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  1. #1
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    Default Coil over front suspension worth it?

    I have a 85 gt with a mm torque arm rear suspension. I was wondering if upgrading the front to a coil over would be worth it? My concern is with a coil over putting extra force on the strut tower.

  2. #2

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    It depends...........

    With all due respect to all of the people that live in the "no snow/no rust" areas, there is a world of difference for cars being in Southern Calf/Phoenix/Las Vegas/ and the rest of the world.

    I love reading posts on "how easy it is to take off this/that bolt/nut".
    LMAO!


    Fwiw, in States that get snow, replacing a caliper can really really mean replacing the whole brake system - all lines/etc.
    Honestly people!
    I spent my a good portion of my teen years in my friend's dad's garage.
    I also know a number of people that have their own Automotive garage/shop/etc.
    Fwiw, retired cops buying a franchise like Jiffy Lube/etc was semi-popular when I was growing up. <shrug>


    I also find it "interesting" when I talk to people from Southern Calf/etc, that it seems like no one has any idea of what it means to have a car within 1 mile of the ocean - or right on the beach.
    Maybe only super mega rich people can live that close to the ocean down there??

    Salt damage from the ocean can be as bad or worse than salt/rust from snow/rain/road-treatment crud.

    Then, in many States, there are wetlands. Yes, areas that are always wet(or frozen). I think a number of Calf people just fainted.
    I happen to be one of those people that has wetlands right behind my house. Again, that's semi-common here in New England. So, I also live in a non-dry/non-arid environment.


    The point???


    For a car with no rust, and in great shape (especially the shock towers), then as I understand from Jack's awesome explanation on another site, then a coil over setup is fine.
    Iirc, there is even less force on the strut towers than the top of the K-frame. Wow! And, there are a number of advantages to a coil-over setup.
    Fwiw, I'm still a double wishbone guy myself!




    However, for those of use that have seasons, and don't have to live with mosquitoes all year long, then I say that the car better have zero rust and the person should not plan on driving the car in the snow or rain.
    I no longer drive my Stang in the snow or rain. But, as I said, I have wet lands behind my house. So, the rust on my Stang is kinda/sorta like the rust on a car where a person lives ~3 miles inland of the ocean. It's not bad. But, it's no where near to being like an 4-eye that's been in Southern-Calf/Phoenix/Las-Vegas/ all of it's life.

    Many many years ago, I posted on the corral how I had to sawsall 3 out of the four bolts that hold the FCAs to the k-frame. Iirc, I went through $40+++ in just blades way back then. Those hardened bolts beat the crud out of every sawsall blade made. I tried them all. Btw, for reference, never ever ever think of using any Sears sawsall blade (the good or cheap ones) - pure junk.





    Last, as someone recently posted, yes, coilovers can bust a strut tower.
    Iirc, 1-2 people on Corner Carvers also had it happen in the 90's.
    Last edited by stangPlus2Birds; 06-10-2018 at 07:43 PM.

  3. #3
    FEP Member brianj's Avatar
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    Completely unhelpful to you, but I want to ask you how you like the torque arm rear suspension. I've been toying with the thought of one for a few years now, honestly for launch grip more than cornering.
    1983 Mustang G.T. No-option stripper- I like strippers.
    5.0, GT40P heads, Comp Cams XE270HR-12 on 1.6 rockers, TFI spring kit, Weiand 174 blower, Holley 750 mechanical secondarys, Mishimoto radiator, Edelbrock street performer mechanical pump, BBK shortys, T-5 conversion, 8.8 rear, 3.73 gears, carbon fiber clutches, SS Machine lowers, Maximum Motorsport XL subframes, "B" springs.

  4. #4
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    My car has been rust coated and never winter driven. When I changed my rear suspension, all the bolts came off easily. I would love an sla on my car like what my lincoln ls has. I Can't justify the cost of a sla kit.

  5. #5
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    I love the torque arm set up. It handles great, the ride quality improved and I have no more brake dive. The only thing, the exhaust had to be modified to fit the panhard bar and the torque am.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by 86MustangGtRob View Post
    My car has been rust coated and never winter driven. When I changed my rear suspension, all the bolts came off easily. I would love an sla on my car like what my lincoln ls has. I Can't justify the cost of a sla kit.
    NICE!
    Then, my guess would be that a coil-over setup would be very good for your car.
    As I understand, again from Jack's explanation, a coil-over set-up is better if someone wants a handling car, a car with comfort (a soft suspension Stang :-P ) , or a lowered car. It depends on the spring rate and the height/spring-compression adjustments.



    My car was a daily driver for ~10 years. My friend didn't live too far from work, and working from home via a remote laptop wasn't common back then. So, back then, even in heavy snow storms, my friend drove the Stang (with 4 snow tires and ~100+lbs in the back of the hatch).

    Then, I bought the car from him, and it came to my house, right next to wetlands. :-)
    Still, even 30+ years later, imho, it's doing great.

  7. #7
    FEP Member brianj's Avatar
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    Did a quick bit of research, on corner carvers and a few other places. Basically, it comes down to 1- use good caster/camber plates- mandatory with coilovers. 2- make sure the spot welds are good in the towers, and possibly seam weld them instead of relying on the spot welds, and you will be fine. For corners, the coilovers seem to be worth it.
    1983 Mustang G.T. No-option stripper- I like strippers.
    5.0, GT40P heads, Comp Cams XE270HR-12 on 1.6 rockers, TFI spring kit, Weiand 174 blower, Holley 750 mechanical secondarys, Mishimoto radiator, Edelbrock street performer mechanical pump, BBK shortys, T-5 conversion, 8.8 rear, 3.73 gears, carbon fiber clutches, SS Machine lowers, Maximum Motorsport XL subframes, "B" springs.

  8. #8
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    Default

    That's great the car is still doing great. I want the coil overs for handling.

  9. #9
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice, really appreciate it did you see what I posted about how I liked the torque arm. It really helped with acceleration as well.

  10. #10
    FEP Member brianj's Avatar
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    Yes, i saw that. Thanks for the opinion.
    1983 Mustang G.T. No-option stripper- I like strippers.
    5.0, GT40P heads, Comp Cams XE270HR-12 on 1.6 rockers, TFI spring kit, Weiand 174 blower, Holley 750 mechanical secondarys, Mishimoto radiator, Edelbrock street performer mechanical pump, BBK shortys, T-5 conversion, 8.8 rear, 3.73 gears, carbon fiber clutches, SS Machine lowers, Maximum Motorsport XL subframes, "B" springs.

  11. #11
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    not a problem, if you want I can take pictures. if you want to see how it fits.

  12. #12

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    If itís a street car thatís going to get driven in areas with rough roads I STRONGLY discourage coilovers on the street.

    My 1986GT had a full strut tower failure at 140K miles while I was on an uneven highway at speed meeting cars and semis. I very narrowly escaped crashing my car. It was nearly a head-on with multiple vehicles including 18 wheelers ó when a strut tower lets go there is barely any controlling the car and thatís if the weight is neared by the A arm and K member.

    lose a strut tower thatís holding up the front of the car there will be even less control.

    Your struts hold your caster and your camber adjustment. Changes to those impact toe adjustment. Lose caster camber and you now have varied toe. Unless you are damn lucky like I was itís game over.

    when you hit the brakes it aggressively influences things so you canít realky even stop the broken car effectively

    luckily mine never let go one of the times I was running about Mach 2.

    The only reall slow down force I could use and somewhat keep the car in control was gearing down and E brake. Even then it was ditch to ditch arm wrestling

    I am a lot more confident in my welds than what the car had to start with, but I still run a strut tower brace and refuse to use coilovers and always strongly discourage coilovers.

    my strut towers were only 9 years old and not rusty and not damaged. The strut mount points suffer metal fatigue and fail over time. Locating then welding on a washer on the hole that stays stationary and metal strips along the slots helps but the area where the towers tie into the bracing by the fender mount points are subject to fatigue also. It can be a chain reaction once one thing lets go and put you in a really bad spot in a hurry.


    Having went for a bad ride...... if I know someone with coilovers is coming on a road from the other direction I go the other way. Iím not kidding. That failure could have killed me and also someoneís family member.

    I would have to take my car apart to show everywhere that was re-enforced when the failure occurred. Itís held up great since the fix for around an additional 310K miles.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 06-11-2018 at 07:48 PM.

  13. #13
    FEP Member 86MustangGtRob's Avatar
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    Oh wow, thanks for sharing what happened to you. It's amazing you made it. I am just going to put better springs on instead.

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