Help with choosing suspension for a 65 with a 5.0 L conversion

jayc33

New Member
Aug 19, 2020
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West Covina, CA
Hey guys, new user here. Have tried searching my question but haven't had any luck in finding something definitive for my restoration.

I'm restoring a 1965 Mustang that originally had a 289 and am going with a 302 stroked to 347. Engines pretty much done and am waiting on a new AOD transmission to be finished up at the shop. I'm having trouble figuring out what to upgrade on my car suspension wise to be able to handle the power. I'm definitely going to be upgrading the brakes all around to disc brakes but am having trouble figuring what else needs to be upgraded or improved. The car is just going to be used as a weekend car, possibly a daily, but no racing.

What parts would you guys recommend I upgrade in regards to the suspension? Is there a kit in particular you guys would recommend for front and rear? If I choose to upgrade the power steering (which I most likely will, the car has the original power steering but have heard they come with issues) would I need to install a rack and pinion as well or would you recommend I stay away from a rack and pinion.

Any help you guys could provide would be great! Thanks in advance.
 
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rbohm

SN Certified Technician
Apr 12, 2002
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since this is going to be basically a daily driver, then the stock suspension in top shape will do nicely. however i suspect that you might wan to do a little corner carving, and want something a little more responsive. no problem. upgrading the stock suspension is easy enough. start with;

the arning/shelby drop. you lower the upper control arm pivot point one inch, and set it back 1/8". there are templates to do this so you dont have to make one up. check with dazecars as he sells one that is perfect for doing the job, and he also sells the correct drill bit for the final hole.

upgrade the lower spring perch to a roller bearing perch, opentracker racing sells the already to bolt in, and they are worth the money.

go to either opentracker racing or chockostang for rebuilt upper arms. they both do good jobs with them setting them up to just bolt in place and be accurately set up out of the box.

for the lower arms, again chockostang or opentracker do the best ones. you want lower arms with a spherical bearing at teh chassis end, and you want the stock arm reinforced to strengthen it to prevent it from twisting.

for springs i recommend the 460lb/in stock gt spring. it gives good handling and decent ride, and with later recommendations is perfect for what you want.

for the front sway bar use the tried and true one inch front bar, and mount it in urethane bushings from energy suspension.

now you can stop there and be perfectly happy, in fact most people would, but i would add the shelby export brace for better stiffness. the stock ones get overloaded when the cornering get enthusiastic.

i would also recommend the Zray engine cross member. it replaces the factory one and gives more stiffness as well as a jacking pad if you so choose.

as for the rear, i recommend running a good 4 1/2 leaf rear end as this will give you some resistance to axle wrap under hard acceleration.

for shocks i recommend either konis or bilsteins on all four corners.

i do recommend running subframe connectors as well. anything you can do to stiffen up the chassis always helps improve the suspension.

i suggest adding torque boxes to the front as well.
 
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2Blue2

will be trying this sex one when I can find it
Mar 5, 2019
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Export brace, subframe connectors, and ft. torque boxes really make a big difference in how the car goes over bumps and around curves.


i would also recommend the Zray engine cross member.

Haven't seen this but my canton oil pan rubs on stock one a little, so am off to look this up.
I think my65 wants this.
 

jayc33

New Member
Aug 19, 2020
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West Covina, CA
Thanks rbohm! Very detailed and I found pretty much that full kit on open track racing. Well worth it in my opinion at that price considering just buying new stock suspension parts would put me at about $1000-1200.

In your guys’s opinion is a rack & pinion needed or would I be fine with just upgrading the stock power steering?
 

rbohm

SN Certified Technician
Apr 12, 2002
6,698
550
204
62
tucson,az
i dont think you need rack and pinion steering. check out chockostang's website. he rebuilds factory steering boxes and makes them better than before. he might even have faster steering ratios available to choose from. and dont forget the shelby quicksteer kit either. it uses longer pitman and idler arms to speed up the steering ratio.