Okay, I would say do a search but here it goes being I've done this swap a few times and on my Coupe and Bird both with Cobra brakes.
1) What you really want is '94-'95 spindles if you are running a stock k-member as most aftermarket tubular k-members are designed around the geometry of the '96 and up spindles. I will say that I ran '96-'04 spindles on my Coupe prior to installing the Maximum Motorsports k-member and all was well but I did run a bump steer kit to help offset the geometry issue. The bump steer kit I used was the one with the tapered ends and I used all the spacers between the spindle and outer tie rod. The other think you might want to do is install MM's solid rack bushings which will also help with rack deflection which causes issues on bumps. If you already have a tubular k-member you need to check with the manufacturer as to which spindle design (Fox, 94-95, or 96-'04) they designed the k-member around.
2) So the 87-88 Birds and Cougars have '94-'04 SN95 front LCA geometry LCA's in them already so swapping over to the SN95's front LCA's is perfectly fine to do. Just make sure the bushings and ball joints are good to go. If you use the SN95 LCA's everything just bolts up. If you elect to use the existing '87 Bird LCA's you will need a washer stack to go between the top of the spindle and the castle nut as the Fox spindle is thicker here. Simply measure both spindles and you can come up with the difference but I believe it is 0.330" stack of washers or a spacer. I know the spacers used to be available online which makes sense if you are reusing your existing LCA's and the ball joints are new or low miles. If not then just buy SN95 ball joints and press them into your existing LCA's.
3) My recommendation on brakes would be to run the '99 and up PBR twin piston calipers from either a V6 or V8 car (non-Cobra) on the '94-'04 spindles as they work with the '94-'04 V6/GT front rotors. The '94-'98 calieprs are single piston and the braking is vastly improved with the dual piston units off the '99-'04 cars. This requires just a touch of metal removal right at the caliper mounting "ears" on the '94-'98 spindles so the PBR's will fit but should be a bolt on with the '99-'04 spindles. You will also need new brake lines so get the SS braided ones that are for a Fox car converted to SN95 calipers and yes the SS braided lines make a difference.
4) To do the SN95 rack and pinion swap I used the Maximum Motorsports hybrid steering shaft. The Fox rack is splined at the steering shaft connection where the SN95 has a funky triangular shape to it. The hybrid shaft has the correct connection and is telescoping which makes the install a lot easier. They did away with the rag joint and the knuckles do not have any set screws so the unit is pretty compact and will not interfere with exhaust like the Flaming River units have a tendency to do. This is not cheap so you may want to visit other options. Reuse your existing low and high pressure lines but you will need new Teflon seals which typically can be found in the help section at any local parts store. The benefit of the SN95 rack over the Fox rack is the Fox rack is way over boosted where the SN95 rack is not and this is due to the torsion bar and the way the rack transitions to power assist. Both of these mods require a more effort from the driver but to me it feels more like a German car like a BMW or Mercedes which I like in that I get a better feel of the car.
5) The '79-'93 Mustangs tie rods (power and manual) have 9/16"-18 SAE threads. The '94-'04 Mustang power steering rack tie-rods have metric M14x1.5 threads. So if you convert over to the SN95 rack there are two ways to fix the problem of the mismatched threads. Remove the inner tie rods off the Fox rack and install them on the SN95 rack and use your existing outer tie rods. The other option which I believe works is to use the SN95 inner and outer tie rods but you will have to cut down the threaded part of the inner tie rods as the whole assembly is just too long. Since you have both you can verify this with some measuring.
6) The bump steer kit will depend on which way you go. There is a tapered kit and what they call a straight through kit. I have the straight through kit on both of my cars due to how low they are (full coil over cars). To do this you have to buy a reamer and ream out the outer tie rod connection point on the SN95 spindles. Go to Maximum Motorsports website and you will see what I am talking about.
Has anyone here mini tubbed their Bird or Cougar and if so did you use mini tubs for a Fox Mustang? I am considering this as it would be pretty awesome to see some 335's stuffed under my '83. I am not wanting to custom make them so it would be nice to just order a mini tube kit and only have to worry about removing the stock ones and trimming up the new tubs to fit.
This is waaaaaaay down the road but I am also considering this on my '93 Coupe so why not do that one first and then once I've got it figured out then do the Bird.
Finally got all the bolting back from the platers. They did not let me know that they did not have the ability to media blast on site. They tried to chemically remove the rust and the coating job did not turn out good. They asked if I could get them media blasted and they would recoat them. So I took them to my powder coat guy and $20 later they were cleaned up. Took them back to the coaters on Monday and got them back today and they look great. Inbetween all this I also got the flu or some bad ass virus so that took me out over a weekend for a total of five days.
Anyhow, here is a picture of the bolting after the clear zinc plating:
Hoping to get the front suspension assembled and the 14” brakes mocked up. I’ll post up some pictures of that when I do.
I used and air jig saw but ended up having to file the edges as well. Your solution is simple and one of those "crap why didn't I think of that". Sad thing is there is a drill press less than 10' from where my car spends 95% of its time.
I also like that fuse holder solution. The relays for my headlights and Mark VIII fan are separate and I too have a couple of fuse holders attached at the starter relay so this would clean that "junky" look up.
Holy crap, I completely missed the collapsed section so that helps a ton. Hopefully they make the rest of the search function a little more robust on the next release. Cannot thank you guys enough for taking all of this on and continuing to march through all the little things. This is one of my favorite sites so I am glad it got a face lift.
Back to the search function, thanks for moving that out as I think that will help folks especially new members. One thing, any chance it will be more robust so that you can search for topics started by a member or narrow the search to specific forums? Again, this search function is very limited compared to the old one. I know you guys are swamped but if you can put it on the list to get to at some point that is good enough.
Site is shaping up and looking better every time I log in.
I started by just scrubbing it with a brush and Dawn then hit it with Eagle 1 mag wheel cleaner and scrubbed it with a stiff brush after letting the wheel cleaner sit for about 15 minutes. Took a couple of rounds of the wheel cleaner but it worked really well. After that it was powder coated clear so I can simply power wash it now and then for maintenance later down the road.
So there is another option if you want to run coil overs which consists of Griggs Racing RLCA's and Gobal West RUCA's. This setup is not cheap but I will say it works very well on my '83.
Our RUCA's are basically the same length as a GM A Body RUCA but a little different at the body connection point. Global West does not list them but if you call and ask for a price they have a part number. These utilize the bushings in the rear end and then a heim joint with spacers at the body connection. Griggs has the RLCA's on their site and these are heim jointed at both ends with spacers so no bushings which will contribute to NVH but that is the performance trade off.
If you are just needing a good street set up with traditional coil springs then the CHE's are highly recommended and several folks here run them. You need to look into the rear shock adapters that allow you to use Mustang rear shocks so that you can run the Mach 1 springs and the correct dampers with them. This is one thing that a lot of peeps mess up and that is getting a damper that works with the springs. Chuck W used to make them but no longer could support the effort so he opened the CAD files up and these guys stared making them on along with some of the motor mounts.