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Old 09-06-2011, 02:05 PM
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Mustang II suspension on 37' Roadmaster?

After looking at all the options, I'm considering using a Heidts Mustang II under the front of my '37 Roadmaster. Want to build a good driver that handles well and safe.
I've read about Ackerman angles and do not understand how a Mustang II suspension can work well under cars with both short and long wheelbases.
My car has stock dimensions of:
Wheelbase - 131"
Front track - 58.3
Rear track - 59.25
1) Has anoyone out there installed a Mustang II on a similar size car?
2) If so, did it handle well and have no tire wear issues?
Thanks

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Old 09-06-2011, 02:24 PM
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Most everyone has a different opinion on this ...

I think that the Pinto/Mustang II is too light a duty IFS ... for a big Buick.

They were designed for a small. lightweight economy car that weighed a least 2 thousand pounds less than your Buick. The track width and wheelbase are very different.

I had a guy in my area put a Pinto/Mustang II kit under a 1934 Nash. He had nothing but problems with it. The A arms would bend ... after a thousand miles or so. He could not keep it aligned. He had to get front springs so heavy rated ... to hold the front up that it rode like it had no front suspension.

A IFS from the Pinto/Mustang II is over 30 years old. Design wise ... better things are available.

Just my opinion

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Old 09-06-2011, 02:30 PM
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What front suspension would you recommend?
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:11 PM
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Jaguar XJ6, right width, right weight.
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Old 09-06-2011, 08:11 PM
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my opinion differs, most of the MSII kits have nothing to do with the Mustang/pinto other than the basic geometry, not a single part of my kit could be bolted onto a pinto. When I planned out my 36 LaSalle build, I chose a frame stub made by "Fatman", this was due to the size of the x member and wall thickness that his kit offerd above the other kits out there. I am very satisfied without any issues
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Old 09-06-2011, 09:28 PM
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I've installed two Heidts units. One in a pro-street 454 BB 41 Chevy in the mid 90's and the other in an early hemi powered '53 Chevy PU in 04. Both are still on the road with no problems. The '41 used stock Mustang 4 cyl springs and the hemi used the V8 springs. Both used stock Mustang upper and lower "A" arms, spindles, and strut rods.

What you have to look out for is the Chinese repro crap. They are making repro "A" arms that are junk and they will bend as Deuce said. Also any Mustang IFS will be much more reliable if you do NOT eliminate the strut rods. If you spring for one of the units with tubular "A" arms without strut rods make sure you box in the lower section of the crossmember where the lower "A" arm bolts on. This area has been known to crack if its not boxed and the strut rods are eliminated. Not sure if Heidts has had that particular problem but its a good idea... just in case.

If you are going to install a Mustang II IFS then Heidts is the best IMHO. There are others but its been my experience that Heidts fits very well and has the correct geometry.

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Old 09-06-2011, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick
What front suspension would you recommend?
Quote:
Originally Posted by enjenjo
Jaguar XJ6, right width, right weight.
A mid 80's Jaguar XJ6 front. It unbolts out as a unit. It is heavy duty. It is inexpensive You can buy a complete old Jaguar for less than half the Mustang II kit price ... have beefier parts and better brakes ... for less money.



Go here for a picture tutorial on installing the Jag in a Ford pickup. The same basic procedure works for the BUICK.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/user_gall...&albumid=30130
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:21 PM
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buick frame?

Does the 37 Buick have the formed spring pockets in the Frame, We have a 36 Olds and 37 pontiac in the barn . both have the bump outs. the 36 pontiac uses the chevy Knee action suspension and straigh frame rails. You might have to trim the frame and add outside boxing plates .. Keeping the stock frame will keep all the attachments you need for bumpers, radiator support etc. There are quite a few picts of Jag installiations on the HAMB. trucks, cars, even a 56 Buick. We have 4 jag fronts and rears in the shop but there will be no time this year, !/4 mile of farm pipeline and a new pump to install and a duplex we are building. need to get a roof done before the Snow.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:37 AM
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I'd go with the ubiquitous Must. ll simply for the availability of parts. Almost any rod shop or auto parts will have them available. Jag parts are a little harder to find around here.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:41 PM
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Thanks very much for all your suggestions. Here is my current thinking on the front suspension for my '37 Buick. I have considered these suggestions during the last 6 months and this my current take on each.
XJ6 - I crossed this off my list because Jag XJ6 have very poor maintenance per Consumer Reports. I want to build this car once and do not want to build in maintenance issues.
Mustang II aftermarket kit (Probably Heidts) - I initially crossed this off my list because I had read of concerns on this and other websites. After talking to three individuals in person and numerous on-line who have had good success on cars similar to mine, this is now my current favorite option. I will have this installed by a local shop because I have not learned to weld yet and I see the set-up of the front suspension to be critical from a safety and function standpoint. I do have the large pockets on the side of the frame that will have to be removed.

I have also researched:
1937-1957 Buick Oldsmobile Pontiac upgrade wiki) - Greatest advantage is keeps more of frame unchanged. I found sources for the parts, but eliminated this as an option because it was too advanced for my skills and I could not find a local shop that would do it.
'75-'95 Truck Control Arms and Spindles - Rgreen wrote on hotrodders.com about this option. He used full size van upper arm, Astro van spindle, and modified the lower arm for a ball joint. I hoped to used all full size truck C1500 or van parts and a measured actual truck parts. Oldguy829 (who wrote 1937-1957 Buick Oldsmobile Pontiac upgrade wiki) helped me to explore this option by providing input and dimensions of older parts. Greatest advantage is keeps more of frame unchanged and common parts. I would also have to address power steering. It looks like this would be feasible, but it is beyond my skill level and would be difficult to find a shop.
Dodge Dakota Front Clip - Found others and a shop who have done this successfully. Adds rack & pinion and disc brakes. I eliminated it because Dakotas do not have good maintenance records per consumer reports.
Lexus SC400 & LS400 - These are reliable components with correct front track that look like good candidates. Need to build in the shock towers on the frame. A friend of mine is using front and rear from SC400 under a project. His friend put a front suspension under his 49 Ford truck and loves it. I do not have this skill at this point and believe the cost for this fab would outweigh the benefit.
Lincoln LS - Similar to Lexus notes above. The rear suspension is actually a jag (with good reliability) and I'm still considering it for there rear suspension.
'03-05 Crown Victoria/Grand Marquis - Great suspension and brakes. A friend of mine installed under a truck and this is one I could probably do myself. Too wide of track for my car. Found a shop in Utah who has narrowed the front suspension by 6.5 inches for install in '46 ford. Have not totally ruled it out, but have concerns about cutting and welding the alum cross member. Have not receive a cost yet. Check out horvathhotrods.com

One final note: I love cool cars, but I do not love to work on them. I have done all my own maintenance an all my cars (approx 40 cars to date) and my goal is to build a very dependable driver. Building a street rod out of my Grandparents car they bought in 1942 will be a huge learning experience for me that I will have to do a lot of the work due to cost.
Thanks again for all your feedback and let me know if I missed something.
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Old 09-08-2011, 10:23 AM
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Centerline recommendation that I need to use a set-up with strut rods.
Not quite sure what that means. Can someone verify that the set-up Speedway recommended meets this requirement? (See attached)
Speedway recommended the following for a Mustang II suspension on my '37 Buick:
Mustang II universal cross member 413-201. 24" - 30" outside frame width, (My outside frame width is 26.25").
Big GM brake kit 9120-31043 (11" rotors) 58.5" track width. (my stock track is 58.3".
I selected tubular control arms per Centerline's recommendations. I selected the 425 lb springs which are good up to 1800 lbs on front of car. (My car is currently weighs 4150 lbs, but expect it to weigh 3850 with a small black v8, auto trans, & Ford irs). I selected 2" drop spindles.
1) Does this set-up meet Centerline's recommendation on strut rods?
2) Do these springs sound like the right choice? I've read of differing results when engine will be mounted behind the front axle?
3) Speedway also said that I could go with narrowed arms to reduce track from 58.5to to 57.25. Does anyone know if I need to do this. (based on measurements that Daoldbuick gave me the inside of the fenders should be about 67.25)
4) Is there a cheaper place or package to buy this same set-up that someone can recommend?
Thanks for your help
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Old 09-08-2011, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutt's37Buick
Centerline recommendation that I need to use a set-up with strut rods.
Not quite sure what that means. Can someone verify that the set-up Speedway recommended meets this requirement? (See attached)
Speedway recommended the following for a Mustang II suspension on my '37 Buick:
Mustang II universal cross member 413-201. 24" - 30" outside frame width, (My outside frame width is 26.25").
Big GM brake kit 9120-31043 (11" rotors) 58.5" track width. (my stock track is 58.3".
I selected tubular control arms per Centerline's recommendations. I selected the 425 lb springs which are good up to 1800 lbs on front of car. (My car is currently weighs 4150 lbs, but expect it to weigh 3850 with a small black v8, auto trans, & Ford irs). I selected 2" drop spindles.
1) Does this set-up meet Centerline's recommendation on strut rods?
2) Do these springs sound like the right choice? I've read of differing results when engine will be mounted behind the front axle?
3) Speedway also said that I could go with narrowed arms to reduce track from 58.5to to 57.25. Does anyone know if I need to do this. (based on measurements that Daoldbuick gave me the inside of the fenders should be about 67.25)
4) Is there a cheaper place or package to buy this same set-up that someone can recommend?
Thanks for your help
The extra expense of tubular control arms is wasted on anything other than a show car. On a fendered car where the suspension won't be seen you don't need all that fancy stuff. STOCK upper and lower control arms are way less expensive and less troublesome. Below is a pic of a Heidts crossmember with stock Mustang II control arms with power rack and pinion steering that I installed on my pickup. The second pic shows the strut rod which runs from the lower control arm back to the frame. IMHO you will be much better off using stock components with strut rods rather than paying extra for tubular control arms you won't see that eliminate a very important part of this suspension, the strut rods.





Note that this setup has the big 11" GM disks from Speedway too.

Here's a pic of the suspension with the 700 lb. Hemi sitting in place. This has the stock Mustang springs and as you can see the lower control arms sit almost level with the ground. These are new springs and after about 500 miles they will settle a bit and the control arms will be level with the ground.



Centerline
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Last edited by Centerline; 09-08-2011 at 05:44 PM.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:15 PM
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Centerline,
Thanks so much for your feedback. I misunderstood your last post and thought you were recommending the tubular arms. Definitely want to go with the strongest option and if it saves cost that is even better.
Thanks again for your help.
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Old 09-08-2011, 07:48 PM
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I understand the midsize GM calipers have more surface area and better stopping tham the GM metric. Found that I cannot buy the Heidts Mustang II with midsize GM calipers and 5 x 4.5" bp. This seemed like a logical combination to allow using a Ford rear end and Ford wheel pattern all around. What are the common solutions to this problem?
Thanks
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Old 09-08-2011, 09:06 PM
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The only thing you need to buy from Heidts is the crossmember, top hats, and strut rod mounts....generally known as a crossmember kit. You don't need to buy all their other stuff. Stock or dropped Mustang II spindles are available almost everywhere and the Speedway kit for the big GM brakes will fit the stock Mustang spindles. Just keep in mind that you will probably have to go with 15" wheels with those big brakes. Shop around for the best deal on control arms or stop by your local wrecking yard to see if they have any used control arms. Chances are they will be good factory Ford parts and all you'll have to do is pick up some new bushings and ball joints, clean them up and hit them with a coat of POR or your choice of paint. Probably be able to get the strut rods there too all cheaper than the aftermarket.

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