66 Suspension and Steering Rebuild

cturboaddict

Founding Member
66 Mustang Coupe manual steering- Help me make some decisions.

So, on my 66 Coupe project I'm at a decision crosshairs and cant seem to make up my mind. Of course with anything, budget is always a concern. I've read through countless threads on Suspension and Steering suggestions, and there's a 1000 ways to skin a cat, so help me close our my order list here. I've already spoken to John at Opentracker and Dan at Chocostang about a few things, both have been extremely helpful. I can't swing a full suspension kit from Opentracker, so I'm needing to put together the best combo I can, that can either be built off of or modded in the future with less effort.

My car will be a driver. Alot of highway cruising and putzing around. I'm a fairly conservative driver as I've gotten older, but from time to time like to let things "stretch their legs on nice days".

Here's where I'm at.
I purchased the car with the front suspension just "bolted together", no cotter pins etc. It has all the correct V8 parts (originally an I6 car). I sent the car off to the body shop last week, but made sure I did a decent review of the suspension and steering to see what was needing to be fixed/updated. The lower ball joints' boots are shot, but the joint looked good. (I really cant confirm this any further than the attached photos until i get the car back). The idler arm bushing looks to need repair along with tie rod ends. So I figured, now would be the time to get some parts ordered and on the shelf for when she gets back.

Parts I already Have
CSRP 1.3 Front Disc Conversion Kit with boosted Master Cylinder
Monte Carlo Bar
Strut Brace (already installed)
Ron morris Poly motor mounts (motor is sagging on one side causing the header to touch the shock tower)

Parts I was planning on ordering
Shelby Drop
Poly Spring Insulator
Moog CK8035 Lower Control Arms (I was going to box these in myself)
Proforged Aluminum Tie Rod Aduster Sleeves
Moog ES336R Outer Tie Rods
Moog ES713 Inner Tie Rods
1" Sway Bar with poly end links and bushings (Haven't selected a brand, as I know the size is important)

Parts I plan to order after
Subframe connectors
Torque Boxes
~Most likely both from USCT as their Level 2 kit (which includes strut rod braces and torque boxes for both front and rear)

Parts I need to check condition of during disassembly
steering box once I get the Pitman arm properly clearanced for the stainless Tri Ys- if needed send this to Chocostang
coil springs (will get photos to confirm they are the proper springs)

And Finally My dilemma for parts needed-
There's three parts I'm unsure of direction. Of course I could get everything from opentracker, but that would blow me past my budget.
1. Upper Ball Joints (I'm unsure of it's condition until disassembly. Visual inspection looks okay, and I'm not feeling any rocking in the tire. But if I'm in there, why not. Should i just buy the MOOG K8036 joints and rehab the entire upper arm? I read an article about properly centering the mount in the arm and welding the caps to the arm after "centering". Are there any rubber bushings in the upper control arm at all? Should I just buy a complete new control arm? The uppers at Opentracker are a bit outta my price range with the needed parts noted above. (Unless I've lost my mind and started buying too many parts already)

2. Spring Perches look to be new on the car. But I've heard great things that come from an upgrade here. I may be able to swing the roller perches at opentracker, but I'm looking at the CJ Classic Performance spring perches to keep costs down? What's your thoughts?

3. Idler Arm- John recc the roller arm, but I've heard the rubber one centers the car better when driving.

What's your suggestion on the last 3 items? Am I missing anything here? Have I gone overboard on what is needed? I'd really like to keep the upper arm and components above that complete from here. I don't want to upgrade the upper control arm/coil springs/spring saddles at a later time. I feel it's best to do those now. Anything else from there is an easier swap that can be done later.

Suggestions please
I'm all ears.
Thanks guys
 

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Olivethefet

Slap me as well as point and laugh
May 17, 2018
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Was the car driving when you got it? I ask just to get an idea of how it was handeling at the time. Did it feel loose? The ball joints that you mention seem to be a good option and not to expensive. You can get new control arms that wont break the bank.


It's easy to just say replace everything, but that really isn't very practical for most. My car was completely worn out so it has had everything replaced (factory style stuff). This really isn't an answer, but if it was me I'd just have to look at everything, take it loose and feel how it moves (gritty/clunky or smooth), replace anything with cracks in (rubber bits). I guess the most important thing is to really decide on what you want in the end. The stuff over at opentracker looks and sounds nice, but is it really worth it if the car is just going to be a causal cruiser?

When I say take it apart and feel how it moves I'm assuming you are defiantly going to replace some stuff and will require an alignment.

Ok, I'm done rambling!
 
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cturboaddict

Founding Member
Was the car driving when you got it? I ask just to get an idea of how it was handeling at the time. Did it feel loose? The ball joints that you mention seem to be a good option and not to expensive. You can get new control arms that wont break the bank.


It's easy to just say replace everything, but that really isn't very practical for most. My car was completely worn out so it has had everything replaced (factory style stuff). This really isn't an answer, but if it was me I'd just have to look at everything, take it loose and feel how it moves (gritty/clunky or smooth), replace anything with cracks in (rubber bits). I guess the most important thing is to really decide on what you want in the end. The stuff over at opentracker looks and sounds nice, but is it really worth it if the car is just going to be a causal cruiser?

When I say take it apart and feel how it moves I'm assuming you are defiantly going to replace some stuff and will require an alignment.

Ok, I'm done rambling!
Driving yes, street driving-NO. They guy had just loosely bolted everything together to sell it. (Which I was aware of).
I did drive it (about a mile) to the paint shop a week ago. There was decent amount of slop in the steering wheel, but that could be a multitude of things. I figured it would be best to get it back from paint and tear it down inspecting as I go before I order a ton of parts to just sit (that potentially may not need).

I've got a decent gameplan at the moment, and after talking direct to MOOG, they do not sell an "upgraded" RK version of their upper arm. And the MOOG upper arm is not even made by MOOG and is a value driven part. I'll take my chances with the rebuild with MOOG parts on the upper arm vs buying a complete upper arm.

I'm a fan of MOOG parts, but only MOOGs "problem solver or RK" version.
 
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