I had the tailpipes pulled down about 3/8" yesterday.I so want to put a caption on that pic!
Sooooo, whats next?
When you say “pulled down”, what exactly did they do? Just loosen bolts, adjust, and freighter? Or something else?I had the tailpipes pulled down about 3/8" yesterday.
Car is receiving an alignment as I type this.
I may pull the rear Lower Control Arm urethane isolators this weekend as the car sits a little high in the rear.
I'll be braving the SoCal freeways on Tuesday, 20 Aug in order to get a tune.
My local exhaust guy cut the tailpipe hangers and welded in an extension thereby pushing down the tailpipes while ensuring their symmetry. They have about a finger and a half of space between them and the bumper cover.When you say “pulled down”, what exactly did they do? Just loosen bolts, adjust, and freighter? Or something else?
Seems I’m always fussing with mine to keep them even on either side.
This read like an episode of Dragnet..CONCLUSION:
On Saturday, 20 April I was returning from Performance Mustangs in Hawaiian Gardens where I had my car's 4.10 gear replaced with a 3.73. Approximately halfway home, and while on the freeway, I heard a snap and felt my car shift in stance. I immediately changed lanes and crossed 5 lanes of traffic in order to exit the freeway. Once off the freeway, and at a much slower speed, I could heard a loud thumping noise and felt the entire car rising up and down along with the noise. After contacting my escort (significant other) and finding a quiet parking lot I concluded that my right front wheel bearing had violently blown out. The car was promptly towed back to my house.
I had planned on swapping out the archaic front 10.8" discs and rear drums, but this development accelerated that process. I went on LMR and began to track the in stock status of their "1987-1993 Mustang SVE Base 5-Lug Conversion Kit-28 Spline" Item#SVE-2300AK-S. I had already purchased and received '94 spindles, Moog ball joints (part #8749), new Bilstein struts and shocks, Maximum Motorsports (MM) Lower Control Arms, stock upper control arms, a MM Panhard Bar, urethane sway bar bushings and a whole host of other suspension parts, but delayed installing anything while waiting for the LMR 5 lug kit to come into stock. I had even visited a few local junkyards and sourced a rear axle bump stock and front rotor dust shields. Eventually, I got tired of waiting and began to work on the suspension by installing what I had available to me (spindles, struts, etc.).
On 7 July I posted a photo in response to the "Post pics of how your fox body currently sits". I replied that my car was "In progress". While I had been in contact with LMR via phone on multiple occasions I was told that their 5 lug/4 disc brake kit was pieced together by other off the shelf items and one item being out of stock would invalidate the entire kit from being available for sale. I was encouraged by Stangnet commenters to look into Rock Auto for parts not available from LMR. I did my research and realized that I could purchase the majority of the large items (rotors, caliper, Master Cylinder, etc.) at a rather large savings through Rock Auto rather than buying the entire kit from LMR. In the meantime, three months had progressed from when my car was towed home and was now collecting dust on jack stands in my garage. I decided to go with Rock Auto and purchase the large items and apply any savings over the 5 lug/4 disc brake LMR kit towards other upgrades (stainless steel brake lines and Hawk HPS brake pads).
On Thursday, 18 July I purchased front and rear ACDelco rotors, two Durago spindle nuts, a Raybestos Master Cylinder, two Timken hub assemblies, two front ACDelco calipers and two Centric rear calipers. All other items, such as the rear axle brake hard lines, axles and e brake cables, were purchased from LMR. Everything arrived within a reasonable time, but despite my lengthy research and assurances from LMR that I had everything I needed I realized that I hadn't ordered axle studs. Those took another week and after a quick visit to a local auto shop and a $30 payment I had 5 lug axles I could actually use. Rock Auto delivered my 10+ items over a few days and in multiple boxes, but the front rotors were a REAL source of trouble for me.
The front 13" ACDelco rotors are listed as Rock Auto item #18A964A. While I received two rotors listed as item #18A964A, in fact they were actually two 14.5" rotors and were completely unusable to me. I submitted a return request via Rock Auto's website (they have no phone contact option) and mailed off the two 14.5" rotors. Five business days later I received a return box. Once opened I found one 13" rotor and another 14.5" rotor. I quickly installed the correct 13" rotor, but had to mail back the other (14.5") rotor. At this point I was growing tired of Rock Auto's lack of attention to detail and pivoted toward Amazon where a quick search located a single #18A964A for $23.00. A few days later I received my package and was dumbfounded to find another 14.5" rotor staring back at me. At this point I contacted the local NAPA and was able to source a NAPA branded #18A964A 13" rotor. Once installed, and equipped with my brand new 5 lug 17x9" Pony wheels, my car was resting on the ground on it's own for the first time in 3 1/2 months.
On Monday, 5 August I backed my car out of my garage and coasted down my street for a slow test drive. I immediately heard a thump, thump noise coming from the rear of the car, I had enough sense not to "power" through it and returned to my garage to discover the e-brake cables rubbing on the inside of the rear tires. Two large zip ties, and some black electrical tape acting as band aids, quickly fixed the problem. I prepared to take the car for another short test drive and discovered that my freshly torqued down struts were far higher than expected and hit the underside of my non insulation equipped hood. While somewhat discouraged and definitely perplexed by this discovery, I still enjoyed a spirited drive with a nearly completed car.
Over the next few days I consulted Stangnet and Maximum Motorsports and discovered that my new Bilstein struts needed to be "adjusted" by adding a spacer in the form of washers or a collar under the strut tower attachment point. This would in effect adjust the height of the strut shaft in the car. Per Maximum Motorsports (step 42 and 43 of the attachment): "To adjust the height of the strut shaft in the car, change the ratio of strut shaft spacers installed above and below the c/c plate bearing. If the tip of the strut shaft hits the hood, move one of the spacers from above the c/c plate bearing. This is covered in the c/c plate installation instructions. The higher up the strut shaft is, the more bump travel the strut will have and the less droop travel it will have. The lower the strut shaft is, the more droop travel it will have and the less bump travel. On a lowered car, you generally want as much bump travel as possible." A quick trip to the local hardware store with my strut in hand turned up a 3/4"x1"x1" collar. I was confident this part would fix the problem. It did.
On Thursday, 8 August I dropped my car off at a local (National Chain) tire and alignment shop. Along with the car I included Maximum Motorsports' suggested alignment specs. An hour later I picked up the car which drove much better and tracked straight down the road. However, later when viewing the alignment specs I noticed that many of the figures were not what I had requested and worse yet were outside their own "Specified Range". I contacted the franchise and was told to bring the car back the following day for a re-alignment.
Later that night while reading my latest Maximum Motorsports email I was told that Bilstein struts "have a larger bottom bolt hole in the strut-mounting ear to allow for production variations in the location of the holes in the spindles. This enlarged hole allows the spindle orientation, relative to the strut, to be changed by 1.4 degrees, before the bolts are tightened." In other words, "to position the spindle in the maximum negative position, pull straight up on the grease cap of the hub, while tightening the strut to spindle bolts. To position the spindle in the maximum positive position, push straight down on the grease cap of the hub, while tightening the strut to spindles bolts." I pulled my two front wheels and lo and behold could see that my struts were not aligned per Maximum Motorsports' personalized advise. Approximately 35 minutes later both struts were corrected and torqued down.
The car now drives and stops VERY WELL. Far better than before hand with the horrible, and in my opinion nearly deadly, stock 10.8" discs and rear drums. The upgraded '03-'04 big brake Cobra kit is an absolute must for any fox body Mustang. It doesn't take long when driving one to realize how far cars have progressed in the past 26 years. Your basic Toyota Camry stops better, has better visibility, safety and fuel mileage than a 1993 Mustang, but a 2020 Camry also doesn't get a thumbs up from strangers.
1. Research, Research, Research: I consider myself a good researcher and planner. But I was thrown by a few things such as forgetting to order axle studs and the arrival of the wrong rotors from Rock Auto and Amazon. This may have been a mix up at the ACDelco factory, or someone returning the wrong rotor to Rock Auto. But with Rock Auto and Amazon both delivering the wrong rotor to me I'm going with a mix up from ACDelco. My car was at one time a 4 cylinder, I didn't realize until installing the soft to hard line connector that the 4 cylinder equipped cars had a different brake hose bracket. Getting the stainless steel soft line to fit required some enlarging with a Dremel tool. "Adapt and overcome." -Gunny Highway.
2. Utilize the resources available to you: I must have watched the LMR "1987-1993 Mustang SVE Base 5-Lug Conversion Kit-28 Spline" video forty times, but I still missed the different sized holes on the Bilstein struts. Reviewing multiple installation instructions for the traditional 2300-K Cobra brake kit and the Bilstein coil over kit from Maximum Motorsports helped me catch a few things that would have later turned into bugs to be resolved. Stangnet was extremely helpful and so was Maximum Motorsports. That company knows their stuff and sells excellent products.
3. Don't expect that the items you receive are necessarily correct: I've already mentioned how I received multiple ACDelco 14.5" rotors that came under the same part number as the 13" rotor. However, I also received the correct part number, but wrong brake pads from Hawk. I mistakenly ordered two front and two rear packages not realizing that each package came with enough pads for both front rotors/rear rotors. However, while installing the pads I realized that Hawk had not included the correct number of pads for each front rotor. I was required to open one of the unused boxes in order to source the correct pad from the other box. This allowed the pads with the correct metal tabs and "ears" to be used. Had I used what they sent me I would have been short one pad out of the four for the two calipers.
Big thanks to some specific Stangnetters, TOOLOW91, Mustang5L5 and General karthief, for your help.
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