Good handling combo or waste of $$$?

Discussion in 'Fox 5.0 Mustang Tech' started by SynMan5.0, Dec 1, 2003.

  1. My '92 LX convertible is basically stock at the moment (mods in sig). I'm going to be doing a blower soon, but I also want to improve the handling somewhat. It doesn't need to be a road race machine (I plan on building another car for that), but I would like it to do better. It is a daily driver during the summer. Here is what I had in mind:

    -H&R Sport springs
    -Front & rear polyurethane spring isolators
    -MM pinion snubber
    -Tokico shocks & struts (non-adjustable)
    -MM caster/camber plates
    -MM rear lower control arms (adj. or non-adj.?)
    -MM panhard bar
    -MM stock replacement rear sway bar (1", stiffer than stock)

    Does this sound like a good street setup? Am I missing anything? I'm considering doing a MM torque arm setup later on down the road, but this should get me started. Let me know what you guys think. Have I picked bad parts? Should I consider anything else? I want to keep it cheap and simple, so no coil over or tubular K member suggestions please. Thanks!
  2. Isnt that one of the MM grip in box packages?
  3. No, it's pieced together MM parts. I already have the subframe connectors and some of the other stuff. Plus, I don't really think I need things like the soild steering shaft and aluminum rack bushings that come in the packages.
  4. It would work, but you would be ahead to get some front coilovers. Ride will be better and the handling also.

    Also install urethane endlinks and bushings for the front swaybar. Other than that, brace up the chassis with subs and G load brace
  5. What about a tubular k-member, or at least the MM k-member brace. I would also add that to the list of things to purchase. Woops, just noticed you said no tubular k-member. Then at least get the brace.

    Off topic: Why not install all the parts you have waiting, instead of collecting more? :shrug:

  6. I know... I do need to get everything I have now installed. The intake is the biggest hang up. I'm trading my stock pony wheels for a buddies GT40 intake and I'm waiting on him :rolleyes: . I also don't have a welder or a lift, so I can't install the subframe connectors and I don't have enough know-how to do the gears. Once I get the intake I can do the heads, strut tower brace, etc. all in one shot. I'm trying to get ahold of another buddy to do the subs and gears. I was just trying to plan ahead was all. I was researching heads, intakes, superchargers, etc. months before I even got the car. Nothing wrong with being organized :nice: .
  7. I was also planning on the MM K-member brace. Forgot to mention that. Thanks for the suggestions thus far. Should I get a whole new (stiffer) front swaybar or would just the end links and urethane bushings suffice?
  8. I'm with you on gathering parts, then installing them all at once when you have everything. :nice: Far as suspension mods cheap, I just installed a set of KYB non adjustable shocks & struts, Steeda Sport Springs, & some 17' wheels with new Dunlop tires. The car handles awesome! I couldn't be happier. If I was planning on autocrossing, ( or had all the money in the world ) I would go with the adjustable shocks & struts and all that other stuff, but for around town & on the highway... to me, it would just be a waste.
  9. I'm sure you'll figure out what pieces you want. Just a couple of points I'd add. First, get your uni-body stiffening pieces in place first. The suspension components need as stiff a platform to work from as you can give them. The fox bodies are pretty flexible relatively speaking. A good 6 or 8 point roll cage would help even more. Second, don't neglect the single most important aspect of good handling vehicles. Tires. There's not a single change you can make to anything that will make as much difference as the right set of tires. Hang around the autocross or road racer set and you'll see what works well pretty quickly. The really sticky stuff won't last long, but if you're really seeking the best handling out, the tires are literally where the rubber meets the road.
  10. You're considering a torque arm for this car later on, but it doesn't need to be a road race machine because you're building another car for that? Dude, a torque arm is a road race piece, and if you're going to get one you'd be better off with the coilovers with it. At that point, you may as well just make this car your road racer. Do you really have a plan for this car?
  11. You don't have to tell me, I'm a tire salesman. :nice: I've also done quite a bit of autocrossing the past few years (my father is an autox FREAK!). The tires and wheels were the first thing I did. I've stepped up to some 17x9" Cobra Rs all the way around with 275/40R17 Nitto 555s. The car definitely sticks a little better, but it's got so much body roll and chassis flex it isn't funny. I've already got the subframe connectors and they will be the next thing to go in along with the gears. I've also got a strut tower brace. I would do a roll cage, but I just can't get myself to do it to a car that has 31,000 original miles and is in such nice shape (I'm already getting yelled at by my buddies for doing the subs and tearing into the motor). It's also my daily driver in nice weather, so I don't want bars running everywhere in my interior. I've got a 6 point in my Coupe and it's a pain in the ass to get in the front, let alone the rear.
  12. I have a plan for the car, but my mind changes daily. It is my daily driver in nice weather. I want it to be fast enough to smoke most things I come across on the street, but I want it to handle decent as well. I basically want something comparable to my '03 Cobra for less $$$. I'm starting to realize that I probably should have just kept the Cobra. I said I was 'considering' a torque arm because I'd heard good things. If it's overkill for what I'm trying to do, then I won't get one. That's why I'm asking questions. This will be the first project I've taken on almost totally by myself and I just want to get my ducks in a row so that I don't waste my time and money. Thanks for all the suggestions, though. You guys have been a HUGE help thus far! :flag:
  13. Have you compared the static weight of your 17" combo with a lightweight racing wheel and a similar section/brand 16" combo? The crossover on combined weight usually comes with the move to 17's. They look great - no doubt - but I'd bet you'd find a much lighter combo in 16's (comparable compound rubber) would be quicker. Understand about the roll cage - it is intrusive. I wouldn't put one in mine either. But I didn't let my Volvophile buddy's comments keep me from pulling the never-ending Volvo 4-banger out and dropping a 5.0L in there. Don't give 'em too much attention! :)
  14. Yeah, I should have gone with smaller wheels, but there just wasn't a 16" wheel that I liked. The car looks killer with 17s on it and I think I'll leave it regardless of the performance loss. I'm probably getting too serious with the suspension as it is. If I just put springs, shocks & struts, and caster/camber plates in it, I would probably be happy. It was just kind of one of those things where I was looking at suspension pieces and said to myself, "Well, if I'm doing this I might as well do this...". You know how it goes. I thought the torque arm was probably overkill, but I wasn't sure so I thought I'd throw it out and see what you guys recommended. I should probably consider coil overs and a K-member before I think about a torque arm. I really thought about doing a cage because the chassis is really loose on this convertible and I know you can get them with low dropping side bars, but the rear seat entry/exit still bothers me. People don't ride in the back too often, but I don't want to close it off like that. Thanks again for the help!
  15. What you might try to start with is a panhard rod to laterally locate the rear, and a really good set of shocks - you're in the business; you know what they are. I prefer Bilsteins. And the CC plates. That will allow you to have a bit of negative camber which really helps the car bite at turn in - gets the rotation started. You might find that just those changes are enough for you. If not, you can add lower springs, bigger bars, poly bushings, etc. later. And you haven't lost anything.

    Biggest thing is deciding if you're jumping in with coil overs, torque arms, etc. Only want to make those spring/shock decisions one time.
  16. Absolutely. And with the Bil's, you get a lifetime garantee so it really is a one time deal. However, it's a good idea to get your ducks in a row, as you said- and decide if you want a torque arm or not. It will change the spring rates you run. Also, while I can't speak for every company out there, my MM coilover kits have a machined valve body so you can't just do shocks and struts and then decide to go coilover with them later. Another decision you want to make now. If it helps, you're considering a new K member and I've never seen one you didn't have to use coilovers on. As far as big expensive projects go, I personally would invest in a torque arm (obviousely, since I'm happily beating on my torque arm every day for over a year and still haven't changed my k-member) before a tubular K-member unless the car was getting autocrossed, since a GOOD (they aren't all created equal!!!) k member has some tremendous advantages. As for the torque arm being an overkill- that's a matter of opinion. It seemed like an overkill before I had it and knew what to expect, but now that I have it (and the coilovers all around) I would never do it any differently if I did it again. My stang is a daily driven full time street car, never autoX'd, and I don't think I could ever stand to go back to any less serious of a suspension. The thought brings a tear to my eye...

    Michael- I did get your last pm, but in between the first and last ones you sent I changed from dialup to cable, and it screwed up everything- including my email notices of new pm's so I got it kinda late. Not assuming you were waiting for a response or anything, but if you were that's my excuse (I mean explanation!)
    ps: yes, I do think it's the ultimate- because MM says it is and they have the knowledge and wisdom of God :D
  17. Ok, well I think I've made up my mind. I really do appreciate you guys' help. At $600 for the set, the Bilstein's are almost double the price of a set of Tokico's, but if they're worth the price difference, I'm in. So this is what I've finally decided I'm going to start with:

    - "Sport" valved non-adj. Bilsteins
    - H&R Sport springs
    - Urethane spring isolators
    - MM panhard bar
    - MM non-adj. rear lower control arms
    - MM K-member brace

    If I'm still not satisfied with the handling, I will look into swaybars, a torque arm setup, and coilovers. I think what I've listed above will be more than adequate for what I'm looking for, though. Thanks again! :hail2:
  18. Stangbear - no problem; we'll keep a running dialogue. I'd expect MM to say it was ultimate; and every other supplier to say theirs is too! After all, if you can't stand behind you own product, who will?!? ;)
  19. You should notice a huge difference in handling and ride quality with just the Bil's. However, if you're even considering coilovers, try to get them already machined for it- you don't want to have to buy those twice. I believe the only difference is one little groove, so you should be able to use the coilover ones in the modified mac. arrangment- but not vise versa.
    Don't forget the c/c's! :nice: