Dialing in the Brakes, Steering, and Exhaust on my 1967 Mustang

Over the past year or so, I’ve been driving my ’67 Mustang a bunch. After all, it was my first car. I purchased it 19 years ago (for $2400) when I had just turned 17 years old in 2000. It has always run really strong for me, especially after the engine rebuild around 2012, when I also replaced the factory two barrel carb with a 4 barrel Holley, added an aluminum intake manifold, and abandoned the stock camshaft in favor of a warmed up cam from Comp Cams. Since the engine rebuild, I haven’t really changed much on the car and only drove it occasionally on weekends. This past year, I’ve put the Mustang in heavy rotation for any quick runs to the grocery store, out of town day trips, and almost any other driving that I could do. I decided to give a much-needed overhaul to the brakes, steering, and exhaust.

1967 Mustang

Brake Upgrade

When I had the car on the lift with easy access to all the brake and steering components, it made a lot of sense to do the Shelby drop at the same time. The Shelby or “Arning drop” was made popular on the early Shelby Mustangs and involved lowering the upper control arm mounting point lower by an inch, to achieve a flatter stance and better suspension geometry. This not only lowers the front of the car by an inch, but it noticeably improves the handing of the car after it’s done.

mustang disc brake conversion

I snagged a brake kit from Street Or Track, comprised of 13″ rotors up front and 12″ rotors in the rear. The massive front rotors are 1.25″ thick, and are genuinely race track quality. All the rotors are vented and slotted and are top of the line. Four piston calipers round out the brake kit, with a drum-in-hat emergency brake setup on the rear rotors.

mustang drum to disc conversion

Having the car up on the lift was a great opportunity to inspect all of the suspension components, and a set of SoT solid mount strut rods replaced the factory rubber bushing struts.

1967 mustang disc brake rotor

I also added a 1.25″ sway bar to keep things tight up front, and to take advantage of enhanced capabilities of the solid strut rods. With the disc brake kit, I also upgraded the factory spindles to a new set of spindles that will add significant strength over the original design.

classic mustang brake upgrade

I decided to upgrade my brake master cylinder from the original style to a new Wilwood master cylinder with an adjustable proportioning valve. This will allow for a much more customizable braking setup, allowing me to dial in the exact amount of bite that should be allocated to the front brakes versus the rear.

Here was the old setup:

brake master cylinder 1967 mustang

Here’s the new Wilwood Master and Proportioning valve:

wilwood master cylinder 67 mustang

The brake upgrade was pretty smooth and straightforward, and the car now stops like a modern car. When it comes to brakes, my opinion is that there is no such thing as overkill. A good set of brakes calibrated correctly is a must have whether you’ve got a daily driver or a track-ready racer. I’m really happy with my overhaul to the brakes.

67 mustang 13" disc brake

Stance Upgrade

Ever since I have had my Mustang, I always wished that it sat just a little lower than it did. I wanted the perfect stance, and I feel like I achieved that upon completing the Shelby drop. The car now sits perfectly level from the front to the back, and the wheels/tires properly fill the wheel wells.

mustang disc brakes

The 13″ disc brake rotor and 4 piston caliper fit perfectly my American Racing Torq Thrust 2s.

frost turquoise Mustang

Steering Upgrade

The car came with power steering from the factory, but it’s a well known fact that the stock setup is way over boosted. I opted for a Borgeson quick ratio steering box, with a 14/1 ratio. The new steering box, combined with the Shelby drop, solid strut rods, and sway bar have made a huge improvement in the driving mannerisms. It handles way better!

frost turquoise 1967 mustang

Exhaust Upgrade

Now that the car is behaving properly on the road with her new braking and handling characteristics, it is time to take the exhaust system to the next level. The car had the original intake manifolds, old burned out glass pack mufflers, and 3/4 length turn down exhaust. For the new setup, I opted for a new set of Dougs Ceramic Tri-Y Headers, a MagnaFlow true X-Pipe, Borla CrateMufflers, and chrome exhaust tips.

exhaust 1967 mustang
borla 1967 mustang

I had a local exhaust shop install the exhaust. The system is running 2.5″ through the entire system. Let me tell you. The new setup sounds even better than it looks! And it looks amazing. I couldn’t be happier with the quality of components. Honestly – my car is now one of the best sounding Mustangs I have ever heard.

1967 mustang shelby drop

Once I got all the new components setup, I took it for a 500 mile road trip over to my brothers house where I met up with my dad and snagged some shots of our cars together. My Mustang ran so well. There are only a few bugs to be worked out. Here’s a quick video that I shot on the day that I got the Mustang back from the exhaust shop. Listen to those Borla’s purr!

14 Comments

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  • Eugene Whitson 54 mins ago

    Hi Evan,

    I’m going with the exact same exhaust system as yours, including the x-pipe, except long tube headers. So, it should sound very similar to yours, which is what I want. I have Borla S-types on my 2013 Mustang GT (the catback system with x-pipe) and absolutely love the sound. I fairly recently discovered Borla now has the engine family crate mufflers and really wanted to hear them on a classic car. My YouTube searches came up with the video you posted here, and then I was sold for sure! I love the way yours sounds! And my engine will be pushing almost 50% more air/exhaust than yours, so mine will probably sound even better? ; )

    I hadn’t thought of posting a build thread. Maybe I should, even if the only readers are me and you. I’ve been posting some updates and questions in my 67-68 Cougar Facebook group, but it’s members only and the price of admission is owning a 67-68 Cougar. How do I post a build thread here? Become a member first, I assume. And then click on “BLOG”? Or click on “SUBMIT YOUR STORY”?

    Gene

    • Evan Eugene Whitson 10 mins ago

      This site runs on WordPress, so you would actually make your “posts” in the backend of WordPress. It’s pretty easy. I’ll get you setup and you’ll see an invite in your email. You’ll be able to upload photos/videos, create multiple posts, etc. Here’s the build thread on my ’53 Chevy Truck so you can see how I tend to organize the posts and lay things out so someone can follow along on the progress. You can put all your posts in the “Projects” category.

      Let me know if you have any questions! I look forward to seeing your build thread!

      • ecwhitson Evan 3 mins ago

        I got your WordPress email and have set up an account!

        • Evan ecwhitson 2 mins ago

          Excellent! Let me know if you have any questions!

    • Evan Eugene Whitson 10 mins ago

      Also – I’ll definitely need to hear your exhaust once you get it dialed in. I bet it’s going to sound amazing!

  • Eugene Whitson 1 day ago

    I did buy the same tips you used, Evan. I went with long tube headers, though. Hedman Hedders Elite HTC 88308. May I ask why you went with short/intermediate length headers? I know ground clearance can be an issue with long tube headers but I’m willing to deal with that. Also, I’m using a Blueprint Engines BP3474CTC 415 HP, 415 TQ crate engine and want maximum exhaust flow (my particular engine was engine dyno’d at 418 HP, 441 TQ). My red ’67 Cougar will have a higher power-to-weight ratio than my 2013 Mustang GT, which is putting down 400 HP at the wheels. It’ll be a beast!

    • Evan Eugene Whitson 3 hours ago

      Hi Eugene,

      I went with the Dougs Tri-Y headers because they tend to perform better in the mid range compared to the top end where long tubes tend to really shine. My car is really a weekend cruiser so I rarely am pushing it in the upper RPMs. In my exhaust, I also added the true X pipe and I think that really woke the exhaust up quite a bit as well (not to mention the Borla CrateMufflers). The engine is the factory 289 that I’ve bored over and warmed up with a mild cam, ported and polished the heads, valves, etc. It’s nothing too crazy but it all works together very nicely.

      Your engine sounds like a monster! That is a sweet setup you’ve got going. It makes sense why you went with long tube headers. Do you have a build thread with pics, vids, etc? I’d love to check it out.

  • Eugene Whitson 4 days ago

    I’m putting the same mufflers on my ’67 Cougar and I like the exhaust tips you chose. Can you share some details about them, like brand, model number, size (length)?

    • Evan Eugene Whitson 4 days ago

      You bet. They are the Jones Exhaust – Stainless Steel Round Rolled Edge Straight Cut Weld-On Chrome Exhaust Tip (2.5″ Inlet, 2.5″ Outlet, 8″ Length) Here’s the link to the exact item where I bought mine on CarID.

      I’m really happy with the quality! Good luck on your ’67 Cougar!

  • Partscargo 4 months ago

    True legend. How it is performing now?

    • Evan Partscargo 2 months ago

      It’s such a blast to drive now! Performance is off the charts.

  • PartzRoot 5 months ago

    Thanks for sharing all these details.

  • Christian Morales 8 months ago

    How’s the performance? Is to faster as before?

    • Evan Christian Morales 8 months ago

      The performance is fantastic! It was a huge, noticeable upgrade. The engine breathes much better (thanks to the new exhaust), the Shelby drop made an improvement in the handling, and the brakes were night and day difference from my old drums.