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complete suspension restoration of my 72 mach 1


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This is a collection of photos documenting a complete suspension overhaul on a 72 mach 1. this was done about 3 years ago.

 

the photos Starting with removal of original suspension, move to engine bay restoration then finally reassembly and the rear suspension.

 

this car was not equipped with a competition rear suspension

 

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rear suspension

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as with any restoration there were problems, and some things had to be redone to make corrections.

 

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great job. i love the detailing work you did. it shows you really put a lot of effort and heart into your restoration.

 

keep up the good work!

 

happy new year

abudi

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Great post and pictures!

 

Is the idler arm stock? When I replaced mine on my 71 conv it had a bend in it and was not straight.

 

yes the idler arm is stock.

the top part to the frame should be straight the lower part the arm has a slight S shape as shown in the photos.

the top half going into the pivot should be straight. these parts are easy to damage if you hit a curb with the car. the idler arm geometry should match the power steering arm and the center link should be parallel to the engine cradle. if you see the center link is bent back on one side that would show something struck the car and bent the idler or the power steering arm. this would effect the toe-in and out of the front tires. on one side the outer links would be longer to maintain toe-in and could effect the caster of the tire on the side that was bent.

 

the front sway bar i believe is 1 1/8"

 

i later removed the rear aftermarket sway bar i did not like its design

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Great post and pictures!

 

Is the idler arm stock? When I replaced mine on my 71 conv it had a bend in it and was not straight.

 

yes the idler arm is stock.

the top part to the frame should be straight the lower part the arm has a slight S shape as shown in the photos.

the top half going into the pivot should be straight. these parts are easy to damage if you hit a curb with the car. the idler arm geometry should match the power steering arm and the center link should be parallel to the engine cradle. if you see the center link is bent back on one side that would show something struck the car and bent the idler or the power steering arm. this would effect the toe-in and out of the front tires. on one side the outer links would be longer to maintain toe-in and could effect the caster of the tire on the side that was bent.

 

the front sway bar i believe is 1 1/8"

 

i later removed the rear aftermarket sway bar i did not like its design

 

I just checked and you are absolutly correct! I guess "oldtimers" is beginning for me. I had the opposite problem I ordered a new idler and they sent me the bent one so I had to rebuild the stock "straight" one.

 

On another note, I need to repair my rusted fender apron under the battery tray. Do you think that it is easier to cut out the rusted area and weld in a patch or just replace the whole outer fender apron? Basically for a beginning welder is it easier to sill in the spot welds or patch it?

I bought a wire feed welder but have not used it yet. Also, I see thet the apron is spot welded onto the shock tower and the lower frame but can't tell if it's spot welded to the radiater frame also.

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It would be easier to cut a patch in, there are a lot of spot welds you would have to cut out. the rule is keep as much original metal as you can. the reproduction stuff is always bent incorrectly and needs to be massaged to work. the reproduction metal will not have the re-enforcement plates either.

 

the battery tray has a re-enforcement plate where the tray attaches it helps support the weight of the battery. usually this is where all the rust is also.

 

best would be cut out the area and then cut the same area out of the re-production part and graft it in, you will need to lightly hammer the new piece to match the contour but it will be a lot easier then drilling out 100 spot welds and trying to align a repo part. once you have the patch in place it will be easy to dress the welds on both sides of the tray and then if wanted plug weld the re-enforcement plate back on if needed.

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It would be easier to cut a patch in, there are a lot of spot welds you would have to cut out. the rule is keep as much original metal as you can. the reproduction stuff is always bent incorrectly and needs to be massaged to work. the reproduction metal will not have the re-enforcement plates either.

 

the battery tray has a re-enforcement plate where the tray attaches it helps support the weight of the battery. usually this is where all the rust is also.

 

best would be cut out the area and then cut the same area out of the re-production part and graft it in, you will need to lightly hammer the new piece to match the contour but it will be a lot easier then drilling out 100 spot welds and trying to align a repo part. once you have the patch in place it will be easy to dress the welds on both sides of the tray and then if wanted plug weld the re-enforcement plate back on if needed.

 

Thanks for the advise. When I graft the patch, Do I need to weld on both sides or is just from the inside all I need to do?

 

Thanks again!

 

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well its going to depend on how much penetration your welds have, but usually its a good idea to hit both sides of a weld if you have access you might as well do it. when you dress the welds with the grinder your bound to find pin holes and bad welds so you can just keep going back and re-hit an area. you may want to invest in copper sheets they sometimes come in weld tool kits, since the weld won't stick to copper you put the sheet down with magnets over the area you want to fill then go to town with the welder it will keep once side pretty smooth and then you can have a better time dressing it with the grinder and it supports your work as you weld.

its good if you find pin holes or thin metal as it will help keep your weld from blowing through the sheet metal.

 

you can use a bunch of things to hold the piece in place the best would be magnets or cleats. you don't want the part you cut to fit tight you want a 1/32 gap all around the part that your but welding you fill this little gap with the weld, practice first.

 

i found i'm a pretty awful welder mostly due to lack of practice so i farmed out my major welding work because i didn't have time to do it.

 

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  • 4 years later...

Wow that is so awesome work and post 😎[THUMBS UP SIGN] Regards Lars

 

So I'm a proud owner of one Mach 1 73! Regards Lars DK73 😎

So I'm a proud owner of one Mach 1 73! Regards Lars DK73:whistling:

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  • 3 years later...
  • 1 year later...

I was so disappointed your pics aren't available.  I realize the is a a 10 year old post, but I was hoping to get an idea on doing my suspension.  Sounds like you did a great job!

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