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Thread: Looking for some suspension advice - coilovers?

  1. #1
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    Default Looking for some suspension advice - coilovers?

    Hello everyone! I was driving my white Tbird last weekend and happened to notice that the ride was awful. Turns out it needs new shocks and struts all the way around. So I got to thinking that maybe I should just bite the bullet and start upgrading the suspension like I had always wanted to; I already have caster camber plates, offset steering rack bushings, lower rear shock mounts and a few other odds and ends. I started searching around on Maximum Motorsports and came across their coilover suspension kit:

    http://www.maximummotorsports.com/Co...ang-P1532.aspx

    If I were to get a set up like this, I'd also have to swap to 11" Mustang front brakes/spindles/etc, which looks like it'll be another ~$300 (though it looks like I can get $200 off the kit since I already have the caster camber plates). And yes, I realize that the brakes would need to be further upgraded down the road to fully utilize this setup, but then that leads into the whole 5 lug swap rabbit hole and I just can't take that far of a leap at the moment. This is going to be a long, iterative upgrade chain. But that's not really the question anyway - my main question is if anyone has had experience with this type of setup and get some feedback on it. Any pitfalls to look out for? I'm simply looking for something very streetable while being a solid corner carver (obviously with the other surrounding upgrades like sway bars) and I really like being able to adjust ride height to my liking. I look forward to hearing back

    1988 Thunderbird Sports Coupe 5.0L (Stella)
    306ci, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, T5 swap, 8.8 disc rear w/3.55s, 11" front brakes, MM front & rear control arms, front coil overs, Koni yellows
    Stella 2.0 Overhaul
    Retired DD: 1988 Turbo Coupe, 5 speed, 99.9% stock (Michelle)
    Current DD: 2015 Volkswagen GTI SE, 6spd manual (Claire)

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    with the 11 inch brake upgrade you'll have a different size connection on the spindle to the strut/coil over. The 11 inch brake has a narrow spindle, where a 10 inch has a wider joint. This is the four lug stuff from an 88-93 11 inch brake. The struts from an 88 - 93 mustang are most likely the wide version and won't work. a 94 mustang has struts with the narrow spindle mount but have about a 1/2 inch longer shaft than a standard fox strut. How all that matches up to coilovers is pretty intense I guess. I'd be careful ordering coilovers for an 88-93 and using 11 inch brake upgrade. Spindles might not work without spacers to fill the gap. Good luck.
    84 TurboCoupe with 302 .010 over - 9.8 : 1 Forged Pistons - Edlebrock Goodies: Aluminum Heads #6037, Intake #3821, 65mm TBI/EGR #3824/3827, Camshaft #3722 - Interactive System & Technologies Mass Air with 24# Injectors - A9L - 3g Alternator - BBK shorties, Cat Converter H-pipe, Magniflow Mufflers - World Class T5 1352-169 (1986, V8, WC, 3.15 3.35 1.93 1.29 1.00 0.68) OEM Clutch Cable - 7.5 Trac Lock with 3.08 and slapper bars from 82 Mustang.

  3. #3
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    In the fitment section for the coil over kit, it specifically says that it is made to fit cars with 1987-1993 Mustang V8 spindles or 87-88 Turbo Coupe spindles, which is what the 11" brake swap requires according to the Cool Cats page. Is there something I'm missing?

    1988 Thunderbird Sports Coupe 5.0L (Stella)
    306ci, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, T5 swap, 8.8 disc rear w/3.55s, 11" front brakes, MM front & rear control arms, front coil overs, Koni yellows
    Stella 2.0 Overhaul
    Retired DD: 1988 Turbo Coupe, 5 speed, 99.9% stock (Michelle)
    Current DD: 2015 Volkswagen GTI SE, 6spd manual (Claire)

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    Quote Originally Posted by custompunk View Post
    with the 11 inch brake upgrade you'll have a different size connection on the spindle to the strut/coil over. The 11 inch brake has a narrow spindle, where a 10 inch has a wider joint. This is the four lug stuff from an 88-93 11 inch brake. The struts from an 88 - 93 mustang are most likely the wide version and won't work. a 94 mustang has struts with the narrow spindle mount but have about a 1/2 inch longer shaft than a standard fox strut. How all that matches up to coilovers is pretty intense I guess. I'd be careful ordering coilovers for an 88-93 and using 11 inch brake upgrade. Spindles might not work without spacers to fill the gap. Good luck.
    87 is the first year for 11" brakes with the narrow spindles on the Turbo Coupes and 5.0L Mustangs, not 88. All of the aftermarket performance struts for Fox Mustangs are either going to be the narrow 87-93 5.0L size, or "universal" 79-93 with oval upper strut to spindle holes and some spacers to be used on 87-93 spindles, which isn't a problem. Years ago on my 87 Mustang I used some Konis that were for the 79-86 application by simply slotting the upper holes and making 1/8" spacer plates (total difference in width is 1/4"). The spacing between the two holes is slightly different as well on 79-86 vs. 87-93, hence the need for slotting the upper hole.

    As mentioned, the 94-04 SN95 struts share the same lower mounting dimensions as the 87-93 11" brake spindles.


    cheers
    Ed
    84 Mustang SVO
    95 Jaguar XJR

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    If it was me I would not go coil overs for a street car unless you were going to open track the car now and again. I had H&R Super Sport springs with Tokico Illumina struts and shocks on my 93 Coupe and for a daily driver it was a complete blast. Took the twisties very well and overall ride comfort was very good.

    With your car being an 87-88 car I would suggest some SN95 springs and some really good struts and shocks like the Tokico Illuminas.

    I have Griggs coil overs with Koni double adjustable struts and shocks on both my T-Bird and Mustang and I will tell you that the ride is okay but not something I would want my ass in everyday.

    Darren

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerocoupe View Post
    If it was me I would not go coil overs for a street car unless you were going to open track the car now and again. I had H&R Super Sport springs with Tokico Illumina struts and shocks on my 93 Coupe and for a daily driver it was a complete blast. Took the twisties very well and overall ride comfort was very good.

    With your car being an 87-88 car I would suggest some SN95 springs and some really good struts and shocks like the Tokico Illuminas.

    I have Griggs coil overs with Koni double adjustable struts and shocks on both my T-Bird and Mustang and I will tell you that the ride is okay but not something I would want my ass in everyday.

    Darren
    Thanks for the response! My plan is to start being able to auto cross the car in the not-so-distant future and it's only a weekend driver, so I'm not worried about a slightly harsher ride. Also, MM's kit can come with whatever spring rates you want, so I'm likely going to err on the softer side. My other concern is ride height because I've never been happy with how the car sits and I want to to be very specific; I would rather spend $1600 on a setup that is pre-matched and I know I can tune to my liking instead of spending $900-$1000 on a setup that I might regret. However, this is still a few weeks down the road so I'll continue doing price comparison and analysis.

    1988 Thunderbird Sports Coupe 5.0L (Stella)
    306ci, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, T5 swap, 8.8 disc rear w/3.55s, 11" front brakes, MM front & rear control arms, front coil overs, Koni yellows
    Stella 2.0 Overhaul
    Retired DD: 1988 Turbo Coupe, 5 speed, 99.9% stock (Michelle)
    Current DD: 2015 Volkswagen GTI SE, 6spd manual (Claire)

  7. #7
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    Be very careful when choosing spring rates. Let the guys at MM help you with that because if you get it wrong the suspension will suck no matter what.

    Give www.chicane23.com a look. I know he guys that run the place and it's where I buy all my suspension gear. Shameless plug but they typically have good pricing and they race what they sell.

    Darren

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    Yeah I'm definitely going to talk with MM when/if I order the kit. Thanks for the link, I'll check them out

    1988 Thunderbird Sports Coupe 5.0L (Stella)
    306ci, GT40 intake, 65mm TB and EGR, GT40Y aluminum heads, T5 swap, 8.8 disc rear w/3.55s, 11" front brakes, MM front & rear control arms, front coil overs, Koni yellows
    Stella 2.0 Overhaul
    Retired DD: 1988 Turbo Coupe, 5 speed, 99.9% stock (Michelle)
    Current DD: 2015 Volkswagen GTI SE, 6spd manual (Claire)

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    If you are going to be able to auto cross, I'd definitely recommend to invest in coilovers. This way you will be able to adjust the suspension for your liking + if you swap the wheels in the future you can make them look at home with the same coilover kit by adjusting the height. You can do more reading here: Coilovers Are Pricey - Why Would I Spend My Money For Them?

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