Upper control arm options... - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 01-02-2016, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
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Upper control arm options...

Posting in this section because you are the suspension know-it-alls.

Have the AOD out doing a wide ratio build...the opportunity to upgrade other stuff while the car is elevated got me into the rear main seal, oil pump/pan gasket project, aluminum rack bushings that I've had for a year, ES motor mounts, tranny mount & crossmember bushings, aluminum driveshaft, etc.
I'm looking at the rear upper control arms that weren't touched when I did my MM lower control arms, Quad shocks, and Bilstein's. At the time I had intended to do the OE type control arms that maximum motor sports was selling...but they have been unavailable for years now.

So I see that I have some options, keeping in mind that I don't have any major issues that I can blame on the UCA's.

1) forget about it and finish my current project.

2) replace the axle end bushings only.

3) replace both ends of UCA bushings (Moog or AC Delco).

4) add just the MM panhard bar knowing I can do their TA option later and remove the UCA's.

5) panhard bar and TA at the same time at close to $800 and be done with it. Looks like my 3.73's and wide ratio gearing may dictate the heavy duty TA (?).

Yes I drive the car hard on the twisties but not a track car. Are these upgrades worthy of the $? The cost would not kill me right now.

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post #2 of 37 Old 01-02-2016, 05:04 PM
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Almost anything is better than the stock quadrabind EXCEPT upper control arms with stiffer bushings. So, whatever you do, don't do that.

Slightly cheaper option to the PHB/Torque arm is a PM3L. If you already have a panhard bar and don't want to shell out yet for a TA, it's about half the cost of the MM standard duty TA. Use rod-ended UCA with a spherical bearing in the ear. You'll also need to increase your rear spring rate just like you would with a TA. Your front rates and goals for the car will determine the best rear rate to pair with your shocks. If you search my username, you'll fine more detailed posts on the subject.

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post #3 of 37 Old 01-02-2016, 06:57 PM Thread Starter
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My springs (eibach prokit), shocks/struts (Bilstein HD), LCA's (MM non adj), are pretty much new. I guess I would tend to lean towards what makes an improvement without re-purchasing those items. I know the lower rubber bushings are pretty easy with that tool...but is the chassis end rubber bushing nearly impossible? Maybe the PHB & TA would be a wasted effort on this car.

Come to think of it...what I really have now is this Maximum Motorsports Road & Track package:

1990-93 Mustang Road & Track Box includes

MM Road & Track Springs (430C0)
*MM Caster/Camber Plates (MMCC9093) (select Black or Chrome finish option)
*Bilstein struts (V36-4138-H5)
*Bilstein shocks (B46-2148-H1)
*Front and rear Urethane Spring Isolators
*Urethane Pinion Snubber (MMPS) (solid axle Mustangs)
*MM XL Series Full-length Subframe Connectors (MMFL-5B)
*MM Strut Tower Brace (MMSTB-1)
*MM 4-Point K-Member Brace (MMKB4-2)
?MM Panhard Bar with Aluminum Rod (MMPBA)
*MM Heavy-duty Rear Lower Control Arms (MMRLCA-1)
?MM Solid Steering Shaft (MMST-11)
*MM Solid Steering rack Bushings (MMST-7)
*Front Swaybar bushings
*Front Swaybar end links
?Front control arm bushings, urethane (6-205-BL)

With the exception of not having the panhard bar & the solid steering shaft. AND substitute the Eibach ProKit springs. Everything else I have on the car already...So maybe I should add the panhard bar next?
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post #4 of 37 Old 01-02-2016, 10:00 PM
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I have a similar set-up under mine. The PHB made a HUGE difference.
When I first put the car together, I was offered a set of generic U/L control arms with urethane at all points. THAT s**t lasted for about a month. I went with SN95 uppers, MM lowers, and the PHB. I am currently looking for a single Heim joint adjustable upper to go PM3L.

Bang for the buck with what you have now: PHB.

'88 LX hatch. Mild 331. Full MM suspension minus the Torque Arm, Cobra Brakes. Not as slow as it used to be.
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post #5 of 37 Old 01-03-2016, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbutnew View Post
I have a similar set-up under mine. The PHB made a HUGE difference.
When I first put the car together, I was offered a set of generic U/L control arms with urethane at all points. THAT s**t lasted for about a month. I went with SN95 uppers, MM lowers, and the PHB. I am currently looking for a single Heim joint adjustable upper to go PM3L.

Bang for the buck with what you have now: PHB.
Appreciate the input...I will not stop there, but it's nice to be able to at least work towards a proven package...I just don't know if MM's spring rates are somewhat similar or if that even matters. I'll have to seek out info on the SN95 uppers.
Since the phb install doesn't require the trans/driveshaft/exhaust to be removed I'll just carry on with the current project...just in case I have some cost overruns with the tranny.
Thanks...

1991 LX Convertible

GT40 Heads Ported/Milled, Crane 1.7's, TMoss Intake, Rawls Cam, 70mm TB & 76mm maf, Holly 30# & Moates QH, Wide Ratio AOD/SPT-r VB & 3.73's, JBA shorty, O/R X-pipe, DynoMax VT, MaxMo SFC's/Strut/K Braces/CC Plates/RLCA's/PHB, Bilstein HD,& Eibach Pro-Kit 270rwhp/307tq
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post #6 of 37 Old 01-03-2016, 05:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldbutnew View Post
I have a similar set-up under mine. The PHB made a HUGE difference.
When I first put the car together, I was offered a set of generic U/L control arms with urethane at all points. THAT s**t lasted for about a month. I went with SN95 uppers, MM lowers, and the PHB. I am currently looking for a single Heim joint adjustable upper to go PM3L.

Bang for the buck with what you have now: PHB.
Trzmotorsports.com for the upper control arm and solid bushing

1995 Mustang GT- bbk cold air intake, bbk lowering springs, kyb adjustable shocks, bbk rear sway bar, gripp short shifter, king cobra clutch, bbk shorties, bbk O/R X pipe and flowmaster catback,summit t-lokwith jegs 4.10s and 17" cobra wheels. current ET 13.8 @ 98 MPH on Nitto NT-05r's.
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post #7 of 37 Old 01-04-2016, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 95MuscleStang View Post
Trzmotorsports.com for the upper control arm and solid bushing
Looks like some quality stuff. Thanks for the tip.

'88 LX hatch. Mild 331. Full MM suspension minus the Torque Arm, Cobra Brakes. Not as slow as it used to be.
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post #8 of 37 Old 01-04-2016, 05:58 PM
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Welcome. I'm personally running them and have been very happy. Been through a few track days and an entire autocross season and not a single problem. No play nothing awkward

1995 Mustang GT- bbk cold air intake, bbk lowering springs, kyb adjustable shocks, bbk rear sway bar, gripp short shifter, king cobra clutch, bbk shorties, bbk O/R X pipe and flowmaster catback,summit t-lokwith jegs 4.10s and 17" cobra wheels. current ET 13.8 @ 98 MPH on Nitto NT-05r's.
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post #9 of 37 Old 01-05-2016, 08:39 PM
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Pretty sure those are what I have as well. They will sell the UCA and spherical bearing individually. Was turned on to them by a buddy of mine who races CMC in Texas. Haven't had any problems and I abuse the #### out of my car (auto-x'ing on 16*12s with Hoosier bias ply tires last year, and 18*10s with 285s and 305s road racing slicks before that).
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post #10 of 37 Old 01-06-2016, 12:27 PM
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This is in regards to my drift build, but the same idea carries over. I emailed maximum motorsports about the same thing.

me: "Lastly, I replaced my uppers with some misc aftermarket arms, but this year went back to stock. They have 27 year old bushings in
them and as you can imagine, are very sloppy. What would you recommend to replace them with? I have tossed around the idea of just
going to a torque arm setup, but after some research, I believe it will actually give me to much grip for the power level I am at
with a basic heads/cam/intake 306."

Jack Hidley "Steeda sells a UCA with a three piece polyurethane bushing in the chassis end. I would probably use that. A stock UCA even with new
rubber bushings is not going to control wheel hop very well in your situation.

A Torque Arm could be used at your power level. To adjust the handling balance, you would need to install a much larger rear swaybar
and stiffer rear springs."

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post #11 of 37 Old 01-06-2016, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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So...because I have a learning disability ? The Steeda UCA' s on their site are now the "go to" replacement UCA for my situation even before panhard bar? Will the steel non adjustable, aluminum non-adjustable, or aluminum adjustable UCA's be the best fit? Steel non adjustable UCA's are $100 less but a non issue to me. Is the the panhard bar highly recommended still to complete the deal?
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post #12 of 37 Old 01-06-2016, 09:48 PM
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Do the PHB.
I have stock SN95 UCA's on my car with freshly installed axle-end bushings and MM lowers. I rebuilt the diff last summer and took the bar off to get it out of the way. Got done and dropped the car off the hoist. I figured I would just pop around the block to see if the noise from the driveline was gone. The handling was different. It was not as bad as when I had the all-urethane bushed arms, but was NOT as planted. Pulled it back in the shop, put the bar back on, and took it out to make sure the car was back. It was.

The control arms will make a difference. Not as much as the PHB.

'88 LX hatch. Mild 331. Full MM suspension minus the Torque Arm, Cobra Brakes. Not as slow as it used to be.
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post #13 of 37 Old 01-06-2016, 10:50 PM
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To clarify post #10. I recommended the Steeda part in this case because the car is used for drifting. In some cases, drifting and drag racing, this works better than using stock rubber bushings in both ends. However this is the exception, not the rule.

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post #14 of 37 Old 02-18-2016, 12:06 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
To clarify post #10. I recommended the Steeda part in this case because the car is used for drifting. In some cases, drifting and drag racing, this works better than using stock rubber bushings in both ends. However this is the exception, not the rule.
I see the Panhard bar installation may need a 1/4" wheel spacer as my 9" wheels are pretty close to the stated >5.75" back spacing (Mine are listed at 5.71")...which I would imagine requires longer studs...Also, Does it make sense doing a PH bar while I still have 4 Lug/Drum brakes (don't laugh )? Not a track car but like to be able to drive it hard...Is this silly to consider before going to 5 lug all disc brakes, etc.?

1991 LX Convertible

GT40 Heads Ported/Milled, Crane 1.7's, TMoss Intake, Rawls Cam, 70mm TB & 76mm maf, Holly 30# & Moates QH, Wide Ratio AOD/SPT-r VB & 3.73's, JBA shorty, O/R X-pipe, DynoMax VT, MaxMo SFC's/Strut/K Braces/CC Plates/RLCA's/PHB, Bilstein HD,& Eibach Pro-Kit 270rwhp/307tq
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post #15 of 37 Old 02-18-2016, 01:51 PM
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To determine if your existing wheel studs can work with a 0.25" wheel spacer, go to the MM website and download the 0.25" wheel spacer installation instructions and read through them. They explain how to test for this.

The PHB is one of those few parts that makes a significant difference in the handling and feel of the car all the time, even at low cornering forces. There is virtually no added NVH, so it is a win-win.

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post #16 of 37 Old 02-18-2016, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
To determine if your existing wheel studs can work with a 0.25" wheel spacer, go to the MM website and download the 0.25" wheel spacer installation instructions and read through them. They explain how to test for this.
Nothing's ever easy 10.5 full turns (need 11 turns to meet the criteria). That's IF I need the spacers...would that be close enough?

1991 LX Convertible

GT40 Heads Ported/Milled, Crane 1.7's, TMoss Intake, Rawls Cam, 70mm TB & 76mm maf, Holly 30# & Moates QH, Wide Ratio AOD/SPT-r VB & 3.73's, JBA shorty, O/R X-pipe, DynoMax VT, MaxMo SFC's/Strut/K Braces/CC Plates/RLCA's/PHB, Bilstein HD,& Eibach Pro-Kit 270rwhp/307tq
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post #17 of 37 Old 02-18-2016, 03:50 PM
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I don't think that there would be any problem with that. The first three threads have 90% of the load on them. The first six threads have 100% of the load on them. The rest are along for the ride.

See the load distribution image on page 8 of the document linked below.

http://fp.optics.arizona.edu/optomec...0Fasteners.pdf

If there is a thread failure, it will occur while you are torquing the nut, not when driving.

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post #18 of 37 Old 02-18-2016, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
I don't think that there would be any problem with that. The first three threads have 90% of the load on them. The first six threads have 100% of the load on them. The rest are along for the ride.

See the load distribution image on page 8 of the document linked below.

http://fp.optics.arizona.edu/optomec...0Fasteners.pdf

If there is a thread failure, it will occur while you are torquing the nut, not when driving.
Great info! Thanks. I may do @ least 1/8" to 3/16" spacers all the way around as that may also solve my full crank left turn, strut-meets-wheel contact I've been avoiding.

1991 LX Convertible

GT40 Heads Ported/Milled, Crane 1.7's, TMoss Intake, Rawls Cam, 70mm TB & 76mm maf, Holly 30# & Moates QH, Wide Ratio AOD/SPT-r VB & 3.73's, JBA shorty, O/R X-pipe, DynoMax VT, MaxMo SFC's/Strut/K Braces/CC Plates/RLCA's/PHB, Bilstein HD,& Eibach Pro-Kit 270rwhp/307tq
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post #19 of 37 Old 02-19-2016, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Just ordered the Panhard Bar from LMR for a good price (w/ a $25 coupon)...when reading through the specs on the Maximum Motorsports site there is a specific reference to a T/A diff cover (fitting) but further recommendation of a lower profile cover...not sure if that affects me. I have finned design Ford Racing differential shown here->



I hope I don't need to buy (another) new one. What dimensional depth restriction am I facing?

1991 LX Convertible

GT40 Heads Ported/Milled, Crane 1.7's, TMoss Intake, Rawls Cam, 70mm TB & 76mm maf, Holly 30# & Moates QH, Wide Ratio AOD/SPT-r VB & 3.73's, JBA shorty, O/R X-pipe, DynoMax VT, MaxMo SFC's/Strut/K Braces/CC Plates/RLCA's/PHB, Bilstein HD,& Eibach Pro-Kit 270rwhp/307tq
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post #20 of 37 Old 02-19-2016, 08:27 PM
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My cover is 3" tall(generic ultra low profile TA cover) and clears no problem. The sway bar is closer than the panhard.

Jarrod

'92 Coupe - Full MM suspension, koni SA, stock bottom end,stock cam,TW170,Systemax,V-2SQ,42s,Treadstone A2A 552h/541t out of fuel @ 5200 Kurgan tuned.
'80 Mercury Capri - 377, AFR 225s, ProRace Fogger 5.70 @ 127. SOLD
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post #21 of 37 Old 02-19-2016, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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My cover is 3" tall(generic ultra low profile TA cover) and clears no problem. The sway bar is closer than the panhard.
Does the stock rear sway bar work fine with the PHB setup?

1991 LX Convertible

GT40 Heads Ported/Milled, Crane 1.7's, TMoss Intake, Rawls Cam, 70mm TB & 76mm maf, Holly 30# & Moates QH, Wide Ratio AOD/SPT-r VB & 3.73's, JBA shorty, O/R X-pipe, DynoMax VT, MaxMo SFC's/Strut/K Braces/CC Plates/RLCA's/PHB, Bilstein HD,& Eibach Pro-Kit 270rwhp/307tq
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post #22 of 37 Old 02-19-2016, 09:17 PM
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Does the stock rear sway bar work fine with the PHB setup?
Yes

Jarrod

'92 Coupe - Full MM suspension, koni SA, stock bottom end,stock cam,TW170,Systemax,V-2SQ,42s,Treadstone A2A 552h/541t out of fuel @ 5200 Kurgan tuned.
'80 Mercury Capri - 377, AFR 225s, ProRace Fogger 5.70 @ 127. SOLD
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post #23 of 37 Old 02-27-2016, 08:06 PM
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I think the PHB will clear that cover but it may be close. I had to use RTV for the seal because a gasket was too thick.
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post #24 of 37 Old 02-29-2016, 01:50 AM
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Sorry if I'm hijacking a bit but it's sorta related...

I'm in the same boat as you now. Trying to decide what to do with the rear. I currently have adjustable UCAs with heim joints on the car end and poly bushings on the diff end. I was wondering if a watts link is a better choice for me since all I do with the car is autox. I heard the PHB will feel differently between left and right turns.
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post #25 of 37 Old 02-29-2016, 10:03 AM
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A Watts link is better than a panhard bar, yes. As for the PHB feeling different between left and right turns, this is also true. However, you'd have be, imo, a hot shoe to notice the difference enough to worry about it. Plenty of fast ESP and CP cars getting it done with PHBs. That being said, if you can, buy the Watts Link.
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post #26 of 37 Old 02-29-2016, 12:30 PM
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For me it's a packaging issue. The typical Watts conversion takes up a lot of real estate back there. I want to run full exhaust. The MM PHB is designed with full exhaust in mind although the design is limited to stock routing; and pretty much 3" OTS is out without some custom fitting. In any event, I couldn't tell the handling difference between my Watts linked RX7 and the Mustang's PHB over similar courses.
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post #27 of 37 Old 03-03-2016, 02:26 PM
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Can I keep both heim jointed UCAs with a PHB or is it still necessary to remove one and end up with the PM3L?
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post #28 of 37 Old 03-03-2016, 04:30 PM
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You can, it's a better setup than stock UCAs with a PHB, but why would you want to? Remove one UCA (the driver's side) and throw in torque arm rear springs. Transforms the car. You'll poop your pants.
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post #29 of 37 Old 03-05-2016, 08:50 AM
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Don't forget to reinforce your chassis side UCA mount.
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post #30 of 37 Old 03-05-2016, 08:20 PM
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Originally Posted by huesmann View Post
Don't forget to reinforce your chassis side UCA mount.
How critical is the upper torque box reinforcement for PM3L on a street driven car?

I have a bone stock PI motor (allegedly 260/300) and 3.27 rear gears. MM PHB and LCAs
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post #31 of 37 Old 03-06-2016, 11:36 AM
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It's cheap and easy to do. Honestly, My rear lower mounts got more abuse, so I did the battleboxes for both lowers and the one upper remaining while I was at it. Very easy with the car on jackstands and the rear interior removed.
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post #32 of 37 Old 03-06-2016, 09:16 PM
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I didn't do battle boxes when I had it apart, and I'm kind of regretting it right now.
I DID put a couple spools of wire into the bottom of the car.

Opinions: For "spirited cruising" and one HPDE event per year, think it's enough to prevent tearing or deforming the mount with a PM3L?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_4599 smaller.jpg (184.2 KB, 29 views)

'88 LX hatch. Mild 331. Full MM suspension minus the Torque Arm, Cobra Brakes. Not as slow as it used to be.
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post #33 of 37 Old 03-07-2016, 03:07 AM
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I didn't do battle boxes when I had it apart, and I'm kind of regretting it right now.
I DID put a couple spools of wire into the bottom of the car.

Opinions: For "spirited cruising" and one HPDE event per year, think it's enough to prevent tearing or deforming the mount with a PM3L?
Its more than ford ever thought to do, that's for sure. You're getting more rigidity, but I don't know if it's going to help a lot with front/back flexing. I'm no chassis engineer clearly

If it's not that bad of a job I might do uppers and lowers this summer for peace of mind. The kits I had seen were super overkill, multiple LCA mounting holes, basically entirely new subframe and looked like a PITA install. If I can reinforce the rear torque boxes and swap springs/PM3L the car in a weekend, I'm just about sold on the switch.

Those LCA bolts SUCK though. And getting the control arms to line up with the 4 link walking around, ughh. Every time I get under the car I understand the people who always go to a shop just a little better. I need to find a nut with a 2 point lift and a love for busting knuckles
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post #34 of 37 Old 03-07-2016, 11:31 AM
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Find a local CMC/AI road racer. Befriend him. Offer to help him out at the track as a spotter/gopher/tire temp taker/brake temp taker/etc. Odds are, he can help you go PM3L with battleboxes in 4 hours (if PHB already installed and rear interior already removed).
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post #35 of 37 Old 03-07-2016, 04:03 PM
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Find a local CMC/AI road racer. Befriend him. Offer to help him out at the track as a spotter/gopher/tire temp taker/brake temp taker/etc. Odds are, he can help you go PM3L with battleboxes in 4 hours (if PHB already installed and rear interior already removed).
I'd love to find some local guys who are into amateur racing and try it myself, my two "local" tracks are Sears Point/Infineon and Thunderhill if anyone from the North Bay is on here.

4hrs is a lot quicker than I expected. Experience is definitely everything. I'm somewhat decent at pulling it apart after two rounds, and I have a family friend who used to own a shop and do usual repairs as well as go-fast stuff and engine swaps, I might offer him a case of beer and talk him into helping me weld everything up.

I do already have PHB, but its a convertible and a mach460 car, do all the amps and everything have to come out? Is the convertible hardware going to ruin my day even with the top up? I'm going to start compiling a list/guide for myself with torque specs, tools, etc, trying to eliminate as many surprises as I can before tearing into it
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