The 40 Got Her Front End Going On!
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I had convinced myself that I really did not need a front end anti sway bar… Then I re-convinced myself that I did.  The big problem was finding an anti-sway bar that could be mounted to my lower control arms which have airbag suspension bladders instead of coil over shocks or coil springs plus independent shocks.  After some research on Speedway Racing’s website I found that Heidts made a bar for their coil spring/independent shock control arms. It looked like it should work even though my front control arms are from TCI and my spindles are from Fatman Fabrication. I ordered one and Speedway got it here in good time.

I spent sometime doing a initial fit up and found a couple of small issues to deal with.  The mounting plates that attach to the lower control arm were radiused for Mustang II coil springs which are smaller in diameter than the base on my airbags. I had to increase the radius on the bracket by 1/8″ to clear the base.  I used a 4 1/2″ grinder with a 60 grit flap disc which made short work of the modification.

The other issue that the TCI airbag control arms introduced was that the mounting surface was raised by almost an inch from a coil spring arm, the other issue was that TCI set up the front end to be 2″  lower than either Heidts or Fatman to get a racy stance.  The Heidts bar came with 7 1/2″ bolts for the connecting links. I replaced the provided bolts with a couple of 4 1/2″ grade 8 bolts and removed the link spacers yielding probably the shortest possible set of connecting links. They look funny but, hey they work!

Once all of the fit up issues were resolved it was time to clean and polish all of the shiny pieces… after 3 days of fussing with my polishing wheels I got everything looking somewhat respectable. Time to start final assembly!

Everything went smooth until I decided to clean and repack the front wheel bearings, which needed a new set of grease seals, also during the 16 yrs that the chassis sat around one of the dust caps went missing. No problem off to NAPA to pick up the seals and caps. Every Mustang II IRS conversion that I have played with over the years has had GM G Body Metric front rotors, hell even my Pete & Jakes dropped tube axle in the ’39 has GM Metric rotors… So I order everything using my ever popular 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo as the parts reference. Got back to the shop and tried to install the seal.  The OD of the GM seal is 2 7/16″ the seal that I had removed was 2 1/2″… no fitty up! Got on the internet and went to the Wilwood site and found out that Wilwood uses rotors from a 1965 – 1969 Ford Mustang. I checked the NAPA website to see if they stocked them, nope! They didnt carry them.  I got out my magnifying glass and was able find in tiny print that the seals were a National 6815. SKF is the source for all of NAPA’s seals so I went to their site and found that they produced a wonderful cross reference book which I downloaded. I was able to cross the National 6815 to a SKF 19221 seal which is used on several GM, Chrysler and Ford rotors. Happy day! NAPA also had a couple of generic dust covers that were the right size.

Happy to say everything is back together again! Also I am sure my sharp eyed readers will note that the front suspension nuts were not tightened and cotter keyed… again that will be done when I do the initial front end alignment after I get the engine & tranny into the chassis and the body back on.

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  • 033 - Front Suspension & Steering - 001 - Conrad Monroe

Front Suspension Final Install

Next up, reinstall the brake lines and reroute the line from the bottom of the drive shaft loop to the top, bench bleed and install the master cylinder and brake pedal. Then reinstall the airlines and split the rear single line so that each airbag is independent. Then… wait for it…. reinstall the engine and transmission! Getting close to fitting the body and replacing the firewall and front floor! It is getting to be fun now!

C.


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