68 rear shocks?

I know there’s been a little bit of discussion in the past, but I thought I’d check and see what people are doing on their cars. From what I’ve seen, Mustang rear shocks are a little short for a stock height '68 (along with other years). The KYB Excel-G 344052 is supposed to be more correctly sized. From what I’ve seen, that part doesn’t cross reference to anything else nor is there a direct upgrade. From what I’ve seen, people either use these, settle for the Mustang size “as is” or take the Mustang size and put extensions on them (unless you’re doing a concourse restoration then it’s “none of the above”). I’d like to have something that fits right, but would prefer an upgrade if possible. At this point I’m looking at just settling for the 344052 and leave it at that, but if there’s a good alternative I’d be open to other options. Thanks.

Call Shaun at Street or Track and get his Bilstein shocks. Huge improvement in ride quality.

I’m guessing those are pretty pricey (although typically Bilsteins are really good). I was hoping for more of a mid-range choice, but it may be that it’s either basic or premium. Thanks for the info.

Have you hear the saying - you learn from your mistakes? I am one of the most learned people I know when it comes to cougar suspension.

I very recently swapped out a set of KYB GR-2 shocks with less than 1000 miles for Bilsteins and the difference was dramatic.

You’ll save more in the long run buying the right parts first.

Do you have the part numbers for the Bilsteins?

I don’t. Suggest you speak with Shawn at street or track. He’ll fix you up

Here is the link: http://www.streetortrack.com/Shock-Absorbers-c-467.html

I just went to oreilly and bought a set of shocks…they seem to be the correct length, bolted right in, and greatly improved the ride.

I am using Koni shocks. Amazing the difference compared to KYB or any other low budget shock.

Royce, Koni makes a correct length rear shock for a 67/68 cougar ?

I decided to measure a few things on the back of my car and took a closer look at my shocks. Here’s what they look like:

Notice the nut on there. There is also one on the other end, which is apparently what I decided to do last time I changed shocks in about 2000 or so. The part number showed the typical Mustang/Cougar as the application. Between the two nuts it adds about 7/8" to the overall length. While it does nothing for the stroke difference, it at least keeps it from going full extension quite as often (it would be really close to full extension without the spacers).

Just wandering what the actual difference is in length? Because I’m thinking about useing a 8.8 “ rear out of a mustang in my 68 . I can fabricate the lower shock mount with basically the adapter/extension? Is it 7/8”?

I don’t know. I use the Mustang spec Koni Rears, It is the same stroke / length as a KYB cheapie shock. Works great.

The listed length of the Mustang version of the KYB Excel-G is 17.4 extended and 10.31 compressed for a stroke of 7.09. The “closer to stock” version that WCCC lists is 19.37" extended length and 11.30 inches compressed, for a stroke of 8.07. I’m not versed in the suspension enough to know where the ideal center of travel should be. I suspect for an unloaded car it’s closer to full extension than full compression to account for the car potentially being loaded down and using up some compression length. My car measured 18 3/4" between mounting surfaces, so with my extra 7/8" of an inch there’s about 3/4" of down travel as it sits (which will be an unknown amount more when the gas tank and interior are reinstalled, but I’m expecting less than an inch of difference). If you go strictly by putting the center of stroke at the same place, my 7/8" wouldn’t be enough. It would need more like 1 1/2" of spacers or extensions (15.3" length vs 13.8" length).

I’d be interested to hear what an actual OE shock measures, but I don’t have access to one. My thought is that anyone that’s using Caltracs or traction bars (which I have) that separate the axle from the body under acceleration should pay attention to the length of the shocks. If you end up getting to full extension while the bars/Caltracs are separating things then you’ll unload your tires rather abruptly (along with being hard on the sheetmetal at the upper mounts). I’m sure each car is different, so the standard (Mustang) length may be just fine for a lot of cars. If you’re not maxing out the suspension then most people will probably never notice. If anyone has more insight into this I’m all ears. Any and all corrections are welcome.

Seems like some where here I read that the correct length was shocks for a AMC Amx or Javlin if so does anyone have the Koni part number for that?

The KYB number mentioned earlier is listed as being for the AMX (1978 and newer) and several other cars. I haven’t found any cross references for Koni, Bilstein or any other manufacturers.

Here is the thread and includes the shock I am currently using.

I have some NOS shocks for 67 - 68 Cougar. I can measure one of them when I get home from the current road trip. It’s really a moot point, the Mustang spec shocks work fine.

I would think that the factory spec for a Cougar shock would be longer than a Mustang shock due to the Cougar using the rubber insulators around the rear springs.

Randy Goodling
CCOA #95

Thank you for the offer. I know the difference in length would rarely make a difference, but I’m still curious what it was originally designed at.