Report: Mach1 struts/shocks, MM C/C plates

Discussion in '1994 - 1995 Specific Tech' started by Rootus, Dec 25, 2003.

  1. Rootus

    Rootus Officially Addicted

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    I installed a new set of Mach 1 shocks & struts today, and while I was at it I decided to finally install my Maximum Motorsports camber/caster plates (they've only been sitting in a box in my garage for a few years -- I bought them for my 98 Cobra, which was two Mustangs ago :D).

    The C/C plate install is fairly straightforward. I did the driver side first, and it took me about two hours altogether. It was a bit of a tight fit, the strut tower really isn't well suited for the fourth hole. The passenger side was a breeze, of course (ain't it always that way -- after you do it once, the next time is trivial), took me about half an hour altogether. The shock install was about 15 minutes per side.

    Things I made note of during the install process:

    1. Skip the Chilton's or Haynes instructions, they're way overkill. They want you to remove the brake caliper before removing the strut -- that is completely unecessary. I didn't have to remove anything at all other than the strut itself.

    2. All of the instructions I've read indicate that you should release the load on the suspension to let the strut down out of the tower. This requires chaining the spring, because if you let it down too far it might come loose. I didn't find this step necessary -- even brand new struts can be compressed by hand and removed without lowering the control arm.

    3. The Mach 1 struts are around 3/4" shorter than the factory stock ones. Not a big deal, but I noticed -- had to jack up the control arm to get the strut far enough up to bolt in.

    4. I've heard people suggest using an impact wrench for the top bolt of the shock, not sure how they accomplish that, there wasn't anywhere near enough room to fit an impact wrench in there. I just used a 15mm open end wrench for the nut and a pair of vise grips to hold the shock from spinning (it has flat spots on the tip of the shock to grip on).

    5. Definitely use an impact wrench for everything else you can. Especially the strut bolts -- they are tight, and you must use an impact wrench for the tower bolt. Personally I wouldn't bother trying this project without an impact wrench, but I suppose you could eventually do it with regular hand tools.

    6. The Mach 1 shocks came with some extra hardware. No instructions, of course, but I just reassembled everything exactly as it was setup stock :shrug:. The struts had a lot of extra hardware too, mostly because very little of it gets used with the MM C/C plates.

    Now, my impressions of how it drives with the new shocks/struts: About like I would expect a new stock suspension to feel, but stiffer since I have the Eibach springs. Not exactly a night and day difference, but it does feel a little tighter than my 103k mile stock shocks did. I expected a bigger difference, but I'm not disappointed, for the price I paid it seems worth it. I haven't had a chance to drive it hard, though, because it's raining like hell outside and I've got a "redneck alignment" right now. Probably -1* of camber, +5* (or more) of caster :D. I notice that it takes noticably more effort to steer around corners, which probably means I have a buttload of caster right now. On Friday I'll get a real alignment, and then whenever it dries out (probably a few months :rolleyes: ) I'll see how it really feels.

    Dave
     
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  2. Rootus

    Rootus Officially Addicted

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    Update: I regret doing this, I do not like the end result. YMMV.

    I violated my "do it right the first time rule," and I'm going to pay for that little mistake. Whoops.

    Dave
     
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  3. Joes95GT

    Joes95GT New Member

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    Damn Dave, I didn't even see this thread the first time around - I don't know where I was. What's so wrong with it? It sounds like it is a decent kit...

    Joe
     
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  4. Rootus

    Rootus Officially Addicted

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    I think it's just that the Mach 1 shocks/struts do not work well with my springs (some flavor of Eibach, not sure exactly which because they were already installed when I bought the car). I drove the car 100 miles yesterday, and my car felt just like those ricer kids *look* when they drive their Hondas with cut springs. You know, very bouncy -- I think if you had been driving in front of me you would have seen a lot of flickering of my headlights. We don't have great roads here, and my suspension transmitted every little bump very effectively to the chassis, not absorbing it. It's like the shocks are too stiff or something :shrug:. On big bumps, they work pretty well -- no bounce back, just like you'd want.

    So I will be doing a "matched" setup (i.e. something from MM) sooner than I expected, which was my original plan -- I was just hoping to put that off by a year with a set of inexpensive Tokico's. I'm actually thinking coil-over, which is a little spendy but I've heard it's worth it.

    Dave
     
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  5. Imyourzero

    Imyourzero Learned that lesson as a horny teenager with lots
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    Dave, I would talk to you about those Mach 1 shocks/struts but my car also came with lowering springs and I have no idea which brand they are...I'm currently in the market for some shocks/struts but I may just go with a set of the `03 takeoffs that you can get for like $60 with less than 5 miles on them. I'm afraid of buying something that I won't like, and I don't want to put a lot into the suspension of a 100k mile car that I may only be driving for a couple more years...
     
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  6. GTWayne

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    Why the Mach Is...price?

    Dave,
    Gee Dave when is it not raining in Oregon....he he...
    Was price the reason since you knew they were shorter. Why not the standard Billstein or Tokico replacments? They seem to work well with just about any spring combo: C springs, bullitt springs, Eibach, etc.
    Wayne
     
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  7. Rootus

    Rootus Officially Addicted

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    Price was 100% of the reason. I figured it was the cheapest way to get brand name (Tokico) shocks. My stock shocks/struts had 100k miles on them, and were really showing their age, but I'm not ready yet to plunk down $1400 on the suspension. I figure next year I'll be ready to do that.

    If I were doing it again, I'd skip the $200 (w/shipping) cost of the Mach 1 shocks/struts, and get stock replacements. They'd certainly last a year, and couldn't be any worse than these.

    Dave
     
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  8. GTWayne

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    Suspension

    Dave,
    Understand completely. Hope all works out for you. Sucks when you have to redo hard work.
    Wayne
     
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  9. VibrantRedGT

    VibrantRedGT "STANGNET'S PENGUIN SMACKER"
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    I saw those on Ebay for $169 for everything including shipping and thought man that's a deal. After reading this I will avoid them. My struts and shocks are done I mean really done. I'm still leaning towards the Lakewood 70/30's.
     
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  10. DougNuts

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    Sorry to hear about your problems. Sounds like the struts aren't too good for those progressive rate springs. Which they actually aren't designed for so that would explain it. Like you though, I would think they would be up to the job, but I guess not.

    I have them on my 94 with C springs (linear rate) and they are wonderful.
     
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  11. KaPPaBaLL

    KaPPaBaLL New Member

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    you have mach 1 struts which are 575lbs rates and shocks which are around 220lbs. if you have Eibach sportlines i can understand why the ride isn't that good.. my c-springs and Mach 1's are great.
     
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