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How To Install A Performance Rear Suspe...
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How To Install A Performance Rear Suspension
The Back Half Of The Maximum Motorsports' Road And Track Box Completes An Outstanding Suspension System For '79-'04 Mustangs
By Miles Cook, Photography by Miles Cook
November 01, 2008
MM's lower-rear control arms are also part of the Road and Track Box. They're over three times stiffer than stock control arms to eliminate deflection and are available in standard nonadjustable or adjustable configurations, which allows ride height and corner-weight adjustments.
MM's lower-rear control arms are also part of the Road and Track Box. They're over three t
MM's thorough instructions detail every step for installing the Panhard bar, including jacking up the car and supporting it in several locations: under the front K-member, the torque boxes, and the rear axle, to name a few. Disconnect the shocks from the axle and remove them. As shown here, take off the driver-side shock-mount bracket from the rear-axle housing. Access to a hoist will make the job easier.
MM's thorough instructions detail every step for installing the Panhard bar, including jac
The rear sway bar, which is held in place with four bolts, comes off next. Once it's out, the stock lower control arms can be disconnected from the axle. Then the arm is lowered to allow removal of the rear springs and the arm's chassis pivot bolt. To do this, support the control arm near the axle mount with a jack and remove the lower-control-arm pivot bolt from the axle end. Slowly lower the jack to release the spring tension. Be careful not to do it too quickly or the spring might become dislodged and fly out. Once the spring is completely uncompressed, take it from the car. Then remove the chassis pivot bolt from the car and detach the arm.
The rear sway bar, which is held in place with four bolts, comes off next. Once it's out,
Install the bushings in the new arms. Using the supplied grease, apply a light coating to the outside of the urethane pieces. Install one of the four outer pieces into each arm. From the other side, install one of the two inner bushings (shown), seating it against the previously installed outer bushing. Install another outer bushing, seating it against the inner bushing. Next, apply grease to the inside of the bushings. Use a small screwdriver to work into the flutes. Then insert the steel crush tube through the center of the urethane bushings. Also apply a light coat of grease to the outside flanges, where the urethane bushings will contact the chassis.
Install the bushings in the new arms. Using the supplied grease, apply a light coating to
If you have access to a vise, you can press everything together for a good fit. This pushes the crush tubes and all three bushings together in each arm before they are installed. For a more secure fit and to avoid damaging parts with the vise, we also used two small pieces of wood for protection.
If you have access to a vise, you can press everything together for a good fit. This pushe
The new arms are now installed in the car. Torque the chassis pivot bolts to 85 lb-ft.
With the arms installed, the Panhard-bar axle and chassis mounts are next. With the new arms in place, but before installing the springs, position the axle mount around the lower-control-arm mount. Install the supplied 1/2x11/4-inch bolt in place of the original shock mounting-bracket stud with a supplied washer and Nylock nut on the backside. Don't put a washer under the bolt head because interference with the shock will occur. Rotate the axle mount around the 1/2-inch bolt to equalize the vertical alignment of the control-arm bolt holes on the inboard and outboard sides of the axle mount. Torque the 1/2-inch bolt to 120 lb-ft. Next, check the vertical alignment between the control-arm bolt holes of the axle mount and the axle's lower-control-arm mount. If the holes are vertically misaligned by less than 1/8 inch, they're OK. If they're off by more than that, then the shock-mount area on the axlehousing is bent. It can be straightened by removing the Panhard-bar axle mount and bending the area back with a large pair of locking pliers or a pipe wrench. Use wood to protect the metal of the shock-mount area. Our car didn't require this procedure.
With the arms installed, the Panhard-bar axle and chassis mounts are next. With the new ar
Next, check the fore-aft alignment between the control arm bolt holes in the Panhard-bar axle mount and the holes in the axle's lower-control-arm mount. Due to Ford's wide production tolerances, it may be necessary to elongate the Panhard-bar axle mount fore/aft with a file to allow the pivot bolt to pass through. This requires removing the mount and filing, as shown here. Don't enlarge the hole in the rear lower-control-arm axle bracket. Instead, remove just enough material from the axle mount so the 12mm bolt passes through the holes with a snug fit. Be careful not to excessively enlarge the holes in the axle mount. Afterward, reinstall it and retorque the bolt to 120 lb-ft.
Next, check the fore-aft alignment between the control arm bolt holes in the Panhard-bar a
Now install the provided M12 x 120mm pivot bolt through the axle mount, the axle's lower-control-arm mount, and the control-arm-bushing crush sleeve. Insert the bolt from the inboard side of the mounting bracket. Snug by hand, but don't fully tighten it. If the control-arm-bushing crush sleeve shifts out of alignment with the holes in the axle's mount, use a punch or screwdriver on the outboard side to pry the crush sleeve back into place. From the inboard side, insert the pivot bolt and push it all the way through. At this point, this is how the driver-side lower arm and the Panhard-bar axle mount should look.
Now install the provided M12 x 120mm pivot bolt through the axle mount, the axle's lower-c
Next, measure the alignments of the axle mount in relation to the passenger-side shock mount. This involves removing the passenger-side spring and raising the control arm back into position with the spring out. The rear axle needs to be raised until both control arms are parallel with the ground. Make sure both jackstands are placed at the same height and that the axle is parallel to the ground. As shown here, the easy way to make sure the axle is parallel is to measure the distance from the ground to each of the rear lower-control-arms pivot bolts. The four pivot bolts (front and rear of both arms) should be the same distance from the ground when the control arms are parallel to the ground.
Next, measure the alignments of the axle mount in relation to the passenger-side shock mou
As shown here, hang a plumb-bob (string with a weight) from the rearward edge of the axle tube on the driver-side lower-control-arm axle mount. Measure and record this distance from the string to the inner face of the forward rod-end mount. Be sure the string is resting on the axlehousing and not on a brake line. This measurement will be used later.
As shown here, hang a plumb-bob (string with a weight) from the rearward edge of the axle
With the axle mount installed, the Panhard bar's large chassis mount is next. Begin by holding the chassis mount against the rear subframe rails. The axle will need to be lowered to position the chassis mount. It's important that the chassis mount be pushed upward so the U-brackets are in full contact with the bottom of the framerails. If it's not, the mount won't be positioned correctly, which can cause clearance problems with the exhaust system.
With the axle mount installed, the Panhard bar's large chassis mount is next. Begin by hol
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By Miles Cook
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