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The previous owner of my car was a backyard mechanic and drag racer and had some interesting notions about increasing car performance. In installing his 351c in the '65 car, he needed extra engine compartment width. To get it, he cut away the central member of the shock tower and installed an "L" shaped gusset. This was executed fairly well and has no impact for me other than its not concours. In addition, he heated and hammered the lower bumps on the base of the shock tower. They are compressed and flattened about 3/8". Although I saw this and knew it was done what I hadn't considered before now was the impact on the upper "A" arm position. When I disassembled the "A" arm when doing my suspension restoration, I found six alignment shims on each of the upper "A" arm attachment bolts. As it came apart, I said mentally, "Hmm...wonder why so many shims!" Then it dawned on me that the reason was the "A" arms bottom out on the opposite side of the hammered area when installed with no shims. I paused to think about this for a long moment and I realized that the rework results in a lot of positive camber, exacerbating the Mustangs handling problem in corners. Okay its mucked up! What to do about it? Initially, I decided to make up three 1/8 shims to go completely across the "A" arm mounting points. This serves to keep the "A" arms operable but does nothing to correct the positive camber problem. Here's some thoughts I've had:

I could replace the shock towers! Ugh! Thats expensive and means a lot of rework.

I could use Global West "A" arms that are 1" shorter. The net effect of this would be more negative camber by about 5/8" since with the shims present I can't get the full dimensional change envisioned by Global West. Appealing until I consider the price and I may not fully understand the implications of such a change!

I could use the ProMotorsports Engineering Vario-Centric lower arm adjusters. These could be welded on 3/8" outward from their design center position to compensate for the shimmed upper "A" arms. This would allow near stock camber adjustment but the track width would increase by about 3/4" total. I need to check to see if the tie rod adjustment will tolerate increasing the track width but assuming it does, then this seems to be the most cost effective and least invasive solution.

Any other ideas are welcome!
 

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Which would be less expensive in the long run and most acceptable for you; (1) repair the shock towers as they should be, or (2) install a Mustang II front suspension? Your present situation seems to be "taint" nowhere.
 

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I agree with you 100%. I couldn't be at piece wiith myself, knowing something was way off and the repair was a compromise. That would be as bad as the original butcher job.
 

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um......I don't have any hammer modyfied shock towers and my a arms have six shims too. In the 65 the shims are an integral part of the alignment and you will always have to use some amount of shims as long as you use the stock arms.
 
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Im gonna 3rd the 4 to 6 shims, You also have to consider that if you change shock towers they wont clear your motor unless you put a small block back in it. With a 302 with headers its a tight fit 1/4 inch of clearance on both sides of motor, with unbeaten shock towers.
Kevin,
>64 1/2 Pearl Orange Coupe
>302 C4 B&M shift kit star shifter
>True Dual 3" Flowmaster
>Headman Headers
>Edlebrock Performer intake, roller cam
>Holley 600 e/choke
>TOO bad its still slow
 

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Some interesting points about the alignment shims. My questions are: Has the alignment been checked? Can you improve the camber by dropping the upper a-arm (a la Shelby) or use of a negative wedge kit?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Although the purist may want the shock towers concours, I have no concerns since with headers and wire looms installed the hammered part is not visible unless you really look for it. More noticeable are the "L" gussets. I am favoring using the ProMotorsports Vario-Centric Adjuster Kit to compensate for the increase in positive camber. Being able to adjust both the upper arm spacing and the lower arm spacing should be enough. Its only $79 and installing it is a lot easier than replacing the shock towers. I've decided to trailer the car to an expert suspension shop who does a lot of classic Mustangs frame and alignment work. Let you know what the fix is after the job is done. Thanks to all for comments!
 

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An expensive option would be a removing the shock towers and putting in a Mustang II rack like this one:
http://www.rcmotorsports.net/page5.html

It would certainly make plug changing easier on a Cleveland./forums/images/icons/smile.gif
 

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Consider installing 69-70 shock towers.... Really open the engine compartment up... And you can use adjustable strut rods.
 

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I would also consider Mustang II rack'n'pinion conversion. You get the steering plus engine room for that Cleveland. Increasing track width just furthers your problems to "what will fit in" wheel and tire choice.
 
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