possible, I would replace the lower control arm(s).
This is a good example of doing it all wrong and being lucky.
It doesn't matter what lube or paste you use, it's the angle & stress on strut rods that have been "worked" for thousands of cycles.
1 1/8" front bar is way overkill on a 65/66. They understeer with a 1" front bar, even after you put enough front tire on there & fix the front geometry.
The bigger bar is another 18 points more torsional resistance.

Regarding poly in the lower arms and better rotation.... there's more to lower arm movement than rotation. The poly is actually only slightly
better in that location as far as rotation and more restrictive in other directions, which is not good.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995

767318
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I also ordered the Moog K-8122's to play it safe. I upgraded to a 1" sway bar from the stock unit. It isn't clear to me what your chart indicates at the percentage value doesn't have a header. Can you explain? I'm an engineer so I can deal with the details and appreciate the education. Thanks to all; while expensive this has been helpful.
 
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