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  1. #1
    FEP Power Member Mikestang's Avatar
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    Default Front LCA lenght...

    I have a question about front LCA length...

    I built my own cross member, and I used the stock LCA's that came on my 86. Is there a factory control arm that is compatible with our OE control arms that is a little longer? I have tried a control arm off a 01 but it is quite a bit longer. In the Mathis book it says a t-bird one, but I can find info that disproves this...

    I tried a search, but could not find anything. Any help would be great.


    I know on the MM site it says that the 96 spindle has a ball joint mount that is 5mm out, I assume this means that if I change my 95 spindle to a 96 spindle that track will get 5mm wider per side, thus getting me a little more neg camber? Can this be verified by anyone here?

    My goal is more neg camber. Currently at -2.5. I already have MM CC plates that are maxed out, and I have slotted the strut some. I am out of clearance for tipping the tire in at the top, it already rubs a little on the fender liner. But it I can go out with the bottom that would be better... or maybe I should focus on completing my racecar...
    Last edited by Mikestang; 03-25-2016 at 09:47 PM.
    1986 Ford Mustang GT-

    Not much stock stuff left
    347 NA power, CNC ported heads, Extrude honed Trick Flow Intake, Custom Cam
    Suspension, custom k- member, TQ arm/pan hard rod... Much more
    Restored and ready to race, made to go fast while cornering

    1981 Mustang GT-

    Old SCCA A-Sedan National Champ car
    In the middle of rebuild

    1986 LX Sedan-

    Plans to be determined...

    "Every day I learn how much I don't know"

  2. #2

    Default

    83-85.5 (some cross over) thirds/cougars use fox mustang length. Some 86 had a wider cross member and same arms, 87-88 for sure had Lincoln continental arms which are 3/4" wider track width with a 87-88 kmember and are nearly identical to 94-98 mustang arms. Not sure if the k member is wider, but I know there is a 10% reduction in turning radius and a different spring pocket and better alignment and bumpsteer movements on the 87-88 cars. 99-04 mustangs are about 1 and 1/2" wider, similar to the mark 7 width.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  3. #3

    Default

    Oops, I lied...
    Front A-Arms 1983-86: Thunderbird, Fox Mustang & SVO
    1987-88: 1994-98 Mustang, RWD Lincoln Continental, Thunderbird (all)

    See more at: http://www.coolcats.net/library/part....4V9VNq2v.dpuf

    I do know that 99-04 mustang arms are longer though.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  4. #4
    FEP Super Member Travis T's Avatar
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    Default

    The 87-88 Tbird and 94-98 Mustang have arms that are 3/4" longer.
    1984 Mustang GT owned since 1991 (first car). Mercury Mountaineer GT-40P engine, some suspension mods, currently undergoing a five lug SN95 brake upgrade and more suspension mods. Some minor body and interior mods have been done as well.

    2004 GT convertible, 2001 Taurus LX, 1994 F150, 1950 F-1 Ford Pickup

  5. #5
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Default

    Ok once again we have ALOT of misinformation in regards to control arm lengths. Much of this is due to the same bad information being reported time and time again on the internet and some due to being printed in magazines and books. Hopefully we can clear some of that up for everyone.

    First and foremost all 79-93 Mustang/Capri front control arms are the same overall length. Only the bushings and ball joints changed over those years. They are all roughly 13" long from centerline of the bushings to the centerline of the balljoint. No I haven't measured one in years, but that is the commonly accepted length. I will correct that number if Jack posts up more accurate information.

    The information I have (Mathis Book) shows that the 87-88 T Bird control arms are 13 3/4" long which makes them 3/4" longer than the Fox control arms. All the information I have shows the T Bird arms are identical in construction to the Fox control arms of stamped steel construction, just 3/4" longer.

    Again the information I have (Mathis Book) shows the 84-86 SVO control arms are 14" long which makes them 1" longer than the Fox arms and 1/4" longer than the T Bird arms. These arms were originally used under the Lincoln Continental and are unique in that they use a deeper spring pocket, different construction and non serviceable ball joints.

    The 94-04 SN95 front control arms are stamped steel construction and are 1.23" inches longer than the Fox control arms. That makes them longer than the T-Bird and the SVO arms. The arms are interchangeable from 94-04, but there are two unique stampings, the 94-98 is the first and the 99-04. The 99-04 stamping allows more turning radius due to a change in the shape of the arm near the ball joint to all for more clearance of the tires.

    That should cover the majority of the control arms that are used on Mustangs/Capris for these years. I am going to PM Jack to make sure he can verify my numbers are correct and add any additional information he has.

    So to summarize:

    79-93 Mustang/Capri front control arm length: 13"

    87-88 T-Bird/Cougar front control arm length: 13.75"

    84-86 Mustang SVO front control arm length: 14"

    94-04 Mustang front control arm length: 14.23"

    Trey
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Stalled RestoModification
    1984 SVO Still Waiting Restoration
    1986 GT Under going Wide Body Conversion Currently

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Stalled in TX
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  6. #6
    FEP Power Member Mikestang's Avatar
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    Default

    Thank guys, that was the info I was looking for. I already had ones that are for a 94-04 Time to look for some 87-88 T-bird ones, wonder how hard those will be to find? Is this all T-birds? (not sure what engine packages were avail, or if that matters...)
    1986 Ford Mustang GT-

    Not much stock stuff left
    347 NA power, CNC ported heads, Extrude honed Trick Flow Intake, Custom Cam
    Suspension, custom k- member, TQ arm/pan hard rod... Much more
    Restored and ready to race, made to go fast while cornering

    1981 Mustang GT-

    Old SCCA A-Sedan National Champ car
    In the middle of rebuild

    1986 LX Sedan-

    Plans to be determined...

    "Every day I learn how much I don't know"

  7. #7
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikestang View Post
    Thank guys, that was the info I was looking for. I already had ones that are for a 94-04 Time to look for some 87-88 T-bird ones, wonder how hard those will be to find? Is this all T-birds? (not sure what engine packages were avail, or if that matters...)

    My understanding is the 83-86 Thunderbirds use the Fox lower control arms, so no benefit there.

    Again my understanding is the 87-88 Thunderbirds all use the same front lower control arms and those would be the different ones that might work for you.

    Hope that helps.

    Trey
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Stalled RestoModification
    1984 SVO Still Waiting Restoration
    1986 GT Under going Wide Body Conversion Currently

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Stalled in TX
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  8. #8
    FEP Power Member Mikestang's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    My understanding is the 83-86 Thunderbirds use the Fox lower control arms, so no benefit there.

    Again my understanding is the 87-88 Thunderbirds all use the same front lower control arms and those would be the different ones that might work for you.

    Hope that helps.

    Trey
    Found this info that indicates that 94-98 Mustang LCAs are the same length as the 87-88 Cougar... You have info that stated that all 94-04 LCAs are the same...

    http://www.coolcats.net/modifying/controlarms.html
    1986 Ford Mustang GT-

    Not much stock stuff left
    347 NA power, CNC ported heads, Extrude honed Trick Flow Intake, Custom Cam
    Suspension, custom k- member, TQ arm/pan hard rod... Much more
    Restored and ready to race, made to go fast while cornering

    1981 Mustang GT-

    Old SCCA A-Sedan National Champ car
    In the middle of rebuild

    1986 LX Sedan-

    Plans to be determined...

    "Every day I learn how much I don't know"

  9. #9
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikestang View Post
    Found this info that indicates that 94-98 Mustang LCAs are the same length as the 87-88 Cougar... You have info that stated that all 94-04 LCAs are the same...

    http://www.coolcats.net/modifying/controlarms.html
    I am not familiar with the 87-88 T-Bird & Cougar as I have never owned one. The Mathis book shows the measurements I gave up above. The 94-04 SN95 control arm measurements are directly from Jack Hidley at Maximum Motorsports. He and I had this discussion in another thread and via PM. So I am positive that not only are the 94-98 and 99-04 control arms all the same overall length, and therefore the 94-98 can not match the 87-88 Cougar arms either.

    Trey
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Stalled RestoModification
    1984 SVO Still Waiting Restoration
    1986 GT Under going Wide Body Conversion Currently

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Stalled in TX
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  10. #10

    Default

    87-88 tbirds and cougars a arms are all the same, for all models.

    Although I havent swaped 94-98 arms, I do know that lots of guys run 94-98 a arms on cougar birds to keep the stock track width and upgraded ball joints etc when doing the 5 lug upgrade.

    I'm gonna do some googling on foxtbirdcougarforums tonight when I have more time.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  11. #11
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haystack View Post
    87-88 tbirds and cougars a arms are all the same, for all models.

    Although I havent swaped 94-98 arms, I do know that lots of guys run 94-98 a arms on cougar birds to keep the stock track width and upgraded ball joints etc when doing the 5 lug upgrade.

    I'm gonna do some googling on foxtbirdcougarforums tonight when I have more time.
    Again I have never owned an 87-88 T Bird or Cougar, so I can not guarantee the sizing on their control arms. The only information I have to go by is what I have from the Mathis book. There are mistakes and incorrect information in the Mathis book, but I don't know of any corrections for the T Bird control arms.

    The SN95 control arms may work just fine on the 87-88 T Birds, but once again I can guarantee that there is no difference in overall length between the 94-98 units and the 99-04 models. The change has to do with the shape near the ball joint to allow for more tire clearance. Otherwise the arms are the same and interchangeable.

    So if the 94-98 arms work on the T Bird/Cougar then the 99-04 arms will work just the same. If the T Bird/Cougar arms ARE the same length as the 94-98 arms then they ARE the same length as the 99-04 arms. If you have a set of T Bird/Cougar arms to measure that would be the most helpful and definitive at this time. Unfortunately I do not have any and don't know anyone that does. Although I do know where there is a Turbo Coupe that is for sale . . . That would give me a reason to go look at it.

    Trey
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Stalled RestoModification
    1984 SVO Still Waiting Restoration
    1986 GT Under going Wide Body Conversion Currently

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Stalled in TX
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  12. #12
    FEP Power Member Mikestang's Avatar
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    Default

    A few yards by me show they have T-bird arms. Ill keep ya posted on what I find.
    1986 Ford Mustang GT-

    Not much stock stuff left
    347 NA power, CNC ported heads, Extrude honed Trick Flow Intake, Custom Cam
    Suspension, custom k- member, TQ arm/pan hard rod... Much more
    Restored and ready to race, made to go fast while cornering

    1981 Mustang GT-

    Old SCCA A-Sedan National Champ car
    In the middle of rebuild

    1986 LX Sedan-

    Plans to be determined...

    "Every day I learn how much I don't know"

  13. #13
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikestang View Post
    A few yards by me show they have T-bird arms. Ill keep ya posted on what I find.

    If you can grab a pair to verify that would be great. There really aren't hardly any Foxes over here on the Western Slope much less in the JY anymore.

    Trey
    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Stalled RestoModification
    1984 SVO Still Waiting Restoration
    1986 GT Under going Wide Body Conversion Currently

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Stalled in TX
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  14. #14

    Default

    I'm down to just my 86 cougar. A year ago it was parked by my 87 bird before I moved. Only 83-86 cars at the junkyards, or I'd use that as an excuse for 50% Wednesdays.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wraithracing View Post
    Ok once again we have ALOT of misinformation in regards to control arm lengths. Much of this is due to the same bad information being reported time and time again on the internet and some due to being printed in magazines and books. Hopefully we can clear some of that up for everyone.

    First and foremost all 79-93 Mustang/Capri front control arms are the same overall length. Only the bushings and ball joints changed over those years. They are all roughly 13" long from centerline of the bushings to the centerline of the balljoint. No I haven't measured one in years, but that is the commonly accepted length. I will correct that number if Jack posts up more accurate information.

    The information I have (Mathis Book) shows that the 87-88 T Bird control arms are 13 3/4" long which makes them 3/4" longer than the Fox control arms. All the information I have shows the T Bird arms are identical in construction to the Fox control arms of stamped steel construction, just 3/4" longer.

    Again the information I have (Mathis Book) shows the 84-86 SVO control arms are 14" long which makes them 1" longer than the Fox arms and 1/4" longer than the T Bird arms. These arms were originally used under the Lincoln Continental and are unique in that they use a deeper spring pocket, different construction and non serviceable ball joints.

    The 94-04 SN95 front control arms are stamped steel construction and are 1.23" inches longer than the Fox control arms. That makes them longer than the T-Bird and the SVO arms. The arms are interchangeable from 94-04, but there are two unique stampings, the 94-98 is the first and the 99-04. The 99-04 stamping allows more turning radius due to a change in the shape of the arm near the ball joint to all for more clearance of the tires.

    That should cover the majority of the control arms that are used on Mustangs/Capris for these years. I am going to PM Jack to make sure he can verify my numbers are correct and add any additional information he has.

    So to summarize:

    79-93 Mustang/Capri front control arm length: 13"

    87-88 T-Bird/Cougar front control arm length: 13.75"

    84-86 Mustang SVO front control arm length: 14"

    94-04 Mustang front control arm length: 14.23"

    Trey

    Trey,
    Is there any longitudinal offset of the lower ball in the various arms relative to the original fox arm? Also, what the "Mathis Book"?

  16. #16
    Moderator wraithracing's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 86FOX4EYE View Post
    Trey,
    Is there any longitudinal offset of the lower ball in the various arms relative to the original fox arm? Also, what the "Mathis Book"?
    I assume you are asking about the balljoing location relative to the bushings? I believe there is some difference on the SN95 and the SVO arms, but I am not 100% on that.

    Bottom line today IMHO the stock Fox arms, the SN95 arms, or aftermarket arms such as Maximum Motorsports are the way to go. The SVO arms require unique springs and they have the balljoint issues. The T Bird arms are getting harder to find and IMHO the SN95 arms are a better option although longer.

    It all really depends on what you need/want and what concessions you are willing to make to run the different arms.

    The Mathis Book was the "Bible" for Foxes back in the early 90's in regards to modifications, etc. He wrote two books, the first dealt with drivetrain upgrades/modifications and Volume 2 dealt with chassis and suspension. Unfortunately there are several mistakes in the books thanks to the publishers so you have to be careful when going off the information or quoting it.

    Name:  Mathis Book.jpg
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    ​Trey

    "I Don't build it hoping for your approval! I built it because it meets mine!"

    "I've spent most of my money on Mustangs, racing, and women... the rest I just wasted."

    Mustangs Past: Too many to remember!
    Current Mustangs:
    1969 Mach 1
    1979 Pace Car now 5.0/5 speed
    1982 GT Stalled RestoModification
    1984 SVO Still Waiting Restoration
    1986 GT Under going Wide Body Conversion Currently

    Current Capris:
    1981 Capri Roller
    1981 Capri Black Magic Roller Basket Case
    1982 Capri RS 5.0/4spd T-top Full Restoration Stalled in TX
    1984 Capri RS T-top Roller
    1983-84 Gloy Racing Trans Am/IMSA Body Parts

  17. #17

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    Thanks for the info Trey.

  18. #18
    FEP Senior Member
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    Default

    Why not get the SN95 LCA and cut them to remove a section? If they are 1.23" longer, you have some options to make a couple sets in different lengths to get the negative camber you want overall. They are steel, could be cut with a simple bandsaw, and then MIG weld them together with a strengthening gusett/plate if you're worried about the strength at the cut joint.
    Join The Conversation
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  19. #19

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    Fox Mustang FCAs are 12.75" wide (except SVO).

    All 1987-88 T-bird/Cougar use 14" wide FCAs. Same as all 1994-2004 Mustang.

    All other Fox T-Bird/Cougar have unique 13"ish wide FCAs. I have only measured these with a tape measure, not by CMM, so I don't have an exact measurement.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hidley View Post
    Fox Mustang FCAs are 12.75" wide (except SVO).

    All 1987-88 T-bird/Cougar use 14" wide FCAs. Same as all 1994-2004 Mustang.

    All other Fox T-Bird/Cougar have unique 13"ish wide FCAs. I have only measured these with a tape measure, not by CMM, so I don't have an exact measurement.
    Now I am confused.

    Quote-

    So to summarize:

    79-93 Mustang/Capri front control arm length: 13"

    87-88 T-Bird/Cougar front control arm length: 13.75"

    84-86 Mustang SVO front control arm length: 14"

    94-04 Mustang front control arm length: 14.23"

    Trey

    Matthew

  21. #21

    Default

    No. No.

    The second no is because the forum requires a minimum of 5 character posts.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  22. #22

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    To update this:

    79-93 Mustang/Capri front control arm length: 12.79"

    87-88 Thunderbird/Cougar front control arm length: 14.02"

    1983-86 Thunderbird are probably all 13.0"
    I have only personally measured one of these FCAs in a junkyard and I have one reliable measurement from a customer of 13.125". Despite what it says in the Coolcats article linked below, NO Thunderbird/Cougar and Fox FCAs have the same geometry.Near proof of this is that for over a decade the Ford SVO/Motorsports/Performance catalog lists the M-3075-A FCA for Mustangs and Capris. It NEVER listed them to fit Thunderbirds or Cougars. If they did fit, I'm sure they would have been listed for these applications to increase sales.

    https://www.coolcats.net/modifying/controlarms.html

    Thundebirds and Cougars are definitely built in two FCA/k-member/swaybar configurations. One configuration is with a narrow FCA, wide k-member and wide swaybar. Configuration two is with a wide FCA, narrow k-member and narrow swaybar. The narrow FCAs are 13ish inches. The wide FCAs are 14". The difference in swaybar width between the wide and narrow is 1". Neither is Fox Mustang width. I'm positive that all 1987-87 TC cars and XR7s had the wide FCA setup. I'm not sure of the what other models, used which front ends. It appears that any car with the 1.3" front swaybar had the narrow swaybar setup. My notes also show that a 1988 V8 Thunderbird with handling package and a 1988 V8 Cougar both had the wide FCA front end. A 1985 Thunderbird TC and a 1985 Thunderbird V8 both had the narrow FCA front end. Probably, all 1983-86 cars had the narrow FCA front end and all 1987-88 cars had the wide FCA front end.

    To add. I just checked RockAuto. They should that all Fox Mustangs and all 1983-86 Thunderbirds use the same FCAs, which I think is impossible. In defense of my case, RockAuto also lists that all 1987-88 Thunderbirds with a replacement control arm shaft kit. Front upper control arm? WTF?

    84-86 Mustang SVO front control arm length: 14". Swaybar endlink holes in a totally unique location.

    94-04 Mustang front control arm length: 14.02"

    With reference to the data in the Mustang Performance Handbook II, William Mathis explained after he submitted the book to the publisher, that the publisher changed a lot of stuff in the book. He had given up all editorial rights in the publishing deal, so he couldn't force anything to be fixed. He outright said that a lot of information in the book is just wrong as a result.
    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  23. #23

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    I have two 86 tbrds and an 88 cougar right now. I should measure just for fun.
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

  24. #24

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    Measure them for Science, not for fun!!!!!!!!

    L2.

    "Do it accurately or don't do it at all."*

    * Jack Hidley

    Name:  FCA width.jpg
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    Jack Hidley
    Maximum Motorsports Tech Support

  25. #25

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    What is the fox mustang width for swaybars? Figure if I'm gonna do it might as well get that too
    2 1986 cougars (both 4 eyed and 5.0)
    1 1987 cougar

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