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  1. #1
    FEP Power Member richpet's Avatar
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    Default Subframe connectors

    I want to install subframe connectors in my '81 Granada, but of course everything I find says it won't fit. Tried searching and for some reason coming up dry. I even contacted a seller about it a week ago with no response. So- what brand works? Since it is a fox body I assumed most will, even if the manufacturer says it won't (because maybe they never tried?)

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    83 5.0 GT. Quicker than it looks! 10:1 (or just over) 306, Motorsport a332 cam, 140A alt, t5 conv, 8.8 w/ 3.27's, Edel rpm, alum rad, very worked e7's, Holley SA carb, etc... SOLD IT!!!!

    Now an 1981 Granada! 9.5:1 .040 over 302, Edel E-street heads, 268 cam, T5, 8.8 with 3.55, plus all the stiffening goodies, all control arms, lowered, alum shaft, x-pipe with Outlaws, FiTech FI system...

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

  2. #2

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    Maximum Motorsports full lengths

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mtrw7DcUtHg

    Or my car has custom through-floor. Granada is the same wheelbase as F/Z. Mustang ones are not a direct fit because the wheelbase is longer than Mustang.
    Brad

    '79 Mercury Zephyr ES 5.0L GT40 EFI, T-5
    '17 Ford Focus ST
    '14 Ford Fusion SE Manual

  3. #3

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    If the floorpan is the same as the F/Z's, then a set of those full-lengths should work.

    I made a custom set for my old '80 Z7, but they were basically just copies of a Mustang set, with seat braces, that were a little longer.
    83 TC "Clone"
    85 Marquis LTS

  4. #4
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    I bought a set of those MMs for my wagon, and the shop lengthened them to fit.
    They said it's easier for them to modify something rather than build from scratch.

  5. #5
    FEP Power Member richpet's Avatar
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    So much for bolting them on and driving to the muffler shop for a few welds like I did with the '83...
    But, gonna have to do it.
    83 5.0 GT. Quicker than it looks! 10:1 (or just over) 306, Motorsport a332 cam, 140A alt, t5 conv, 8.8 w/ 3.27's, Edel rpm, alum rad, very worked e7's, Holley SA carb, etc... SOLD IT!!!!

    Now an 1981 Granada! 9.5:1 .040 over 302, Edel E-street heads, 268 cam, T5, 8.8 with 3.55, plus all the stiffening goodies, all control arms, lowered, alum shaft, x-pipe with Outlaws, FiTech FI system...

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

  6. #6

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    I used S&W Race Cars sub frame connectors. Excellent quality and fit great. They make the longer size you will need.

  7. #7
    FEP Power Member richpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratchet1 View Post
    I used S&W Race Cars sub frame connectors. Excellent quality and fit great. They make the longer size you will need.
    Those look awesome, but twice the price of MM. I like the bolt on ability then I can drive it to the shop for welding.

    Time to think I guess. Not buying today.
    83 5.0 GT. Quicker than it looks! 10:1 (or just over) 306, Motorsport a332 cam, 140A alt, t5 conv, 8.8 w/ 3.27's, Edel rpm, alum rad, very worked e7's, Holley SA carb, etc... SOLD IT!!!!

    Now an 1981 Granada! 9.5:1 .040 over 302, Edel E-street heads, 268 cam, T5, 8.8 with 3.55, plus all the stiffening goodies, all control arms, lowered, alum shaft, x-pipe with Outlaws, FiTech FI system...

    "Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups"

  8. #8

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    MM does not make any subframe connectors that bolt in.

    If you PM me your e-mail address, I can send you list of modifications required to make the MMFL-5 fit on a F/Z chassis Fox car.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  9. #9

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    I've been thinking about adding subframe connectors to my 80 Thunderbird for many years now. If only I was better at welding...I'm a complete amateur.
    I've seen a tubular set marketed for the Thunderbird by Global West #918 but understand a square tube is better.
    One issue is the even longer 108.4" wheelbase that these longer fox body cars have compared to the Granada at 105.5".
    Last edited by BBCFORD; 07-24-2019 at 11:53 AM.

  10. #10

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    Very old thread but I wanted to kill the idea that square tube is better than round tube. Foremost is any subframe connector is better than none and welded is far superior to bolted. Round tube has a higher resistance to both flex and torsional twisting than square tube for a given weight. The reason most chassis are square tube is the ease of fabrication and fitment. Think about roll cages...when have you seen a square tube roll cage?

    I run the Gobal West subframe connectors on my 1983 T-Brid and 1993 Fox Mustang. The added benefit is that they run on the outside of the stock subframes and not under them which increases ground clearance that both my cars need as they are lowered.
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/attachme...1&d=1418488062
    '83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle

    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/attachme...2&d=1418488063
    '93 331W Mustang coupe that beat your mom's LTD

  11. #11

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    In a rollcage, all of the members should be loaded in tension and compression. They shouldn't be loaded in bending or torsion, unless absolutely necessary. Given that, it makes almost no difference whether the tubing has a round or rectangular cross section. When the tube must be loaded in bending, it usually makes more sense for it to have a rectangular cross section. This is because the bending load will be in one known direction, so the largest dimension of the rectangle should be in the same plane as this bending load is. A good example of this are the A-pillar tubes in most BMW rollcages. These cars have a very low windshield angle, so the A-pillar tube is laid back a lot. This makes very large bending loads in it. To provide enough stiffness in the correct direction, most racecars start with two tubes here, then turn it into a rectangle by adding material between them.

    http://nebula.wsimg.com/6632cc2cb557...&alloworigin=1

    The main reason that most rollcages are made from round tubing is this. High quality rectangular tubing is not commonly available.

    All tubing is welded together and therefore has a seam in it. This seam makes the tubing significantly weaker. DOM tubing starts out as ERW tubing, but goes through a mandrel where it is reheated. This is done to smooth out the weld seam and improve the material properties in the weld area. The end result is tubing with essentially no seam in it. Rectangular tubing can also be processed this way, but the vast majority of it is built as standard seamed tubing.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  12. #12
    FEP Power Member mcb82gt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aerocoupe View Post
    Very old thread but I wanted to kill the idea that square tube is better than round tube. Foremost is any subframe connector is better than none and welded is far superior to bolted. Round tube has a higher resistance to both flex and torsional twisting than square tube for a given weight. The reason most chassis are square tube is the ease of fabrication and fitment. Think about roll cages...when have you seen a square tube roll cage?

    I run the Gobal West subframe connectors on my 1983 T-Brid and 1993 Fox Mustang. The added benefit is that they run on the outside of the stock subframes and not under them which increases ground clearance that both my cars need as they are lowered.
    https://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/yhst...559.1635354036

    Is it just me, or could the diagrams be less cheesy?
    Mike

    Now stang-less.

    88 Cougar 5.0

  13. #13

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    Cannot argue with Jack's points on the BMW roll cage as I do not have experience with that type of car. Round, rectangular, and square seamless tubing can be had and is manufactured per ASTM A519. I only know this as I work in Oil & Gas and use seamless pipe in 2" and smaller diameters quite a bit as it seems to dominate the market in these smaller diameters.

    Illustrations in the instructions are cheesy but they are super easy to install. I really like how they connect into the rear bulkhead and that they run the full length of the subframes and tie to the front and back of each subframe. Other nice thing is the driver side unit has the bracket welded to them for relocating the e-brake cable on the T-Birds. I can tell you that after installing them I can jack both cars on any corner. lift that corner off the ground, and the door gaps are spot on allowing the doors open and close effortlessly. I am 100% sure a person would get the same results with square tube subframe connectors but they both need to be welded. I view bolt in suspension parts as a good way to get them installed and lined up for welding. Again, my biggest reason for installing the Global West units is that they install to the side of the factory front and rear subframes and about flush to the floor which keeps the ground clearance. Both cars are pretty low so not having the subframe connectors immediately below the front and rear subframes is an added bonus. They have the seat brackets that can be welded to the subframe connectors to help support where the rear mount of the front seats bolt to the floor pan for the Mustangs. We tried like hell to get them to build them for the T-Birds over on foxtbirdcougarforums.com but it all came down to getting a test mule to them and no one was close so that fell through.

    Anyhow, if you take one thing away from this is that get full length subframe connectors and weld them in place. Some installation notes that will help with not inducing or permanently keeping a tweak in the chassis by installing the subframe connectors:

    • The chassis needs to be straight so if you don't know have a shop put it on a frame machine and check it. Cheap insurance because once you weld them in any tweaks are locked in place.
    • Install them with the chassis loaded. This would be accomplished by putting the car on jack stands where the front LCA's attach to the car (on the frame between the bushings of the LCA) and jack stands on the rear end just inside or outside of the rear LCA attachment point to the rear end. I would not do this by loading the suspension as there are too many variables within each corner of the car suspension which can cause it to load the chassis ununiformly and induce tweaks.
    • The car needs to be level from side to side. You can accomplish this by leveling the jack stands where they sit under the car. This will require marking where the car is located (mark the tire locations or use plumb bobs in a creative way), jacking the car up and placing the stands under the chassis locations as described above. Be sure to set the stands at a comfortable work height and record this height at each location. Mark where the stands go on the concrete as well as marking the stands with 1-4 or A-D so that you can put the same stand back where it was. Jack the car back up and remove the stands, lower the car, and move it out of the way. Place the stands back where they were at the measured work height and level them with shims (use large ones so that the jack stand cannot slip off as this would be bad). You want to level the front stands to one another and level the back stands to one another. Move the stands and drive the car back where it was. Now jack the car up, reposition the stands and shims and set each stand at the recorded work height. The chassis is now level side to side and if you are a little out front to back that is not going to cause an issue as you are wanting to remove any twist in the car.
    • After getting the car up on the jack stands and level from side to side you want to make sure the car is touching all four of the jack stands. If there is gap on one then you can use weights positioned over the jack stand with the gap to close it up and get the chassis level. If you have a lot of gap then see the first point.


    This is how both of my cars were done and by the way they jack up and the doors close I'm a believer. I have seen several other folks post up very similar ways of installing them but I would be curious to see what Jack thinks. They probably have an easier way to to it at MM but that's the advantage of a big shop.
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/attachme...1&d=1418488062
    '83 351W TKO'd T-Bird on the bottle

    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/attachme...2&d=1418488063
    '93 331W Mustang coupe that beat your mom's LTD

  14. #14

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    Below is the standard cut and paste I send to customers about subframe connector installation for cars which do not have the suspension of driveline installed in them.

    "With nothing in the chassis, there can't be very much load on the chassis, so almost no matter how it is supported, it will be mostly undeformed. To absolutely avoid all possible issues with the chassis being twisted, support it from three points when the subframe connectors are installed. This is because three points define a plane. If you support the chassis with four points, it has a 99% chance of rocking, because the odds that all four support points are at the exact correct height are essentially zero. If the chassis can rock, that means that some part of it (the corner in the air) is pulling down and twisting the chassis to some degree, however small. If you put support points under the rear frame rails and then one in the center of the k-member, this is impossible.

    If the car has no k-member in it, you can put a beam under the front and a jackstand in the middle of the beam. That will still only be one point in front, because the car and beam is completely free to roll side to side on the top of the jack stand.

    The suspension isn't loading the car in a normal subframe connector installation. The suspension is providing a compliance so that when the car is supported at four points, the gap that happens at the one point, is taken up by the suspension droop at that corner. Because the chassis has about 20 times the torsional stiffness that the suspension does, the suspension will deflect 95% (19/20) of the distance and the chassis will deflect only 5% (1/20). This is why the car can be supported at four points, for subframe connector installation, as long as the four points are through the suspension (springs)."
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

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