Strut Rods: New Bushings vs New design(TCP, etc)

MKSpeedlab

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Figured I would post on here and see what peoples thoughts/recommendation are when it comes to the front strut rods. The front suspension in my 72 is original besides the shocks so one of the next goals is to update things a little bit. And I was curious what peoples thoughts were when it came to just upgrading and putting in poly bushings vs going all out and getting something like the TCP strut rod kit. The car is mostly a cruiser but I love the idea of helping it carve corners a little better. Is it good enough to do bushings, or is it worth the extra money to do the different design like the TCP ones or other ones where its not just bushings. 

 

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Don't put poly bushings on the strut rods, they will eventually fracture. I suggest the higher durometer number rubber bushings from Global West. I can't speak to the use of "fancy" strut rods, I've never tried them. Chuck

 

Don C

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+1 on not using poly strut rod bushings. They do not flex enough as the suspension goes up and down, causing the strut rod do flex at the weak points, which is the threaded portion of the rod, causing the rods to stress fracture.

The TCP (and other aftermarket) strut rods will reduce caster changes, but the Delrin bushings in them provide little vibration isolation, possibly resulting in increased road noise and cabin vibrations.

You can also make your own:

DazeCars, Home Made Mustang Adjustable Strut Rods

 

Bentworker

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There are some neat options out there.  I’d stick with the Moog rubber bushings if you are keeping with the stock design.  Like others have said the poly bushings  on a strut rod are sketchy as they are so stiff the strut rod can fatigue at the root of the threads and fail as the suspension cycles up and down.  

Outside of the OEM design there are a couple flavors.  One is the TCP spherical joint style that is sealed, there are other types of spherical joint like the Opentracker Racing and Maier Racing Monoball style strut rod bushings (not sealed).  All of these keep the strut rod as long as possible, with the pivot point as close to the OEM design as possible.  This is good because the longer the strut rod the the less change in caster there will be as the suspension compresses.

The second style is the type where a heim joint is bolted to an adaptor that goes were the strut rod bushings went.  Opentracker also sells this style, along with Mike Maier Racing.  This design shortens the strut rod and will increase the caster change a bit as the suspension sweeps through it’s travel.

Personally I went with the TCP strut rods.

 

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Some great and informative information in this post. I bookmarked it for later reference. 

 

MKSpeedlab

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Personally I went with the TCP strut rods.
Any complaints about the TCP ones? Did it change the ride much? As I said the car is mostly a cruiser, but it will likely see some corners every once in a while. I looked at some of the ones you mentioned, and right now Im really liking the TCP design compared to some of the others with a more basic rod end. 

 

Stanglover

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I too like to carve the corners, but with a good margin of common sense of course. Way too much invested to risk ditching the Mustang.

At this time, I only have factory struts with new rubber bushings that came with a front end "kit" I bought. (but wish I didn't!) I did add the Addco 1 1/8" anti-sway bar and had as much castor as possible added, that's 3 degrees. and with toe in and camber set for the radial tires I have. The front springs are factory originals and I just replaced the rear leafs with Eaton Boss 351 combined with an Addco 7/8 rear anti-sway bar (that is incorrect for the 71-73's and going to get changed in spring when the new version is available.) Moving forward, I'll be very interested to follow this thread and may well consider updating the strut rods as I know the castor that was able to be dialed in is max for the struts I have, I feel another 1/2 degree would really help the return centering. It may require replacing the S/D lower control arms with better Moog ones.

 

Bentworker

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Any complaints about the TCP ones? Did it change the ride much? As I said the car is mostly a cruiser, but it will likely see some corners every once in a while. I looked at some of the ones you mentioned, and right now Im really liking the TCP design compared to some of the others with a more basic rod end. 
I have only driven the car about a mile post TCP strut rod install as it is blown apart for paint.

I’m not the best judge of noise, vibration and harshness as my daily drivers are a 1980’s diesel pickup and a 250 horse Ford Fiesta that is more like a go-kart than a car.  
 

I think the TCP joints have Delrin for the ball sockets, which should provide a tiny bit of cushion.  I don’t suspect that they would add much to the NVH of your ride.  I know there are some other folks on the forum that have them, hopefully one of them has more experience than I do.

 

Don C

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With good stock style bushings in your struts, sway bars, control arms, idler arm, plus good ball joints, steering gear, pitman arm and rag joint you will be surprised how well your Mustang will corner. I've always enjoyed driving fast, whether straight line or corners, I got started with a go kart when I was about 15 years old, geared up top speed was 96 mph, geared down was a blast on the track. 

There's a nicely curved road that runs from Reno to Virginia City that I had driven many times and I gave it a go right after I got my Mustang in good running condition, with my wife holding down the passenger seat. It was faster than I had ever been able to run it with three older Mustangs (64.5, 65 & 68). Fastest enough that my wife told me that she would never ride on that road with me again in the Mustang. So, were it me, I would get the front and rear suspensions in good condition and properly aligned and see if it corners good enough for you. If not, then start throwing dollars at it and let us know how much improvement you get for each dollar spent.

 

Fabrice

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@Bentworker, @Don C, thanks for the info guys.

I'd gladly order the rubbers alone, but I need the inner sleeve. In that regard the kit I was looking for isn't original/concours at all. It has sleeve in a sleeve (2) while the original is only one that is pressed/flanged. That's the reason why I need new ones and not just rubbers as I needed to cut the flange to remove them.

I think I'm gonna go for the Moog ones... 

 

tony-muscle

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I have a OEM suspension with a heim joint styled adjustable strut rod and roller perches. The strut rods are from Pacific Thunder Performance, who is/was a member here. The roller perches are from Daze Cars. The car drives very well, but I am upgrading to a complete Meier Inc suspension package so I can push the limits. That said, I will be selling all my suspension very soon. These components have about 3,500 miles. If you are looking for a lightly used option let me know.

 
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You can add boxing and bracing without much cost if you know how to weld and fab the patches. If Dr. can piece my back into shape again I want to get started on my track days build. I have pretty much decided to purchase a tube bender and make my own roll cage, sub frame connectors and chassis bracing and use much stronger and better materials than anyone offers today. Yes what offered adds some strength but why not go twice as strong with less weight if you can?

 

MKSpeedlab

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You can add boxing and bracing without much cost if you know how to weld and fab the patches. If Dr. can piece my back into shape again I want to get started on my track days build. I have pretty much decided to purchase a tube bender and make my own roll cage, sub frame connectors and chassis bracing and use much stronger and better materials than anyone offers today. Yes what offered adds some strength but why not go twice as strong with less weight if you can?
Thats kinda what I had thought about doing. My Current plan right now is upgrading the strut rods (I really want to get the TCP, but might get something else), refurbing the lower control arms and adding a plate to them to strengthen them, and then for uppers Id like to likely replace them since I know some update the geometry and help out. And then likely either coil overs or some good springs and shocks. 

 

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I currently have the TCP Lower control arms and the strut rods on my 1973 coupe. I sometimes believe they are an over kill. Don C is correct with the cabin feedback with the solid mount strut rods. I believe that your purchase a good quality stock Lower control arm, install the metal to box the frame part, and install these heavy duty strut bushings;

http://mustangparts.averagejoerestoration.com/1967-73-mustang-heavy-duty-strut-rod-bushings-c6oz-3a187-hd

"These premium Bushings are made from Synthetic Elastomer that provides very similar handling performance and longevity when compared to Polyurethane but without the squeaking. This modern material is firmer than OEM Rubber but has a slightly softer durometer than traditional Polyurethane which will improve overall ride quality by eliminating some of the harshness associated with Polyurethane. A great compromise that allows you to get both comfort and performance at the same time. Steel Sleeves and correct Washers included. If required the correct 11/16x18 Nuts available under part # 380460-S."

I am looking into removing the TCP strut rods and going back to my heavy duty strut bushings and keep the TCP LC Arms to prevent the twisting.

Lower Control Arms bracing-

What this video of how the Lower Control Arm deflects when the brake are applied.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPhRhZYLTpI

As one wise gentleman put it to me, " You are going 65 MPH, you are on the road, and NOT a race track! " Save your money!

LCA3-4brace.jpg

 
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tony-muscle

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The strut rods and lower control arms have to work together. Due to the different arcs as the wheels goes up and down over road surfaces the LCA, or the inside bushing, have to twist. Ford finally addressed this with the new front suspension design in 2015:

Front Suspension - Suspension, Handling, Brakes, Wheels and Tires - 7173Mustangs.com
Interesting and it really makes sense. This will cause geometry changes as the wheel hop up and down, plus I guess it could lead to binding if made to stiff.

 
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