Lift Classic Mustangs and Avoid Suspension Damage

How To Chassis Suspension

Lift Classic Mustangs and Avoid Suspension Damage

Lift it Right: Raising classic Mustangs on a lift requires a special tool to avoid shock and strut rod bushing damage

Jerry Heasley
December 6, 2016

Anytime you need work on the suspension on anything under a Mustang you have to lift it in the air, whether on a floor jack or a lift. But what you might not have ever heard is that raising a 1965-1973 Mustang on a regular two-post lift without a support between the upper control arm and the frame rail will damage the shocks and strut rods. There’s no telling how many times over the last 50-odd years of lifting a Mustang for a simple oil change that possibly has broken shock and strut rod bushings. The numbers must be in the millions.

Ford supplied dealers with a factory service tool, which they also used on the assembly line, to support the front suspension. Without this support, lifting the car drops the front suspension down and places all that weight on the front shocks and strut rod bushings. This damage is much more than cosmetic. The car will now be unstable at speed, more or less depending on the severity of the damage. Maybe one gentle lift will not result in visible damage, but with multiple unsupported lifts, the damage gets worse.

Bob Perkins of Perkins Restoration ( showed us how to avoid busting out shock tower and strut rod bushings when raising a Mustang on a conventional, two-post lift—or any lift with side arms.

01. This 1973 Mustang front suspension drops and “hangs free” when raised on a two-post lift. This lift picks up the car with arms at the side for access to the undercarriage.

02. Most of these Ford suspension support tools from the 1960s and 1970s have disappeared. Ford shop manuals instructed mechanics to place this support between the upper arm and the frame side rail. Notice the notch on one end. This original suspension support tool has a Ford part number.

03. Because original support tools are scarce, Bob Perkins has fabricated his own for everyday use. On the left are two supports he made. On the right is an original Ford support tool from the 1960s.

04. This illustration from Ford’s 1965 Mustang shop manual shows where to place the support tool when lifting a Mustang on a lift with side arms. The shock is inside the coil spring on top of the upper control arm.

05. The Perkins-built suspension tool, as seen on this 1973 model, fits between the frame rail (bottom) and the upper control arm under the ball joint. To install, first lift the car enough for the tool to fit.

06. Bob Perkins shows us damage to this shock on a car that was lifted without a support tool. The suspension dropped down and tore the rubber bushings in the top of this original shock.

07. Installing a support tool also protects strut rod bushings from damage.

08. On 1965-1970 Mustangs, the shock bushing at the top is apt to break when the suspension falls without support.

09. Likewise, the shock bushings in the 1971-1973 shock tower will have to absorb the weight of the front suspension if the support tool is not used.


Perkins Restoration

Juneau, WI 53039

I thought that was a great article.
Thanks for reading.
Ford Mustang (first generation) – Wikipedia

The first-generation Ford Mustang was manufactured by Ford from March 1964 until 1973. …… “1973 Mustang Grande Hardtop – Mustang Monthly Magazine”.
1964-1973 Mustang Parts

CJ Pony Parts features 1964-1973 Mustang Parts at amazing prices. FREE shipping is included on most products, no minimum order is required. Find your First …

1973 Mustang -Project Sports Roof – Mach 1 Grille Part I

As with most plastic exterior trim pieces on Arizona cars, the original grille in #ProjectSportsRoof has seen better days.  Although this one is still mostly intact, it is brittle with a few missing tabs.  Couple that with the look of the Mach I grille for the 1973 Mustang and I have to say I really like the look of it better than the standard.

Install is quick and easy….yeah…right!



More coming up on #ProjectSportsRoof.

Thanks for reading.





1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – Fender Removal

In case you didn’t notice, the fenders that were on #ProjectSportsRoof look as though car had driven into a half pipe at a skate park.

Left Fender - major dent a lot of rebuilding necessary

Left Fender – major dent a lot of rebuilding necessary

Right Side Fender - lots of crinkles, a few creases and good size dent.

Right Side Fender – lots of crinkles, a few creases and good size dent.

Now, these are fixable, with a lot of  heating and dolly work and bondo – but I’m trying my luck with re-pops and that’s what is coming up in the next few post.




Drop me a know if you have a project you are working on.

Thanks for reading.



1973 Mustang – Project SportsRoof – What are You Gonna …

#ProjectSportsRoof will be the way I want it, which I haven’t nailed down yet, so suggest way by dropping me a comment (got your crate motor idea swimming around in my head, Bill) and that will happen fast or slow and cost …

Project Large Marge: New Fuel Tank and In-Tank Fuel Pump on a 1973 Mustang

Our 1973 Mustang is 42 years old, which means the gas tank has seen 42 years worth of various qualities of gasoline, sludge, condensation, residue, and most likely rust. Since we’re upgrading the engine to a blown and injected (Holley Terminator EFI) …




%d bloggers like this: