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Discussion Starter #1
I'm going to start buying parts soon to rebuild my entire suspension on my 2002 GT, and I have a question regarding using urethane spring isolators with lowering springs. For some reason (I believe I read it somewhere, long ago), I'm under the impression that using urethane spring isolators will make the car sit approximately ¼" to ½" higher than it would using rubber isolators.

In other words, I guess, if the springs I'm thinking of buying (Vogtland; have previous, good experience with them on a '97 T-Bird Sport I used to own) say they'll lower my car by approximately 1.6", and I use urethane isolators with them, will that then reduce the amount of lowering to somewhere between 1.35" to 1.1"?

Anyone know if that is correct or not? Thanks.
 

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They will raise the car up a little higher yes. Just get springs that ride a little lower and roll. Not going to go coilovers?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They will raise the car up a little higher yes. Just get springs that ride a little lower and roll. Not going to go coilovers?
No, I'm thinking not. Coilovers have a high initial cost (meaning, all at one time), and from what I'm reading about them ride quality seems to suffer a bit, and I definitely don't want that. My car is a daily-driver, and I don't race it, at all. As I mentioned earlier, I have previous experience with Vogtland lowering springs on a '97 T-Bird Sport I used to have, and was really impressed how they did not make the ride quality deteriorate over the stock springs, at all.

I also don't have a lot of money sitting around, and need to buy parts one or two at a time, until I have everything needed to complete the job I want to do. This works out well, as I'm a tractor-trailer driver for a living, and I spend a lot of time on the road. My car just sits in the garage while I'm gone. I can do a little work on it at a time, as I'm home, and leave it on jack-stands until the next time I'm home. That's what's happening with it, right now - it's been up on jack-stands since August, of last year. It started out that I had to replace that underhood fuse box/power distribution box and it's associated harness (I guess they refer to that as the headlight harness), and since I had to remove many parts to access it, I decided to replace/upgrade many things (motor/trans mounts; starter; A/C condensor; water pump; radiator, to name just a few parts).

Anyway, I'm not replacing my springs specifically to lower the car, but more so just because the OEM springs are 18 years old, as is the rest of the suspension, and I want to replace everything at once. I don't mind lowering it, as it sits a bit high, but I don't want to lower it more than 1"-1.5". This is what I'm potentially planning on buying for it:

•Bilstein struts/shocks/axle-dampers
•Vogtland (or, possibly some other brand) lowering springs
•BMR tubular front LCAs, with spring perches built-in
•Maximum Motorsports rear upper/lower control arms

As part of the work I'm currently doing to it, I took the K-member brace loose on the passenger-side, to help facilitate installing the Ford Performance hi-torque mini-starter I installed. I didn't even realize at first, LOL, that part was a "brace", meant to help a bit in handling - pretty chintzy, if you ask me. I ordered the Maximum Motorsports 4-point K-member brace, and I'll install it as soon as I'm home, next (it should arrive this week), and I'm going to buy their strut tower brace, too.
 

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One thing to remember is that the old rubber isolators are probably completely worn out, and have lowered the rear of the car by a 1/4-3/8 inch. Replacing them with either rubber or polyurethane will raise the suspension back to its original height. The difference between the two is, rubber will "settle" a little after a while, whereas polyurethane will retain the ride height for much longer.
I personally prefer the rubber isolators since there is no performance gain to be had from polyurethane.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
One thing to remember is that the old rubber isolators are probably completely worn out, and have lowered the rear of the car by a 1/4-3/8 inch. Replacing them with either rubber or polyurethane will raise the suspension back to its original height. The difference between the two is, rubber will "settle" a little after a while, whereas polyurethane will retain the ride height for much longer.
I personally prefer the rubber isolators since there is no performance gain to be had from polyurethane.
I will probably be buying the aforementioned Vogtland lowering springs, due to previous very positive experience with them. The stated drop for both front and rear is 1.6". I'm only wanting to lower the car by 1" -1.5" (don't want any issues with suspension, particularly sway bars, not working as intended, or being unable to properly align the front-end, due to excessive lowering), so if using polyurethane Isolators will reduce the lowering to my desired range, I'm good with that. I also probably will never again take the suspension apart, so the fact that polyurethane Isolators don't deteriorate over time like rubber does, is an added bonus.

This Mustang is in EXCEPTIONALLY good condition, considering it's age/ mileage, as it spent nearly it's entire life in CA & AZ. There is virtually no rust anywhere on the car (I haven't driven it in any snow/salt, since moving back to Ohio), and it only had 81,000 miles on it, when I bought it in October, 2015. I've only put about 20,000 additional miles on it, since then (just over 101,000, now).
 

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Good coilovers don't hurt ride quality at all. People who have bad ride quality used **** parts and/or screwed up the install. The MM ones with a good hypercoil for the street/strip and MM CC plates will ride better than stock.

Don't have a lot of money but looking at the BMR front control arms? Well... I was thinking of them but decided not to for various reasons. 1-decided to go coilover, 2-i'm going for handling and 3-they have poly bushings. Suspension 101 is never use poly for any articulating joints. IE control arms. There is barely any NVH difference between poly and delrin, poly wears out super fast and poly still deflects. You want 0 deflection in your front A arms. A REAL good and cheaper setup for your front control arms is the Global West Delrin bushing set for the front arms and Steeda X2 balljoints. You just need to take the control arms to a shop to have them press out the old bushings because they are a royal ***** to remove.

Only exception with the Delrin is for the 4 link SRA because the upper and lower control arms actually DO need to deflect or it'll bind up. This is just the crap design that is the 4 link.

If you're on a budget this is what I would do:

Tokico D spec shocks and struts
Global West A arm "Del a Lum" Delrin bushing kit
Your choice of springs but I'd go with HR Race
X2 balljoints
Bumpsteer kit
MM CC plates
MM 4 point K member brace
MM or Steeda LCAs
MM stock reproduction upper control arms plus new bushings on the axle side
Subframe connectors
Strut Tower brace
Poly Isolators
Prothane Swaybar Endlinks


Doesn't sound that budget but this is doing it correctly with good parts at about the cheapest you can go. You can go even cheaper like Tokico Blues or low mileage used Terminator Bilsteins but suspension isn't something you cheap out on. Something breaks at 80mph or hard launching or hard cornering because you got a cheap part and good luck with that.

And no matter how good a condition the car is in, its 2 decades old at this point. Rubber dry rots, stuff just wears from sitting for periods of time if it wasn't driven a lot. My 2000 has 40k original miles, I got it at 32k in 2015. I have it down now and torn apart because I need to overhaul the ENTIRE suspension due to age. Front control arm bushings are shot as is most of the rubber anywhere on the car. I swapped the SRA to IRS a few years ago and did the entire Full Tilt bushing kit before I installed it. You want to see some terribad bushing wear get any IRS with the stock bushings in it and take a look lol. Anything that moves is a delrin bushing. Anything that needs 0 deflection is delrin or solid metal like my IRS pumpkin bushings. The only poly anywhere on the car is motor mounts, trans mount, front swaybar endlink bushings, swaybar bracket bushings and the IRS subframe. There is absolutely 0 rubber.

Also not budget at all but trashing the stock steering linkage does wonders for road feel and handling. The rubber rag joint has a ton of slop in it. That's something that can be done whenever tho.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Good coilovers don't hurt ride quality at all. People who have bad ride quality used **** parts and/or screwed up the install. The MM ones with a good hypercoil for the street/strip and MM CC plates will ride better than stock.

Don't have a lot of money but looking at the BMR front control arms? Well... I was thinking of them but decided not to for various reasons. 1-decided to go coilover, 2-i'm going for handling and 3-they have poly bushings. Suspension 101 is never use poly for any articulating joints. IE control arms. There is barely any NVH difference between poly and delrin, poly wears out super fast and poly still deflects. You want 0 deflection in your front A arms. A REAL good and cheaper setup for your front control arms is the Global West Delrin bushing set for the front arms and Steeda X2 balljoints. You just need to take the control arms to a shop to have them press out the old bushings because they are a royal * to remove.

Only exception with the Delrin is for the 4 link SRA because the upper and lower control arms actually DO need to deflect or it'll bind up. This is just the crap design that is the 4 link.

If you're on a budget this is what I would do:

Tokico D spec shocks and struts
Global West A arm "Del a Lum" Delrin bushing kit
Your choice of springs but I'd go with HR Race
X2 balljoints
Bumpsteer kit
MM CC plates
MM 4 point K member brace
MM or Steeda LCAs
MM stock reproduction upper control arms plus new bushings on the axle side
Subframe connectors
Strut Tower brace
Poly Isolators
Prothane Swaybar Endlinks


Doesn't sound that budget but this is doing it correctly with good parts at about the cheapest you can go. You can go even cheaper like Tokico Blues or low mileage used Terminator Bilsteins but suspension isn't something you cheap out on. Something breaks at 80mph or hard launching or hard cornering because you got a cheap part and good luck with that.

And no matter how good a condition the car is in, its 2 decades old at this point. Rubber dry rots, stuff just wears from sitting for periods of time if it wasn't driven a lot. My 2000 has 40k original miles, I got it at 32k in 2015. I have it down now and torn apart because I need to overhaul the ENTIRE suspension due to age. Front control arm bushings are shot as is most of the rubber anywhere on the car. I swapped the SRA to IRS a few years ago and did the entire Full Tilt bushing kit before I installed it. You want to see some terribad bushing wear get any IRS with the stock bushings in it and take a look lol. Anything that moves is a delrin bushing. Anything that needs 0 deflection is delrin or solid metal like my IRS pumpkin bushings. The only poly anywhere on the car is motor mounts, trans mount, front swaybar endlink bushings, swaybar bracket bushings and the IRS subframe. There is absolutely 0 rubber.

Also not budget at all but trashing the stock steering linkage does wonders for road feel and handling. The rubber rag joint has a ton of slop in it. That's something that can be done whenever tho.
1. One step ahead of ya' - I just ordered the MM steering shaft for 99-04 Mustang power steering rack, yesterday. I figured I might as well install that while the front end is still up on jack-stands; before I pull the dash to replace the heater core.

2. Already ordered the MM 4-point K-member brace. UPS is delivering it tomorrow (along with my new Borla Stinger S-Type exhaust [smile]).

3. I said I don't have a ton of money to spend ALL AT ONE TIME, LOL! I looked at some of the coilover kits, and they're quite expensive (I know for a good coilover experience, you need a high quality kit which equates to more expensive). Still, you've got me considering this option.

4. My cars age is EXACTLY why I'm doing this. It seems to ride & handle just fine (for stock suspension), but I'm aware that with new components, I'll notice a significant improvement just due to worn rubber.

5. I never heard of Global West and their Del-A-Lum Delrin bushings, but now you've got me considering that option (along with the Steeda X2 ball joints). What's wrong with their rear lower control arms, with the Del-A-Lum? I was going to get MM rear LCAs, but wouldn't these be better (I'm getting MM UCAs, with new axle side bushings)?

6. I'm going to get most of the components you have listed but I want Bilstein shocks/struts (assuming I don't go with coilovers).
 

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MM makes the best lcas. You need those to have some give because the 4 link needs to be able to move around and not bind up. Only real fix for that 4 link is to replace it with a 3 link or an irs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Don't have a lot of money but looking at the BMR front control arms? Well... I was thinking of them but decided not to for various reasons. 1-decided to go coilover, 2-i'm going for handling and 3-they have poly bushings. Suspension 101 is never use poly for any articulating joints. IE control arms. There is barely any NVH difference between poly and delrin, poly wears out super fast and poly still deflects. You want 0 deflection in your front A arms. A REAL good and cheaper setup for your front control arms is the Global West Delrin bushing set for the front arms and Steeda X2 balljoints. You just need to take the control arms to a shop to have them press out the old bushings because they are a royal * to remove.
OK, Batman, riddle me this: You say not to use the BMR front control arms, because they have poly bushings, and to use the Global West Delrin bushings, instead. But, why then does Maximum Motorsports use urethane (polyurethane and urethane = the same thing, no?) in the front LCAs they sell, with the extra-cost option of Delrin, while saying that Delrin bushings should NOT be used with the stack K-member, as it has surface irregularities at the mounting points, and the hardness of Delrin will cause significant fitment issues? They say to only use urethane bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I found this kit online, which has Bilstein B8 shocks/struts, and Eibach Pro-Kit lowering springs. I went to Bilstein's website, and discovered that B8 shocks are simply shortened versions of their B6 shocks, and are designed to better work with lowering springs. The estimated drop with the lowering springs is 30mm (approx 1.18") front and 25mm (approx .98") rear. I wouldn't mind maybe ½" more drop than that, especially because the use of urethane spring isolators might even further reduce the drop I'll get with those springs, but regardless, I think I'm going to go with this kit (it's priced right around $730), as I like the idea of having shocks/struts specifically designed to work with lowering springs, and it's a bonus they're Bilstein. It's still possible I might also still buy the Vogtland lowering springs (1.6" drop, not counting urethane isolators) and use those, instead (and, try to sell the Eibach springs), but the things I read online about the Eibach Pro-Kit springs included in this kit say that they ride pretty nice, almost like stock, and that's important to me, too. I don't want to make the ride of the car way more harsh than stock.
 

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OK, Batman, riddle me this: You say not to use the BMR front control arms, because they have poly bushings, and to use the Global West Delrin bushings, instead. But, why then does Maximum Motorsports use urethane (polyurethane and urethane = the same thing, no?) in the front LCAs they sell, with the extra-cost option of Delrin, while saying that Delrin bushings should NOT be used with the stack K-member, as it has surface irregularities at the mounting points, and the hardness of Delrin will cause significant fitment issues? They say to only use urethane bushings.
Cost Robin... cost... plus their control arms with Delrin will indeed not properly align with the stock K. Global West will because it goes into the stock Arms which can compress or expand out to allow the bushing to fit how it needs to as the bolt is installed and torqued down. The aftermarket ones are all welded 1 piece and will not do this. Also MM needs to worry about the lowest common denominator of the masses who wants to have shiny parts but don't want to pay to do the whole thing properly which for MM is getting their K, their A arms, their coilovers etc... plus all Delrin. Poly bushings are simply bad for articulating parts. They work, they are stiffer than rubber, but they make noise, they still deflect and they don't last as long as rubber and not NEARLY as long as Delrin. Delrin will last 10x as long as poly and the NVH increase is negligible. Been there, done that, have the shirt. Also is the reason companies like Full Tilt simply don't offer poly bushings for control arms. Poly should be used for endlinks, spring bushings and motor mounts.

I found this kit online, which has Bilstein B8 shocks/struts, and Eibach Pro-Kit lowering springs. I went to Bilstein's website, and discovered that B8 shocks are simply shortened versions of their B6 shocks, and are designed to better work with lowering springs. The estimated drop with the lowering springs is 30mm (approx 1.18") front and 25mm (approx .98") rear. I wouldn't mind maybe ½" more drop than that, especially because the use of urethane spring isolators might even further reduce the drop I'll get with those springs, but regardless, I think I'm going to go with this kit (it's priced right around $730), as I like the idea of having shocks/struts specifically designed to work with lowering springs, and it's a bonus they're Bilstein. It's still possible I might also still buy the Vogtland lowering springs (1.6" drop, not counting urethane isolators) and use those, instead (and, try to sell the Eibach springs), but the things I read online about the Eibach Pro-Kit springs included in this kit say that they ride pretty nice, almost like stock, and that's important to me, too. I don't want to make the ride of the car way more harsh than stock.
Bilstein is a good brand. Eibach is good too. Not the best but good. HR is probably your best bet for non-coilover lowering springs. Going close to 2" lowered you are going to compromise the ride. Period. Not to say it won't be a nice riding car but it won't feel like stock. Closest one I ever had to stock was Tokicos and BBK springs of all things. Steeda Sports are real good too for a stockish ride. The car I had with the Tokicos rode so well because they're adjustable as far as how firm they ride, they were the Illuminas which have since been replaced with the D Specs. If you aren't going coilovers, you're really wasting money going with anything else when you can get the D specs under $400. And if you are going coilovers IMO the Konis are better.
 
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