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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Some of ya'll might know that I finally got my 86 Gt on the road again. It has been sitting in the garage for 10 years. We replaced the motor, gas tank, fuel pump, rear brakes and tires. The rest of the car has been pretty much replaced too. All the front suspension bushings, tie rods etc (all stock still).
The problem is that the front of the car seems to ride like a "lowered too far down import" with a real funny bounce when you go over some bumps or undulations in the road. The car makes NO klunking or other noises that I can hear. Is this a problem with the front struts from sitting too long? Will it work its way out with some more road time?
 

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Do the struts even move, or is the "suspension" movement totally from the tires?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I didn't go out and check the movement. But, when I get home I will. Seems weird that the struts would just kinda give out from sitting. I mean it did move in and out of the garage at least a few times until the gas went bad...:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Last month, when the engine was out, it did sit alot higher LOL!:p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There is virtually NO travel on the front suspension. Is it safe to assume that the struts are toast? Is it still safe to drive? I have to get it to a the DMV for a vin verification to get a permanent tag.
 

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If the roads are smooth, it's driveable I guess, but you're putting a lot of stress through the strut mounts and strut towers.
 

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There is virtually NO travel on the front suspension. Is it safe to assume that the struts are toast? Is it still safe to drive?
Something is very ******ed up!

Okay, let's start with some basics: :)

1) Does that car have the springs?


2) Take a breath, take 10 seconds, and get a tape measure. :) Measure the front fender height.
If it's 27" +/- 1/2", that's stock.
From 25 to 26.5", that's the massive range of people with modified suspension and for many different purposes.
If it's below 25", IMHO, the car is a low-rider pure show-only car and has zero right to be on the street with real cars. And, yes, there will be zero or very little travel in a suspension on a ******* car like that.


3) Struts, especially 10-20 year old ones, do go without any warning. Without use, the seals often harden.


4) If there's no suspension movement (when you stand on the bumper, does the bumper go down at least ~1/2"), then the struts sound like they are binding. IMHO, that's more likely from damage that age. But, age "could" cause binding - just like you "could" win the lottery. Super unlikely, but not beyond the possibilities.
Any chance you drop the engine on the struts while the car was on it's side? ;)


Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The car still has stock springs and suspension. When I push down on each side of the car there is some movement 1/2 to 3/4 inch tops. I am guessing that maybe when the motor came out and the car sat for a couple weeks before the motor went back in, maybe the struts extended beyond the "normal" travel spots and now they are stuck.
Luckily, the roads here are very smooth.
 

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When I push down on each side of the car there is some movement 1/2 to 3/4 inch tops.
That's expected. The springs are rared at ~500lbs/in. So, if you eat many Big Macs and get to a weight of 500lbs, the sit right on the top of the strut, the springs will compress ~1". Since they weight/force is also distributed/spread to the other springs, it would be less. However, if you now take your 500lb fat ***** and stand on the left front bumper, you get leverage. Som the left fender should go down by more than 1".

If you push on the fender, depending on where you push, and how many Bog Macs you ate on your weigh to 500lbs ;), the fender height will go down ~1/4 to ~3/4".

So, is there strut movement or not? :)
Because from what you described, it sounds fine.


Another Question: :)
If you STAND on the left front bumper corner, and JUMP off.
Then, how many times will the left fender/strut/suspension bounce? It should go back UP, down a little, up a little, slight shake. It should stabilize in under 2 seconds. You may need either someone else watching, or a good video camera. Just be careful when you jump off. :)





The car still has stock springs and suspension.
That's good news!
I was afraid that you recently put on Eibach springs that lower a "Stang" by ~1.75". Yea, MY *SSSS! IMHO, get a ******ing tape measure, take a picture and post it with the tape measure, then tell me that your car is lowered "xyz". :)

You have a vert. That lowers the car even more.
If you have an auto, that lowers the car even more.
If you have a 3-core radiator, that lowers the car even more.
**** If you have an 85/86, that lowers the car even more because of the K-frame, FCA mounting points, etc.
If you don't have the correct rim and tire combo for the stock tire diameter (many don't because the wider tire causes rubbing issues), that can lower the car even more.
If you don't have isolators on the top/bottom of the springs (many of the lower ones are completely worn out), that lowers the car even more.

I think you get the idea. :) So, you get a ton of posts about how someone has their care lowered 1" to 1.5". I look at the pictures, and I can tell that's pure BS. It's more like 1.5" to 2". FORD knew that lowered the car and chassis that they designed more than ~3/4" greatly hurt handling and suspension performance.
Then again, who you going to trust? Engineers with 20+ years experience (many with PhDs), millions of dollars in specialized simulation software, MANY millions of dollars in test/measurement equipment, etc.
Or, some interweb jockey that didn't even get take High School physics?

Hmm, screw Jack H of MM. After reading the forums, I'm going to lower my Stang by 15" and kick his and everyone's punk ****s on the track! :D


BTW: Someone found a copy of the old Ford part listing for the stock OEM springs for a Fox Stang. As people that worked at Ford dealerships have said a zillion times, and got sick and tired of people telling them they were wrong <rolleyes>, Ford had different OEM, as built from the factory, springs for 5spds, autos, verts, etc.

Yet, I'm sure that you'd have no problem finding posts in forums saying that someone put Bullitt springs on their Fox Vert Automatic and saying that it lowered the car by ~3/4". Sigh.....


Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just went out to the car again (been working my a$$ off). It started and ran awesome. BUT, the suspension DEFINATELY is bound up tight. I went out and pushed down on my son's 92 Mustang vert and there was the typical bounce I would expect. The 86 is like pushing down on a 4' long 2x8. You could make it move, but very little. I am sure that the struts are the problem, especially comparing it to the 92.
 

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The 86 is like pushing down on a 4' long 2x8. You could make it move, but very little. I am sure that the struts are the problem, especially comparing it to the 92.
Sounds like gunk/rust/bent strut pistons. Typically, it's the opposite - very little damping from the struts.
 
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