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When replacing my brakes all the way around i noticed my shocks in the rear are showing signs they're gonna need to be replaced soon. Suspension and handling is what i wanted to focus on most in this car(like to hit the turns at speed) i just wasn't expecting to get started on it quite yet. After going through the other forums im pretty confused lol, lot of abbreviations and suggested parts thrown around. Also im not looking to put together custom built coilovers for the front, little beyond me at the moment, still new to all this. Want this car handling great but its still a daily so dont need anything super stiff. I was curious about the multiple braces offered on the scp site also, has anyone here had those? If so did they improve the car a lot or would it be a waste for a street car.
 

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Any shocks you'd buy, even the autozone/oreillys, will be better than the 100K mi ones you currently have on the car.
Considering they are $20-30 bucks each, unless the rest of the car is falling apart, I'd say it'd be worth doing esp if you are going to DIY the work yourself. If you had to pay someone (say 1-2 hours of labor), we are now talking about a $400 project and THAT might not be worth it for a car as old as this.

Forget about the braces. They are pretty useless. That money is better spent elsewhere (like new rubber bits -- your bushings are probably pretty wasted if they've never been replaced on this car). Or fresh tires.
I'd also say the single best place you can put your money besides suspension would be in the brakes. Stealing from the Ford parts bin (look for the PBR brake upgrade) is money well spent.

-g
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any shocks you'd buy, even the autozone/oreillys, will be better than the 100K mi ones you currently have on the car.
Considering they are $20-30 bucks each, unless the rest of the car is falling apart, I'd say it'd be worth doing esp if you are going to DIY the work yourself. If you had to pay someone (say 1-2 hours of labor), we are now talking about a $400 project and THAT might not be worth it for a car as old as this.

Forget about the braces. They are pretty useless. That money is better spent elsewhere (like new rubber bits -- your bushings are probably pretty wasted if they've never been replaced on this car). Or fresh tires.
I'd also say the single best place you can put your money besides suspension would be in the brakes. Stealing from the Ford parts bin (look for the PBR brake upgrade) is money well spent.

-g
I do plan on doing the work myself if i can besides the alignment when its all done. Also i just got done replacing the brakes so they should be good for now. Got slotted rotors on all 4, new calipers, brake pads and replaced the master cylinder. Everything besides the rear calipers and master cylinder was a Powerstop upgrade. They feel better, its just maximizing your factory system though because the powder coated front calipers are the same as the factory.
 

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They feel better, its just maximizing your factory system though because the powder coated front calipers are the same as the factory.
Next cycle, do a PBR upgrade on the front.

RwP
 

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Next cycle, do a PBR upgrade on the front.

RwP
I bought the nice PowerStop PBR's; they're nice and red. :)

They were $78.79, the stock ones are $41.99.

It was worth the upgrade. :D

If you buy the 2004 ones, the Mn12 Banjo bolts fit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Most of the rubber components in the suspension are what need replacing but it would be a good idea to replace most of it while im in there right.(really just need the justification haha) Always looking to improve the car so again has anybody tried the braces offered from scp that are supposed to improve handling? If i am going to rebuild where could i get most of the parts scp's rebuild kit seems pricey.
 

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I wouldn't worry about bracing until you add some serious power; adding 150lbs of steel is not going to make it more fun to drive.

Everything SCP is expensive.

New UCA's, LCA's and bushings in the back will make it feel new, and new shocks will help too.

I'd get some standard shocks for now, we're working on finding a replacement for the sport shocks; everything good is out of production.

Read the stickys in the suspension forum, for a better idea of what I'm talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I wouldn't worry about bracing until you add some serious power; adding 150lbs of steel is not going to make it more fun to drive.

Everything SCP is expensive.

New UCA's, LCA's and bushings in the back will make it feel new, and new shocks will help too.

I'd get some standard shocks for now, we're working on finding a replacement for the sport shocks; everything good is out of production.

Read the stickys in the suspension forum, for a better idea of what I'm talking about.
Thank you. Any recommendations on sway bar sizes? Im not clear about whats currently on there. Ive seen the stickys yeah, not sure why theres not more out there still honestly i know for a while this car was a great seller at least where im at and they're an awesome car based on everything ive seen and the few months ive owned mine. Would KYB be the best option out there for right now?
 

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I got the Addco 1 1/8 rear bar. Awsome for handling, but the paint fell off one end in no time, and it's all rusty. Get a little creak backing out of the driveway - presumably from poly rubbing on bare metal/rust.

Al
 

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Here's a break down if you want a full list of part numbers. Prices on some of these parts may have changed by now, I'm sure. But this is the list I've been building. Poly is what I'm using where applicable. There is Derlin available, but that's more money so I didn't go that route. Seems like you don't want to either.

Yes, that's how much I've spent so far. No, that doesn't include the shipping / tax costs. Those weren't calculated into my overall costs...
 

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Thank you. Any recommendations on sway bar sizes? Im not clear about whats currently on there. Ive seen the stickys yeah, not sure why theres not more out there still honestly i know for a while this car was a great seller at least where im at and they're an awesome car based on everything ive seen and the few months ive owned mine. Would KYB be the best option out there for right now?
There is such a thing as TOO thick a rear swaybar -- even for a track car. Its all about balance.
Changing the front one is a PITA with the engine still in the car.

I checked my notes and for my track car, I found the best combination with my stock 95 front bar (1.06" tubular)was a 0.91" solid bar from a 91SC. I tried a 0.94" solid rear from a 95 5.0 car and found it too stiff; the rear and wanted to whip around way too quickly (more oversteer than neutral) so I went back. The 91SC bar was MUCH more neutral feeling and inspired much more confidence.


https://www.tccoa.com/articles/mn12-techinfo/swaybar/swaybar.htm

You can calculate stiffness in lb per in of deflection for each bar and figure out the calculation.
https://motoiq.com/frankenmiata-handling-with-a-hacksaw/
 

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I got the Addco 1 1/8 rear bar. Awsome for handling, but the paint fell off one end in no time, and it's all rusty. Get a little creak backing out of the driveway - presumably from poly rubbing on bare metal/rust.

Al
Give the bushings some lube and it should go away. I have lots of poly back there including on the same bar and the suspension is quiet. My Addco 1-1/8” has a zink plated finish, it lost its gold colored luster but it never rusts so I just paint it periodically
 

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I did have the expensive grease on them when I installed it. I guess it came off with the paint!

Al
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited by Moderator)
There is such a thing as TOO thick a rear swaybar -- even for a track car. Its all about balance.
Changing the front one is a PITA with the engine still in the car.

I checked my notes and for my track car, I found the best combination with my stock 95 front bar (1.06" tubular)was a 0.91" solid bar from a 91SC. I tried a 0.94" solid rear from a 95 5.0 car and found it too stiff; the rear and wanted to whip around way too quickly (more oversteer than neutral) so I went back. The 91SC bar was MUCH more neutral feeling and inspired much more confidence.


https://www.tccoa.com/articles/mn12-techinfo/swaybar/swaybar.htm

You can calculate stiffness in lb per in of deflection for each bar and figure out the calculation.
https://motoiq.com/frankenmiata-handling-with-a-hacksaw/

Alright thanks, to clarify you used 91 SC for the front and rear bars?
 

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If anybody finds a good solution to the Sport Suspension front shocks that is a drop-in fit, that would be great. Unfortunately, I'm not proficient with hands-on repairs and don't know of any good shops around here who could do the job properly. I had replaced the rear shocks with the drop-in Bilsteins, which work great, but the front shocks which Ford recommended are for the non-Sport T-Bird and are a bit bouncy on undulating highways.
 

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Alright thanks, to clarify you used 91 SC for the front and rear bars?
No,
My tbird was originally a 3.8L NA vehicle. I kept my stock 95 front bar and I paired it with a 0.91" solid rear bar from a 91SC.

The best source for swaybars is the local junkyard. It's one of the easier parts to unbolt and take home with you.

I don't know what kind of tbird you have so I can't tell you how much thicker a bar you should go.
You can of course do the math yourself.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited by Moderator)
No,
My tbird was originally a 3.8L NA vehicle. I kept my stock 95 front bar and I paired it with a 0.91" solid rear bar from a 91SC.

The best source for swaybars is the local junkyard. It's one of the easier parts to unbolt and take home with you.

I don't know what kind of tbird you have so I can't tell you how much thicker a bar you should go.
You can of course do the math yourself.
Right unfortunately theres not many in my local junkyard at the moment ive been checking. Its a 97 lx with the 4.6l V8. Check the math when i get to it, gonna get the suspension done first and a few other things.
 

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Right unfortunately theres not many in my local junkyard at the moment ive been checking. Its a 97 lx with the 4.6l V8. Check the math when i get to it, gonna get the suspension done first and a few other things.
97 LX 4.6L =
1.06" solid front
0.96" solid rear

This is probably true (some of the numbers are off slightly but at least you'll be close)

Looking at the chart, I have the same front swaybar so MY recommendation is to go no bigger than you use today. IMO, you should replace the >20yr old rubber bits first and feel how it handles to decide if you need more rear swaybar. Just throwing a bigger one on (like the ADDCO bars) is no guarantee of better handling.

If you feel sloppy handling, check the rubber bushings at the endlinks. These are super easy to replace and if the rubber is rotten out, you'll go from lots of oversteer (because the rear swaybar is effectively disconnected) to snap oversteer (as the bolt holding the endlink in place hits the edge of the capture ring and actually starts trying to twist the bar).

-g
 

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One more thing: Row52 is a good website to see what vehicles are available at your local junkyards.

Usually what you see from Pick N Pull website is pretty sparse; this website often has more data as to the vehicles in the various nearby yards (ex: youll get engine info which can tell you if its a SC, V6, or V8).
https://row52.com/
 
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