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Old 09-10-2011, 07:30 PM   #1
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Question New suspension on fox body

Well, I brought the car home today and on the long 40 mile ride back from the seller, the car shook like an old lady all the way home. Steering feels like it has alot of play too. Before jumping into the engine, I will start with the suspension. Then brakes. Where should I start first? I also want to lower the car as well. I was thinking ball joints, complete rack & pinion, outer tie rods, upper and lower control arm bushings, springs, struts, sway bar bushings. Am I missing anything?

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Old 09-10-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Maximum Motorsports RTB-2 kit.. Hands down one of the best mods to the suspension period. Your car will handle better than a vette.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:45 PM   #3
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Maximum Motorsports RTB-2 kit.. Hands down one of the best mods to the suspension period. Your car will handle better than a vette.
Thanks for the help. But I don't think I want to spend that type of money on suspension. I am just looking for a list of stuff I should replace. Although that's an awesome kit, I'm not looking to go that hardcore.

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Old 09-10-2011, 09:32 PM   #4
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Maximum Motorsports RTB-2 kit.. Hands down one of the best mods to the suspension period. Your car will handle better than a vette.
It'll NEVER handle better than a Vette (well maybe better than a '56), even with a PHB/T/A and a k-member which are not included in the kit cited. If you are going to offer tech, at least get your facts straight.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:09 AM   #5
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Gosh, I know you know what you bought but, I don't. What do you want it to do? Do you want a nice soft ride that handles pretty good, or something that rides on rails and beats your kidneys out when you cruise El Cajon Blvd.?
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:42 AM   #6
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Well, I brought the car home today and on the long 40 mile ride back from the seller, the car shook like an old lady all the way home. Steering feels like it has alot of play too. Before jumping into the engine, I will start with the suspension. Then brakes. Where should I start first? I also want to lower the car as well. I was thinking ball joints, complete rack & pinion, outer tie rods, upper and lower control arm bushings, springs, struts, sway bar bushings. Am I missing anything?
1. Check all of your steering and suspensioin components for wear and proper function. There are a number of threads and several publications that can help with diagnosis. At least get the car safe to drive.

2. Decide what your primary use of the car will be. This is key; be honest with yourself as every piece of advice that follows will be based on this information. Ever see parts for sale because the owner "is going a different direction"? While things change, going a different direction costs a lot of money if you have invested much in the first direction.

3. Once #2 is clear, accept the fact that if the car is doing any dual duty, there will be compromises in order to accomodate the two (hopefully not more) functions.

That is all I have until you decide #2. Good luck.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #7
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Car will be a street car with some spirited driving on the street. Not going to try and win any road course competitions or anything. I am thinking of stock components, but with nice drop springs, shocks/struts. I'll add better sway bars later, but will replace the bushings on the stockers if needed.
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:39 AM   #8
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you can also call maximum motorsports tech line...tell them what you want to do they'll tell you what you need...

and http://www.maximummotorsports.com/co...pdf/Slalom.pdf youll notice the vette is down around 68mph...even with a '00 z06

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Old 09-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by franco802 View Post
Car will be a street car with some spirited driving on the street. Not going to try and win any road course competitions or anything. I am thinking of stock components, but with nice drop springs, shocks/struts. I'll add better sway bars later, but will replace the bushings on the stockers if needed.
Based upon this response, you have left a lot unsaid. So, I will use my car as an example. 86 GT 'Vert. Not the best platform for any form of motorsports but then again this is a 90% street car/DD. It will NEVER see the drag strip or open track competition. It will do autocross during the season (not for points - for fun) and I'd like to do some HPDE stuff once I have a roll bar. With this in mind, I determined that the ride had to be relatively good so I liked to drive the car. At the same time (compromise) I wanted a suspension and brakes that would hold up to the rigors of serious A/X and when the time comes, O/T events.

As a result, I did a lot of research on what the main failings of the Fox chassis are for handling and stopping. Turns out that the stock brakes, so long as perfornace pads/shoes are used, aren't bad for the occasional agressive braking. However for prolonged/repeated stops, the small 11" rotor and integrated disc/bearing hub are not optimal for heat control. The obvious choice here was the sn95/Cobra front (I already had rear discs). Then I moved to the suspenson. here I leared that the stock 4-link rear an the relatively narrow front track and suspension desigh were serious impedements to handling especiallay the front of th 86 which had a k-memvber with the a-arm pickups .5" per side inboard of the later v8 k-member cars, exacerbating an already understeer prone car. Long story short, I used the longer sn95 a-arms when I converted to the Cobra brakes; MM C/O kit and other supporting braces and CC plates. I revised the rear suspension using MM pieces: PHB, height adjustable LCA, and adjustable sta-bar. I also run .5" spacers to help remove oversteer and to more closely match the front track. The major change to the rear was the PM3L using a rod-ended bar. I selected Bilsteins for my struts/shocks and 300# springs in front and H&R Super Race conventionals in the rear.

The result is a street car that rides pretty nice (mostly due to the zero bind in the rear suspension but also due to the front C/Os), but is relatively neutral when cornering agressively; and there is zero fade from the brakes.

The above took me about 5 years to develop since I was not really clear on my goals; couple of false starts and needlessly wasted resources. You can approach it this way too, but it is not recommended.
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Old 09-11-2011, 10:25 PM   #10
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Based upon this response, you have left a lot unsaid. So, I will use my car as an example. 86 GT 'Vert. Not the best platform for any form of motorsports but then again this is a 90% street car/DD. It will NEVER see the drag strip or open track competition. It will do autocross during the season (not for points - for fun) and I'd like to do some HPDE stuff once I have a roll bar. With this in mind, I determined that the ride had to be relatively good so I liked to drive the car. At the same time (compromise) I wanted a suspension and brakes that would hold up to the rigors of serious A/X and when the time comes, O/T events.

As a result, I did a lot of research on what the main failings of the Fox chassis are for handling and stopping. Turns out that the stock brakes, so long as perfornace pads/shoes are used, aren't bad for the occasional agressive braking. However for prolonged/repeated stops, the small 11" rotor and integrated disc/bearing hub are not optimal for heat control. The obvious choice here was the sn95/Cobra front (I already had rear discs). Then I moved to the suspenson. here I leared that the stock 4-link rear an the relatively narrow front track and suspension desigh were serious impedements to handling especiallay the front of th 86 which had a k-memvber with the a-arm pickups .5" per side inboard of the later v8 k-member cars, exacerbating an already understeer prone car. Long story short, I used the longer sn95 a-arms when I converted to the Cobra brakes; MM C/O kit and other supporting braces and CC plates. I revised the rear suspension using MM pieces: PHB, height adjustable LCA, and adjustable sta-bar. I also run .5" spacers to help remove oversteer and to more closely match the front track. The major change to the rear was the PM3L using a rod-ended bar. I selected Bilsteins for my struts/shocks and 300# springs in front and H&R Super Race conventionals in the rear.

The result is a street car that rides pretty nice (mostly due to the zero bind in the rear suspension but also due to the front C/Os), but is relatively neutral when cornering agressively; and there is zero fade from the brakes.

The above took me about 5 years to develop since I was not really clear on my goals; couple of false starts and needlessly wasted resources. You can approach it this way too, but it is not recommended.
Sounds like you perfected your goal I am looking into the same. But I am simple, I don't care if the ride is too harsh. Then again, I don't want to wear a kidney belt driving my car around lol.
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Old 09-12-2011, 07:23 AM   #11
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OK - this is what you've said so far:

Quote:
Originally Posted by franco802 View Post
the car shook like an old lady all the way home. Steering feels like it has alot of play too. I will start with the suspension. I also want to lower the car as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by franco802 View Post
I don't think I want to spend that type of money on suspension. I am just looking for a list of stuff I should replace. I also want to lower the car as well.
Quote:
Originally Posted by franco802 View Post
Car will be a street car with some spirited driving on the street. Not going to try and win any road course competitions or anything.
Quote:
Originally Posted by franco802 View Post
But I am simple, I don't care if the ride is too harsh. Then again, I don't want to wear a kidney belt driving my car around lol.
So: (i) car has some serious suspension and/or steering issues; (ii) will start with suspension but not spend serious money; (iii) want to lower the car; (vi) it's a street car with some spirited driving, but not going to race the car; and (v) don't care about the ride for the most part.

Care to add to or modify the above? Remember, recommendations will be based upon this. I also assume (based upon (ii) that you do not want to waste money on stuff that doesn't produce the resuts you want.
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Old 09-12-2011, 02:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qtrracer View Post
Based upon this response, you have left a lot unsaid. So, I will use my car as an example. 86 GT 'Vert. Not the best platform for any form of motorsports but then again this is a 90% street car/DD. It will NEVER see the drag strip or open track competition. It will do autocross during the season (not for points - for fun) and I'd like to do some HPDE stuff once I have a roll bar. With this in mind, I determined that the ride had to be relatively good so I liked to drive the car. At the same time (compromise) I wanted a suspension and brakes that would hold up to the rigors of serious A/X and when the time comes, O/T events.

As a result, I did a lot of research on what the main failings of the Fox chassis are for handling and stopping. Turns out that the stock brakes, so long as perfornace pads/shoes are used, aren't bad for the occasional agressive braking. However for prolonged/repeated stops, the small 11" rotor and integrated disc/bearing hub are not optimal for heat control. The obvious choice here was the sn95/Cobra front (I already had rear discs). Then I moved to the suspenson. here I leared that the stock 4-link rear an the relatively narrow front track and suspension desigh were serious impedements to handling especiallay the front of th 86 which had a k-memvber with the a-arm pickups .5" per side inboard of the later v8 k-member cars, exacerbating an already understeer prone car. Long story short, I used the longer sn95 a-arms when I converted to the Cobra brakes; MM C/O kit and other supporting braces and CC plates. I revised the rear suspension using MM pieces: PHB, height adjustable LCA, and adjustable sta-bar. I also run .5" spacers to help remove oversteer and to more closely match the front track. The major change to the rear was the PM3L using a rod-ended bar. I selected Bilsteins for my struts/shocks and 300# springs in front and H&R Super Race conventionals in the rear.

The result is a street car that rides pretty nice (mostly due to the zero bind in the rear suspension but also due to the front C/Os), but is relatively neutral when cornering agressively; and there is zero fade from the brakes.

The above took me about 5 years to develop since I was not really clear on my goals; couple of false starts and needlessly wasted resources. You can approach it this way too, but it is not recommended.
That's basically what I'm planning on doing. When you refer to a "rod-ended bar", are you talking about Heim Joints? I've been thinking if Heim Joints on upper control arms would reduce the bind....

See heim joints at mounting points of frame.....


Serious rock crawlers use this 4 link system in the rear with heim joints instead of bushing......
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:07 PM   #13
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Keep in mind that in my years of offroading, I've learned that Heim joints ARE NOT DOT approved (street legal). Especially in my state.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:52 PM   #14
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I'm speaking of this PM3L upper (half of the axle end bushing is missing in this pic) ---> As far as legality is concerned, I limit the rod-end pieces I use but my MM PHB uses them as well. These are pieces that need routine maintenance review. I check mine before every event, although I do drive the car on the street a lot.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #15
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Yup, thinking the same thing.

The issue came up in offroading when I went to use Heim joints instead of rubber tie rod ends on my Scout II. They were out and exposed, and were caught by DOT during an inspection. I ended up using Chevy 3/4ton tie rod ends so I could register the Scout in state. Steering failure is the major concern. As a panhard bar goes, that's not a major issue. I'm sure they would be fine with upper control arms with heim joints too.

They wear out much much faster (in the offroad world) than rubber tie rod ends.

But I was only thinking about it on my Mustang, becasue it's not gonna be street legal for long.
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:45 PM   #16
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Biggest thing, do a lot of research before buying parts. That's what I've been doing the past few months, and I'm still learning.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:52 PM   #17
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Question

One thing I forgot to ask is, do I have to run cc plates???? I am installing lowering springs as a replacement of the old stockers.
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Old 09-17-2011, 10:49 AM   #18
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One thing I forgot to ask is, do I have to run cc plates???? I am installing lowering springs as a replacement of the old stockers.
My first springs were FRPP "C"s which lowered the front about 1". With the factory plates being non-adjustable, I could not get a stock alignment. I ran it that way anyway for several years. Tire wear was more dependent on my toe settings but ultimately I had to get CC plates. YMMV.
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:25 PM   #19
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Maximum Motorsports RTB-2 kit.. Hands down one of the best mods to the suspension period. Your car will handle better than a vette.
LOL.... Maybe a 70's Vette. There is NO way to make a McPherson strut front solid axle rear car handle as well as four wheel upper and lower control arm designed suspended Vette. I assume you were using exaggeration for the sake of emphasis!!!

My torque arm panhard bar MM coil over equipped Fox won't out handle a Vette unless the driver is asleep. LOL! Improved from stock greatly? Why yes of course!! Beat a Vette? Not with equivalent drivers.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:13 PM   #20
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It'll NEVER handle better than a Vette (well maybe better than a '56), even with a PHB/T/A and a k-member which are not included in the kit cited. If you are going to offer tech, at least get your facts straight.
qtr - how's this for facts D-bag??

http://www.maximummotorsports.com/co...pdf/Slalom.pdf

and get your facts straight - the RTB-2 kit I referenced DOES come with a panhard bar - if that's what you meant by "PHB".. I have the kit... actually I've had 2. and I'm installing the MM k-member this weekend.

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Old 09-18-2011, 09:27 AM   #21
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qtr - how's this for facts D-bag??
Civility at it's finest.

http://www.maximummotorsports.com/co...pdf/Slalom.pdf

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Originally Posted by geerhed50 View Post
and get your facts straight - the RTB-2 kit I referenced DOES come with a panhard bar - if that's what you meant by "PHB".. I have the kit... actually I've had 2. and I'm installing the MM k-member this weekend.
I concede my error on the old publication and the PHB although I meant the PHB/T/A combo since the PHB alone does not elimenate the quadra bind - the worst characteristic of the FOX chassis rear suspension. Carry on beating those Vettes.
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Old 09-18-2011, 11:57 PM   #22
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... the quadra bind - the worst characteristic of the FOX chassis rear suspension. Carry on beating those Vettes.
How much would the currie johnny joint or edlebrock upper units that pivot reduce this characteristic?


CURRECTRAC® CONTROL ARMS for Ford Mustangs:
The Mustang Control Arms fit stock 7.5", 8.8", and Currie-Built Rearends.
Note: picture shows Stock Control Arm (above) and CurrecTrac® Control Arm



Late Model Mustang Suspension Basics
Late Model Mustang Suspension Basics


"When the car leans (rolls) in a turn, one side of the chassis moves upward relative to the rear axle, the other side moves downward, and these non-parallel control arms must twist and change length axially to allow the axle to articulate. This causes the control arm bushings to bind. If this bind becomes excessive, it can raise the rear wheel rate and produce sudden, undesireable changes in handling (e.g., snap oversteer)."
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Old 09-19-2011, 08:22 AM   #23
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The problem with the uppers is that they are designed to do two jobs at once: (i) control axle roll and (ii) control lateral axle movement. They do nether well. As the quote suggests, the rubber needs to be in the arms in order to allow the "growth" piece of the design otherwise a similar situation occurs: bind. Bind results in unexpected handling characteristics. If you go to MM's site they do a better job of explaining why they recommend replacement of the lowers with heim-style bushing joints but leave the uppers stock rubber mounted. This is even if you use their PHB without the T/A.

The solution to this binding problem is to seperate the two jobs of the uppers such as in a true 3-link or PM3L like I have been using (now the upper simply controls roll whereas the PHB controls lateral movement), or remove them altogether as in a T/A. (The Steeda 5-link seperates the jobs but comes at the solution differently.) In a handling scenaro, I wouldn't recommend using the uppers in the link. I'd be reluctant to use one of them as a PM3L with PHB given my experience with the PM3L I posted above.
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:56 AM   #24
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From how you want to use the car, start off by going through and replacing all bushing/isolators on the car (motor mounts, trans related isolators, end links, swaybar bushings etc...). Go with FRPP upper rear arms, Maximum Motorsport lowers (I'm happy with this combo). You can also replace your front arms with the FRPP units (new bushings and ball joints). If you're putting in a new rack, that'll take care of your inner tie rods. I would replace the outers also. Once you've gone through that, start stiffening the chassis (full length subframes connectors, torque box reinforcements, 4 pt g-load brace, strut tower brace etc...) If you're lowering the car, you need cc plates and good quality shocks/struts. Eibach Pro Kit will give you a descent ride and a nice stance but they're too soft/low for autocrossing. If you go through all that, you will have a nice riding car.
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Old 09-22-2011, 09:49 PM   #25
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Carry on beating those Vettes.[/QUOTE]

Actually I prefer beating M3's and GT3's.. vettes rarely want to tangle with me.. generally your old farts who dont know how to drive the car.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:19 AM   #26
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Actually I prefer beating M3's and GT3's.. vettes rarely want to tangle with me.. generally your old farts who dont know how to drive the car.
I bet you drive "flat-out" too.

Last edited by qtrracer; 09-23-2011 at 08:22 AM.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:28 AM   #27
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Ok....so I came up on some cash finally. I have about $1k to spend and that is going to include wheels. I already have a guy whos hooking me up with tires.

I was going to buy Eibach sportline springs (tell me what you guys think), a new power rack & pinion from Napa, new outer balljoints and new UPR rear upper and lower control arms and cc plates (Not the MM ones). This after all is a budget project. I already purchased new front lower a-arms from a current member here. They have new poly control arm bushings and new FMS ball joints (all for $75). I'm also looking to pick up some 1993 Cobra style wheels. I decided to go with the 93' style after some thought. Found some on ebay for under $450. I'll get the shocks/struts on the next check.

So what do you guys think?
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:46 AM   #28
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Ok, just purchased Eibach Sportline springs, energy suspension isolators, rear box type control arms top & bottom, cc plates and my front lower control arms came in complete with bushings and ball joints. Tomorrow i'll go pick up my outer tie rods with balljoints and my rack & pinion. This project will start very soon!! Going to order my 93 Cobra replica wheels as well. Pics to come in my project thread!!
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Old 09-30-2011, 07:45 PM   #29
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personally im just buying the road and track and substituting a few stifflers pieces...id rather save the money up and get better stuff for my build but i hope everything works good for you for what you're looking to do...
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:18 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qtrracer View Post
I bet you drive "flat-out" too.
another D-bag comment... actually I would if I was in Germany kid..

I've gone 135 in my mustang and 140 on my GSXR-750.. that's as "flat out" as I want to go. As for the M3's and GT3s, it only takes about 3 seconds to walk away from them..

franco - get the BEST tire you can afford.. after all - that's what meets the road. what do you have in mind?

I have RE-11's and love them! But if you only have $1000, RE-11s would eat all of that up and then some! good luck

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Old 10-04-2011, 04:26 PM   #31
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another D-bag comment... actually I would if I was in Germany kid..

I've gone 135 in my mustang and 140 on my GSXR-750.. that's as "flat out" as I want to go. As for the M3's and GT3s, it only takes about 3 seconds to walk away from them..

franco - get the BEST tire you can afford.. after all - that's what meets the road. what do you have in mind?

I have RE-11's and love them! But if you only have $1000, RE-11s would eat all of that up and then some! good luck
I agree with you geerhead. I just want to get this project rolling. I have all my suspension parts now. I am going t0o take the stang to a self car wash and wash all of the gunk off the suspension before I tear into it. Its a fricking mess under there. Once i do that, i'll start going through it. I will take pics and post them on my "Generation X" project thread.
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Old 10-04-2011, 08:02 PM   #32
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Sorry if I missed this in any of the posts, but the symptoms described indicate motor mounts are needed. They can be easily inspected with the car parked & on the ground. Open the hood, push down on the engine, hard. If you can move it around, even a little bit, the rubber in the mounts has degraded. If you can visually inspect the mounts, you may find that 1 or more have collapsed completely. When the rubber is gone, it's metal to metal contact, top & bottom of mount meet; safety feature so the engine doesn't fall out of the bay.
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Old 10-10-2011, 12:58 PM   #33
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Started my suspension rplacement on my fox yesterday. Here's the link on my project thread with pics. Project Generation X

I am replacing the pressure line on the power steering as it looks like a thread on the fitting is a little smashed (had to order the new hose). I tried for 2 hours to thread the old hose in my new rack and it wouldn't go in for ####. Today I will install the cc plate since I have the driver side all torn apart. New rack is in place, which also took forever to install. I did this all myself of course. I also noticed my motor mounts have no nuts holding them down!!
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