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Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 10:13 p.m.

So a few weeks ago I bought a 1990 LX Mustang 5 speed.

The car itself needs lots of small things but is a drives well enough.

The mods included lowering springs, bigger sway bars, camber plates, aluminum rear trailing arms, headers and aftermarket MAC mufflers.

It also has the SN95 5 lug conversion.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 10:22 p.m.

So one of the first tasks was replacing the wobbly clutch fan and crossing fan.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 10:24 p.m.

Next up was sourcing the battery draw. Turns out there was a switch under the dash that was part of the defunct alarm.

yupididit
yupididit GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/16/24 10:49 p.m.

I'm glad you made a build thread. It was hard to keep track of all your threads about your car you've made in the past 2 weeks. I love foxbody's so naturally I'm interested in your ownership experience. 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 11:24 p.m.

The next project was the passenger side outside door handle didn't work. 

In the course of trying to figure this out the door lock solenoid froze in the locked postition.

I can now attest to the fact that you can indeed pull the door card off without having the door open.

I liberally soaked the solenoid with PB Blaster.

The solenoid simply wouldn't budge so I used a hacksaw blade to cut the rod.

Well low and behold after the soaking the outside door handle now worked.

 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 11:28 p.m.

 The next dilemma was the front of the car seemed to be awfully low.

Turns out the front springs are H&R Super Sports which turns out are meant more for stance than handling.

I ordered up some H&R Sport Springs and I'm waiting for their arrival. Below is the picture of the Super Sport Springs

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 11:40 p.m.

Next up was replacing the 9 year old tires.

As this car is only going to be driven 2000 miles a year I opted for some 200 treadware tires. I went with Fallen Azenis 615s. Per GRM tire testing they are predictable on the limit on a little loner lasting. As my son will be sharing the car I thought it would be a good idea.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 11:47 p.m.

Pulling into the tire shop revealed and issue when attempting to use the last little bit of steering lock there was clearly a clearance problem.

And this is what I found. The back edge of the wheel was hitting the control arm. There is a stiffening bracket worded to the control arm and so I notched that bracket so the wheel cleared. 

This may be my excuse to fit tubular control arms. In the meantime I ordered up a set of steering rack travel limiters from LMR as I only need about 1/8 of clearance.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 11:53 p.m.

The next two things are going to be the brakes and the AC.

I intend to install the Cobra brake kit from LMR as it's only $360 bit that will wait until summer. 

Living in Vegas the AC is top of the list. Allegedly it only needs a compressor clutch.......we shall see.

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired Dork
4/16/24 11:54 p.m.

Glad to see you started a build thread. 
Are the springs on your car cut? Surprised to see how low it sits. Mine is just on generic SVE lowering springs and yours looks to be a full inch lower 

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/16/24 11:58 p.m.

In reply to Cooper_Tired :

No, the springs are not cut. They were designed to sit that low.......which is why I am changing them. They drop the car 2 inches. 

The car sits an inch lower in the front than the back. I am hoping to have them changed out before autocross in two weeks.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
4/17/24 1:26 a.m.

A few notes that might be of help.

Tubular front control arms pretty much always require coilovers rather than the stock replacement type springs that the h&r are. 

My car is on the h&r "race" springs, I think you may want them over the "sport". The race ones aren't bad on the street. Might be too late though.

Take another quick look at the spring perches on your aftermarket rear lower control arms, many of them have adjustable perches. 

Clearance problems at full lock, especially with wider wheels is common. My 97 cobra factory had 17x8 with 245 tires, I am now running 2003 cobra 17x9's with 275 tires. I can run the rim into my addco sway bar. The droid you are looking for is rack limiters. Later cars were equipped with them from the factory to avoid these problems.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/steering-rack-limiter-kit-mustang-1979-2004/p/HW4651/

 

Consider adding subframe connectors, if not already equipped, a priority for track work. You want ones that reinforce the seat mount. Maximum Motorsports makes good ones. Over time the floorpan will buckle without them for track use.

Check if you have factory upper rear control arms, aftermarket ones with rod ends, or even stiffer poly bushings take away necessary compliance for roll and result in handling quirks and eventually a torn floor. (And yet the drag guys go in for them... But many of them reinforce that area of the floor)

 

I have always found the factory seats terrible for autocross. Too much movement from padding squish and you wind up hanging on for dear life. Your mileage may vary, but something to think about as you adjust to the new car. 

Camber. All the camber. Try for -3* and as much caster as you can muster for an autocross alignment. 

anger_enginering
anger_enginering New Reader
4/17/24 9:33 a.m.
Tom1200 said:

Pulling into the tire shop revealed and issue when attempting to use the last little bit of steering lock there was clearly a clearance problem.

And this is what I found. The back edge of the wheel was hitting the control arm. There is a stiffening bracket worded to the control arm and so I notched that bracket so the wheel cleared. 

This may be my excuse to fit tubular control arms. In the meantime I ordered up a set of steering rack travel limiters from LMR as I only need about 1/8 of clearance.

There is something wrong with those springs.. the coils should not be in contact with each other, that prevents compression, and will contribute to the too low, bad handling, hitting the control arm etc. I would install the rack limiters and springs only before making any other changes. Dont fire the parts cannon at it if you can avoid it. Fox Bodies are a slippery slope

anger_enginering
anger_enginering New Reader
4/17/24 10:45 a.m.
Apexcarver said:

A few notes that might be of help.

Tubular front control arms pretty much always require coilovers rather than the stock replacement type springs that the h&r are. 

My car is on the h&r "race" springs, I think you may want them over the "sport". The race ones aren't bad on the street. Might be too late though.

Take another quick look at the spring perches on your aftermarket rear lower control arms, many of them have adjustable perches. 

Clearance problems at full lock, especially with wider wheels is common. My 97 cobra factory had 17x8 with 245 tires, I am now running 2003 cobra 17x9's with 275 tires. I can run the rim into my addco sway bar. The droid you are looking for is rack limiters. Later cars were equipped with them from the factory to avoid these problems.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/steering-rack-limiter-kit-mustang-1979-2004/p/HW4651/

 

Consider adding subframe connectors, if not already equipped, a priority for track work. You want ones that reinforce the seat mount. Maximum Motorsports makes good ones. Over time the floorpan will buckle without them for track use.

Check if you have factory upper rear control arms, aftermarket ones with rod ends, or even stiffer poly bushings take away necessary compliance for roll and result in handling quirks and eventually a torn floor. (And yet the drag guys go in for them... But many of them reinforce that area of the floor)

 

I have always found the factory seats terrible for autocross. Too much movement from padding squish and you wind up hanging on for dear life. Your mileage may vary, but something to think about as you adjust to the new car. 

Camber. All the camber. Try for -3* and as much caster as you can muster for an autocross alignment. 

Before you make too many changes, I suggest 2 things. Determine what you want to do with the car, and IF you want to autocross, look into the classes and make sure your mods fit within that class. then you can see what areas you can upgrade. 

As for parts: Control arms - BMR offers tubular control arms with spring perches. Springs - I suggest avoiding race springs for a street car, but only 2k miles a year it may not be bad. Rear control arms - FEW have adjustable spring perches, I would suggest you look at the bushing material. Spherical end links are very harsh on the street. +1 on subframe connectors. With the large hatch opening, there is alot of body twist. You might look at torque box reinforcements also. C/C plate settings will be a compromise between street and autocross. Remember, a car that is set up to do multiple things isnt great at any of them, but too aggressive of a setup will make the car less fun for everyday driving. That is important when choosing the seats, so unless you plan to swap them back and forth I would avoid fixed back seats. 

Keep an eye on the temp gauge. you might want to upgrade the radiator and fan. Contour fans are a popular upgrade. Avoid underdrive pulleys they arent worth it. 

gearheadE30
gearheadE30 Dork
4/17/24 11:05 a.m.

In reply to anger_enginering :

Those springs are probably set up to intentionally coil bind. Many lowering springs are designed that way so you effectively get a built-in tender spring. The spring won't be loose at full extension this way, and once the "dead" coils have bottomed out, you get your designed/increased spring rate. Without doing this, it can be hard to get the correct ride height and a stiff enough spring rate without also having a spring that's just rattling around in there as the suspension droops out.

akylekoz
akylekoz UltraDork
4/17/24 11:23 a.m.

Glad to see you are keeping the stock fan.  I tried other dual fan shrouds but went back to stock for more air flow at speed. 

I'll get that spring removal too out to you now that you have springs coming.   I'll include the steering rack holder for machining the back side.

There is a lot of info out there for these cars, keep to your goals and don't ruin it.  The suspension is full of compromises, and at least half of the aftermarket parts will make those compromises worse.  Remember most info out there is for drag racing or cars that don't care about NVH.  

I made a solid track day car that I could still road trip out of mine with careful part selections and modifications.    

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/cars-sale/1992-mustang-gt-mt-mine/153038/page1/

I don't think I ever did a build thread for this, or I can't find it.  This has most of what I did except for the 1996 spindles, axle and it had a MM panhard rod and single upper link when I sold it.

Tom1200
Tom1200 PowerDork
4/17/24 2:11 p.m.

I have a very distinct plan.

It is a fun autocross & track day car that can be driven to and from events as well as take an occasional drive on the lake road.

The plan is as follows:

1. Rectify know issues; springs, steering etc.

2. Chassis stiffeners.

3. Cobra brakes.

4. Motor upgrades; the goal being 285-300hp.

anger_enginering
anger_enginering New Reader
4/17/24 2:14 p.m.
gearheadE30 said:

In reply to anger_enginering :

Those springs are probably set up to intentionally coil bind. Many lowering springs are designed that way so you effectively get a built-in tender spring. The spring won't be loose at full extension this way, and once the "dead" coils have bottomed out, you get your designed/increased spring rate. Without doing this, it can be hard to get the correct ride height and a stiff enough spring rate without also having a spring that's just rattling around in there as the suspension droops out.

I have NEVER heard of a coil spring intentionally binding and the coils coming in contact with eachother. That essentially negates the spring and makes for a solid spring.  

budget_bandit
budget_bandit Reader
4/17/24 2:23 p.m.

In reply to anger_enginering :

only the top coil or two binds, the rest of the spring can still function.

This is common in lowering springs for 3rd gen F-bodies (or at least it was)...

iansane
iansane GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
4/17/24 2:24 p.m.

In reply to anger_enginering :

It's insanely common in the aftermarket street spring world.

anger_enginering
anger_enginering New Reader
4/17/24 2:26 p.m.
akylekoz said:

Glad to see you are keeping the stock fan.  I tried other dual fan shrouds but went back to stock for more air flow at speed. 

I'll get that spring removal too out to you now that you have springs coming.   I'll include the steering rack holder for machining the back side.

There is a lot of info out there for these cars, keep to your goals and don't ruin it.  The suspension is full of compromises, and at least half of the aftermarket parts will make those compromises worse.  Remember most info out there is for drag racing or cars that don't care about NVH.  

I made a solid track day car that I could still road trip out of mine with careful part selections and modifications.    

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/cars-sale/1992-mustang-gt-mt-mine/153038/page1/

I don't think I ever did a build thread for this, or I can't find it.  This has most of what I did except for the 1996 spindles, axle and it had a MM panhard rod and single upper link when I sold it.

Stock fan is not the best option, but it IS what was designed for the car. For the LV heat I still recommend the Contour fan... Another Ford Factory part. Been playing with Fox bodies for 26 years and dealing with TX heat. 

You do NOT want to do the single upper link without the Panhard bar (poor mans 3 link)! I would;d recommend taking to MM and see what they suggest. There are enough people autocrossing these cars, you don't have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to proven combinations. Also, Alot of parts are designed to work together, and buying mishmashed parts from different vendors or used can also amplify the compromises. 

Motor upgrades, if looking for afordability, I would look for a set of GT40P heads, lots of them still on Explorers in the Junk Yard

 

anger_enginering
anger_enginering New Reader
4/17/24 2:30 p.m.

In reply to iansane : / budget_bandit:

As stated previously, I have been playing with Fox Bodies specifically for 26 years. I have run both progressive and linear aftermarket coil springs and never seen THAT! And in that picture I count 5 coils that are binding 

 

I don't claim to know alot about other makes or models. But being around these for THAT long I DO know a thing or two about these cars

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
4/17/24 2:31 p.m.

Here is a photo of the H&R "race" springs on my 97. There aren't any problems with it, the car has 60k miles, the springs about 15k with a lot of autocrossing.  You can also see the witness marks from the rim hitting the sway bar. 

 

 

 

I've been playing with SN95s for 22 years.

Apexcarver
Apexcarver MegaDork
4/17/24 2:40 p.m.

Another photo, from the back side showing that reinforcement you were talking about.

anger_enginering
anger_enginering New Reader
4/17/24 3:29 p.m.
Apexcarver said:

Here is a photo of the H&R "race" springs on my 97. There aren't any problems with it, the car has 60k miles, the springs about 15k with a lot of autocrossing.  You can also see the witness marks from the rim hitting the sway bar. 

 

 

 

I've been playing with SN95s for 22 years.

SN95 IS a Foxbody.. suspension is the same from 79-04. I would take a pic of mine but the front end is in the air because I am installing new Control arms, new MM rack bushings and MM C/C plates. Which I admit sounds like an excuse. Looks like you are also running the Bilsteins. That was the last upgrade I made to mine. I have heard they can be harsh and Koni's were recommended but I figured if it was good enough for the Terminators

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