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docwyte
docwyte SuperDork
4/6/18 8:03 p.m.

Doh!

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/7/18 9:34 p.m.

@docwyte,

Yes, that is stock ride height. Car will not be that high for long. The new tires on the forgelines are also a smaller profile, so that doesn’t help the situation either. 

As @smokindav mentions, lowering these cars does do some bad things to the suspension geometry. The things he mentions about needing a new k-member and other items are very true, hence why I have been spending a lot of time trying to address these items. The parts are fairly pricey, but if you shop around for used stuff you can definitely make it more reasonable. This year I will have the new rear upper and lower control arms with the panhard bar, and the forward offset front control arms with caster camber plates and good springs and dampers all the way around. The thought is to move to either a 5 link or torque arm next year, with a new k-member up front. Want to experience the different stages of the build.

Speaking of panhard bars, I finally got mine installed today!

 

 

Install really wasn’t too bad, just a lot of measuring, marking, and more measuring. Super rewarding though since it really tied the rear end together in my opinion. A short test drive after revealed a much more stabile car, even on old ratty stock shocks and springs. Can’t wait to get the new springs and dampers under the car.  Next on the agenda is definitely brakes. Was going to dig into those today but ran out of time. In the meantime, here are a couple more rear suspension pics with all the new items added:

 

 

ClemSparks
ClemSparks PowerDork
4/8/18 7:50 a.m.

Looking good!

I've got those lower control arms still in the box waiting on me to install them on my fox body.  That's a "before spring" project.  

smokindav
smokindav Reader
4/8/18 8:27 a.m.

Do you need an adjustable panhard bar with that rear set up or is it still aligned?

 

edit: meant to say panhard not sway bar

XenaFordPrincess
XenaFordPrincess New Reader
4/8/18 9:21 a.m.

If you're running a panhard bar I would recommend only running one upper rear control arm to avoid binding.   They call that the "poor man's 3 link"

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
4/8/18 12:29 p.m.

In reply to XenaFordPrincess :

No input on this but I approve of the username.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/8/18 7:37 p.m.

@smokindav,

The panhard bar is adjustable.

@Xenafordprincess,

Thanks for the heads up! I’ll do some research on that for sure.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/8/18 8:42 p.m.

After some research and some friendly input on some road race mustang forums, @Xenafordprincess is absolutely right. At the moment with both upper control arms attached and the panhard bar, I am very over constrained. Drivers side upper control arm will be coming out ASAP and poor man’s 3 link will be occuring. I knew there was a reason I joined this forum... smiley

smokindav
smokindav Reader
4/8/18 9:13 p.m.

You really should search corner-carvers.com forum for “poor man’s three link” - that forum was started by Mustang guys who got tired of The Corral shenanigans and there is all the Mustang info there you need to make one handle and work on track.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/11/18 7:26 a.m.

Alright, time for a minor update. Have sourced a new upper control arm with a spherical bushing on the chassis side. It will mount to the rubber bushing on the axle housing side: 

This offers a few advantages over running the stock rubber bushings on both sides of the remaining upper control arm. The threaded section allows for adjustment of pinon angle, and the spherical bushing should allow for more range of motion of the UCA and less bind. In essence, it allows the panhard bar to do its job of locating the axle laterally. There will still be some amount of interaction just due to the fact that the upper control arms are angled rather than straight, but the spherical should help with that as much as possible in the stock layout. Next season will most likely see the addition of either a torque arm or 5 link setup, which will eliminate the problem.

Also, plan is to finally install the bumpsteer kit and new brakes tomorrow night, so stay posted!

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/13/18 12:07 p.m.

Alright, update time!

Got the new brakes installed last night. Couple of pictures of the new awesomeness:

In total myself and a friend put on the new bumpsteer kit, new rear calipers, new front calipers and disks, stainless steel lines all the way around, and bled the system with Motul RBF600. Install was time consuming but not overly complicated, toughest part was getting the rear brake line from the chassis to the top of the rear diff installed. It t's off to each of the rear brake lines where it mounts to the top of the differential, and getting those threads lined up along with the bracket was a bit of a challenge.. Otherwise, bumpsteer kit went on fairly easily along with the front calipers and rotors. Thankfully the shop I was working in had a line wrench available, was a life saver for not stripping the bolts on the ends of the chassis-side brake hard lines. The wheels do indeed fit over the brake calipers but juuussstttt barely. I'll probably throw in a 1/4 in spacer on the fronts in the near future. Hard to tell from this picture, but not a ton of clearance:

The brake pedal is still a little bit spongy, so I'm going to bleed some more this weekend and see if I can get a bit better feel out of it. Also found out that the parking brake cables are totally ceased (suprise suprise...). So I'll be grabbing new ones of those when I stop by AutoZone to turn in the rear brake cores this afternoon.

jj
jj HalfDork
4/13/18 1:37 p.m.

Great project.  I will be watching closely.  I just did this exact thing on my 1994 GT, and have one season of autocrossing into it now.  I installed a MM road and track box, and have it dialed in pretty well.  I am interested to see how your bumpsteer works out.  Have you measured it?  One thing is that I would be cautious about the spherical UCAs.  I think MM recommends using stock rubber bushings only because they alow enough flex to let the rear axle articulate with the PHB.  That's what I have now and no problems.

Have fun with this.  Good thing you are not in california with the smog laws wink

Rushcanuck
Rushcanuck New Reader
4/13/18 2:37 p.m.
jj said:

Great project.  I will be watching closely.  I just did this exact thing on my 1994 GT, and have one season of autocrossing into it now.  I installed a MM road and track box, and have it dialed in pretty well.  I am interested to see how your bumpsteer works out.  Have you measured it?  One thing is that I would be cautious about the spherical UCAs.  I think MM recommends using stock rubber bushings only because they alow enough flex to let the rear axle articulate with the PHB.  That's what I have now and no problems.

Have fun with this.  Good thing you are not in california with the smog laws wink

I second that about being careful on the spherical. seen cars tear the torque boxes off the car with spherical and a panhard. If you do chose spherical doing the poor mans 3-link Id say is a requirement

The factory 4 link + panhard bar as long as the uppers are still rubber bushings works. In my experience there are some advantages and disadvantages between the 4 link to the poor mans 3 link. If i remember correctly the 4 link + panhard handles power a lot better. Car will anti squat porperly off the line. In corners it was more loose then the PM 3-link. While the 3 link is much more free, it cycles better. and also pushes a bit more... This testing was in a 02 mustang with very stiff springs front and rear. Big tires. its def worth testing a bit between the two

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/15/18 9:22 a.m.

@jj, 

Glad to hear someone is building something similar! As far as bumpsteer goes, I have not measured it yet. Ended up working late into the night on Thursday, so didn’t get a chance to measure. Barely had enough time to put the car up on the alignment rack and fix the toe. In regards to the spherical UCA, since I am using it in the PM3L setup I think it will work out ok. I know that if I ran it with the stock 4 link setup things would not end well as @Rushcanuck mentioned. I’m keeping the upper control arms with the rubber bushings in them since they are brand new, so I may experiment with switching back and forth between the two.

In other news I sourced a set of Maximum Motorsports forward offset front lower control arms and caster camber plates off of a guy in one on the Facebook groups I’m a part of. Picking up some Tokico D-specs from a friend locally here in the next couple weeks, so I should have close to everything I’ll need to move towards a front coil over setup. Only things I’ll need to pick up new are the coil over sleeves for the shocks from maximum, and the rear springs to match the rate on the fronts. Before I do those items though, I’m going to run a couple of auto cross events to see how the car does with its current setup. Will help me gain a baseline and an appreciation for how much better it gets with the new parts.

Next thing I’ll be working on is installing a gauge cluster so I can monitor coolant temp, oil temp, and oil pressure. Want to make sure the powertrain stays healthy.

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
4/15/18 11:25 a.m.

I was wondering about the bump steer kit yesterday. I've never noticed much of any bump steer from the miles I've put on the '97 GT .I mentioned earlier.I t's an all stock suspension car with a lot of miles on it. I wonder if that becomes more of an issue as you lower the car and get into stuff like the offset control arms. 

Rushcanuck
Rushcanuck New Reader
4/15/18 2:27 p.m.
Daylan C said:

I was wondering about the bump steer kit yesterday. I've never noticed much of any bump steer from the miles I've put on the '97 GT .I mentioned earlier.I t's an all stock suspension car with a lot of miles on it. I wonder if that becomes more of an issue as you lower the car and get into stuff like the offset control arms. 

I also have never really noticed any bumpsteer. Ive got a 1989 foxbody, with the stock spindles no bumpsteer, with the 1995 spindles I still dont notice any bumpsteer. Cars lowered 2 inches, with stock tie rod ends. urethane rack bushings

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/15/18 9:27 p.m.

In reply to Rushcanuck :

The main thing that drove me to the bumpsteer kit on my car was actually the brake rotor clearance. Since they are C4 'vette rotors, they have a pretty deep cone to them that pushes them inboard more than most rotors. When I test fit the new rotors the first time I noticed the rubber boots on the tie rod ends we're rubbing the rotors. So the move to a bumpsteer kit was actually made mostly for the smaller sperical bushing on the end of the tie rod to clear the brakes. I figure the adjustability doesn't hurt either laugh

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
4/15/18 10:47 p.m.

In reply to KonaBoss :

Ok that makes sense.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/20/18 1:29 p.m.

Made a small amount of progress last night, got the new UCA installed with the spherical joint on the chassis side to complete the PM3L:

Made sure to measure driveshaft and pinion angle before and after, set to the same. Also, found the source of my mysterious clunk when I first start moving in either forward or reverse. Front u-joint on the driveshaft is toast, so will be doing those tonight. Other goals for tonight are as follows:

1. Replace parking brake cables while driveshaft is out

2. Replace front brake pads, spread calipers apart to slide new pads in

3. Replace u-joints

4. Bleed brakes again

5. Put new exhaust on :)

Ended up sourcing a bassani stainless catback from the same gentleman who sold me my lower control arms and panhard bar. In awesome shape, and has already been modified to clear the panhard. Got tired of the dumped SLP's pretty quick.. 

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
4/22/18 8:27 p.m.

Update from Friday:

Put new u-joints on both ends of the driveshaft. Mystery clunk is totally gone, car sounds so much better! Also re-bled the brakes,  pedal feel is absolutely incredible now. Exponentially more confidence inspiring than they were when I bought the car. I also managed to put new front pads in, and did a short brake bedding. I attempted to put the new cat back on, but the overaxle pipes did not line up with the tail pipes for some reason... Not sure why as the guy I bought them off of was running the exact same rear suspension setup I have on the same year car. I also picked up a really cheap x pipe from a friend, but it will need a bit of slicing and dicing to fit up with the rest of the system. At this point I think I’m just going to take the car to an exhaust shop and get them to help me to get the whole system to play nice together.

I also took the car out to my favorite driving spot this weekend and shook it down a bit around some twistys, everything went well. At this point I think the ol’ girl is ready for the first autocross!

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
5/1/18 9:34 p.m.

Hey all, sorry for the lapse in updates. Car went in and had the full length subframe connectors welded in, came out fantastic. Car feels so much tighter now. Even the girlfriend commented on how much better it rides now and how much "less-noodly" it feels. Glad it's not all in my head :) 

First autocross is this coming Saturday and is like 5 mins from the house, so should present the perfect opportunity to shake the car down. I have been slowly accumulating parts for the front coilover conversions and new rear springs, and have almost everything put together for that. So I'll run this autocross on the remaining stock suspension ( springs an dampers, front control arms) and then it will be time to get to work! Can't wait to get the car lowered from the current tractor ride height.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
5/7/18 7:47 a.m.

Report out from the first autocross:

Issue #1: With a full tank of gas the car spills fuel with hard cornering out of the tank area. Anyone have thoughts on where this could be coming from? Is this a common problem on these cars?

Issue #2: ALOT of understeer (not unexpected, but definitely present). Hoping that going lower with stiffer springs and caster/camber plates will help out some (I know I need more front camber). Depending on the effectiveness of those changes, stiffer rear swaybar may also be considered. 

Otherwise, car ran well with no issues. Engine, trans, rear end seemed fine. I did have some rubbing of the rear tires on the inside of the wheel well, so I'm going to put the 3/8" spacers I bought on the rear.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver PowerDork
5/7/18 8:07 a.m.

Check the rubber seal where the filler neck goes into the tank. Ethanol in modern gas eats the originals, btu the replacement parts from Ford are an updated material. Can be replaced without dropping the tank. 

 

I have also had a failure of the gasket where the fuel pump goes in at the top of the tank, you do need to drop it for that one.  NOTE: the Rock Auto part has the wrong metal part, but the correct rubber part. Dont berk up the metal part or throw it away because you ordered a new one. 

 

Understeer, well, my setup is H&R race springs and a huge addco front bar with as much caster and camber as I can get. The big bar actually helps as it limits roll and camber loss. Its counter-intuitive.  

jj
jj HalfDork
5/7/18 8:52 a.m.

I believe alignment helps alot with the understeer.  I have the HR super race springs with stock sway bars.  Alignment settings are 2.25d of camber, 0 tow, maybe 4.9 degrees of caster.

KonaBoss
KonaBoss New Reader
5/7/18 12:20 p.m.

@Apexcarver,

Thanks for the info on the fuel items and chassis setup advice. I'll have a look at the fuel stuff this week at some point.

@jj,

Agreed on the alignment perspective. I am just waiting to do that until I install my coilovers etc. Will be curious to see the difference it makes.

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