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I have a 1990 Mustang GT and I have decided to try my hand at a little autocross action but the first thing I need to do is replace some steering and suspension components. I have found out I have 1 bad tie rod which is what started this whole list of things to replace while I'm at it before I get the car aligned.

On the list as of now are tie rods, upper and lower rear control arms, caster camber plates, ball joints, and new shocks and springs. If there is anything I missed that I should probably replace please let me know.

What kind of tools will I need to remove the old and install the new parts. What are the best places and brands to go with for these parts. Any info on how to get to these components without damaging anything and that sort of thing would be helpful so I don't have to search for tutorials for hours straight. I am not rich but I would like the best track use stuff that is still a descent price.

Traction bars, bumpsteer kit, and torque box reinforcement plates are things I have seen but don't really know anything about them.

I am only 20 and I have never done any auto-x stuff before so any driving advice would also be appreciated.

Thanks for looking at my thread
 

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Go to an Auto-X first, and inspect cars there. Talk to the owners. THEN decide who can help you put on what parts.
 

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Go to an Auto-X first, and inspect cars there. Talk to the owners. THEN decide who can help you put on what parts.
Thanks, that's probably the best idea. I am going to have it inspected soon so I know nothing is going to break on me but I won't start any work until after. What parts would you recommend I replace first with steering and suspension? I know my struts are aftermarket but everything else is stock as far as I know. Just trying to look around and see how much this is going to cost me.
 

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What kind of tools will I need to remove the old and install the new parts. What are the best places and brands to go with for these parts.
Basic hand tools are fine (assortment of sockets/ratchet and wrenches).

I will tell you that I went to Harbor Freight for their 1/2" electric (plug in the wall) impact gun with a set of extensions and a the box of impact sockets. It is by far one of my favorite tools and it works great no matter what the naysayers say about electric tools. You can find the impact gun on sale for 49.99 and the extensions/sockets were around 45.00. Like I said, comes in super handy.
 

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Basic hand tools are fine (assortment of sockets/ratchet and wrenches).

I will tell you that I went to Harbor Freight for their 1/2" electric (plug in the wall) impact gun with a set of extensions and a the box of impact sockets. It is by far one of my favorite tools and it works great no matter what the naysayers say about electric tools. You can find the impact gun on sale for 49.99 and the extensions/sockets were around 45.00. Like I said, comes in super handy.
Alright, I had just heard there was a special tool that I need to rent to remove the tie rods. I have heard bad things about Harbor Freight but it might be nice to have. I still would like to find out what parts people recommend I replace first to improve my Mustang's handling. Just the first few things to give me something to do and improve the handling on the track.
Thanks!
 

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If you have a sickness like I do, it can get expensive fast! I started with control arms, sub frame connectors, shocks, CC plates, and springs. That was a huge step forward. But then, with the car responding much better, made me realize it was way behind in the steering and brake department. Cobra brakes, 5-lug swap, new rack and pump, and I'm almost done..............I mean it this time!

I'm just a driveway hobby mechanic. I knew absolutely nothing about Mustangs 5 months ago. I did all the work myself, gathering roughly 70% of the knowledge from this site. If your control arm bolts are rusted solid to the metal bushing sleeves, you'll need a few extra tools!
 

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Alright, I had just heard there was a special tool that I need to rent to remove the tie rods.
Honestly, no idea. I haven't had a chance to do mine yet.

I have heard bad things about Harbor Freight but it might be nice to have.
Same here, but I read the reviews about the gun on the website and 99 out of 105 were positive. I took the chance and I am glad I did. It's a great impact gun.

I still would like to find out what parts people recommend I replace first to improve my Mustang's handling. Just the first few things to give me something to do and improve the handling on the track.
Thanks!
When I start with my suspesion (currently cleaning/painting the interior) I will be using Maximum Motorsports stuff on my car.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
If you have a sickness like I do, it can get expensive fast! I started with control arms, sub frame connectors, shocks, CC plates, and springs. That was a huge step forward. But then, with the car responding much better, made me realize it was way behind in the steering and brake department. Cobra brakes, 5-lug swap, new rack and pump, and I'm almost done..............I mean it this time!

I'm just a driveway hobby mechanic. I knew absolutely nothing about Mustangs 5 months ago. I did all the work myself, gathering roughly 70% of the knowledge from this site. If your control arm bolts are rusted solid to the metal bushing sleeves, you'll need a few extra tools!
This sounds like me. I am trying to learn all this stuff while I go and hopefully by the end of this I will know how everything works. I replaced the brake rotors, bearings, calipers, pads, and bled the brakes in the parking lot of my campus lol. I need to check what the pervious owner did because I know he put some frame stiffeners on the rear end and he might have put some subframe connectors on. He wanted to turn it into a drag car.

Well I am going to just get it tuned and aligned. Then have it inspected to make sure I can run it. After the first event I am going to start doing some work.

So I should probably replace shocks and springs, control arms, CC plates, and I was thinking about getting a strut tower brace. Anything else I should probably touch for my first round of handling and steering work?

Thanks for the help glasslaws
 

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It looks like I have to go in STO since I have CAI. What all am I allowed to do to my car and what should I do to a basically stock Mustang to be competitive in this class?

My plan is to Stiffen the frame with subframe connectors, K member brace, and strut tower brace. Then get new shocks, struts, springs and caster camber plates.
 

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If you have never driven at an autocross before you may want to consider replacing any worn out parts just to make the car safe and then drive the car as is for awhile. Buying all the parts in the world wont make you a competitive driver, only seat time can do that. By driving your car as is first, you can learn the effects of parts and add them as you need them. This way you will understand what the parts are doing for you which can make you a better driver all around.
 

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If you have never driven at an autocross before you may want to consider replacing any worn out parts just to make the car safe and then drive the car as is for awhile. Buying all the parts in the world wont make you a competitive driver, only seat time can do that. By driving your car as is first, you can learn the effects of parts and add them as you need them. This way you will understand what the parts are doing for you which can make you a better driver all around.
Alright, well it's a 90 so everything is starting to get worn out. I do plan on running it at least once to see how it does and try to learn a little since haven't ever done this.
 

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I have an 86 that I've been tinkering with for a very long time. But the bottom line is unless you understand the peculiar good and bad dynamics of your car, and you have the skills to take advantage of them, all the mods in the world will be of little use. The above advice regarding improving the nut behind the wheel first is sage. To get the most out of your experience, try to find an autocross driving school. Typically, these last a whole day. One can get in 20-30 runs with an instructor riding along and at times driving your car, depending on how it is organized. Repeated times over course allows you to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes all while the isntructor is providing advice. Allowing someone to drive your car with substantial experience opens the eyes to what even an absolute stock as a stove car can do.
 

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I have an 86 that I've been tinkering with for a very long time. But the bottom line is unless you understand the peculiar good and bad dynamics of your car, and you have the skills to take advantage of them, all the mods in the world will be of little use. The above advice regarding improving the nut behind the wheel first is sage. To get the most out of your experience, try to find an autocross driving school. Typically, these last a whole day. One can get in 20-30 runs with an instructor riding along and at times driving your car, depending on how it is organized. Repeated times over course allows you to make mistakes and learn from those mistakes all while the isntructor is providing advice. Allowing someone to drive your car with substantial experience opens the eyes to what even an absolute stock as a stove car can do.
Thanks, this is the kind of think I needed to hear. I will just learn how to drive it first and see what needs improvement. Thanks guys.
 
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