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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Here’s the new Wilwood Master and Proportioning valve:
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.
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.
The 13″ disc brake rotor and 4 piston caliper fit perfectly my American Racing Torq Thrust 2s.
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!
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.
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.
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!