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Old 11-23-2003, 06:18 PM
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TCP Vs. Fat Man IFS

Hello again.

This is kind of a common question I believe but I couldn't really find my answer. So I'll ask.

Title is kinda self explanitory, however I want to know if buying all Total Control Products would be better and more reliable than Fat Man Fabrications IFS Kit. I have read some stuff about Fat Man's IFS Kit breaking. Would TCP be more reliable? I can see that Fat Man IFS is a lot cheaper...I could sink all of my money into TCP...

I would like to use other Air Ride stuff like the Fastforward Fastback that ebay motors has designed. I see they have used Fat Man's IFS...Does this mean the kit is reliable and worth it if they use it on that car?

I have a 1965 Mustang Coupe with a 289. I can also see that with Fat Man's kit the shock towers are shaven for more room...Is this safe or is that why they break? I also think I remember something about having a strut rod increases reliability rather than elimanating it. Could I use a Strut with Fat Man's?

I think that is what the Air Ride strut option is but I don't know much about this so I'm not sure if thats a strut itself or a support thing.

Links to see products exactly what I'm talking about:
http://www.fatmanfab.com/page20.htm -This kit mentions a Rear Disc option...Is there no front disc option? Are those brakes good or should I go for Baer or something? The kit also has a 4-Bar Rear With Air Ride Shockwaves, are there no front Air ride stuff besides Air Strut? Or is all you need just the Air Strut?

http://www.totalcontrolproducts.com/main.html -TCP

http://www.ridetech.com/producttoc.asp

http://www.ridetech.com/productinfo/intelliride.asp -Would that nice leveling system work with Fat Man IFS?

I know this is quite a bit, but I need to learn QUITE A BIT...Thanks For The Help!

I think also a lot of what I'm asking is; will Fat Man IFS perform just as good as TCP? I am not going to tear my car apart steering and off roading. . . Mostly all I am going to be doing is cruising and a little agressive driving... I'm obviously no pro racer so I do not believe I would feel or care about much of the suttle differences between their quality, however I do not want my car falling apart while driving and taking sharper turns. And I'm not rich enough to go all out TCP!

Thanks!

Last edited by 1965-Mustang; 11-23-2003 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 11-24-2003, 06:27 AM
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Re: TCP Vs. Fat Man IFS

Quote:
Originally posted by 1965-Mustang
I am not going to tear my car apart steering and off roading. . . Mostly all I am going to be doing is cruising and a little agressive driving... I'm obviously no pro racer so I do not believe I would feel or care about much of the suttle differences between their quality, however I do not want my car falling apart while driving and taking sharper turns. And I'm not rich enough to go all out TCP!
I have to ask the question as to why, if your just going to drive your car as you have described above, you want to spend so much money on a trick suspension. It would seem to me that a simple upgrade to a few selected Shelby components would make all the difference in the world in handling and cost a lot less $$$$. The Mustang had a pretty good suspension out the gate so spending a couple thousand on some trick suspension system that you're not really going to use doesn't make too much sense in my book.

As far as quality goes between TCI and the Fat guy, its a toss up.

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Old 11-24-2003, 09:12 AM
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I would recommend calling the guys up at Rad Rides and talk to them first hand on what they thought about the products they used on that car. They are all straight shooters up there and wont BS you........
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Old 11-24-2003, 12:22 PM
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Maybe I did lean toward saying I'm just going to drive it normally, however I am planning on pushing the car and getting 1/4 times and whatnot. I am also planning on somewhat agressive street driving which I cannot really do with manual steering and such. I just thought new suspension parts would help, be fun, and would look nice. Also I am not sure if your thinking of TCP or TCI...I'm pretty sure they are two different companies.

I might just call them when that time comes.

Thanks.
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Old 11-24-2003, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 1965-Mustang
I am not sure if your thinking of TCP or TCI...I'm pretty sure they are two different companies.
Typo on my part.

Before you plunk down mega bucks on a suspension system make sure its designed to do what you want it to. The suspensions you've been looking at are not designed necessarily for hard street driving and the rear four bar setup is definitely not designed for cornering. It functions best in a straight line.

The stock suspension on your vintage Mustang just needs some minor tweaking to be a really good all around performer. Stiffer springs, brake upgrade, high performance shocks and sway bars is just about all it takes to darn near equal the road racing performance of the early Shelby's. And all that will cost a whole lot less than what you've been looking at.

Also keep in mind that the air suspension system was designed because people wanted an aftermarket suspension that would let them "slam" their cars down to the ground which for some stupid reason seems to be popular right now. And I don't care what anyone says, an air ride suspension is NOT a "high performance" system. Comfortable, yes. Versitle, yes. But there are really good reasons you don't find them on drag cars or road racers but you do find factory versions on Lincoln Towncars.

When it comes to power steering there is no reason you can't run it with the Sheby components. Shelbys didn't have it because they were basically a race car for the street and back then nobody really ran power steering for road racing.

Good luck with whatever choice you make.

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Old 11-24-2003, 09:47 PM
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Hey, thanks a lot for the advice! I will proably do as you suggest and buy some more affordable suspension parts. I have made a decent setup that I also looked at at StangNet forums, they said the shelby and aftermarket cheaper suspension stuff was awesome street performance. I will be doing more research on this, thanks.
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Old 11-25-2003, 08:44 AM
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Centerline....... the reason you dont find them under alot more race prepped vehicles is because most sanctioning bodies have "outlawed" suspension systems that have the capability of being adjusted by the driver during driving. I do have a couple guys that are running Shockwaves on A-Fuel cars and are doing quite well. We also have a customer ( Flatfire )that just set a new record on the bonneville salt flats for a flathead at 300 mph. I will have more info on that car up on our website as soon as I can get it there. Now it is a no brainer that an airspring suspension should be able to out handle a typical coil spring vehicle as long as it is set up correctly. being that an airspring has an almoast infinitly adjustable progessive spring rate, with a little tuning you should be able to get a vehicle to handle exactly how you want it to handle..... in fact two years ago the truck that won the Sportruck Shootout was a full air equipped vehicle. He won the road coarse, drag coarse and over-all ride quality. This truck was up against some "stiff" competition too..... there were fully equipped Eibach and Hotchkis equipped trucks in the mix. Like any other suspension, it has to be set up right. This next year we are going to be working directly with several builders that are going to be submitting high performance vehicles for ride and drives and I think you might be pleasantly surprised at the outcome
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Old 11-25-2003, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tony@AirRideTech
being that an airspring has an almoast infinitly adjustable progessive spring rate, with a little tuning you should be able to get a vehicle to handle exactly how you want it to handle.....
Sorry but I'm not sure can buy your argument. It seems to me that you aren't going to do anything with air suspension other than to modify the spring rate without extensively modifying other suspension components as well. Even your web site when describing the system on the truck says it has one of your new ShockWave units on the front "(along with several other major suspension modifications)."

Air suspensions are great for parking your car in the "weeds" and will provide a smooth ride when set up properly but when it comes to high performance handling it seems to me they are just another spring option to consider. I'm no suspension expert but anything else just doesn't pass my logic test.

Hopefully I'm wrong.

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Old 11-25-2003, 11:40 AM
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Centerline,
If you think about it in the simplest form, you are changing a coil spring with a constant spring rate to an airspring with a tunable progressive spring rate spring meaning that you can physicaly change the ride and handling of the car to suit road conditions, load conditions, or handling requirements. Trust me when I say that if getting the cars low was the only thing an airsuspension did for you....... then you wouldnt see a 10th of them that you do, and you also would see them being put on some of the most exotic hot rods being built..... now I am begining to sound like a sales pitch....... lol.... I better stop before I get myself banned because i am here to help people out, not be a shameless self promoter If you have any serious questions reguarding setting up a good performance air suspension drop me a PM. I also invite you to hunt us up at any show and get a ride or ask any of our customers how their car rides and handles.other than that I am going to call my contributions on this thread done. I dont want people to get the wrong idea
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Old 11-25-2003, 05:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tony@AirRideTech
I also invite you to hunt us up at any show and get a ride or ask any of our customers how their car rides and handles.
I'll have to do that.

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