On the left is a fully assembled coilover rear shock, with a disassembled piece on the rig
Sometimes, even for us, it really is hard to fathom just how quickly change has occurred in the world of late-model Mustangs. Seriously, when you really think about it, we've experienced three versions of our favorite ride over the last decade (New Edge, S197 . . . and 2010, which is a worked over S197), and now we have the 5.0-powered Mustangs of 2011 to reckon with. Whoa!
Despite these recent transitions, we remain dedicated to keeping the original "late-model" Pony, better-known as the Fox-body 'Stangs of '79 to '93, in enthusiasts' memory, through feature stories, event coverage, and, of course, with bolt-on projects. This month's report covers installation of UPR's Pro Series Rear Coilover Kit (PN 2006-07; $599.99) for '79-'04 Mustangs, on Greg Montoya's GT.
Greg uses his 'Stang for daily transportation and also for occasional fun at the dragstrip. Although the car runs low 11s with a healthy shot of nitrous, a set of lowering springs (that came with the car when he purchased it) was hurting the car's launch performance, as the weight, and variable rate of the springs-especially the rear-were not at all conducive to efficient weight transfer and its subsequent planting of the rear tires.
After installing a front coilover system and seeing some improvement, we suggested that Greg bring his Pony's aftermarket suspension full circle by yanking all of the rear shock and spring hardware, and replacing it all with the UPR setup.
Rear coilover shocks (and front struts) basically allow 'Stangs to be raised or lowered to a desired ride height, in accordance with the manner in which the car is used. Because they're much lighter than conventional coil springs, coilovers also reduce the Pony's unsprung weight, which results in better acceleration and handling.
In the not-so-distant past, adding coilovers to the back of a Mustang required mini-tubbing or installing a complete back-half structure. As a fully bolt-in setup that uses a Mustang's OEM upper/lower shock mounting points, UPR's kit eliminates the need for such elaborate fabrication work, making the conversion a project that can be self-completed in a relatively short amount of time, as Greg demonstrates here.
There aren't any tricks for assembling the shock/spring combination, as it's definitely on
Zinc-plated, lower (left) and upper shock mounts are secured on a 'Stang's rearend housing
The fully welded brackets actually are stout and help prevent the springs from binding und
Thanks to UPR's Pro Series rear coilovers, a variety of ride heights (we like the low-and-
Installation takes about one hour to complete. Using air and hand tools such as a 1/2-inch
Shock compression and rebound is calibrated by turning a single knob on each shock. The QA