It's not necessary to have a suspension-engineering degree to transform an early Mustang i
'Early Mustangs are not renowned for their handling prowess. But it doesn't have to be that way. Global West Suspension has been refining the art of transforming Ford's lame ponycar front uspension design into a package capable of ripping up sections of asphalt apexes. But let us not be timid here. This is not a thin-wallet-skin junkyard swap expedition. There are almost $2,000 worth of parts just in the front suspension alone. But then, what does a new Mustang cost? What's it worth to you to be able to push an early Mustang into a corner knowing it will handle the corner with a high-g-load worthy of cult status? The first time you blast through a corner much quicker than you ever did before, the results will more than support the investment. So let's get started.
The key to building any front suspension is to work carefully. Compressing the front springs is never something to be taken casually. Stock Mustang front springs, even dead tired springs, are very tall and must be compressed at least 2 inches to remove them from the existing spring pocket. This creates built-in force in the spring, so be careful. Once you get past removing the springs, the rest of the job is much easier and can be accomplished in a day. We took our Mustang over to our buddy Tim Moore's shop to use his hoist for most of the work, although the effort could just as easily be accomplished on the shop floor.
With the front suspension off the ground, Moore began by popping the spindle loose from th
In the process of rebuilding our Mustang front suspension, we ran across a common early Mustang problem. The original lower spring perch was completely wasted. We could have replaced it with another stock rubber mount, but with the stiffer Global West springs and obvious abuse this Mustang was destined to face, we needed a more elegant solution.
That's when our buddy Marlon at Marlo's Frame & Alignment showed us his trick custom-fabricated spring mount that uses a larger-diameter, steel cross-shaft and a lubricated bushing that eliminates lateral movement and binding, which is common with the stock rubber bushings. Applications for this Fly-Ford component include any early Ford with the front coil spring above the upper control arm, like '64-'73 Mustangs.
|Parts List |
|DESCRIPTION ||PN ||SOURCE ||PRICE |
|Neg. roll upper ||MNR-73 ||Global West ||$599.00 |
|Lower control arm ||TBF-6 ||Global West ||399.00 |
|Adjustable strut ||ASR-5 ||Global West ||379.95 |
|Tubular rod sleeves ||ADJ-3 ||Global West ||46.75 |
|Coil springs ||911 ||Global West ||145.00 |
|Shackle kit ||106SH ||Global West ||189.00 |
|Leaf spring set ||L-10 ||Global West ||299.00 |
|Tower support ||TS-7 ||Global West ||129.95 |
|Loc-Out kit ||LOC-2 ||Global West ||44.95 |
|Koni shocks, front ||82-1388SP3 ||Global West ||252.00 |
|Koni shocks, rear ||82-1389 ||Global West ||252.00 |
|Front antiroll bar ||SB-537 ||Global West ||169.95 |
|Coil spring perches ||call ||Marlo's Frame ||290.00 |
|Total || || ||$3,196.55 |
Bringing Up The RearAll the emphasis on the Mustang's front suspension flaws demanded we also tune up the rear suspension. After almost 40 years of service, the springs, shocks, and bushings were toast. It was time for a major rehash. The Global West springs, shocks, and bushing system are designed to work in harmony with the front suspension to create a predictable combination that will allow the car to negotiate a high-speed corner without the stock suspension's usual histrionics. The engineers call this roll couple; we call it a car that is glued to the pavement when you plant your foot into the throttle on corner exit. The new leaf springs, bushings, and shocks are a relatively simple swap. Check it out.
Moore used an outside compressor to load the spring to remove it from the pocket and upper
Global West supplies a template that relocates the upper control arm mounting points. This
The upper control arm supports half the frontend weight of the Mustang, so Global West eng