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Discussion Starter #1
Not really looking to auto-X, but you guys are the most knowledgeable for retaining good driving manors when modifying suspensions. Please indulge me.

I'm looking to lower my '91 LX hatchback 5.0 with AOD. It currently rolls on stock suspension. I want to lower it 1" or so in the front and as much as 2" in the rear. I have a big and little tire package and want to bring the rear down to close to level with the front. I also want to retain stock like handling. I'm not looking to burn corners. I am satisfied with the OE driving experience, but want the car lower because quite frankly it looks better. So keeping it like stock for ride and handling is fine.

I am thinking a coil-over conversion for the front with camber plates and coil-overs for the rear with good lower control arms and adjustable upper control arms (to correct pinion angle) would be the best path to my goal. Am I on the right track with this idea?

Thanks.
 

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I would not suggest the adjustable rear upper control arms. Most have stiffer bushings that will accentuate snap oversteer. If you are going coil overs in the rear I would suggest MM race lower control arms and stock uppers. You can then adjust pinion angle with the lowers if it is necessary.
 

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Definitely keep stock uppers in rear with rubber as mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok that is good to know. Would it be worth the effort to weld a gusset on the under side of the upper arms? Basically boxing them in.
 

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Boxing them in defeats their purpose of being able to flex and twist. They already add bind to the quadrabind, don't add more by boxing them in.
 

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For the goals you have, I don't think you need coil overs.
Good cc plates on the front will probably be needed to maintain alignment. Leave the rear control arms alone.
A set of springs, good shocks, cc plates and you're done.
Maximum Motorsports
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Rear springs alone won't get the back of the car low enough to level (or near level) the car despite the difference in front to rear tire heights with the current tires and definitely not with the next set of rear tires.

I am running 165R15's front (25.43") and 255/60R15's rear (27.1"). If I drop the front say 1", I have to drop the rear 1.75-1.80" to make the car level. The next rear tires will be 275/60's which would mean the back of the car would have to come down 2.25" in total.

Would there be any issue with running simple 1" drop springs up front and coil-overs in the back?
 

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Big and littles are not handling rubber. The Fox chassis tends to understeer. Using narrow fronts with wide rears just exacerbates that problem. If you want to handle, dump drag-race inspired suspension and rolling stock. Look at road racing components.
 

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Big and littles are not handling rubber. The Fox chassis tends to understeer. Using narrow fronts with wide rears just exacerbates that problem. If you want to handle, dump drag-race inspired suspension and rolling stock. Look at road racing components.
:confused: Where did he say anything about it wanting to handle? He said he's happy with the driving experience now, he just wants it to sit lower because he prefers the way that looks.

Rear springs alone won't get the back of the car low enough to level (or near level) the car despite the difference in front to rear tire heights with the current tires and definitely not with the next set of rear tires.

I am running 165R15's front (25.43") and 255/60R15's rear (27.1"). If I drop the front say 1", I have to drop the rear 1.75-1.80" to make the car level. The next rear tires will be 275/60's which would mean the back of the car would have to come down 2.25" in total.
Perhaps some MM height adjustable rear LCAs, combined with lowering springs, would get you there? I don't know if that would be more economical than doing a rear coil-over setup, but might be worth considering.

Would there be any issue with running simple 1" drop springs up front and coil-overs in the back?
There wouldn't be any issue with that, but I personally think you should do coil-overs up front. If you're truly concerned about getting the stance just the way you like it, then having that adjustability up front will be important. "Simple 1" drop springs" may not drop an inch - could be more, could be less. With coil-overs you can set it where you want it. If you choose dampers and spring rates that are well matched, the ride quality will actually be better, as will the performance.
 

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I know you're trying to basically keep it stock like, but i have a recommendation. have full length subframe connectors welded in. i had done springs and shocks on mine and didn't fully realize the benefit until my subframes were installed. They just really make the suspension work like its supposed to. The unibody really sucks and the suspension just wont do what it is supposed to until its braced. I'm not an expert, just from experience it makes a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Big and littles are not handling rubber. The Fox chassis tends to understeer. Using narrow fronts with wide rears just exacerbates that problem. If you want to handle, dump drag-race inspired suspension and rolling stock. Look at road racing components.
I'm not looking to road race or auto cross. I had a '90 GT that I ran 165R15 and 275/50's all summer, in all weather for more than 4 years with ZERO issues. It road, drove and stopped fine.

I'm just looking to maintain stock like handling with the ride height lower.

I know you're trying to basically keep it stock like, but i have a recommendation. have full length subframe connectors welded in........ just from experience it makes a big difference.
I'll keep that in mind and it sounds like a good idea.
 

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Have you thought about RideTech?

No personal experience, but thinking as you're looking for a comfortable ride and a way to choose the aesthetics of your car, this seems to me like a good solution. Seen them use these systems on "Fast & Loud" with good results for cool looks and good ride quality. Link to mustang section below.

Musclecars :: Ford Mustang 79-93 - RideTech.com - Suspension Specialist - Online Store

Might be a good choice for your goals. Also agree that good weld in subframe connectors should be the first thing done to a fox body mustang to improve performance, ride and longevity.
 

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I'm not looking to road race or auto cross. I had a '90 GT that I ran 165R15 and 275/50's all summer, in all weather for more than 4 years with ZERO issues. It road, drove and stopped fine.

I'm just looking to maintain stock like handling with the ride height lower.
A 'big & little' setup may be what you're accustomed to, but it certainly is not "stock-like" in its behavior. Though in cornering that's gentle enough, where there isn't a whole lot going on dynamically, it may not differ from stock too much.


Norm
 

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:confused: Where did he say anything about it wanting to handle? He said he's happy with the driving experience now, he just wants it to sit lower because he prefers the way that looks.
He did refer to wanting "stock-like" handling and he inquired here because it's the place where handling in general is best understood. For most of this section's regulars, that means a more or less 'square' setup in terms of tire size and wheel width, so the focus so far has been to bring his car back up to a "stock like" handling level .


Norm
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yes. I came to this subforum because the guys that really know how to improve handling probably best understand how to do what I want to do. Much the same as guys that really know how to build performance engines know how to build superb everyday engines.

What I don't want is to be low and have a hot mess of handling and ride.
 

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He did refer to wanting "stock-like" handling and he inquired here because it's the place where handling in general is best understood. For most of this section's regulars, that means a more or less 'square' setup in terms of tire size and wheel width, so the focus so far has been to bring his car back up to a "stock like" handling level.
I'm a section regular and didn't have a problem figuring out what he's looking to do. :p If you read his whole post, I think it's pretty clear that the "stock like handling" comment was in reference to his current setup - stock suspension + bigs and littles. That's a far cry from wanting a square setup.
 

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Street-acceptable is not the same as "stock", and I did specify "most regulars" rather than implying "all" by default. Heavy understeer may actually be acceptable to OP, or it may at least be what he's accustomed to.

But we're just going to have to agree to disagree on how far to carry any interpretation of "stock handling". I can't feel too sorry about trying to nudge people away from a big-n-little setup in any discussion where "handling" - stock or otherwise - was mentioned. Not when it's inherently a (perhaps heavily) understeerish setup in the dry and potentially very loose under power in the wet.


Norm
 

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I started out with BBK progressive rate Lowering Springs. I have now have Street Coil Overs on the front, but still have the BBK rear springs. They've held up extremely well.
 
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