Progress Thread diving back into my 87 lx after a 10 year hiatus need some advice

87fox72mach

Member
Nov 17, 2019
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pennsylvania
ive owned my car for 10 years and roughly 9 years ago I did a color change and smoothed engine bay. ended up getting screwed on the paint job so I put the car back together and drove it once and a while. ended up backing out of my garage and catching the door and damaged it. since then I parked it mostly and ended up restoring a 72 mach 1 for 4.5 years now I wanna give my fox the love it deserves. the good its a very solid car and previous owner did tons of work to the motor and rear suspension. now that im diving back into it I wanna start by redoing the front suspension as it is stock minus a five lug swap. ive acquired some koni struts and im gonna purchase some moog lower control arms. my question to start is on the springs is it worth it to drop the car about an inch? I was looking at lmrs sve springs I don't race the car and drive it maybe once a week and to shows once complete its a fun car for me so I don't think I need top of the line performance springs. I may add a blower in the future so extra weight there. is there a need for caster camber plates with this drop? the tires on my car did wear funny in the front so I do need an alignment as well as new tires as mine are 14 years old probably I have 17 inch cobra r rims off a 98 cobra. any input on these front suspension components is appreciated
 
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90sickfox

I didn't really have an issue with the stink...
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Mar 2, 2015
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Lowering the car an inch will improve the character a lot. I recommend caster camber plates to anyone that is lowering their fox mustang. Some will say you don't need them but it's very hard to get someone that really knows how to align the factory suspension. Once you are lowered you will need to correct the camber. The factory has very little adjustment.
 

87fox72mach

Member
Nov 17, 2019
20
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13
30
pennsylvania
Lowering the car an inch will improve the character a lot. I recommend caster camber plates to anyone that is lowering their fox mustang. Some will say you don't need them but it's very hard to get someone that really knows how to align the factory suspension. Once you are lowered you will need to correct the camber. The factory has very little adjustment.
do you think id be ok with springs such as the sve ones and sve caster camber plates I know people prefer the mm ones whats the advantage?
 

africansnowowl

Active Member
Apr 29, 2020
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San Antonio
I put the SVE springs on mine when I was freshening up the front(mostly stock) suspension. Did not opt for the caster/camber plates. Figured I’d wait and see how bad it was. Took it in to get the toe aligned afterwards, and the camber was exactly where I would have wanted it. Caster wasn’t bad either. I’m sure results will vary drastically, but for me it worked out perfectly.
 

Willybill32

Active Member
Jul 16, 2019
193
86
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Lexington, KY
ive owned my car for 10 years and roughly 9 years ago I did a color change and smoothed engine bay. ended up getting screwed on the paint job so I put the car back together and drove it once and a while. ended up backing out of my garage and catching the door and damaged it. since then I parked it mostly and ended up restoring a 72 mach 1 for 4.5 years now I wanna give my fox the love it deserves. the good its a very solid car and previous owner did tons of work to the motor and rear suspension. now that im diving back into it I wanna start by redoing the front suspension as it is stock minus a five lug swap. ive acquired some koni struts and im gonna purchase some moog lower control arms. my question to start is on the springs is it worth it to drop the car about an inch? I was looking at lmrs sve springs I don't race the car and drive it maybe once a week and to shows once complete its a fun car for me so I don't think I need top of the line performance springs. I may add a blower in the future so extra weight there. is there a need for caster camber plates with this drop? the tires on my car did wear funny in the front so I do need an alignment as well as new tires as mine are 14 years old probably I have 17 inch cobra r rims off a 98 cobra. any input on these front suspension components is appreciated

I put FRPP progressive rate springs on my ‘86, and it dropped about an inch. It looks good!
 

Warhorse Racing

Active Member
Feb 10, 2019
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United States
I know you don't plan on racing the car, but it's worth noting that 79-04 Mustangs using a stock-style (non-coil over) spring setup actually handle better if they're NOT lowered too much. This is especially detrimental up front. The SVE springs lower the front of the car 1.2" and have a spring rate of 571 lb./in. In the pictures on the LMR website, you can see how close the front fenders are to the wheels. Not much daylight. This looks cool, but it doesn't allow for very much articulation.

I use Ford Racing C-springs on my autocross cars. They lower a Fox .875" up front and have a 650 lb./in. spring rate. So the car will sit slightly higher and be slightly stiffer than the SVE springs. But they will allow for more articulation and less roll during cornering, and less pitching under braking (essentially the car will be more capable and composed). I use poly spring isolators, which raise the car a bit.

During this past offseason, I installed Steeda spring spacers that raise the front of the car up .5" and they helped get the car to handle even better.

I know most people lower their car because it looks better. And, it is true that a lower center of gravity improves handling. But, I always try to make people aware of the fact that going too low can do more harm than good when it comes to 79-04 Mustang handling.

I used the Ford Racing C-springs on my 1992 GT and my 2000 GT without using CC plates for years. But, every Fox is different, so you might need them on your car. If you don't ever plan on using coil overs, 3-bolt CC plates will work fine.
 
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87fox72mach

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Nov 17, 2019
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pennsylvania
I know you don't plan on racing the car, but it's worth noting that 79-04 Mustangs using a stock-style (non-coil over) spring setup actually handle better if they're NOT lowered too much. This is especially detrimental up front. The SVE springs lower the front of the car 1.2" and have a spring rate of 571 lb./in. In the pictures on the LMR website, you can see how close the front fenders are to the wheels. Not much daylight. This looks cool, but it doesn't allow for very much articulation.

I use Ford Racing C-springs on my autocross cars. They lower a Fox .875" up front and have a 650 lb./in. spring rate. So the car will sit slightly higher and be slightly stiffer than the SVE springs. But they will allow for more articulation and less roll during cornering, and less pitching under braking (essentially the car will be more capable and composed). I use poly spring isolators, which raise the car a bit.

During this past offseason, I installed Steeda spring spacers that raise the front of the car up .5" and they helped get the car to handle even better.

I know most people lower their car because it looks better. And, it is true that a lower center of gravity improves handling. But, I always try to make people aware of the fact that going too low can do more harm than good when it comes to 79-04 Mustang handling.

I used the Ford Racing C-springs on my 1992 GT and my 2000 GT without using CC plates for years. But, every Fox is different, so you might need them on your car. If you don't ever plan on using coil overs, 3-bolt CC plates will work fine.


thank you for the insight. Im not set on lowering the car and you bring up some great points. for how much I drive the car I just don't wanna put my money in areas that are of waste. like if i really dont need cc plates ill use that money towards something else. do you think stock ride height springs like moogs would be sufficient? the springs on my car upfront are original i believe so they are probably worn out by now
 

Warhorse Racing

Active Member
Feb 10, 2019
133
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United States
thank you for the insight. Im not set on lowering the car and you bring up some great points. for how much I drive the car I just don't wanna put my money in areas that are of waste. like if i really dont need cc plates ill use that money towards something else. do you think stock ride height springs like moogs would be sufficient? the springs on my car upfront are original i believe so they are probably worn out by now

The tricky thing about replacing springs is that stock replacements can cost as much as aftermarket lowering springs. The 50 Resto stock replacement Fox Body Springs on LMR cost about as much as the Ford Racing C Springs (approximately $200). If you aren't set on lowering the car for performance or looks, a set of stock replacement springs will be fine.

And, there are several lowering springs on the market that don't lower these cars too much.

If you're looking to get the car to feel better on the street, I would suggest changing all of the bushings in the front end. Bushings can look fine, but be bad. And the bushings on your car could be over 30 years old. Changing the A-arm, sway bar, sway bar end link, steering rack and strut mount bushings will help tighten the car up in front. On a street car, you can go with rubber or poly. And it's a good idea to change out the inner and outer tie rods (they could be 30 years old too).

Because several of these parts require you to get an alignment after installation, it's a good idea to change them all at once.
 
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87fox72mach

Member
Nov 17, 2019
20
1
13
30
pennsylvania
The tricky thing about replacing springs is that stock replacements can cost as much as aftermarket lowering springs. The 50 Resto stock replacement Fox Body Springs on LMR cost about as much as the Ford Racing C Springs (approximately $200). If you aren't set on lowering the car for performance or looks, a set of stock replacement springs will be fine.

And, there are several lowering springs on the market that don't lower these cars too much.

If you're looking to get the car to feel better on the street, I would suggest changing all of the bushings in the front end. Bushings can look fine, but be bad. And the bushings on your car could be over 30 years old. Changing the A-arm, sway bar, sway bar end link, steering rack and strut mount bushings will help tighten the car up in front. On a street car, you can go with rubber or poly. And it's a good idea to change out the inner and outer tie rods (they could be 30 years old too).

Because several of these parts require you to get an alignment after installation, it's a good idea to change them all at once.
I was planning on replacing all bushings and tierods with moog components where possible. I have koni struts ready to go in the front as well as I got a good deal on a set.