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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got around to putting the Hotchkis TVS kit on my 65 convertible. It came with just about everything you need, including all new Grade 8 hardware, but I also got new rubber where I could (bump stops and spring insulators). Only piece I still can't find is the rear frame-mounted axle bump stops, and one of mine ripped off.

All in all, pretty straightforward, though their instructions sucked a bit. Most pieces fit well and went on easy enough. Front strut rods were a pain just because of the installation area at the front of the frame. But the rear sway bar was the worst part. The u-bolts spread out over the axle and the sway bar bracket wasn't wide enough to account for this. I tried a larger u-bolt for a Ford 4wd lift kit, but it wouldn't work with their bracket. All in all, that bracket needs to be a bit larger. Violence and aggression solved this issue.

Greased all the fittings and have to align it now, but ran into an issue with my left rear brakes while doing this work. Saw quite a bit of brake fluid on the inside of the wheel so I pulled the drum...not good. Had to do both rear drums before I tried to move it. Still need to bleed them.

Report to follow on how it rides but the stance is pretty sweet. Sits as low as it did with the old sagging suspension parts but is way more rigid now.

What I started with. Oddly, the entire left side (front and rear) was oil and grease soaked and easy to get apart. The entire left side was rusty and more difficult. No idea why.
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Hotchkis TVS front left laid out
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Difference in front sway bars is amazing
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Installed front left. They give you new beefier sway bar brackets that use the stock location and mounting bolts. No welding (thank God).
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That chalky residue are remnants of "mud dauber" wasp nests. They were all over the underside of the car before they shipped it to me.
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This is what I saw in my left rear brake drum
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Took care of both sides. Need to run all new lines and do a front disc conversion next.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Sorry for not following up on how it rides/handles. I still haven't gotten around to aligning it. This real-life crap is annoying and gets in the way.
 
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Sorry for not following up on how it rides/handles. I still haven't gotten around to aligning it. This real-life crap is annoying and gets in the way.
Hello Darkar09,

Thank you for sharing all the pictures. After you align it would you share how much caster per side the new front control arms allowed please? I am really curious how the Hotchkis front control arms differ from the factory ones in alignment.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will do! One of the issues that is contributing to my lack of motivation do the alignment is the old Ford alignment tool doesn't work on the Hotchkis control arm itself (different shape from the stock control arm), and has to be finagled to work on the giant bolt heads holding the control arm to the frame. I have to get creative and be VERY careful.

I'll take pics of the system I use, too. (Quick Trick)
 

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What did you use to get the front strut rods in?
 

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Will do! One of the issues that is contributing to my lack of motivation do the alignment is the old Ford alignment tool doesn't work on the Hotchkis control arm itself (different shape from the stock control arm), and has to be finagled to work on the giant bolt heads holding the control arm to the frame. I have to get creative and be VERY careful.

I'll take pics of the system I use, too. (Quick Trick)
Yes thank you for the post. Do you know if the design of the lower front control arm will allow an adjustable coil over to bolt right up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RE: strut rods (puttster)..besides anger and stubbornness, are you asking about how I got the nut at the front of the strut rod started and torqued down? If so, it was a very slow process with an open-end wrench. I didn't remove any radiator support braces or the bumper or anything to help with it. I left the two bolts for the lower control arm loose to give me some slack to squeeze the polyurethane bushings together enough to start the nut, but tightened those down once it was started. Then I cranked down the main bolt on the front of the strut rod. They were probably the worse part of the front install.

FoMoCo, as long as the upper and lower mounting setup for the coilover is the same as the stock front shock, you should be good. There is definitely enough room inside the spring perch area for a coilover setup, which as you know are way smaller in diameter than the stock herculean spring sizes.
 

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Not nit-picking here this is a legitimate question. Is there a difference between the left and right strut rod or are they both the same? The reason I ask is because in your picture the Hotchkis label is upside down but if that strut was on the passenger side it would be right side up. If they're both the same then I guess it makes no difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
They fit best that way. I tried to reverse them, but for some reason the holes for the lower control arm didn't line up right on the passenger side. And I am NOT switching them now (re-read part where these were the worst part of the front install 😉). I'd just as soon take the stickers off to "solve" the problem.
 

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Ok thanks. Sounds like there must be a difference between the left and right then.
 

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FoMoCo, as long as the upper and lower mounting setup for the coilover is the same as the stock front shock, you should be good. There is definitely enough room inside the spring perch area for a coilover setup, which as you know are way smaller in diameter than the stock herculean spring sizes.
[/QUOTE]

The stock lower arm needs the pocket reinforced to properly mount the coil over as there is little material to bolt to. Some weld a round plate in the pocket or as pictured by someone on this site weld in tabs. So it sounds like the design is similar to oem?
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can see the lower control arm in the pics I posted above, but I don't have a close up of the pocket where the shock mounts to it. It is a very beefy piece, though, so I'm not sure where the extra material would need to be welded to it. I will say, in the pic you posted, it seems the geometry of the front coilover strut has changed ever-so-slighlty from the stock shock angle. I'm sure it's fine, but I wonder what the top mounting piece looks like. It only mounts with small poly bushings up there, and I'd be worried the increase angle might cause some weird slipping or improper tightening of the upper shock nut.


@289...I'm sure it's me and not a difference in the pieces. There were some strange fitment issues with the rear pieces not lining up as easily as they should, requiring additional effort to get things in place. I did the rear after the front, though, so having known that when I did the front, I may have tried to finagle the strut rods different so the stickers were right side up. The pieces should be identical (unless someone on here knows differently!!!)
 
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