Graefin10 Reader
June 16, 2011 7:21 a.m.

Looks like you were having fun. What engine/susp. changes did you do? The car sure looks a lot faster than the only Fairmont I ever rode in.

jimbbski Reader
June 16, 2011 8:08 a.m.

Fairmont=Mustang=T-Bird. All FOX chassis. Build from 1978-1993. Almost all suspension and engines will interchange without mods. The early Fairmonts and Mustangs that came with a straight I-6 have different engine mounts while the the cars with I4s, V6, & V8's will have the same mounts and a 4 cylinder car can be made a V8 in a weekend.

The 1994-2004 Mustangs are very similar but there are differences that you need to know when swaping engines, suspensions, etc.

Woody SuperDork
June 16, 2011 4:48 p.m.

Besides the shock value and lower buy-in, are there any other advantages to starting with Fairmont over the other Foxes?

Will HalfDork
June 16, 2011 5:48 p.m.
jimbbski wrote: Fairmont=Mustang=T-Bird. All FOX chassis. Build from 1978-1993. Almost all suspension and engines will interchange without mods. The early Fairmonts and Mustangs that came with a straight I-6 have different engine mounts while the the cars with I4s, V6, & V8's will have the same mounts and a 4 cylinder car can be made a V8 in a weekend. The 1994-2004 Mustangs are very similar but there are differences that you need to know when swaping engines, suspensions, etc.

The front suspensions are all very similar (T-Birds had longer front lower control arms than the Mustangs did) but the difference in wheelbase means that Mustang rear suspension bits won't work on some other Fox bodies.

Javelin SuperDork
June 16, 2011 6:20 p.m.

The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards.

Check it:

Stealthtercel
Stealthtercel Reader
June 16, 2011 7:00 p.m.

In reply to Woody: I would think the biggest inherent advantage would be weight. Fairmonts were pretty light.

June 16, 2011 8:21 p.m.

I may have to rethink selling my 1978 Fairmont I have on CL now.....

BBC

Fairmont

Will HalfDork
June 16, 2011 8:39 p.m.
Javelin wrote: The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards.

I'm a big T-Bird fan, but one huge disadvantage compared to the Mustang is that the triangulated four link at the back of all Fox bodies sucks hard. On the Mustang you can replace it with any number of off the shelf options. All you can do with the T-Bird is use better quality four links.

With that said, I have a gorgeous rust-free unibody for an 88 TC that I tell myself I'll turn into a racecar someday...

Ranger50 Dork
June 16, 2011 8:42 p.m.
Javelin wrote: The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards. Check it:

I can agree with everything but being "flyweight" the 87-88's pictured are north of 3400# without a driver. The seats are 100# each. The bumpers a solid freaking steel. The doors are stupid heavy. Plus not to mention the active suspension and associated wiring and computers.

Javelin SuperDork
June 16, 2011 9:40 p.m.
Will wrote:
Javelin wrote: The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards.

I'm a big T-Bird fan, but one huge disadvantage compared to the Mustang is that the triangulated four link at the back of all Fox bodies sucks hard. On the Mustang you can replace it with any number of off the shelf options. All you can do with the T-Bird is use better quality four links.

With that said, I have a gorgeous rust-free unibody for an 88 TC that I tell myself I'll turn into a racecar someday...

Absolutely, positively untrue (the replacement part, not the sucks part). The TBird suspension is identical to the fox Mustang except for the lower arms, which are longer. There's at least 2 companies that make TBird specific lower arms, and swap in whatever you want up top. People have figured out the the SN95 changeover made the Mustang even closer to the TBird, and so they use those parts. There's even an IRS one floating around (from a 99 Cobra).

Javelin SuperDork
June 16, 2011 9:43 p.m.

In reply to Ranger50:

I had a fully loaded 88 TC (moonroof, leather, dual power seats, etc, etc) and it was 3450 without me. I also had a stripper 88 TC (manual seats, hardtop, cloth) that I swapped in some lighter 83-86 bits, and got down to 3150 still with A/C, full interior, etc.

I'd say 2850 is easy, 2700 is possible on still street-legal ones. I did get 2450 out of a hardtop 87 TC with no interior and lots of cutting

Javelin SuperDork
June 16, 2011 9:48 p.m.

This one is so good, it's getting it's own thread...

Will HalfDork
June 16, 2011 9:52 p.m.
Javelin wrote:
Will wrote:
Javelin wrote: The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards.

I'm a big T-Bird fan, but one huge disadvantage compared to the Mustang is that the triangulated four link at the back of all Fox bodies sucks hard. On the Mustang you can replace it with any number of off the shelf options. All you can do with the T-Bird is use better quality four links.

With that said, I have a gorgeous rust-free unibody for an 88 TC that I tell myself I'll turn into a racecar someday...

Absolutely, positively untrue (the replacement part, not the sucks part). The TBird suspension is identical to the fox Mustang except for the lower arms, which are longer. There's at least 2 companies that make TBird specific lower arms, and swap in whatever you want up top. People have figured out the the SN95 changeover made the Mustang even closer to the TBird, and so they use those parts. There's even an IRS one floating around (from a 99 Cobra).

Can you install a torque arm or a 5-link made for a Mustang in a Fox Bird?

Javelin SuperDork
June 16, 2011 9:54 p.m.
Will wrote:
Javelin wrote:
Will wrote:
Javelin wrote: The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards.

I'm a big T-Bird fan, but one huge disadvantage compared to the Mustang is that the triangulated four link at the back of all Fox bodies sucks hard. On the Mustang you can replace it with any number of off the shelf options. All you can do with the T-Bird is use better quality four links.

With that said, I have a gorgeous rust-free unibody for an 88 TC that I tell myself I'll turn into a racecar someday...

Absolutely, positively untrue (the replacement part, not the sucks part). The TBird suspension is identical to the fox Mustang except for the lower arms, which are longer. There's at least 2 companies that make TBird specific lower arms, and swap in whatever you want up top. People have figured out the the SN95 changeover made the Mustang even closer to the TBird, and so they use those parts. There's even an IRS one floating around (from a 99 Cobra).

Can you install a torque arm or a 5-link made for a Mustang in a Fox Bird?

You sure can!

Will HalfDork
June 16, 2011 9:55 p.m.

In reply to Javelin:

I've never seen it done, and never seen anyone making the parts advertise that it's possible. But if so...yay for me.

novaderrik Dork
June 17, 2011 11:02 a.m.
Ranger50 wrote:
Javelin wrote: The Thunderbird is the best fox chassis to start with IMO. The longer control arms (Front and rear) make for better geometry, they are as stiff as the Mustang Notchback, and they have the best aero. They can also take the biggest tires, have a longer wheelbase, but are still flyweight by today's standards. Check it:

I can agree with everything but being "flyweight" the 87-88's pictured are north of 3400# without a driver. The seats are 100# each. The bumpers a solid freaking steel. The doors are stupid heavy. Plus not to mention the active suspension and associated wiring and computers.

3400 pounds is pretty light for a rwd car that size. that's right in line with what a Camaro from that era weighs, and the Camaro is a (slightly) smaller car.

Hal Dork
June 17, 2011 11:42 a.m.

My mother-in-law had a 2dr Fairmont hardtop, silver with red leather interior 302 automatic as her last car. When she decided to quit driving I wanted to buy it but my wife wouldn't let me. This was 10 years ago but I still argue with her about it occasionally.

A transmission swap and a little engine work would have made a great fun car.

ransom Reader
June 17, 2011 12:02 p.m.

Don't forget the Fox-platform LTD!

Or maybe do forget. I had an '84 Marquis, and actually kinda liked it (except for underhood access). But I couldn't tell you why I have such a soft spot.

I wonder what the weights are for the LTD and the Fairmont. Is the Fairmont down in Mustang territory? The Thunderbirds may be reasonable for what they are, but that still qualifies for a heavy car in my book. I assume my LTD is as bad or worse...

June 17, 2011 12:23 p.m.
ransom wrote: Don't forget the Fox-platform LTD!

My sister had an ex-cop car 5.0 version of that. It was indestructible. It was hit, it was driven thru the woods at speed, it was never, ever maintained properly in her care. At 280k the oil turned to milk from what must have been a popped head gasket. She drove it another 20k and then junked it after it caught on fire enroute to PHL.

novaderrik Dork
June 17, 2011 3:01 p.m.
ransom wrote: Don't forget the Fox-platform LTD! Or maybe do forget. I had an '84 Marquis, and actually kinda liked it (except for underhood access). But I couldn't tell you why I have such a soft spot. I wonder what the weights are for the LTD and the Fairmont. Is the Fairmont down in Mustang territory? The Thunderbirds may be reasonable for what they are, but that still qualifies for a heavy car in my book. I assume my LTD is as bad or worse...

a stripped down 2 door Fairmont wasn't too much bulkier than a similar Mustang of the same year. i think the Mustangs had more sound deadener and what not.

i might be an oddball on this site, but 3400 pounds is a light car to me.. especially a midsize rwd car.

ransom Reader
June 17, 2011 3:07 p.m.
novaderrik wrote: i might be an oddball on this site, but 3400 pounds is a light car to me.. especially a midsize rwd car.

I've just spent the better part of 20 years with mostly BMW 2002s and VW Rabbits. I had an E30 for a couple of years recently, and it seemed massive to me. And that was probably ~2700 lbs...

dean1484 SuperDork
June 18, 2011 6:44 a.m.

I want this!!!! And yes I want a wagon!!!!

novaderrik Dork
June 18, 2011 9:09 a.m.
dean1484 wrote: I want this!!!! And yes I want a wagon!!!!

all that work, and they couldn't be bothered to get a set of 5 lug brake rotors from a Ranger in the front and axles/brake drums from an Aerostar.. 4 lug wheels just seem so wrong..

also, head room looks kind of crappy in the back..

dean1484 SuperDork
June 18, 2011 10:03 a.m.
novaderrik wrote:
dean1484 wrote: I want this!!!! And yes I want a wagon!!!!

all that work, and they couldn't be bothered to get a set of 5 lug brake rotors from a Ranger in the front and axles/brake drums from an Aerostar.. 4 lug wheels just seem so wrong..

also, head room looks kind of crappy in the back..

To me this is nit picking the Mona Lisa. Ya you can do it but why?

turbojunker HalfDork
June 18, 2011 10:41 a.m.

I think I'd be okay with the 4 lug wheels, since it has gigantic disc brakes on the back instead of some crappy stock 5 lug drum brakes. But that's just me

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