Suspension advise - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 08-27-2018, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Suspension advise

Foxbody mustang platform I'm looking to start autox and cam would be fun.
I'm not looking for being competitive or anything just seat time, I picked cam because if they do have to class me I got somewhere I want to go.

Now obviously brakes and suspension are key, already had in mine sn-gt or cobra breaks and hydroboost.

Suspension I'm unsure of the most, bushings and other wear parts need replacing and subframe connectors.

What would you suggest as a starting point after?
I plan on a fox notchback to build on after I refresh the drive train to be reliable (cooling and that sort).

I think I have a good starting plan but for future suspension mods I'm not sure where to start.

I'd ask over on corner carver's but my email is not allowed for a website I'm not sure I want to be part of.

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post #2 of 21 Old 08-27-2018, 02:01 PM
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Must have parts: MM panhard bar, MM camber caster plates, MM lower rear control arms, Stock upper control arms, MM full length subframe connectors

this would be a decent start

after that coilovers all four corners would really help, 5 lug swap, rear disc, 03/04 cobra brakes up front


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post #3 of 21 Old 08-27-2018, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EscortSportage View Post
Must have parts: MM panhard bar, MM camber caster plates, MM lower rear control arms, Stock upper control arms, MM full length subframe connectors

this would be a decent start

after that coilovers all four corners would really help, 5 lug swap, rear disc, 03/04 cobra brakes up front
Kinda planned it that way, brakes, fresh up the suspension, sfc, but my problem is I'd be building the suspension a part at a time.
Not quite sure what would be the first thing to get, dampers/springs?

Would take offs be a good start for springs? Panhard bar second?

Or would you suggest a panhard bar before springs and dampers?
I thought you needed cc plates when you started to lower the car? Same with a bump steer kit?
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post #4 of 21 Old 08-27-2018, 07:41 PM
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Let's start with the class you want to run. CAM rules are pretty much unrestricted for brakes, wheels, suspension, body mods to fit suspension mods and so on. Therefore, you need to plan in advance how much of the rule set you want to take advantage of. If eventually you want to run 11 - 12" wheels and 315s- 335s, then keep that in mind when you plan. Do you want to go SLA or conventional strut? What about the rear - plan for it at the most extreme.

This planning is important because you don't really want to re-spend your money on 'Up-grades" that might have been accomplished piecemeal as the ultimate end-game is achieved. This is what I did with my 86.

When I started building this thing years ago CAM was not an option. So to stay within the given rule set only minimum mods could be done. However, I didn't think about that and the typical mods resulted in an imposable class. Here, you are wide open. I recommend deciding on how far you want to take this and then buy the parts to accomplish the goal.

Believe me when I say the CAM class is competitive so seat time now is more important than mediocre suspension mods. Run the car. See what the competition is running and develop your plan. For example, the worst suspension component on the Fox chassis is arguably the converging 4-link. If you do a PHB early, you can also remove one of the upper control arms creating a PM3L. This will require stiffer springs but the bang for the buck outcome is phenomenal. The car will actually handle in a predictable manner with few other changes. This of course allows you to plan for the next step - better dampers.

Just keep in mind that the tires create your traction circle for cornering and braking. Thus, the more rubber you have on the ground and the stickier it is, the better the car will handle - assuming the suspension and brake shortcomings are addressed. Currently, my 86 has the full MM suspension front and rear, C/Os on all 4 corners, 18x11s with 315s on all 4 some areo, big brakes, and a rocking stroker. Still being built, but hope to have it out on its maiden before the end of this season.

The key here is to have fun Planning makes this more likely.
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post #5 of 21 Old 08-27-2018, 08:31 PM
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This is something I'm also looking into. I am starting to look for a fox again for road racing.
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post #6 of 21 Old 08-28-2018, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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Let's start with the class you want to run. CAM rules are pretty much unrestricted for brakes, wheels, suspension, body mods to fit suspension mods and so on. Therefore, you need to plan in advance how much of the rule set you want to take advantage of. If eventually you want to run 11 - 12" wheels and 315s- 335s, then keep that in mind when you plan. Do you want to go SLA or conventional strut? What about the rear - plan for it at the most extreme.

This planning is important because you don't really want to re-spend your money on 'Up-grades" that might have been accomplished piecemeal as the ultimate end-game is achieved. This is what I did with my 86.

When I started building this thing years ago CAM was not an option. So to stay within the given rule set only minimum mods could be done. However, I didn't think about that and the typical mods resulted in an imposable class. Here, you are wide open. I recommend deciding on how far you want to take this and then buy the parts to accomplish the goal.

Believe me when I say the CAM class is competitive so seat time now is more important than mediocre suspension mods. Run the car. See what the competition is running and develop your plan. For example, the worst suspension component on the Fox chassis is arguably the converging 4-link. If you do a PHB early, you can also remove one of the upper control arms creating a PM3L. This will require stiffer springs but the bang for the buck outcome is phenomenal. The car will actually handle in a predictable manner with few other changes. This of course allows you to plan for the next step - better dampers.

Just keep in mind that the tires create your traction circle for cornering and braking. Thus, the more rubber you have on the ground and the stickier it is, the better the car will handle - assuming the suspension and brake shortcomings are addressed. Currently, my 86 has the full MM suspension front and rear, C/Os on all 4 corners, 18x11s with 315s on all 4 some areo, big brakes, and a rocking stroker. Still being built, but hope to have it out on its maiden before the end of this season.

The key here is to have fun Planning makes this more likely.
Thank you very much, yes that's what I'm planning on doing but I'd like to address the short comings of the reliability of the foxbody mustang and breaks first.

I do understand the weak point is the 4bind rear end, I do plan of being able to drive it to the event.

I was thinking of starting with the chassis after the brakes and cooling.

I think a phb would be the best first mod, can you explain to me about the pm3l?

Tires/wheels I'm not sure about yet, i don't know much about the SLA but I hear it's a better upgrade but I hear it's also unnecessary.
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post #7 of 21 Old 08-28-2018, 12:02 PM
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Thank you very much, yes that's what I'm planning on doing but I'd like to address the short comings of the reliability of the foxbody mustang and breaks first.

I do understand the weak point is the 4bind rear end, I do plan of being able to drive it to the event.

I was thinking of starting with the chassis after the breaks and cooling.

I think a phb would be the best first mod, can you explain to me about the pm3l?

Tires/wheels I'm not sure about yet, i don't know much about the SLA but I hear it's a better upgrade but I hear it's also unnecessary.
BRAKES, IT'S SPELLED B R A K E S!

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post #8 of 21 Old 08-28-2018, 03:30 PM
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Install chassis bracing, functional brakes, Panhard bar and c/c plates first. These are all needed virtually no matter what other parts you choose.

As long as you keep rubber bushings in the UCAs, the Panhard bar will make the car handle better, go faster and ride better.
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-29-2018, 06:00 PM Thread Starter
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Install chassis bracing, functional brakes, Panhard bar and c/c plates first. These are all needed virtually no matter what other parts you choose.

As long as you keep rubber bushings in the UCAs, the Panhard bar will make the car handle better, go faster and ride better.
So no polyurethane bushings in the uppers?
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-29-2018, 06:32 PM
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99% of the time, yes.

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post #11 of 21 Old 08-29-2018, 10:29 PM
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Just a dumb question , it when you remove one of the upper links , does it matter which side .
I would assume it does , so which side do you remove the upper control arm from ?

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post #12 of 21 Old 08-30-2018, 01:09 AM
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You want to remove the upper link from the left side of the car. When this is done, the remaining link is then on the right side of the differential. With a solid axle rear suspension, the upper link being offset to the right helps cancel the unequal tire loads caused by the driveshaft torque being reacted through the suspension elements. This gives the rear tire more total forward grip for acceleration, especially in lower gears.
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-30-2018, 05:19 PM
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I think a phb would be the best first mod, can you explain to me about the pm3l?
Poor Mans 3 Link. The upper links perform two jobs: lateral control in cornering, and axle roll control during acceleration and deceleration. In order for these arms to perform these duties, Ford installed soft rubber bushings to allow the arms to "grow" and "twist" while articulating. These bushings are mounted in such a way that they end up binding at some point during articulation. This causes unexpected and sometimes violent handling.

The PM3L is meant to separate the two jobs: roll control with one upper arm (P/S) and lateral control with the PHB or Watts Link. Because most if not all bind is removed (bind increase wheel rate - sort of an unwanted supplement to your spring rate) with the PM3L, you must increase the rear spring rate similar to a T/A rate. Reduced bind makes the car handle much more predictably, reduces over steer and puts the power down better. But it is a Poor Mans 3 Link, primarily used to avoid rule infractions where class allowances are limited. While the PM3L works, it is not a substitute for a true 3-link, IRS, T/A, etc.

While this system introduces other issues (e.g., potential torque box/floor pan damage), handling surprises is generally not one of them. A side benefit is that the car rides much better. You can accomplish the PM3L with a stock upper with rubber bushings but the design of the bushings causes them to wear dramatically. Can't use poly as Jack mentioned because this material introduce more bind than the rubber. I used a PM3L with rod-ends on both ends. No bushing destruction but NVH in the cabin increases and the aforementioned damage became a greater threat. Nonetheless, I ran my PM3L with MM PHB for three seasons with no damage (also street driven). Transformed the car.

Hope this helps.
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-30-2018, 09:56 PM
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I used a PM3L with rod-ends on both ends.
Was that something you put together yourself, or what did you use?

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post #15 of 21 Old 08-31-2018, 09:29 AM
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Was that something you put together yourself, or what did you use?
Bought it from a CC.com member seven or so years ago. He designed and built it. FWIW, he appears to have followed the info published in Mathis' book.
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-31-2018, 10:04 AM
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Like Jack said, start with the chassis stuff and PHB/CC plates like i mentioned as well, Build that strong foundation, all the little things like springs/swaybars/dampers can come later on when you have a better idea of the car and your goals. I made the mistake when I was young and dumb, of starting with eibach lowering springs, then tokico dampers, and steel boxed rear control arms, to then sell all that garbage for a proper setup on coilovers.

CC plates/Pan hardbar/Subframe connectors will always stay in the car everything else changes. (unless you go IRS obvi)


but that will give the fox platform a welcoming into the year 2002

then you can go tubular A arms, coilovers and different spring rates on how you want her to ride/handle.
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post #17 of 21 Old 09-07-2018, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidneyious View Post
Kinda planned it that way, brakes, fresh up the suspension, sfc, but my problem is I'd be building the suspension a part at a time.
Not quite sure what would be the first thing to get, dampers/springs?

Would take offs be a good start for springs? Panhard bar second?

Or would you suggest a panhard bar before springs and dampers?
I thought you needed cc plates when you started to lower the car? Same with a bump steer kit?
You have to understand that a stock fox is ####,

brakes/susp/chassis sucks welcome to the 60s

So first is chassis

SFC/Panhard bar

that will atleast make the car feel better.

Then CC plates so you can dial in 2 degrees of camber (i run neg 3.5)

Then rear lower control arms,


springs/dampers/swaybars require much more thought

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post #18 of 21 Old 09-10-2018, 06:55 PM
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CAM-T autocrosser with a '88 notch here. CAM-T is an awesome class, you'll love it. Once you get your car built it'll never get old to go out and beat up on Corvettes and Miatas.

I built my car one piece at a time, and I can confirm these guys are giving some good advice. Only thing I might do different is to try the PM3L with the high rate torque arm springs from MM. They're relatively cheap and should work well in that setup. You'll see if you try to autox with the stock 4 link, a fast slalom will be a hairy, unpredictable experience.

Don't think twice about the MM stuff, it's absolutely superb. Build quality and fit is excellent, better than OEM, which is rare to find in the aftermarket. Their parts will transform your car, seriously worth every penny.

Also, one other thing you may consider is keep the tires small until you get the spring rates sorted to how you like them. Reason being is you need to learn how to slide the fox around. A smaller tire will let you know what the car is doing, either under or oversteer.


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post #19 of 21 Old 09-12-2018, 12:34 PM
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Superchicken - any tips/tricks you can share on fitting the 18x10's?
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post #20 of 21 Old 09-13-2018, 04:03 PM
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Superchicken - any tips/tricks you can share on fitting the 18x10's?
Sure, this is what I had to do to get a 18x10 +25 with 275/35's to fit. SN95 brakes, spindles, and axles and MM tubular control arms with a 10" coilover spring. No wheel spacers. There's less than a Bic pen between the tire and the coilover spring. You'll also need a way to move the axle laterally (panhard), since there's gonna be about an inch between the rear tire and the inner rear fender. Axle will need to be squared to the body instead of the control arm mounting points.

I had to roll about 18" of the rear fender, and the front fender I just pulled out about a 1/2" using the fender alignment hardware. Also had to trim the front bumper spat and liner.

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post #21 of 21 Old 09-14-2018, 09:36 AM
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Thanks for the info. With the exception of pushing the front fenders out I've done everything you mentioned due to previous set-ups.
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