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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Rod & Custom Mustang II Front Suspension on 1965 Ranchero


All of the factory front suspension components were removed from the Ranchero. No reference points are needed before removing front suspension. Vehicle must be in a level position. Use jackstands under the frame where it should be tied into a subframe under or behind the firewall. It's NOT advised to jackstand out front.
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This next step is the point of no return. Fear not, this is an upgrade. Rod & Custom has made this so easy. Now for the Shock Towers to go away forever! Use what you have, I chose a grinding wheel for acuracy (4" thin wheel). Cut from the inside of the engine compartment, right along where the tower meets the inner fender. This acts as a guideline and insures that the patch panels provided in the kit cover completely.
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Now that the towers are cut out, you must clean up all of the area around the frame rail. Note the centerline of your new crossmember will be in the center of the lower control arm saddle. Before removing the lower control arm saddles,you may want to mark the side of the frame rail for reference while you clean up rails. Your centerline is given later.
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This part was kinda rough for me. All the edges at the top and inside edge of the frame rails where the towers were spot welded on had to be cleaned off the old fashion way! Drill out spot welds and pry off, and grind clean. Best way would be to wash off with a torch. All has to be removed. Note: the frame is NOT solid square tubing, it's two 90 degree angle peices butted together. So, as your grinding clean, you may see into the frame. Fear not, you have not grinded too far. But now you realize why your jackstands aren't up front! You will need to clean the frame rails 4 1/2" on either side of your temporary centerline.
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Now that all is clean, we'll remove the steering box. I chose to wait for the towers to be out of the way to remove the steering box.
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Remove your steering wheel. This is a point where you decide to completely replace column or not.
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Remove the column mount up under the dash.
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Drop your column to the floor. Pull your carpet back, and there are two overlapping plates that enclose your column. They have sheet metal screws holding them intact. Removing these plates give you room to work.
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Remove the 3 bolts holding your steering box to the frame. Then pull the steering box and shaft out. Be careful of the splines where your steering wheel attach. Once the steering box and shaft are removed, cut the shaft off flush with the box. You need the steering shaft. Throw the steering box in the trash and rejoice! hehe. You'll notice the linkage sticking out of the column on my application. If you plan on using this type of column, the Inner shift tube has to be removed. Now that the steering box is removed, take the column out of the vehicle. remove turn signal switch hold down, and push up on the wiring as you pull up on the switch. There are 2 bolts that hold the shift collar on. Remove the 2 nuts, the bolts may fall. At this point you should be able to pull the shift tube out, and linkage will fall off. Replacing the turn signal switch at this time is recommended
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Now all the Goodies! If you purchase a Rod & Custom frontend kit, it will come totally complete with everything you need to get it back on the ground. I chose the RC107 kit with Aldan Eagle coil overs.
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Put your crossmember on a floor jack and roll it under the vehicle. Note: There is a front and rear to the crossmember. Jack it up, and you will notice it fits like a glove! The center of your crossmember is 13 5/8" from the center of the rear bumper bumper bolt.
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This is a good point to evalute your up and coming steps. Double check your measurements and such. Metal on the frame rails has to be clean for a good weld to take. I noticed at this point my factory sway bar mounts needed completely removed. This is where I took all the peices and painted them. DO NOT paint where your going to weld. Touch up after the crossmember is welded in. They look nice the way they are...but, they have to be protected by paint, powdercoat or whatever you choose to protect them. Be aware of all of your left/right, front/ rear parts BEFORE you begin welding.
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Once you have found your center on the crossmember,the upper control arm mounts just line right up with the crossmember.
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Double check measurements one more time and begin welding your crossmember in place. Be aware of all of your left/right, front/ rear parts BEFORE you begin welding. Wait to weld the top until after you have welded the sides and bottom of each side of the crossmember. Then set the upper control arm mounts on. They line right up with the crossmember. Weld the sides and bottom on these as well. Then bead the two peices together last. Let cool, and touch up areas with paint.
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Now your crossmember and upper control arm mounts are welded in and painted. It's all down hill from here. Make sure all your touch up is done.
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Start by installing the lower control arm. Note: the bolt to mount your lower control arm has to have an anti-seize compound applied to it. 99% of all Crossmember failures are due to poor installation. Over tightening lower control arm and or lack of lubricant will be terminal to your investment. Be careful about scraping the ball joint threads when installing your spindles.
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The top shock bolt was installed first, then pulling up the lower control arm to the bottom shock mount. Small amount of pressure needed.
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The rack is now installed. Install the 2 rubber grommets provided in the kit, and insert them into the rack mounting holes. Note a small amount of grease helps them slide right in. Two bolts easily install the rack.
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Rotor/Caliper installation. Be sure to pack your bearings well. I wore surgical gloves to minimize the mess and not to contaminate the wheel bearing grease. Put a small glob on your finger tips. Then grasp the bearing with two fingers in your other hand, and dab the bearing in the grease and grind the bearing into your palm. Really work the grease in!
Use caution when installing the rear bearing retainer and front bearing dust cover.
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(#1) Once the shaft is cut from the steering box, you need to cut off approx. 3" off of your steering shaft so that the coupler (#2) mounts inside the column tube behind the bearing. (#4) Be sure you have enough stock left for your steering wheel to mount! Once your overall length is acheived, weld your steering shaft to the coupler and then weld shaft (#3) to the other end of the coupler. Slide your bearing(#4) over shaft(#3) and pound it into the column tube. Return your column to the vehicle, and mount it back into position. Once your column is in, attach knuckle(#5) It is identified by the shaft sleeve on both ends. Then attach short shaft(#6) Note: it may need cut to length. Attach knuckle(#7) It is identified by splines on one end. Mount it to short shaft(#6) and the other end to your rack and pinion. Note: Your new steering shaft should NOT be over 30 degrees of your column tube. (#8) These are HARD to install into a trash can! The static electricity makes them almost impossible to throw away!
"The Dreaded Styrofoam Peanut".
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Double check everything is tight. Put your wheels back on, and lower it down. Be prepared to be VERY excited when it's new stance is revealed! Roll it out of the garage and take it all in, and pat yourself on the back. CONGRATULATIONS.
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Now that you have successfully install your Rod & Custom IFS, don't forget to install all the zirc fittings and lube your frontend! Alignment shop is a good idea..hehe. I hope this has helped. Once you get passed the whole cutting the shock towers thing your ok. Remember cutting the towers out and prepping for the frontend is the hardest part. When the kit arrives at your door, call up some motor head buddies and make a day of it! You WILL enjoy the installation process.



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I have heard of welders that don't wear helmet getting MRI's and by having metal shards in there eys and what not, their eye gets ripped out. Just thought I would share that.
 

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Great job and great info; thanks for sharing.
Roger
 

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Damn nice work!

Just one question though: why no welding helmet? It's not tough or cool, just foolish.
-J
What, he was not wearing a helmet, I thought he had one on? ;)
Great install and write up Rick. Might have to try that on my next Falcon.
Ras Daniel :cool:
 

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Very nice write up. You did a great job showing us how it is done on metal, and then how to show it in the tech pages. Thanks. Mark
 

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What did you do for headers?

I realize there is more overall room for them, but the rack and pinion steering shaft generally rules out any early car headers, and I'm not aware of any being made specifically for early cars with the MII suspension? Were you able to adapt Fox body headers?

Thanks!
 

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Very cool install Rick, Looks great, and well pit together!

Keith/Bumble
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Weight wasn't a concern, so I really did think to weigh the crossmember. but maybe added 20lbs. I have a windsor with cleveland heads, but I had to modify tube #5 to go around steering knuckle. I couldn't find any other headers for a clevor application. Shorty's or Tri-Y's would probably fit great if it were a regular small block.
 

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Hi; I have a 65 mustang . And I'm going to up grade the front and rear suspension. But there are so many different companys selling suspension kits for the mustang. You have the super ride II, Total control, rsr, AGA Racing and other. I'm going to install the 4 link system in the rear. sub frame connectors. I want a suspension that rides and handles like a new mustang. Any input would be Great.

Thanks
 
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