Shoot man I hear you loud and clear. Typically you cannot find a used T-Bird aftermarket anything so my assumption that you bought it new was from that not to mention I am a bit jealous as I paid for mine new. Being that you are a machinist this should be super easy once you have the dims and figure out what type of joints you want to run with. When you get them done please post some pictures as I always enjoy seeing the end product especially when it comes to these cars.
I don't get it. You will lay out the cash for the Griggs front but will not buy their LCA's for the rear? Talk about reinventing the wheel but I guess I can understand wanting to build them yourself. I just get tired of fabricating all the stuff for my 83 so I take advantage of parts someone else has already engineered.
Wrong. End of story. I have a tubular K-Member in my 83, do you have one? I have tubular control arms on my 83, do you have them? I have the double adjustible struts with coil overs on the front of my 83, do you have this set up? The factory Ford measurements on an 83 K-Memeber are different that those of an 84-86 which are different than the 87-88 cars. This information can be obtained from Ford. Griggs discovered that the 83 has its own K-Member due to my car. They shipped me the one for the 84-86 cars (they used to call it the 83-86 unit) and low and behold it would not bolt up, not even close. I shipped it back to them including their tubular control arm, my stock K-Member, and stock lower control arms. They measured it up and low and behold it is definitely different....including the lower control arms.
I will not argue the fact that you can bolt up a Mustang K-Member to these cars, it will fit. The geometry is wrong but it will fit. When I speak of geometry I am talking about anti-dive and the location of the lower control arm front to back. Even Maximum Motorsports has a T-Bird specific K-Member.
The front spindles on the 83-86 TC's have the same brakes as the 5.0 cars, small and shitty. The 87-88 cars have the larger, yet still shitty, brakes up front which require the bigger spindles which you correctly pointed out to have the narrower mounting for the struts. The strut bolt holes are also farther apart on these spindles. I owned an 85 TC and know this for a fact as I upgraded the front brakes to the larger units. Not much of an upgrade but the parts were free.
I am going off of personal experience and what I know from dealing with my Fox T-Bird for 20+ years. The 83 was bought new by my dad and given to me 18 years ago so I have a lot of time working with this car and know it very well.
If they are basically the same then whey does the 83 have its own K-Member, the 84-86 have their own K-Member, and the 87-88 K-Member have their own K-Member?
The 83-86 have a different strut as the spindles are different than the 87-88 cars. The different spindles also dictate the larger 4-lug brakes on the 87-88 cars which are the same spindles as the 86-93 Mustangs minus the SVO and Cobra models.
The lower control arm on the 83's is a bit shorter than the 84-86 cars and the 87-88 cars are longer yet.
So in short the front suspensions are pretty much different in the geometry but may use the same springs, control arm bushings, ball joints, and caster camber plates.
And my question to you is what year Bird and type of suspension. That will affect the style of strut and shock. My car is an 83 and I have the SN95 front spindles so the double adjustible struts were an option.
Back to the trim at the local bar statement...he was referring to picking up a woman.
It helps when you post a blanket statment like "trim" that you be a bit more specific in what you are after. The more info you give the masses the more replies you will get that will actually help you.
I had a 95 Bird with a shit load of bolt-ons and posted there quite a bit back in 98-2000. Mostly the posts there are very non-tech oriented and lots of he said she said crap. That is what drove me from that site before I sold the 4000 lb. beast. In all honesty I get more out of corner-carvers.com than anywhere else but you better bring your A game there. Those guys will ban you if you post anything but tech or ask the same old question without doing a search.
I know for a fact the 85 units worked on my 83 so hopefully that will help as these will be for my 83. The ones that came off the 85 were the flat black and that is what I am looking for as the standard units with the chrome lip take a ton of work to prep to paint solid black.
The Griggs unit pushed the wheel foward 3/4" and the lower control arm pushes it foward another 3/4" unless you opt to buy the severe duty adjustible control arm. This will allow you to move the wheel foward anywhere from 3/4" to 1-1/2" total. Griggs does not make a K-Member that does not relocate the front mounting points.
Maximum motorsports has a K-Member as well and it does the same thing. They offer two lower control arms, one with zero offset and one with 3/4" offset. Again, either 3/4" or 1-1/2" foward movement of the front wheel.
Wanted to post an update on Maximum Motorsports K-members. They now offer lower control arms with a reverse offset which will allow you to achieve the original wheel location. So basically the K-member still has the 0.75" forward movement of the control arm mounting points but the new control arm completely offsets this to bring the wheel back to the stock location. This is very nice if you have already purchased the K-member and want to move the wheel back as it is cheaper than buying the K-member and you can most likely sell other the lower control arms.
The dealer I bought them from is a friend of mine and I cannot find the invoice. I called him and he is going to email me one in the morning. I will post the part number as soon as he gets it to me. If you guys are interested in contacting him for the information or a quote his website is:
You will find his contact info in "products" at the bottom of the Griggs advertisement. John is the American Iron champ 2004 & 2005 and runs full Griggs cars. The 2006 season was not all that good as he built a brand new 2004 body in white car that had a few bugs as all new cars do. Should literally dominate next year. He knows his equipment and stands by what he sells.