TOTAL CONTROL PRODUCTS’ FRONT AND REAR SUSPENSIONS RADICALLY IMPROVE THE RIDE AND HANDLING ON AN EARLY MUSTANG
Total Control Products’ front and rear suspensions radically improve the ride and handling on an early Mustang
RIDE AND HANDLING ARE TRULY SUBJECTIVE THINGS, LIKE GOLDILOCKS’ CHOICE IN BEDS OR PORRIDGE. One person’s “harsh” ride is just right for someone else; a car that handles acceptably for Joe Blow feels like driving a semitruck to John Smith. Every driver has their own personal tastes and tolerances for the compromises between ultimate handling and/or ride softness/harshness. Similarly, some guys have no problem breaking out the plasma cutter and cutoff wheel to modify a Mustang, while others wouldn’t dream of changing Ford’s original design one iota. Vive la différence!
As we entered into another Week to Wicked project in July 2018, the plan of attack was to build a 1967 fastback (converted from a hardtop into a fastback with Golden Star parts/PG Customs & Bodies labor— mustang-360.com/project-vehicles/1807week-to-wicked-convert-1967-mustanghardtop-fastback-for-under-10000), and to power the car with a 2018 Gen 3 5.0L Coyote engine from Ford Performance. That obviously meant we weren’t afraid to cut and heavily modify the car—and that big Coyote engine would mandate it anyway—so we went whole hog when it came to the suspension and chose a Total Control Products full kit, front to back. Yes, it requires TCP’s weldin front clip that replaces the stock front framerails, making it next to impossible to undo the modifications and return the car to stock, but in this case we didn’t care. We were building a hot street car from a beat-up rust bucket, so originality mattered not. The goal was ultimate street/track performance without too much sacrifice in civility, and Total Control’s front clip and coilover suspension combined with their Stage 6 rear suspension would satisfy both goals.
Even if you’re not building a car to the level of our Week to Wicked ’67 fastback, the front TCP coilover and clip will dramatically
improve both the ride and handling of an early Mustang. The lightweight, thin-wall factory framerails and sheetmetal stampings are not optimal for strength or integrity. Even in perfect condition, their strength (and geometry) pales in comparison to a dedicated performance clip like that from TCP. And if you’re contemplating a Coyote or mod motor swap (or a big-block), the stock shock towers will make you want to kill the closest living thing the first time you have to work on it—one big advantage to a front clip is the elimination of the shock towers, freeing up space underhood.
Complementing the TCP Front Frame Clip and Suspension kit are five different suspension and steering systems with a bunch of options, but they’re all based on a coilover setup that improves both ride and handling over stock, and rack-and-pinion steering that is far more precise than the early Mustang ’s sloppy steering.
We ordered the full boogie setup that includes upper and lower control arms, double-adjustable VariShock coilovers, a gun-drilled and splined antiroll bar, a power rack, and Wilwood brakes.
We also got the trick stuff for the rear suspension—TCP’s Stage 6 Torque Arm/Panhard Bar leafspring system that uses a torque arm, Panhard bar, new leaf springs, polyurethane bushings and shackle set, aluminum-body shocks, leaf-spring plates, and mounting hardware. Linking the front and rear suspensions are TCP’s subframe connectors and bolt-in center support that nearly turn the car into a full-frame car. While the coupe was undergoing the fastback conversion at PG Customs & Bodies in Texas, we had them weld in the front frame clip and subframe connectors before taking it to our shop in California for the suspension installation.
Once in our shop, we had all hands on deck during the Week to Wicked program and had the entire suspension installed in a day. Of course, that’s on a two-post hoist and with about six people working on it— it’ll take longer if you’re on your back in the garage or driveway.
Here’s the complete TCI Stage 6 front and rear suspension system for the 1967-1968 Mustang.
During the fastback conversion at PG Customs & Bodies in Decatur, Texas, we had them cut off the Mustang’s stock front framerails and install the Total Control Products front clip kit and the subframe connectors (not shown here).
Here’s an illustrated view of the TCP products we installed—front frame clip, subframe connectors, and center support—that essentially turn the car into a full-frame car.
For the full story on what’s involved with installing the TCP front clip setup, check out Mustang-360.com (mustang-360. com/how-to/chassis-suspension/1608-replace-weak-stock-mustang-framerails-with-a-new-front-subframe).
Since our car came to us as a bare, painted body shell, we sourced a 9-inch rearend from Currie Enterprises. It uses the new Currie Centurion heavy-duty Ford 9-inch housing, Sportsman nodular iron gear case, and 31-spline performance axles. It also comes with a choice of gear ratios—we chose 3.73s on a Truetrac differential. The “crate” rearend package comes with brake options, but we were using Wilwood brakes that we already had, so we left that off the list.