Max Motorsports rear suspension upgrades - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 43 Old 11-09-2018, 08:06 AM Thread Starter
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Max Motorsports rear suspension upgrades

Looking for advise about my latest Max Motorsports rear suspension plan.

My 89GT is 99% street driven during nice weather days in the summer months. Iíve owned it since 1998 and recently replaced a Global West suspension system with the following Maximum Motorsports items:

  • MM K-member with reverse offset Control Arms
  • Koni Yellows Struts with 350# C/O springs
  • MM strut tower brace and CC Plates
  • MM HD Adjustable Rear Control Arms
  • FMS Upper Control Arms
  • H&R Rear Sport Springs
  • MM Panhard Bar
  • Stock Swaybars

I sorta did the installation backwards and completed the front first. It wasnít until I installed the PanHard Bar that seemed to make the biggest difference in stability and to my surprise the steering response.

I could drive it as is... but being a Mustang guy I canít seem to leave well enough alone. So with the Maximum DEAL OF THE DAY sales going on again, I picked up a rear adjustable sway bar. Not sure if I really need it, but I like the idea of it acting directly on the chassis through the end links.

So now Iím trying to decide whether a Rear Coilover Kit and the Road Race Control Arms are worth the effort?

Itís the lightweight aluminum Road Race control arms that make me a little nervous about how theyíll hold up. I donít drag race, but I canít rule out a rare trip to the track. I donít run slicks and only have approx. 300rwhp. I also don't plan on installing a Torque Arm in the near future. Does the Torque Arm make a difference in relieving some stress on these arms will see vs. stock uppers? Iím just looking for a little feedback. Thanks!


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post #2 of 43 Old 11-10-2018, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well, MMS DOTD this weekend is CC plates and Panhard Bars... so I still have time to decide until RCA's and CC kits go on sale.




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post #3 of 43 Old 11-10-2018, 09:34 PM
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The MM bar, coil overs, and road race arms are all very robust. I just installed them and more on my own car. Quality and engineering are first rate. If you are unsure as to whether they will work best for your intentions, why not call MM and ask the experts themselves?





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post #4 of 43 Old 11-13-2018, 09:50 AM
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I have the grip box kit on my 95 Cobra and absolutely love it. The torque arm helps keep the rear end planted to the ground. I would def recommend it as a uprade for your car in the future. I recently brought the car out to Deals Gap US129 aka the dragon and it def exceeded my expectations. I was hanging with imports that I'd have never stayed with if I was running the factory or ####ty suspension.
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post #5 of 43 Old 11-19-2018, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Well, I ALMOST pulled the trigger on a Torque Arm yesterday, but when reading the installation instructions found out I'd have to modify yet another exhaust component... my Bassani X-Pipe. Modifying my tailpipes for the Panhard Bar sucked enough. Plus I don't weld and am not aware of a competent shop in my area yet. I won't say never to the T/A, but not this spring.

On a side note, it would be nice if Maximum Motorsports and someone in the stainless steel exhaust aftermarket (ex. Magnaflow) would collaborate to offer a quality Mustang exhaust system with extra adjustability to clear suspension mods and have minimal drone. I see a business opportunity here... cough cough.

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post #6 of 43 Old 11-19-2018, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
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Well, I ALMOST pulled the trigger on a Torque Arm yesterday, but when reading the installation instructions found out I'd have to modify yet another exhaust component... my Bassani X-Pipe. Modifying my tailpipes for the Panhard Bar sucked enough. Plus I don't weld and am not aware of a competent shop in my area yet. I won't say never to the T/A, but not this spring.

On a side note, it would be nice if Maximum Motorsports and someone in the stainless steel exhaust aftermarket (ex. Magnaflow) would collaborate to offer a quality Mustang exhaust system with extra adjustability to clear suspension mods and have minimal drone. I see a business opportunity here... cough cough.
The other thing you might look into is a mobile fabricator. I used one to modify the rear fenders on my car he came to my house did all the work in my garage. The guy I used did allot of work with offroad racing and BFG so his truck had everything in it needed to do fab work. If there are offroad groups in your area you may want to ask around.
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post #7 of 43 Old 11-19-2018, 01:47 PM
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Tom, dive in headfirst and get it done. The TA is absolutely worth the extra effort.
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post #8 of 43 Old 11-19-2018, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by TomV View Post
Looking for advise about my latest Max Motorsports rear suspension plan.

My 89GT is 99% street driven during nice weather days in the summer months. Iíve owned it since 1998 and recently replaced a Global West suspension system with the following Maximum Motorsports items:

  • MM K-member with reverse offset Control Arms
  • Koni Yellows Struts with 350# C/O springs
  • MM strut tower brace and CC Plates
  • MM HD Adjustable Rear Control Arms
  • FMS Upper Control Arms
  • H&R Rear Sport Springs
  • MM Panhard Bar
  • Stock Swaybars

I sorta did the installation backwards and completed the front first. It wasnít until I installed the PanHard Bar that seemed to make the biggest difference in stability and to my surprise the steering response.

I could drive it as is... but being a Mustang guy I canít seem to leave well enough alone. So with the Maximum DEAL OF THE DAY sales going on again, I picked up a rear adjustable sway bar. Not sure if I really need it, but I like the idea of it acting directly on the chassis through the end links.

So now Iím trying to decide whether a Rear Coilover Kit and the Road Race Control Arms are worth the effort?

Itís the lightweight aluminum Road Race control arms that make me a little nervous about how theyíll hold up. I donít drag race, but I canít rule out a rare trip to the track. I donít run slicks and only have approx. 300rwhp. I also don't plan on installing a Torque Arm in the near future. Does the Torque Arm make a difference in relieving some stress on these arms will see vs. stock uppers? Iím just looking for a little feedback. Thanks!
Why are you doing all of this stuff to a car that is 99% street driven?

2003 mach1 with MM R&T box with TA, 2000 R brakes and lots of other bits and pieces here and there.
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post #9 of 43 Old 11-19-2018, 05:51 PM Thread Starter
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That’s a good question. I don’t race, but It is still a hobby. I usually make a few improvements each year. Probably have $22k total investment, but that’s over 20 years.not bad when compared to the price of a new Mustang. You’ll laugh, but the K-member project was all due to a reoccurring oil pan gasket leak. 😉

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post #10 of 43 Old 11-19-2018, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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The car's in winter storage, so I can't get underneath to inspect or measure anything. Maybe I can persuade Maximum into sending a loaner or scrap T/A crossmember for trial fitting in the spring. This is the only half way decent picture I have of the exhaust placement and it's hard to say how much clearance is there.



Edit: Found a real old X-Pipe to stock pic.



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post #11 of 43 Old 11-22-2018, 11:06 AM
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How's the ride on the street with 350# front springs?

I'm putting together a similar setup with 250# fronts and conventional springs out back on my street driven car. Was debating the T/A but hesitated for the same reasons.

I just need a few more items for the front coil overs but itching to get it installed soon. Got my rear setup going on shortly. (MM arms already installed)
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post #12 of 43 Old 11-26-2018, 07:38 AM Thread Starter
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EDIT: I just double checked my MM receipts actually have 325# springs. For some reason I was thinking 350. I recall deciding on the rate based off recommendations for Koni SA's which is 275-375 lb/in.

I used to run 800# conventional springs up front, so I wasn't worried about the 325# C/O. I think the ride is great. Definitely smoother than before and seems to corner just as flat. Plus I'm a 1/2" lower than prior and with my rim offset I think I'd rub the fender lip a lot more with softer springs. If I were able to experiment other rates it would be 350# & 300# but I don't have any regrets with my current setup.

On a side note, I picked up the softer MM front sway bar to install with the MM adjustable rear. I also got a killer deal on a Torsen T2 differential, so I'm excited to see how this stuff plays out next spring.

As for my original question in this post, I've decided to hold off on the rear C/O, race arms and T/A for a while.
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Last edited by TomV; 11-26-2018 at 12:47 PM. Reason: Updated spring rates
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post #13 of 43 Old 11-27-2018, 02:54 PM
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800# conventionals have a wheel rate of 200#. The 325# C/O has a wheel rate of 292.5#. The car should run flatter than conventionals and ride better.

As for the T/A, best mod you can make - better than the front C/Os. This is due to the rear suspension design which induces bind at the uppers. In fact, running a PHB and stock uppers creates two roll centers defined by the PHB and the uppers. Not the best handling solution when bind is added in too. Since you already have the PHB, I'd recommend trying a PM3L to see the improvement in ride quality and handling with no additional exhaust mods. You will have to increase the rear spring rate to match the fronts - probably a 350#-400# conventional spring. After that experience, you'll likely rush to the T/A mod.
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post #14 of 43 Old 11-27-2018, 04:18 PM
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Since you already have the PHB, I'd recommend trying a PM3L to see the improvement in ride quality and handling with no additional exhaust mods.
Can you elaborate on what that PM3L is?

I'm like the OP, building a street car that I want to be comfortable and handle the best that it can. I do however plan to do some track days just for fun at the drag strip and also road course. It needs to be a do it all car meant for fun, not any kind of competitive racing, so I am having a hard time deciding on the suspension component parts, and threads like these definitely help to shed some light on what's most important. I still have a lot of learning to do, so I'll just keep reading along.

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
| Factory 302 SB | 195 Canfields | RPM2 Intake | CI Cam | Probe Shafts 1.6 | 80mm PMAS | 39# Inj | Tweecer R/T | Mac LTs 1 3/4 | Pro chamber 3" | Mac Cat-back 3" |
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post #15 of 43 Old 11-27-2018, 05:53 PM
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Can you elaborate on what that PM3L is?
Poor Man's 3-Link. Removing one of the uppers. Both of them are no longer needed for lateral location when you have a panhard bar, but they will define a roll center and the panhard bar will define a much different one. That's a fight only one of them will win, at the expense of handling manners.
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post #16 of 43 Old 11-27-2018, 06:46 PM
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Poor Man's 3-Link. Removing one of the uppers. Both of them are no longer needed for lateral location when you have a panhard bar, but they will define a roll center and the panhard bar will define a much different one. That's a fight only one of them will win, at the expense of handling manners.
Oh wow, that's very interesting. First I hear of this method. Thanks for the details.

It also seems that if you get the torque arm you get rid of both of the upper control arms, is that correct? If so, I'm liking that option already.

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
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post #17 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 09:33 AM
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post #18 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 09:47 AM
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Poor Man's 3-Link. Removing one of the uppers. Both of them are no longer needed for lateral location when you have a panhard bar, but they will define a roll center and the panhard bar will define a much different one. That's a fight only one of them will win, at the expense of handling manners.
I've debated the PM3L as i'm not sure i want to go to the trouble of a T/A on a 100% street driven car, but i'm concerned about wear and tear from the PM3L. I know in racing applications, the bushings in the arms tend to get beaten up and fail sooner, but what about in a street driven setup. Same concerns, but to a lesser degree?

WHen i install my PHB, i may try the PM3L. I have MM lowers with the discontinued steeda upper arms that were basically stock arms, boxed, and zinc washed gold. Should i continue to use these arms, or would it make sense to try another arm?

Any long term damage to the upper arm mount on the body?

Which upper is typically removed?
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post #19 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 10:47 AM
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The torque arm, panhard bar, and coil over rear suspension is unquestionably the best mod to handling one can make to these cars. Truly, once you experience the difference (even on a street only car, unless you drive like granny) you will kick yourself for not doing it sooner. Squat under acceleration, and brake dive are both significantly reduced, grip is likewise much improved, and cornering feels way more positively connected.

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post #20 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 10:52 AM
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I know in racing applications, the bushings in the arms tend to get beaten up and fail sooner, but what about in a street driven setup. Same concerns, but to a lesser degree?
So this is a very good point. MM says for any cars over 400hp or even cars with less power that are drag raced one should run spherical bushings instead of polyurethane. I have the same concern as you in that I just don't know how a spherical bushing would work for street driving.

Do your rear lower control arms from MM have polyurethane or spherical bushings currently?

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
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post #21 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 11:23 AM
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And just FYI for anyone interested. Today is the last day for TEAM Z 10% off BF deals. I think I might go with a full front and rear setup from them for my car. Hard to go wrong with their stuff from what I read. I just need to figure out what all I need.

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
| Factory 302 SB | 195 Canfields | RPM2 Intake | CI Cam | Probe Shafts 1.6 | 80mm PMAS | 39# Inj | Tweecer R/T | Mac LTs 1 3/4 | Pro chamber 3" | Mac Cat-back 3" |
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post #22 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 11:56 AM
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I ran my PM3L on the street for three seasons - DD duty. I also auto-crossed and open tracked the car. My PM3L used spherical bushings on both ends with a design attempting to get the arm as straight as possible to the chassis mount (see the Mathis' Suspension book for a similar design). This mounting transferred a lot of gear noise to the cabin. But the handling was outstanding. Moreover, ride quality improved dramatically since most if not all suspension bind was removed. My car had a relatively stock motor so no high horsepower stress on the components. But the floor has been known to tear at the chassis mount on cars with more power, sticky tires, clutch dumps, etc. Mine never did nor deformed even a little.

The gear noise and handling characteristics eventually made me do the T/A. Best handing mod ever - even better than my 01 Cobra's IRS (it was stock).
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post #23 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 01:07 PM
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The gear noise and handling characteristics eventually made me do the T/A. Best handing mod ever - even better than my 01 Cobra's IRS (it was stock).
Thanks for your input, very helpful. So was there some way that the TA got rid of the gear noise for you?

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
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post #24 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 01:53 PM
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So was there some way that the TA got rid of the gear noise for you?
The MM TA mounts in a way that isolates gear noise. NVH increases a little but the gear noise is completely gone. Honestly, the NVH is minor.
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post #25 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 02:03 PM
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So this is a very good point. MM says for any cars over 400hp or even cars with less power that are drag raced one should run spherical bushings instead of polyurethane. I have the same concern as you in that I just don't know how a spherical bushing would work for street driving.

Do your rear lower control arms from MM have polyurethane or spherical bushings currently?
I run the HD series adjustable rear arms, so spherical on one end and poly on the other. My car will probably be around 350 crank HP, and no hard launches.

NVH is a concern for me, as i'm trying to avoid going with spherical's as much as i can. I probably will install the PHB shortly, but not run the actual bar for some time while i figure out what i want to do here. I'm not opposed to the T/A, i just dont have access to a welder just yet and i don't have a good relationship with someone i trust locally to install it.

I keep hearing what a night and day difference the PHB and T/A are though
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post #26 of 43 Old 11-28-2018, 04:23 PM
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I run the HD series adjustable rear arms, so spherical on one end and poly on the other. My car will probably be around 350 crank HP, and no hard launches.

NVH is a concern for me, as i'm trying to avoid going with spherical's as much as i can.
Seems our setups are very similar. That's about the power mine makes. I will however be beating the snot out of it at the drag strip every once in a while.

How is NVH right now with your current setup with that one set of bushings being spherical? Is the ride still pleasant for street use? Might be the route I need to go.

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
| Factory 302 SB | 195 Canfields | RPM2 Intake | CI Cam | Probe Shafts 1.6 | 80mm PMAS | 39# Inj | Tweecer R/T | Mac LTs 1 3/4 | Pro chamber 3" | Mac Cat-back 3" |
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post #27 of 43 Old 11-29-2018, 09:37 AM
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How is NVH right now with your current setup with that one set of bushings being spherical? Is the ride still pleasant for street use? Might be the route I need to go.
Ride is very nice actually. Feels stockish. MMHD lower with stock style Ford upper arms and rubber bushings in the axle. I'm running tokico shocks and bullitt springs and it's a very nice sporty ride with no real NVH.

Combo is about to change though.
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post #28 of 43 Old 11-29-2018, 12:38 PM
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Ride is very nice actually. Feels stockish. MMHD lower with stock style Ford upper arms and rubber bushings in the axle. I'm running tokico shocks and bullitt springs and it's a very nice sporty ride with no real NVH.

Combo is about to change though.
Thanks. That's very good to know. I just called MM and discussed my goals and such and basically it sounds like their suggestion mirrors everything you all have said. Therefore, my plans will be for full sub frames, MMHD lowers, PHB, and a TA. I will probably do this overtime and get the subframes and lowers in first and go from there.

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
| Factory 302 SB | 195 Canfields | RPM2 Intake | CI Cam | Probe Shafts 1.6 | 80mm PMAS | 39# Inj | Tweecer R/T | Mac LTs 1 3/4 | Pro chamber 3" | Mac Cat-back 3" |
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post #29 of 43 Old 11-29-2018, 06:32 PM
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Combo is about to change though.
Wondering what you decided on, if anything yet?

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| Factory 302 SB | 195 Canfields | RPM2 Intake | CI Cam | Probe Shafts 1.6 | 80mm PMAS | 39# Inj | Tweecer R/T | Mac LTs 1 3/4 | Pro chamber 3" | Mac Cat-back 3" |
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post #30 of 43 Old 11-30-2018, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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I'm glad this thread has become useful for others, as we seem to share the same concerns. NVH is also a concern for me with a T/A.

A friend of mine has a MM T/A on his red SVO and claims not to like it. He says the driveline noise is louder and he feels the vibration right under his seat now. Said the rear feels as if the tires are always low on pressure. He has another SVO with an IRS and says it rides so much better. Now to be fair, I haven't ridden in his cars, nor have I inspected the installation. Plus I don't know his spring rates and perhaps his rear end is in need of maintenance. It's that type of feedback that makes me leary, but all the positive comments here make me believe his case maybe unique.
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post #31 of 43 Old 11-30-2018, 08:24 AM
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Wondering what you decided on, if anything yet?
All MM parts

Front:
MM coil over using their MM custom Bilstien street struts and 250# springs
C/C plates and STB
Bump Steer kit


Rear:
MM HD adjustable arms
FMS OEM upper arms
PHB
H&R Super Sport SN95 rear springs
Bilstien HD shocks
Eiback 25mm sway bar

Misc.
Full length SFC's.


Just need to order the front struts and i'm ready to start my install

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post #32 of 43 Old 11-30-2018, 09:46 AM
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My plans this winter are very similar to @Mustang5L5. Glad to see someone else trying the conventional spring route in the rear. That was Jack at MM recommendation for me.

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post #33 of 43 Old 11-30-2018, 10:03 AM
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My plans this winter are very similar to @Mustang5L5. Glad to see someone else trying the conventional spring route in the rear. That was Jack at MM recommendation for me.

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Yup. I sent a few emails to Jack and this is what he recommended as well. I'm holding off on the T/A for now. Not opposed to running it, but i'm casually keeping an eye out for an IRS. I'm giving myself next summer to find one otherwise I go T/A.

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post #34 of 43 Old 11-30-2018, 11:05 AM
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Nice! I still have to pick up most of the parts. The plan is a little at a time over the winter.

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1987 Mustang GT
Work in progress...
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post #35 of 43 Old 11-30-2018, 11:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang5L5 View Post
All MM parts

Front:
MM coil over using their MM custom Bilstien street struts and 250# springs
C/C plates and STB
Bump Steer kit


Rear:
MM HD adjustable arms
FMS OEM upper arms
PHB
H&R Super Sport SN95 rear springs
Bilstien HD shocks
Eiback 25mm sway bar

Misc.
Full length SFC's.


Just need to order the front struts and i'm ready to start my install
In the discussion I had yesterday I was told the H&R SS really slam your car and are very firm and the recommendation was to go with the Sport springs instead. Not sure if you knew that or not, but just FYI.

Ride: 1995 GT ... work in progress ...
| Factory 302 SB | 195 Canfields | RPM2 Intake | CI Cam | Probe Shafts 1.6 | 80mm PMAS | 39# Inj | Tweecer R/T | Mac LTs 1 3/4 | Pro chamber 3" | Mac Cat-back 3" |
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