TOTAL Suspension overhaul Questions?

Discussion in 'Suspension and Brakes' started by Black1996Stang, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. Black1996Stang

    Black1996Stang New Member

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    Hey guys got a pile of questions for you.

    I have a 96 (Formally a GT) with a 408w that I put in it last spring. In order for the motor and headers to go in I had to put a new K-Member in.

    Front End: I went with AJE's setup and coilovers. Nice stuff great company to deal with. However I do not like where the car sits. It almost sits back at stock height and the ride sucks. Before this I had BBK springs on the front. I would like to get it sitting low on the front again. I put the Brembo Cobra brakes on the front and had to ad a spacer to get the wheels to clear. It brought the wheels out to the width of the fender. It looks find not issues there. My fear is dropping it and having the wheel come up and hit the fender. I live in NW PA and in the spring driving on the roads here gives you a lesson in defensive driving.
    *Would I or should I get a set of Drop Spindles?
    The other problem I was having with this setup is the coil overs would BANG hard if I hit a bump. I do believe I may not quite have them adjusted right. However I have tried FOUR or FIVE different rate springs with no luck! I do intend to change my shocks and struts with this changeover too. Now I am running cheapy KYB's that have some age but seem to still be good.

    Rear End: I intend to get the matching control arms from AJE and coilovers for the rear. And of course new shocks and eliminate the stupid quad-shocks. I also need a sway bar. Over 100k I put on this car and never had one.
    *What do you all suggest I do in the rear?

    I like the way some of you guys have your cars sitting low and want mine there too. But I fear the time I hit a big dip in the road and bottom out or smack my fender. Or is this not an issue because everything is stiff enough to keep it from happening.

    Thans for the help!
     
  2. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Front End:
    For clarification, you still have the AJE coilovers, front spacer to push the wheels out a bit to clear Brembos, and an AJE k member? I'm not familiar with AJE products at all. However, if your coilover is banging when you hit bumps, this is super bad. It means 1) you no longer have enough travel in the coilover and 2) you are probably ruining your coilover. The spring rate isn't necessarily a function of available travel. Springs have a height associated to them. Some are 14", some are 12", 10" etc. The shorter the spring, the lower your car, *assuming* your coilover still has travel. Are the AJE's adjustable, and if so, where do you have them adjusted? It's possible you have simply maxed out your coilovers and just can't go any lower. In that case, you will need drop spindles (which will introduce their own set of problems/challenges), swap to a different set of coil overs, swap to bags, or go back to the BBK springs. If you were happy with the BBK springs, why not just go back to them? I'm assuming you aren't tracking your car, so why does it matter if you coilovers or not?

    On the wheels hitting the fender, it depends on how far they are pushed out. At a minimum you will need a fender roll if you haven't already. If you want to see if your tires will rub, then put the front of the car on jack stands; on one side, remove the spring from your coilover, re-install your coilover, and use a jack to carefully jack up under the front control arm. If your tire hits the fender, well you gots troubles. At this point you'll either have to run a stiff enough spring, drive more carefully, just live with your tire hitting the fender, add fender flares and cut out the original fender, or some combination of those. None are really ideal, depending on your goals.

    Rear End:
    I'm confused by you saying you will get AJE coilovers for the rears and of course new shocks - are the AJE coilovers a coilover conversion kit? Also, if you have gone so long without a sway bar, then why do you need one all of a sudden? However, if you do decide you need one, and you do not have the factory sway bar mounts on the AJE RLCA's, then look at something like what Maximum Motorsports sells. The sway bar attaches to the axle housing and frame rails, it doesn't use the control arm mounts, and has an added bonus of being adjustable. It's also probably way overkill for what you are looking for.


    As for people with super low cars and bottoming out - yes they bottom out. The vast majority of folks here will just simply say they are careful when they drive. It's not really feasible to make the suspension so stiff as to prevent bottoming out. It's too much, there will be no travel in suspension, you'll do the civic bounce down the highway, and the ride will certainly be terrible, much like an old western covered wagon I would imagine.
     
  3. Black1996Stang

    Black1996Stang New Member

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    Mcglsr2,

    Yes i still have "JE coilovers, front spacer to push the wheels out a bit to clear Brembos, and an AJE k member".

    I have adjusted the coilovers up and down all the way in both directions. I have tried five different rates, including dual rate springs and 10", 12" springs. If I adjust the coilover all the way down there is still 2+ inches of clearance. The lower down they go the worse the BANG gets.

    With my K-Member I can not go back to the BBK's in the front. I'm not tracking the car but I do want it to handle nice. Sounds like I need to try drop spindles.

    I just want the rear to match up with whats going on up front. The stock control arms need replaced and the BBK springs are old too. So why not.
     
  4. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    Sounds like your AJE coilovers in the front just don't have enough travel for the low you want. I'm assuming you can't go back to the BBK springs because the k member doesn't have the proper spring perches anymore. At this point, you are left with drop spindles and/or a different set of coilovers up front. You could probably get the low you want on with just the coilovers, but I don't know how much you want to keep the AJE's or not. If you do, then drop spindle is your only choice and fingers crossed they will work. They (plus the low) are going to throw your steering angle/tie rod geometry way out of whack. I suggest (if you haven't already) that you look into a bumpsteer kit (Maximum Motorsports* and Steeda make good kits) to help put some correction back into your steering.

    The bang gets worse the lower they are because you are reducing the amount of travel the piston has. The bang is basically the piston bottoming-out inside the strut. This is very bad, and almost always (as in like 99.9% of the time - it's not a matter of "if" but rather "when") results in blown struts/shocks. If you aren't super married to the AJE coilovers I'd suggest looking at a different set that might better support what you are trying to do.

    You can match the rear to the fronts without having to use coilovers. There are folks on this forum that run coilovers up front with "normal" springs out back. It's your call - just don't think that you have to go with coilovers (of course, if you want to, go for it). My suggestion here is to get a set of RLCA's that have both spring perches (preferably adjustable so you can get your low on) *and* a stock sway bar mount tab/location. This will let you beef up the rear a little so you can remove the quad shocks, run a lower spring, adjust the height, AND run a stock sway bar. And it will probably be cheaper than getting a quality set of coilovers.

    *note: I will *always* recommend Maximum Motorsports products - I have quite a bit of their stuff on my car and the quality & craftsmanship cannot be beat. Of course, this comes with a price - they are not the cheapest out there. Just because I recommend MM stuff doesn't mean you have to use it - you use what your heart and wallet tell/let you to go with. I just mention MM because I have personal experience with their stuff whereas I have very little personal experience with other brands.
     
  5. Black1996Stang

    Black1996Stang New Member

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    Hey thanks for the help. I apologize for the delay in responding. I get busy at work and have a computer in my face there so I don't like coming home and sitting on the computer. And besides that unlike you lucky Florida guys I have about three feet of snow.

    *Is there a brand, rate, type of shock strut you like? I imagine its what MM sells. I see you do some road racing in yours. So what do you have?

    *I'll give MM a call. I called once back when I got the car started and had nice service.

    * I have no problem ditching the AJE Coilovers. But I DO have to use a coilover with that K-Member. I went with AJE because its what my cousin has on his car and my uncles cars. Just impressed with them so I ran with it. He likes Stange Engineering Shocks and Struts.

    * Thanks for the advise on the RLCA's. I just figured its better to match it all up. But if guys are going with it either way I guess I will see what the best option is after a little shopping.
     
  6. mcglsr2

    mcglsr2 Well-Known Member SN95 Supporter

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    No worries dude. My responses are below:

    I would recommend any of MM's brand struts/shocks, the billsteins or the Koni adjustables (not the Street ones). I do road race my car and I use the Koni SA's (single adjustable) up front and in the rear with the MM coilover kits. I use a 375 lbs spring up front (which is pretty stiff), and 225 lbs on the rear - which is a bit softer but I also have a pan hard bar. MM, in my experience, has excellent customer service. If you email them or give them a call and tell them what you have and what you are looking for, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

    I personally like MM's kit, the quality is superb and the fit is superb. Unfortunately it's just not cheap. :(

    I have the MM Extreme RCLA's with the spherical bushings. In retrospect, I should have gone with the road race LCA's because coilovers. But at the time I figured I would have the traditional shocks/springs back there a little longer. Oh well.