What are some good ways to make my 66 coupe ride better. I want the car to ride smoother and handle better. I know I should get subframe connectors and front and rear sway bars. Any other suggestions? Thanks.
you can't have your cake and eat it too /forums/images/icons/smile.gif... You can get stiffer springs and shocks that will make the car handle great, but will make the ride less smooth. Sway bars and subframe connectors make everything nice and tight which helps the handling a lot. Even larger wheels with low profile tires will help a lot.
If your suspension is original and worn out, a standard rebuild will work wonders on how the car rides
I agree, asking a classic Mustang to handle better AND smoother is asking a lot.
Adding things like a Monte Carlo bar, export brace, front and/or rear sway bar will improve handling without affecting the ride quality. Some gas shocks will help too, but will make the ride stiffer. If you really want to rip into the suspension, the Shelby Drop will make a nice improvement as well.
I agree with the others. This is not a modern car.
On my 66, I put an export brace, KYB high pressure shocks and a 1 inch front bar. I was going to put a Monte Carlo bar on mine, but the one I recieved was a piece of sh$t.
I plan on lower the car and upper A arms in the fall. I'm also going to keep the stock springs for the street. But with just those few simple mods, it made a huge difference! The ride is firm and controlled with the KYB's but I wouldn't call it harsh.
Your can make it handle well and ride OK, but it takes attention to detail and a bit of unconventional wisdom.
First, thing to remember is balance and bind. This means that springs should be progressive rate (moderate setup like 350 to 480 lbs/in or 390 to 520 lbs/in) and not lowered into the dust. The shocks near to be moderate as well (the lower pressure KYB's or Edelbrock IAS's). I'm not a fan of poly suspension bushings. Up front I use Global West (my personal favorate) or TCP because of their sperical rod ends or Delum bushing surfaces). Additionally, they are meant to be used in negative roll situations, so there is no worry of balljoint bind after the Shelby drop. The front spring perches are a big source of either bind or compliance. I like a bushed and lube perch like the one available from Cobra Auto. No larger than a 1" sway bar.
Steering and tracking is similiar situation. The a new Flaming River box is a big improvement over the original box. The drag link and idler arms near to be in good order (if in doulbt replace). On non-P/S cars, you can use a roller bearing assembly instead of the rubber idler arm bushing. Now you will need bump steer tire rod ends and a mechanic who knows how to to alignments/bump steer on performance vehicles to set your alignment. You may need a LCA camber adusting kit and adjustable sway bar if you want agressive alignment settings.
The rear shocks should be matched to the front. The rear leafs should be now more than 4 1/2 leaf mid eyes. The rear spring bushings should be GW Delum only. Sway bar is a matter of choice (I skip it). If you feel you need it, get one of the smaller Stambar setups.
Subframe connects, Monte Carlo bars and Export bars are worth while in that they help hold the suspension where your want it.
Tires are an area that can make or break ride quality. Large rim diameter/low profile (i.e. no sidewall flex) will transmit to much road imperfection. Stay with a 15" 60 series tire. With the money saved from not going to 16" or 17" rims, by the best performance tire available from Yokohama, Kumho or Pirelli.
I agree 100% with Bob (well, 99% anyway, since I like a rear rollbar). Don't go too low or too stiff. I went for both at first- car handled like a go kart- just like one- hit any size ripple in the road, especially in a turn, and you lost some traction. I finally settled for almost exactly the set-up Bob describes, and I'm very happy with the handling now on all type of surfaces.
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