Updated suspension and Randall's Rack and Pinion install
The list of components goes like this:
Opentracker Upper Control Arms and Roller perches
GW lower control arms
Street-Or-Track Strut rods
1" sway bar with Poly mounts
KYB Gas-a-just front shocks
Randall's Rack power rack and pinion
Stock 6 cylinder springs cut to lower car
Klaus Arning's reposition of UCA's (aka 1" Shelby drop)
Starting off with Opentrackers products.
And the pair together
If you go to
Stangnet.com and do a search for "Opentracker" you will find one of the nicest guys in this hobby. These two products that he sells, he has taken the time to show step by step how you can build them very inexpensively. I bought this from him at
Opentrackerracingproducts.com Look closely and you will see the upper arms are boxed, have the modified angle for running a more aggressive drop, and have tabs to keep the bushing nuts from turning. He uses only top quality arms, so you get an exceptional product. The roller perches, in my opinion, should be on every Mustang. The difference in ride quality with just this one improvement is amazing. John has done all kinds of other modifications, and takes the time to lay out a complete set of instructions on how you can copy his stuff at the forum linked above.
The Street-or-Track strut rods, use heim joints on each end, and the GW lower control arms use an inner heim joint. So basically there is no rubber bushings in my whole front end. It is so sweet! There is absolutely no harshness, no pulling under heavy braking, even over rough surfaces, and there is great feed back through the seat and steering wheel.
The 1" UCA drop lowered the car a little more than 1/4". I cut the stock 6 cylinder springs to lower the front end down to where the top of the fender opening is 25.25" from the ground. It tucks the front tires really nice. I need to get a better shot, as none of the shots here show it correctly.
Randall's Rack and pinion
(web site for Randall's Rack)
This install went by the book. Decent instructions. Exceptionally easy to install. I purchased the pump with the kit. There were no provisions to install this kit with a stock clutch linkage (The new kits have this provision built in). And the pump mount only comes for a V8 (they are working on a 6 cylinder conversion kit now). So I made a couple of brackets and modified the clutch "Z"-bar assembly. Here is a picture of the modified clutch linkage:
Basically all that needs to be done is to move the frame bracket over to the engine side of the intermediate steer shaft. To do this I cut the upper arm of the "Z"-bar off on the engine side of the tube. Then welded the upper arm back on to what was left of the tube. There is enough play in the clutch pedal linkage rod that I did not have to do any more modifications to the "Z"-bar. I took a couple of pieces of 1-1/2"x1/4" flat bar 3.5" long and weled one over the other with a 1/4" overlap. Drilled the holes to bolt it to the frame, and two more holes to bolt up the "Z"-bar bracket. I cut an angle where the steer shaft goes by just for extra clearance (and to make it look like I might have had to actually think a little). This was a real easy mod. Took about an hour from the time I sat down with a piece of paper, until it was complete and ready for paint.
The power steering pump bracket took a little measuring. But it's not much more difficult. Here's a picture of the final piece.
If I was keeping the 6 cylinder, I'd make it look pretty, but otherwise, it's just the same 1/4" flat stock welded into an upside down "L" with a brace under the middle, and a couple of tabs to mount the pump to. I made the top plate a little long, and then drilled and cut the tabs and attached them to the pump. When I got the pulley lined up correct, I tack welded the tabs, then removed the pump and ran a couple of passes. these tabs need to be pretty strong, as the pump will really twist when you turn the wheel all the way to lock. You will do this often with the wider turning radius. A little paint and it looks...well, like a home made bracket! It works and is strong as heck. I added a slightly longer bolt to the thermostat housing in order to mount the supplied (and very cool looking) adjusting bracket. The pieces included in the kit for a V8 are nice black anodized aluminum. So there is even more incentive to drop in a V8.
Here are some pictures of the installed rack
As for the steering column modification, the only thing I did different was to weld the "D" colar to the shaft, then drill for the roll pin. Also I installed the steering wheel and tightened it like it would be in the car, then adjusted the length. Some of the steer shafts or wheels get worn. If you go strictly by the measurement, you could end up with a wheel that binds from the shaft being too short. Just double check to make sure. Always better to be a little long and cut off the extra then to be too short. Here's a shot of the modified column right before I drilled for the roll pin.
While I had the steer column out, I also installed a roller bearing kit to the clutch arm. The kit came from NPD and was really easy to install. The original bushing looked like new (another good reason to start your project with a 6 cylinder car). Here's a shot of the bracket assembly back in place.
Other than changing springs when the V8 goes in, there isn't anything else I'm looking to change. I increased camber by 1/2 degree, Caster is now at 3 degrees, and toe is 1/8". The front end is solid and very confidence inspiring. I might increase the caster a bit when the V8 goes in, and will be running a 500# straight rate spring. Convertibles need a little softer suspension to keep the body flex and cowl shake in check.