Rebuilding the Suspension

Once we got everything figured out and organized on project Tornado Typhoon, we started cleaning, painting and rebuilding various sections of the car.

One of the first steps was to rebuild the suspension. A Typhoon uses the torque tube differential and straight front axle, as is typical with English Ford-based specials. That said, the rear differential assembly is suspended with coilover spring and shock assemblies and a panhard bar is fitted to minimize side to side movement. Fore and aft movement at the rear is eliminated by the torque tube, which is bolted to the back of the transmission. This system is used instead of using the more modern and common open driveshaft with a slip yoke.

Initially we called Koni and sadly, they do not have any of the 2.25-inch outer diameter coil overs we found on our car. It seems ours were sourced from an early Lotus 7.

Koni said they could build us something, but it would not be that narrow style that was originally on our car.

Our shocks were still in pretty good condition, so at least until we start actively driving our car, we decided to stay with what we have.

We cleaned and painted our coil overs and they look like new again.

Up front, an English Ford had a straight axle with a transverse leaf spring. The typical and cheap way to improve this on a special was to cut the straight axle in half, braze a pivot point and then insert a bushing in each half and turn the car into a crudely, but independently sprung car. Again, 2.25-inch coilovers and modified trailing arms held the whole thing up.

Oddly, this setup reputedly worked pretty well and these specials were pretty quick and handled well.

We blasted and painted all the components and inserted new bushings sourced from Kip Motor, who can make a suspension bushing to any spec for these old cars.

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