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Old 07/12/2007, 08:10 PM   #1
franklinair
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Correct Heighth & Body Stance

I just replaced the rear springs, bushings, and shackles - all stock items, new.I'm trying to establish the correct, stock heighth of the body- using the wheel (fender) openings as a reference point. Prior to replacing these parts I measured from the ground to the highest point of the rear fender openings. They measured 24 inches. After replacement the measurements are 25 inches. Tire inflation was not changed. The old springs were original - marked with the C7 part number. After 40 years they were tired & sagging!

The front coil springs were previously replaced. The measurement on these openings are 26 inches from the ground to the high point of the fender opening. I'm using F70-14 tires, all equally inflated with stock wheels.
Any comparison measurements/info would be appreciated.
Hope to meet many Mustang Folks at Grass Valley.
Neil Hoppe
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Old 07/13/2007, 07:58 AM   #2
PFSlim
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Neil

I can't help as I worked hard to take out the negative rake. We did that by putting an inch in the rear springs and removed an inch in the front springs. Then, put on 225's in the rear and 205's in the front. It is not stock but keeps the car at least level.

Paul

GT/CS sold to "PonyGal" for trip back home to California
1965 AC Cobra Replica - 390FE - Black on Black charcoal stripes - "The Black Pearl"
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Old 07/13/2007, 08:29 AM   #3
p51
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Links...

http://links.vintage-mustang.com/

Look for "Ride Height Ford Mustangs". You'll find the following (with the table at the end in a readable format!!)

But note that this was written in 1966. Dont know if it would direcly apply to 1968 cars...


"Since many of our Mustangs have seen better days the years show up most often in a change of ride height. Most of use realize that Mustangs have a tendency of sag in the rear after many years or use. But how to you determine if your car sits too high or too low now that the restoration is complete. Again a Technical Service Bulletin has an answer.

In an April 1966, Ford published a bulletin which dealt with the subject of ride height. It included the steps necessary to measure the ride height correctly and the correct height.


1. Place car on level ground

2. Push down on the front bumper by at least 1 inch. This will settle the suspension.

3. Measurements are made at the center of the front and rear wheel wells, directly over the center of the wheel.

4. Then lift up on the bumper, by 1", let settle and repeat measuring process.

5. Average both measurements.

6. Repeat process on rear of car.


Note: Measure the front completely before doing the rear


Specifications

ModelMinimumNormalMaximumTire sizeFront6 cyl25 27/3226 13/3227 13/326.95 X 146 cyl w/AC & V825 3/426 19/6427 19/646.95 X 14High Perf.25 7/6425 19/3227 19/646.95 X 14RearAll except HiPo24 1/225 17/6426 17/646.95 X 14High Perf24 7/6424 55/6425 55/646.95 X 14
..."

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Old 07/13/2007, 10:55 AM   #4
franklinair
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To me, the rear seems to squat even with the new springs. I think the rear needs an additional 2 inches rise, which would require longer shackles of 2 to 3 inches more than the stock shackles. The stock shackles are a 3 1/2 inch centers, so to raise the rear to an acceptable heighth would require shackles with about 6 inch centers. The diameter of the shackle bolts is 1/2 inch. Where would you find aftermarket shackles with 6 inch centers?
I found a listing for Mr. Gasket shackles, P/N 1300, but no one seems to carry them.
Neil Hoppe
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Old 07/13/2007, 03:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
To me, the rear seems to squat even with the new springs. I think the rear needs an additional 2 inches rise, which would require longer shackles of 2 to 3 inches more than the stock shackles. The stock shackles are a 3 1/2 inch centers, so to raise the rear to an acceptable heighth would require shackles with about 6 inch centers. The diameter of the shackle bolts is 1/2 inch. Where would you find aftermarket shackles with 6 inch centers?
I found a listing for Mr. Gasket shackles, P/N 1300, but no one seems to carry them.
Neil Hoppe
Here's my $0.02.

I found that I personally liked a completely flat stance - where the distance from the ground to the top outside lip of the wheelwell is the same for all four tires. A stance that was high enough that the whole tire can be seen inside the wheelwell with ~0.25" to ~0.5" clearance. To get this I had to go with longer rear shackles. Couple of points.

(1) If the shackles are too long then they protrude below the valance in the back. Some folks like the shackles exposed. I dont.

(2) Even a slight difference in the height between from and back can be noticed when you look at the car.

(3) The original rake for stangs, even off the showroom floor, seemed to be low in the back, high in the front, the "stang sag", which gets worse over time as the leaf springs fatigue.

(4) If you like a more modern rake (high in back, low in front) consider making the "Shelby modification" where the front is lowered ~0.5". This was done on the Shebly mustangs and helps with handling as it lowers the center of gravity.

http://www.joesfalcon.com/frntsusp/susp1.html

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Old 07/13/2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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I agree with the level stance, as you prefer. If I can find a set of shackles to lift the rear, making the car level, that would be the way I will go. I would cut the shackles so they would not protrude beyond the leaf springs, and would not be visible. I would make them appear "stock" other than the fact they would be a few inches longer than the originals.
I'm not too keen on changing the steering geometry by lowering the front either by cutting the coil springs or repositioning the upper control arms. I know folks have used either method, but its just not the way I would go. I prefer to keep things as original as possible. If I do any mods to enhance safety/performance, I like to keep them "stealthy".
Surely someone makes the shackles, but I haven't found any yet.
Thanks for the inputs.
Neil Hoppe
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Old 07/13/2007, 06:34 PM   #7
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NPD sells 1" longer shackles. They are $16.95 per leaf.

Last edited by Mosesatm; 09/11/2007 at 04:41 AM..
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Old 07/14/2007, 09:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
...I know folks have used either method, but its just not the way I would go. I prefer to keep things as original as possible. If I do any mods to enhance safety/performance, I like to keep them "stealthy".

Surely someone makes the shackles, but I haven't found any yet.
What I did was part of the "Shelby modification" by having the mounting of the control arms lowered but this was compensated for with the springs. The net is that the camber angle is changed, the center of gravity is a bit lower, but the stance looks "stock" on the front. So, you get part of the benefit. Handling is much better although not as good as if you did the complete Shelby mod. (There's a shop in my neck of the woods that works on classic stangs. I just asked them for better handling with a stock look. They knew what to do).

As for the shackles, I've seen these on the web. They are extra long with multiple holes for adjustment. Like you said you can cut off the ends. Unfortunately, I cant find them now.

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Old 07/14/2007, 08:00 PM   #9
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I located the Mr. Gasket 1300 shackles on the Web (Jegs) aftermarket parts. They had them in stock, and will arrive here Wed. I'll measure, fit & cut to achieve a level stance for the car. If I can figure out how to post photos, I'll do so. Sounds like others have the same situation, and this is a relatively easy fix.
Neil Hoppe
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Old 07/22/2007, 06:56 PM   #10
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I completed the shackle installation,to make my C/S set level: As my previous threads stated, I had replace the rear springs & bushings (stock) and the rear still seemed (was) low. I bought the Mr. Gasket shackles, measured the holes as compared to the stock shackles and increased the distance by three inches. I had the local machine shop cut off the excess (unneeded) length of the new shackles as I did not want them protruding beneath the rear valance. Now the car sets dead level. I have 26" from the ground to the high point of the fender cutouts on all four fenders. I also measured from the ground to the lip of the rocker panel mouldings, front & rear. Dead even. A lot of work, but well worth the appearance of the car's stance.
Neil Hoppe
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Old 07/23/2007, 06:14 PM   #11
robert campbell
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Neil,
Where did you get the leaf springs from? I deal with a local manufacturer of leaf springs in the Seattle area. If you do not like the ride heigth, you return them and tell him what you want. If you want 3 inches more he measures them from the floor to the middle, while sitting upside down, and rearches them to sit 3 inches higher. It is amazing how close he comes.

I have a set of his springs that are supposedly "GT" springs. Slightly lower and more heavy duty. My car sits unloaded at 26 in the back and 24 in the front. I purposely cut the front springs to achieve that heigth. I like the slightly lower front look.

I would bet that 26 all the way around is close. Maybe a little on the low side from stock. My tires are 205 75R 14 on stock rims. Tires are about 25 inches in diameter.

Rob
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Old 07/23/2007, 06:54 PM   #12
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I get all my suspension parts from NAPA. I've used them for years on all restos I've done. (Usually MOOG brand) I run P205/70-14 tires. With the wheel well height @ 26" all the way around I'm satisfied with the stance now. It has a much better appearance sitting level, and the handling when driving in these mountains is firm & true.
I don't have the convenience of specialty shops since moving to 'small town USA'. When I was living in Miami I could get anything & everything immediately. My family operated an auto repair shop there, and I virtually grew up in the business.
Thanks for the interest & inputs.
Neil
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Old 07/23/2007, 07:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinair View Post
. I bought the Mr. Gasket shackles, measured the holes as compared to the stock shackles and increased the distance by three inches. Neil Hoppe

Hi Neil,

I was checking mine and I feel anything beyond 1.5 inche shackle extension will protrude below the valence. How did you manage to get 3 inches extension not to protrude. That puzzle me.

Thanks

1968 GT/CS - Highland Green - C Code 289
1973 Mustang Convertible - Bright Green Gold Metallic - H Code 351-2V
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Old 07/23/2007, 07:11 PM   #14
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I just got a new digital camera. As soon as I figure out what I got :-( I'll get some photos. The bottom of the shackle is about even with the valance.
Neil
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