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71 Mach1(Trans Am) 2" nose drop


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Lares makes a 10:1 steering gear box for our cars. I have one in mine, it also takes away the progressive rate steering so when you start to turn the wheel the car turns immediately. 2.5 turns lock to lock. I got mine at rockauto.

 

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3 hours ago, jspears said:

Lares makes a 10:1 steering gear box for our cars. I have one in mine, it also takes away the progressive rate steering so when you start to turn the wheel the car turns immediately. 2.5 turns lock to lock. I got mine at rockauto.

Hi,I am going to use a factory manual box.I will be installing a Borgeson sector shaft and worm rack from a Saginaw 525 box.That will give me a 16:1 ratio.Less weight,less complicated,more room for exhaust.

 

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:19 PM, 71Rustang said:

Hi again,here is a couple more progress pics. Reworked and boxed Moog upper control arms,and installed rear springs.The front of the springs use a 5/8 mono ball and the rear use a sleeve with stock rubber bushings. The leafs are new from Eaton Detroit Spring.They built all of the KK Trans Am springs originally and still have all the blue prints. They are 1 3/4 wide 210lb.This is the Bud Moore set up,which will require me to build and install a Watts link....................

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I have my upper control arms out and am looking at boxing them. Is there a particular reason you boxed the outside of the arms rather than the bottom? 

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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7 hours ago, droptop73 said:

I have my upper control arms out and am looking at boxing them. Is there a particular reason you boxed the outside of the arms rather than the bottom? 

Yes, there are a couple reasons I did it the way I did.I have seen pics of Trans Am cars both with and with out boxed sides.A lot of new hot rodded racy go fast stock appearing upper arms have this done.The side plates do add to the weight but are less weight than boxing plates on the whole bottom. Boxing the bottom also complicates things in terms of you have to make access holes and clearance for getting to the shocks and spring perch bolts.And lastly I like the fact that added the outer plates turns the stamped arm into having quasi box tubing outers,like those fancy tubular control arms without all the extra weight.Don't forget if going this far the TA cars had a 2'' round plate added on top of where the spring perch mounts,14 gauge,1/8'' will work fine also.

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Thank you! My thought was a plate going from the opening in the middle to the bottom of the side just boxing each side of the arms. I will still need to make an opening for the spring perch bolts. Were the reinforcements just under the spring perch? I suppose they were running a ton more spring rate than I am but I do drive on Michigan ruts... I mean roads. For my use it's likely all overkill but it's just cool. 

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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2 hours ago, droptop73 said:

Thank you! My thought was a plate going from the opening in the middle to the bottom of the side just boxing each side of the arms. I will still need to make an opening for the spring perch bolts. Were the reinforcements just under the spring perch? I suppose they were running a ton more spring rate than I am but I do drive on Michigan ruts... I mean roads. For my use it's likely all overkill but it's just cool. 

Here's the perch reinforcements.

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I've been welding the front chassis section on my car over the last couple weeks. I've got a whole new level of appreciation for the amount of time and work you have invested in yours.  

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[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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1 hour ago, droptop73 said:

I've got a whole new level of appreciation for the amount of time and work you have invested in yours.  

+1 on that. It's only when you start do/fab/fix things that you realise the insane amount of time that all these things takes. Here we have near zero roads in bad condition, so that's one rare thing I won't need to do!

73 modified Grande 351C. (Finally back on the road woohoo!) 

71 429CJ. ( In progress )

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9 hours ago, Fabrice said:

+1 on that. It's only when you start do/fab/fix things that you realise the insane amount of time that all these things takes. Here we have near zero roads in bad condition, so that's one rare thing I won't need to do!

And it takes lots of labor.If I remember correctly.I know I read somewhere that the original Trans Am prototype Boss 302, was built in 3 weeks..................could have been 3 months,there was a 3 in there somewhere.Either way should be some motivation.Now that the weather is starting to break I will be in,hammer down mode on the car.

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I look forward to watching your progress. Thanks for the motivation to improve my car as well. 

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[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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Hello once again.I have some Watts progress.Building this is a slow,tedious process,because the prints are for a 69/70 and I assume would fit a 67 or 68 also.But since the rear floor is way different I have to fit all the parts to car,so there is a ton of back and forth.So here is what I have so far.This is the back plate to the Watts box.The entire assembly will be made from 1/8''.You are looking at the inside of the box. The threaded blocks are the rear sway bar mounts.I made them from 1/2'' and the bolt holes are 5/16x18.I now have it under the car so I can fit the front panel to the floor.

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Posted (edited)

Hi again.Here's the completed Watts box,I just finished all the edges and taking the warp out of it today. By some stroke of luck it even still fits where is should. it's ready to install,so I have to prep the car and put the axle back in.It's all 1/8'' and weighs in at 25.2 lbs.The lower front side is for the staggerd shock mount.The mounting hole for the pivot bar will be put in after the box is welded to the car.Building the axle brackets and the wiffle bar(pivot) will be next,i think,maybe the traction bars,or maybe the rear sway bar mounts.

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Edited by 71Rustang
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  • 2 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

Hello.So here are the rest of the Watts parts minus the heim joints and bars.The bracket with the bolt is the drivers side and the longer bracket is the passenger side. The part with the holes is the propeller.On the prints it's called a wiffle.The picture with them taped to the rear is how I'm going to try my damnedest to make those parts work with the staggered shocks,by switching the sides they were designed for,which is why I didn't install the stud in the longer mt yet.So I will be experimenting on making this work.If I'm not happy with it,I will convert the the car to a standard shock set up,which will suck.I really ,really don't want to cut into the floor to build and install the shock bracing that isn't there.

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Edited by 71Rustang
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I decided to pic a battle that I could win in one shot.So I built the front shock spacers.They are 3/4'' ,6061 and a copy of the Bud Moore spacers.I'm going to use the stock mounts for now and see how they do.If It starts to eat the bushings I have a set of the 67-70 mounts and a set of the tall Maverick mounts.The longer bolts are grade 5 carriage bolts from Tractor Supply.

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On 4/6/2021 at 6:12 PM, Carolina_Mountain_Mustangs said:

Is the spacer to keep the shock from bottoming out due to lowering? Or is it increased travel?

Yes,all of the above.It's also to keep the top of the shock body from hitting the mount.Not so much increased travel as restoring some of the lost travel.Moore also used spacers in 1/4'' and 3/8''.

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The Watts box is now welded to the car,6 1/2 hours later.And it's still as straight as it was before I welded in.I had to shrink back down the sides of the frame a bit after.I might leave those as is or fuss with them more.I also welded the watts brackets to the rear,Now its ready to go back in the car to locate the pivot shaft.

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Will the pivot mount to the plate or the rearend housing? I think I see where it's going but not sure. 

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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10 hours ago, droptop73 said:

Will the pivot mount to the plate or the rearend housing? I think I see where it's going but not sure. 

The pivot bar gets mounted to the front of the box,facing the rear end.

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Thank you that's what I was thinking. Will it mount low on the plate? It looks like the left side attachment to the axle is fairly low. Is the pivot point what determines roll center on a watts? Sorry for the barrage of questions. 

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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15 hours ago, droptop73 said:

Thank you that's what I was thinking. Will it mount low on the plate? It looks like the left side attachment to the axle is fairly low. Is the pivot point what determines roll center on a watts? Sorry for the barrage of questions. 

Hello.Yes,the pivot shaft will mount low on the box.I just figured out where this evening.It will be 2 9/16'' from the bottom of the box to the center of the pivot.You have to find the roll center of the suspension to mount the pivot.Then transfer that measurement straight back to the box.The roll center determines the pivot point.

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So here's the finished watts link.I have loved these cars my whole life,but in building this one I am learning more and more about just how different these cars are from the 70 and earlier cars.They pretty much just share the Mustang name and the control arms pretty much nothing else Mustang applies.When they redesigned the car that included the rear suspension also.It might not look it but it is different.The rear of the springs are mounted higher in the chassis thus lowering the rear of the car as compared to earlier Mustangs. This changes where the roll center is as compared to a 69/70 TA car.The roll center is where the pivot for the watts gets mounted. I checked and rechecked 20 odd times and kept getting the same location which is different than a 70 because it is a different car.I just had to be sure.So I even looked at the chassis measurements and sure enough,the frame rails a mounted higher in a 71-3 Mustang.All that being said,it's finished and works so on to the next thing.

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Wow. That's a lot of work. Can't wait until you can drive it and give us some feedback.

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1971 M-Code Mach 1 w/Ram Air, 408 stroker, 285/291 0.558" roller cam, Blue Thunder intake, TKO600, Hooker headers with electric cut-offs, FiTech EFI w/ RobBMC PowerSurge pump

Strange center section with Truetrac, 3.5 gear and 31 spline axles, 4-wheel disc brakes

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Impressive build! You have some serious fabrication skills!

Sorry if I missed it; Do you plan on racing in vintage races when complete?

I attended the Monterrey Historic races many years ago and recall being in awe of how the Trans Am cars were modified for track duty. To the point that the cars body was all that was recognizable. 

Brett

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1 hour ago, 72Mach168Cam said:

Impressive build! You have some serious fabrication skills!

Sorry if I missed it; Do you plan on racing in vintage races when complete?

I attended the Monterrey Historic races many years ago and recall being in awe of how the Trans Am cars were modified for track duty. To the point that the cars body was all that was recognizable. 

Hello,thanks for the compliment. Yes,the car is going vintage racing. I'm building for group 6 A/P, which is lots of big block cars, Camaros,Vettes,Cobras, that sort of stuff. My car is being built as a early 70s factory Trans Am Mustang, but with a Boss 429. I do also have most of the parts to build a Boss 302 engine which could easily be swapped in for the Trans Am class. They are still limited to 305 cid. 

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