Advice from any suspension pro's - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017 Thread Starter
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Advice from any suspension pro's

To start I have a '65 coupe with the 289. I'm pretty sure the suspension is about 80% original, with all the noises some mismatched front shocks it is definitely time for some freshening up. I'm never going to track this car nor give over 300 hp but I would like to improve the suspension just to the next level to hug the road and corners just a bit more. I'm about buy some parts form ca-mustangs.com because they have a promo code to save 25%. I'm just focusing on the front suspension right now and no I will not install these without having the rear suspension parts as well.

First I'm looking for a 1" drop and I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with these in particular? Coil Springs - 1 DROP COIL SPRINGS, 1965-66 Mustang they are not name brand but if you have a better suggestion I'm all ears even if it's not from this website.

Second I have to get a set of shocks that will compliment the drop and I'm not knowledgeable enough about any of these brands that will suite the car. I don't mind buying the set of 4 if it means saving money now. I'm particularly eyeing the set of Scott Drake performance set but I'd like to hear what you all have to say or prefer. Ford Mustang Shock Absorbers | 1964-1973 | Cal-Mustang.com

Thanks in advance and Happy Thanksgiving.

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017
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Skynet, instead of using drop springs, have you considered doing the Shelby mod? That would make your car roll less, handle better, *and* give you something close to the drop you're looking for. (Since it varies a bit from car to car, it could be a little less than an inch of suspension drop, but then again, drop springs are sometimes not much lower than tired factory springs either)

Stock springs often give a much smoother, more progressive ride than newer, shorter, stiffer springs, and for a street car, they are frequently the best choice for ride quality.

With the money you save on springs, put in a stiffer swaybar to help your car corner even better. With that and the Shelby/Arning drop, you won't feel like you're driving a power boat anymore when you corner.

For shocks, depending on your budget, I'd go with KYB, Bilstein, or Koni. I have no idea about the Scott Drake shocks, so I can't offer advice there. Perhaps the reviews of their product would help you decide if it's worth gambling on.

With those three changes, I think you will be shocked at how much better your car rides and handles.

Oh! One last thing - have your car aligned for radial tires instead of the original factory recommended specs. That will also greatly help with handling and road feel.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Grimbrand View Post
Skynet, instead of using drop springs, have you considered doing the Shelby mod? That would make your car roll less, handle better, *and* give you something close to the drop you're looking for. (Since it varies a bit from car to car, it could be a little less than an inch of suspension drop, but then again, drop springs are sometimes not much lower than tired factory springs either)

Stock springs often give a much smoother, more progressive ride than newer, shorter, stiffer springs, and for a street car, they are frequently the best choice for ride quality.

With the money you save on springs, put in a stiffer swaybar to help your car corner even better. With that and the Shelby/Arning drop, you won't feel like you're driving a power boat anymore when you corner.

For shocks, depending on your budget, I'd go with KYB, Bilstein, or Koni. I have no idea about the Scott Drake shocks, so I can't offer advice there. Perhaps the reviews of their product would help you decide if it's worth gambling on.

With those three changes, I think you will be shocked at how much better your car rides and handles.

Oh! One last thing - have your car aligned for radial tires instead of the original factory recommended specs. That will also greatly help with handling and road feel.
I've often thought about the arning drop. I already have a stiffer sway and all could say is, "why didn't I do this years ago?"
So with the arning drop, I can still use a stock style springs? Because if that's the case then I will be saving myself around $70 which I could use for other parts.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017
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Not only *can* you use your stock springs, I'd recommend it. Unless of course, you decide you want to go even lower, after you do the drop.

Are you running an export brace, too? Without one of those to stiffen your front end up, early Mustangs get pretty floppy.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017
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I've often thought about the arning drop. I already have a stiffer sway and all could say is, "why didn't I do this years ago?"
So with the arning drop, I can still use a stock style springs? Because if that's the case then I will be saving myself around $70 which I could use for other parts.
Yes the arning drop will not affect the springs. You can keep what you have.

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Originally Posted by Grimbrand View Post
Not only *can* you use your stock springs, I'd recommend it. Unless of course, you decide you want to go even lower, after you do the drop.

Are you running an export brace, too? Without one of those to stiffen your front end up, early Mustangs get pretty floppy.
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Yes the arning drop will not affect the springs. You can keep what you have.

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Well gentlemen I think you have me convinced. I'm buying some new stock springs and a set of 4 KYB shocks. I do have an export brace but what do you all think of the monte carlo bar?
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017
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Well gentlemen I think you have me convinced. I'm buying some new stock springs and a set of 4 KYB shocks. I do have an export brace but what do you all think of the monte carlo bar?
I like the kyb gas adjusts on the front but find them harsh on the rear. My car is a cruiser

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I like the kyb gas adjusts on the front but find them harsh on the rear. My car is a cruiser

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Thanks I'll keep that in mind. My other choice was going with Koni
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Wait, Skynet, are your springs missing? If not, don't *buy* new stock front springs. Use your old ones! They're already broken in! They may be a tiny bit lower than they were new, but that's not a bad thing. Rear springs may be another matter. Those often do need to be replaced, or at least recurved by a pro, unless you want to be bonking your pinion snubber when you put a friend in the back seat.

Of course, this being a Mustang, they probably won't consider you a friend after having to ride in the back seat...

I'd avoid composite rear leafs, for a street-driven car, probably. They work great! Superior in every way to steel leaf springs except in one regard. Unfortunately, they do not do well if you pelt them with gravel and debris. They unravel pretty fast if they take impact damage. If you never go down dirt roads, and your streets are very clean, it might never be an issue.

Anyway, if you've the money, Koni shocks are pretty hard to beat.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-23-2017 Thread Starter
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Wait, Skynet, are your springs missing? If not, don't *buy* new stock front springs. Use your old ones! They're already broken in! They may be a tiny bit lower than they were new, but that's not a bad thing. Rear springs may be another matter. Those often do need to be replaced, or at least recurved by a pro, unless you want to be bonking your pinion snubber when you put a friend in the back seat.

Of course, this being a Mustang, they probably won't consider you a friend after having to ride in the back seat...

I'd avoid composite rear leafs, for a street-driven car, probably. They work great! Superior in every way to steel leaf springs except in one regard. Unfortunately, they do not do well if you pelt them with gravel and debris. They unravel pretty fast if they take impact damage. If you never go down dirt roads, and your streets are very clean, it might never be an issue.

Anyway, if you've the money, Koni shocks are pretty hard to beat.
Really? Keep the originals, huh? No none are missing. If you insist on not replacing them then I will go for Koni front and rear now to get those changed since they don't match. As for the leaf springs, they aren't making noise but the bushings do look dry and cracked but I also heard ,as a rule of thumb, that if you can see in between the leafs that they are no longer good. I can see a small gap between a few but nothing that I would call major
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I have the GT springs on my 65 with the Arning drop. Best modification for improving the handling. It cost the price of a drill bit! Alignment specs can be found at Opentracker Racing.
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For shocks, I'm a fan of Konis. The adjustability is nice, and firmer shocks with soft springs actually makes for a pretty nice ride with good handling. While I do have track-valved Koni coilovers, I don't notice too much since the rear has fairly soft springs, and that's where most ride comfort comes from. However, speed bumps will need to be taken slower. ~600 lb/in springs plus an Arning/Shelby drop will help as well, provided the bushings and steering are up to snuff.
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Proud owner of a '65 289 coupe. Equipped with Edelbrock Performer intake, Quick Fuel 680HR carb, ported stock heads, 282 Magnum solid cam, Hedman longtube headers, MSD ignition, and decked and ported heads. T5 transmission with hydraulic clutch. Griggs Racing GR350 suspension. 8.8 rear end. Griggs front & Wilwood rear brakes. Many more mods to come!
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Recommend calling streetortrack or opentracker. Tell them what you want and either will set you straight. Concur with all the above, though not a KYB fan. Might want to add some roller perches into the mix. Upgraded bushings will probably make a big difference as well.

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Recommend calling streetortrack or opentracker. Tell them what you want and either will set you straight. Concur with all the above, though not a KYB fan. Might want to add some roller perches into the mix. Upgraded bushings will probably make a big difference as well.
100% agree with calling opentracker. The guy who runs it is one of the most knowledgeable people regarding suspension/steering in the classic mustang industry. DEFINITELY buy a set of roller spring perches. Night and day difference, especially if you're running manual steering. I also grabbed a roller idler arm since I'm running 17s with wide, sticky tires. If you're running original springs and don't plan to track the car I would upgrade to a set of 500 - 500Lb drop springs max. Any stiffer than that and you're not going to like the ride much. My 66 came with KYBs in it and I upgraded to Koni adjustables. Huge difference for me, but I also drive my car hard. Not worth it for a street cruiser. Don't worry about the sway bar or upgraded export brace unless you plan on hitting the twisties hard; your stock equipment will hold up just fine (although you may want to replace your rubber sway bar bushings with poly bushings). I would definitely suggest a monte carlo bar though. Anything keeping both sides of the car tied together is going to be beneficial in these cars. Hope this helps!
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