Mustangs & Fords Feb. 07

Text by Wayne Cook
Photography by
Wayne Cook

One of the more primitive aspects of classic Mustang and Ford cars is the leaf-spring rear suspension found on most models-dating to the horse and buggy days and usually reminiscent of riding a buckboard. Besides offering varying levels of ride quality, the rear leaf springs do a poor job of preventing axle windup during a hard start. The spring actually winds up with the torque from the axle, and when it lets go, all traction is lost.

It's not the best recipe for a street-performance Mustang or racer. With soft rubber bushings front and rear, the leaf-spring suspension also does a fairly poor job of keeping the axle centered inside the car's body. The axle travels side to side during a hard turn, spoiling steering accuracy and feel while encouraging the rearend of the car to wander. Even with a great front suspension, these rear-suspension hurdles should be addressed for a serious high-performance Mustang.

Revelation Racing Supply of Australia now offers a state-of-the-art 3-Link rear suspension ($3,500 through RRS) to fit classic Mustangs and select classic Fords. It's a far better arrangement than the stock leaf-spring suspension from both an acceleration and handling standpoint, as it precisely controls axle movement in all three planes of motion. An equal-length Watts linkage assembly locates the axle in the center of the car while firmly controlling any sideways movement. A center torque arm or traction bar attaches to the front of the differential case and prevents axle windup with its long moment of leverage. Dual trailing arms locate the axle in the front-to-rear plane, while coil springs installed over Koni shocks support the weight of the car. The OE leaf springs are eliminated entirely.

Join us as we venture to Autoworks International in El Cajon, California, where we'll see just what's involved in putting this advanced suspension system onto a classic '67 Mustang. It's an easier job than you might think.

Here are the new 3-Link suspension components from Revelation Racing Supply. At the top is the rear-axle torque arm, which is made to install onto the rear axlehousing using the differential stud pattern. The forward end of the arm pivots in the front crossmember. That is the equal-length Watts linkage setup shown alongside the coilover shocks made by Koni. The coil springs on the outside of the shocks are manufactured by Eibach. The coilover shocks allow for complete ride-height adjustability. The rear main crossmember is at the center of the picture while the front crossmember is just below it. The two trailing arm assemblies are shown at bottom along with the mounting brackets that tie the suspension members together. A wide variety of specialized fasteners are included in the kit.
At Autoworks International we have our subject Mustang up on a rotisserie. This makes access easy and adds clarity to the installation procedure. Autoworks owner Matt Couper begins by locating the front crossmember in the correct position.
Once Matt is satisfied with the crossmember's position, C-clamps are applied to keep the alignment true while the installation holes are being drilled. The holes are then opened to the final 11/42-inch diameter with a stepped bit.
Washers with attached center-tube framerail-reinforcement sections are installed into the framerail.
The forward crossmember attaches to the framerails. Because the interior tubes are exactly the correct length, the fasteners can be tightened down firmly without collapsing the framerails.
Next, the fasteners go through the floorpan. Every nut has a nylon locking collar, making lock washers unnecessary.

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All the diagrams and installs on this website are for informational purposes only.
We recommend professional installation.