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Mustang II chronicles, failure abounds

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by ELpolacko, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Just took this car in Friday, it's a 1960 Stude Hawk. A bit street roddy for the board but the info is still very relevent.

    Customer is comlaining about the horrid road manners. He didn't install this front end, only the interior and paint. It appears to be a Heidts crossmember and some unknown strut rod manufacturer with stock Mustang II arms. Check out the welds!



    But with about five minutes of investigation I had solved the mystery of it's handling woes. This video is of me sitting on a creeper and pushing on the front of the control arm with my foot. I am not pushing very hard, maybe 50-75 pounds of force to get this much deflection. Look closeley at the strut rod arrangement, watch it move!

    Can you imagine what this is doing under braking loads stoping a 3000 pound car!


    I am tearing into it this afternoon and will show what it takes to fix it.
  2. I Drag
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 883

    I Drag

    Hey easy bro! If you snap that off it's gonna land on your shin.
  3. AZAV8
    Joined: May 3, 2005
    Posts: 997

    from Tucson, AZ

    Wow! Those welds look like my practice welds after not welding for 30 years. Steve, does this mean when my welds look just like these I can weld for you?
  4. how come your levi's arent cuffed?

    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,407

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    eeeewww. squeeesshy.

    Imagine a pothole at 70. Hell, Imagine a mid sized expansion joint at 70. the fucker would change lanes, and the steering wheel would never move!

    any idea how much toe out that side was getting as the caster went all shitty?

    and how the HELL did the alignment guy NOT notice the numbers go nuts when he jounced the car?
  6. Pretty much all of the above, except you Ricky... cuffed jeans pftt.

    I'm trying to get the lower end apart. What a mess this is. Mismatched hardware and the control arm bolt that goes through this whole mess is bent and seized in. I have to grind the head of the bolt and power hammer the rest through.

    While I was under there I noticed the gusset to the tube is only welded on one side, lovely.
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  7. I finally got the right side apart, took some effort to get it apart without destroying anything but check this out...

    I have mentioned before how these types of lower control arm arrangements cause the back of the crosmember to blow out. Well looky here. This car has less than 10,000 miles on it! I would be shocked if it has more than 5K on it in reality. Aside from the oil pan to timing cover leaking like there isn't a gasket in it, this thing is clean and has very little wear.....

    Cracked, eminating from the folded corner and traveling to the small hole. The camera is very kind but you can still see it.


    By the time I got this thing torched apart, I noticed that the crossmember has 5/8" holes for the lower control arm with a 1/2" bolt, swell... one more thing to fix.
  8. jerry
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 3,469


    Any updates yet Steve?

    I can imagine what would have happened if heat front end went thru what mine did! Or had as many miles!

  9. I finished the right side last night before I went home. I took some pictures and video of the progress.

    This customer pretty much gives me carte-blanch to fix these cars for him. Remember the Stude truck from a previous post? I have ended up doing a full on turn key rebuild of that and it is almost done.

    I decided to show you guys how to fix this sort of a problem with the parts you guys usually buy. I picked up a pair of TCI tubular lower control arms, repaired the crossmember and made up my own instructions for installation.

    Film @ 11
    HotrodHelvie likes this.
  10. Rusty
    Joined: Mar 4, 2004
    Posts: 9,473


    Man that sucks this is why I always add the extra support coming done from the top.

    Before bracing

    After bracing

    Unkl Ian and nunattax like this.
  11. pretty scary shit! for the money they get for these x-members you would think having to worry about sub-standard problems caused from sub-standard would be zero! hard to believe they can get away with this shit! looks like the added brace should have been a "standard piece" not a option. make sure they send you royalties for saving them from a possible lawsuit.
  12. 53sled
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 5,817

    from KCMO

    I'll keep the stock frontend and upgrade the steering, I've seen too many of these threads to trust a MII with 3500 lbs.
  13. Steve keep fighting the good fight man! Some scary shit out there.
  14. Crafty
    Joined: Jun 26, 2002
    Posts: 253

    from UK

    I've done just what dirty31 shows, also I added a little support at the very rear that the bolt goes through, just as a little helper.

    It is concerning to see the front of the crossmember cracking -how do use suggest solving this ? fill in the open section of each end so the crossmember is sealed ?
  15. Weasel
    Joined: Dec 30, 2007
    Posts: 6,698


    Heidt's eh? Why am I not surprised?
  16. 62rambler
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 13

    from indiana

    My question is, if you were running the strut rod supports, like the factory had, wouldn't this problem be solved? The flexing/cracking. Not the crappy welds.:rolleyes:

  17. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 20,269


    Except that's not a pic of a factory strut. Sure, factory would work fine, if anybody used them anymore.
  18. 62rambler
    Joined: Feb 27, 2008
    Posts: 13

    from indiana

    Yeah i always wondered why the tubular/aftermarket ones didn't have any support, like the Lord Ford intended? :rolleyes:
  19. S.T.P.
    Joined: Apr 30, 2005
    Posts: 315


    Whats wrong w/ the factory ones they seem to work fine now and have for years. the strutless lower arms & the tubular ones are for people that have too much money and not enough sense to know that the og. equip. was built the way it is because it works.
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  20. Tulsa oldskool55
    Joined: Dec 15, 2006
    Posts: 83

    Tulsa oldskool55

    I don't understand why most everybody are still using Mustang II suspension. I used a tubular front suspension from an 87 Mustang and coilovers and 11" rotors and A arms from a mk 7 Lincoln for the same or less $$$ than Mustang II:confused:
  21. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,722

    from Garner, NC

    damn.... I got one that needs some love in the shop now.... I think I'm at the point of just redoing the whole damn thing... of course this is the car that had concrete in the seat riser, so you gotta expect more quality work...
    Unkl Ian likes this.
  22. Rebar control arms?:D:eek:
  23. mattcrp1
    Joined: Aug 20, 2007
    Posts: 401


    thats a great idea, do you have any pics of that? sorry dont mean to hi-jack...
  24. I will tell you why people still use the MII.

    Fundementally it is a decent suspension. Stuff we have hashed out in previous posts here but all I am trying to do is bring to the forefront shoddy workmanship and poor design and how to properly diagnose and repair these things so we can all enjoy our hobby safely.

    The reason we are having so many failures is because of poor workmanship and poor design and general missuse of the suspension from the aftermarket. NOT because of the inital design lacking in substance. I don't know how many times I have heard excuses for piss poor workmanship or inadequate desings from top manufactures with tag lines like "people ride thier brakes while driving over rail road tracks, that's why they fail" or my personal favorite "oh, its not that important, you can get away with that".

    NO, you can't get away with that when you put peoples lives in your hands because they had faith that you did your homework.

    For all of you poo-poo-ing the Mustang II in this post please stop, right now. 'Cause opinions are like assholes, alot of shit spews from that babbling orifice without regard to the topic at hand.

    Can it, stay on topic, OK?
    Unkl Ian and nunattax like this.
  25. Are you going to re-do it for the tubular arms or go back to a strut rod?
  26. Dirk35
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 2,067


    I too have a MII under my truck and would like to see how you braced it to fix it, or if you go with the strut rod like the factory used.

    FWIW, I have the factory strut rods that I had to heat and bend (I remember you covering not to do that and how it causes them to bind at full travel of the suspension). I only had to bend them about a inch to get them under the frame rail, but I still check it everytime I lift the truck up just to see how its going on under there.

    Thanks for taking to time to teach........ some of us actually pay attention.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  27. oldandkrusty
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,141


    "For all of you poo-poo-ing the Mustang II in this post please stop, right now. 'Cause opinions are like assholes, alot of shit spews from that babbling orifice without regard to the topic at hand."

    Nothing to add to this, except "AMEN!"
    ferus88 likes this.
  28. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 24,431


    Thanks Steve, your the ginchiest.
  29. COS
    Joined: Dec 14, 2006
    Posts: 729

    from KCMO

    ELpolacko what do you think about the strut rods below? I am getting all my front end parts together for my 48 and was thinking about using these instead of the factory strut rods with the bushing on the end??


  30. RF
    Joined: Mar 13, 2001
    Posts: 1,897


    '48 what, Chevy? If that's a yes, unless Mr. El has other thoughts, if you're set on using strut rods, I'd strongly suggest the bolt-on type bushing end brackets (Chassis Eng or RB's). I'm in the process of finishing up my '47 Chevy frame and ended up welding as "little" as possible to the frame itself. I finally opted out of the strut rods, but not due to any reasons of functionality--wanted to go a bit lower than they allowed, plus I ended up going with Shockwaves instead of airbags. However, with a shock/coil or standard 'bag, I'd have kept the struts.

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