Suspension replacement, need opinions

EP429

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Jun 30, 2007
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My front end is getting sloppy, all the control arms seem to be eating ball joints, the PO had mismatched UCAs (one is 3-bolt other is 4) I'm just going to replace all that crap, plus I've got the wife talked into letting me spend a lot of money.

To set the stage - Car is 68 Coupe, 302 4 speed, Shelby drop, daily-driver and I enjoy flogging it a little.

Herein lies my problem. I'm leaning towards going with a full-roller front suspension from Opentracker, UCA,LCA, Idler arm, Spring perches, along with the billet tie-rod adjusters and LCA eccentric eliminator.

My question is, would the money I spend on this justify use in a hard-driven DD? Is it overkill? Would I do better to do stock replacement and invest the extra cash in an air conditioner or a 5-speed swap? :shrug:
 
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JonK

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Jun 6, 2007
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I'm doing my '67 as a similar use, DD along with some trips to 1/8, 1/4 and hopefully some open track. I originally did the 'all in one' kit and wish I had spent a little more on QUALITY UCA/LCA as my lowers keep sliding at the bushing side and rubbing (metal>metal) inside the mount which can't be good for my alignment either. I think the LCA is prone to more twisting forces than the upper being a straigt vs. triangular shaped piece and I think braking forces pull on it more. That said I wish I would have spent $20 more and gotten McQuay Norris or Moog LCA at a min. Haven't had any real trouble with the upper but also haven't put a lot of miles on them yet. I would call John at ORP and talk with him, he will only sell you what you need and not talk you into upgrades.

From your list I think the UCA/LCA rollers may be overkill and do billet adjusters do anymore than steel adjusters? From your list I hand picked important parts IMO for me to not overspend. I did ORP roller perches, eccentric kit and made my own adj. strut rods. All of these items involve going from rubber which flexes and changes your alignment during breaking/acceleration or eliminated binding (perches). I tried to save $ on overkill items so I can do my AOD and hopefully AC by summer.
Jon
 

tx65coupe

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Nov 29, 1999
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I think you should definitely consider a T5 swap.

When I rebuilt my front suspension I used mostly stock parts, except for the shocks springs and bushings. I am thinking I might upgrade to roller perches and roller idler arm.
 

2+2GT

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Apr 25, 2009
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I have driven my 66 very hard several hundred thousand miles. I have completely stock configuration, except the upper arms are relocated down 1", and a 1" front sway bar. Kayaba Gas-A-Just shocks, and GT-rate springs. The front of the car is stiffened with an export brace and Monte Carlo bar, which you'll feel immediately when you install them. I have also autocrossed this car with very good results.

You'll get a lot more bang for the buck doing this to the suspension and installing the 5-speed.

I already have factory AC, and you'll never regret that. I also have a factory wide-ratio 4-speed, and I have considered changing to the 5-speed. I don't drive it every day anymore, or it would definitely already have the 5-speed.
 

68er

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Aug 26, 2009
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realistically speaking - you'll get alot more bang for the buck out of a t5.

all those high end parts you mentioned will get you slightly more improvment over less expensive handling mods, but most of the benefit would mostly be noticed at the track. whereas the t5 benefit is Ginormous, and you'll enjoy it everywhere you go . ask anybody thats done the swap.

since your car already has the shelby drop, you are half way there... replace the worn out stuff, and do what ford did in 1970 when they spanked everyones asses in trans-am racing. alot of the key elements are things you can do yourself, many of them free. check it out.

google "1970 boss mustang handling guide" or "boss 302 chassis modification"

depending on your budget, you may be able to do the 5speed and the suspension both with a little luck. craigslist is our friend.
 

Grabber70Mach

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Like has been already said I would talk to John at ORP, he is great to deal with and talk to. Roller spring perches, S or T strut rods, a good quality UCA and LCA (the ones w/ Moog or TRW ball joints w/ John's tab mod on the nut, a good quality set of shocks and bigger front sway bar.
 

EP429

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Thanks for the input everyone. I already have the 1-piece shock tower brace & Monte Carlo bar. Would a set of solid strut bars be worth investing in for my use as well?
 

roan65

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seriously call John at Open Tracker!! I have been talking to him the past week looking at the same situation as you. John has been great and like it was said before, he won't try to sell you something you don't need. From my discussions with John adjustable strut rods are a good improvement. I think if you go a modified stock setup you will be happy. I am getting the folowing from john for mine;
-GT front springs
-street upper and lower control arms
-adjustable strut rods
-4 leaf mid eye rear springs
-new shocks front and rear
-1 1/8 front sway bar
-roller spring perches
and I will do the Shelby drop and I'm making my own weld in sub frame connectors.

plus I am in the process of a T-5 swap and TCP power rack. She should be cherry! Hope this helps.
 

tx65coupe

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Thanks for the input everyone. I already have the 1-piece shock tower brace & Monte Carlo bar. Would a set of solid strut bars be worth investing in for my use as well?
The old school 2 piece setup is just as good if not better than the other ones I have seen. There is really no point in changing it.
 

latamud

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Oct 22, 2002
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Tampa, FL
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To set the stage - Car is 68 Coupe, 302 4 speed, Shelby drop, daily-driver and I enjoy flogging it a little.
Herein lies my problem. I'm leaning towards going with a full-roller front suspension from Opentracker, UCA,LCA, Idler arm, Spring perches, along with the billet tie-rod adjusters and LCA eccentric eliminator.
My question is, would the money I spend on this justify use in a hard-driven DD? Is it overkill? Would I do better to do stock replacement and invest the extra cash in an air conditioner or a 5-speed swap? :shrug:
For a daily driver you won't need the roller UCA and LCA. Opentracker's street arms are not stock, they do ve some finishing touches on them that make than upgrade to stock. The roller idler arm and roller spring perches will be just fine for flogging a hard-driven DD. The tie rod adjusters and eccentric eliminators, you won't notice any improvement while you drive the car but they will keep things tighter than stock.
I recommend 5 speed over an AC. You can always open a window, but you can't always shift into 5th.
 

EP429

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Jun 30, 2007
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Central Texas
Subframe connectors are on the agenda, but when I do I'm going with weld-ins, so I need to replace the floor pans first. They aren't in awful shape, but still need to bite the dust

For a daily driver you won't need the roller UCA and LCA. Opentracker's street arms are not stock, they do ve some finishing touches on them that make than upgrade to stock. The roller idler arm and roller spring perches will be just fine for flogging a hard-driven DD. The tie rod adjusters and eccentric eliminators, you won't notice any improvement while you drive the car but they will keep things tighter than stock.
I mulled it over for a little while, and ordered pretty much the same setup you quoted. It was great doing business with John, glad to see someone so dedicated to doing good business.
 

tx65coupe

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Nov 29, 1999
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It was recommended by several Mustang shops and some guys on the forums to get the bolt in ones and have them welded. Thats what I did. Apparently they fit better.
 
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