QA1 Handles First Generation Mustang With Bolt-On Front Coilovers

There are plenty of things to criticize about the original design and engineering of our beloved early model Mustangs. However, one thing that these cars are most infamous for, is its amount of rubber suspension bushings. That’s if yours haven’t already deteriorated into dust. Thankfully, the well-known suspension parts manufacturer, QA1, is venturing deeper into the Ford timeline with their stock-mount front coilover system for 1964-1973 Mustangs.

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Photo Credit: Fueled Parts

Whether you prefer cruising, drag racing, or road racing, everyone can benefit from swapping your old shocks and springs for modern technology. Not only that, but the ideal ride height and stance of classic Mustangs are completely subjective to the owner. The adjustability of modern coilovers offers us the variety we need. The engineers at QA1 took on these challenges and aimed to produce a product that offers a serious performance upgrade that can be installed at home without any cutting, welding, or drilling.

There’s the careful consideration, thought, and packaging of how we create a part to have it interact with the vehicle and make the installation experience and the parts compatibility easy. Dave Kass QA1 marketing manager

This clearly wouldn’t be an easy task, as the early Mustangs offered plenty of unique challenges. “They have a loaded upper control arm, which puts the shock and spring on the upper control arm rather than the lower,” QA1 Lead Designer Bill Foley says. “They designed this rocker system so that when the control arm goes up and down, this rocker is pivoting. We wanted something that was going to address that.”

“One of our design criteria that we really wanted to meet was, can we lower the car two inches and still have adequate shock travel,” says Foley.

There are a few different kits to accomplish what you are looking to achieve. Here is what QA1 recommends for various applications.

  • Cruising – Non-Adjustable
  • Handling – Single Adjustable
  • Casual Drag Racing – Single Adjustable “R” Series (front only; not intended for street use)
  • Autocross and Drag Race – Double Adjustable
  • Pro-Touring and Drag Race – MOD Series (front only)

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There are also three spring rates, 350, 400, and 450 pounds to choose from. Spring rate will be up to the individual, but QA1 offers some guidelines on their website. These three spring rate options are QA1’s answer to keeping a low enough spring rate for a comfy ride while being stiff enough to feel more like a modern car.

Installation can be accomplished with simple tools and basic mechanic skills with a coil spring compressor being the only specialty tool on the instructions. “Getting the stock stuff out took way longer than getting the new parts back in,” Foley says. “The new parts go on in like 15 minutes. You could get them in the morning and be to the car show at noon.”

Once you wrestle out the old crusty parts, the new parts require very little mechanical prowess to install. At this point, the Mustang suspension orientation really shines in regards to adjusting ride height. “You don’t need to take a wheel off if you need to adjust your ride height,” Foley comments. “You just jack the front end of the car up and you have great access because the shocks are up on top.”

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About the author

Jason Samp

I am an avid gearhead that lives for those late nights in the garage wrenching and tuning. I also have a passion for journalism and it is my dream to combine those two things together into a career.
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