88' Notchback With 302 Swap

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by j0rd4n, Jul 30, 2013.


  1. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    I bought this 88' Notchback over a month ago and havent done anything to it yet. The car originally had the 2.3l 4 cylinder and from what i gathered from the guy who sold it to me all he has done is swap the engine and trans and change it to fuel injection and add headers and exhaust. From what i've read online, he must have swapped in the v8 front springs because the front doesnt seem to sag at all.

    What are the first things i should do ? im not sure if it has the 8.8 rear end yet if so i imagine that will be one of the first things i'd have to do. the first things i was going to do was tighten up the suspension and make it actually handle. I found shocks, lowering springs, camber plates, and a bushing kit that seem to be a match.

    shocks/lowering kit
    http://www.latemodelrestoration.com...g-Springs-With-Kyb-Gas-A-Just-Shock-Strut-Kit

    camber plates
    http://www.latemodelrestoration.com/item/SVE-7989CC/1979-89-SVE-Nickel-Plated-Caster-Camber-Plates

    bushing kit
    http://www.streetsideauto.com/p/energy-suspension-hyper-flex-system-418110r/


    Im really on a tight budget and dont have money to waste so im wondering, will this stuff bolt right on? if not then how should i go about it?
     
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  2. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    What are you trying to fix?
     
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  3. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    well currently the car feels like its unsafe and doesnt handle very well. My goal is to get the suspension and handling to compare to the original v8 model (or better), considering this was originally a 4 cylinder. Im wondering if the parts i linked in my first post will bolt right up considering they are for the 5.0 model not the 2.3l.

    I'm basically just looking for someone who has worked on a 5.0 converted from the 2.3l to drop some knowledge on me before i go spending money.

    i've done some reading and what i know so far for the suspension i'll need to swap

    shocks front/back
    springs front/back
    front sway bar
    rear sway bar
    rear lower control arms
     
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  4. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    not to burst your bubble but even the 5.0s had horrible suspension and brakes. first things first make sure the car is in alignment and your brakes are properly bled so it stops correctly. Are those skinny wheels I see up front? If so ditch those and scrounge some 10 hole or pony wheels and put some good street tires on them. sway bars are needed if you dont have them. they really tie the car together when going through a corner. pass on the rear control arms for now. If your shocks arent worn leave them alone for now.
     
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  5. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    The rear control arms aren't different. But couldn't hurt. The car looks like its sitting high in the front. I've heard of people using stock 4 cylinder springs to make it sit lower (low buck) I would check control arm bushings. Sway bar bushings and links. Rear diff bushings. Strut to tower bushings (covers the strut rod). Also think about sub frame connectors
     
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  6. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    right now the car has 225/60/r15 in the front and 265/50/r15 in the back. from what i've read the 4 cylinder mustangs dont have rear sway bars and they have inferior front sway bars so i planned on swapping in both of those from a donor v8. Also im almost positive the shocks are worn and from what i've read the v8 shocks are stronger then the 4 cylinder ones that are on it now so i figured replacing those is essential.
     
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  7. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    If you ever decide to do sn95 5 lug swap then get v8 struts
     
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  8. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    yeah i planned on replacing all the bushing with poly-urethane ones because ive read they help a lot over the stock rubber ones and currently all the bushing on it are dry rotted and junky

    in my first post i linked a bushing-kit that my brother believes has every bushing for the car.
     
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  9. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    i shouldnt replace the struts now even if there no good?
     
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  10. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    the 88 struts wont bolt up to 95 spindles. 93 struts will.
     
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  11. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    What are your in tensions with the car? Daily driver? Drag race? Track use? Cheap beater?
     
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  12. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    I guess you could say daily driver but as soon as snow falls i'll be putting it away for the winter.

    i already have a daily driver this will just be my car that i can take out to abuse the speed limit a little :nice:
     
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  13. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    I would opt for a modified street set up then. lowering springs, cc plates, tokico shocks, and poly bushings all the way around. I think you will find the ride much improved after you put the sway bars and end links back on.
     
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  14. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    Ok just get some orielly auto parts struts and shocks. Thunderbird turbo coupe front sway bar. Factory rear sway bar. Progressive rate springs ( up to you on the drop size). Caster/camber plates. Give it some negative camber/caster. Replace all the bushings. Alignment. That will help alot
     
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  15. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    right, that is what i was thinking. in my first post i linked SVE lowering springs, KYB shocks, SVE camber caster plates, and a kit with what i am told has every bushing on the car. my original question was if the stuff i linked will bolt right on considering its for the 5.0 not the 2.3l or is there more to it?

    i see you said the 88 shocks wont bolt up to the 95 spindles but the 93's will? On latemodelrestoration.com they say the shocks i linked fit 87-93 so what shocks are you referring to if the 88' ones fit the 93' mustang?

    please forgive me for any ignorant questions, this is my first mustang as well as my first project car
     
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  16. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    The new struts come with spacers to fill the gap between the strut and spindle.
     
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  17. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    when you order you specify your year and you get the correct strut. iirc the bolt pattern on the spindle is different after 91. When I tried bolting my mach 1 struts to my 87 spindle it wouldnt work but the same set up worked on my old 93.
     
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  18. j0rd4n

    j0rd4n Member

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    so if i understand correctly could i order the strut as a 91' - 93' and save the spacers until i do the 5 lug swap and i have the 95 spindles?
     
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  19. stykthyn

    stykthyn Commander of the snuggie cultists

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    call LMR and ask them. Their tech support should be able to give you a definitive answer. I've never recieved a kit with a spacer but that doesnt mean they arent out there.
     
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  20. J-mo

    J-mo Member

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    My car was and original 4cyl an did the sn95 swap and bought some struts from oriellys ($60 a piece) for a 90 mustang and they come with spacers for a 4cy or v8. Your not going to a road course so oriellys brand will be just fine
     
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