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New suspension and steering parts for '73 convertible
#1
My '73 convertible is in desperate need for new suspension and steering parts. It looks like nothing has been changed in the past . Almost al the rubber bushings are falling apart so my plan is to replace everything.

I have been searching the internet and created a collection of parts. I am interested in opinions and advise from you guys! I am planning keep it stock as much as possible with the exception of certain bushings.

My car is a 1973 351 4V Convertible , with A/c and Competition Suspension

I was thinking about buying the following parts:

Leaf Springs :
- Scott Drake SDK-C5ZZ-5560 or Eaton Detroit 114 5560-30
- ENERGY SUSPENSION 42135G Black Performance Polyurethane

Spring Coil :
- Moog 8232 or Eaton Detroit 5310-13E

Shocks :
- KYB KG4504 and KYB KG5517
- Energy Suspension 3-8106G - Energy Suspension Shock Bushings


Upper control arm:
- MOOG RK621369 R-Series and upgrade it with MOOG K8142

Lower control arm :
- MOOG CK8123

Stabilizer Bar Link :
- ENERGY SUSPENSION 98117G Black

Tie rod :
- MOOG DS791
- MOOG ES387R
- MOOG ES2004S

Front/rear sway bar for a mustang with competition suspension: ?

Is it worth it paying almost double the price for Eaton Detroit?
Would you recommend Polyurethane for the Leaf Spring bushings?

Any advise or alternative is much appreciated!
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#2
when i did my '66 fairlane front end.. i went the kit way.. cheaper and i got just about everything i wanted in one kit.. upper/lower control arms with joints, all the rubber bushing, rod ends... etc, it was a nice kit. it was under 400 bucks for everything and the extra was the lower spring perch. now i don't recall seeing "made in china" but it's been 3 yrs..
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#3
Add subframe connectors. They are especially effective in a convertible. Do a search on them on this site. There are a couple of options. If you click on 'my garage' in my sig and look at the pictures in the modification tab you can see the subframe connector I used.
Also, you will see some 'shelby style' traction bars for the rear in the picture as well. I totally recommend these. They will eliminate all wheel hop not just accellerating but also in braking.

The stock front suspension leaves a lot of room for improvement as well. One of the best dollar for dollar improvements is the strut bars. The original use rubber bushings. There are a couple of options that replace the strut bars with a heim style joint. Again seach for strut bars. There is a video link in one of the threads that shows how much movement a regular rubber bushing strut bar allows. A less bang for the buck improvement is roller spring perches for the front. These tend to be expensive and will provide a freer movement but if I had to choose between strut bar or roller perch upgrade I would (and did) go with strut bar.

'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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#4
From my own experience, I did mine last summer, buy a kit. I got the Scott Drake front end kit, but the springs supplied are way too tall. I went back to the original Eaton front springs. ( posted on this before....many times). I'm not going to go into all the details, but these "kits" seem to be made up as a one-size-fits-all and they don't. My car is a 71 Mach with comp suspension, no AC, but PS and PB added, manual trans. I was able to return the springs that came with the kit, but you might be able to order without springs, check with the supplier!!
My advice on springs, don't cheap out, buy Eaton's back and front. They can match the exact spring for your car and equipment. You can call or email for part numbers, or you can go to a supplier and "trust" them to give you the right stuff. As for Anti-sway bars, the Kit came with a 1 1/8th" (Addco) front and I matched it with a 7/8th" Addco rear. There are 2 listed, get the OEM one. You may only need a 3/4" bar for your car.
Personally, I don't like poly bushings, not that I've used them, I stuck with good rubber ones.
As for front spring removal, buy or make a good spring compressor or better yet let someone with knowledge of front ends do the job and save yourself the hassle. It has to be aligned again anyway.
I am going to do my rear springs this Spring, but I think all I need is to re-bush them and add a half leaf to help stop wheel hop.
Hope that addresses some of your concerns, there has been a lot of posts on this if you search.
Geoff.
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#5
Hi guys,

Thanks for the advise so far! I will go for the Eaton Detroit coils and leaf springs. I had a look on the NPD website. At least they can supply the correct coils and leafs for my car. For the rest I haven't made up my mind yet. I am also looking into the subframe connectors from : http://www.tinmanfabrication.com/ at the moment. It seems like a good improvement. I am hesitating a little bit about adding these to the car since I like completely 'original' cars the most. But then again, I am not going for a complete concours restoration. If it improves the driving, I will probably enjoy my car more as well, so I might modify the suspension/steering part. For the appearance I will stick to the Marti report and try restore the car as original as possible.

If anybody has more experience/info regarding poly bushings, i am very interested in your opinion! I have read that the poly bushings are noisy, this is something that will probably annoy me...

Are Bilstein shocks ( RCD-55-R047/ RCD-55-R056 ) better than the KYB's ( KYB KG4504 and KYB KG5517 ) They are twice the price but are they also twice as good?
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#6
About the only thing I have heard about poly is to not run poly bushings on your strut rod. Since it has to move in an arc as your front suspension moves the word is that poly is so stiff it can cause the strut rod to fatigue. I don't know how true this is, but I could see how it could happen especially since that end of the strut rod is threaded.

I would run stock rubber (Moog) at that point, or upgrade to one of the heim/ball joint strut rods available from the performance vendors.
  Reply
#7
JD79,

On the rear leaf springs, it has been recommended by Auto handling guides, that leaf springs should be replaced by same OEM spring rates. Accord Eaton Detroit, standard duty is 85 lbs., while the improved handling is 114 lbs.

Recommended to Read.

Spring Rate Vs Load Rate - https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/sprin...load-rate/

If you do not purchase Eaton Detroit springs, at least make sure they are specked out to 85 or 114 lbs. per the OEM specifications.

If your budget allows, I have purchased these UC arms and they are nice. The item I like about these arms is the weld tabs on the shaft end caps. They are aligned per specs and are permanent.

Street Performance (Blueprinted) Later Style 67-73 Upper Control Arms
$225.00

First we check to see if the shaft kit is centered in the arm. If not, we center it. This is a big issue since 80% to 90% of the control arms we receive, the shaft kit is not centered, they are offset to one side. If the arms are installed in the car this way, the ball joint won’t be in the correct position, causing alignment problems and possible fitment problems. It can also lead to the wheel not having proper placement in the wheel well.
The shaft kits are pre-lubed and the bushings are adjusted to our specifications resulting in a smoother ride. Then our tab is welded on to keep the bushings from changing position. The end result is a blueprinted upper arm that will last for years with proper care.

http://opentrackerracing.com/product/str...3-mustang/

Next, get these if you do nothing else. Best addition to your front suspension!

Roller Spring Perches – Street Performance – (1960-1977) FORD
$199.00

The vast improvement in performance and handling using roller suspension is why we do what we do. Removing bind from the suspension and steering pivot points provide a huge gain to any performance driven vehicle.

http://opentrackerracing.com/product/rol...g-perches/

On the power steering side, you could send a box to be rebuilt by

http://www.powersteering.com/power-steer...-rebuilds/

I got the corvette steering gear quick steer option.

These are recommendations!

Thanks,

mustang7173
  Reply
#8
mustang7173;289857 Wrote:JD79,

On the rear leaf springs, it has been recommended by Auto handling guides, that leaf springs should be replaced by same OEM spring rates. Accord Eaton Detroit, standard duty is 85 lbs., while the improved handling is 114 lbs.

Recommended to Read.

Spring Rate Vs Load Rate - https://www.eatondetroitspring.com/sprin...load-rate/

If you do not purchase Eaton Detroit springs, at least make sure they are specked out to 85 or 114 lbs. per the OEM specifications.

If your budget allows, I have purchased these UC arms and they are nice. The item I like about these arms is the weld tabs on the shaft end caps. They are aligned per specs and are permanent.

Street Performance (Blueprinted) Later Style 67-73 Upper Control Arms
$225.00

First we check to see if the shaft kit is centered in the arm. If not, we center it. This is a big issue since 80% to 90% of the control arms we receive, the shaft kit is not centered, they are offset to one side. If the arms are installed in the car this way, the ball joint won’t be in the correct position, causing alignment problems and possible fitment problems. It can also lead to the wheel not having proper placement in the wheel well.
The shaft kits are pre-lubed and the bushings are adjusted to our specifications resulting in a smoother ride. Then our tab is welded on to keep the bushings from changing position. The end result is a blueprinted upper arm that will last for years with proper care.

http://opentrackerracing.com/product/str...3-mustang/

Next, get these if you do nothing else. Best addition to your front suspension!

Roller Spring Perches – Street Performance – (1960-1977) FORD
$199.00

The vast improvement in performance and handling using roller suspension is why we do what we do. Removing bind from the suspension and steering pivot points provide a huge gain to any performance driven vehicle.

http://opentrackerracing.com/product/rol...g-perches/

On the power steering side, you could send a box to be rebuilt by

http://www.powersteering.com/power-steer...-rebuilds/

I got the corvette steering gear quick steer option.

These are recommendations!

Thanks,

mustang7173


Thanks mustang7173!
I am planning to buy the Eaton Detroit: 114 5560-30 Leaf springs and Eaton Detroit 5310-13E Coil springs. My car has a comp suspension and air conditioning.

'The UCA from Street Performance (Blueprinted) Later Style 67-73 Upper Control Arms
$225.00'

Seems like a good price to me! Probably a better choice than :MOOG RK621369 R-Series.

I will have a look into the Roller Spring Perches as well.

Thanks for the recommendations!
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