The classic Mustang chassis presents some unique challenges in terms of updating its suspension. The factory configuration has issues with camber gain, roll center height and migration, and bump steer, to name a few. The traditional fix has been with new parts that bolt into the existing factory structures. We can make some pretty impressive gains with this type of system but we`re still limited in the scope of the designs, and we still have to deal with the big, intrusive shock towers crowding the engine bay. Several companies have tried to solve this by making modular cross member systems that use Mustang II, C6 Corvette or 1st Gen Camaro spindles, along with tubular arms, etc. Some of them are pretty advanced looking designs but they share the same basic flaw. They attach to the existing factory sheet metal lower “frame rails”. Anyone who has ever had to repair or replace these areas due to collision or rust damage knows just how thin and flimsy these structures are. That`s because in the factory configuration, it is the upper A arms that are weight bearing. They hold up the front end of the car, and transfer much of the braking and cornering loads through the shock towers and into the inner fender and cowl structures. The lower A arm mounts and rails have very little vertical loading. Their loading comes almost entirely from braking and cornering forces on a horizontal plane. Much of this load is shared by the forward strut rod mounts which tie into both the rails and the radiator support, and the remainder is transfer rearward, through the rails, into the beefy torque box structures under the car, directly beneath the cowl. When a new suspension cross member is attached only to the lower rails, all of the cornering and braking forces, and all of the car’s weight loading, are transferred to only a short length of these lightweight sheet metal lower rail structures. Does that sound like a good idea? No, I don`t think so either. But, now, there is an alternative.
The new TCP/Chassisworks weld in front clip is available in two different formats. Both replace the flimsy OE sheet metal rails with heavy wall, properly designed frame rails. Both tie these rails into the original load bearing inner fender wells along their entire length, and replace the bulky shock towers with a shock tower delete panel / shear plate. This configuration ensures that vertical loads (primarily weight) are still being carried by the same structures the original shock towers bolted to, just as Ford engineers intended. The base kit welds to the firewall bulkhead at the rear. The total interface surface is about 8”x2” so it has a lot of weld surface for strength and rigidity. That said, the second model is the one that really floats my boat. It uses integral frame rails that replace and/or slide snuggly within the thin factory sheet metal rails all the way back through the torque box structures and beyond, to the transmission cross member. These are not add ons or braces, they are integrated into the structure of the car so seamlessly that they look like they were always there. It is a very elegant design. Add the TCP gConnector system and you have a full frame chassis from the front bumper to the rear spring mounts. This adds a tremendous degree of much needed rigidity to the entire chassis. For those going all out, these long rails are also an excellent place to tie in a roll cage and rocker bars for even more rigidity, and of course, safety.
The new clip is a modular unit that accepts A arms, spindles and steering racks from Chassisworks huge menu of components. It can be done as a more budget friendly build, with uncoated steel A arms, non-adjustable SS Series coil overs, and a manual rack. Or maybe you would prefer a full show unit, with polished stainless steel arms, powder coated ductile iron spindles, polished stainless button allen head hardware, and QS1 single adjustable coil overs? Want something more hardcore? Configure it with gStreet adjustable tubular arms, fast ratio power rack, splined end adjustable rate sway bar, and QS2 double adjustable coil overs. It can also be configured as a drag race front end, if so desired.
Then there is the top dog, their ultimate pro touring front end, the gStreet. This package comes with clean sheet designed billet aluminum spindles, severe duty hub/bearing packs and ball joints, and wide track long travel A arms that yield a hugely improved scrub radius, and allow the use of the best modern wheel configurations. This package pushes the bounds of what we thought was possible on classic cars. It hurls the design, geometry and performance limits light years ahead, into contention with the best new performance cars. Pair it with the versatile Chassisworks Glink rear suspension system for the street, or with the TCP torque arm system and QS4 quad adjustable remote reservoir coil overs for hardcore road course use.
All the suspension in the world is pretty useless without an engine to make it move, luckily the Chassisworks / TCP weld in front clip can accommodate everything from old school Ford small blocks, to late model Modular/Coyote motors and even LS- series engines with equal ease. The elimination of the intrusive shock towers means that even a wide Mod motor will drop in the car like it was made for it. Likewise it will accept nearly any transmission, manual or automatic, old or new.
If you`re looking to bring your classic Mustang up to speed with modern performance cars, the Chassisworks / TCP weld in front clip is hard to beat.