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Looking for front suspension rebuild write up
#1
The car I have is a 71 M code Mach 1. I'm looking for a good write up or article on rebuilding the front end. I have all the parts (shocks, control arms, springs, bushings, OT roller perches, sway bar, tie rod ends, idler, etc.) But I would like to check out a detailed procedural article on the work before I start turning wrenches. Can anyone point me to a good thread or site?

Also, I have the factory manuals too.
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#2
I haven't seen a write up on here but several have done it. Just do one part at a time & you'll get it.

[Image: 386_07_10_13_5_58_42.jpeg]
My Mustangs:
71 M-code Mach 1, Medium Blue/White Sport, 4R70W, 3L50, Factory Ram Air.
72 Q-code Mach 1, Pewter/Black Sport, 4-spd, 3L25.
65 Convertible, Britney Blue/White/White, more modified than original.
05 Convertible, Legend Lime/Tan/Tan, future classic??
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#3
Where did you get all your front end parts? I am in the process of doing mine really soon. Also adding front discs off a 78 granada. If you dont mind me asking what did the front end kit cost you and what was included?
Thanks Kevin

Kevin

1971 Mach 1
408C Stroker
C4 w/3,000 stall
8.8" Rear w/3.73's
Disc brakes all way around.

[Image: 28ivsix.png]




                                                                                             
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#4
I got all the stuff from mustangs plus. I bought their super starter package that included rear end parts (springs, shocks, shackles, bushings, u-bolts, etc). And, I upgraded the rear leafs, front springs, front shocks, Open Tracker spring perches, maybe the sway bar. I think to my door it was around $1300? I might have ordered a few more things at the same time. It was about a year ago, so this is all from memory. Unfortunately, I can't break out the front end costs since I got the package. I did the rear a while back and have put off the front. I have a few other cars that eat my time.

Speaking of Mustangs Plus, does their hammer method work for separating the front end parts?
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#5
Yes the hammer method does work. Never use a pickle fork on a Ford.

Jeff T.

Low buck, touring style, '73 Convertible "rolling restoration", 351c, 2v heads with a shave and a haircut, Performer intake, Holley 650(ish), roller rockers, screw in studs, guideplates, stainless valves, Duraspark / Motorsports MSD, T-5 conversion. 1-1/8" front, 3/4" rear swaybars KYB shocks and some home brewed subframe connectors. Future plans; JGC steering box, Cobra brakes and... paint, interior, etc.

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passenger.

[Image: 1_12_09_14_10_15_11.png]
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#6
I searched control arms.(upper right) These might help.

http://www.7173mustangs.com/search.php?a...desc&uid=0

My garage http://www.7173mustangs.com/forum-garage...rxt_uid=40

73 mach 1 351c 4v cc ported, torker2, 750 edelbrock,C6.
73 fastback 351c 2v,performer intake,600 edelbrock,fmx, 325 trac-lok.
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#7
jasons7;29642 Wrote:The car I have is a 71 M code Mach 1. I'm looking for a good write up or article on rebuilding the front end. I have all the parts (shocks, control arms, springs, bushings, OT roller perches, sway bar, tie rod ends, idler, etc.) But I would like to check out a detailed procedural article on the work before I start turning wrenches. Can anyone point me to a good thread or site?

Also, I have the factory manuals too.


I don't have details...but, I can tell a few gotchas....because I was the one that started turning wrenches right away. Was it a bad decision....nah...learn as you go is my motto, besides my car is not my daily driver so no worries on leaving it unfinished.

Well, I started by removing the fenders...first thing first! this gives you "plenty of room to work"...but...be sure to drill pilot holes on your fenders or your gonna have a heck of a time lining them up when you put them back on. I bought my parts at O'Reilly's..the upper control ball joint, lower control arms, shocks, and upper control arm shaft kit. The rest of the stuff looked pretty decent shape. I rented the spring compressor tool from them as well...they were by far the cheapest rental around. Here is one gotcha...when you rent the spring compressor tool...be sure you have the bolt pointed up towards the shock tower..this way you just have to use a long extension and socket and ratchet from the top...I made the mistake of putting the bolt end of the spring compressor tool at the bottom and started using an open end wrench....took way to long to compress the spring. Since, the motor is out of my car I didn't have any weight on the front end...so, it made things a little tricky...like the shock was lifted all the way up, so I had to be careful when removing. Here are some pics of what I did....all the pics you see are the passenger side

some other things to note: label everything! I had bolts everywhere! good thing I'm doing one side at a time...so, I was referencing the untouched driver side..which by the way is next! woo hoo!!!!

Also...if you have the fender off..scrape, clean and paint...great time to do this stuff....my was full of gunk...I had to power wash it many...many times...yeah I know...no one looks up in there and my car is not a "show" car...but, its my show car Smile

last and least...you definitely need a front wheel alignment! Best thing I can about this..is...you will need to google front end alignment..so, you can at least "ball park" the alignment..this will let you get it to a shop to get it corrected. Be sure your shop does "old vehicle" alignments!!! most new shops don't.


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#8
Thanks guys. The search results will help and thanks for the heads up on the gotchas.

About the fenders, do most people pull them to do this work? I wasn't planning on it, but I know I had read somewhere that it makes the work easier.
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#9
If you will work alone pull the fenders. If you have a parner helping then you could leave the fenders on.

With the fenders off it will make it easier to see what you are doing and view any rust damage to the frame rails easier.

The hardest part will be using the spring compressor, and removing the spring.

If you have the engine installed you won't be able to use a impact wench to help you break the mounting bolts loose.

Never use a pickle fork on a ford, just the hammer method.

As for taking it apart.

Unscrew the large nuts on the front of the strut rods, do not move the inner nuts on the strut rods, so you can maintain some correct caster when you reassemble.

Pull the 4 cotter pins on the strut rod attachment to the lower suspension arms. Use a impact wrench if needed and remove the 4 nuts, then pop out the strut rods and remove them.

Loosen the 2 upper nuts on the upper suspension arms do not remove yet.

Use a spring compressor on the coils and remove them from the car.

You might want to uncompress them after removal to make them safe if this project is going to run long term, or this is your chance to install some 620lb front springs.

Once the spring is out.

Disconnect the brake lines and plug off the brake fitting.

Remove cotter pins on the spindle, use a impact wrench to get the 2 large nuts off.

Remove the cotter pins on the outer steering rods, strike the rod connection on the side with a large hammer it should pop out of the spindle.
Strike the spindles on the side of each connection to the ball joints it should pop out.

I left the nuts loose but still on when I struck the connections, everything popped apart but was still connected.

Next remove the spindle, to the bench for more work if needed.

Remove the 2 upper nuts for the upper suspension and remove upper arm.

Unbolt the lower suspension cam bolt and hammer out the cam if needed carefully them remove the lower arm.

That is it for removal. I replaced my front end in one day having never did it before.

When you reassemble make sure you have the shop manual open to get the torque specs on all nuts and new hardware and new cotter pins.

You can shift around the order of disassembly however you need if you get stuck in one area.

For example my spindles were stuck on and I took the upper and lower suspension attached as one piece over to the work bench to really bust it apart.
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#10
I have done mine without removing the fenders. It's tight. It never occured to me to try it without the fenders.

'Mike'
73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

Pics of modifications included in:
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