Mustang II Suspension & Coil-Overs FAQs
Mustang II front suspension has become a go-to conversion for many hotrodders, whether they’re pulling the front end out of the junkyard or swapping in a fabricated aftermarket setup. The Ford Mustang II was one of the first affordable rigs to come from the factory with components that are now the standard in performance vehicles. This includes rack-and-pinion steering, front-steer spindles and disc brakes—even on base models.
On top of all that, we’re still talking about a Mustang. That means it was a popular enough platform—yes, even this generation—to find a huge assortment of Mustang II parts in the wild. It’s easy to track down spindles, brake options and steering racks, whether you want junkyard gold or shiny new stuff from your favorite speed shop.
It’s no surprise that many people saw opportunities to graft this front end into their own rides. It provides a big leap in drivability and stopping power compared to vehicles with old-school steering boxes and drum brake spindles.
What’s the difference between a stock Mustang II front end and aftermarket versions?
As the stock swap gained popularity over the years, many aftermarket manufacturers used the Mustang II front suspension as the basis for their own weld-in swaps. But that doesn’t make them the exact same.
First of all, the stock version has one set of dimensions. All Ford Mustang II cars, from 1974-1978, came with the same crossmember, control arms, spring pocket, rack-and-pinion, etc. That’s why our QA1 direct-fit Mustang II coil-over shocks fit those cars without any modification.
On the flip side, aftermarket Mustang II front suspension systems come in different shapes and sizes. They often use a similar shock mount on the lower control arm and incorporate a Mustang II spindle. But other aspects vary from kit to kit. The most common differences we see are the pickup points for the control arms and the spring pocket location.
The factory Ford Mustang II front suspension has very little travel. That means you can use a short shock. However, many aftermarket systems change the location of that spring pocket. This gives you more suspension travel, which is a good thing. But it also means coil-overs meant to fit a stock Mustang II front suspension will be too short. You won’t be able to achieve the ride height you want because you can’t add an extension to the machined upper stud mount of our bolt-in Mustang II coil-overs.
But the length isn’t the only difference. Some aftermarket Mustang II front ends use a different mounting configuration for their shocks. It’s not uncommon to see shock mounts that require an eyelet on the upper mount, trading the stud-mount coil-over for an eyelet-to-eyelet style shock. This is another instance where our direct-fit Mustang II coil-overs would not fit.
How can I find coil-overs for my aftermarket Mustang II-style front suspension?
First, measure your shock length at your desired ride height. You’ll measure from your bottom shock mount on the control arm to your top shock mount on the chassis. You’ll then calculate your compressed and extended lengths to ensure your shock will have enough travel. This provides the three lengths you need to know when ordering custom shocks. You can find a more in-depth guide to this process here.
Once you know your necessary shock length, you’ll need to calculate the front-end weight of your car. This is best done with corner balancing scales. When combined with the motion ratio of your control arms, this weight will help you calculate the proper spring rate. Find more information on measuring for rates in another tech article.
Will QA1’s direct-fit Mustang II coil-overs bolt right into a truly stock front end swap?
The short answer is maybe. Let’s say you cut the front end out of a junkyard gem and grafted the stock crossmember and control arms into your vehicle. There are still a few variables to keep in mind. Where you graft the front end onto your frame rails can change the angle of your control arms at ride height. That changes the length between your lower control arm and upper spring pocket. In turn, meaning you may need a different length of shock.
To be safe, it’s best to double check and measure for shocks the same way you would with an aftermarket Mustang II front end. Best case, it confirms our direct-fit coil-overs will fit your car. At worst, it will give us the measurements to help you build the right combo for your setup using custom mount coil-over shocks.
Still have questions?
Our team talks Mustang II with folks like you every day. We can help point you in the right direction, whether it’s an off-the-shelf shock or a custom setup that fits your needs. Give us a call at 952-985-5675.