Consensus on Front End Restoration

With everything that’s out in the market today, I’m finding it difficult to land on how to tackle the front end suspension on the 68 Cougar. I currently have the 4 bolt UCAs and the dust boots on my LCAs are cracked to pieces. Taking into consideration I’d like to keep this as close to original as possible this is no GT-E concourse restoration. I would like to know what others have done with their run of the mill restorations and how it has held up/quality?

Should I…

  1. Go with the Scott Drake UCA and LCA repros
  2. Moog UCA and LCA repros
  3. Remove the original UCAs LCAs, media blast them and replace all the bushings, shafts and ball joints?

Get some aftermarket bolt ons with the factory mounting points. The stock bushings are junk. I used global west lowers and uppers from specialty products. The uppers have 3 degrees of caster build in so you don’t make contact with the front of the fender when you put on slightly bigger tires and wheels. Oh yeah, almost forgot, the Shelby drop is built in with no drilling on your car.

I recently installed reproduction upper and lower arms, spring perches and rod ends on my 68 and have been very happy with the result. No more clunks and rattles from the front. The only major difference I saw between the repops and the original parts was that the bolts on the repop upper arms that bolt to the shock towers are slightly shorter and course thread whereas the originals had fine thread. It’s only been a few weeks so time will tell how well these parts wear with daily driver use.

Well your statement provides you with some guidance. If your doing a restoration it helps that it narrows down the choices

  • Is the next consideration money, time or effort?

  • Condition of your originals comes into play also unless you consider replacing them with other originals that are rebuildable. Originals can have heavy marks from where the prior owners removed the rivets, stripped the inner pivot treads on the arm and so on. Restoring the originals will be the most expensive and time consuming path but will normally provide the closest to original look if done correctly. Making this choice isn’t always about “is it worth it” "since many choose this route just because they want the accomplishment or the satisfaction


  • How correct and original do you want to be. Often with the reproductions you may have to strip and refinish them to make them look the part even if your not going all out concours

    Good luck with your choices

Good to hear, which reproductions did you go with? Scott Drake?

Time, Effort and money are of no concern really. Pretty close to original and quality are. When I’m doing something I just want to do it right so that I don’t have to go back and do it again.

For example, I’ve heard the original UCAs Ford put on these cats and mustangs all squeak overtime due to subpar design/quality of components used. I’d hate to spend time rebuilding them if those same issues will come up in a year or two with. The correctness look of the Scott Drakes is pretty close Ive read, but I haven’t heard great thing about their performance….thus bringing up these questions.

Never hurts to have plenty of options. Check out these people.

Very friendly and helpful people, with good customer service.

That has not been my experience. More of a rarity and something you can often address. Have owned 80 or so Fords and Mercs that used this design. Plus your not going to put the use or miles on the original and past owners put on the car so even if they did it will be decades before it would become a problem for you

Did a search and the uppers that are sold as replacements for 67-73 in the one web page I located in in the link below. Is this what you have compared?

They are half dipped where originals were not painted. Are shaped at the ball joint end like 70 and up arms so the ball joint only has three rivets unlike the original four your car would have had. Has zert fittings so you need to by some plugs after you checked to see if they greased the,. Rivets that hold the ball joint to the arm are finished differently than original and lack the details of them also. Also other details like the Scott Drake stamped into the arms and other details

Lowers can be a completely different study

If I had to do it over again, I’d refinish the original components and replace those that are sacrificial such as shocks, ball joints and various rubber items if need be.

I too would rebuild the original uppers for sure. The lower ones the reproduction parts are not so bad.

After checking my UCA to make sure they weren’t cracked at the bolt holes, I think that is what I landed on.

I bought the Scott Drake LCAs. For the rebuild of the UCA, I went with the Moog Shaft Kit and Moog Ball joints.

@68xr7KitCat how did it turn out for you on the uppers? I went the same route and had to shave about a1/16 off the moog uca shaft to get it to slip into the control arm. I also found the threads on the uca were a bit worn. I would definitely go the aftermarket route next time.

Not the person that you asked but I have installed maybe a dozen of the Moog kits in original UCA’s with no difficulty and no cutting.

1 Like

I ended up doing the rebuild. Cut a groove in the shafts threads to allow the grease to flow. Had no issues with spacing and did not have to shave anything off.

Royce, it’s possible that the control arms that I had were not factory. I could tell something was worked on bc the left was different than the right.

My question is way out there but does anyone know of a method to move the front axle centerline ~1 inch forward? I think this may look a little better and would put more of the cars weight on the back wheels. TIA.

For me, I wouldn’t touch a Scott Drake product at this time. They are now known for finding the cheapest part available and putting their name on it. Moog products have a good reputation.