Mustang GT350 Restomod Part 1
Upgrading the chassis, steering and suspension
Actually, the car shown here is not an authentic Shelby GT350, but a re-creation like so many thousands of others produced over the years. In comparison to the paltry number of original GT350s produced in 1965 (562 in all), Ford manufactured a bazillion stock models, so it really makes more sense to focus on these sincerest forms of flattery. (Ironically, Carroll Shelby is now endorsing reconditioned GT500 Mustangs that look and perform like the "Eleanor" model that appeared in the movie "Gone in 60 Seconds." So if cloning is good enough for Shelby, himself, why not the rest of us?)
Historical authenticity aside, there's a lot that can be done to improve on a 1965 Mustang. Automotive technology has come a long way since the pony cars first rolled out of the factory, so now you can have a car with modern performance but classic looks. We've broken down the process of modifying a '65 Mustang into several main areas, starting with the chassis. In following segments of this series we'll cover the engine, transmission, rearend and exhaust system.
First, a bit of history: The original GT350 was arbitrarily named for the number of feet between Shelby's race and production shops. There were both S and R models, for street and racing, respectively. This particular car, owned by Danny Holm, was inspired by the S model, but he uses it for racing in Open Class events (it doesn't qualify for vintage racing).
Since this Mustang sees some track time, it made good sense to start with a firm foundation. A stiff chassis is essential for all those performance parts to do their job correctly. If the frame is flexing too much, you'll be wasting your money on any suspension upgrades.
For a more rigid platform, Danny welded on some subframe connectors to the underside of the chassis. These can dramatically reduce chassis twist by linking the car's subframes together, creating a unified structure. To those connectors, he also added traction bars that are secured to the rear axle at each end and stiffen up the handling markedly.
In the steering department, early Mustang systems are known for excessive play, but a new recirculating ball unit that reduces the number of turns lock-to-lock also helps improve wheel response.
In addition to a need for stiffening up the chassis and improving the steering, one of the major shortcomings of classic Mustangs is their overly soft suspension, due in part to the rubber bushings. These were replaced with more resilient urethane bushings, which help to reduce unwanted deflection that can cause erratic handling in hard cornering. The vehicle was also lowered to bring down the roll centers for more stable handling.
Commenting on the suspension mods (see accompanying photos), the car's owner/driver Danny Holm says that, "I really notice a difference in the turns. I could've done even more to the suspension, but the car handles well with just these changes, and you've got to know when to stop."
The steering rack was improved with a new aftermarket system. It has fewer turns lock-to-lock but a much wider sweep, so the net effect is more responsive steering.
As on the original GT350s, the mounts on the upper A-arm were relocated to bring down the nose an inch. The coils were cut for lowering, but at some sacrifice in ride quality. Ford Granada disc brakes, another popular mod, were added as well.
An easy way to lower the rear suspension is to replace the standard leaf springs with a "reverse eye" spring. It locates the spring above its mount to lower the car about an inch.
The traction bars (tubular links extending forward from underneath both ends of the rear axle) hook up to subframe connectors, and serve to minimize wheel hop and axle wind-up. The rear disc brake conversion is another valuable upgrade.
Unlike the Koni shocks found on the original GT350, these KYB units are gas-pressurized and self-adjusting.
- Tesla And Chrysler In Public Spat Over Loan...
After the announcement that Tesla had repaid its $456 million loan in full earlier this week, and more...
- Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Averages 53.5 MPG...
Just weeks ahead of its arrival in U.S. dealerships, the 2013 Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid showed more...
- 2013 Volvo XC60 Test Drive Review
It’s become a cliché to say that there is no such thing as a bad car in this day and more...
- drum brakes
2004 pontiac aztek,drum brakes, new drums,new shoes,new springs/hardware/adjusters, passenger rear, pulsating sound and vibration when brakes are more...
- 1993 ford escort
I can't find the transmission dip stick on a 1993 ford escort. can anyone tell me the location? more...
- 2005 ford mustang clutch master cylinder
hi i need help is there anyone out there that can send me info on my clutch master cylinder and step by step on how to replace it. more...