We would like to say that summer is on the way which it supposedly is but it certainly doesn’t feel like it. But we are not talking about the weather here, we are talking about a very common question that we get asked, it was asked four times last week alone. Will changing the shock, springs or anti roll bar make a difference and what’s involved? We can say that they definitely will make an instance difference to the car. It also depends on what you want of course, the most common is the shocks to be replaced. Mustang Maniac are now proud to announce that we are an authorised SPAX dealership, we not only stock Mustang components for our customers, but we can also source SPAX parts for any vehicle. Yes you did read that right – any vehicle! We may even stock a selection of the more common types going forward. We have added link to the right side menu now, and also under the heading “Our Partner Products” along with Evans Coolant and Gibbs Brand Lubricant. Click the logo below to go to the WebShop for our in-stock items.
Back to the point, all this is to show you what we do when we change these parts. We often get queries by customers who buy parts saying they don’t fit or don’t work. So we now have a NEW section called “How To Projects” from the menus above. We will not repeat everything on those guides as you can read that if you want too, but here we have a selection of Yogi doing his thing in his cave from those articles!
We must say that like all these DIY projects – if in any doubt DON’T do it. Use the correct tools and be safe.
The first article: Replacing Front Springs or Shocks or click here for the quick link.
The front springs are under enormous loads and really should be treated with the utmost respect. The shocks are straight forward enough to replace. With the shock tower caps being removed and two bolts top and bottom of the shocks. Performance shocks will enable the car to ride over bumps or holes in the road ensuring tyre contact with the ground.
The other part is the ride comfort of the vehicle being the springs. The Shocks and the springs are separate items, but they work very much as a pair. We can’t stress how important it is to change these items in pairs of shocks or a pair of springs otherwise you may get unpredictable car handling characteristics.
For the standard springs they have to be compressed in order to remove and refit them from the suspension spring perches. To do this we have our own design and built tool for the job. This allows us to compress the springs from the top of the shock tower. What ever happens you will need a good quality spring compressor.
Here you can see the difference between the standard and the performance 600lb rated springs with a 1″ drop.
The process to fit the springs is much easier with shorter springs as they will just about fit in without any compression if you are lucky. With the springs and shocks replaced you are ready to have some wheel alignment done.
We have not done these upgrades yet without the geometry needing to be adjusted afterwards.
The difference is very subtle and just takes that front up stance away and gives a more even level look.
The other big difference that can be made is the replacing the front anti-roll bar or sway bar, from the menu above.
“Replacing Front Springs or Shocks” or click here for the quick link.
The sway bar will stop body roll around corners and also help keep the tyres in contact with the road. There are two brackets under the chassis that holds the main sway bar in place and at each end is a long bolt that will connect the end of the sway bar to the lower part of the suspension. We recommend loosening everything off first, then removing the suspension connection then the chassis clamps.
The difference between the standard and the uprated one is quite noticeable when compared next to each other.
The long suspension bolts MUST be fitted with a certain sequence of rubber and metal, often a point where mistakes are made. The spacer collar between the sway bad the suspension will be shorter and must be used, again this is often a mistaken as the parts not fitting correctly as the wrong parts from the original fitting are sometimes used. The clamps for the sway bar might need to be adjusted to fit the chassis depending on the model/year of the car as the clamps are generic. This is simple enough to do by slightly elongating the holes to allow the bolts to fit through if you have too of course.
Here we check the correct alignment before we start the fitting.
The 1″ sway bar clamps are bigger and must be used, we suggest fitting the chassis clamps first loosely to the chassis as the bar will need to be adjusted. We sometimes remove the corners to fit the chassis easier but it’s not required.
Correctly fit the long bolt for the sway bar to the lower suspension.
Once everything is evenly spaced out then start the tightening up process.
We would suggest checking the wheel alignment, although this shouldn’t affect the geometry.
Check out the new Menu “How To Projects” as we will be adding some more simple projects in the near future.
We went to pick up the French convertible from the paint shop and she looks a real treat. Paul and Adam discussing the next project. The stripes on this car are not stuck on., these are sprayed onto the car giving a perfectly smooth finish if you were to try to feel them. We only have a short time to get this little lady ready for her debut car show. We will be having more on this in future posts.
Due to the fact that we were out virtually all day Friday delivering and picking up cars, the office was unmanned due to circumstances beyond our control. We came back to the office late afternoon to find 137 missed calls. With that volume of call somebody wouldn’t have got through anyway. We called a number of people back who only wanted to order parts. So we talked them through the process of ordering online from us so they don’t have to call us just for parts. Our WebShop will automatically calculate postage and packing for you, and in most cases it will be quicker for the dispatch department to send out to you without having to speak to us if that helps. Let us know if there is anything specific you would want to see in the walk-through guides. Please let us know what you think about the guides.
Great blog as usual. I have a set of Spax adjustable shocks on my car – after trawling the Internet they were the best quality for the most reasonably priced adjustable shocks on the market While I fitted them myself and it was pretty straightforward, I needed to take my car to Mustang Maniac so they could set them up along with a geometry check and set. The difference is truly amazing – my old car still has that old Mustang feel and does not jolt and jar over bumps but it rides so much better and more like a modern car. It’s all in the set up but the Spax products are great!
Thanks Gary for the comment and update on the SPAX. We are impressed with them and always hear good things. I would say that the geometry after a fundamental change to the suspension is crucial to a good handling car.
Congrats for the Spax dealership. A lots of technical information thus i would’t try to change them into an inadequate place..like my garage. 🙂
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Thank you very much Dana, we get many questions asking the same thing so we though we would try to help out. It’s not uncommon for us to have to go and pick a car up that has been started on but unable to finish it. If people know what’s involved they will just leave it to us. 🙂
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