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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 80 fox mustang and swap kit. Need to know about the suspension. I have an 8.8 rearend out of an 88 GT, but what does it need to handle 450-500 rear wheel HP. The same goes for the upper and lower control arms and so on. I don't want to waste the cash on hoop la junk. I just want to go straight and consistant as cheap :shock: as possible. Cheap :shock: is not good but I have a side bet going on with some chevy boys and I am out to prove them wrong :wink: . I race all the time but now I am going to make a change to something lighter. My tunnel ram 460 is tired of pushing the old truck aroundLOL!! All info is good please don't be shy. Thanks Chris!
 

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Cheap fox rear

The 8.8 in stock form is a pretty tough rear end. I've seen it handle 500rwhp over and over and over again as-is, with the first thing to go being the trac-lock unit, and that failure mode being just a failure of the friction material. In a few cases, the bearing supports broke. They make rear cover improvements for that. In a few cases, axles broke, but that too isn't terribly common either. Due to the failure mode, however...that one worries me more than the others. It's a c-clip rear end...the axle can find it's way out of the housing if it breaks. In spite of some people worrying about the 4-lug pattern, I've never seen a wheel come off due to lug failure on a 4-lug rear and know of cars that have run into the low 10's on 4 lug rears.

So...all in all, it's pretty stout. If you have money to spend, I'd put a bearing support on it first. Then, the next chunk of cash would be better axles and "everything else" in the center section, as a unit. You might also want to look into a c-clip eliminator kit if the thought of having an axle walk out of the tube scares you as much as it scares me.

As far as control arms...if you want to go budget, I'd just use police and taxi control arms on it and box-weld them with some bar stock. The bushings are stiffer than stock, and the box weld will keep the flex to a minimum.

You havn't mentioned the torque boxes in the rear chassis where the control arms mount. You should be very concerned about this area; and at a minimum seam-weld all that area to strengthen it. I've seen fox cars leave the *** end at the starting line at launch with chunks of torque box hanging off the lower control arms. Not pretty. They make kits for this as well..."battle boxes" and the like. At 500rwhp, and assuming your chassis is in good shape...a weld job should be sufficient.

Springs and shocks and such need to be chosen as well. The stock stuff will work pretty well for starters, but drag springs/shocks and possibly a bag in the right rear will improve matters.

There's all kinds of stuff to buy for the rear if you don't like the police/taxi control arm idea...but you said budget, and for 500rwhp...I really think this is good enough; especially to start.
 

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My 85 notch ran 11.39 at its fastest so figure roughly 480hp at the engine and that was with stock 2.3L front suspension. Stock 2.3L suspension is a little better tension rate than 5.0 suspension.

In the rear I have factory control arms, Olds shocks, and ladder bars. My rearend is a big axle 9" with Olds ends.

The car has always handled great.
 

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jpierce55 said:
My 85 notch ran 11.39 at its fastest so figure roughly 480hp at the engine and that was with stock 2.3L front suspension. Stock 2.3L suspension is a little better tension rate than 5.0 suspension.

In the rear I have factory control arms, Olds shocks, and ladder bars. My rearend is a big axle 9" with Olds ends.

The car has always handled great.
Same here with the exception of V8 front springs and welded tourqe boxes. Stock control arms and shocks and springs on rear.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
what about wheel hop?

I will treat the torque boxes with care. What about wheel hop and body roll? If I mini tub and move the shocks inward could I run a 11.0" slick. Will after market control arms reduce wheel hop or can I re-enforce stock ones with the same result. What about the rear sway bar? Do I need an anti rollbar or is that over kill for a 10.60-10.80 fox. Thanks for the help so far I hope I am not driving you guys nuts. Are there any short cuts around the spool issue on an 8.8 :shock: ? C clip elms sound like the way to go. I don't need it bouncing down the track :D . Thanks Chris!
 

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To be honest, I have never experienced wheel hop in my Capri. All I have under there is the old Motorsport traction bars they used to sell back in the 80's.
 

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Wheel hop

I really don't think it's going to be a problem with what you're doing. If it is, a simple change of rear spring rate will likely cure it.

The police/taxi control arms are cheap and the bushings are stiff. I really don't think you're going to get any hop contribution from those. Stiffening them with plates on the open sides is just too easy not to do, especially considering they'll be out of the car. Just don't get them too hot or you'll melt the bushings.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
police /taxi?

What cars or year model should I look for? Crown Vics..? So it sounds like all I need are torque boxes welded, c-clip elems,31 spline axles, 3.73 gears, a full spool, and a re-enforced back plate. What about the axle tubes? Should I weld them? Also will the cheap $69.00 Sub frame connectors work well. Last dumb question for now! Is there any problem with the weight transfer and the big block over the nose? Thanks Chris
 

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With my car I ran mid 10's with replacement control arms, bolted in battle boxes, a stock sway bar and an air bag in the RR. The axle had a reinforced cover, a spool, and 31 spline axles.

I hadn't welded the tubes at the time but I have since, I also welded all the seams for the suspension mounts. The tubes were bent some when I had the rear end out. I straightened and braced the housing and now I am thinking of going to Mark Williams caps on the bearings.

The cheap subframe connectors work fine or you could just make your own.

I don't think their is any problem with weight transfer. With the projected H.P. level your looking at the 8.8 should work fine. I also still use 4 lug axles with mine and have seen several 8 second cars still running them aswell.
 

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fox body

i have an 83 with 31 spline axels, spool, rear end cover and four lugs behind a 525cid with about 760hp with four lugs and untouched axel tubes with no problems. stock springs out back with adjustable upr upper and lower arms and qa1 adjustable shocks. car runs 9.60-9.70 @140-143mph on 28/9/15 goodyears with a 1.40 60ft. Those rear ends are tough!

Good luck. hope you embarrass those damn chevy guys
 
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Aftermarket Upper and Lowers are pretty cheap, JDI, UPR, Etc.... you can usually geat a set of adjustable uppers and lowers for under $250. Rear Coilovers are a good idea and they allow height and spring rate adjustment.

Definetly weld-up or add Battle boxes to the rear, again pretty inexpensive parts are avaliable $100-150 for reinforcing kits or you can fab your own.

as far as the rear end is concerned a 8.8 can be upgraded to handle 8's in the 1/4 for a pretty reasonable amount. I would avoid using the c-clips and stock carrier if you intend to run on slicks. If your budget allows 9" rears are avalable in every shape or forum.
 

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Here are a couple of links, this one has plans for the torque box reinforcements http://www.pomoforacing.com/tech/ and this one has plans for subframe connectors and boxing control arms http://www.oldwestracing.com/articles/articles.htm When I made my torque box reinforcements I went down to the local scrap yard and picked up some plate that was the right width and some small right triangle gussets.That way most of the work was already done and I just had to cut the plate to the right length, make a couple bends and drill some holes.
 

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Fox faster

Rear swaybar is still good to keep. It'll keep the rearend from twisting to much. How much you looking to spend here? I have a D&D Motorsport Tubar front crossmember and a-arms, 175#coilover adjustable springs and BBK adjustable Strut plates looking for a good home. Tubar setup had about a year's use on it, other parts are new in the box. Only thing is the a arms are for a non front sway bar setup. But it helped my car run [email protected] with a very mild 460. You'll need subframe connectors and a good roll bar to tie it together also. What about your fuel system? [email protected]
 
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