Possible upgrades that I am pondering - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 28 (permalink) Old 4 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Possible upgrades that I am pondering

Hi guys, as my project is on hold for a bit while I go through the process of buying a new house, I am pondering some future projects and upgrades.

One that comes to mind is that of the 4-Link rear suspension. I found a company that makes a full complete 4-link rear suspension with coil over shocks for a '68/'69 Fairlane/Torino. My questions are: What are the benefits of a 4-link rear suspension? As a boulevard cruiser sporting 370+ HP, will a 4-link benefit my application?

Other upgrades that I am playing with (sooner or later) include changing out the transmission from a C4 to a AOD tranny (yes, I know, I have a brand new C4, but at the time I got it, I expected my project to be completed sooner and the cost to convert to a AOD was too high at the time). The other upgrade is converting the car from a carb car to a FI car. Again, not sure on this old car that FI is necessarily a good thing. Any tips or advice on these three possible upgrades?

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Originally Posted by mrvandermey View Post
Hi guys, as my project is on hold for a bit while I go through the process of buying a new house, I am pondering some future projects and upgrades.

One that comes to mind is that of the 4-Link rear suspension. I found a company that makes a full complete 4-link rear suspension with coil over shocks for a '68/'69 Fairlane/Torino. My questions are: What are the benefits of a 4-link rear suspension? As a boulevard cruiser sporting 370+ HP, will a 4-link benefit my application?

Other upgrades that I am playing with (sooner or later) include changing out the transmission from a C4 to a AOD tranny (yes, I know, I have a brand new C4, but at the time I got it, I expected my project to be completed sooner and the cost to convert to a AOD was too high at the time). The other upgrade is converting the car from a carb car to a FI car. Again, not sure on this old car that FI is necessarily a good thing. Any tips or advice on these three possible upgrades?
If you swap to an AOD, then you better plan to swap the third member to 3.55:1 or 3.80:1 gears. I went with the 3.55's, but it was an unexpected cost I hadn't planned. The OEM 3.00:1 gears with AOD dropped the rpm so low you weren't in the power band for the engine and acceleration was a dog in 4th gear.


1966 Mustang 2+2, A code, AOD AT, PS, PDB, AC, Pony deluxe interior
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My current rearend is a Ford 9" with posi and 3.50 gears.
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If you want overdrive, go with the 4R70W. not to step on any toes, but the AOD has issues, unless you spend the money to get rid of its lockup feature and go to a one-piece input shaft. Otherwise, it's just not a great performance transmission, on the top end. They are a ticking timebomb of fail, if you make full-throttle 3-4 shifts with a healthy engine. Also, TV cables suck. With enough work, an AOD can be made to shift crisply, and do about as well as a C4, but with overdrive. In stock form, I have never been impressed.

The 4R70W benefits from a lot of reliability upgrades, and with its asynchronous shifts, it can hit any gear, any time, any RPM if you tell it to. Any of the good controllers (Baumann makes the best) have the ability to store different 'shift modes' that you can easily switch between, too - so you can go from a nice, soft, smooth cushy ride to 'bark the tires as it goes into gear' sport mode. Or whatever other option suits you. Fully programmable. AND you get to keep the lockup torque converter, which will get you a couple MPG out on the highway. Paddle shifters are a common option for these too, though on a classic like yours it wouldn't necessarily be a good option, compared to a vintage steering wheel. Don't let the features bamboozle though: You can keep it very simple, and just enjoy a bulletproof transmission that will handle around 5-600 horsepower in stock form.

Better to do it right, do it once, and not spend the money three times. =)

Four-link rear ends are more expensive, complicated, heavier, and handle worse than a 3 link. They can bind under certain conditions, so they're not great for handling. However, they can be made to plant the rear end really hard on launch, and as such, are often used for drag cars.

For most cars, I'd say 3-link is the way to go if you feel the bug to swap everything out and get fancy. RRS Racing has some great videos of installation on their 3-link, if you want to see what they look like.
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Boulevard cruisers will never need or use racing parts, don't waste money on things you won't use. If you are going to build a track car, that's a different story and depends if it's going to be built for road courses or drag strips.
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Grim: I did not know that about 4-link rearend, good to know; and to be honest, I do not recall ever hearing anything about 3 link rearends. Hence why I was asking about possible upgrades (in the future). Question, is a 4-link and a 4-bar suspension the same thing?

On the 4R70W, what modifications do I need to do to the car to make it work (as this was a main reason I did not go AOD or equivalent the first time)?
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The 4R70W is much the same as an AOD in terms of size and fitment. They are both a little larger than the C4. Bottom line? Driveshaft, exhaust headers, transmission mount. AOD requires a TV cable which gets hooked up to your throttle linkage, and requires some special parts. The 4R70W does not use a TV cable, but does require an electronic controller, and a sensor to see throttle position.

With your new rear gears, I think either of them would be fine. (changing your rear gears was another reason you decided on the C4, but then you did that anyway.)

I'd also recommend trying out your C4 first, before you make this choice!

4 bar and 4 link are probably being used interchangeably, though most people would say '4 link'.

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Thanks Grimbrand. Yes, I will utilizing my C4 for some time as it i snot a priority unless I blow it up. But may be something worth reconsidering down the road, depending on how far I end up driving the car to shows. I just sold my trailer so now I may actually have to drive the car on the freeway.

Plus with the changes to accommodate a 4R70W, that particular upgrade will have to wait a bit till other pressing issues on the car are resolved (getting running/tuned, finish interior bucket seat conversion, upgrading front brakes, possible front/rear suspension upgrades, etc).

On the rear suspension, this place sells a 4-bar rear suspension and I was wondering if it is the same a 4-link.
1968 - 1972 Ford Torino Four Bar Rear Suspension - Fat Man Fabrication

Besides a 4-link or a 3-link (which sounds intriguing), what are realistic upgrades to front and rear suspension?

Good or bad idea on eventually going to Fuel Injection over Carburetor? Since I know modifications have to be made to fuel system, again, this potential upgrade will have to wait a bit, but just reading posts here seems to be a hit or miss in regards to FI on an older car.
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Thanks Grimbrand. Yes, I will utilizing my C4 for some time as it i snot a priority unless I blow it up. But may be something worth reconsidering down the road, depending on how far I end up driving the car to shows. I just sold my trailer so now I may actually have to drive the car on the freeway.

Plus with the changes to accommodate a 4R70W, that particular upgrade will have to wait a bit till other pressing issues on the car are resolved (getting running/tuned, finish interior bucket seat conversion, upgrading front brakes, possible front/rear suspension upgrades, etc).

On the rear suspension, this place sells a 4-bar rear suspension and I was wondering if it is the same a 4-link.
1968 - 1972 Ford Torino Four Bar Rear Suspension - Fat Man Fabrication

Besides a 4-link or a 3-link (which sounds intriguing), what are realistic upgrades to front and rear suspension?

Good or bad idea on eventually going to Fuel Injection over Carburetor? Since I know modifications have to be made to fuel system, again, this potential upgrade will have to wait a bit, but just reading posts here seems to be a hit or miss in regards to FI on an older car.
Generally its a bad idea. Why fix what works already? EFI was made for cars that did not already have a good solid working carburetor and to save costs in manufacturing a new car.
The bars are the links, so a 4 bar is a 4 link. Some people have put jaguar rear suspensions in Mustangs, but it's a choice not a need.

At some point it's simpler and cheaper to put Mustang sheet metal on a modern car rather than all the modern parts on a Mustang if you just want a car that looks like a Mustang but really isn't anymore.
Your car has a front bench seat? You want to replace it? Are you nuts?? What year is it?
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Generally its a bad idea. Why fix what works already? EFI was made for cars that did not already have a good solid working carburetor and to save costs in manufacturing a new car.
The bars are the links, so a 4 bar is a 4 link. Some people have put jaguar rear suspensions in Mustangs, but it's a choice not a need.

At some point it's simpler and cheaper to put Mustang sheet metal on a modern car rather than all the modern parts on a Mustang if you just want a car that looks like a Mustang but really isn't anymore.
Your car has a front bench seat? You want to replace it? Are you nuts?? What year is it?
Yes, my car does currently have a bench seat, but then again, I do not have a Mustang, but do have the Mustang's big brother..a 1968 Fairlane (looks like a '68 Torino). I am a die hard bucket seat fan. So in my mind, it is a must to convert from bench to bucket seats.

Last edited by mrvandermey; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:54 PM.
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Atomic EFI, 4R70W and if you like, Heidts rear gbar coilover setup.
Atomic efi needs are an in tank furl pump(Tanks Inc) and a pressure regulator on a return style fuel system. Never heat soaks, vapor locks and 100% tune from driver seat... no tools. Minimal wiring of all efi kits best all round ease of use and extremely reliable( round $1000 basic kit)
4R70W Grim covered it and I make an install kit all bolt in. Donor trans 250-350, install kit 240, new wiring and computer 600-750 all plug and play fully tune from driver seat no tools 3:50 to 4:11 gears ideal
Heidts rear Gbar kit 1800.00 with adj. coil overs great ride firm to soft and height adjustable and limits rear end vertical travel, makes most sense wit front coilovers for a new car ride and performance and you dont have to track or race to enjoy the benefits.
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For the best bang-for-the buck: upgrading to better shocks (Bilsteins), stiffer 1" swaybar (because your car's a little bigger, maybe slightly larger?), and if your front suspension is similar to the falcon/Mustang/Cougar, I suspect you could relocate the upper control arms to improve roll and camber changes. (Shelby drop)

Oftentimes, this gives you excellent ride quality, smoothness, and greatly improved handling, with no other changes.

Because of your car's improved power, you might also consider some subframe bracing to reduce body flex. That could also help handing quite a bit.

The factory Ford stuff is really pretty good, with just a few minor tweaks!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrvandermey View Post
Yes, my car does currently have a bench seat, but then again, I do not have a Mustang, but do have the Mustang's big brother..a 1968 Fairlane (looks like a '68 Torino). I am a die hard bucket seat fan. So in my mind, it is a must to convert from bench to bucket seats.
A Fairlane? Oh, then do whatever you want to it. :P
I had a 72 Gran Torino (the Starkskey and Hutch car with the same alloys but in burnt orange with a white vinyl top.
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I had a yellow '73 Gran Torino Sport with a much de-tuned 351 Cleveland, and 2-1/2" exhaust. The emissions stuff had just started to kick in. It was very difficult to start in the mornings, and the Ford techs couldn't fix it. I finally took the Ford carb off, plugged the EGR port, and put a "normal" 4-bbl Holley on it. It became drivable, but I let my ex take it when we split and kept my '66 Mustang.
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I had a yellow '73 Gran Torino Sport with a much de-tuned 351 Cleveland, and 2-1/2" exhaust. The emissions stuff had just started to kick in. It was very difficult to start in the mornings, and the Ford techs couldn't fix it. I finally took the Ford carb off, plugged the EGR port, and put a "normal" 4-bbl Holley on it. It became drivable, but I let my ex take it when we split and kept my '66 Mustang.
Well, you kept the right one!


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