This '66 Mustang is being transformed from an all-original six-cylinder cruiser, to a dual-purpose, road-race street car. To that end, we've replaced the factory drum brakes in the front with Wilwood 13-inch rotors and six-piston calipers, upgraded to a Wilwood dual-reservoir master cylinder, and converted the box-and-linkage-style steering to Total Control Product's rack-and-pinion steering, to get it closer to our goal.
Last month, we put together a Ford 9-inch rearend at Currie Enterprises to replace the one-legged, drum-brake 8-inch factory rearend, which is weaker than the stronger '67-up 8-inch. We took Chassisworks Fab9 housing and stuffed it with a Detroit TrueTrac gear-type posi, 3.50 gears, Wilwood 13-inch brakes, and Currie 31-spline axles. You can order the Fab9 housing to fit many models, or you can get a kit to retrofit your current housing to work with their suspension. This may sound like overkill for the six-cylinder currently residing between the fenders, but it is a necessary step for the 560-plus horsepower 427ci Windsor waiting in the wings. This direct-fit housing was built specially by Chassisworks to use a triangulated four-link coilover setup from Chassisworks' Total Control Products (TCP) division. TCP's canted four-bar, otherwise known as a triangulated four-link, is a street-friendly rear suspension that's built with enough adjustment for competitive racing.
The four-bar setup uses upper and lower links that have multiple mounting positions to adjust chassis antisquat and to optimize vehicle handling. Upper links are adjustable to set pinion angle and suspension preload if needed. The g-Link's lower arms are also adjustable for wheelbase variations and precise housing alignment. This kind of adjustment couldn't be possible with a traditional leaf-spring setup. This system can be used with either coilover or air springs. We chose to use the coilovers for their simple design and adjustability. With a choice of three upper and four lower mounting holes, ride height can be altered without adjusting the preload on the spring. As with all coilover systems, being able to corner weight the car with minor adjustments can yield huge improvements at the track.
We had a choice of three different lower links, a non-adjustable link with poly bushings for smooth and quiet operation, an adjustable steel link with pivot balls at either end for maximum strength and tuneability, and billet aluminum links for weight savings--which is what we chose here. The upper links come with poly or pivot ball ends (which we chose) and both styles are adjustable.
To go with our new suspension, we opted to use TCP's adjustable-rate 5/8-inch sway bar. It has three mounting points at the end of the bar to adjust its effectiveness. Our Mustang didn't come with a rear sway bar from the factory, but I'm a big believer in them, so that's the way we're going here. The sway bar mounting points are incorporated into TCP's direct-fit housing and frame brackets, which make it an easy bolt-on.
The installation process was incredibly easy. In most cases, the words "bolt-in" or "direct-fit" have very little meaning, but these TCP components actually fit. The best advice we can give you before you start this installation is to actually read everything first, and look at all the parts. Make sure you have all the tools you need to finish the project before you begin, including a MIG welder.