Fox New Suspension Installation Advice

Discussion in '1979 - 1995 (Fox, SN95.0, & 2.3L) -General/Talk-' started by cdurbin, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Hey guys,

    Quick question about suspension upgrades.

    I’ve purchased a some new suspension components and plan to do the install next weekend.

    I bought lowering springs, CC plates, shocks, and struts. My question is this. Is there a certain order I should do the install in to make things easier and minimize rework?

    Just like to have a plan before I tear into it.

  2. For the CC plates and struts. Little thing I did that helped out great. Before you loosen the bolts on your original plates, put a piece of masking tape on the firewall near the hood hinge, and on the edge of the fender near the cc plates. Take a measuring tape and measure from the center of your "strut top" to the firewall at your tape. Write that dimension on that tape. Then measure from the center of the "strut top" over to the tape on the fender. Write that dimension on that tape. Do this on both sides.
    Now, you know where to set up your new plates and struts. Simply realign the new "strut tops" to your original dimensions that you wrote down and presto, no front end alignment necessary.

    Good Luck
    90lxwhite and cdurbin like this.

  3. Nice! That's the kind of things I'm talking about. Great idea.
    I can't wait to get all of this installed. I'm hoping it will improve the ride and handling. Plus it sits a little to high for my taste. I think lowering it is going to give it a good stance. We'll see I guess.
  4. What Onefine88 said is great advice but with the addition of lowering springs on top of new shocks/struts I'd still get an alignment done.

    Did you get new poly isolators for the front and back? How much lower are you going (what springs)? You may benefit from a bump steer kit. I got mine from UPR and it's real nice.

    My advice is get the maximum motorsports spring retainer tool for spring install. Be careful when removing the front springs, have jack stands under the K member holding the car up, remove the front tire, install MM spring keeper tool, place a hydraulic floor jack under the A-arm and jack it up a little then remove the caliper and zip tie it up out of the way, remove strut bolts, tie rod and sway bar end link. Spring is now only held in by your floor jack and MM spring keeper tool. Release the floor jack slowly until spring is out.
  5. X2 on the spring retainer. I just made mine couldnt justify the cost. Regardless if you make one or buy one its nice piece of mind to know your not going to get smacked in the face with a spring. A guy I used to work with when I was working at firestone got hit in the chest with a 400+lb front spring and that was all I needed to see to make sure I was always extra cautious.
  6. Not only does the spring keeper prevent the spring (which is under lots of pressure) from shooting out but it also keeps the new spring in place during install in the bottom spring cup while you line up the top and jack the lower a-arm back up to install the spring. Once you have the top in and the bottom coil lined up in the slot you can install your strut and the rest is easy.
  7. I bought the following items:
    The springs are supposed to lower the car about 1.2".
    I'm not familiar with the bump steer me on that.
    I've heard of them but I'm not sure exactly what they do.
    I'm waiting until next weekend to get started. I have a car show this weekend and next weekend is a 3 day so I'll be able to take my time.

    Thanks for all of the good advice guys.
    #7 cdurbin, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  8. Are you leaving the stock rear lower control arms in place? Check the bushings as they are probably toast.
    cdurbin likes this.
  9. Yes, I had planned on it. I didn't think about that. Thanks:nice:
  10. My advise is don't replace all those other parts and leave in the 20 year old stock lower control arms. Do it once and right the first time. Time to call MM and order their lower control arms. I don't recommend using poly bushings on both ends of the control arms as they cause exccessive bind and can tear up torque boxes.

    When trying to remove the lower control arms, you may need to undue the exhaust as the mufflers sometimes are in the way of getting the inner bolt out. Also, I would recommend you liberally spray down all the suspension bolts for a few days in advance, as they tend to be a bear to break loose- especially the control arms. A cheap propane torch and air tools are sometimes needed on them. I would buy new control arm bolts as cheap insurance as yours are probably rusted or not reusable..
    cdurbin likes this.
  11. I do have air tools and a cheap little torch. I'll spray them down with some PB Blaster as well.:nice:
    FoxMustangLvr likes this.
  12. That's it right there brah!
    #12 FoxMustangLvr, Aug 23, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  13. I just finished my build, Ford Racing springs, KYB shocks all around, and urethane bushings everywhere. Car is nice and tight and handles very well. Didn't replace the control arms, and it rides just fine. The bushings were the worst part. Very difficult to remove. Just be prepared for it to take a long time if you do bushings too. I had to buy a 3 ft breaker bar for some of the bolts. The impact and torch wouldn't loosen 2-3 of them.
  14. I'm hoping it won't be that bad but knowing my luck it will be. Seems like every time I try to do something fairly simple it ends up being a PITA.
  15. That's the way it goes with 20+ year old cars, especially if they've been in cold weather regions.
  16. Very true. It's a love/hate relationship. :)
  17. @cdurbin

    I removed my front suspension this weekend and took pics. I prefer safety over winging it so take what you want from it and throw out the rest. Install is pretty much exactly opposite of removal.

    Jack up one side and support car, remove wheel. Then remove caliper bolts and caliper and hang it out of the way. I used bungee cords

    Now unbolt tie rod and sway bar bolts

    Next I installed the Maximum Motorsports spring keeper tool, works great for removal and installation of the front springs.

    Now place floor jack under your lower ball joint if your brakes are removed, mine aren't so I put it under the rotor and jacked it up so there is only a little pressure on it.
    Then I did something other people may not do for added extra safety in case the spring shoots out. I wrap an 1,1oo lb rated chain with a bolt through it to catch the spring. My springs were still under pressure even after strut removal and still jumped out after prying it out. You can get the chain and bolt at Ace Hardware or other places.
    Then I removed the lower strut bolts and slowly lowered the floor jack down.
    Spring was still in the seat (held in with MM tool) but still had tension. I couldn't just grab the top and pull it out. So I used a pry bar and that thing jumped out, thankfully I had the chain on it. Some people say their spring just rolled out, mine never has so I do this.
    Then remove the top nut on your strut. I have KYB's so this is how it works for those.
    Maybe this is remedial for some, maybe not for others but I took pictures this weekend thinking maybe I'd do a write up on a safe way to remove/install the front springs. I've seen other people have their own ways and theirs is good too but I think mine is pretty straight forward and easy enough.

    FWIW I have Eibach pro kit springs, UPR bump steer kit & J&M CC plates and KYB struts.
    #17 FoxMustangLvr, Aug 25, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2014
    cdurbin likes this.
  18. Wow, That is awesome! I've never done this before so your pictures and write up are a great help.
    I really appreciate your time and effort on this. I will certainly use this to help me on my install.
    I was planning to do it this coming weekend but I'm not sure now. I threw my back out yesterday and I can barely walk today.
    I've got a torn disc that has been giving me problems for the past few years. It's time for my yearly spinal steroid injection ($685)
    I'm usually good as new within a couple of days after the shot.
    Thanks again.
  19. Great write up. Only thing I'll add is note the orientation of both the front and rear springs as they sit in the lower perch. For the fronts you will want the pigtail to not cover the second hole in the lower A arm. For the rears you normally want both pigtails facing the drivers side. You can adjust the height by rotating the rear springs if one side is leaning.
    FoxMustangLvr likes this.
  20. @mikestang63 , great info as well as the aforementioned measuring of the location of the strut through the CC plate before removal. I'll cover it more in depth when I get my stuff back together and I'll start a thread since this is a very popular DIY upgrade.

    @cdurbin , sorry to hear about your back issues. That stuff never really goes away for long. I was rear ended by a new driver when I was 18 and messed my back up. Now it seems every few years something stupid like picking up my son when he was 2 to put him in his car seat results in me crawling on my hands and knees from the crippling pain for a week or more. Good luck with that.