When I bought the car it was in the middle of a Granada swap. The rear-end, spindles, and brakes were already in place, but none of the brake lines were tied in. Since the car had been sitting for at least five years since any work had been done on it, I decided I should go through the brakes before I piped it all up. I had the drums and rotors turned, bought new calipers, pads, shoes, and hardware kits for the drums. No real surprises as I went through the brakes other than the fact that the rear drums were so rusted up I had to use an oxy-acetylene torch to get them off. I painted all of the caliber and drum hardware with rust eating paint, then sprayed the calipers with red caliper paint. I wish I had taken a bunch of pictures, but I did all this before I thought about making a thread.
Next I bought a master cylinder (1993 cobra, disks up front, drums in rear, Thanks MustangOne), and ran brand new lines from the master cylinder to the splitter (transferred from the Granada btw), and then spliced from the splitter into the existing brake lines. I had really wanted to run new lines from the splitter to all four corners, but at this particular point in my project, I didn't have time. I fully expect to run new lines sometimes in the fall. On the bottom end I had to slap on a set of Granada swap brake line adapters from mustangs plus:
Mustang Parts from Mustangs Plus :: Brakes :: Brake Lines :: 1965-73 Granada/Monarch Hard Line Adapter Kit
I bled the brakes, pushed it out the garage, jumped in, smashed the brakes, and viola!! stoppage, it was quite satisfying. What was not satisfying was pushing that thing back in the garage by myself. I suppose it could have been worse though, at this point the engine was still not in the car. Pushing that thing with the heavy 351w in it is not fun.
I guess when the previous owner swapped the spindles and brakes, they also swapped in the springs from the Granada, because even with the 351w in it, which is waaaaaaay heavier than the i6 that was in the car, and quite a bit heavier than a 289, the front end was still sitting very very high.
Thats not really the best angle to show it, but that is the best picture I have. For reference, that is a five gallon gas jug sitting under the front end with plenty of room to spare. Since the WAF was pretty low at this point, I opted to try cutting the springs to lower it down, with the intention of buying new ones down the road. I pulled the fenders off so that I could measure my springs compressed, to make sure that I did not cut too much off. I had decided I wanted to drop about 2" from where I was, this should give me about 1" of clearance above my tires. This equated to about 2.5 coils being cut off.
My first attempt at removing the springs did not go so well. I attempted to use a set of spring compressors that I already had at home, which consisted of two separate pieces that went on the outside of the spring, one on each side. I was never able to get them to compress at the same rate so that they would not walk. After about five turns on each one, the compressors would start moving towards the middle of the spring, which resulted in a nice banana shaped spring. Since I like my hands and fingers attached to my body, I elected to go rent a better spring compressor from Advanced. I rented one of the units that goes inside the spring as a single contraption. While this was safer, it was also a PITA, because it required me to remove my export brace to wiggle it inside the spring from above. Also, it should be noted that these devices are orientation specific, if you put it in upside down it will not work. I tried putting it in upside down so I could stick a socket on an extension down into the spring, and things got really jacked up, and I spent an hour trying to wiggle it all out. PITA getting it in or not, it was very efficient at getting the spring out once I had it in place.
That being said, I wonder if it would have been much easier to leave the shock in place (so the spring can't fly off) and cut the spring in the car, then remove the shock and pull the excess spring out. If anyone has ever tried that, I would be interested to know how it worked out.
After I cut both springs and put them back in, I reassembled the fenders and tires, and dropped her down to admire my handy work. And while I really admired it, I had a sense of dread:
You see that stance looks really awesome to me, but it's not good for much other than drag racing, because if i turn my tires, I'm going to shred them on my fenders :-(
Still not wanting to waste and WAF points on springs, I attmepted to raise it back up using some aluminum riser blocks from AutoZone:
In fact, I put two sets (total of 4) on each side. This gave me something more acceptable:
However, I wasn't real comfortable riding around on a set of springs that had two inches of spring blocked out of it, so I broke down and got a set of 1" lowering 620lb springs:
Unfortunately I have neglected to take a picture of the stance with the new springs in. I can say that it is about 1/2" - 1" Higher than the stance was with the aluminum blocks in the old springs.
I think my leaf springs are pretty worn, because the back is sitting low, and if anyone sits in the passenger seat, the back tires start to rub. I plan on getting a leaf spring kit as soon ad I get some WAF points. But for now the plan is to install a set of air shocks this weekend to pickup the backend by an 1" - 1.5"
Last thing to make a note of here, after I was done with all the spring and shock work, I went to put my export brace back on, only to find that the car had sagged in the two weeks the export brace was off. I tried spreading it back apart using a bottle jack and 4x4, but that was really just an aggravating experience with zero chance of success. I was about to head off to rent a port-a-power (tool made for spreading things) when my grandfather suggested we jack the car up in the middle (under the radiator support) and see if the weight of the car would spread the towers back out and allow the brace to go back on. Turns out this worked quite well and the export brace went back on with minimal effort.