Front suspension question…

Daryl

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I’m going to replace my stock control arms for the MM set. Because I have a stock K-member, I will order the Urethane bushings (per their recommendation). But, I’m not sure if I should get the stock offset or forward offset version. Will either fit without any changes? Which is better for handling/control?

Thanks Herd!
 

Warhorse Racing

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Using the MM forward-offset control arms with an OEM Ford K-member will move the front wheels forward by 3/4". That adds caster. Caster helps with straight-line stability and corner entry.

Depending on your tire size and your other mods, forward-offset control arms might lead to some "tire interference" that, according to MM, requires "minimal modifications."

Using the MM non-offset control arms with the OEM K-member keeps the wheelbase the same as stock.

If you read the MM instructions, there's a section that covers the mods you will need to make to install their control arms into an OEM K-member (you have to shorten the inner mounting flanges). The instructions also provide tips for installing the Delrin version in the OEM K-member. I would double-check with MM to see if they still don't recommend using Delrin with the OEM K-member.

Here are the instructions:


I haven't personally used MM front control arms with Delrin bushings in an OEM K-member, but I have installed custom Delrin bushings in the BMR A-arms on my 2000 GT, and Global West Del-A-Lum bushings in the OEM A-arms on my 1992 GT. Both cars have OEM K-members. With the proper preparation and installation, Delrin has worked fine in my OEM K-members. I'm not saying to ignore MM's advice, but it's worth clarifying things with them.

There are videos on my YT channel about the custom Delrin bushings and the Global West Del-A-Lum bushings (including install tips).

In the past, you've said you don't use the car for performance driving. You might want to consider going with the Del-A-Lum bushings. They're a huge improvement over stock and poly bushings, they add caster (but they don't have a warning about "tire interference"), and they cost $188 as opposed to $400 or $500 for the MM control arms.

Tubular A-arms with better bushings will offer better steering response than OEM A-arms with better bushings, but I was really impressed by how well the Del-A-Lum bushings performed on an autocross course.
 

wmfateam

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Global West doesn't have those listed anymore on their site. Unless I am missing where they are.
 

Warhorse Racing

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They are hard to find on the GW website for some reason. I confirmed they were still available and ordered a set a few months ago. GW told me they were having website issues. I just found them in the 1979-1993 Mustang section. Here's the link:

 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Thx, I didn’t find it either, but now I’ll check it out!
 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Yep, $187 for the bushings… but $34 for the cheapest (UPS Ground) delivery? Seems like a lot when so many have free shipping over X amount. Surprising. But still cheaper than the MM control arms.
 

lwarrior1016

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Personally, I like the forward offset arms with the stock k member location because it centers the wheel in the opening. The stock arms have the wheels more rearward.
 

Warhorse Racing

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They might be available from other vendors like JEGS and Summit. I purchased mine from GW.

Keep in mind that you will need to press out your OEM shells and press in the GW shells. If you don't have a press, you will have to pay a shop to do that. The GW bushings and install tips are featured in the videos below. I was able to get the bushings out of my Fox A-arms by hand (with a removal tool), but a press was required to get the "hydro" bushing shells out of my SN95 A-arms.


 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Talked to Scott at Global West this morning. He had 1 set of 1076RD bushings left on the shelf. I snagged them and they are going to install them Thursday late morning. One hour install for $120… + $187 for the bushing set…. A no-brainer for someone like me with very limited suspension experience and tools!

It turns I out they’re only 100 miles each way from me, so I’ll get a little windshield time AND get to feel them on the way back home. Should run $300 and small change, which is obviously better than the $400+ for the MM and no modifications necessary to the LCA or “exacting” cuts that could risk geometry. That shit right there made me nervous enough to make them doing the install a no-brainer.

FWIW, I was leaning toward keeping it all MM because I am a firm supporter of their engineering and like the idea of the forward (3/4”) offset. But, the “less hassle, less cost, same (or better?) result” equation just seems to make sense. Not sure if the GW bushings will forward offset or not, but I’ll find out soon enough and let you know.

Big shout-out THANK YOU’S to the gang @ Warhorse Racing and to lwarrior for your inputs. Both hit the nail on the head for me for both angles I was considering. Just feel like I’m taking the path of least resistance though both avenues would likely yield similar excellent results.

Cheers and thanks again! This Forum & its members ROCK!!!
 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Talk about taking the wind out of my sails! I called GW back to ask if their bushings forward offset. They do, about 3/4” like the MM LCA’s with forward offset. But… it turns out they DON’T do installs and even then it wouldn’t be 1 hour. I would have to take the LCA to them + the 1 hr($120) labor to install THEN have a shop do the estimated 4-5 hrs labor (another $500-$600) to do the conversion. So all in $900-&1,000.

Suddenly, the MM forward offset LCA’s are a lot more attractive @ $400+tax plus max. 2-hr install (if I don’t try to tackle it myself) for a total in the neighborhood of $600-$700.

So, I cancelled GW and am going back to Plan A… MM LCA’s with the 3/4” forward offset. I’m going to call MM, speak to a tech and determine if I feel I can do the install. If I’m on the fence, it’s only $100-$200 difference which to me is worth it.
 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Yes. MM coils + Bilstein XD’s. MM tech reviewed all my suspension purchases and confirmed their LCA’s would be a perfect fit, as engineered.
 

lwarrior1016

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Awesome, and having coil overs up front makes the install much easier.

It will require some shoulder work though. The lower control arm bolts torque pretty high.

You’ll have to pull the steering rack, disconnect the lower ball joint from the spindle, then remove the two bolts holding the control arm in the k member. Make sure to note the direction the control arm bolts point.


Also, look on MM’s website, they have great install instructions with pictures. That’ll help you decide if you want to do it.
 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Ok, I’ll definitely check it out before a final decision. Thanks!
 

Warhorse Racing

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I'm glad I was able to help a little with your decision. The additional cost of paying to have the A-arms installed is a big factor. Also, you should plan on getting an alignment after the install. It's a good idea to check/replace your steering rack bushings while you've got everything apart.
 
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Daryl

Daryl

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Thanks, Warhorse. I’ll definitely take it to my alignment guy. He rocks! Will be sad and desperate to find his equal/his replacement.
Meantime, I’ll get busy sourcing the steering rack bushings. Thanks for that suggestion as well ++
 

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