V-8 front suspension installation unique tattoo ideas for guys

Since the engine has been removed from my ’63 ranchero, I figured now was the time to remove the old, worn out 6 cylinder front suspension and upgrade the front end with a complete ’65 falcon V-8 manual steering setup. With a couple of important exceptions, the ’65 falcon V-8 front suspension is identical to a ’65 mustang V-8. The reason the factory made the change was to reduce or eliminate the bump steer issues associated with the early falcon steering components. Before you embark on a project such as this, I strongly recommend you read the article, upgrade your steering by dick harrington. This article and another titled front end alignment are on the internet and can be found with a google search.

The other hard to find item is the ’65 falcon center link.


This item looks just like the mustang version, but it is about a half inch narrower in all critical areas. One of the critical measurements is 18 1/8 between the centers of the inner tie rod holes (NOT 18 5/8). This item is reproduced so it is somewhat easier to find. Just make sure you get the ’65 falcon version and not the one for the mustang. The mustang center link will bolt in, but you will not be able to get a good alignment and the car will handle poorly and wear out tires. The falcon center link is much more expensive simply because the application was for a relatively few vehicles. It only came out on ’65 falcons with a V-8 and manual steering. Be careful of parts sellers who will sell you the mustang part thinking it is the falcon part. They are not the same. I can provide pictures and specific correct measurements of the ’65 falcon center link. Just send me an email.

The photo above shows the pitman arm, center link and the idler arm which is also a ’65 mustang part. I will post more parts pictures and part numbers later in this thread. Awesome 3d tattoos I mention the above parts because they will probably take some time and money to round up. The rest of the parts are reproduced by manufacturers like moog so they are easy to order from most any reputable parts vendor. As mentioned, they are almost all ’65 mustang parts.

I started the process by blocking the rear wheels, supporting the front of the car on jack stands and removing the front wheels. The steering wheel was removed and the column wiring harness was disconnected. The two piece firewall plate that surrounds the column was taken out and the two piece column support bracket under the dash was also removed.

At this point, it should be possible to slide the column tube off the steering shaft. It was necessary to rotate the column to get the shifter arms lined up to come through the firewall and again to clear the dashboard. Even with the ranchero’s small passenger compartment, there was plenty of room to get the column tube off the steering shaft.

The picture shows what I used. This is a snap-on puller that is made for the job. You can get cheaper versions or rent one at your local auto parts store. I don’t like using a pickle fork tool on the steering box. In order to get the puller in the correct position, the 1 1/8 nut and lock washer that hold the pitman arm to the steering box were taken off. There are three bolts that go through the frame arm and secure the steering box to the frame. They were loosened to allow the puller to slip into place around the pitman arm.

At this point in the front suspension removal, it was time to deal with the shocks. I have to be honest in that I really do not enjoy dealing with old, dirty greasy car parts. This part of the front end rebuild is my least favorite part. Another aspect of this is the removing of the springs. There is a lot of stored energy in the springs so you have to use extra care whenever compressing a coil spring.

I began this session by removing the spring tower plates. I am referring to the metal pieces that are located inside the front wheel well and partially cover each coil spring. Eight bolts hold each piece to the car. I recommend having a helper and remove the two upper bolts that go through the fender last. One of these upper bolts goes through one of the rubber hood bumpers.

Here are the shocks. These are cheap crappers with no name on them. Awesome rib tattoos for guys I can only guess where they come from. The driver’s side shock is covered with oil indicating it is defective. Needless to say, it was not doing anything to help the front end suspension situation. The defective shock caused the upper ball joint to go bad and also caused the suspension bumper on the shock tower to disintegrate. I knew something was going on when I heard a clunking sound every time I hit a bump.

Generally, if your car is susceptible to bump steer then your front suspension may have some design flaw issues. Typically, bump steer happens when the steering linkage is unable to work in harmony with the actual suspension parts, typically the A arms. When the front wheels go up and down, the tie rod linkage connecting the spindle to the centerlink must function without generating movement that can be felt in the steering wheel.

One way to minimize bump steer is to have the tie rod linkage function in the same arc as the A arm. The early (1960-64) falcons did not have this. That made the front suspension and steering on the early falcons somewhat susceptible to erratic movements when driving over bumps and other objects on the road especially if only one of the front tires/wheel actually ran over the object.

Ford realized the problem and attempted to minimize it by designing a fix that was incorporated in the ’65 falcon and all mustangs. What the factory did was lengthen the tie rod assembly that connects the centerlink to the spindle so that the tie rod assembly was the same length as the lower A arm. The improved design also re-positioned the inner tie rod pivot point (ball joint) so that the tie rod assembly moved in the same basic arc as the lower A arm when the wheels were heading straight.

Look closely at the ’65 falcon centerlink pictured near the beginning of this threat. You can see the two holes for the inner tie rods located about two inches inboard of where the idler arm and pittman arm connect to the centerlink. The early falcon centerlinks typically mount the inner tie rod ends right next to the idler arm and pittman arm resulting in a shorter tie rod assembly. The ’65 falcon setup has a tie rod assembly that is very close to being the same length as the lower A arm.

As mentioned in the first installment of this thread, do a google search and read the excellent write up on all of this written by dick harrington titled upgrade your steering. If you are unable to find it, PM me with your email address and I will send you a copy. If you live near a shop that builds off-road race cars, drop in and they should be able to show you everything you need to know about bump steer.

Not correct. In order for this package to work, you will need to start off by getting your hands on a set of 1965 falcon or mustang V-8 spindles. First tattoos for guys the V-8 spindles you want are exactly the same for either the ’65 falcon or the ’65-66 mustang. Actually the ’67-68 mustang V-8 spindles are the same as the ’65 version except you have to use the bigger ’67 outer tie rod end. The V-8 spindles also require the use of the larger V-8 five lug hub.

The photo above shows the V-8 and 6 cylinder spindles side by side. These are both 1963 falcon spindles with the V-8 version on the left. The ’65 falcon/mustang V-8 spindle is the same as what is shown in the above picture except the ’65 version has a slightly different tie rod arm when compared to the ’63-64 falcon version. However, the larger V-8 spindle is easy to see.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, the key to making this happen is procuring the hard to get, expensive parts before you do anything else. The hardest parts to find are the V-8 front spindles. The demand is high for these two parts. All the 6 cylinder mustang guys, and there are a ton of them, want to upgrade their cars to a 5 bolt front suspension. And since there currently is no aftermarket source for the V-8 spindles (that I am aware of) it all boils down to the law of supply and demand. I would also make sure you know exactly what the correct part looks like so you don’t wind up paying a lot of money for the wrong spindle. The 6 cylinder spindle in the above picture was supposed to be a V-8 spindle. The seller refused to give me a refund or exchange. Learn from my mistakes.

When we left off, the front springs had just been removed from the car. With that done, the rest of the removal of the front suspension was pretty straight forward. The first thing that was tackled was the removal of the strut rods. The threads on the ends were sprayed with WD-40 to aid in unscrewing the large nuts. Having the strut rod connected to the lower control arm at this pint will make things easier if you have to use a lot of force getting the end nuts removed. The strut rod is connected to the the lower control arm with two bolts. The lower end of the strut rod and the lower control arm sandwich a small bracket that acts as a steering stop. Each strut rod and steering stop bracket was marked so that they could be put back exactly where they came from.

As you can see in the above picture, the strut rods and steering stops were buried in grease and dirt. That meant there was no rust! Upon getting the strut rods out of the car, it was discovered they were bent. Since the plan was to re-use the old strut rods if possible, they were sent them out for straightening. The remainder of the front suspension was taken out in one piece. Awesome tribal back tattoos the idler arm was unbolted from the frame and the upper and lower control arms were unbolted from the car as well. Each lower control arm control arm is held onto the frame by one bolt while the upper control arm has just two nuts that need to be removed. Be careful if you use this method as this stuff is a little heavy. A floor jack could be handy here.