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Author Topic:   Fairmont front suspension?
clevelandstyle
Gearhead

Posts: 1035
From: Connersville, IN
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 11-26-2002 06:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for clevelandstyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
While I had the engine out of the Fairmont I noticed that the front struts were topped out with the car on the ground. They are Lakewood 90/10s. When I loosened the struts from the top mount the car raised up. I have always thought that I didn't have much front suspension travel. Is this normal? Should I have more travel and if so how can I get it? Can I lower the camber plate?
I can't tell you exactly how much travel I have because the car is now on jack stands.
The car hooks OK now, I'm just looking for better 60' times. My best is 1.58, but average is 1.63. I want to be solidly in the 1.5s

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Ben
Grabber Green '70 Mach I 351C 4V
Robbin Egg Blue '79 Fairmont 351C 4V

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 25883
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-26-2002 07:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Lakewood struts are a universal "fits all unit". Consequently the mounting brackets are welded in a compromise position.
We had a similar experiance with our Capri and Lakewood struts. They would hold the front end up higher at rest. The only solution is to either redrill the holes to lower the struts and increase the travel, or replaec them with dedicated units for the earlier car. We elected to do the latter. Koni makes dedicated early car fully adjustable race struts. The car now sits a full 10% lower and we also experiance greater front end travel.
We installed the old Lakewoods in the 89 GT convert and suffered similar issues, but the price was right.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
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NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
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The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
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Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"

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clevelandstyle
Gearhead

Posts: 1035
From: Connersville, IN
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 11-26-2002 07:49 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for clevelandstyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Alex. I guess that's what I needed to know. It's not just my imagination.

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Ben
Grabber Green '70 Mach I 351C 4V
Robbin Egg Blue '79 Fairmont 351C 4V

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Rory McNeil
Gearhead

Posts: 1542
From: Surrey, B.C. Canada
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 11-27-2002 03:21 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Rory McNeil   Click Here to Email Rory McNeil     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also have the Lakewood 90/10 struts on the front of my Fairmont, although with the 4 cyl. coil springs & the heavy 428, the front end doesn`t sit very high at rest.Ben, which top strut mount are you useing? I retained the original 78 "onion head" mounts, sometime in the 80`s Ford went with a large rubber bushing affair, not sure when they changed, but my 80 Fairmont has the round onion head, & my 86 Mustang uses the rubber bushing style. Although in stock form, the FOX cars seem a bit shy on front end travel, if you have too much, you get some pretty noticable camber change during the travel.

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78 Fairmont 428 4 speed [email protected]
80 Fairmont 302 5 speed [email protected]
85 Mustang NHRA Stocker under construction, 302 5 speed
59 Meteor (Canadian Ford) 2 dr sedan 332, auto
74 F350 ramp truck 390 4spd

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clevelandstyle
Gearhead

Posts: 1035
From: Connersville, IN
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 11-27-2002 09:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for clevelandstyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have the early "onion head" mount. I was also thinking the adjustable strut sounded nice.

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Ben
Grabber Green '70 Mach I 351C 4V
Robbin Egg Blue '79 Fairmont 351C 4V

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Mario428
Journeyman

Posts: 76
From: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-27-2002 01:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mario428   Click Here to Email Mario428     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alex you use the Koni's on the P/SA car I take it? Have you heard anyone talk about them on a car that does a wheelstand? A local racer had the Koni's on a Camaro and told me the adjustment lossens both extention and compression. With the shocks very loose to leave they did not control the car when it came down off the wheelstand.

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 25883
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-27-2002 01:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Mario, the Konis are indeed only single adjustable.
Although the Capri does pick the front wheels up about a foot, at mid 12's it's hardly a handful to drive and the lack of a rebound adjustment does not seem to effect it detrimentally.
We have seen some of our local NMRA type sniff and puff Fox car switch over from the Lakewoods to the Konis after our experiance and they were pleased.
Although most of these cars seem spin then hook and wheel stand as opposed to an immediate upward motion.
As a side note, we do not run them at complete full loose. We do leave about a full turn in them.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"

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Mario428
Journeyman

Posts: 76
From: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-27-2002 05:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mario428   Click Here to Email Mario428     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks, will have to look harder at them. The Canadian dollar may have an effect on my decision though.
I am in the process of building a tube x-member and putting tube control arms on. With the springs on the struts and using a spherical bearing in the caster plates I am machining the travel issue may not be a problem.

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 25883
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-27-2002 09:03 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Bearings are a great idea Mario.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"

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clevelandstyle
Gearhead

Posts: 1035
From: Connersville, IN
Registered: Jul 2001

posted 11-27-2002 09:10 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for clevelandstyle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Moneymaker:

We installed the old Lakewoods in the 89 GT convert and suffered similar issues, but the price was right.



I assume that the 'vert hooks well. Do you think there is ET to be gained by puting on the correct struts? That's the situation I'm in. The car hooks well, now, but can I pick up any ET with the Konis? I'm sure that the car will look better, but hey, looks ain't everything.

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Ben
Grabber Green '70 Mach I 351C 4V
Robbin Egg Blue '79 Fairmont 351C 4V

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Moneymaker
Administrator

Posts: 25883
From: Lyons, IL, USA
Registered: May 99

posted 11-28-2002 12:14 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Moneymaker   Click Here to Email Moneymaker     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Probably Ben. The adjustability factor alone will aid your tuning ability. You can tailor the cars front end rise to it's needs with eh Konis and they will lower the nose about one full inch to boot. They are only about $200 a pair or so. There is a special proceedure for obtaining them so if you do decide to get some (or anyone else for that matter) let me know.

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Alex Denysenko
Co-Administrator and Moderator

NHRA/IHRA/SRA member and licensed Superstock driver
MCA member# 53321
NHRA and IHRA SS/LA National Record Holder '00, '01, & '02
Fleet of FoMoCo products including 88 ASC McLaren Mustang #28
Professional Manwhore
The Barry of BarrysGrrl

Quote #1: "I never met a magazine mechanic I liked."
Quote #2: "Make sure brain is in gear before engaging mouth!"
Quote #3: "If you can't run with the big dogs, stay on the porch!"

IP: Logged

Mario428
Journeyman

Posts: 76
From: Charlottetown, PEI, Canada
Registered: Nov 2001

posted 11-28-2002 12:34 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mario428   Click Here to Email Mario428     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Found another choice last night. Strange now makes a strut for 87 & up Mustangs that is adjustable on extension. I can get them here in Canada for $10.00 more than Lakewood's. Have to use some spacers with the caster plates and by moving them around I should be able to get all the travel I need. Unfortunatly they are not a threaded body so I still have to make the sleeve.

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