Stang II upgrades to handling


Apr 24, 2023
Just got 1976 Cobra 2. Nice and clean , new paint and well kept interior. Has nicely built 302 with good carb, Weland dual plain, etc. C4 Transmission shifts nice and crisp, need to bleed brakes, etc. Car would be getting nice stroker 302 engine with 465HP.

Need to examine rear diff, originally it was 2.79 open diff. So I might have to upgrade drivetrain eventually
I should have drove the car before ordering stroker because current 302 built seems rather spiffy but it was a time based deal and worst come to worst ive paid 6k to convert to hot stroker with EFI :)

However car severely lacking in steering and handling department and (subject to sorting them out) might need better brakes.

Stering is vague and have some give(you can turn stering wheel by 5 degrees without turning front wheels. Might need better rods

Handling completely sucks bu my standards, feels like I'm driving a :) Body roll, responsiveness, etc. I know some of it are in the tires 195/70r14 and 235/60r14s might be too much of the sidewall. I'll look in to 16s or 17s as an option and will try to put more rubber on the road. Something like 215s front and 265/275rears
But I understand in order to get what I want with is a pro touring handling I need to do a suspension swap :(

I was able to find some decent kits for front inclusive coilovers and tubular control arms, but I'm not seeing anything good for rear suspension. Just some better shocks. I also not seeing bigger sway bars, etc

Can you please point me in the right direction
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No replies so far?

BTW, did some burnouts today and rear end is defenetly some sort of positraction/LSD, that's great

Car is very solid but desperately need more handling
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First, welcome to the group!

The best suggestions I can give are to search the forums for Alcino. He has/had probably one of the best - if not THE best - handling IIs I'm aware of.

Here's a link to an old thread concerning his car:

Next, there was a writeup of swapping stiffer front springs on the old .net site that I ended up copying and pasting here. I think it's in the sticky threads at the top of this section's home page under the tech thread. Short story is to use a set of front springs out if an early Fox T-Bird (iirc). That link is here:

Oh, and everyone will want to see pics - we love pics!

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I think LILCBRA gave you the right links, where to start.
I also did my modifications based on that write up.
Polybushings on the upper and lower control arms and on the leaf spring shackel bushings are a big step.
When the upper control arm is removed you can elongate the holes for more caster adjustment.
Bigger sway bar (1 inch) on the front.
And everybody is recommending stiffer springs in the front.
My front suspension has following setup:
in mm​
In °​
In °​
I still have the tiny sway bar and stock front springs and it drives sporty, but I ordered stiffer front springs...
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BTW, did some burnouts today

My CobraII has sway bars stock both ends , but its nice “ Little Lincoln Ride” has diminished with my mods.
I liked how factory rear sway bar hooked to stumps traction bars

but my thoughts for Rear handling in random order;

There are some universal rear sway bars available. Maybe one that goes leaf to leaf.

sub frame connectors are a must

Rear leaf is enclosed in a rubber mount at axle
Lose half by going with stumpys traction bars

Make sure the crossmember is bolted tight underneath.

Ensure engine mounts (gets rebuilt) and trans mounts (gets replaced) are fresh

I think Detroit Spring has a heavy duty rear leaf spring listing.

Consider 5 lug swap to open up rim choices

Stering is vague
I did swap my PS rack out with a new one and it had a quicker ratio steering, is very precise

Strut rod bushings!

A lot of us have found cracks in our 45 yr old upper a arms.

My new Speedway upper arms had to have a corner ground down a bit to clear my rim of choice.

A nice midolene high durometer rubber bushing kit for everything possible so no perpetual poly squeak squeak.

I got most of my suspension rubber replaced with the exception of the engine sub frame bushings.

Couldn’t find them for sale.

So to sum up
There is almost nothing available for the mutt2, except front suspension stuff.
but seeing new part additions every year (gas tanks couple of years ago was a good one)
and Lots of options abound

Now can we see a picture of your 76? Or Of the Burnout!:burnout::D
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I'm back. Family stuff took a priority
Here comes some pics


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Welcome aboard.

I recently replaced my front springs with coil overs. Best thing I have done for the suspension. Period.

I have tubular a arms. I had heidts lower a arms for stock springs. I just cut off the spring perch to install the coil overs.

I replaced the rack with a new one from Dorman. May have been Cardone. It is not a rebuild. It is new with some improvements. It has a better ratio. I don't remember what else but the litterature claims several improvements over the oem rack. I have more play in my old trucks wheel then it takes to steer this thing on most roads. It is tight.

I replaced the stock front bar with the larger one from addco. I am not happy with the handling but I do not have a rear bar. Yet. I recently ordered a new rear roll bar from Jegs. The sway bar is from addco but is on backorder. Hoping it ships soon.

I have stumpys traction bars so installing the oem style rear bar will be fairly easy. Addco also has a bar for cars without the oem rear bar.

I built this car with handling in mind. The battery is in the hacth where the spare used to be. Everything I could replace with aluminum has been replaced with aluminum. Once I get the rear bar installed it should be good to go. May need leafs but I like the ride height and they only have 40k on them. I will probably get a lighter front bumper eventually but that will be down the road a bit.

I had a '78 with the rallye/ competition package as a teenager and it was flat in corners. It had almost 100,000 miles when I bought it. Put new tie rods and ball joints on it. Local spring shop made me new rear leafs. That and shocks were the only suspension things I did to that car. Handled pretty good for a 70's nose heavy car. With 13" tires I could not beat the GM's on the highway but light to light or back roads they could never keep up. Faster they were the heavier their nose was. I could watch as their headlights dove into the pavement in my rearview mirror as I was flying through the corner. That is my goal with this car. I know the platform can hold it's own.
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