Suspension Maximum Motorsports Kit whats my best option to reach my goals

Ukturf

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Mar 20, 2020
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Given the experience each of you have I wanted to ask what my options are to reach my goals.

89 GT 347 stroker 3.73 gears gt40 heads and intake. 300ish hp with stock 5 speed. 4 lug all around which I want to keep (wheel choices are not important to me)

Previous owner installed no name 1 inch lowering springs and no name shocks.

My goals. Street twisties and at the end of the day fun track car. Im not interested in spinning tires or straight line racing.

I have the funds to purchase a complete front and rear setup and it seems thru research maximum motorsports has a fantastic reputation and proven results in a complete package. So where should my search begin? Sport boxes ($1,800) Road and Track ($3,000) or Maximum Grip ($5,500).
I want to do this all myself in my shop with all the tools necessary except a lift and welder.
I am being vague on the details however I just need your advice on whats necessary and what overkill.
 
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General karthief

wonder how much it would cost to ship you a pair
Mod Dude
Aug 25, 2016
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This member seems to have a ton of experience turning corners and has built a couple cars to do it with.
Here, I'll ring his bell @Warhorse Racing
 
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HemiRick

I'd be looking at jacking under the house
Jun 28, 2020
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Have you read all the tech info on MM's site? if not do so I'm sure it will answer your questions....
 

Warhorse Racing

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Feb 10, 2019
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My experience is 99% autocross, so I hope people with more track experience will add their advice. But, I have worked on these cars for years, and built some pretty capable Fox Body and SN95 autocross cars. I hope this info helps...

MM makes great parts, and many people find that buying a "system" from one company is easier than piecing together parts from several companies. But, whichever path you choose, it's really important to understand what your suspension mods actually do, and how suspension adjustments impact performance. Having the best suspension in the world won't matter if it's not adjusted correctly. And, certain suspension choices are very personal, based on driving style and experience. If you don't have a lot of performance driving experience, you're better off making fewer mods, and getting more seat time. I often tell my autocross students to spend $500 on a season of autocross before they spend $5,000 modifying their cars.

You will learn more about performance driving behind the wheel of an "under-prepped" car than a car that's heavily modified. But, there are some simple mods you can make to add adjustability and composure as you start your performance driving education:

1. Chassis bracing. Do as much as you can. If you don't have access to a welder, use bolt-in bracing. But, remember, every driving input you make goes through the chassis.

2. Replace EVERY bushing. Your rubber bushing are old and most likely worn out. You can choose between rubber, poly or Delrin (in certain areas) depending on how much time your car will spend on track. I would suggest forward offset A-arm bushings (Global West Del-A-Lum bushings work well; poly are available from other sources).

3. Adjustable shocks & struts. Koni Yellows are a great option. Check out www.alteredfox.com for a great price on them. One of the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to modding these cars for track/autocross is installing super-stiff non-adjustable shocks & struts. Adjustable shocks & struts allow you to dial out understeer and oversteer, and compensate for current and future mods.

4. Don't lower the car too much. These cars handle better when they sit higher than most people think looks cool. I use Ford Performance C springs on my Fox, with Steeda spring spacers up front and poly isolators. It sits high, but handles really well on an autocross course. A track car can be lower than an autocross car, but it shouldn't be slammed to the ground.

5. Larger rear sway bar (Eibach 25mm). A larger rear sway bar adds oversteer, helping to dial out the understeer Ford installed from the factory. The decision to add a larger front sway bar should be made after you have established your personal preferences and the other mods you plan to make.

6. Caster/Camber plates. If you don't plan on going with coil overs, 3-bolt CC plates will work fine. Steeda or J&M are good options. If you think you will ultimately go with coil overs, get 4-bolt CC plates.

7. Rear upper and lower control arms. There are lots of options out there; just make sure they have 3-piece poly bushings. Steeda makes an affordable kit that works well. They will help with composure and traction.

8. Spherical upper differential bushings (sometimes called bearings). J&M makes a good, affordable set.

Those mods will help you get the car neutral and create a foundation you can build on once you've determined your driving preferences and your ultimate goals for the car. And they are relatively inexpensive, leaving you with more money to spend on seat time.

If this is going to be a track car, you will have to address the brakes. OEM Fox Body brakes aren't very good. Learning to limit braking is an important part of your performance driving education, but you want your brakes to be there when you need them. A stock Fox Body disc/drum setup isn't ideal for repetitive high-speed braking at a track event. There are four lug disc brake kits available. A good set of track pads is recommended. On an autocross car, your goal is to use the brakes as little as possible, so this is another instance where I hope people with track experience can offer advice.

I have a lot of videos on my YouTube channel that offer information on the suspension parts I use on my autocross cars. I would suggest checking out my "Budget Autocross" playlist, and my "ThoroughbRED" playlist. If you have any questions, I'm always happy to help.
 
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Ukturf

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Fantastic and extremely informative information Warhorse. You words make sense and coincide with my research. Set time is number one for sure however at the present moment my front suspension needs work at you stated it worn and sketchy in my opinion. Im coming from a honda S2000 hence why my foxbody is lacking any similarities drivability wise. I will dig deeper into your thoughts and videos and im sure have more questions. REally appreciate the advice I know this took time to write your reply so know this will be put to good use.
 

2000xp8

SN Certified Technician
Aug 8, 2003
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I have what you could probably deem the road and track kit, with the torque arm yet to be installed.

As i look at the kits, i think there is one missing form what they should have. Looks like you go from road and track with no torque arm, to the next kit which has every part available.
Not sure you really need the K member or the sophisticated sway bars.
If you go that route you may just want to piece it together or have them do it custom because the torque arm uses different springs.

If you are actually going to drive it on a track, maybe rethink the 4 lug setup.
Stock brakes do just fine for a few stops, but when they fade and let go, trust me, it's scary. Like all your weight, 2 feet on the brake pedal at the same time and the car still not stopping.
5 lug will allow you to use any brakes you want.
4 lug kits are not only expensive, but limited.
 

Warhorse Racing

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Fantastic and extremely informative information Warhorse. You words make sense and coincide with my research. Set time is number one for sure however at the present moment my front suspension needs work at you stated it worn and sketchy in my opinion. Im coming from a honda S2000 hence why my foxbody is lacking any similarities drivability wise. I will dig deeper into your thoughts and videos and im sure have more questions. REally appreciate the advice I know this took time to write your reply so know this will be put to good use.
I'm always happy to help. Getting the car safe and reliable is always a good start. Most people are surprised by how much better their car feels when the old bushings are swapped out for new ones (even rubber bushings). Remember to change the steering rack bushings and the strut mount bushings (these are easily overlooked).

These cars respond really well to modifications, so it doesn't take much to make them significantly better than stock.
 
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foxbodybill89

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What you need to do is go on MM website, look up the "Maximum Grip Box". When you buy that kit they have a form with 47 questions about your goals and planned usage for the car. Go through that and fill it out honestly, then give their tech line a call and spend some time talking it through. They will tell you exactly what you need and don't need and put together the perfect kit for your car. Don't waste your time doing anything else.
 
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Ukturf

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Now you can happily suck the life out of a collage fund, good job :nice:
In all reality, parts in my opinion arent really expensive compared to other "sports cars". Im already sitting on a pile of money invested and well, as long as I can learn as I go Im happy to spend the money. You guys are the experts and I appreciate the wide knowledge base to point me in multiple directions to make the best decision possible.
 

stormsedge

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In all reality, parts in my opinion arent really expensive compared to other "sports cars". Im already sitting on a pile of money invested and well, as long as I can learn as I go Im happy to spend the money. You guys are the experts and I appreciate the wide knowledge base to point me in multiple directions to make the best decision possible.
Be sure to set a maximum $$ expenditure for this project, so you may exceed it by 30%;). That's what I did:rlaugh::rlaugh::rlaugh:.
 
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Warhorse Racing

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My philosophy has always been: "It's not about spending the most money, it's about spending the right money."

If you target the weak links in the car's suspension and solve those issues, you can build a car that handles better than cars with more mods.
 

Ukturf

Member
Mar 20, 2020
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My philosophy has always been: "It's not about spending the most money, it's about spending the right money."

If you target the weak links in the car's suspension and solve those issues, you can build a car that handles better than cars with more mods.
This is sound advice. I have issues taking anything or asking a anyone to come do a project for me so learning is my choice. Many failures result in this adventure but I learn along the way.

Now Im stuck on buying a welder so I can install chassis parts myself (I suck at welding but can get better with practice) or just biting the bullet and calling a shop to install. Its a constant struggle with me on anything.

My first options are to choose which subframe connectors-
Global West : https://www.summitracing.com/parts/gls-921
or
Stifflers:

There is a price difference for sure with similar designs. It appears to me Stifflers has an overall better design but is it really worth the additional coin?
 

a91what

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I did the stifflers in my convertible, I am very impressed with how much ridgidity the full fit kit added.
Now a convertible I did not need the jacking rails, I left the stock "z rail" in place and installed the subframes and brace kit.
20200410_115629.jpg

I placed the jackstands under the rear axle and the Front arms to keep the weight on the suspension.
 

Warhorse Racing

Active Member
Feb 10, 2019
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I had standard (from LMR) subframe connectors on my 2000 GT convertible before installing the Stifflers FIT System. The difference is pretty amazing. And, you can purchase and install the Stifflers FIT System in stages.
 

bird_dog0347

still married haven't seen testicles in years
Jun 7, 2012
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Like already mentioned, first things first is to make sure the chassis is ready to use the better suspension, and another thing you must consider is the tires as that is the only thing keeping you connected to the ground and the biggest bang for the buck. IMO, Maximum Motorsports has been the best suspension products I've used on a Mustang (on my 6th since 1996) hands down, and their support and customer service is even better.

To pile on to another point, I get it about the wheel choice (I put an IRS in my notch which severely limits my wheel options)... but staying 4 lug is almost a safety concern in this day and age. Think about it this way, when these cars were built, most all the cars on the road had the same or worse brakes in any conditions. Now even economy cars will outbreak them in perfect conditions (for the fox) when driven on the road and that margin only gets wider when conditions get worse (rain). Just imagine you're driving down a suburban road at 45-50 mph and there's a motorcycle in front of you that has to make a panic stop, you think you can avoid him/her or stop in time? Almost no chance.

The number of lugs isn't the problem, it's the brake systems that you can use on them that are the problem. As already stated, there are 4 lug options out there, but why? Honestly most of the 4 lug wheel choices are available in 5 lug as well, unless you get crazy with an IRS for it.
 

HemiRick

I'd be looking at jacking under the house
Jun 28, 2020
627
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Memphis TN
If the brake system can lock up the tires, its adequate. Brakes systems generally only need to be seriously upgraded for extended HP driving. It more of a heat thing, than stopping ability. 4 lugs are NOT in any way unsafe, if they were, they never would have been initially installed.

I fully agree about MM, best parts and people out there.
 

bird_dog0347

still married haven't seen testicles in years
Jun 7, 2012
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If the brake system can lock up the tires, its adequate. Brakes systems generally only need to be seriously upgraded for extended HP driving. It more of a heat thing, than stopping ability. 4 lugs are NOT in any way unsafe, if they were, they never would have been initially installed.

I fully agree about MM, best parts and people out there.

Did you also read where I suggested upgrading the tires first? Remember, these cars do not have ABS (unless you're adding it which I don't think is an option 4 lug) so locking up the tires is actually one of the least efficient ways to stop the car. From the OP's first post "My goals. Street twisties and at the end of the day fun track car." we can deduce that the brakes could use an upgrade. Any stock brake system on the fox will be dangerous on the track, period. That does not mean the use of 4 lug is out the window, but it *does* mean that you've limited yourself unnecessarily and put yourself into a box for no reason that has limited your performance as well as price, all to stick with a set of wheels. OP has also already stated "Im already sitting on a pile of money invested and well, as long as I can learn as I go Im happy to spend the money." so I think we can rule out the idea the OP isn't willing or able to buy new rims.

I'm not suggesting buying the most expensive brakes available, I know I didn't... A basic Cobra PBR conversion is more than enough for the foxes and works great and will be safe on the track unless you've got like 1k horsepower going down the back straight of COTA for example.