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  1. #1
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    Default Rear coil spring question

    Somebody please tell me Saleen installed rubber spacers in between the coils on 85's. I just now after almost three years discovered them on mine.

  2. #2
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    Are you talking about the 3 inch diameter ribbed tube thingy inside the coil spring? Or the top, bottom doughnut?
    85 Saleen Mustang(s)

  3. #3
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    No. There is actually a rubber spacer between two coils on each rear spring. But I did notice one of the bottom rubbers is missing. I'm guessing a po did it and the rear Bilsteins are wore out.

  4. #4
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    If my springs are worn out does anyone have any recomendations for a similar style replacement?

  5. #5

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    What year and number is your Saleen? Not all are created equal.

    Early 85 cars got stock spring chopped off with a torch and rattle canned red. No, Iím not kidding......

    As time went on they settled on a lowering spring and made that same spring available in the Racecraft suspension kits of the period. Advertisements for those kits did say the specs on the rear springs if I am not mistaken.

    What springs to use depends entirely upon what you are going to do with the car. Just normal driving Iíd toss a pair of 4 banger LX springs in rear cut 1/4Ē at a time until I got my desired ride height....

    somethibg in that range of spring stiffness will do a lit to save your kidneys.

    just my thoughts

    Eibach had/has a wide selection come to think of it.

  6. #6
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    You can’t cut rear springs. That’s a really bad thing to suggest. Also, the “Saleen just torched the springs” comments should be backed up before spreading that like gospel. This type of information gets spun all over the internet, and before you know it, every S351 made from 94-99 had torch cut springs too.

    Spring sag was a common deal with rear springs installed in the cars, even into the later 80’s units. The combination of the rubber bushings in the control arms settling and the spring losing a bit of height contribute to this. Your options are to get a new spring, a good lower control arm or both. The original rear spring on the passenger side of my 85 Saleen failed/broke on the original owner, and wiped out the passenger spat.
    85 Saleen Mustang(s)

  7. #7
    FEP Member Tigger's Avatar
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    My 86 does not have any rubber spacers. I was missing one of the lower rubber spring isolators when I pulled the rear axle from my car. The other side was present but it crumbled when I removed it. After 175k it does not surprise me.
    67 Mustang Coupe
    96 Tangerine GT
    86 Saleen #179

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by BaconB8 View Post
    You canít cut rear springs. Thatís a really bad thing to suggest. Also, the ďSaleen just torched the springsĒ comments should be backed up before spreading that like gospel. This type of information gets spun all over the internet, and before you know it, every S351 made from 94-99 had torch cut springs too.

    Spring sag was a common deal with rear springs installed in the cars, even into the later 80ís units. The combination of the rubber bushings in the control arms settling and the spring losing a bit of height contribute to this. Your options are to get a new spring, a good lower control arm or both. The original rear spring on the passenger side of my 85 Saleen failed/broke on the original owner, and wiped out the passenger spat.
    Iíll temper what I am about to say with a note that Iíve have a really stinking long ass day and Iím at my limits....

    I have to tell you that type of message above is not the way to treat a fellow forum member.

    If you want to know why I said what I said ó great ask. Donít assume that someone is spreading misinformation or making stuff up until you ask though.

    And yes you can cut the springs, you just have to heat the end with a torch and make the pigtail again... or find another way to make them fit properly when done


    that all being said ó my information source is the early cars.

    Mike Charles owns the first three 1985 production cars made. Iíve personally seen and photographed two of three. I also got to see 1986-19R and 1986-29R and 1986-199 and 1986-200 and Mikeís Ranger race truck, and old Blackie (Mikeís bad ass high horsepower 1986GT)


    Word from Mike is Steve Saleen himself said that is how they were done. Iíve seen them and thatís exactly what it looks like.

    I get exactly what you are saying about misinformation but you need to understand that some of it IS true, some is not. For this oneó as I said ó it depends upon which early Saleen you are working on if restoring to original is your goal.

    For the very early 1985ís ó probably the big wing cars with fiberglass facials - itís how at least some of them were done. Is that good enough or does Mike need to post it himself? Or maybe Steve? Would you like to call Steve and ask him? Maybe we should call up Stu and look at the three 1984 Saleen prototypes too. They were also done that way, BTW.
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-27-2018 at 04:33 AM.

  9. #9
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    You made reference to Saleen being a hack for cutting the rear springs, then, you suggested th OP do the same.

    Can you see the contradiction there?
    85 Saleen Mustang(s)

  10. #10

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    What I've said about it in the past is that the cars were pretty crudely built -- especially the early ones. They were.

    But I'm all for preserving how they were delivered however even if it was that way. Contradiction? sure.... i see your point, but it just depends upon what car is being worked on and how it was made originally.

    I'm thinking don't do things that visually depart from how it was delivered new.

    anyway.... I think we understand one another

  11. #11

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    I had to read through this twice. I don't see where James called saleen a hack, he merely stated how it was done. Lots of guys have cut springs. It's the heart of hot rodding, taking what you have and making what you want. I have personally met James only twice, but he sure seems like a helluva nice guy and very knowledgeable about these cars. I don't need to stick my head up a cows ass to know, I'll just take his word for it.

  12. #12
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    We’re on the same page.

    Sorry if I offended you.

    OP: I’ll be buying a set of Eibachs for one of my 85’s and painting them red. I have the H&R race springs (red) from MM, and the car sits too high for my taste.
    85 Saleen Mustang(s)

  13. #13
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    So now that the pissing contest is over can we get back to my question about replacement spring suggestions?
    BTW. The car is 85-132.
    Last edited by dagenham; 08-27-2018 at 09:48 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by dagenham View Post
    So now that the pissing contest is over can we get back to my question about replacement spring suggestions?
    BTW. The car is 85-132.
    We were about to line up and see who can get it over the top wire on that fence over yonder. LOL

    Theres gotta be a joke in here somewhere on flipping a top. Or roof skin?

    For 132, that is a normal Saleen wing car not a big wing, correct?
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    Last edited by erratic50; 08-28-2018 at 12:16 PM.

  15. #15

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    Name:  90165215-82A3-4D6D-A90A-86B95EC9B0D7.jpg
Views: 117
Size:  108.8 KBPics of big vs normal. Notice the way the big wing comes up by the rear glass and the normal wing is basically level.

    looking at what you have now and also at production dates will also help suggest what it does or doesnít have. A lot of guys think the 1985ís were built in order and that couldnít be further from the truth. They skipped a bunch then went back in hopes of inflating their perceived numbers.

    1985-007 (grey pictured) was the first production car. 1985-016 (black pictured) was the second. The third 1985 car is red. 1985-014 is the 3rd 1985 completed. If memory serves 14 and 16 were built in 1984 on the same day by Steve Saleen. (thatís a lot of work in one day!) Of course 14 is also a big wing car. 14 is the only Saleen Mustang that Mike Charles currently owns that I havenít seen in person unless he has bought more cars ...... again.

    The red car in the picture is one from later in the 85 build. Note the 16Ē ARE wheels.
    Attached Images Attached Images     
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-29-2018 at 01:57 AM.

  16. #16

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    I looked for production info here... lots of missing info on 132, but it’s a real beauty in white I’m certain of that!

    http://foxchassis.com/fep/registry/saleen/

  17. #17
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by erratic50 View Post
    I looked for production info here... lots of missing info on 132, but itís a real beauty in white Iím certain of that!

    http://foxchassis.com/fep/registry/saleen/
    I wish it still was. Right now it's just ok looking to me. It was nice enough to get third at the all ford Nats at Carlisle this year though.
    Funny you show that roof skin as I will be replacing it on this car due to a horrible aftermarket sunroof. And yes it is a small wing car.
    But even so I am loading into the trailer tonight to go to Mustang Week.
    Last edited by dagenham; 08-28-2018 at 06:13 PM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by dagenham View Post
    I wish it still was. Right now it's just ok looking to me. It was nice enough to get third at the all ford Nats at Carlisle this year though.
    Funny you show that roof skin as I will be replacing it on this car due to a horrible aftermarket sunroof. And yes it is a small wing car.
    But even so I am loading into the trailer tonight to go to Mustang Week.
    I spoke with Mike Charles. 132 was not among the first 20-ish cars made in 1985. When it was new from Saleen it did not have chopped and painted springs like the first 20 some cars. It rolled out with some quite heavy duty fixed rate Eibach lowering springs that were powder-coated red.

    If you want it to be correct, more research is pending. The springs were in the realm over 300 lbs and fixed rate, not progressive.

    The original ride was most likely quite spirited -- a nice way to say that by progressive rate spring standards that came less than 250 cars later or by today's performance car standards -- the ride was rougher than a stucco bath tub....

    Mike said he is absolutely sure he has the spring rate info somewhere for the later 1985 and into 1986 fixed rate spring cars, but definitely can't put his hands on it today.


    If you are showing it and want to score points in front of Saleen purists, put in the correct fixed rate springs. If you just want it to sit right and it would be nice if it rode better while still handling very well...... get a progressive spring.

    Eibach is your best bet either way. AFAIK- 1.5" lower is what they had. The remaining lower elevation vs stock came from the shorter and wider tires.

    The old Racecraft suspension kit advertisements that started popping up in magazines in 1985 will also tell you exactly what they were -- they are the same Eibach spring.

    A similar although lighter rear spring available today comes in this kit:
    https://www.americanmuscle.com/eibac...-04-coupe.html

    The red springs from Eibach these days are progressives.
    Last edited by erratic50; 08-28-2018 at 09:05 PM.

  19. #19
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    Yeah it doesn't ride nice at all now. Thats why We are taking it to Mustang Week in a trailer. With the discovery of the rubber blocks in the rear springs it is time to do some shock and spring shopping.
    Thanks for the info about the Eibach springs. I'll start there. Any other brand recommendations?

  20. #20

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    There are so many options out there everywhere you look. Eibach spring have been around about the longest and there are quite a few cars that have went a lot of miles with them. Seems like a good place to start.

    if you are changing them do you want to do a rate change where the car is a lot more tolerable on the street?

    Maximum Motorsports has charts that are great for sizing spring rates. Their focus is coilovers which Iíll never run on a car that gets miles put on it.

    The roof skin picture was before Trey skillfully transplanted it on to my 85. It also had a hideous aftermarket sun roof.
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    Last edited by erratic50; 08-29-2018 at 02:29 AM.

  21. #21
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    I am not a Saleen expert, so I will leave that to others.

    I recently emailed Jack Hidley with Maximum Motorsports about springs for my 82 RS. I wanted a lowered stance, but good ride quality. I will be using the Tokico Blue struts/shocks. He recommended the Eibach Pro-kit springs https://www.maximummotorsports.com/E...-IRS-P738.aspx rather than the H&R Sport Springs https://www.maximummotorsports.com/H...dtop-P746.aspx for two reasons. First the Tokico Blues have similar valving to the OEM struts/shocks and match the spring rate of the Eibach better. Both springs would give @ 1.2-1.5" of lowering up front and about 1" in the rear. The Eibachs are slightly less spring rate than the H&R. Both are progressive springs and either should work well. Final choice would be current struts/shocks and ride quality desires.

    I don't think you can go wrong with either. Most likely for a Saleen, I would go with the H&R. My experience is the ride quality is firm, but doesn't beat you to death, assuming quality struts/shocks. One other bit of information I learned from Jack several years ago was the impact a quality ball joint has on ride harshness. The OEM Ford later model Aero ball joints are the BEST ball joint for the Four Eyes running the Fox spindles. Unfortunately the supply is virtually non existent at this point. Most of your aftermarket ball joints are junk and actually increase the ride harness. The OEM Ford SN95 ball joints are the next best option for the Four Eyes and will work even with Fox spindles, but you will have not be able to use your stock castle nut when installing. I will install a pair of the Ford ball joints in my 82 RS when I get to that point rather than aftermarket junk ball joints in an effort to get the best ride possible.
    ​Trey

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  22. #22

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    Can’t speak to the normal SN95 balljoints yet but the X2 on my 86GT is not as low of a friction balljoint but it is longer than stock- it’s a huge improvement on my 1986GT.

    On the original balljoints - not the later revised design - If nearly 1/2 million hard miles isn’t going to make a balljoint get to a bad state then it was WAY too stiff to begin with! Mine were MUCH too nice for the miles. Granted the seals were still intact which is the difference maker.

  23. #23

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    duplicate

  24. #24
    FEP Senior Member dagenham's Avatar
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    I bought a brand new still in the box set of Eibach sportlines today. Eibach's website says it lowers the car 1-3/4" front and 1-1/2" rear. Only gave $130.
    Funny thing is when I looked at Eibachs website a note at the bottom says "tested with factory dampers".
    Current Mustangs
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    1985 Saleen #132

  25. #25

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    Good deal.

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