Should I IRS my fox? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 66 Old 04-01-2017, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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Should I IRS my fox?

I have a 90 5.0 lx hatch that will be a weekend driver and back road warrior. It will only see the drag stripe maybe once a year if that. I wouldn't mind trying a road course or a slalom but wouldn't be more then once or twice a year if I do. So the question is should I IRS the rear end or leave it straight axle and install some maximum motorsports parts to make straight axle better? I already installed maximum motorsports front end. K-member, a arms, coil overs, bilstiens, cc plates and full length SFC. I have 250lbs springs on front and it rides better and handles better then stock, I'm impressed. I didnt know if maximum motorsports parts would help the rearend has much as it did on front as far as ride quality? I already have a 04 cobra IRS sitting in garage that I got a pretty good deal on but I know I will be limited to wheel choices with the extra width of the IRS. I really like the 95 cobra R's i currently have and would like to keep them. I could sell IRS to fund mm parts on straight axle. Current straight axle has 3.55's, auburn dif, bilstien shocks and 98 cobra disc brakes but every thing else is stock. Thanks.

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post #2 of 66 Old 04-02-2017, 10:37 AM
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You should not do it. The less IRS foxes there is out there, the cooler mine is! Haven't drove mine yet, but I'm looking forward to it. I suggest doing it. It goes in pretty easy.

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post #3 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 09:25 AM
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If you do the MM stuff...torque arm, panhard bar, I'm understanding that properly done, the SRA will outperform the IRS. Talked to some well regarded suspension guru's when I was planning on mine and the overwhelming opinion was to skip the IRS and just stick with the SRA with the right supporting hardware.
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post #4 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 10:24 AM
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I'm still putting the parts together to put an IRS in my 1993 Cobra, it definitely adds up in price in a hurry. Still need to order the new bushings for the entire setup while it's out of the car.

One of the install articles I read the guy took all the MM stuff out of the car for the IRS and it sounded like he liked the IRS better?

My only wish were if I could find 93 5 lug replicas with a +45mm offset.....
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post #5 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 11:03 AM
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The weight of the IRS , balances the car out quite a bit .
Although I did a complete 01 Cobra swap, and the 4 valve is all aluminum, which is 80 pounds lighter than the 302 , the difference is drastic.
I will be swapping in an IRS , into my 84 , when I find another 01-04 .
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post #6 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 01:31 PM
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Yes, the IRS is quite a bit heavier than the 8.8 SRA. Also, the IRS doesn't take well to drag strip type usage without feeding it some money in the form of better axles, hubs, bushings, etc. Every IRS Mustang I've driven was a subject of some wheel hop as well. Keep the tires planted and they don't hop too bad but how much fun is that?

The plus side is that it rides a little better than the SRA does. Handles decent too.

My '92 is a good candidate for IRS but I haven't been able to locate a complete IRS for any decent price yet. My goodness, cheapest one I've seen is $1500, and even then I'd have to travel 10+ hours to get it. No thanks. I guess some of you guys are fortunate to have more Mustang guru's closer to you; in this area there's about a dozen and that's IT. Haven't seen a fox body in any of the junkyards in close to 5 years; and all of the SN and new edge cars are all base models. Never see a GT in a junkyard-ever. One in the last 25 years and it was nothing but a shell with some pieces of wiring in it.
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post #7 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 05:13 PM
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From the research I did years ago from bad to good it goes like this - stock>IRS>MM TA/PHB>MM modded IRS. I ended up going with the TA/PH setup which is a drastic improvement, in ride and handling, over the stock design. Equal if not better than going to coil overs in the front. IMO for the IRS to be better than the TA/PHB setup would cost at least a 1-2k more and then would cost a few more hundred on brake lines, exhaust, and other dodads to adapt it correctly. Where as a TA/PHB is a bolt in (plus a couple welds) procedure. IRS does have more potential on the road course but wouldn't be as bullet proof as a solid axle.
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post #8 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TEALCOBRA View Post
I'm still putting the parts together to put an IRS in my 1993 Cobra, it definitely adds up in price in a hurry. Still need to order the new bushings for the entire setup while it's out of the car.

One of the install articles I read the guy took all the MM stuff out of the car for the IRS and it sounded like he liked the IRS better?

My only wish were if I could find 93 5 lug replicas with a +45mm offset.....
Lots of info out there suggests that a built IRS is better than a built 8.8 SRA in a Fox in regards to corner carving however the difference may only be negligible. I already did my IRS swap in my hatch. The IRS is about 50lbs heavier than the stock SRA. The ride quality and handling is superb so far and I do not have coil overs in the rear (only the front). I decorated my IRS in MM and FTBR parts along with 3.73 gears and a BilletFlow diff cover brace. The wheel selection is narrow but with some negative camber I clear 18x9's out back with a +35mm offset. However running a wide tire out back isn't going to happen unless you get a custom wheel like a 9" wide +45mm. This is where the SRA has it's benefits unless you run flares.
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post #9 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 06:18 PM
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What size tires are you running in those pictures?

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post #10 of 66 Old 04-03-2017, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies, the wheel fitment is probably my biggest concern. Where can i get some custom offset 95 cobra R's lol? I'm not really worried about wheel hop because like I said this car won't be a drag car and definitely won't have drag slicks. I have a different mustang that will be built for drag stripe. But because I do a lot of road trips on two lane roads that are not very smooth or even payment I thought the IRS would ride a lot better. I would upgrade IRS with some polyurethane bushings. Do you have any advice Jack?

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post #11 of 66 Old 04-07-2017, 03:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxbody817 View Post
Lots of info out there suggests that a built IRS is better than a built 8.8 SRA in a Fox in regards to corner carving however the difference may only be negligible. I already did my IRS swap in my hatch. The IRS is about 50lbs heavier than the stock SRA. The ride quality and handling is superb so far and I do not have coil overs in the rear (only the front). I decorated my IRS in MM and FTBR parts along with 3.73 gears and a BilletFlow diff cover brace. The wheel selection is narrow but with some negative camber I clear 18x9's out back with a +35mm offset. However running a wide tire out back isn't going to happen unless you get a custom wheel like a 9" wide +45mm. This is where the SRA has it's benefits unless you run flares.
Arent many of the S197 Mustang wheels 9" with a +45mm backspacing? All the reading I've done so far is that S197 wheels fit great under the fox with IRS.....

I am basically just wishing I could use 93 replicas to keep my stock look, but am going to have to go with something else for sure. I was thinking about spending $150 on one of the replicas just to see how bad they would stick out but think it would just be money wasted at this point.

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post #12 of 66 Old 04-10-2017, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEALCOBRA View Post
Arent many of the S197 Mustang wheels 9" with a +45mm backspacing? All the reading I've done so far is that S197 wheels fit great under the fox with IRS.....

I am basically just wishing I could use 93 replicas to keep my stock look, but am going to have to go with something else for sure. I was thinking about spending $150 on one of the replicas just to see how bad they would stick out but think it would just be money wasted at this point.
I've heard the same thing but there's not any OEM style wheels that I'd like to put on my car if that were true. All 18" aftermarket wheels for an S197 seem to be all +30mm to +36mm offset on a 9" wide wheel. The +36mm wheel will fit like my rear wheels which is the lowest offset I'd recommend.

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post #13 of 66 Old 04-10-2017, 06:35 PM
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I've heard the same thing but there's not any OEM style wheels that I'd like to put on my car if that were true. All 18" aftermarket wheels for an S197 seem to be all +30mm to +36mm offset on a 9" wide wheel. The +36mm wheel will fit like my rear wheels which is the lowest offset I'd recommend.
How would the common 17x8" 30mm wheels of the 1994-98 range fit the Fox chassis and the IRS? I wonder about those since I too would like to find a feasible IRS, for my Lincoln. I have the 94/95 Cobra wheels now with 255/45/17's, which fit very well on the stock suspension.

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post #14 of 66 Old 04-11-2017, 02:17 PM
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Here are are some 18x8.5" wheels I have as spares for my car. Rear is +32mm, front is +20mm. The fit was very nice
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post #15 of 66 Old 04-11-2017, 02:22 PM
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How would the common 17x8" 30mm wheels of the 1994-98 range fit the Fox chassis and the IRS? I wonder about those since I too would like to find a feasible IRS, for my Lincoln. I have the 94/95 Cobra wheels now with 255/45/17's, which fit very well on the stock suspension.
Here is a pic of my IRS fox with true Cobra SVT 17x8 and 245 tires, wheels were loners to me. I did not like the fit to be honest but it was right before I rolled my rear fenders and added more negative camber. Before that they rubbed like crazy.
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That's a great fit to the car. The outer edge of the fender is the critical part you have to make sure the fit is good. The inner section should be fine if the tires aren't massive. I gather that with the tire at the edge a 275mm is easy, and some report 315mm can fit. Thanks for the pictures.

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Here is a pic of my IRS fox with true Cobra SVT 17x8 and 245 tires, wheels were loners to me. I did not like the fit to be honest but it was right before I rolled my rear fenders and added more negative camber. Before that they rubbed like crazy.
Is there enough room on inside of wheel to maybe widen an inch on those cobra 17x8's?
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post #18 of 66 Old 04-12-2017, 11:43 AM
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Is there enough room on inside of wheel to maybe widen an inch on those cobra 17x8's?
Absolutely enough room! I have a build thread on a different forum that pretty well documents my install and how I fab'd my rear IRS brackets. I'll PM you a link so you can get an idea of the road ahead if you choose to go with IRS.

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Absolutely enough room! I have a build thread on a different forum that pretty well documents my install and how I fab'd my rear IRS brackets. I'll PM you a link so you can get an idea of the road ahead if you choose to go with IRS.
Thanks for that too. I half way wonder if I could locate a pair of the Cobra wheels like mine which had been widened to 17x10", by a member of another forum.

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post #20 of 66 Old 04-13-2017, 08:18 AM
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Absolutely enough room! I have a build thread on a different forum that pretty well documents my install and how I fab'd my rear IRS brackets. I'll PM you a link so you can get an idea of the road ahead if you choose to go with IRS.
Can I get that link?

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post #21 of 66 Old 04-13-2017, 11:57 AM
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Can I get that link?
PM sent

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Absolutely enough room! I have a build thread on a different forum that pretty well documents my install and how I fab'd my rear IRS brackets. I'll PM you a link so you can get an idea of the road ahead if you choose to go with IRS.
Thanks for the link Matt, I'm in the process of reading your very long build thread Lol.
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post #23 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 09:36 AM
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Absolutely enough room! I have a build thread on a different forum that pretty well documents my install and how I fab'd my rear IRS brackets. I'll PM you a link so you can get an idea of the road ahead if you choose to go with IRS.
Can you shoot me the link as well? Might give the guy some ideas before I get my IRS put in!

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post #24 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 10:03 AM
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IRS will limit wheel selection ? Theres dudes running 335s square, you will be ok. IRS would be great for daily/commuting/long trips and bumpy roads. On a flat race track surface people say there pretty even, it depends on driving style, with Stick axle you cant take the curbs like you would with the IRS. It comes down to money/budget and what you want to do, with MM stuff in the rear with the stick axle its set up pretty damn well.

Theres pros and cons to both IRS/SLA

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The weight of the IRS , balances the car out quite a bit .
Although I did a complete 01 Cobra swap, and the 4 valve is all aluminum, which is 80 pounds lighter than the 302 , the difference is drastic.
I will be swapping in an IRS , into my 84 , when I find another 01-04 .

Im pretty sure the 03/04 IRS is superior to the 99-01 IRS

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post #26 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 10:54 AM
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IRS will limit wheel selection ? Theres dudes running 335s square, you will be ok. IRS would be great for daily/commuting/long trips and bumpy roads. On a flat race track surface people say there pretty even, it depends on driving style, with Stick axle you cant take the curbs like you would with the IRS. It comes down to money/budget and what you want to do, with MM stuff in the rear with the stick axle its set up pretty damn well.

Theres pros and cons to both IRS/SLA
Do you have any links you can remember that have 335's with an IRS in a foxbody? I'm sure the 275s would work if I had a +45mm offset, but the S197 wheels are only a +35mm offset.... Dont have the money for custom wheels just yet.

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post #27 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 01:44 PM
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Do you have any links you can remember that have 335's with an IRS in a foxbody? I'm sure the 275s would work if I had a +45mm offset, but the S197 wheels are only a +35mm offset.... Dont have the money for custom wheels just yet.
335's don't even work on SRA nontheless with IRS unless your SRA is mini tub'd or your IRS is being ran with flares.

Just google search "foxbody with irs and flares" and see what people are doing in order to run much wider tires. If you like the look of flares on a Fox then go for it.
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post #28 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 01:55 PM
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Im pretty sure the 03/04 IRS is superior to the 99-01 IRS
You are correct that the 03/04 IRS is better, but by how much? I don't think it's that big of a deal for the average person to lose any sleep over. If you have a choice between the two then go for the 03/04, but I only paid $700 for my rear end complete and most 03/04 assemblies are minimum $1300+ and I've never seen one for sale locally in my area. If you're big HP or a track car then clearly the answer is obvious but if you're a street car like me then spline count and larger half shafts are not a big deal IMO.
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post #29 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 03:07 PM
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As far as I know the 03/04 irs has improved inner toe bar geometry sue to slightly different inner mounting point. It has a factory lower pinion brace, stronger clutches in the traklok, and 31 spline, stronger axles.

Unless you get a good deal on the 03/04, I see no advantage. If you upgrade the irs you get the 03/04 upgrades, and if you are launching hard enough to break 99/01 axles; you prolly don't want IRS anyhow.
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post #30 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 06:14 PM
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As far as I know the 03/04 irs has improved inner toe bar geometry sue to slightly different inner mounting point. It has a factory lower pinion brace, stronger clutches in the traklok, and 31 spline, stronger axles.

Unless you get a good deal on the 03/04, I see no advantage. If you upgrade the irs you get the 03/04 upgrades, and if you are launching hard enough to break 99/01 axles; you prolly don't want IRS anyhow.

So the 99-01 IRS can be upgraded as needed to reach the 03/04 level?
I recently saw a 2001 IRS listed for $300, it had no axles or center section. It sounds like any version can work, but you have to figure out what parts are needed for your project.

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post #31 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 06:27 PM
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If you are doing things that break axles, you shouldn't have IRS. Everything else should be upgraded any how because Ford used soft rubber bushings for everything, and the stock toe arms are very weak and will bend under hard driving in a stock 99 Cobra.

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post #32 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 06:46 PM
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335's don't even work on SRA nontheless with IRS unless your SRA is mini tub'd or your IRS is being ran with flares.

Just google search "foxbody with irs and flares" and see what people are doing in order to run much wider tires. If you like the look of flares on a Fox then go for it.
No flares for me.... if it were possible I'd love to use 8.5" 93 Cobra replicas if they had the right offset!

Can you PM me your build on the other forum so I can see what you did with your mounting locations?

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post #33 of 66 Old 05-19-2017, 07:18 PM
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post #34 of 66 Old 05-20-2017, 01:27 AM
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An 01 rear has 31 spline axles and stronger toe links .
Nothing wrong with the 01 .
Axles are the same as 03/04.
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post #35 of 66 Old 05-21-2017, 08:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link midnightlaundry, I read it and think if I was building a track car I would probably keep the SRA but since this will be a street car I'm still really considering the IRS.
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