Mustang, Early Falcon and Compact Fairlane Strut Rod Kit
RRS quality steel forgings provide additional caster adjustment with either urethane bushings, or for racing purposes use RRS strut rod bearing conversion
The RRS Advantage
Strut Rod Bearing Ends: - easy bolt in hi-impact resistant bearings will reduce friction (increased suspension reaction time, while maintaining the highest degree of accuracy in race conditions e.g. eliminates toe-out variations under hard braking.
Strut Rod urethane bushings equally at home on the street or the track without compromising driver comfort and ride.
This Article appeared in Mustang 360 2007
Equip Your Classic Ford With The Latest In Front Suspension Strut Technology
Wayne Cook Photos by Wayne Jeffreys
This is the bulletproof spherical end from RRS. It replaces the soft rubber factory bushings that were economical and provided a quiet ride. Steering accuracy was not at the top of the engineering list, and the rubber bushings were not particularly durable. Falcon and early Mustang kits with new strut rods, while kits for '67-and-up Mustangs, Fairlanes, Torinos, and assuming you reuse your strut rods.
Here's the front end of the factory strut-rod arrangement typical of many vintage Ford vehicles. Notice the two rubber bushings are beginning to crack and decompose. You can tell these bushings have already been replaced at least once during the forty-year lifetime of this vehicle, because we've seen equivalent bushings in far worse shape than this.
On most classic Ford cars, the front strut rod positively locates the lower control arms. In addition to keeping the lower arm in place during vehicle movement, it also provides for adjustment of vehicle suspension caster, a critical factor of a correct frontend alignment.
In the factory arrangement, the rear of the strut is attached to the lower control arm, while the front end of the strut is held in place by two rubber bushings and washers that sandwich the forward strut-mounting point. Caster adjustment is achieved by moving the rod forward or back, thus changing the location of the lower ball joint in relation to the upper ball joint. The forward end of the rod is threaded, and to accomplish caster adjustment, the washers and bushings are moved along the threads to the desired position, moving the lower ball joint, and then locked into place between two jamb nuts. The rubber bushings also help cushion the transfer of road impacts from the suspension to the chassis of the car, allowing for a quieter and smoother ride.
The downside to this factory arrangement is that the rubber bushings allow strut-rod movement forward and back during vehicle motion. They compress and expand as the wheel hits an imperfection, such as a bump or pothole, and the vehicle alignment changes as the caster angle is moved to and fro. For precise steering, whether for road racing or to create the safest possible vehicle for street use, this condition must be eliminated.
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The good news is that the suspension-upgrade experts at Revelation Racing Supply (RRS) now offer two solutions to this problem. For those interested in the ultimate high-performance solution, the rubber bushings are replaced with a spherical end which allows the strut rod to move up and down along with the vehicle suspension. However, it eliminates any movement of the rod forward or back. For those interested in minimizing fore and aft movement while retaining some of the advantages of the cushioned arrangement, RRS offers a strut-retaining setup utilizing urethane bushings. These bushings are resistant to compression and expansion, yet still provide some of the noise and vibration dampening found in the factory configuration. With either upgrade, the result is a more stable frontend alignment, resulting in better vehicle control and handling.
Installing the RRS front strut-rod kit isn't difficult, but there are a few tips to make the installation easier. Let's look in on a spherical-end installation on a '66 Ranchero. Keep in mind that RRS offers a strut rod setup for Ford vehicles from '60-'73.
The kit is easy to install and easy to service.
1. FOLLOW Ford workshop manual guidelines for removing original caster rod and caster rod bushings
2. Inspect chassis mounting point to ensure a flat clean surface (note for some applications the mounting surface may require “dressing” with a file)
3. Inspect bush location hole for an accurate concentric fit (note this may require some clean up with a file or die grinder)
4. Place RRS strut rod bearing mount into chassis mount and drill one 6mm hole through chassis mounting
5. Place one of the cap screws through the RRS strut rod bearing and drilled hole, then drill the next 6mm hole
6. Repeat the above procedure for the third holes
7. Fit load spreader plate and tighten cap screws securely (no more than 18ftlbs. Torque)
8. Refit new RRS replacement caster rod or original castor rod (depending on your particular application)
9. Follow factory workshop manual guidelines for correct installation of caster rod
10. Note RRS adjustable replacement caster rod must have the I mark stamped into the rod facing downwards
11. Grease bearing using a high impact resistant grease
12. Reset wheel alignment
13. After a small amount of road use retention all appropriate bolts and nuts associated with this installation
14. Regular maintenance is critical for trouble free motoring