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Hi everybody!
I have a Mustang '68 302 and I bought a 8.8 Mountaineer 3.73 rear end and I thinking about to install a rear coilover suspensions system. No track, no nitro, no turbo, no charger, just wekeend warrior...
I saw some 3 or 4 link systems, but they are really expensive for me.
Some suggestions about a coilover system from another car? Maybe another Mustang that will work with my 8.8??
Thank you in advance!
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That is just the normal message the moderator(s) send to those who post the first time. They aren't accusing you of doing anything wrong; they just want to be sure you know the rules and that you have included information in your account settings you think folks might want to know. And yes, I think your posting is probably in the right forum.
 

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And since nobody else has responded yet, I'll give it a go. I know nothing about the '68, but this can't be done in the '65 or '66 unless you do a 3- or 4-link, or perhaps some kind of major strengthening of the upper shock mounting area. It is just too weak to support the springs.
 

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And since nobody else has responded yet, I'll give it a go. I know nothing about the '68, but this can't be done in the '65 or '66 unless you do a 3- or 4-link, or perhaps some kind of major strengthening of the upper shock mounting area. It is just too weak to support the springs.
Hi Charles Reeves,
thank you for your words!
Do you know maybe some 3 or 4 link system that not really expensive ist?
 

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Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I know anything about 3- or 4-link systems. I don't, but in looking at what has to be done to install them, I'm not surprised at the cost.

You might try posting on the VMF if you haven't done so already; much more action there:

Vintage Mustang Forum
 

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Sometimes, if you want something good, you'll have to spend a few bucks. I'm very happy with my Griggs Racing suspension, and it fits the 8.8. You could save a few bucks and go with a Panhard instead of the Watts link. It's about $3k for the whole thing, coilovers included.
 
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Some suggestions about a coilover system from another car? Maybe another Mustang that will work with my 8.8??
Thank you in advance!
What I can tell you is this, guys have been installing independent rear suspensions in these for years...the early ones were modified Jag rear ends...but, Ford actually completed and produced (prototype) an IRS for the gen 1 stangs but never sold it...why? Well they gained nothing in performance nor ride handling.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I know anything about 3- or 4-link systems. I don't, but in looking at what has to be done to install them, I'm not surprised at the cost.

You might try posting on the VMF if you haven't done so already; much more action there:

Vintage Mustang Forum
Thnaks
Charles Reeves

Sometimes, if you want something good, you'll have to spend a few bucks. I'm very happy with my Griggs Racing suspension, and it fits the 8.8. You could save a few bucks and go with a Panhard instead of the Watts link. It's about $3k for the whole thing, coilovers included.
Thnak you for your info paul289.
Do you some pictures from your rear suspension?

Sometimes, if you want something good, you'll have to spend a few bucks. I'm very happy with my Griggs Racing suspension, and it fits the 8.8. You could save a few bucks and go with a Panhard instead of the Watts link. It's about $3k for the whole thing, coilovers included.
Thank you, do you have maybe a few pics from your suspensions system?

What I can tell you is this, guys have been installing independent rear suspensions in these for years...the early ones were modified Jag rear ends...but, Ford actually completed and produced (prototype) an IRS for the gen 1 stangs but never sold it...why? Well they gained nothing in performance nor ride handling.
Thanks, do you know why from Jaguar?
Will be really great to get a original suspenion system from Ford and pay around 20000 USD 😂😂😂😂

Somebody said to install a IRS 03-04 Cobra, what do you think?
 

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Thanks, do you know why from Jaguar?
Will be really great to get a original suspenion system from Ford and pay around 20000 USD 😂😂😂😂

Somebody said to install a IRS 03-04 Cobra, what do you think?
Thanks, do you know why from Jaguar?
Simple, it was the cheapest most parts available rear suspension at the time...going back to the 50's.

Somebody said to install a IRS 03-04 Cobra, what do you think?

They are unconscious..... 2 completely different chassis, weight and general design. If you actually did want to do this, I would get a complete fab chassis (solid) to slip under the stang that would be designed for both IFS & IRS (The roadster shop builds one IIRR) and that would work.
 

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Thanks, do you know why from Jaguar?
Simple, it was the cheapest most parts available rear suspension at the time...going back to the 50's.

Somebody said to install a IRS 03-04 Cobra, what do you think?

They are unconscious..... 2 completely different chassis, weight and general design. If you actually did want to do this, I would get a complete fab chassis (solid) to slip under the stang that would be designed for both IFS & IRS (The roadster shop builds one IIRR) and that would work.
Look complicated to install this IRS Cobra... Fab chassis is more expensive. I think the best solution is to buy a current coilover suspensions system.
 

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Look complicated to install this IRS Cobra... Fab chassis is more expensive. I think the best solution is to buy a current coilover suspensions system.
Coilovers are only dampers (shocks) with coaxially-mounted springs. Not "suspension systems" in and of themselves. Since they're not exactly compatible with leaf springs, you're in for some sort of linkage system for locating the axle . . . 3-link, triangulated 4-link, or torque arm being the first options that come to mind. All will require structural modifications since you'd be adding spring loads to the damper loads. Good coilovers may need to be periodically rebuilt, and I'm not at all convinced that coilover piston shafts are adequately protected for the average driver's "set them and forget them" street driving.

On the IRS systems mentioned, a well thought-out stick axle system will at least equal (and likely surpass) either of them. For a lot less difficulty. There's a reason the S197 Mustangs went with the 3-link + PHB arrangement, and you'd be hard-pressed to do any better as an individual. Just so you know, it's better to keep the OE rear spring location, as adding even a coilover spring to the shock tends to eat up space that would be better used to fit more rear wheel and tire.


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Sorry it's been a while, but here's my rear end setup. It does require welding, but it's really not too bad.
 

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Coilovers are only dampers (shocks) with coaxially-mounted springs. Not "suspension systems" in and of themselves. Since they're not exactly compatible with leaf springs, you're in for some sort of linkage system for locating the axle . . . 3-link, triangulated 4-link, or torque arm being the first options that come to mind. All will require structural modifications since you'd be adding spring loads to the damper loads. Good coilovers may need to be periodically rebuilt, and I'm not at all convinced that coilover piston shafts are adequately protected for the average driver's "set them and forget them" street driving.

On the IRS systems mentioned, a well thought-out stick axle system will at least equal (and likely surpass) either of them. For a lot less difficulty. There's a reason the S197 Mustangs went with the 3-link + PHB arrangement, and you'd be hard-pressed to do any better as an individual. Just so you know, it's better to keep the OE rear spring location, as adding even a coilover spring to the shock tends to eat up space that would be better used to fit more rear wheel and tire.


Norm
Thank you for your answer! You are right, I said "suspension systems" because of my english... ;)
Now I understand, to fix this coilovers to the chassis I am obliged to install a 3 or 4 link, for locating the axle like you said. Well as I said in the beginning is just a weekend warrior, nothing professional, then I have to look for a "not to expensive option"... What kind on suspension brand do you think that will fix good??

Sorry it's been a while, but here's my rear end setup. It does require welding, but it's really not too bad.
Thank you so much for your answer and your picture, what kind of suspension is this?
 

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Having experienced a stock rear end, IRS of a couple different kinds, 4 link, and 3 link, I can tell you that there's quite a difference between most of them. All of them with a straight axle do great in straight lines and on smooth roads. However, when turning under power on uneven terrain, the IRS setups are much better. Live axles tend to jump around, skidding to kick the tail out, if you go over small bumps while turning and on the gas. It's something you get used to, but it's a very odd feeling at first. Independent rear suspensions feel a lot more planted, and a small surface irregularity under one wheel won't make the whole back end waggle.

The early Arning Mustang setup is probably best all around, because it's got excellent geometry, the brakes get plenty of cooling, and of course, it was engineered to fit an early Mustang. Unfortunately, it'll set you back at least $7k. Jag IRS works pretty well too, and has even better ride quality due to less unsprung weight, with the brakes next to the pumpkin. But unfortunately, that brake placement does cause them to get pretty hot, because they aren't getting much airflow in that position. It's not as good if you're doing downhill, or any kind of spirited driving where you're off the gas and on the brakes a lot. Late model Mustang IRS swaps will fit... sort of. The whole setup is a lot wider than the early 'Stang back ends, so it ends up just not working well, and the back wheels poke out awkwardly even if you shoehorn it into place.

As for the straight-axle setups, I'm not a big fan of the 4 link setup, because it tends to wear out and make a lot of noise, along with binding when cornering hard. Drag racers seem to like 'em. But then again, you're talking about guys who also love to take most of the front suspension out and run bicycle tires, when they can get away with it. 4 links do plant the tires hard, but they are mediocre in the handling department. The three link is probably my favorite live-axle setup. It's lighter, simpler, and just seems to work very well. Usually it ties into a nice subframe brace, which helps with body flex too. Doesn't try to hop under hard acceleration, either! The one I got to try out really did well, and while sometimes in a corner you could tell it wasn't IRS, it still impressed me.

If you want cheap though, just fix up your stock rear end, make sure the springs are in good shape, replace the bushings, and get some Bilsteins! You'll be surprised at how well it works.
 

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What I can tell you is this, guys have been installing independent rear suspensions in these for years...the early ones were modified Jag rear ends...but, Ford actually completed and produced (prototype) an IRS for the gen 1 stangs but never sold it...why? Well they gained nothing in performance nor ride handling.
You're almost right on this one, Beech! On smooth roads, there wasn't much difference between the Mustang IRS and the live axle. Not enough to justify making the car cost about 20% more, for sure! Let's face it: one of the biggest reasons Mustang was so popular, was because it was cheap! I think they probably made the right choice, even if the IRS really is a lot better in some ways.
 

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You're almost right on this one, Beech! On smooth roads, there wasn't much difference between the Mustang IRS and the live axle. Not enough to justify making the car cost about 20% more, for sure! Let's face it: one of the biggest reasons Mustang was so popular, was because it was cheap! I think they probably made the right choice, even if the IRS really is a lot better in some ways.
Agree with you as well....even when I was racing these back in the late 70's, there were a few who did the IRS, and some who went with big hp, but let's face it, you still have to have the skill to drive the car, and honestly, by the time they got them dialed in, heck, there were at least a dozen other things you could do quicker, faster, easier and get more power or handling..... and I cannot ever remember ever thinking, I just can't stay up with this other 'guy"! But, if I was to spend the $$$$ to do IFS/IRS it would be with a full frame underneath, otherwise like you said, your spending a crapload of $ to get a fraction worth of performance!
 

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You're almost right on this one, Beech! On smooth roads, there wasn't much difference between the Mustang IRS and the live axle. Not enough to justify making the car cost about 20% more, for sure! Let's face it: one of the biggest reasons Mustang was so popular, was because it was cheap! I think they probably made the right choice, even if the IRS really is a lot better in some ways.
ya know my wife has (we special ordered it) a 1997 Cougar Sport.... which IMHO is what the 1997 Mustang should have been instead of the V8 powered Pinto).... but, it is built on the MN12 chassis...the same as the Lincoln Sport Coupe... and has the same tranny/engine as the Mustang GT of that year but with IFS/IRS.... the IRS main components are all cast aluminum pieces, which is really impressive IMHO. Now (for purposes of after break-in QA), out in the middle of nowhere, I took it up to 115 mph and IMHO, while the control was as to be expected, there was really very, very little difference in the way the car handled/rode and my 65 mustang..... yeah, it handled the "bumps" in the road a bit smoother, requiring less driver input, but in all reality, after 80 mph there was little difference as you stated... Given IMHO, these 2 cars are really "sisters" per say (a generation apart), I can certainly see where the engineers were a bit disappointed thinking the results were going to be so much better.

A friend of ours had just purchased a 7 series BMW (V8) at the same time, and he wanted to see performance wise what the difference was between the 2 cars.....neither one of use power-braked, etc....just started at a dead stop with the AC off, counted to 3 and stepped on the gas in "D" . I predicted (and said to him) before we went out (the wife's went too... so there was definitely no messing around going on), that I think it's going to be pretty dead even until we get to about 80 mph, then you're going to pull away because I just don't have your gears! And that's what happened.... 0-30 mph was dead even, 30-60 mph I was within 12" of his front bumper to my front bumper and at 80 mph he started pulling away....but not as fast as what I had thought....... as by the time we shut down at 115 mph, I was just a few feet (2-3) behind his rear bumper. I'm sure if we were on a closed track the he would have really began pulling away as our speed limiter would have kicked in shortly.....

and BTW for those who may be thinking....we were not on a public street but a private 3 mile long paved road, so no, I don't believe in street racing!!!!!
 
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I can certainly see where the engineers were a bit disappointed thinking the results were going to be so much better.
Thanks for the comparison, Beech! When it comes to IRS - I am actually a huge fan of it. Would I want it on my car? Sure! Would I be willing to spend huge money on it? Probably not. But if money was no object, even though the handling and ride quality only shows up on the roughest roads and in turns with bumps, it's nice. I'd want it.
 
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