How-To: Better Handling Through Bolt-On Coilovers
DON’T BE INTIMIDATED BY THE WORD COILOVER, AS THIS KIT FROM STREET OR TRACK IS TRULY AN EASY INSTALL IN YOUR GARAGE
Don’t be intimidated by the word coilover, as this kit from Street or Track is truly an easy install in your garage
WE’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND WE’RE STILL SAYING IT TODAY: WE’RE EXCITED TO SEE SO MANY FIRST- GENERATION MUSTANG OWNERS TAKING TO THE STREETS WITH THEIR MUSTANGS AND DRIVING THEM. Enjoying your car on some great American backroads is a precious, rare feat that too few get to enjoy today, and we salute those that make an effort to get their Mustangs out for a fun Sunday afternoon drive, a Saturday morning trip to their local Cars & Coffee, or just for a trip to the local ice cream stand to hang out.
Now, while you can certainly enjoy said drives with a stock suspension under your sheetmetal, for the majority of us that like a windy road the stock bits certainly leave us wanting more; especially if you’re running modern low-profile rubber on larger-diameter aluminum wheels too. Upgrading your suspension not only offers a firmer and more precise ride, a properly set up performance suspension will actually help with braking and traction as well.
Of course, the suspension options out there literally are from mild to wild for the first-generation Mustang chassis, often with a mind-blowing price tag and fabrication or welding skills that are outside the realm of the average DIY Mustang owner. Even some of the better bolt-on kits require cutting/grinding or other modifications for proper fitment. However, the Street or Track coilover system is a true bolt-in coilover suspension system that, if for some reason you ever wanted to, allows you to return your front suspension back to 100 percent stock. All you need
are some basic hand tools, solid reading comprehension for the installation instructions, and a desire to have a great-handling car.
Shaun Burgess launched Street or Track back in 2003 and has been designing, building, testing, and selling his proven suspension pieces for first-generation Mustangs ever since he hung his sign out. If you hit a major Ford event, like the Carlisle Ford Nationals, there’s a good chance you’ll spot Shaun in the vendor area with his products. Even better is an event where he can put a few laps on one of his test vehicles. That’s right, every product he develops is fully tested on the rigors of a road course, so you know it’ll last, be it street cruising or your own track day fun. Best of all, Street or Track really supports its customers and will go the extra mile.
The Street or Track Bilstein Coilover System includes the hardware you see here—tubular upper and lower control arms, adjustable strut rods, 1-inch drop template for upper control arms, assembled coilover shocks, and upper and lower shock mounts. Also shown are the optional Bilstein bolt-in rear shocks and the lower control arm camber adjustment kit, which is highly recommended. The shocks are available in three rates: street, sport, or race valving. This owner chose the sport option.
The installation requires removal of the complete front suspension from the car, but the steering pieces stay put and there’s no real need to disconnect the caliper fluid lines. After safely wiring the caliper out of the way, the steering tie-rod end is removed by way of a couple of precise hits from a hammer on the spindle steering arm “eye.” The castle nut is on, but loose, which will allow us to see when the tie-rod end becomes free without the steering arm dropping to the ground.
Moving on to the spindle assembly, both the upper and lower ball joints need to be separated for spindle removal. After cutting free the upper and lower cotter pins the ball joint retaining nuts are backed off.