Suspension Troubles- driving, feeling front end rise, and losing steering control: mainly when accel


Asked by Jul 17, 2009 at 03:59 PM about the 1966 Ford Mustang Base

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Stock 66 mustang coupe with 289.  When I drive and accelerate fast, the front end lifts up (like a boat planing), and I feel the steering loosens.  Also, when driving on the freeway, if I come across a little "woop de doo", the front end lifts up and I feel a loss of control...drifting feeling.

Any thoughts?

14 Answers

I would conside wheelie bars or possibly a spoiler


i think he means the weight shifts to the rear. that 289 stock cant bring the wheels off the ground


put on some new shocks and struts. torque arms would also be helpful and some traction bars. all those would help in this situation


hey im not sure how many other 66 coupes you have driven but in my experience your feeling what they normally feel like... the front end up should lift a bit... if you really want to do something with it there are lots of suspension kits available... a strut bar will help by keeping the front end a little more held together... but that may be a difficult find...


66s already have a factory strut bar, I think he might need traction bars or check his swaybar


It is an old-school trick in drag racing to unbolt the swaybar to lift the front and transfer weight to the rear which sounds like the behavior you mention here. I'd say check the swaybar, shocks, thread and pressure on your tires. If you have a heavy foot, vintage traction bars and/or modern control arms may be a good idea


Just to point out, the1966 Mustang does not have struts, strut towers, or strut tower braces. They have shocks, shock towers, and shock tower braces. The best way to counteract front end lift in acceleration is to have a higher spring rate on the rear, but since you have a '66, your shocks and springs are probably just worn out. My recommendation would be to replace them with OEM spec parts, or with a good aftermarket parts designed specifically for your model. Traction bars won't help with your problem. They counteract pinion angle change which gets rid of wheel-hop, thus improving traction and would make your weight transfer problem worse. But once you get your problem under control, traction bars are a good idea.

I have a 66 with the 289. The Suspension on the front end sucks. I think the shims are out of adjustment and the tie rod ends (all of them) are out. Ball Joints too. I am about to replace all of it piece by piece. My advice to you is to get your mustang's front end off the ground and wiggle the wheels around a bit. If you have a lot of play on any direction at all, it is an indication of trouble. If you don't know anything about mechanics,omeone who does that can show you what needs replacing. Hope this helps. God Bless!

what gear do you have in the back? it might be too tall of a gear.


it sounds like there's a lot of play in your steering box. My mom has a 65' convertible that had the same problem, until they replaced the entire suspension. That may be the solution for you. I also have the same problem with my 65' Coupe, but lack the money to restore it right now.

You know, after everything I have checked, I never considered the steering box. I am going to look into that first thing in the morning. thnx!


I would just remove the 289, mod the shock towers so a 351 winsor could be installed. More weight on the nose! That's just what I'd do. LOL! I know a few guys in our club have 65/66 Mustangs and they tell me that their cars don't hold the road very good. Mabe this is a common problem? Is your Mustang stock? Do you have any issues about doing major suspension mods? The 66 Mustangs one of my favorite years,and I'm sure the thought of chopping it up makes you sick, but it may be something to think about. Resto-mod! That could be cool! :)


get your front end and steering box checked out. if its good try and racking the back up a little bit so when you gas it the car will level out.

I did the steering box check on mine and found no problem there. However, once I got the wheels off the ground, I did find the problem... The Center Link had a major problem. The ball joint linking the Pitman Arm to the Center Link was completely ruined. It had a full inch of slop from side to side. In fact, trying to get it off the Pitman Arm, I broke the housing adjustment in the Center Link that puts the tension ont he ball. SDo now I have more problems., But at least I am moving toward a resolution in this really hard situation. I really don't enjoy mysteries... :( I will post something when I have it back together. God Bless!

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