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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Folks, this will seem like a rant, and I suppose it is, but I feel I must. I wondered about track, or mod & custom, or general discussion, but it seems that many folks seem hellbent on doing this mod, even to daily drivers that don't need the extra room in the engine bay. So, I have to wonder, just what is the allure of the MII/Pinto suspension that has so many folks fascinated with it ?

Currently, I'm referring to Jim Smart, who in my opinion, needs to be flogged with a thousand wet noodles. I would add that fate to anyone who works for Source Interlink and doesn't correct his behavior.

case in point, in the last few editions of Modified Mustang & Fords, there is a story following a yellow 66 stang, that is receiving a Heidt's "Pro G" suspension- the front end of which is just the normal M2/Pinto gear. Smart just GUSHES about how wonderful this setup is, and how its light years better than factory stock, and he goes on to a degree that is just plain nauseating.

Interestingly, if one looks at the front end pictures, the cross member of that setup hangs awfully low, and it gains positive caster as you round corners, exactly the opposite of what you want. Watch some of the Heidts equipped cars on you tube and you'll see the nasty positive camber as they try and corner. Why would anyone do this to their car ? If you're installing a mod motor and you don't care about cornering power, I suppose these setups would help. But i wouldn't do it to mine. 'pro G' my bu,...my backside.

Also, in another source interlink, CarCraft, there is a Chevy/Nova type car that is presented as a corner burner, but that isn't going to happen to the car with is MII/Pinto front end grafted on......and in the latest MM&F, there is a Boss 302, supposedly a corner burner, that has the MII/Pinto gear on it. That stuff just doesn't turn very well.

Here on our own site we have TCI, claiming that THEIR stuff isn't just MII/Pinto gear, but it most certainly is, and their website descrbes it as such. Then they have a build thread with pics of their car, cornering even, and more pics on their website. And they have the same positive camber gain as the cars try to corner. Its almost embarrassing to watch.

If you want cornering power, modify the stock setup. Call the guys at Opentracker or Street/Track, they can get you around corners quickly, and probably at a lower cost as well. Watch a video of a stang with lowered upper arms ( lowered farther than Arning ) and you'll see the way the tire leans in to turn. These cars can easily make a mockery of the M2 equipped cars.

And while I am wondering as to why folks do what they do...lets add rack & pinion steering. Usually R&P is credited to Mr Elliot Stirling, his patent expired in 1907. But I think he got the idea from steam powered farm tractors that had that gear in the 1880s.

But to add R&P to a Mustang makes no sense to me....it isn't any better than what you have now. The reason, the one and only reason newer cars have R&P steering is because its cheaper to make. And it wears out so they can sell you the same stuff again. How many worm ball steering boxes have you worn out and needed to replace ? Probably none.

Lately, it seems fashionable to be worried about bumpsteer. But take a good look at the M2/Pinto gear offered by many, the supplied rack and pinion holds the tie rods at an angle as compared to the lower arms......meaning built in bumpsteer. This isn't just opinion folks, it geometry.

So how is it that marketers are able to convince so many to spend big dollars to make modifications to the detriment of their cars handling ? I don't get it. In a Mustang, we have a huge advantage in that lots of this stuff is already figured out for us- we can just copy what or trans am teams did. And the race cars weren't getting Pinto front ends. Ford had them in 70, and if there were some advantage to them, the race cars would have had them. They didn't. In case you're wondering, your mustang already HAS independent front suspension. And if your stang doesn't have disks up front, kits are available without butchering the unitbody.

Well there you have, my rant for the day. feel free to disagree, but be able to defend your views. Discussion is why we are here.


Fire suit on, flame retardant deployed.



LSG
 

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i've never heard of any of this, but I'll say this - when I think of what I can do to improve my car, the first thing that comes to mind is not a Pinto...
 

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i've never heard of any of this, but I'll say this - when I think of what I can do to improve my car, the first thing that comes to mind is not a Pinto...
I agree never heard this before now, and
pinto ummmm, pass!
 

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I have wondered this also.
There are many defenders of this mod on this board.
I can't see it being a plus unless you need the clearance.
The Global West or Street or track setups seem like better improvements for the cost and effort in my view.
 

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Hi,
I too have read those "gushy" articles and agree with many of your comments. I'm a believer of improving the basic design with more modern components, not torching and grafting on a whole new front end...and rear for that matter.
There are far better improvements, for which, to waste your money.
Happy Motoring today!
 

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Keep in mind that TCI has two different front ends for different cars. For the classic mustang, they only have one front end now and it's their custom IFS. I can assure you that it's not an MII/Pinto system and their catalog doesn't list it as so. While similar in that it's a Long/Short arm system, parts don't interchange and the geometry is different than a MII.
 

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Ah! Couldn't agree more! The bottom line is really very simple: if you buy advertising space, you get "gushing" reviews, no matter what. This is the sickening state of "modern journalism" and is terribly unjust to the paying subscribers and "do-ers" in our community.

I might argue a bit on the R&P conversions, but not enough to derail this groove!
 

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Calling it a 'Pinto' front end is a bit of 'marketing' too. Why not refer to the high-perfomance 'Falcon' front end that came in vintage Mustangs? Would Open Tracker sell many upgrades if they said it was for the Falcon suspension that came in your Mustang? (They might at that!) When I think of performance, 'Falcon' is not the word that comes to mind either.

The double-wishbone suspension first appeared on a 1935 Packard. I guess the guy who buys a new Z06 doesn't realize what an out-dated design he's getting, or that it was originally designed for a 3-ton lead sled! Gee those Corvette guys sure are stupid! :shocked: 'Hey buddy, don't you know that new Vette has a Packard suspension from 1935? What an gullible idiot you are for falling for that slick Chevy marketing!'

I've never experienced any bumpsteer with my Heidts kit. That design (the 'Pinto') is known for not having bumpsteer issues like the Falcon :}0 front ends. In fact, that is one of the advantages of the original design (see Heidts marketing and gullibility page: Heidts Hot Rod & Muscle Car Parts - Suspension 101).

It's not a racing suspension and I wouldn't use one if I didn't need the room for a mod motor (I'm confident someone else will chime in about how bad those are and how Ford could have used overhead cams back in the 70s but the pushrod motors are a much better design, and beside OHC motors were probably developed for some tractor or something, which in and of itself means they aren't a good design for a performance car [read good-natured sarcasm here]). But I have 18K miles on it with no real issues (other than Heidts QA issues). It handles well on the street and is not bad in the turns. I did a 100-mile 'power tour' with a local club running through the hills and turns of the Ozarks a couple years ago. Most of the cars were late-model Mustangs (a few Foxes, a lot of SN95s and S197s) and I road their bumpers most of the time, through turns marked 40-45 at 60-65 (and what little I lost in the turns was easily made up in the straights!). My wife has had 2 06 GTs and my 65 with the Heidts will do turns almost as fast and easily as those cars. It may not be an open-track suspension, but if you don't do that or need that, why is it such a bad option? If I were buying (or building) a car for open-tracking, I probably wouldn't start with a vintage Mustang anyway (with its outdated Falcon front end and all. For some reason the guys over at cornercarvers don't seem too impressed with the original Mustang, er Falcon, design, nor the original Mustang 2 for that matter). Again, I wouldn't use one if I didn't need the room but it's not a bad option for a street-driven car, and can be very cost-effective if you can install it yourself ($2000 vs. $1700+ just for the Randall's rack, then add in a bunch more for disc brake upgrade, springs, bushings, control arms, etc.)

I haven't experienced any of the 'car folding up in the middle' dire warnings either. In fact, nothing has moved at all. If there is any car to test that it is this one - over 500 HP, 5-speed, 3.73 gears with drag radials. It definitely wants to twist and raise the front end when accelerating. But the windshield is still in place and the doors still open!

I'm not arguing that it's a good option for a road race car. I'm sure it isn't, though there is a guy on corner carvers who races an original Mustang 2 and apparently does quite well with it. And I agree that it's marketed as more than it probably is (but again, can be a cost effective way to get R/P and disc brakes), and I wouldn't use it if I didn't need the room. But people who have them (like me) seem to be happy with them so why all the rant?
 

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Ozark, in your case, you didn't have a choice if you wanted to use a mod motor.
No one is saying that the stock suspension is perfect. I have a full Global west setup I am going to install.
My point is that the Heidt's and other seemingly MII based systems are a lot of effort for what you get unless you need the room, like you did.
If I win the lottery and build a Boss 429, I'll get the plasma cutter out also.
I am glad you are enjoying your car.
 

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We're talking about basically an 8 year change in technology.. from the '63 falcon suspension up to the '71 pinto suspension - yeah, that's a big leap in technology for 2012.

Let's jump up to '79 engineering with the retrofit macpherson strut front end with '95 spindles and brakes. At least this change allows you to narrow the shock towers and keeps the factory pickup points for stresses in the suspension. Changing over to the pinto suspension requires major surgery on the chassis and moves the stresses where they weren't designed to be. Most of these don't add reinforcement bracing for the major metal they remove and in my opinon, it places a lot more stress on the firewall and cowl and front frame rails in areas they weren't designed for. I suspect after seeing a few road miles on these you are going to start finding popped spot welds or torn panels. Hasn't been documented yet, but basic engineering shows that the forces have been moved.

Not to mention the changed geometry and the newly induced bump steer problems. In my opinion, unless I need the engine bay room, the best bet is the Shelby /Arning drop, Shelby steering and idler arms and Open Tracker front components along with the bearing spring saddle to prevent bind in the suspension.

once again, just my $.02 worth. I try to approach from an engineering standpoint and look at the forces involved and the transmission of stress into the chassis
 

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Discussion Starter #12
gullibility

Shaneh, there is a reason I titled the thread marketing and gullibility- thats what some of these marketers are counting on. I'm aware that TCI makes lots of different stuff, but their 'custom independent front suspension' is, in fact an M2 setup, claiming otherwise is just marketing. Look at their build thread on our site, look at the pics of their setup on the car, noting the control arm angles and look at the way the car corners on video- their 'engineered' setup has positive camber gain, just like the stock M2 does. A car isn't going to be a corner burner with some of this stuff on it. In Ozark's case, he needs more room for the mod engine. Why anyone else would use this stuff is beyond me. It ISN'T a cost effective way to help your car.

I have read the Heidt's tech page, and they are simply duplicating the M2s flaws. To call their system 'Pro G' seems disingenuous at best.

If you want you car to handle well, you need to reconfigure the stock ( falcon )setup. The stock setup is intended to push around corners, and lowering the inside mounting points is the fix. You can buy arms from Global, like I did, or many others.

The reason for the rant, Ozark, is that it irks me that these marketers convince folks to damage their cars to the financial benefits of the marketers. If one wants to spend money on the car, why not do so and make actual improvements ?

the folks at CornerCarvers seem over fascinated with Griggs setups for early Stangs, and Griggs stuff isn't cheap, by any means. I think some folks who spend large amounts of money butchering the front of the car will work VERY hard to convince themselves that they have done the right thing.


LSG
 

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I agree with most of what you say. I have the TCP coilover kit on all but one of my Mustangs with the exception being my 67 which I had to make on my own. All the other 4 have the coil over front, and rack/pinion.

The coil over kit isn't one of the MII verity, its basically a copy of the stock system, but I like it because I can adjust the double coilovers for street or road race, {and before you ask yes I have road raced a few of them}.

Also the coil over kit uses the Ford basic design as it was ment to be as in transferring the weight during a hard turn into the shock towers, then into the firewall. Which was good enough to give Ford the win in Trans Am racing over chebbys.{and yes, I know the factory suspension was heavily modded, but they did use the basic setup without going to an all tubular frame, custom frontend}

The MII suspension isn't supported that way, which is why I wouldn't use it EXCEPT if I was going to do all out drag racing {with a little red light to red light street fun, but no corners}.

Unless you have used rack/pinion then you don't know what your taking about there.

I have four of my Mustangs with different brand of racks as in Randells power, TCP manual, TCP power, and Unisteer, with the last being a Flaming River stock factory type setup.

The felt control of the rack is way better than the slop of the factory linkage front end.

That JMO, if you have and like the MII front end then great for you, hey were all Ford fans.

Instead of going with a MII setup for my 540fe tunnelport Procharged F1r in my 67, I cut the shock towers back, and made my own coilover kit, keeping the shock towers.


 

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Years ago, when the MII conversion became more mainstream, I wondered out loud and in newsgroups how they compared against each other. Many years later, I still haven't seen any authoritative source build otherwise identical Mustangs, save for a MII and an Arning dropped and otherwise tweaked stocker, and do an honest comparison.

I will argue against the anti rack group. I've always loved a good rack, and one for my Mustang will eliminate the spear shaft, leaky hydraulics, and vague steering that is typical for this setup. I'm doing Opentracker mods to my front end, but I am going to a rack.

John
 

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The reason for the rant, Ozark, is that it irks me that these marketers convince folks to damage their cars to the financial benefits of the marketers. If one wants to spend money on the car, why not do so and make actual improvements ?

LSG
Agreed, and granted. That's what marketing is all about - convincing us we need things we really don't (and often isn't good for us anyway - Big Mac anyone?). If they didn't the American economy would grind to a halt.:}0

And you're right about magazine reviews and articles. It's amazing what you can get published if you buy ads. I wrote an article about a product we produced years ago (actually a factual article!) and a trade magazine ran the article word-for-word because the company we OEM'd the product to bought lots of ads from the magazine. Believe about 1/2 of what you read in magazine articles, and question the other half!
 

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i agree with most-- the M2 stuff i have never been a fan of-- it was used from pintos for rods as it was/ is a narrow and CHEAP setup.. the rod guys go slow- not around corners in general (or they did 30 years ago) when the ,m2 stuff was realized to be a good choice from a wrecked pinto.

its the rod market that made the m2 popular.. for the slow cruiser its fine..

i went all TCP-- i would likely have used shauns stuff now but his wasnt in production then.

i dont agree on the rack-- i think the rack setup is smoother..

i drove my wifes 68 yesterday-- stock- decent shocks-- not lowered.. all in good condition.. gas shocks..

then mine same day-- night and day diffence-- had a friend ride beside me in each and he couldnt believe they were both mustangs.

for her car i will do the roller perches and thats about it.. eventually it might get a rack or may try the borgeson box.. as its an auto anyway
 

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It's good to recall where the MII swap came from. Hotrodders wanting to upgrade seriously antique front suspensions like solid beam axles and worse. For them, an MII, a Camaro subframe, an Aspen front end, etc was a serious tech upgrade. I never really saw it for Mustangs though.
An exception being for folks bound and determined to fit an engine that just wouldn't fit the engine bay if it were left stock. An MII swap makes some sense for them. Keeping in mind that wanting to swap a honking big engine into an old Mustang isn't all that sensible. Yes, yes, I do stuff to my cars which isn't too "sensible" either. It's OK. We need a minority of folks swapping fairly outrageous stuff into old Mustangs to keep us all from getting bored.
The shining high point of an MII swap is the Pinto rack. In the 1970's the Pinto manual rack was widely considered Ford's/God's gift to hotrodders and racers. Second to only the nine inch rear end. Good stuff then and still is. Good enough that no one cares at all if you call it a "Pinto" rack. As opposed to the MII fanboys who seem to get very defensive about people calling their front suspension Pinto derived. The whole setup is all but the same for Pintos and MII's. Almost every part is directly interchangeable and the Pinto came out with them first.
Overall my humble opinion is the MII swap is an unnecessary butchering of old Mustangs for not enough gain. And if you are after roadcourse type performance, a step backwards. There are plusses and minuses to both the vintage and MII front setups. I just dont see that for most people the benefits of an MII outweigh those of "improved" stock to warrant the work and money to put one in. That and one thing that's always bugged me. The Pinto/MII setup was designed for compact cars with fairly light engines. The kits I've looked at (not studied too terribly hard though) have not impressed me with how they've made the parts more robust than the original design. Kind of disturbing when you consider a person's purpose for buying such a kit might be to make room to fit a supercharged 460 or something. As opposed to how Ford engineeers figured the vintage stuff was good enough (more or less) for stuff like 428CJ's, Boss 429's, and things.
An MII kit is a pretty good solution for some things and some people, but I just am not a fan of them on vintage Mustangs.
 

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Well, since everyone seems so down on the Falcon heritage, I thought that I'd point out that the early Falcons had brass bushings in the UCA spring perches that by far outperformed the later style rubber bushings, and the perches even had zerk fitting on them!

Then, Ford in an effort to save money, changed over to the stiff rubber bushings in '64...and along came Opentracker's roller spring perches which are a definite improvement over the rubber perches, so are we really going forward or just re inventing the wheel?

SLA vs. McPherson Struts? Once again, the same money savings strategy can be said to drive the Mcpherson Strut front ends on the new Mustangs...I say we are just re inventing the wheel...but it's a hobby, so let's just enjoy it!
 

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The real explanation is far more pedestrian than we care to admit. Most, armed with a project, a couple of catalogs and a credit card start the orgy of mods to 'make it their own' - just like everyone else. And I will second the Rodders being the primary driving factor originally for the - ahem - 'mystique' of the MII setup. Not many out there consider the whole car let alone any single system as a whole. A surprising number of people think they are hydraulic engineering trained and just start piecing together the most critical system in your car - the brakes. And so you end up with an 'assembled' car and not an engineered one. Why is this? Voodoo. Carburetors - voodoo. Suspension - voodoo. Brakes - voodoo. It is far easier to be lazy and believe than to seek out the correct information and design. You are not going to learn about suspensions in an afternoon. For one thing, you have to genuinely be interested. It's some pretty dry material all in all even if you are interested. And you have to be able to visualize the system in motion, understand the inputs and correctly read the outputs to be able to tune the setup. And most importantly you had to start with a vision of where you wanted to end up. And man, what a crowd you will gather at the show talking about your alignment iterations and suspension mods to get rid of the squirrelys in full squat. There's lots of followers and a very thin line of what's out in front. Lot's of people that build their cars for show off and that's it. I don't have a beef with it. Keeps the hobby alive. Not going to do it to my stuff, but I also don't give a rats behind if anyone likes my car but me. And there's bigger marketing offenders than the MII suspension pushers. Big @ss carburetor anyone?
Now if you will excuse me I have to wave a chicken foot over my IRS...
 

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I've never been a fan of any of the MII derived suspensions for several reasons, most of the MII kits have the lower control arm mounted in single shear. The MII suspension has very poor camber gain mainly because the control arms are too short. The people that market these type of suspensions all say they have revised the stock geometry from the stock MII specs, but none of them state exactly what they have done.

Strut type suspensions are a step backwards from a SLA type suspension, they have virtually no camber gain. About the only thing going for them is they are simpler because they do away with the upper control arm.

About the only reason to change suspension design from the stock configuration is to gain engine bay room.

The only front suspension designs that I will consider is the ones from The Roadster Shop, the aluminum bolt in from Detroit Speed, Griggs Racing or Cortex Racing.

The last paragraph is just my opinion.
 
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