Project Improve handling

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1973stang

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Hello guys,

Back for some more sage advice.

73' Convertible, 351C 4BBL, C6 Automatic

I am starting the project of improving my car handling.  Reading posts; this is what I am planning to do.

1) Brace the car 1st:-   Which braces do you guys reco?   I saw a post w/ straight brace along the car length.  Shouldn't there be a X-brace?  If yes anybody has recos...

2) Front and rear independent suspension:-  Leaning towards StreetorTrack.com kits

3) rear wheel disc brakes:-  Again Streetortrack.com kit.

Rush

 

Bentworker

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Hello guys,

Back for some more sage advice.

73' Convertible, 351C 4BBL, C6 Automatic

I am starting the project of improving my car handling.  Reading posts; this is what I am planning to do.

1) Brace the car 1st:-   Which braces do you guys reco?   I saw a post w/ straight brace along the car length. Tinman fabrication.  They are not a perfect fit in a 71-73, but if you take a little of the offset out of them they are. 

Shouldn't there be a X-brace?  If yes anybody has recos...

You can do an X-brace or a Z-brace, I don't know of any, should be easy to fabricate.  Not sure it is needed, but if you can build one that won't interfere with exhaust or driveshaft it wouldn't hurt.

2) Front and rear independent suspension:-  Leaning towards StreetorTrack.com kits

Rear independent suspension is not offered in a kit that I know of.  I would think that a rear independent suspension conversion would be a HUGE pain, with little gain.  You can keep the straight axle and go with a 3 or 4 link setup.  Street or track, and Total Control both have those.  Personally I dislike the multilink rear setups.  I think they are overly complicated and offer many more points to fail in the future, along with some pretty major car surgery.  In the back I think 4 1/2 leafs are fine, with a small adjustable sway bar and a watts link or panhard bar if desired.  There are plenty of cars out on the autocross mopping up the track with rear leafs.  If you had some ludicrous  amount of horsepower than I could say it would be reasonable to do a multilink.




Up front many of the kits are similar.  Opentacker, Street or Track, PTP Engineering, Total Control, Hotchkis, Maier Racing.  Some of them are more track oriented in my opinion, since they use heim joints or other pivots that won't last forever with road crud.  Some of the more expensive ones have neat pivots that are serviceable and sealed.  The front coil over kits are mixed.  There are upper control arm coil over kits and lower control arm coil over kits.  Personally I like the UCA kits, because it keeps the loading on the spindle and ball joints as it was from the factory.  That being said there are some advantages to the LCA kits, one of which is that the coil over assembly is mounted lower, so you can get to the spring adjustment while the shock tower / bumpstop brace is still on the car.  There is also a wide variety of component and shock quality available.  Many of the strut rod kits move the pivot point in and shorten the strut rod, this will result in more caster change throughout the travel of the front suspension.  I have no idea if this is a good or bad thing, but it is something to be aware of.  Opentracker and Maier both sell a pivot system that keeps the geomerty stock, and the the Total control strut rod only moves the pivot point a tiny amount compared to the setups offered by many others that use a heim joint.  Personally on my car I have a mix.  Maier Racing coil over kit (UCA style), Total control strut rods and Hotchkis lower control arms.  




3) rear wheel disc brakes:-  Again Streetortrack.com kit.

Their 12" kit looks great.  If I was doing my rear brakes over again today those are the ones I would choose.

Rush

Have fun shopping,


Peter
 

vozaday

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Hello guys,

Back for some more sage advice.

73' Convertible, 351C 4BBL, C6 Automatic

I am starting the project of improving my car handling.  Reading posts; this is what I am planning to do.

1) Brace the car 1st:-   Which braces do you guys reco?   I saw a post w/ straight brace along the car length.  Shouldn't there be a X-brace?  If yes anybody has recos...

2) Front and rear independent suspension:-  Leaning towards StreetorTrack.com kits

3) rear wheel disc brakes:-  Again Streetortrack.com kit.

Rush
So I don't have an overly complex set up and havent tried the more expensive ones.  I did 620 1" lower coils (which is stiffer than stock) and then did KYB G2 shocks (softer shocks than gas-a-just) and a thicker front sway bar.  For the rear I am also running KYB G2's and running stock replacement leaf springs.  I was blown away with the set up.  I'm sure the other set ups are better, but since my car is a street car it handles better than I would have expected. It is soft over small and big bumps but yet I don't get hardly any lean and have yet to bottom out.  I know it isn't products you asked about, just giving my opinion that small upgrades can make a huge difference.

I ordered some subframe connectors and was intending on installing them.  But the car handles so well around town and the highway, they were pushed back on the backburner for other projects.

 
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I always recommend subframe connectors for convertibles. I have the gloabl west. If you click on 'my garage' and look on the modifications tab you will see a picture of one installed.

However, if you are going to do something crazy with the rear end (crazy in a good way) you will need to determine that first to make sure whatever subframe connector you get doesn't interfere.

In addition to the subframe connectors I went with some shelby style traction bars (also visable in the picture). If you decide to stick with leafs and solid axle I totally recommend these traction bars. It stops the wheel hop both accellerating and braking.

 

timsweet

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Hello guys,

Back for some more sage advice.

73' Convertible, 351C 4BBL, C6 Automatic

I am starting the project of improving my car handling.  Reading posts; this is what I am planning to do.

1) Brace the car 1st:-   Which braces do you guys reco?   I saw a post w/ straight brace along the car length.  Shouldn't there be a X-brace?  If yes anybody has recos...

2) Front and rear independent suspension:-  Leaning towards StreetorTrack.com kits

3) rear wheel disc brakes:-  Again Streetortrack.com kit.

Rush
I haven't done my 73 yet, but on my 1970 Mustang, I just used the frame connected Drake Scott sub-frame connectors.  They stiffened the ride up and did fine with many drag strip trips.   It wasn't a convertible,however.

 

droptop73

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I built a set of subframe connectors based on the Global West design and tied a brace into the convertible plate. As far as suspension... BIG sway bars, stock rate springs (I cut the coils and installed blocks in the rear), good shocks and a good alignment with a bunch of caster dialed in. The suspension on these cars is good, with a few tweaks they handle real well. I love the way my car drives and handles on modified stock components. I'm not sure I could justify throwing it all away for something "new".

jus sayin'

 

BluSTi

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In addition to the advice given above, pay attention to sidewall stiffness. A lot of time, money, and effort can be quickly negated by a crap set of tires. Anecdotal evidence: I had a 2002 subaru station wagon that I despised. Hated that turd. Felt like it was scraping door handles around every turn. Thought I needed a rear sway bar, or an adjustable front, shocks, springs, etc... Turns out when I dumped the SH!TTY tires and put on some Goodyear F1 shoes everything was a LOT better. Made a huge difference in the vehicle. I still hated the car, but at least it was the lackluster tires any more...

 

1973stang

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Thanks for all the replies.

Maybe I need to provide a bit more info on few near mishaps.

THIS IS MY EVERYDAY CAR  (SoCal..Los ANgeles)

1) On a rainy day...just making a sharp left turn (from stop)...the car rear end let loose lane to lane....surprise I did not hit anybody.

2) ON A DRY DAY on freeway:-   I had to make a rather fast move to avoid a stupid driver (~60mph)...the car rear end just let loose...Dont know how I survived that with trucks flying by.

3) in this bad rain (relative)..the rear feels very loose (don't have any other car.

3) I know my convertible requires connectors (great idea..thanks).

I want to give this car to my SON and want to make sure it is a safe car....  I have original leaf springs (pretty sure requires replacement)....so I was thinking might as well get multi-link rear.

So how

 

droptop73

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In my opinion the issues you're having are not so much suspension as tires. What tires are on the car?

Is the suspension in good condition? Has the car been aligned recently?

 

BluSTi

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If the rear end is breaking loose you may have too much tire on the front, you're too stiff in the rear, not stiff enough in the front, or junk tires.

 

1973stang

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THANK YOU GUYS AGAIN!!!!

Found the problem.

I have Air adjust shocks in the rear and driver side was all flat.

I had installed air-adjust, so I can level the car (i have sciatica...and driver side leaf spring is sagging very bad)

So the new question

Since I have to change the leaf-spring, AND lower my car AND change to Bullit Wheels

1) Should I go w/ new leaf-spring and different shocks OR go with multi-link suspension in rear.

ALSO

the roads and freeway around my house are not in great condition...so I need to improve on less road-feel also.

Again hoping for some sage advice.

Rush

 

Don C

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Read Vozaday's earlier post for a good solution. Multi-link is not needed.

Good tires with good wet and dry traction are very necessary. Long dry spells allow the roadways to become covered in oil and tire residue, the first rain turns the roadway surfaces into something that approaches ice in slipperiness.

Air shocks are not recommended for our cars, the upper shock mount is not engineered to be load bearing and will likely eventually fail.

 
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THANK YOU GUYS AGAIN!!!!

Found the problem.

I have Air adjust shocks in the rear and driver side was all flat.

I had installed air-adjust, so I can level the car (i have sciatica...and driver side leaf spring is sagging very bad)

So the new question

Since I have to change the leaf-spring, AND lower my car AND change to Bullit Wheels

1) Should I go w/ new leaf-spring and different shocks OR go with multi-link suspension in rear.

ALSO

the roads and freeway around my house are not in great condition...so I need to improve on less road-feel also.

Again hoping for some sage advice.

Rush
I'm not going to comment on handling as I'm learning all that stuff as I go as well.  I am going to comment off topic about your sciatica issues. I have a shot right hip ( getting older is really starting to suck ), so lowering my car is NOT an option and I have to put my seat back all the way just to get out and I'm "short"!! As for your sciatica, have you tried a GOOD chiropractor who is very well experienced with acupuncture?? With my hip issues, I also had sciatic problems from pressure on the periformus muscle deep in the glute. Acupuncture fixed it and the pain has not returned, but I do have to avoid putting undue pressure on my glutes during workouts. I just know I'm going to get sh*t for this, but!!!

 

73pony

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Not going to give you crap but acupuncture worked wonders on my lower back issues as well.

 

1973stang

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THANK YOU GUYS AGAIN!!!!

Found the problem.

I have Air adjust shocks in the rear and driver side was all flat.

I had installed air-adjust, so I can level the car (i have sciatica...and driver side leaf spring is sagging very bad)

So the new question

Since I have to change the leaf-spring, AND lower my car AND change to Bullit Wheels

1) Should I go w/ new leaf-spring and different shocks OR go with multi-link suspension in rear.

ALSO

the roads and freeway around my house are not in great condition...so I need to improve on less road-feel also.

Again hoping for some sage advice.

Rush
I'm not going to comment on handling as I'm learning all that stuff as I go as well.  I am going to comment off topic about your sciatica issues. I have a shot right hip ( getting older is really starting to suck ), so lowering my car is NOT an option and I have to put my seat back all the way just to get out and I'm "short"!! As for your sciatica, have you tried a GOOD chiropractor who is very well experienced with acupuncture?? With my hip issues, I also had sciatic problems from pressure on the periformus muscle deep in the glute. Acupuncture fixed it and the pain has not returned, but I do have to avoid putting undue pressure on my glutes during workouts. I just know I'm going to get sh*t for this, but!!!
Haha Stanglover,

Love it totally.     My problem is L4-L5 compressed from Skydiving accident.   I manage it really good w/ targetted morning stretches. Not levelled car on a bad day makes it worst.   Thanks to stretching, I have maybe 5-10 bad days a year now.

 

1973stang

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Thanks guys for saving me monies,

So this is what I gather from answers here and researching other posts.

Connectors (Drake Scott or Global West ....any one better than other????)

Front End:-

Sway bars

New Coil (want to lower car...any suggestions for vendor???)

KYB G2 shocks

Rear End:-

New leaf springs 4 and 1/2  (any particular vendor?????)

1" BLOCKS to lower the car

SWAY BAR or SHELBY STYLE Traction Bar (OR BOTH ????)

KYB G2 shocks

Does this sound about right???  

Rush

 

73pony

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For the springs I am pretty sure the consensus is Eaton Detroit Spring.

Tin Man Fabrication makes a nice subframe connector as well.

Rear Swap bar will help with cornering while the traction bars will help it to hook up.

Also I went with the KYB Gas-A-Just instead of G2's just because they are slightly stiffer (don't ride as nice but give a little more road feel).

 
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Haha Stanglover,

Love it totally.     My problem is L4-L5 compressed from Skydiving accident.   I manage it really good w/ targetted morning stretches. Not levelled car on a bad day makes it worst.   Thanks to stretching, I have maybe 5-10 bad days a year now.
 I see, but why would anybody in their right mind, want to step out of a perfectly good airplane?? At least with my hip it can be replaced, hopefully before next winter so I don't lose any Mustang driving time which is summer only here.

 
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For the springs I am pretty sure the consensus is Eaton Detroit Spring.

Tin Man Fabrication makes a nice subframe connector as well.

Rear Swap bar will help with cornering while the traction bars will help it to hook up.

Also I went with the KYB Gas-A-Just instead of G2's just because they are slightly stiffer (don't ride as nice but give a little more road feel).
 From my not-so-good experience with aftermarket front coil springs in the S/D kit I bought, written about this a zillion times, I would definitely go with OEM Eaton Detroit Springs. I just posted in another thread on this. Eaton's website is easy to find your exact requirements and then you can confirm with tech help on their phone line. www.eatondetroitspring.com

On my 71 Mach 1, I have a stock front end rebuild kit with a 1 1/8th front anti-sway bar and a 7/8th rear, but I may have only needed a 3/4". I too have KYB Gas-a-Just shocks and with BFG radials, it's pretty good powering through corners on dry roads (don't drive it intentionally in the wet). My next upgrade is rear springs, but I'll likely get those rebuilt locally with an extra 1/2 leaf. I only have a "one wheeler" and wheel hop is an issue.

Hope that helps with your choices.

Geoff.

 
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