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Springs or coil overs?


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Old subject I would assume.

While I have the front end apart on my 72 vert to replace the steering system, I might as well get the "snoot high" stance remedied. What have you guys found to be the best way to level the car and not reduce the ride comfort?

 

Thanks!

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Cut 1/2 coil off the TOP of the spring with a cut off wheel, not a gas axe. It will drop the front about .75 inches, ride quality change is undetectable when measured with the Butt-O-Meter. If the rear is still low, replace the eye and shackle bushings with higher than stock durometer rated bushings. All Mustangs from 1965-1973 came from the factory with a nose high stance, a terrible look in my opinion. However, that is still better than Mustangs with incorrect replacement springs giving the car a 4 wheel drive/Off-Road look. Good luck with the project. Chuck

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           Wouldn't you have to cut the 1/2 coil from the bottom of the spring, the part that sits in the spring saddle? I am not sure if the flat part of the spring (the one that touches the shock tower on the top in a Mustang) is always considered the bottom part, but if it is it could be confusing for the OP. Maybe I am thinking of this incorrectly, but it could be confusing for someone that does not have previous experience with this. You never cut a spring from the flat part of it, you always cut the pig tail end of it. I do agree with C9ZX that cutting a 1/2 coil is probably the best for you to drop the front, and you will not notice the difference in ride quality.

        Buying springs is always a crap shoot. You think that your car rides too high, and lets say you go to the best, Eaton Detroit Spring, and order from them a 1" drop spring, you then i7173mustangs.com.urlnstall them, and nothing happens, you still have the same ride height. That is because your factory springs have sagged a bit and what you thought was a factory ride height was in reality a little low. Eaton will exchange them at no charge, but exchanging springs is a pain. These cars rode pretty high from the factory. I just replaced my front and rear springs with correct replacement springs, and the car sits high both in the front and back. Front springs were Moog 8356's and rears were from Eaton Detroit. Have not driven it but it is high, and I do not expect it to drop much by driving it. 

       By cutting the spring you know that it will drop from where you were, and if 1/2 coil is not enough, you can always cut another 1/4 coil or more to get to where you want to be. Do some searches on this site and on Google and you will see what a nightmare the aftermarket drop springs can be, especially the ones that are sold for multiple year Mustangs. When they sell you a 1" lowering spring for a 1967-1973 with a small block, it just makes little sense. A 1967 car with a 289 2 barrel and no AC, or PS, and a 1973 Mustang with a 351 C with AC and PS will have a completely different ride height with the same spring. There are hundreds of pounds of difference on the front of those 2 cars. Eaton Detroit is great, but they are not cheap.

 

Edited by 71ProjectJunk
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I happen to love the nose high stance. This is what got me to get a Mustang. I had a 67 SS Chevelle for 30 years before I got my mustang. It was a really fun car, 4 speed and no accessories. But I like the 351 Cleveland and the way my stang handles way better! 

John - 72 Q Code

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Here's a photo showing the stance of my Mustang.  New Eaton rear springs (stock) and original front spring with 1/2 coil cut off.  Sits pretty level.

20210825_140709.thumb.jpg.8e7ff33cf186a435b2aad7a7e9678028.jpg

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"The biggest argument against democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter."
 
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If you want to go the coilover route, I believe TCP offers a relatively bolt-on kit that gives you ride height adjustability for around the $1,000 range. 

http://www.totalcontrolproducts.com/vas_bolton-co.html

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Plain Jane | 1971 F Code Coupe 302/C4 Automatic

Goin' to Town Rig | 1971 F100 Ranger XLT LWB 390FE/C6 Automatic

Commuter | 2018 Tesla Model 3 Midrange RWD

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You can go coil over and pick whatever 2.5” spring rate you want, maybe get some adjustable shocks and dial it down if you are looking for comfort.

I have Maier coil overs on my rig- and I don’t recall my spring rate.  Closest thing I can compare it to is a Ford Fiesta ST or a VW GTI.  Firm, well planted.  Low, stiff, but not bouncy from lack of suspension.  It is not a Cadillac.  I can’t hear the road noise over the exhaust…

 

 

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1 hour ago, Johnny57 said:

@Galucha I am looking into coilovers, just looking for feedback on anyone that done the conversion, and the ride quality.

I can't speak to the TCP coilovers specifically as I went with a different brand, but I wouldn't expect ride quality to suffer too badly or at all with these. Most performance oriented coilover kits will opt for heim joints instead of bushings, which will result in harsher ride quality. The TCP coilovers however retain the bushing on the lower mount. 

 

One of the biggest differences I noticed when going to coilovers was how much faster they rebounded going over bumps and dips in the road. Personally I think that's a better "feel" than the stock setup, but comfort is pretty subjective.

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Plain Jane | 1971 F Code Coupe 302/C4 Automatic

Goin' to Town Rig | 1971 F100 Ranger XLT LWB 390FE/C6 Automatic

Commuter | 2018 Tesla Model 3 Midrange RWD

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17 hours ago, Idaho Chris said:

Here's a photo showing the stance of my Mustang.  New Eaton rear springs (stock) and original front spring with 1/2 coil cut off.  Sits pretty level.

20210825_140709.thumb.jpg.8e7ff33cf186a435b2aad7a7e9678028.jpg

This stance looks great too!

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John - 72 Q Code

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Don't just go willy nilly and hack away at your stock springs.  To get a "predictable" amount of drop when cutting a spring measure the distance from the top of one coil to the top of the next coil with the car sitting on the ground at full weight, not partially assembled.  Then measure from the inner pivot point of the upper control arm to where the spring perch attaches. Next measure from the spring perch to the upper ball joint and calculate the motion ratio. If the measurements are the same it's 2:1 meaning 1" of drop at the spring will give you 2" drop at the ball joint/wheel. Determine how much drop you want and do the math... 

The spring rate will increase slightly when cutting a spring but you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Rule of thumb, if a coil has 10 turns and you cut one off it'll be 10% stiffer, if it has 5 turns and you cut 1 off it'll be 20% stiffer. 

The theory I follow is springs only need to support the car weight to determine ride height, Shocks control the wheels, ride quality and keeping the tires on the ground and sway bars control keeping the chassis "flat" when cornering.  The other theory is using stiff springs to control body roll but that makes the shock work harder to keep the tire on the ground. 

In my opinion, unless you are changing the motion ratio, going to a coil over doesn't gain much from a handling/driving perspective. If the bottom of the shock moves out toward the wheel there can be very significant benefits in controlling the tire due to reducing the motion ratio. 

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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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Sorry for my brain fart on top vs. bottom of the spring. It is the bottom of the spring as it is installed, the pigtail end. I was picturing cutting the spring so the pigtail was on the top, when the spring is upside-down. Perhaps I should look into getting some Prevagen, my CPU has a lot of miles on it. Chuck

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As referenced above, the Total Control products actually uses a you-Tube guy for the install, BUT he has an entire series on the car he did.. lots of detail and videos, I would love to be able to do it, but here is the link from Total controls site, I watched his entire build sries on  the mustang. dude is fun and over detailed but if you have built one of these things its fun to see his build.  this video starts with the Suspension part but fun.  Also, he takes it through a car wash, and it just gushes in... you all know what I'm talking about. :) But seriously if I win a bunch of cash, I want this suspension.

 

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I put the TCP coilovers on the front of my '73 Vert.  It handles great, much better than before.  I also put the TCP front anti-sway bar, the TCP tie rods, the TCP struts and the TCP "engine bay jungle gym" as the guy at the shop calls it.  The steering was "refreshed" with a new gearbox, new PS pump, but still original style(not R&P).  I did not touch the rear as the shop saw no need.  

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On 12/3/2021 at 10:41 AM, CLT73C said:

I put the TCP coilovers on the front of my '73 Vert.  It handles great, much better than before.  I also put the TCP front anti-sway bar, the TCP tie rods, the TCP struts and the TCP "engine bay jungle gym" as the guy at the shop calls it.  The steering was "refreshed" with a new gearbox, new PS pump, but still original style(not R&P).  I did not touch the rear as the shop saw no need.  

I'm thinking about doing some of that on my 73. Mostly because the power steering gear leaks like a SOB and I have some pretty nasty bump steer.

Looking at the TCP coilover/strut kit and their bump steer kit.  And I'm up in the air about their rack&pinion or sticking with a factory style steering gear.

Are there other places to buy the TCP kit besides cachassisworks.com?

 

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12 hours ago, giantpune said:

I'm thinking about doing some of that on my 73. Mostly because the power steering gear leaks like a SOB and I have some pretty nasty bump steer.

Looking at the TCP coilover/strut kit and their bump steer kit.  And I'm up in the air about their rack&pinion or sticking with a factory style steering gear.

Are there other places to buy the TCP kit besides cachassisworks.com?

 

You can buy it off of CJPony. Normally I wouldn't advocate for them as a vendor, but they do a lot of sitewide discounts, so you might be able to time it right and get the kit for 5-10% off MSRP.

Plain Jane | 1971 F Code Coupe 302/C4 Automatic

Goin' to Town Rig | 1971 F100 Ranger XLT LWB 390FE/C6 Automatic

Commuter | 2018 Tesla Model 3 Midrange RWD

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